Tag Archives: jamie oliver

Bircher Muesli – Anna Jones and Jamie Oliver

I quite like a cereal type, healthy breakfast. Porridge is good, muesli, bran flakes all get an airing. I also have a go at the 5:2 diet (see here). I then look for a good low calorie, filling breakfast. This is where this Bircher muesli recipe comes into play. It’s basically porridge oats prepared the night before and soaked overnight in a suitable liquid (in this case milk, but I’ve come across apple juice) with some extras. Half this recipe provides a good, long lasting feed and comes in at about 400 calories.

Weighing up the night before.
Weighing up the night before.

This recipe adds chia seeds because they give a rich creaminess – if you don’t want to add chia, just don’t add as much milk. Chia seeds are little seeds that boost the nutritional value of the breakfast tenfold. They look a bit like poppy seeds and come in a variety of colours: black, white and grey. I use the white ones here. You’ll find them in health food shops and in big supermarkets beside the nuts and seeds. Chia seeds were the food of choice of Aztec and Mayan warriors, and a single tablespoon would keep them going for 24 hours. They are high in protein, so they’re perfect for breakfast time. You can use them in smoothies and in baking.

The night before, put the oats, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds into a bowl or container, pour over the milk, and add the maple syrup (or honey), vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well, then cover and pop into the fridge overnight. I won’t lie at this point it looks like the slurry you get when you unblock the sink! But next morning it all comes together as the seeds and oats soak up the milk. It then takes on a gloopier and altogether more appealing look.

The finished results
The finished results

In the morning, chop the pears into little chunks, sprinkle over the cinnamon and add the sour cherries. You can vary this bit really, grated apple works or a bit of banana. This recipe does two pretty big portions or could divide into three.


100g oats
2 tablespoons white chia seeds
1tablespoon pumpkin seeds
350ml milk (400ml for a sloppier mix) of your choice (I use almond or coconut)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (I use honey)
a dash of vanilla extract
a squeeze of lemon juice
2 ripe pears
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
a small handful of dried sour cherries, or cranberries

Recipe from ‘A modern way to eat’ by Anna Jones and then taken on by Jamie Oliver www.jamieoliver.com

Osso Buco – Braised Veal Shin by Jamie Oliver

Saw this dish first done by Jamie Oliver on his Comfort food programme. I know quite a few serious foodies don’t seem to rate Jamie as a serious chef, but I don’t mind the lad. He knocks out a decent feed, and he doesn’t seem to say ‘pucka’ anymore.

This dish’s primary ingredient, veal shank, is common, relatively cheap and flavorful. Although tough, braising makes it tender. The cut traditionally used for this dish comes from the top of the thigh which has a higher proportion of bone to meat than other meaty cuts of beef. The shank is then cross-cut into sections about 3 cm thick.
Ossobuco or osso buco translates (rather unflatteringly) in Italian for “bone with a hole” (osso bone, buco hole), a reference to the marrow hole at the centre of the cross-cut veal shank.

Two slices fresh from the butcher
Two slices fresh from the butcher

I got two big slices from my local butcher (Nicola at Red Bank Farm Shop) for just under £8.

Although recipes vary, most start by browning the veal shanks in butter after dredging them in flour, while others recommend vegetable oil or lard.The braising liquid is usually a combination of white wine and meat broth flavoured with vegetables.
The traditional accompaniment for the great ossobuco is risotto alla Milanese, commonly known in Italy as risotto allo zafferano – that brilliant yellow saffron risotto. But I couldn’t be bothered doing that and had mashed spuds instead. To be fair this or polenta is a still pretty good as a simple serving suggestion.

