I love Jamie Oliver. He’s a bit of a dude. He’s the only person in the Universe that can say ‘pukka’ and not sound like a wanker.
He’s done amazing things for food within the UK school system, and indeed made a wonderful empire by cooking simple, wholesome food and being a bit of a boy-next-door, spunk rat at the same time.
I have a small bone to pick with him though.
He tells little white lies.
Alongside many gastronomical adventures, Jamie has a cool series and book called ’30 Minute Meals’. The name is not cryptic, and suggests that in the space of a Seinfeld episode you can have a two or three course meal done and on the table.
I’ve heard so many people saying ’30 Minute Meals’ isn’t true and Jamie pulling our legs. He doesn’t appear to be working at super human speeds in his TV shows, though he does have the beauty of editing to help cut out the bits where he’s flapping around, burning something, dropping something, forgetting something or tripping over one of his 4 lovely, jubbly children.
Which I’m certain he does.
I’m kitchen savvy. I’m fast and can multi-task. I’ve got this, I thought. I’ll show those nay sayers that my Jamie is not full of it. I thought I’d do a little experiment. Can you guess what it is?
Drum roll, please……. dancing bears, dancing bears, and…….
The 30 Minute Meal Experiment.
This post is not about gorgeous food imagery. I did not have time to take lots of shots on different angles with perfect light. This was about speed cooking. Like speed dating but with a happier ending.
If you’re bored read some of the comments on this link. Apparently, many Portuguese take their tarts and bird very seriously and don’t take kindly to adaption. I have a message for them –
Lighten up, chumps. It’s only dinner.
I’m not really much of a recipe book girl. I have a few great ones, but I tend to look to them for inspiration, rather than actual recipes. I simply don’t think to look at them most of the time, but this experiment made me realise that Jamie has some great time saving techniques that would work in any busy household.
For instance, he nuked his dressed potatoes. I would never normally do that, but for the sake of this experiment I followed to the letter. Not a simple task for a renegade kitchen cowboy.
In reality, where people lose time is reading the recipe and not being properly prepped. He clearly states to have everything at hand, on the counter and ready.
I did not have utensils out, but they’re all reachable.
Another place people lose time is reading the recipe. It slows you down. When you don’t need to refer to anything you can be way more ‘wham, bam, pass the Piri Piri chicken’, so I familiarised myself with it enough that I would need to refer only quickly. Something Masterchef ALWAYS suggests you do. It was Poh’s undoing in the end.
Ready. Set. GO!!!
He reckons you can have your chicken cooking and get the next two steps done before you turn your bird, but… I turned my bird in between as I was starting to smell a touch of the burn factor. Didn’t effect things much, I was still going strong.
I couldn’t find creme fraiche in my suburban supermarket, so I took full-fat Greek yoghurt and laid it on a clean Chux wipe over a colander. This drains any excess water and leaves you with an extra thick yoghurt. You should do this overnight, but I only had about 5 hours.
My tarts were tarting, my chicken was spitting, my spuds were nuking…… I was looking good.
I still needed to make the Piri Piri sauce and finish the bird off in the oven, fill my tarts and cook, make my orange caramelised orange topping for tarts and finish spuds.
Piece of cake…..
I did love the way my Jamie does his herb chopping on the board, with the fetta, then chuck on the potatoes and just smash them together. Simple, fast and rustic.
Or it should have been, my stinkin’ potatoes needed a precious extra 5 minutes in the microwave as they weren’t cooked after the prescribed 15 minutes of nuking. Jamie practically stole 5 minutes from my time, so next time I see the Jamie Oliver brand of silicone oven mitts I’ll stick them down my pants and leave the shop as pay back.
I smashed my seasoned tatties together, wait for my tart topping to be ready and smother the orange caramel onto their pretty heads. Plate it all up and run like Forrest to get it all on the table……..
A large blob fell on the floor and I promptly stood on it, squishing it to smithereens….. but I couldn’t falter. I was so close.
STOP THE CLOCK!!!!!
It’s official, Jamie Oliver’s pants are on fire. Or I need a good editor.
PS The kitchen looked like a fucking bomb went off and my Ugg boot treaded sweet potato from one end of the kitchen to the other. It looked like Mister H had been cooking.
Do you find recipes take longer than promised?
Does yours look like the picture?
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Hooking this experiment up as part of Our Growing Edge July edition.
Head on over to the ever gorgeous Veggie Mama blog to see who else is pushing their edge this month.