Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

Things I have been cooking lately #172: Super food salad

Last week it was really warm so I got very excited and decided it was spring. I was so excited that I decided to buy a whole lot of ingredients to make salads. It turned out it was not spring. It was basically spring teasing us and then deciding to hold off until a yet to be named date. Fortunately even though it was cold and windy when I made this, it was still delicious so we didn’t feel too sad that we had to eat it wearing jumpers.


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Things I have been cooking lately #102: Chicken kiev with broccoli mash

I was lucky enough to get a bunch of cookery books for Christmas. Clearly people know me well. So I have been cooking up a storm in the Christmas/New Year break. This recipe comes from the latest book in my Jamie Oliver collection, Jamie’s Comfort Food, which was a gift from my in-laws. Mr O and I had this for our New Year’s Eve dinner and it was delicious and a lot less fiddly than you think.

Chicken kiev with broccoli mash

Adapted from Jamie’s Comfort Food

100g pancetta lardons
olive oil
4 skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons of plain flour
2 large eggs
150g fresh, white breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
2 lemons


4 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of fresh, flat leaf parsley
4 knobs of butter (at room temperature)
A pinch of cayenne pepper

Broccoli mash

800g potatoes
1 head of broccoli
1 knob of butter

Fry the pancetta in a pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C.

For the butter, peel and crush the garlic then finely chop with the parsley. Mix into the butter with the cayenne pepper. Divide into four log shapes and place in the fridge to firm up.

Beat the eggs and pour onto a small plate. Also set up separate plates with the flour (mixed with a little salt and pepper) and breadcrumbs.

Take each chicken breast and pull back the loose fillet on the back. Put your knife in in the opposite direction and slice to create a long pocket. Open up the pocket with your fingers and push one of the logs of butter into the pocket. The push in a quarter of the bacon. Fold back and seal the chicken to completely enclose the filling. If you are worried about it coming out you can secure it with a couple of toothpicks.

Take each chicken breast and lightly coat with the flour mixture. Then dip in the egg, shaking off any excess and finally dip in the breadcrumbs, patting them on until you have a thin even coating.

Shallow fry the chicken breasts in 2cm of vegetable oil for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden.

While this is on the go, peel your potatoes and chop them into chunks. Also chop the top leafy bit of the head of broccoli into chunks. Put the potatoes on to boil in salted water for fifteen minutes. When the potatoes have eight minutes to go, add the broccoli.

Put the chicken breasts on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

When the potatoes and broccoli are done, drain and then leave to steam dry. Mash with a knob of butter and a little salt and pepper. Divide the mash into four and put onto plates. Add a chicken kiev to each plate. Lightly dress the spinach leaves with a little olive oil and lemon juice and then sprinkle onto the plate to garnish.

Serves 4

chicken kiev

Things I have been cooking lately #96: Chicken pie with carrot smash and peas

I made this recently for a girls’ dinner with my bestie, Dawn and it was the best kind of wintery comfort food you can imagine. Not only was the pie amazing but I swear I am never going to prepare peas in any other way. I don’t even like peas and I couldn’t stop eating them. This recipe is adapted from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals so as always be prepared to run around the kitchen to get everything done on time.

Chicken pie with carrot smash and peas

For the pie

4 x skinless, boneless chicken breasts
a knob of butter
a bunch of spring onions
150g button mushrooms
1 heaped tablespoon of flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons English mustard
1 heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche
300ml chicken stock
a few sprigs of thyme
1/3 nutmeg for grating
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg

For the carrots

600g carrots
a few sprigs of thyme

For the peas

2 little gem lettuces
480g frozen peas
a knob of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
300ml chicken stock
a few sprigs of fresh mint
1/2 a lemon

Olive oil

Turn on the oven to 200 C and fill and boil the kettle. Peel and slice the carrots. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Trim and slice the spring onions. Remove the outer leaves from the lettuces, wash and slice them. Set all the prepared veg aside.

Place a large pan over a medium heat and a large saucepan with a lid over a low heat.

To prepare the pie slice the chicken into 1cm strips. Put a lug of olive oil and a knob of butter into the large frying pan. Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and spring onions to the pan with the tablespoon of flour and stir. Add the mustard, creme and chicken stock and stir. Strip in the time leaves, grate in the nutmeg and add a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Leave to simmer.

Now prepare the smash. Put the carrots in the saucepan with a lug of olive oil a good pinch of salt and pepper and a few thyme tips. Just cover with boiling water, then cover with the lid, turn up to high and allow to cook for 15 minutes.