Ingredients to serve 4

4 ossobuco, (cross-cut veal shanks, bone in, roughly 1.5kg in total – order in advance from your butcher)
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
plain flour, for dusting
2 knobs of unsalted butter
olive oil
2 onions
2 small carrots
2 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
200 ml Pinot Bianco , or Verdicchio (white wine!)
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 litre chicken stock
For the gremolata:
2 small cloves of garlic
30 g fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Season the ossobuco lightly with sea salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg, then dust them in flour, shaking off any excess. Put your widest ovenproof pan on a medium heat with the butter and a really good lug of oil, then add the ossobuco, making sure they’re not touching each other. Fry for 10 to 15 minutes, or until nicely golden, turning halfway – the more care you put into building up good colour now, the better the depth of flavour will be later.

fry first and get a good colour
fry first and get a good colour

While they’re cooking, peel the onions, carrots and garlic, trim the celery, then finely chop it all with the rosemary leaves. When the veal has browned nicely, remove it to a plate. Drain away most of the fat from the pan, then add all the chopped veg and rosemary and cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.

chopping and sweating the veg
chopping and sweating the veg

Pour in the wine and cook it away, then stir in the tomato purée and stock. Bring to the boil, using a wooden spoon to pick up all the sticky goodness from the bottom of the pan, then turn the heat off. Return the meat to the pan, cover with a damp sheet of greaseproof paper and tin foil, then carefully transfer to the middle of the oven. Cook for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart – check on it halfway, adding a splash of water, if needed. If there is a lot of liquid I just put back on the hob and reduced it down, keeping the meat warm on a plate in the oven.

The result with the gremolata and the hole in the bone
The result with the gremolata and the hole in the bone

With about 30 minutes to go on the ossobuco, you could start your risotto allo zafferano (or your mashed spuds!) When that’s done, to make a quick gremolata, peel and roughly chop the garlic with the parsley leaves, finely grate over the lemon zest, then chop and mix together until fine. Divide the risotto or mashed potatoes between warm bowls, then place the ossobuco on top. Season the cooking liquor to perfection (loosening with a few splashes of boiling water if needed) and spoon over the top, then scatter over the gremolata – as soon as it hits the heat of the meat it will explode with wonderful fragrant flavour. It’s well worth doing the gremolata, it’s easy to do and gives a real burst. Enjoy

I based my recipe on Jamies link below

Jamie Oliver’s Trattoria Richmond

The daily rags have been gloating lately over the apparent demise of some of Jamie Oliver’s Italian outfits. Word is that they are lacking a bit of the old folding stuff and the reaper is beckoning.  The Cooktwit in times of panic is occasionally secreted to pastures elsewhere, leaving the North West to fend for itself. One such episode left the Cooktwit schlepping round the southern, luvvie and rugby enclave Richmond Upon Thames. As his want he needed to satiate in unfamiliar territory. After some rather pleasant examples of standard pub grub he plumbed into the strangely named ‘Trattoria Richmond’. A bit confusing really but there’s plenty of branding around to let you know Jamie Oliver has got his paws in the till.

Vintage font and cistern!
Vintage font and cistern!

Given I had spent most of the day inspecting old school furniture, I had a wry smile as most of the furniture in here looked like the stuff I was advising others to throw out!! Still, the surroundings were pleasant enough, although the chair I selected at my table for three was a bit saggy and low due to its previous forty years of use! The whole affair screams vintage, right from the menu font to the gents water cistern!

Focaccia, squid, truffle pasta, berry frangipan
Focaccia, squid, truffle pasta, berry frangipan

The food worked out well enough. I ordered a large glass of deep red ‘Montipulciano’, some tap water and some focaccia with olive oil and balsamic (£3.00). I secretly hoped the bread would be warm but it was cold. Still it was tasty enough and helped stave off a raving hunger.  Next up was some deep fried squid with lemon and garlic mayo. It came on a paddle and some chintzy napkin. The rings were a bit small and so the taste of batter pervaded rather more than it should, but it was crunchy, hot and not bad for £3.50. My main dish was Truffle Tagliotelli. I’ve never had truffle so I was really looking forward to this. It didn’t disappoint. Some of the blurb boasts that they make their own dough and pasta. If that was true it really worked, the pasta strips were perfectly cooked and tasted superb, arguably the best pasta I’ve had in a long time (including my own!!). The truffle sauce was lovely and ‘mushroomy’ and thankfully I had saved some bread to mop up.  A berry, frangipani tart with clotted cream finished along with a black, Italian coffee.


All in all a top bit of Italian scran, all for £28. I was in quite early around 5.30 on a Thursday eve. There wasn’t many in at the time and so it was a bit quiet, but by the time I came to pay, a good ninety minutes later, the long narrow place was buzzing and operating at three quarter pace. Service was efficient and friendly, so let’s hope these Jamie’s gaffs get a pick up and keep going, I’d go again.

