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 :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stuffed Cypriot Chicken, Pan-Fried Asparagus & vine tomatoes, Cabbage salad, St. Clement's Drink, Vanilla Ice Cream Float

Stuffed Cypriot Chicken, Pan-Fried Asparagus & vine tomatoes, Cabbage salad, St. Clement's Drink, Vanilla Ice Cream Float p. 116 This is a JO meal that was made by Garrett. Garrett's first 30 min. meal. It took him much more than 30 min. to make, but since this was his first meal and it was quite involved I think he did really well. It tasted wonderful. This is the drink--none of us were really that enamored with it. We don't drink a lot of carbonated drinks around here because they are so unhealthy, and this was definitely not worth the carbonation. It was made with soda water, ice, mint leaves, the juice and halves of a lemon and an orange. No sugar or anything. We all thought it would have tasted better with regular water and not soda water. The soda water gives the impression that it should be sweet and something more than just a nice drink of flavored water. It would be rather tasty though if it was made either with plain water or if you added sugar to the original. We don't have very good pictures of this one-sorry. You can kind of tell here that the chicken is stuffed-It was amazing! Inside the chicken has sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, rosemary, and feta cheese. SO GOOD! The flavors complement each other very nicely and it made the chicken breast so much more than just a piece of meat. It was fantastic. The cabbage salad was made with onion, basil, red chili, 2 lemons, parsley and of course cabbage. This was wonderful as well. Like many of Jamie's salads there are few ingredients but lots of flavor. His salad combinations are always surprisingly good and we are "far from indifferent to [them]".

The vegetables had to be modified once again because we can't get asparagus here. So originally it should have been asparagus, black olives, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and cherry tomatoes. But he used baby carrots and long beans instead of the asparagus. Everything else he left the same. They are roasted in a pan on the stove and they were also really great BUT it would have tasted better if it was asparagus as intended. I look forward to trying this dish again when we move back to the states and can get asparagus.

I don't have a picture of the flatbreads. They were good but he made the mistake of putting them in the oven wrapped up and frozen so as they thawed some of them got soggy. Jamie takes plain ordinary flatbread from the store and makes it wonderful. He puts a little dried oregano, garlic and olive oil and bakes them in the oven until they are (supposed to be) crisp :) The ones that were crisp were quite good.

The kids were quite naughty that night so we didn't have desert but Jamie makes his ice cream float with coffee and serves it with cantucci biscuits which are basically biscotti. We make our floats with root beer when we can get it and other exotic soda when we can not. Root beer floats are G's favorite desert (along with old fashioned strawberry shortcake) so not being able to get root beer for this is a little disappointing. We did however find out that you can sometimes get A&W at the local Asian market ;) It is not made in the USA it is made in an oriental country and so it doesn't taste quite the same (or so we have heard).

This meal is a great combo of flavors and textures and I would leave it as is except for the drink. I also wouldn't normally serve a carbonated drink with a meal and then serve ice cream floats for desert since I make those with carbonated beverages.

G gave this meal a 7, I gave it an 8, and the kids gave it a 10.

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