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, July 24, 2011

Sticky Pan-Fried Scallops, Sweet Chilli Rice, Dressed Greens, Quick Brownies

Sticky Pan-Fried Scallops, Sweet Chili Rice, Dressed Greens, Quick Brownies p. 152
This was another first for me. I have eaten scallops many times but I had never made them myself before. I thought for my first time a JO recipe would be best, and I was right. These were fantastic and the kids couldn't get enough of the sticky scallops.

Any meal that can produce this kind of happiness, must be good :)

I didn't end up with a good picture of the veggies for this meal, and to be honest they weren't that good. They were my least favorite part of the whole meal.  It was 4 choi, broccoli (should have been purple sprouting broccoli but I couldn't find any), and asparagus. If these had been cooked properly they might have been good but as it were I didn't have a way to steam them and then ended up rather boiled and yucky.  Will have to try again now that I have a proper sieve to use for his steaming method.  The seasoning for the veggies was soy sauce, lime, and olive oil which is good but not anything really special. 

For the sticky pan-fried scallops you use 1 lemon, Chinese five-spice, sesame oil, 1/2 a red chili, 1 clove garlic, runny honey 2 small knobs of butter, and a small bunch of fresh coriander.  These were truly yummy. You are supposed to use scallops that have been trimmed and I recommend that, but the ones I had were not trimmed and so I just left them that way. If you haven't ever eaten or seen an untrimmed scallop you should check them out. They have a large orange part that I am not really a fan of. It has a strange texture.

You score the scallops on a piece of greaseproof paper, drizzle over some olive oil, sprinkle with S&P, finely grate over some lemon zest and dust with Chinese five spice. Then drizzle over some sesame oil (I love this stuff) and toss together until coated. Fry them in a hot pan scored side down in a little olive oil. Don't turn them until the last 30 seconds of cooking and crush over one clove of garlic, sprinkle over the chili, squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and add a tiny drizzle of honey and 2 small knobs of butter. JO does all of that in the last 30 seconds of cooking time :) He is seriously fast! When the butter is all melted and the scallops sticky and nice you can sprinkle over your chopped coriander--nice, sticky and beautiful!

This is the rice and it was equally as good as the scallops. I used 1 mug of basmati rice, a small bunch of spring onions, 3 eggs, 1 TBS of soy sauce, 1TBS of sesame oil, 1/2 a lemon, a small bunch of coriander and sweet chili sauce. The rice was really easy to make. When it is cooking you mix up the chopped spring onions, the eggs, the soy sauce and sesame oil. Then when the rice is almost cooked take off the lid and fluff with a fork before pouring over the egg mixture, squeeze over the juice of 1/2 a lemon and add a pinch of pepper. Put the lid back on and cook on the lowest heat for another 4-5 min.  

Happy children = happy parents. This meal was healthy, delicious and appealed to the adults as well as the children.  I am not one who believes in one menu for the kids and another for the adults. How are the kids supposed to grow up to appreciate different kinds of flavors and foods if they aren't exposed to them?? My children are picky about textures and they know what they like, but they will try anything and they will eat and enjoy most food if it is cooked properly.

These are the decadent brownies made with 2 x 100g bars of good-quality dark chocolate, 250g unsalted butter, 200g golden caster sugar, 6 level tablespoons cocoa powder, 4 heaped tablespoons self-raising flour, a handful of crystallized ginger, 4 eggs, a handful of pecans, a handful of sour dried cherries, 1 clementine and creme fraiche to serve.  My food scale was broken so I just did the best I could with the grams but it turned out perfect anyway.  They weren't too dry, they weren't too hard and they weren't too gingery-They were perfect.  I am one who likes my chocolate and nuts-I don't usually care for ginger or fruit in my chocolate brownies (or so I thought) but it was actually really good and seemed to add some redeeming qualities to the fat and sugar we were consuming.

The room went quiet until the plates were empty and they all I heard were pleas for "more please mommy".

This was a pretty fast meal but I didn't get an exact time because I forgot to check the time in the end. My best guess is that it took me around 45min. I know it was between 1/2 and hour and an hour.  It was a definite keeper on the rice and the scallops. I will try the vegetables one more time properly and see how they go. This is a great meal for serving a lot of people as well. The brownies can serve twelve and it is really easy to make a huge pot of rice, and to double the scallops and veggies.  


  1. Love the write up - and the kids' faces are priceless! I searched for this today as the programme in which Jamie did this recipe was aired again today and I was looking for the entire recipe. Will give it a go soon!

  2. So glad you enjoyed the write up CJ, I hope it will help when you go to make it. I would love to hear how it turns out and if your veggies worked :)

  3. I'm making the rice as we speak (or type). I am a fan of the rice but I have just tasted scallops for the first time and don't like them so I shan't try the scallop element to this recipe. Thanks for your blog

  4. I think the rice is just as good as any other part of the meal and could have eaten it without the scallops and been perfectly satisfied too. Glad you like the blog. Hopefully after our move to a new country I will get my computer and cookbook soon and be able to blog again next week ;)

  5. Whoops, I meant to add to that last comment that I didn't like the scallops I had eaten in the USA but when we moved to New Zealand they were so fresh and so different and I really liked them. Hopefully in our new country we will like them just as much since we are also on the coast.

  6. when do you use the chili sauce in the rice??

  7. Good question. Right before you serve the rice you sprinkle the chopped coriander and pour over the chili sauce