Blog of the Week – Chasing Tomatoes

I have been doing what I love best, perusing the internet looking for interesting blogs when  I came across ‘Notes from the Cookie Jar’.

This blog has lots of interesting information  – in fact it was the first post I came across entitled Parents Bullying Survival Guide, that led me to investigate further into the blog. Lots of really good reading about a variety of subjects.

This led me to another blog also owned by ‘Scattered Mom’, named ‘Chasing Tomatoes’.

And here I found recipes to truly whet the appetite.

The very first image of the Maple Ginger Glaze Salmon drew me in. Being a lover of Salmon,  I am always on the lookout for interesting sauces to try out with it. But the intriguing part of this recipe is not only the yummy sauce but the novelty of cooking the salmon on a cedar plank. Scattered Mom states that using a cedar plank to cook the salmon on is generally something you would do on a barbecue, however she has adapted the recipe so that you can cook it using the plank in the oven.

Another yummy recipe is the Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins these look and sound delicious. The food photos on  Chasing Tomatoes really invite you to get into the kitchen and start cooking.

We are always looking for healthy alternatives to eating and followed Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution shows plus his 30 minute meals program. Everything Jamie does is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits by using fresh produce.

Well Scattered Mom is part of the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution, rating a mention from Jamie Oliver on Twitter and a mention in his newsletter video for Food Revolution Fridays and Food Revolution Road Trip.

Believe me, you will find lots to interest you on both blogs. And you can join Jamie Oliver’s food revolution and set your family on the path to better health through healthy eating.


 

 

Spring Soup Courtesy Jamie Oliver Recipe Yearbook 2010/2011

Recently we have been getting back into cooking, thanks to Masterchef Australia, Nigella and of course Jamie Oliver.  I had a friend over for dinner the other night and the Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto that I shared with you recently, was a big hit.

Well today for lunch we decided to make Spring Soup which is just one of the tasty recipes from Jamie’s Recipe Yearbook 2010/11 .  This recipe is easy to prepare and absolutely yummy. I sure hope Jamie doesn’t mind me sharing this recipe with you. As there were just 2 of us for lunch we halved the ingredients, but if you make the full amount you can have the leftovers for lunch again, because this will taste just as nice the next day.

Spring  Soup (serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:
 

  • a large knob of butter (I also added a splash of olive oil)
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 400g baby leeks, sliced, (I used 1 large leek as there weren’t any baby leeks at the market)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (the baby processor did an admirable job)
  • 1/2 bunch Thyme (fresh from my herb garden)
  • 400g baby carrots, halved lenghtways (I like my carrots cut smaller so chopped them up to my liking)
  • 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks, skin removed and discarded. (Chicken thighs have more flavor by I used a chicken breast that was in the freezer)
  • 2 liters of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200g small soup pasta (didn’t have any so just used the pasta in the cupboard)
  • juice of 1 lemon.

Method – Jamie’s:

  1.  Melt the butter in a large pan on a low heat and saute the shallots, leeks and garlic with the thyme sprigs until soft but not colored – about 15 mins Stir in the carrots, then the chiken, Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Season, then simmer gently for 90 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the soup and set aside. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat off the bone, then return to the pan with the pasta. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Add lemon juice to taste.

Tip: You can use leftover poached or roast chicken insted of the thighs or cooked, shredded drumsticks, just add the chicken at the end with the pasta.

Our Method:
We were pushed for time (needed to go shopping) so we took a few shortcuts.

  1. The same -Melt the butter, add oil over a low heat and saute the shallots, leeks and garlic with the thyme sprigs until soft but not colored. Stir in the finely cut carrots and chicken which we had diced.
  2. Add the stock and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta and cook for another 15 minutes.
  4. Omit the lemon juice
  5. Fry up some prosciutto and crumble into the soup before  serving.

Notes:
Okay, here’s what we found – the soup has a very intense flavor so next time I will use half stock and half water.  I used lemon Thyme so I didn’t add the lemon juice and just as well because the lemony flavor was just right.  We didn’t need the prosciutto to add flavor as the soup has plenty. We like proscuitto anyway so it didn’t matter.

The soup was served with a slice of Quinoa and Flax-seed Wholegrain bread.

There are a load of really tasty and easy to make recipes in the Jamie’s Recipe Yearbook 2010/11 , and we will be making many more in the coming weeks.



Spring Soup


Saute Onion, Leeks, Garlic and Thyme


Cut Carrots to you liking


Add Carrots and Chicken to pot


Add Stock and simmer

All About Jamie Oliver Cookware

jamie-oliver-cook-with-jamieChef Jamie Oliver received his nickname, The Naked Chef, for his dedication to fresh, healthy foods that aren’t overly processed. He has made millions of dollars showing people how to make gourmet dishes with simple, down-to-earth ingredients and demonstrating how to use “fresh and fab” foods that are organic and full of nutrition without breaking your budget. Now the Naked Chef has teamed up with T-Fal to create a line of Jamie Oliver cookware to help home chefs get the most out of their passion for cooking.

