Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk

This is the post-ricotta tart and oatmeal cookie dinner I promised to post about: a somewhat strange recipe for chicken and milk from Jamie Oliver. Even Jamie says it’s “slightly odd”. Basically, it’s chicken roasted in a braising liquid of milk, lemon, spices and a whole stick of butter. Naturally, the combination of lemon and milk causes the milk curds to separate from the whey, which means a not-so-pretty sauce, but interesting flavors for sure.

My photos look a little plain, right? Well, that’s because the curds and whey looked so unappetizing that I couldn’t bare to include them as part of the photo.

The original recipe serves four, but obviously I made it just for one. Along with it I had a sliced tomato salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. A little unconventional (to me anyway), but tasty.


Chicken in Milk (from Jamie Oliver)

printable recipe

Serves 4

1 whole chicken (3 lb/1.5 kg)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 oz (115 g) or 1 stick butter

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 good handful fresh sage, leaves picked

2 lemons, zested

6 garlic cloves, skin left on

1 pint (565 ml) milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over with salt and pepper, and fry it in the butter, turning the chicken to get an even color all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the butter left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan, which will give you a lovely caramel flavor later on.
  2. Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce, which is absolutely fantastic.
  3. To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it on to your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potato.

Cranberry Bread with Sunflower Seeds and Rosemary, Take 2

This is a nice, little bread recipe from Jamie Oliver. (I heart Jamie.) He’s all about chunks, gobs and heaping handfuls and tablespoons, which trigger all sorts of baking alarms in my head, but actually, everything always works out. Just as it did here with this bread. A cinch to make, I think it took me all of 20 minutes to put together, including kneading…way easier than my first version of this bread.

It’s a moist and flavorful bread. Definitely doesn’t have the developed crumb or taste you get from breads made with starters, but I still really enjoyed it.


Cran-Rosemary Bread with Sunflower Seeds (recipe adapted from Jamie’s Kitchen via foodnetwork.com)


Basic Bread Dough

1 oz (30 g) fresh yeast or 1x 37 g sachet of dried yeast

1 oz (30 g) honey or sugar

Just over 1 pint (625 ml) tepid water

Just over 2 pounds (1 kg) strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting (I substituted half of this with wheat bread flour)

1 oz (30 g) salt


Small handful fresh rosemary leaves

Good handful raisins


Stage 1: Dissolve the yeast and honey (or sugar) in 1/2 the tepid water.

Stage 2: On a clean surface or in a large bowl, make a pile of the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in all the dissolved yeast mixture. With 4 fingers of 1 hand (Is this really necessary? Just use a fork), make circular movements from the center moving outwards, slowly bringing in more and more of the flour until all the yeast mixture is soaked up. Then pour the other 1/2 of the tepid water into the center and gradually incorporate all the flour to make a moist dough. (Certain flours may need a little more water, so don’t be afraid to adjust the quantities.)

Stage 3: Add in the rosemary and cranberries or raisins. Then begin kneading. This is the best bit, just rolling, pushing and folding the dough over and over for 5 minutes. This develops the gluten and the structure of the dough. If any of the dough sticks to your hands, just rub them together with a little extra flour.

Stage 4: Flour both your hands well, and lightly flour the top of the dough. Make it into a roundish shape and place it on a baking tray. Score it deeply with a knife allowing it to relax and proof with ease until it’s doubled in size. Ideally you want a warm, moist, draft-free place for the quickest proof, for example near a warm cooker or in the airing cupboard, and you could cover it with cling film if you want to speed things up. This proofing process improves the flavor and texture of the dough and should take around 40 minutes, depending on the conditions.

Stage 5: When the dough has doubled in size you need to knock the air out of it by bashing it around for a minute. Now you can shape it into whatever shape is required – round, flat, filled, trayed up, tinned up or whatever – and leave it to proof for a second time until it doubles in size again. The important thing is not to lose your confidence now. Don’t feel a need to rush through this, because the second proofing time will give you the lovely, delicate soft texture that we all love in fresh bread.

Stage 6: Now it’s time to cook your loaf. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) oven for about 25 minutes. You want to keep all the air inside it, so gently place it in the preheated oven and don’t knock it or slam the door. (I brushed mine with water before and mid-way through baking, in order to get a crunchier, more golden crust.) You can tell if your bread is cooked by tapping its bottom (if it’s in a tin you’ll have to take it out). If it sounds hollow it’s cooked, if it doesn’t then pop it back in for a little longer. Put it on a rack to cool before tucking in!

