I’m celebrating. I’ve managed to cook one of Jamie Oliver’s 30- minute meals in one hundred minutes. That’s my best result so far. Somehow, I don’t think a letter of congratulations is going to arrive any time soon from Jamie Oliver Central.
Do you have Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals cookbook? It’s sold millions of copies so I’m sure you do.
I used to let it upset me that I couldn’t rise to the occasion and deliver to the table these wonderful meals in the required time. But now I take solace in the fact that he’s a professional chef with loads of energy and years of experience however I just wish he would be a little more realistic when setting the bar for the bumbling and stumbling novice home cook.
A few nights ago I cooked Green Curry, Crispy Chicken Kimchee Slaw and Rice Noodles. The ingredients list is quite extensive and so there is a fair bit of preparation to be done – that’s where the first 30 minutes went! In Jamie’s defense, I didn’t follow his steps to putting this meal on the table in 30 minutes. I just couldn’t. It was so confusing because you have to be a highly-skilled multi-tasker and have many things on the go at the one time and with the phone ringing and Archie texting me about not coming home for dinner after all and Alfie needing a bath and the washing to be brought in and the dogs wanting dinner and Arabella crying about her inability to memorise her monologue for drama, I just couldn’t add to the mix five pots on the stove at once.
So I poured myself a wine.
I would love to see what I could achieve with no distractions or interruptions but that is not my reality.
So here’s how I blew out 30 minutes into one hundred:
First of all Jamie tells you to get all your ingredients and equipment ready. This isn’t included in the 30 minutes but will take nearly 30 minutes to do.
Green Curry, Crispy Chicken, Kimchee Slaw and Rice Noodles
- 8 chicken thigh cutlets
- 2 tbspns sesame seeds
- 2 lge tbspns runny honey
- a small bunch of radishes
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 Chinese cabbage
- a small bunch of coriander
- 1 red chilli
- 1 green chilli
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger
- 2 limes
- sesame oil
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger
- 2 fresh red chillies
- a few kaffir limes leaves
- bunch of coriander
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 stick lemongrass
- a small bunch of spring onions
- sesame oil
- 300ml organic chicken stock
- 300g fine green beans
- 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
- lime juice
- soy sauce
- 250g rice noodles
- 1 lime
- olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- prawn crackers
- chilli sauce
- 1 lime
- 1/2 a cos or romaine lettuce
- 1/2 a bag of beansprouts
- a few springs of fresh coriander
For the Chicken: In a large frying pan over high heat, fry chicken skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to cook, turning every minute or so for 18 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Turn the chicken skin side up and carefully drain away the fat and reduce the heat. Add 2 tbspns of curry paste from the food processor, toss to coat and glaze the chicken, then turn the chicken over and carry on cooking to make it sticky and delicious. Check the chicken is cooked through then add 2 tbspns of honey and toss, flipping the chicken skin side down again.
Add 2 tbspns sesame seeds to a small frying pan and leave to toast until golden, shaking the pan occasionally, then put in a small bowl and take the pan off the heat.
For the Curry Paste: In a food processor, peel the ginger and put in the food processor with the chillies, lime leaves (I remove the centre tough stem part of the leaf) and most of the coriander. Crush in 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic. Halve the lemongrass and discard the outer leaves. Trim the spring onions and add both to the processor. Blitz to a paste adding a good drizzle of sesame oil and a good few lugs of olive oil as you go. Pour into a small saucepan that is on medium heat reserving 2 tbspns for the chicken. Add the stock. Trim the green beans and add. Turn up the heat, add coconut milk then add and stir in . Bring to the boil, then turn down and leave to tick away. Taste and correct the seasoning with lime juice and soy sauce, cook for another minute or so if you want a thicker sauce then take straight to the table.
For the Slaw: Wash the radishes well. Peel and halve the red onion Shred the radishes, red onion and Chinese cabbage in the food processor. Tip into a serving bowl. Add the bunch of coriander and the chillies to the processor and whiz. Peel and crush in the ginger, then tip into the bowl. Squeeze in the juice from both limes, and add a pinch of salt and a splash of sesame oil. Really scrunch together with your hands. Taste to check the balance then put a large saucepan on a medium heat.
For the Noodles: Put the noodles in a small frying pan with a pinch of salt and cover with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes and as soon as the noodles are soft enough to eat, quickly drain, then rinse under cold water and return to the frying pan. Drizzle over some sesame oil and a good squeeze of lime juice. Add a pinch of salt and toss.
For the Garnishes: Pile some prawn crackers on a serving board with a good pool of chilli sauce. Cut the lime into wedges, put some on the side and squeeze one of them over. Click off the lettuce leaves, wash and spin dry. Put into a bowl and add the bean spouts and coriander. Take to the table.
To Serve: Divide the noodles between 4 bowls. Put the chicken on a platter and let everyone lay up noodles, chicken, beansprouts, kimchee slaw and sauce. Finish with a pinch of toasted sesame seeds.
And that’s all there is to it. In my haste to race the clock I forgot all about the sesame seeds. I would love for you to try making this dish and get back to me with how long it took you. For the one hundred minutes it took me it was definitely worth it because this is a delicious dish full of amazing flavours.
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