Trattoria, 12-13 King Street,  Richmond,  TW9 1ND Jamieoliver.com 0207 096 3930



Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall – Watergate Bay

Fifteen Cornwall is the second ‘Fifteen’ restaurant, the first was set up in London by Jamie Oliver and started a pretty smart idea to train often troubled youngsters how to work in a kitchen and hopefully become professional chefs. It has been a great success. Many of the trainees have gone on to work and run their own restaurant or work in Fifteen.
The one in Cornwall kicked off in earnest in 2006, it’s housed in what is basically a big surfing hut, spectacularly overhanging the beach at Watergate Bay near Newquay. Miles of golden sand sprawls beneath, whilst surf height waves crash in the distance.

Whilst it is a big hut on the outside, it has been transformed inside into a 120 cover, high end, Italian restaurant. Unlike many High Street versions, you cant nip in here for a take away ham and pineapple pizza. Whilst many ingredients are sourced from Italy, the restaurant does use lots of local produce as well. The room is dominated by dozens of teardrop pendant lights and an open pass decorated by a gaudy/tasteful*, hip/uncool* mural (delete as applicable). The mural features imagery of Jamie Oliver and the recruits alongside managerial speak slogans. It seemed to create a talking point among many, so that can’t be a bad thing.

The flame and I ventured down there for a special weekend break (get you – Ed), we booked for the Saturday evening. We were placed onto a table that would ordinarily look out to sea, however, given it was late October and 8pm at night we gazed into a black abyss. We have been before a couple of years ago for breakfast and sat on the same table with the patio windows open, gazing out to a sun kissed waterline. Then it was arguably the best table anywhere. It was slightly less so tonight.

The restaurant was absolutely rammed, the atmosphere electric, buzzing with the chatter and clatter of hungry punters and teams of staff keeping it all in check. We were served throughout by the wonderful Clare Louise, who helped us through the trendy, five course taster menu (£60 each) with clarity, passion and a big smile. It looked like everyone was getting the same treatment.

By opting for the taster menu I was aware that the courses would be smaller. Having watched head chef Andy Appleton cook a huge, longhorn, ribeye steak at a demo earlier in the day I was tempted to go for that, but just about resisted.
After bread, olives and dips our Antipasto course was a stuffed, deep fried courgette flower. The flame grew some of these this summer so I’ve done these myself. This was as good as mine (you’re showing off – Ed). Piping hot ricotta, deep fried within the flower in a light batter.

Next we had our ‘Insalata’ course, the flame had a buffalo mozzarella salad with heritage tomatoes, whilst I hoovered up a delicate lobster tail salad with the trimmings. It was all becoming rather agreeable. We sampled a couple of decent wines along the way.

Primi course, I had a sensational pulled lamb ragout with fancy pasta strips. This course in particular was sublime. The ragout rich and flavoursome, the lamb stranded in a deep, luscious sauce. Across the table sweet potato tortellini was being washed down with roasted peppers and an appropriate jus.

Secondi I had slithers of soft, pink duck breast on a base of soft polenta whilst the flame had a beautifully cooked fillet of brill layered on a pepperonata. This arguably the dish of the night. The flame granted half a fork full for me to taste.

For our Dolci I had a seriously chocolatey, chocolate tart with raspberry washed down with a snifter of Sauternes. The flame tucked into the cheese board with a coffee and petit fours.

It was a memorable occasion and will remain one of our favourite haunts. The heady combination of location, atmosphere, drama and sheer quality of food and service make Fifteen Cornwall a trick not to be missed. If you are down this neck of the woods you will discover that you are only ten miles down the coast from Padstow and Rock, home of some of the Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw outlets. I have tried these on a previous trip and would easily put a night at Fifteen Cornwall up against these. None can match Fifteen for the atmosphere and view. As Michael Winner once said “I don’t reserve a restaurant I reserve a table”. There’s some very nice tables at Fifteen Cornwall.

Fifteen Cornwall
On The Beach
Watergate Bay

01637 861000