Tomato-Basil Focaccia for Fleet Week


Admittedly, focaccia was perhaps a bit much for a rooftop Fleet Week party. Especially since it turned to be much more kegger than garden party. I don’t really care, though. If I’m honest, the majority of my baking and cooking endeavors stem not from an abundantly generous nature but rather from a secretly egotistical one.

It’s all for the pictures and for the blog!

Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy baking and cooking for others. Like for my mom, it’s a way for me to express my love, a not all-too-easy feat for someone as shy as me! (^_^) Also, if I weren’t actually a chubby girl trapped in this little body (I’m serious—she wants out), I’d probably be able to enjoy a lot more of what I make.

I think I may have attempted a simple rosemary focaccia in the past, but it totally paled in comparison to this version from Jamie Oliver (Oliver again?!?! Majorly crushing on the Naked Chef! <3)

Again, easy-to-follow instructions, short list of colorful, bright ingredients from Jamie. And as there was kneading and proving involved, I was a happy girl!

All you really need to concern yourself with is getting the dough right. Once you have that, you’re free to get as topping-happy as you like. For my first try, I added the red onions and Asiago for more color and flavor. Corn, maybe another cheese variety like Gorgonzola and arugula instead of basil would be pretty stellar too.

I heart Jamie.

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Tomato-Basil Focaccia (recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Kitchen. Original available here.)

Makes 1 large focaccia or 2 smaller loaves


Basic Bread Recipe

3 x 7g sachets dried yeast

30 g / 1 oz honey or sugar

625 ml / just over 1 pint tepid water

1 kg strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting

30 g / 1 oz salt


600 g cherry tomatoes (I bought the multi-colored ones from Trader Joes, which pretty sweet.)

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

10 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (guesstimated here)

flour for dusting

1 huge handful fresh basil, leaves picked

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

asiago cheese, crumbled


  1. Prepare the dough: Dissolve the yeast and honey (or sugar) in half the tepid water.
  2. On a clean surface or in a large bowl, make a pile of the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in all the dissolved yeast mixture. With 4 fingers of one hand, make circular movements from the center moving outwards, slowly bringing in more and more of the flour until all the yeast mixture is soaked up. Then pour the other half of the tepid water into the center and gradually incorporate all the flour to make a moist dough. (Certain flours may need a little more water, so don’t be afraid to adjust quantities.)
  3. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes—this develops the gluten and the structure of the dough. If any of the dough sticks to your hands, just rub them together with a little flour.
  4. Flour both your hands well and lightly flour the top of the dough. Make it into a roundish shape and place it on a baking tray or in a large mixing bowl. Score it deeply with a knife, allowing it to relax and prove with ease until it’s doubled in size. Ideally, you want a warm, moist, draught-free place for the quickest prove, for example near a warm cooker or in the airing cupboard (I always put mine in the microwave), and you could cover it with clingfilm if you want to speed things up. (I always do.) This proving process improves the flavor and texture of the dough and should take around 40 minutes, depending on the conditions.
  5. While the dough is proving, prick your tomatoes with a knife and drop them into boiling water for around 30 seconds. Drain, cool them under cold water, and remove the skins, keeping them whole if possible—as they’re nice and small.
  6. Take your proved dough and bash the air out, then put it on a floured surface and roll it out about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick.
  7. Transfer the dough to a floured baking tray and push the dough to fill the tray completely. Distribute the tomatoes, basil leaves and sliced red onion evenly over the top. Pour the olive oil over everything.
  8. Push your fingers to the bottom of the tray across the whole dough, using them like a poker, pushing them through the dough and then flattening them out when you hit the tin. (Feels sooo good :P) This gives the bread its classic shape and makes indentations so you get little pools of oil when it’s cooking. Leave to prove until it has doubled in size again.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 425 deg. F (220 deg. C).
  10. Once doubled, sprinkle the salt, pepper and crumbled asiago over the top. Place the tray in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes (Mine needed ca. 25 min), until the bread is crisp and golden on top and soft in the middle.
  11. Remove bread from the oven. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil (I didn’t do this).



Hangry-Five-Minute Pasta Sauce

I worked late yesterday. Which means by the time I left the office, I had missed yoga and was already deep into one of my scary “hangry” moods.

Actually, most of my bad moods are food-related (o_O”). When I was a little girl, if I was ever in a bad mood—which was often— my mom would ask, “Are you hungry?” This of course would make me even more mad and elicit a big, fat “NO!” reply from me—even if I she was right. (^_^#)

Anyway, lucky for me, I have all that home-made ravioli sitting in the freezer. And they take zip time to cook. So the only thing left to make then was a sauce and a salad to go with it.

