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Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Oliver’

Day 2: Leeds

That night we visited Leed, a large city in between York and Shipley. We decided to catch a movie and dinner. We ended up dining at one of my favorite chef’s restaurants. I love Jamie Oliver. If you’ve never heard of Jamie you have to check out The Food Revolution that aired last year in America. Jamie worked hard to overhaul the school food system in England and has now set his sights on America. He’s a great defender of food that’s good and good for you, with a lot of respect for the plants and animals that provide it. 

Mushroom ravioli (mushrooms picked by Jamie’s friend Mike, I’m not kidding).

My favorite dessert, if not single best item I ate on the entire trip came from Jamie’s restaurant. It was  caramel ice cream with crushed honey comb on the top. Oh food Gods, I can’t thank you enough!

My sweetheart John has a strong sweet tooth, so despite having dessert at he restaurant he also had to get popcorn at the movie theater. Get ready for this people, here is a million-trillion-dollar idea: in England they have Kettle Korn at the movie theater. Yes, you read that right, Kettle Korn. They call it sweet corn, but it’s basically the same thing.

As your official food ambassador between our two nations I am happy to say “Brilliant!”

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I like mushrooms; Lynley on the other hand, not so much. Recently she’s been trying to change her mind about fungi and taking a trip to the Mushroom Fest seemed like a good way to influence her taste buds. 

The Asheville Mushroom Club is a devoted bunch. I admire their enthusiasm and dedication to a veg that favors dark places and might or might not poison you. I haven’t heard of too many specific food clubs and I think that might be a serious gap in our society. The mushroom clubbers have a good time and like to share that with others.

When I spoke to them, they just got more and more excited—how wonderful is that?

Did I buy a t-shirt? Yes.

Did I buy mushrooms? Yes.

Do I think I need to start a donut or pie club? Yes.

And here is what I did with my very fresh and very fragrant shiitakes.

Jamie Oliver’s Chow Mein

(note: I used tofu instead of chicken!)

• a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
• 2 cloves of garlic
• ½–1 fresh red chili, to your taste
• 1 large skinless chicken breast, preferably
free-range or organic or half a block of tofu (freeze first then thaw before use)
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 spring onions
• a small bunch of fresh coriander
• 1 bok choi
optional: 4 shiitake mushrooms – not optional for me!
• 100g (2 bundles) medium chow mein noodles
• groundnut oil
• 1 heaped teaspoon cornstarch
• 1 small can of sliced water chestnuts
• 2–3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 small lime

To prepare your stir-fry
• Put a large pan of water on to boil
• Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic
• Finely slice the chili
• Slice the chicken or tofu into finger-sized strips and lightly season with salt and pepper
• Cut the ends off your spring onions and finely slice
• Pick the coriander leaves and put to one side, and finely chop the coriander stalks
• Halve the bok choi lengthways
• If using the mushrooms, either tear into pieces or leave whole

To cook your stir-fry
• Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it’s very, very hot add a good lug of groundnut oil and swirl it around
• Stir in the chicken strips or tofu and cook for a couple of minutes, until it browns slightly
• Add the ginger, garlic, chili, coriander stalks, mushrooms (if using) and half the spring onions
• Stir-fry for 30 seconds, keeping everything moving round the wok quickly
• Add your noodles and bok choi to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, no longer
• Meanwhile, add the cornstarch, water chestnuts and their water to the wok and give it another good shake to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom
• Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
• Halve the lime, squeeze the juice of one half into the pan and mix well
• Drain the noodles and bok choi in a colander over a bowl, reserving a little of the cooking water
• Stir in the noodles and bok choi, with a little of the cooking water to loosen if necessary, and mix well
• Have a taste and season with more soy sauce if needed

To serve your stir-fry
• Use tongs to divide everything between two bowls or plates, or to lift on to one large serving platter
• Spoon any juices over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the spring onions and the coriander leaves
• Serve with lime wedges or a bumper sticker

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