I did it … I think!

I love Jamie Oliver’s book  15 Minute Meals, but lately, had kind of forgotten about it due to the frenzy and mess achieved in making any of the meals.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone actually prep all the bits for you, cut the vege or at least have it washed and prepared on the bench, the jug pre boiled, and everything required within easy reach! And then of course, clean your kitchen up afterwards, while you sit with an after dinner sticky, feet resting on a lovely soft pouf.

I had none of that tonight, in fact, I even had to go buy the supplies to make the meal. From arriving in the supermarket carpark, to having the meal on the table took me 40 mins total.  I am sure that I spent at least 15mins in the Supermarket and driving each way takes another 5mins each.  So, I had at the most 20mins to cook the meal. I think I can actually say that I cooked the meal in 15 minutes!!!

The meal of choice tonight was Gorgeous Green Chicken with Herby Vegetable Couscous and Tzatziki. The end result should look like this:

Gorgeous Greek Chicken

I’m a bit of a fan of raw vegetables, this recipe calls for most of the vegetables to remain raw, just be finely chopped and mixed through the couscous, so kind of perfect.  There is a freshness that only raw vegetables can give. I didn’t take too many pictures as I cooked as, I was trying to cook it in 15 Minutes. I love a good challenge, do you?


A little blurry, but this is the vege all chopped in the food processor and ready to be mixed with the couscous.


The chicken all nicely seasoned, crispy and brown


Aftermath, mess and a cluttered bench! What do you expect…life is happening too – lunch boxes, discarded glasses and the medicine cup.

IMG_0230And on the table ready to be consumed, in just on 15minutes. (I think!)  mmm….Lemon and mint are perfect companions anywhere, anytime and I just love the lemony minty goodness of the Tzatziki Jamie recommends to accompany the chicken and vegetable couscous, particularly good if the chilli you use is awesomely fresh and spicy!  The kids even gave this the thumbs up.


Blackcurrant with White Chocolate Ganache

So these aren’t the best specimens I have produced, but they taste great!

I think the mixture must have been a little on the wet side as the macarons appeared to be undercooked and cracked when I removed them from the oven. To separate the ‘biscuits’ from the baking tray, I had to employ the masterchef trick of putting them in the freezer.

Filling them was also challenging as they were so soft that I broke many of the shells just holding them delicately while filling with ganache.

Great Macaron Advice

Hi…it’s been a little while!  So I haven’t attempted anymore macarons lately, I’ve been a bit busy with other projects in the kitchen. Saturday night, I made a fabulous salt dough leg of lamb from the latest edition of Dish magazine. It was lovely and tender and we had a fantastic time with our friends – plenty of laughs and a few drops of wine finished off by a fabulous Chocolate Raspberry Tart made by Kim.

I thought it was about time to share this little gem with plenty of great bits of advice with you from the Goodmorning Show. They had Guillaume Nicoli from ma cherie on to demonstrate the Masterchef macaron tower.  The sound quality is a little poor to start with but it improves.

Watch it here.

Masterchef Final – Macaroon towers

Firstly, congratulations to Nadia on your massive acheivement!

 Like many NZers on Sunday night, I sat glued to my TV watching to see what the dramatic final moments of Masterchef 2011 would bring. I watched in dispear as Jax macaroon tower collapsed to the floor.  Oh the pain!

A macaroon tower is yet a long way off for me, but I was very, very impressed by the first attempts at macaroons by Nadia and Jax. Well done girls, an amazing effort!

I learnt two things on Sunday night:

  1. Watch, watch and watch…but don’t open the oven door, until you are ready to remove them. I really must get the lightbulb in my oven replaced.
  2. A blast freezer will help if the macaroons are slightly undercooked and sticking to the paper. Will a little longer in a chest freezer do the same?