One of the presents I wasn’t too happy about receiving this Christmas, was Jamie Oliver’s new 15 Minute Meals cookbook from my boyfriend. After throwing an over-dramatic hissy fit, I asked ‘When have we EVER used cookbooks?’ It’s not that we don’t like new ideas - we do - it’s just that we’re creative cookers, and after seeing a picture of a meal, or watching a TV cook show, which I frequently do (hence the present I guess), or a quick google search, we know what goes into the meal and can improvise from there. No one in my family follows a recipe to the Tee, except for my Grandma.
Then the other day I caught Jamie Oliver on TV, cooking up some ‘lamb lollipops’ (the title isn’t the most attractive) although they did look rather appealing. I was able to use the book to write my shopping list, and proceeded to spend a whopping £22 on the meal. So far, it looks like the Jamie Oliver cookbook isn't for savvy savers, and for £22, this had better taste bloody good!
I decided to really put Jamie to the test, after hearing stories of his 30-minute meals taking more like 60, and set the timer. In true Jamie Oliver style, I boiled the kettle before hand, had pots and pans ready on the stove, and ingredients on the side. Set the clock, and go!
We’re off. Sorry, I’m off, as my boyfriend refuses to help as, he points out, it’s 15 minute cooking by ONE person. First on my list is the lamb which I cover in salt, pepper and an unknown quantity of garam masala before putting them in a heated pan, forcefully poking at them as I’ve already forgotten to ‘pound them into the chopping board’. Next up is the rice, which I just realise, is actually microwaveable two-minute rice. It should be a bonus as it takes even less time, but now my time planning is messed up and I don’t really know what to do with myself. Seven minutes left. There’s actually a lot left to do in seven minutes…
Coconut milk into a pan with two table spoons of korma paste. The mixture resembles a student night out aftermath of kebab-flavoured vomit, but I furiously stir until it’s only one shade of orange. Lentils go into a pot of boiling water, naan breads go into the oven and I start chopping up (‘roughly’ says Jamie Oliver - although there is only one way to do it when rushing) spring onions, ginger, chili and jarred peppers to put in with the lamb, and a honey and balsamic glaze on top (unknown quantities of course). By now, the lentils are overdone and resemble a mush in the bottom of the colander, and I don’t even read the rice packet which says ‘carefully tear a small corner open’ as I rip straight across the top of the bag and plonk it in the microwave. I check my Blackberry timer, and to my dismay, find that 15 minutes have ended and it didn’t even bleep at me. I’m about ready to throw my Blackberry into the microwave as well.
The korma sauce goes into a bowl ready to serve, and I try and swirl some natural 0% fat free yoghurt round the top, you know, Jamie Oliver style, but it blobs to the bottom. I mix the rice and lentils together and throw in some peas, and that too goes onto the wooden chopping board - Jamie Oliver style. We’re half way there, yet I’m about 10 minutes over time. I serve the lamb up with heaped veg, and give a screech as I realise I’ve forgotten the naans. That’ll teach me for adapting the recipe. They look fine, after rescuing them from the oven, but feel slightly cardboardy in areas. I guess I’ll leave those for the boyfriend.
the crazy happenings in my life