How This Started and My Hope For This Experiment

My Husband and I are both big fans of Jamie Oliver. For Christmas I bought him Jamie's cookbook "Jamie's 30 Minute Meals: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast". As I read the preface of his cookbook I was inspired by his ideas. He felt that he was spending too much time cooking during the busy week and doing too much clean up. So he decided that for the week night meals there needed to be something quick and still healthy and yummy. He and his team did a lot of work and made the "30 Minute Meals". He has explicit directions for step by step getting the meal done in 30 min. He tells you what to do first, second, and third so that you have all dishes going at the same time, instead of making it dish by dish. Since we aren't doing once a month cooking right now I was captured by this idea and dying to start trying. I have been spending way too much time in the kitchen during the week and can't wait to be able to prepare good meals fast. My husband was all for it since he loves to eat great food and has a very particular palette. He will be making some of the meals on weekends when he isn't working because, this is after all, his cookbook :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

British Picnic

Sausage Rolls, Mackerel Pate, Lovely Asparagus, Crunch Salad, Pimm's Eton Mess p. 250 This was a first for me, because I have never eaten or made sausage rolls before. They eat a lot of sausage rolls in New Zealand so I thought they would be a great thing to learn to make so I could serve them to our first American guest coming to visit. They turned out really well. But first: here is the salad. This was made with watercress, pickled onions, pear and 1/2 a lemon. This was really fantastic. Garrett and the kids were quite skeptical at first but they really loved the tart pickled onions with the sweet pears and the peppery watercress. We will be making this again.

Here is what the sausage rolls looked like wrapped up in the puff pastry. You just brush on some beaten egg, put in the sausage, freshly grated parmesan, and fennel seeds. Then you close them up and seal with a fork.

On the outside you brush with the egg again and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Slice them up and put them on a cookie sheet.

Bake until golden brown.

My family went wild about these. The boys loved them. My daughter loved the sausage but wouldn't eat the pastry and I like them, but since I am not wild about sausage they aren't my favorite food.

This is the eaton mess it was amazing. We all loved it. The light airy and crunchy meringue with the sweet and juicy strawberry mess was just amazing. Then with the creaminess of the creme fraiche you just can't beat this desert. It was definitely a 10 and will be a repeat when we have company :)

You start out with strawberries, caster sugar, blood orange juice and zest, vanilla paste and a splash of pimms (we didn't use the pimms). Then you stir in some creme fraiche and broken up meringue nests.

They you top with more crushed meringue nests and a couple of sprigs of fresh mint.

We couldn't make the asparagus since we can't buy it here and the mackerel pate is coming in a different post. I haven't made it yet because I couldn't at first find the smoked mackerel. I have found it since though and will be making it in the next few days so stay tuned :)

This meal was really fast to make because I didn't make two of the dishes (the asparagus and the pate), but I think it would probably take me an hour if I made all of it together.

The family gave it a 9 but I would give it an 8. The desert was a 10. We have already made it for a guest and she LOVED it!

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