Monday, May 10, 2010

Jaime Oliver's Shell Pasta with Bacon and Peas

Shell Pasta with Bacon and Peas
adapted slightly from Jamie’s Food Revolution
serves 4

8 slices bacon or pancetta, preferably free-range or organic
a small bunch of fresh mint (maybe 16 stalks)
salt and pepper
1 lb dried mini shell pasta
olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 cups frozen peas
3 tablespoons crème fraiche
1 lemon, cut in half, seeds removed
6 ounces parmesan cheese (hunk, grate it fresh.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt. Finely slice the bacon. Pick the mint leaves and discard the stalks. Finely grate the parmesan.

When water is boiling, add the shells and set a timer, cook shells until just al dente. Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium heat and add a splash of olive oil and the butter. Add the sliced bacon to the pan, grind a little pepper over and fry until golden and crisp.

Chop the mint leaves while the bacon fries. When the bacon is cooked, add the peas, stir, and add the creme fraiche and the mint. When the pasta is cooked, drain it but do not rinse. Add the pasta to the bacon and pea mixture, stir to distribute. Juice lemon over the pasta, let mixture begin to bubble, then turn off the heat. Add the grated parmesan and stir in, then serve with additional mint and parmesan if desired.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jaime Oliver's Pot Roast Meatloaf

main courses | serves 4-6
A good meatloaf with freshly made tomato sauce is great comfort food. I think this also makes a tasty change from the British Sunday lunch and I flavor it and treat it as if I’m roasting a big joint of meat. I used to make this a lot for staff dinners at the restaurant. It’s made along similar lines to meatballs and burgers, and trust me – people love this just as much.

To make your meatloaf

Preheat the oven to full whack (475 degrees). Peel and finely chop one of the onions—don’t worry about technique, just chop away until fine. Place in a large frying pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the ground cumin and coriander. Fry and stir ever 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden, then put into a large bowl to cool. Wrap the towels in a kitchen towel and smash until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands. Add to the other bowl of cooled onions with oregano, mustard and ground beef. Crack in the egg, and add another good pinch of salt and pepper. With clean hands, scrunch and mix up well. Move the meat mixture to a board, then pat and mold into a large football shape. Rub it with a little oil. You can either cook it straight away or put it on a plate, cover and place in the refrigerator until needed. Place the meatloaf in a Dutch oven-type pan or baking dish, put into the preheated oven, and turn down the temperature immediately to 400 degrees. Bake for a half an hour.

To make your meatloaf sauce

Peel the other onion and chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Peel and slice the garlic. Finely slice the red chile. Place the onion, garlic and chile in a large pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil, the paprika, and a pinch of the salt and pepper. Cook for around 7 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until softened and lightly golden. Add the Worcestershire sauce, garbanzo beans, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and let it slowly simmer for 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed.

To finish off and serve your meatloaf

Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and put them into a little bowl. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour all the fat from the pan over the rosemary leaves and mix up well. Spoon your sauce around the meatloaf. Lay the slices of bacon over the top of the meatloaf and sauce. Scatter over the rosemary leaves. Put the pan back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bacon turns golden and the sauce is bubbling and delicious. Serve with a mixed leaf salad and some wedges of lemon for squeezing over—this will add a nice sharp twang.