Now back to the pie. Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and unroll the pastry onto it. Use a small knife to lightly score it in a crisscross fashion. Take the chicken off the heat and tip it into a baking dish about 20cm x 30cm. Lay the pastry over the chicken and squidge it around the edges so it fits. Beat the egg and spread it over the top of the pastry. Bung in the oven for 15 – 2o minutes until golden brown on top.

Onto the peas. Return the chicken pan to a high heat. Add a knob of butter and a tablespoon of flour to the pan and stir. Then add the chicken stock. Tear in the  mint leaves and mix with a balloon whisk until you have a smooth, bubbling sauce. Add the peas and sliced lettuce. Squeeze in the lemon and add a splash of boiled water. Season with salt and pepper and put the lid on.

Check that the carrots are fork tender and then drain them and return to the pan. Smash using a potato masher. Remove the pie from the oven and serve with the peas.

Serves 4

chicken pie

Things I have been cooking lately #70: Fish baps with tartare sauce and homemade mushy peas

After a bit of a hiatus where I just ate what other people were cooking (mostly Mr Osbiston who has been doing a fabulous job experimenting in the kitchen) I have finally gotten back in front of the stove and what better recipe book to go with than Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. This time I decided to try out his fish baps, which were utterly delicious. Once again this is a fast paced recipe so make sure you have all your ingredients ready.

Fish baps with tartare sauce and homemade mushy peas

Adapted from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

4 wholewheat baps
4 large white fish fillets, halved (about 480g in total) – I used pollock
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup plain flour
Olive oil
25g of Parmesan cheese
1 punnet of cress
juice of one lemon
1 medium potato
500g of frozen peas
1/2 bunch of fresh mint
3 cornichons
1/2 tablespoon of capers
1/2 a little gem lettuce
100g of natural yoghurt
1/4 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 lemon

Turn your oven onto 130 C and put the baps in the oven. Put a large frying pan over a high heat, put your kettle on to boil and set up your food processor with the bowl blade.

Slice the potato into 1/2cm thick slices, place in a medium pot, cover with boiling water for the kettle and place over a high heat with the lid on.

Spread out the fish on a piece of greaseproof paper and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper on both sides. Sprinkle over the flour to coat.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the frying pan, add the fish fillets and fry until golden on one side, then flip and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Add the frozen peas and the leafy part of the mint to the pot with the potatoes and replace the lid.

Add the yoghurt, cornichons, capers, lettuce and parsley to the food processor , squeeze in the lemon juice and process. Season to taste and pour into a bowl to serve.

Check the fish. If it is cooked through then take it off the heat and set aside.

Rinse out out the food processor. Drain the peas, potatoes and mint and add to the food processor. Process to a puree.

Take the baps out of the oven and cut in half.

Serve the fish fillets inside the baps with the tartare sauce, lemon wedges, a sprinkling of cress and the mushy peas on the side.

Serves 2 – 4

Fish baps


When Jamie met Abbi

Last night Yvonne, Tracy, Alex and I went to Recipease in Clapham to learn how to make pasta the Jamie Oliver way. I will admit that I was excited all day and when we arrived I spent ages ooh-ing and ah-ing over the mixing bowls… considering that I recently had rather a lot of fun baking with small children I am coming to the conclusion that I am turning into a housewife… advice on how to stop this from happening in the comments please.

Houswives ready!

My domesticity aside, we were issued with glasses of wine and aprons and watched a charming Scottish chef called, Jimmy, demonstrate how to make pasta dough. Jimmy made it look simple, while being barked at by his co-chef, a girl we nicknamed Argumentita, who was the very picture of the stereotype of aggressive, loud, in-your-face South Africans you might have been fed. Alex, my hob partner and I were pretty good at the dough. We figured we were legends in our own lunch hour and even labelled our dough with our Austin Powers spy names.

The name's Cleavaaaaage, Luscious Cleavaaaage...

Then Jimmy showed us how to thin out our dough and make pasta shapes. Again, it looked like a child could do it. Ravioli? Bring it on! Unfortunately not all of us had Jimmy’s magic fingers and some of the efforts were less than stellar… mine in particular. No thanks to Argumentita having a go at me in Afrikaans once she figured out we could understand her.

It's all gone wrong!

When we cooked it all up with and threw together Jimmy’s sage sauce, I became baffled by the fancy oven controls and burnt the butter… with every second my respect for the Masterchef contestants increased… in the end it was all perfectly edible and despite looking like it had been put together by a four year old, it was some of the tastiest pasta I’ve ever had. I think with a little practise I could become a pasta master yet.

If you’re looking for an unusual evening activity, I’d definitely recommend it and if anyone wants to know what to buy me for my 30th (in 6 short months) a pasta maker is a definite yes!