OK, so this household is having a complete rejuvenated love affair with Jamie Oliver, the likes it has not seen since his Naked Chef days. I think it was seeing his hard slog in the US and how it knocked the wind out of his sails a bit that did it. It was cemented with his 20 Minute Meal iPhone app. Man I love that. Then there was his Christmas series which was just so quirky and lovely. And now, well now there is his 30 minute meal series (I’m gagging for the book because yeah, I really need another cookbook) and the whole household, well, me and Felix, are hooked.
The other night he made this awesome looking number involving salmon fillets, prawns and asparagus. Salmon fillets normally make me gag but I was all YUM about that. And then, THEN he made a quick banoffee pie.
Cue Felix badgering me for the last two days to go to the shops to buy the ingredients. And can I tell you – if you do use a store-bought pie crust, which we totally broke my religion and did, then this comes together in an absolute snap.
The filling is delightful – far less tooth-achingly sweet than pure pie-caramel and not over-powering in the banana department. An absolute winner.
Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meal Banoffee Pie
1 store bought pie crust
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp camp coffee
2 bananas, extra
100g block of dark chocolate
Blitz the two bananas with the milk until well combined and smooth
In a pan over high heat melt the caster sugar. Don’t stir it, just gently tilt as it melts to a dark caramel colour
Add the banana milk mixture to the toffee, stirring until the toffee melts back into the bananas
Pour into the pie case and freeze for 20 minutes (we didn’t need it to be within 30 minutes so just put it in the fridge)
Whip the cream and then fold through the camp coffee essence so it leaves pretty swirls in the cream
Slice the bananas and arrange over the pie filling, then spoon the cream over the top
Place the chocolate bar on the benchtop, smooth side up. Scrape a sharp chef’s knife on a 45 degree angle across the chocolate towards you, making chocolate curls. Arrange over the top of the cream.
Apple and apple and berries/sultanas/rhubarb crumble are pretty regular in our house and the boys do, on occasion, help me make the crumble. This allowed them to do the lot and they were lovely. That said, they were ridiculously sweet and I would reduce the sugar mixed with the berries by a third, if not a half.
Berried Treasure Pots Donna Hay Magazine: annual kids issue 2008
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 cups frozen mixed berries
extra 3/4 cup caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180C
Put the oats, flour and sugar into a bowl and chop the butter into pieces into it
Using your hands rub the butter into the dry mixture until it looks like big breadcrumbs
Put the berries and extra sugar into a bowl and mix
Spoon the berries into 2 small ovenproof dishes and place on a baking tray
Sprinkle over the oat mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden and juice is bubbling down the sides
Let them cool a little and then serve with ice cream.
This was, by far, the most favourite thing the boys made. They loved making them and eating them. I’m seriously considering investing in more Chinese steamers to produce more than half a dozen at a time.
Moon Dumplings Donna Hay magazine: annual kids edition 2008
300g chicken mince
1 tbsp chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
24 gow gee wrappers
sweet chilli sauce
Put the egg, chicken, green onions, garlic, egg and oyster sauce into a bowl and give a good stir to combine
Put 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the middle of a gow gee wrapper
Paint the edge of the wrapper with some water
Fold the wrapper in half and press the edges together to seal
Fold a piece of baking paper and cut holes along the folded edge, then line a bamboo steamer with the paper
Place the steamer over a pan of boiling water, cover and steam the dumplings for about 4 minutes or until the dumplings are see through.
Serve with sweet chilli sauce and soy Makes about 24.
So there’s been a fair bit of trying to involve the kids in cooking of late, particularly the bigger boys and especially Oscar. He’s been doing a life skills course at school and the impact at home has been quite noticeable – it has been a good wake-up call for me that he is getting older, wanting to do and help more and helping prepare dinner and bake other goodies seems a good way to get him involved.
To that end, I bought the recent Donna Hay annual special kids edition, certainly not for the ridiculously themed parties (OMG if I ever put that level of effort into a theme for a kids party just take me out to the back paddock will you) but for the section ‘Learn to cook: kids only‘ section that had some easy recipes for kids to make. Needless to say, it has been a huge hit.
Obviously the following can be built upon according to your kids tastes and you can marinate for as long as you like, but this is the starting point.
Crazy Chicken Sticks Donna Hay Magazine: Annual Kids Edition
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium chicken breasts
Mix the soy, sugar, garlic and oil in a bowl
Slice up the chicken and feed onto skewers
Put in the marinade and leave for 15 minutes
Heat a char grill and grill each skewer for about 2 minutes on each side.