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 :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tasty Crusted Cod, Jamie's Mashy Peas, Tartare Sauce, Warm Garden Salad

"Tasty Crusted Cod, My Mashy Peas, Tartare Sauce, Warm Garden Salad" Serves 6-8 p. 140 This is the Crusted Cod from one angle: Jamie used twice as much fish as we did. He used 2 X 600g fillets, but that was A LOT of fish and since that was $50 worth of fish we halved that. So we used 600g total and it was 3 fillets. We had enough leftover for Garrett and I to have for lunch the next day. You rub the fish with olive oil Salt and Pepper and fennel seeds and let it cook for about 5 minutes. When I opened the oven to check on it I was blown away by how good it smelled. I would have eaten it just like that and been perfectly happy. More on the fish later-
Jamie's Mashy Peas--the name is a little deceptive. These bad boys have a whole head of broccoli in them as well. Four potatoes, a head of broccoli and 500g of peas is a healthy alternative to plain mashed potatoes that you are tempted to cover in milk, cream, sour cream and butter. These do have a knob of butter, mint sauce, and of course S&P. These were really good. The kids really liked them, but they weren't wild about having the leftovers for lunch the next day.

The salad is watercresss and rocket, pancetta, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was really good and only slightly wilted which was good but by the time G got home with the boys it was totally wilted. I am not really a big fan of wilted salad and neither are my kids so I ate mine, but only made them eat a few bites. The flavor was wonderful but it turned out to be less of a salad and more of cooked greens. It is meant to be wilted-but for my family we will try to eat it right away next time instead of letting it sit.

OK More on the fish: So the stuff you see on top is a bread crumb mixture-crumbs with garlic and oil from the tin of anchovy's. Under the bread crumbs sits a thick layer of richness that was just amazing. It has anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, basil, red chili, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, and should have had balsamic vinegar. I left that out accidentally and sprinkled it over the topping after it was spread on the fish. You put on a thick layer of the tomato mixture, sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top and then sprinkle with some fresh rosemarry and thyme. I had never cooked so much with fresh thyme before Jamie came into my life, but it was love at first taste. I use it a lot now for flavor. It is SO NICE!

On one of the master chef competitions I saw there were three sauces that the aspiring chefs had to taste and identify. They were three sauces that the head chefs said EVERY chef must master- one was a hollandaise sauce, one was a tartare sauce and the other was something I hadn't heard of that was a tomato something or other. I could identify the first two just from looking at them but one of the chefs didn't know (after looking AND tasting) what the tartare sauce was. I say-it's a sad day when you can't recognize the best fish sauce ever :)

Here is my bowl of Jamie's Tartare Sauce--It was SO GOOD! But then I love tartare sauce.

This sauce is made from Anchovy fillets in oil, lemon zest and juice, capers, parsley mayo, and cornichons A.K.A guerkins, gherkins, horned cucumbers, or crumplings. Cornichons is what the French call them. Here I think they are gherkins.

On top you drizzle a little olive oil and dust with a little sweet paprika

Here is our littlest tasters plate. She LOVED the fish and the tartare sauce. She enjoyed the mashy peas and she was sceptical of the way the watercress kept hitting her in the face when she would try to take a bite. I showed her how to bite off each leaf like a rabbit and then she did a good job with the salad as well.

Here is the finished meal. It was wonderful. It was so good that all I heard for the first 5 minutes were the moans of pleasure from my husband (Can I say that on a food blog?). Everyone else was totally absorbed in eating.

My only regret here was that I didn't serve up the fish on top of to potatoes to make it look more professional. There was very little time for plating the food because it was cooling by the time all my boys came in to eat. So we quickly plated and ate. But if you really want to food to look impressive the fish should be served over the mashy peas and drizzled with a little olive oil.
My rabbit:

So, This meal was definitely restaurant quality food, and I don't mean your $$. More like $$$ I would say. It received a 10 from almost everyone. One Boy who was too tired to eat to begin with,wouldn't give it a score. He couldn't stomach the salad after it was wilted and so would only say I hate this meal while he kept eating it the fish and the peas :)

It took me 45 minutes to make because there always seem to be some hang ups. For instance, I couldn't get the lid off the cornichons, little rabbit was under my feet the entire time emptying all my pots, pans, and large bowels out of drawers and cupboards. I kept tripping over them and her and she kept getting too close to the oven door with her forehead. I was worried she would end up with a red burn line right across the middle of her forehead. Silly rabbit.

1 comment:

  1. YUMMMY. I LOVE good tartar sauce. I don't know if I want to learn to use anchovies but it is very tempting!
    Love, love these ideas.