And readers of this blog will be well aware of the high regard that I hold Jamie Oliver Cookware.

What’s So Special about Jamie Oliver Cookware?

T Fal is famous for creating the non-stick cookware that has made life so much easier for home chefs. Both T-Fal and Jamie Oliver were determined to create a line of cookware that stood for the highest possible quality and ease of use.

High Quality Construction
The Jamie Oliver Cookware professional line is made of stainless steel, which is one of the premiere materials used to create pots and pans. Stainless steel is durable, resists scratches, dents, and stains, doesn’t react with foods, and can last a lifetime if treated properly. The material used in T-Fal’s Jamie Oliver Professional line is thick and heavy gauge 18/10 stainless steel, which means it has the highest resistance to corrosion. It also features an aluminum core which increases heat conductivity to promote even heating without cold or hot spots. This lowers the chances of your food burning or sticking to the pan.

Optional Non-Stick Coating – With Thermo-Spot
Cooks can choose from two types of surface, pure stainless or non-stick. The non-stick versions come with T-Fal’s patented Thermo-Spot technology. Thermo-Spot is a heat-sensitive circle in the center of your pan. When your pan reaches the proper temperature for searing meat, frying eggs, or making the perfect pancake, the Thermo-Spot turns a solid red. This not only lets cooks know the perfect time to start cooking, it also helps teach newer cooks to develop a feeling for proper pan temperature.

High-Tech Handles for Easy Gripping
No matter how great your pans are, it will be frustrating (and perhaps even dangerous) to work with them if the handles are not well designed. Jamie Oliver cookware boasts high-tech handles that are riveted onto the body of the cookware for long-lasting durability. The handles feature silicone soft-touch inserts that make them easier to control while staying cool even when exposed to high temperatures.

Jamie Oliver cookware is a high-quality choice for any kitchen. If you would like to have easy to use pots and pans that can help you create wonderful meals more easily, this is a good line to consider. While the price tag can be hefty, the long-lasting durability of the cookware means that it’s usually an investment that pays off in the long run.

Here are some excellent t-fal pans with the red thermo spot that lets you know when it’s time to add the food so it is cooked to perfection:

Other posts about Jamie Oliver Cookware:

Cooking without my Jamie Oliver Tefal Cookware
My new Jamie Oliver Professional Series Cookware
Cooking with T-fal Thermo Spot Cookware
Jamie Oliver Tefal Non-Stick frypan

And you can find a range of T-Fal & Jamie Oliver products at:
Amazon.com

Cooking Without My Jamie Oliver Tefal Cookware

jamie-oliver-grill-panI am currently out at our property in Tara, Queensland which is in a rural area far from what I consider to be the civilized world. My husband felt we were bringing quite enough stuff so I had to leave behind my Jamie Oliver frypan and skillet. It’s not that I am without the necessary utensils to create a meal, I have my Sunbeam electric frypan, turbo oven and an assortment of cheap brand frypans and saucepans, Weber and gas range. It’s just that now I have moved up to the better quality cookware I really miss all it’s great features.

After all Jamie Oliver cookware has a fantastic non-stick finish which means even the eggs don’t stick to the pan. Believe me the horrible mess of eggs I am serving up at the moment is not a pretty sight. Everything sticks to the cheap frypan and burns in parts even with the heat turned right down. This is something I am no longer used to as my T-Fal frypan has a red spot that lets me know when the pan is at the right temperature to add food and because of the conductivity of the metal used, it reacts quickly to changes in temperature.

Not only does my lovely Jamie Oliver cookware make cooking a breeze, it also washes up quickly and easily. A task that is not quite so easily undertaken with the cheap homebrand frypan.

So as much as I am enjoying the peace and quiet, the goannas, the ducks, the kangaroos bouncing over the paddock and sitting by the fish filled dam, I am missing my great new cookware.

Speaking of Goanna’s, this fellow came to visit while I was sitting out by the dam, throwing bread to the fish. I have been told that they make great eating but I am content just to take his photograph.

My New Jamie Oliver Professional Series Tefal Grill Pan

Jamie Oliver Grill PanOn Friday night I finally succumbed and purchased the Jamie Oliver Grill Pan and today I cooked Porterhouse Steak for lunch.

Wow, this pan cooked the meat to perfection and because it has the shark’s tooth ridges which transmit heat to the ridge peaks, it chargrills perfectly.

This is the 28×24 (approx 11″x 9″) cast aluminum grill pan has prometal non-stick interior/exteriors. And what is prometal I hear you ask – well it is Tefal’s premium multi layer coating that is reinforced with ultra hard minerals making it metal utensil safe and super easy to clean.

Being a T-fal product it has the red thermal spot indicator that lets you know when your pan is pre-heated to the right temperature that will seal in the flavor.Tefal Red Spot

The pan is of course dishwasher safe.

Jamie Oliver and T fal have produced what I would consider to be one of the best ranges of cookware for the home cook, that is available on the market today.
I am so thrilled with with all the pieces of Jamie Oliver cookware that I have purchased recently and I am sure you will as well.