The sauce I ended up making is one I saw Jamie Oliver make on his TV show Jamie at Home. It’s fast, requires minimal ingredients and still looks and taste better than anything store-bought.

Though this is a no-cook sauce, the acidity of the vinegar acts to break down the tomatoes and form a sauce; the addition of olives and olive oil at the same time balance the sharpness of the vinegar and tomatoes, giving the sauce a round, warm flavor.

Really yummy. And seriously good for all your hangry—and non-hangry—moments.


Hangry-Five-Minute Pasta Sauce (adapted from a recipe in Jamie Oliver’s The Return of the Naked Chef)

Serves 2.


1 medium tomato, seeds scraped out and flesh roughly chopped (Too lazy—didn’t do this.)

1/2 clove fresh garlic, very finely minced

8-10 kalamata olives, stones removed and flesh roughly chopped; plus 1 tbsp olive “juice”

1 tsp dried basil (fresh is always better—if you have it)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

a squeeze of fresh lemon or a little grated lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients. Set aside, allowing flavors to combine and “marry”.
  2. Boil and cook your pasta. (I used my made-from-scratch ricotta-asiago ravioli, which took all of 3 minutes to cook.)
  3. Once pasta is cooked, turn off the stove and drain out the water from the pan. In the same warm pan, pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss until pasta is just coated.
  4. Plate and top with grated asiago or parmesan.

Pasta Project – Part I

If you want to be a foodblogger (I do! I do!) and if you consider yourself a true foodie (really, really want to be), there are a few things you should probably do (if you don’t already):

  • Check Tastespotting religiously
  • Look at food-porn (I swear, it’s totally innocent.)
  • Collect cookbooks with lots pictures
  • Rely on grams and kilos rather than silly teaspoons and cups
  • Bake your own bread
  • Make and prefer your own homemade muesli, pesto, salad dressing, pasta sauce, cheese, jams, etc.


  • Make your own pasta—plain and filled

Besides DIY pasta, that list is me to a tee.

Tastespotting is my source for learning about amazing blogs, up-and-coming bloggers and the latest foodblogger events (like Daring Bakers—maybe one day I’ll muster the courage to participate), not to mention it is also the ultimate source for outstanding food photography (i.e. food-porn).

As for cookbooks—they are one of my greatest joys, especially really fat ones with bright, colorful pictures that accompany every recipe (Jamie Oliver and Donna Hays’ are my current favorites).

And as for the final three:

  • I don’t trust the tsp-tbsp-cup system
  • If it weren’t for all the scary carbs which turn into sugar then fat, I’d always bake my own bread
  • And I get way too much pleasure out of making my own anything, especially jams and cheese (I once considered visiting a dairy, in order to get some free bacteria (i.e. rennet) to make my own mozzarella with. Actually, I still think about it…)

The final item on the list is pasta-making. I tried to make it once before. Disaster. I ended up with a big, watery mess of leaky ravioli that rotted within a few days.

This time around, I had Jamie Oliver’s help. His recipes, though not always the most authentic (every other recipe is some ‘bastardized’ version of something—his term, not mine), are easy to follow and result-wise, very dependable. Also, since my goal was to make pasta—and not gyoza—I felt pretty safe about relying on Mr. Naked Chef. (Actually, I’d say his Italian stuff is pretty spot on.)

So the recipe: starting with ingredients, Jesus, there are a lot of eggs in here—eight yolks and three whole eggs to be exact. This was fine by me; I really like the eggy-taste of fresh pasta—it’s what makes it taste, well, fresh….drr. I only made one change since I had no semolina; I used all strong flour instead (which Jamie said is fine).

As for prep, no issues to discuss, actually. I enjoyed the kneading bit the best; it always make me feel less gross and hungover after a night out (Fun & sangria this Sat. with L. in the Mission!!). Also, when Jamie says to let the dough rest, do it. I let mine rest for about an hour before taking it out of the fridge, quartering and letting it rest for another 10 minutes in saran-wrap and underneath a damp cloth. Another thing is be sure to keep the dough moist (i.e. don’t take too long rolling out; cover once rolled out); it dries out quickly.

