Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cooking a la Jamie Oliver

The past week has been delicious! I might have mentioned before but Tracy (whom is my favorite boss, aunt and friend) bought me the new Jamie Oliver cook book “Meals in Minutes” which I am totally in love with. The recipes are true and tested, I love the “menu” format rather than simple recipes, my only warning is that the book is not for cooking beginners, the technique are not explained and some quantities (a large pat of butter) are not self-explanatory, which is no problem for me, the most wonderful cook, as foretold by my husband.

Last Sunday was my mother in law's early birthday party, amidst the renovation work done by my husband (Holy Crap we have curtains!) I baked the most wonderful cake, taken from “A Dash of Sass” find the recipe here. A delicious 6 layers strawberry cake, the frosting was pretty liquid so the cake ended up sliding around a little but you can't deny cream cheese, strawberry and butter, you just can't! I remember in college when our teacher would sadly talk about how some people preferred colors to flavors (Have a blue cupcake!). Here we have a purely strawberry cake, no coloring, no Kool-aid or Jell-o, just natural flavor and colors, unlike what the original recipe called for.

For dinner we had a crispy baked haddock that I will recreate in the near future for your greatest enjoyment (and mine) because it was darn amazing, also from the new Jamie Oliver book. (Looooove it!)

“The food doesn't have to be special, it's the people who eat it.” I went to school to learn how to bake but when it came down to it, I'm extremely unpretentious (is it pretentious to say that?) when it comes to food. I'll straight out say that I love Kraft Mac n Cheese with fried bologna but I can have foie gras and caviar all the same (mmhmm...) Dammit, now I'm hungry again. Here's what I had for dinner, I hope you try it at home.

I forgot the shrimps *sad*
Fish Tray-Bake
serves 4
Source: Jamie Oliver, Meals in Minutes, 2011 (ever so slightly modified)

4 x 6 ounce salmon filets
8 jumbo shrimps, raw, shells on
a bunch of asparagus, trimmed
1 lemon, quartered
1 fresh red chili, minced
a small bunch of basil
1 x 2 ounce can anchovies in oil, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 sweet Vidalia onion, quartered
a small container of grape tomatoes
4 slices of pancetta

Set the oven to broil
Place all the ingredients in a roasting pan (never use Pyrex under the broiler)
Douse everything with a light filet of olive oil and the anchovies oil and cover with the pancetta.
Place in the oven on the middle shelf and cook for 10 minutes or until the fish is fork tender.
For the love of dog, do not over cook the salmon, it's a crime.

Not only was it delicious, it was super easy, I only had a bit of prosciutto so I used it instead of pancetta, I would use bacon too if that's all I had. I also made rice and black beans from the same book, it went perfectly with each other.
Rice and Beans
serves 4
Source: Jamie Oliver, Meals in Minutes, 2011

2 scallions, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 ½ Cup of white long grain rice
2 ½ Cup of chicken broth
1 can of 15 ounce of black beans, drained and rinsed

In your pan, heat up a bit of oil and cook the scallions with the cinnamon a pinch of salt and pepper.
When the onions are tender, throw in the broth, the rice and beans, bring to a boil and cover.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-14 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

Now go cook and prosper!
~ Hungry Julie

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