Category Archives: Cooking

Marc’s Jamie’s Food Revolution Food Revolution, Recipes 2, 3 & 4

I’m a couple of days behind on my Jamie’s Food Revolution Food Revolution. You’ll note I’ve changed the count to recipes rather than days, since I won’t be cooking every day of the month. There won’t be 30 of these, at least not in May alone. And some days I will cook something not in his cookbook.

1. On Monday night I cooked Jamie’s Pot-Roast Meatloaf. It went well: mixed up the beef with onions, cracker powder, olive oil and a number of other spices. The meat loaf was delicious–a success!

There is a sauce that goes with the meatloaf, made with onions, garbanzo beans (chick peas), and diced tomatoes, among other things. It was also delicious, except for one hiccup: the chili. The recipe called for 1/2-1 fresh chili pepper, according to taste. I was not able to acquire a chili pepper, so I went with what I’ve been told is the next best thing: chili in a tube (essentially chili paste). The tube contains the equivalent of five chilis, but it’s hard to measure 1/5-1/10 a chili’s worth of paste when it’s in a squeeze tube. I thought I did well, but I overshot (or I don’t know the power of a chili).

The kids made a lot of faces, complained, plugged their noses as they ate. Dixie thought it was too spicy as well. I thought it was quite good–no hotter than, say, Pace medium salsa. Our guest (Rick) also enjoyed it.

The sauce is prepared while the roast beef cooks in the oven. When the roast beef is done, you pour all the juices from it over a small bowl of fresh rosemary leaves and mix well.  The sauce is spooned around the roast beef. Then 12 (!) strips of bacon are laid over the roast beef and sauce and the rosemary is sprinkled over the bacon. A delicious combination! This is then put back in the oven for 15 minutes.

Problem: I had put the roast beef in too small a dish. I didn’t think to transfer it to something larger until after I started spooning in the sauce, so I didn’t (I don’t know why–I could have transferred it without much trouble). This meant I could not spoon in all the sauce, but that wasn’t such a big deal. The bigger deal: I could only put on 4 or 5 strips of bacon. But it tasted great nevertheless. 12 strips of bacon may have been too much (not possible!) and overpowered the roast beef.

Delicious, in spite of some of the “mistakes.” I’ll cook this one again.

2. For lunch on Tuesday I made the “evolution cucumber salad”. Cucumbers, fresh cilantro (replacement for the fresh mint the recipe called for), olive oil (Jamie loves his olive oil!), yoghurt, salt, pepper, chili, etc. The “evolved” version of the salad called for black olives, but I did not have any. The salad was good, but I thought it needed something extra. I suspect the black olives would have done the trick.

Next time I would have the black olives and I would reduce the olive oil significantly (simply because there was too much waste).

3. Yesterday I planned to make the sweet and sour pork stir fry, but I discovered too late that the basmati rice that goes with the recipe needs to be soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking (according to the package instructions), so I decided to make his “cracking good burger” instead.

It was a delicious burger, but I fear the British–or at least Jamie Oliver–do not know what a burger is (with all due respect to Toni and the British!). I mean, the basic ingredients were there and they tasted good. What was missing was size. The recipe said it would serve six. Six kids, maybe, but certainly not six Canadian adults. The patties were tiny. I would certainly make these burgers again, but maybe add somewhere between 50% and 100% more beef to each patty.

4. Tonight I make the sweet and sour pork.

The Eagle & Child Presents: Marc’s Jamie’s Food Revolution Food Revolution Month, Day 1

Dixie is taking a course or two this month. I told her that I would start cooking in May and to that end, I acquired a copy of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Food Revolution, which Joel tells me was actually revolutionary for his cooking. So May is Marc’s Jamie’s Food Revolution Food Revolution Month.

I’m not sure if I’m cooking supper every night, but today–May 1–was the first day. It was kind of a last minute decision as I hadn’t given it much thought beforehand. In fact, I had given it none. So I decided to make the Classic Tomato Spaghetti. Easy peasy.

First lesson learned: plan the thing beforehand. Usually when I cook, I don’t use a recipe. I did read the recipe and instructions through for this one, but promptly forgot (or ignored) them.

First problems: ingredients. The recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, 1 fresh red chili, a small bunch of fresh basil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, spaghetti, olive oil, diced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, I did not have any of the fresh options. Instead, I had to go with freeze-dried garlic, chili powder, basil-in-a-tube (which was actually dill, so I went with dried basil), and kosher salt.

Further Problems: The garlic, which was to be browned, I promptly burned because I realized I didn’t have the tubed basil and I still needed to open the can of diced tomatoes. That garlic browns quickly! (I was told afterwards that freeze-dried garlic does not need to be browned.)

(I must have been frazzled by this. I just told Olivia  to get her soccer things on, but when I turned to look at her, I discovered I was addressing a pillow.)

Then I threw in random amounts of chili powder and basil and dumped in the diced tomatoes. Also, I cooked a random amount of spaghetti, which turned into an unfortunately high spaghetti-to-sauce ratio.

I guess it tasted okay, but probably more burnt, artificial, and weakly flavoured than Jamie would have it. I’d call it a failure, but everyone ate it without complaining.

The next meal will be planned in advance.