For the filling, I went pretty traditional: whole-milk ricotta, two handfuls asiago, an egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

I am no Italian nonna, but my pasta turned out so pretty (^_^”) !! I ended up with about 40 good-sized ravioli (I used a cookie-mold to seal and cut), which I then portioned out into 10 single-servings (4 per sandwich baggy) and froze. I stuffed the remaining odd-pasta-bits into their own baggy and then also froze. One thought to add here: flour each ravioli well before refrigerating or freezing, in order to prevent sticking and sogginess.

This was the best Sunday project ever! And it’s only Part I. I can’t wait for Part II!!

AND—I have another BBQ to attend this Saturday. I wonder what I should bring? Not brownies—probably something that requires exactly nine egg whites \(^o^)/



Ricotta-Asiago Ravioli (from Jamie Oliver’s The Return of the Naked Chef)

serves 4



250g/9oz strong flour

250g/9oz semolina flour (if unavailable, strong flour is fine)

3 large free-range eggs

8 egg yolks


400g/14oz whole-milk ricotta

1 egg yolk

2 handfuls grated asiago or parmesan cheese

1/4 nutmeg, grated

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place both flours on a clean surface. Make a well in the center, and add the eggs and yolks. With a fork, break up the eggs as you bring in the flour. Stir with the fork until you have a dough, which you can work with your hands.
  2. Knead the dough until you have a smooth, silky and elastic dough and a clean surface. Wrap the dough in clingflim and rest it in the fridge for a while.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and keep covered. Work with one section at a time. Then, flatten the section of dough with your hand and run it through the thickest setting on your machine. Fold in half and repeat this process several times, to give you perfect, textured pasta. Dust the sheet of pasta on both sides with flour before running it through the settings (ca. 4-5 times), dusting and moving the setting in each time until you have the desired thickness (ca. 1-2mm thick, depending on pasta type) and width (10cm/4in for ravioli). You can do this with a rolling pin, too. (I did; no problems.)
  4. Prepare the filling: With a fork, beat the ricotta, egg yolk and grated cheese together until light and creamy. Set aside.
  5. Fill and form the ravioli: (Work with one sheet a time; cover the rest with a damp cloth.) Lay your pasta sheet on a generously flour-dusted surface with a good heaped teaspoon of filling in the middle of the sheet at one end. Repeat this all the way along the pasta at 5cm/2in intervals.
  6. Using a clean pastry brush dipped in water, lightly, evenly and thoroughly brush the pasta around the piles of filling. This will stick the pasta together. Then, place a second, similar-sized sheet of pasta on top of the first.
  7. Working from one end of the pasta to the other, push the sheets together and around each mound of filling. Do this gently with the base of your palm, cupping and enclosing each filling in the pasta, making sure to extract all the air.
  8. Cut the ravioli to shape with a knife, crinkly-cutter or cookie-mold.
  9. Cook right away, refrigerate on a flour-dusted tray, or freeze.



Pistachio Kofta Kebabs

These are awesome! I was watching an episode of Jamie Oliver At Home when he started preparing this dish. The original recipe calls for lamb and is served in a spicy veggie wrap of sorts. Though this sounds lovely, it was really the Mediterranean meatballs which caught my attention.

The kofta are juicy and oh so flavorful, the the cumin, thyme and lemon zest adding an herby kick. And the pistachios–my favorite ingredient used here–give such a pleasing texture and really make this recipe unique.

When I prepare this, I use ground beef (because that’s what I usually have) and make only the meatballs. For the sake of convenience, I also usually just pan-fry the kofta.

Actually, this was the main that went along with the feta yogurt dip for my indoor anniversary picnic. I served it with homemade flatbread (using Jamie’s pizza dough recipe) and a Mediterranean-themed salad.

Pistachio Kofta Kebabs (adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe)

Serves 2.


250 g extra lean ground beef (the original calls for lamb)

1 heaping tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)

1 tsp chile powder

1 tsp ground cumin

grated zest of 1/2 a lemon

sea salt and pepper

1 handful pistachio nuts, roughly chopped


  1. Mix the lamb with most of the thyme, chile, cumin and sumac (reserving a little of each for sprinkling over later), a little salt and pepper and all the pistachios. Combine well.
  2. Divide the meat into four equal pieces and get yourself four skewers. With damp hands, push and shape the meat around and along each skewer. Press little indents in the meat with your fingers as you go – this will give it a better texture when cooked.
  3. In a hot pan, fry the meatballs in a little olive oil. Turn every minute to get color on each side.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover to allow the cooking process to complete.
  5. Serve with warm flatbread, lemon slices and a mixed salad.