I absolutely love Jamie Does… It’s a cookbook filled with dishes inspired by countries which you can head to on a short-haul weekend break from the UK. Basically, the premise is that if you are interested enough in a country to visit it on a weekend break, you may also want to try cooking some of the food as well. I have almost cooked the entire cookbook (save the desserts – I don’t have much of a sweet tooth) and I have rarely fallen on a recipe I didn’t love. The Swedish chapter was a particular revelation, and a welcome addition to some of the more usual countries like Italy and Spain. He also had a great TV series to go along with it.
I only have one slight complaint about basically all of Jamie’s cookbooks. He seems to have some sort of love affair with anchovies and every single cookbook includes about 5 recipes with anchovies which as far as I can tell are loathed by most of the population. Jamie, stop pushing the stinky fish! As I am writing this, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is on Channel 4 and he’s just stuck anchovies (and their oil) in a blender for the Green Goddess dressing. He keeps repeating to ‘try them, they are great!’ Hmm…
adapted from Jamie Does…
Adapted for 2 people with leftovers
200g ripe cherry tomatoes
1 regular tomato
1 green pepper
fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g feta (split a block with the stuffed veg below)
1. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and cut the regular tomato into 1/8ths and stick in a bowl. The different sizes of tomatoes makes it a bit more pleasing.
2. Run a fork down the sides of the cucumber and cut into about 1cm slices. I was sceptical too but it looks good.
3. Cut the green pepper in half, de-seed, and then cut semi circles out of each half
4. Cut up the dill and mint and throw it in the salad. Don’t be shy with the herbs.
5. Mix up the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pour on the salad.
6. End with the block of feta on top and sprinkle with the dried oregano.
Optional: I’ve not included red onion or olives because we aren’t that into it here, but feel free to include. I feel the herbs are what make this a bit special from your usual Greek salad.
adapted from Jamie Does…
For 2 people
2 Beef Tomatoes
2 Red Pepper
50g shelled pistachios
1 onion peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
100g long grain rice
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
300ml vegetable stock (Marigold brand always gets high reviews – can also use chicken stock)
100g feta cheese (you can always split the block from the Greek salad)
small bunch mint leaves
small bunch flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp tomato purée
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
2. Cut the tops of the tomatoes and put the tops to one side. Scoop out the inner flesh (I use a grapefruit spoon) and throw it out.
3. Halve the peppers lengthwise and get rid of the inner seeds.
4. Place all these cut veg hollow side up in a tray where they will all sit snugly against one another. I use a small roasting pan.
5. Toast the pistachios for a few minutes just until they start smelling and then roughly chop.
6. Add olive oil to pan and once hot cook your onions and garlic until softened but not coloured (yeah right I alwas get impatient and crank the heat!)
7. Add the rice, oregano, chilli and salt and pepper.
8. Pour in 150ml of stock and cook for around 7-10 minutes stirring constantly so the rice is nice coated. Watch everything closely – if you don’t continuously stir it will stick to the pan.
9. Remove from the heat and stir in the crumbled feta, fresh herbs and chopped pistachios.
10. Stuff the hollowed out veg with the mixture.
11. Put the tops on the tomatoes if you’ve kept them.
12. Mix the tomato purée with the remaining 150ml stock and pour into the baking dish around the stuffed veg.
13. Cover the dish really tightly with foil and bake in a hot oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until rice is cooked and everything is soft.
14. If you want you can leave it uncovered for the last 15 minutes to crisp up.
15. Serve hot.
Verdict: Run out and by this cook book now!