I love Jamie’s Food Revolution. Not only is there a whole movement behind it, but in and of itself it’s a great index for home cooks who need a little help creating flavourful, easy meals for their family. Not sure what to make when you get home? There are entire chapters dedicated to such pantry, freezer and fridge staples as ground beef, pasta, stir-fries and salads. The Twenty-Minute Meals chapter actually delivers twenty-minute meals; it’s a pet peeve of mine when chefs promise quick recipes but don’t count the prep time so the ingredient list is full of items already chopped, minced, cooked, etc.
Jamie urges the reader sign a contract with him to learn at least one recipe from each chapter and then pass it on to friends and family, spreading the healthier, fresher, cook-at-home movement. I love the unflappable British style, with chapters on curries, family roast dinners, and desserts including scones with clotted cream.
Chef Oliver breaks down his recipes into three parts- prep, cook and serve- making each part seem less daunting and easily attainable no matter the cook’s experience level. Coupled with helpful photos, this is a cookbook I will keep going back to.
On this particular Sunday, I opted for Chicken Korma (p.74), Light and Fluffy Rice (perfect, basic recipe, p. 95) and Pineapple and Chile with Chocolate Ice Cream (p.326). This meal is DELISH.
For the chicken korma, my supermarket was out of cilantro, so I substituted fresh parsley from my herb garden (I do recommend using cilantro though, if you have it). I used half a jalapeno pepper instead of the optional full green chile and canola oil instead of peanut or veg oil. For the korma paste, I used Patak’s, which is the one Jamie recommends and was indeed delicious, but next time I’ll try another for comparison’s sake. You can also make Jamie’s homemade korma (p.99). Jamie adds an additional half can of water to the curry as it’s cooking, but for future I’ll omit that step, as it made the mixture watery and thin and I had to simmer it, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes (over the recipe’s suggested 30) to get the thicker consistency I like in a curry. I’ve adapted the recipe below to omit the additional liquid.
I didn’t rinse the rice but otherwise stuck fairly close to the recipe. In future I’ll likely just follow the package directions and omit the extra headache of draining and steaming, but it certainly did produce light and fluffy grains.
I also couldn’t find a red chile at the market, so I used the other half of the jalapeno pepper in the chocolate ice cream. I briefly thought about adding a little chili powder to get closer to the red chile taste, but the heat from the jalapeno was enough.
Dinner was amazing. I bought extra yogurt thinking I would make the Leftover Curry Biriani (p.78) with the meal’s remnants, but I strongly suspect they won’t last long enough.
All recipes below adapted from Jamie’s Food Revolution.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 medium onions
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1-inch piece fresh ginger
small bunch fresh cilantro
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1- 2 tbsps canola oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup korma paste, plus more to taste
1 14-oz can coconut milk
small handful sliced almonds
2 tbsps unsweetened shredded coconut
salt and pepper to taste
a few spoonfuls natural yogurt, for serving
lemon wedges, for serving
Peel and finely chop the onions (tip: freeze the onions for a few minutes before cutting to prevent tears). Seed and finely chop the jalapeno pepper. Chop the cilantro, reserving some to serve. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (this step gets rid of much of the sodium, which is in the preserving brine). Cut the chicken into 1- inch pieces. Peel the ginger.
Heat a wok on medium- high heat, add oil, let it heat up. Add onions, chile and butter. Grate the ginger directly into the wok. Stir frequently until everything is nice and golden, about 6 minutes.
Add the 1/2 cup curry paste and let fry for about 30 seconds to release its oils. Add the coconut milk, and stir until well blended with the curry paste. Bring to a boil. Add chickpeas, coconut, chicken pieces and half the sliced almonds; mix in.
Turn down the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically and checking to get desired consistency. If the curry becomes too thick, add a little water. If it’s too thin, remove the cover and simmer uncovered for the last ten minutes. Taste periodically and stir in additional curry paste to taste.
When chicken is cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over cooked rice (see next recipe). Dollop a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt on top, sprinkle remaining sliced almonds, and garnish with reserved cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges.
Light, Fluffy Rice
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
Put a large pot of salted water on high heat and bring to a boil. Add the rice and boil for five minutes, stirring periodically. Drain the rice in a colander.
Pour one inch of water into the pot, put it back on high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, place the colander on top of the pot and cover with tinfoil.
Let the rice steam for 10- 12 minutes. When ready, fluff with a fork and serve.
Pineapple with Jalapeno Pepper on Chocolate Ice Cream
handful of fresh pineapple
1/2 jalapeno pepper
Chocolate ice cream
Cut the pineapple into chunks. Seed and chop the jalapeno. Put the pineapple at the bottom of the bowl, scoop 1- 2 balls of ice cream on top, and sprinkle on the jalapeno.