Friday, 18 January 2013

Christmas With Jamie Oliver

OK so I didn't actually spend Christmas with JO, but boyfriend of the year (2013 anyway) did get me a cooking lesson at JO's cookery school in Notting Hill as my Christmas present!

Because Sam loves any form of food encased in tortilla wraps, (Nando's is his Mecca) he chose the Mexican street food course, and it was brilliant. We got a glass of wine on arrival (drinking whilst cooking = winner) and had a private lesson with one of JO's chefs called Colleen who taught us to make chicken tacos with a sticky chipotle chilli sauce. She even offered me a childs apron. How sweet of her.

Nevertheless, here is the recipe.


2 teaspoons whole cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 large dried chilli
4 cloves garlic - peeled
8 chicken thighs on the bone
Olive oil for frying
3.5 cups passata
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 heaped dessert spoon castor sugar
100gms chipotle chilli sauce
4 flour tortiallas
2 baby gem lettuce - washed & leaves picked off
2 - 3 limes
Small bunch of fresh coriander
1 red onion - thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes
2 strips spring onion - thinly sliced on an angle

For The Gorditas

250g masa harina (or fine cornmeal)
30g baking powder
20g plain flour Pinch of salt
300ml hot water Plain flour for dusting
Oil for frying


Put the cumin, oregano, dried chilli and garlic into a small blender and whizz up. Lightly oil the chicken and season with salt and pepper, then take 1⁄2 your dry seasoning mixture and rub into the chicken all over. Add a lug of olive oil to a large pan and when the oil is hot fry the chicken on both sides until golden brown.
Turn the heat down and add in the passata, vinegar, sugar, chipotle chilli sauce and the remaining dry seasoning mixture. Turn the heat to low, put a lid on the pan and simmer the chicken until cooked through. This should take about 20 - 25 minutes, depending on how big your chicken is. Check it is cooked before removing from the heat. Your sauce should be thick and sweet, if not remove the chicken and put the pan back on the stove and reduce the sauce until it is thick and sticky.
To assemble your taco: Remove chicken from the sauce and pull all the meat off the bone, discard the bones. Lay your flour tortillas out flat on a board spread on about a tablespoon of the thick sticky chipotle sauce, then add in your cooked chicken, spoon over some of Jamie’s Mexican Salsa Verde, then 2-3 baby gem leaves, sprinkle over some picked coriander leaves, some lime juice, chopped tomatoes, sliced red onions and the sliced spring onions. Roll up tightly then cut in half and enjoy eating.

For the gorditas, put the masa harina and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix the baking powder into the hot water and pour this into the well. Using a fork, mix the masa harina into the liquid and when it starts to come together use your hands to knead it.
Divide the dough into 14 or so equal squash-ball-sized pieces and dust them lightly with flour.
Roll each piece around in your hands, then pat and flatten into a small round roughly the size of the base of a wine glass. Put these on an oiled tray, dust with a little flour and put aside until ready to fry. Fry within 1 hour of making.

Now I won't lie Sam does lose boyfriend points for failing to arrange a meet and greet with the man himself, but it was a totes pukka xmas present.
Most enjoyably it proved that Sam does not in fact have a photographic memory because he kept forgetting the method. Amateur. Although he has been arrested before so perhaps that might land him a job at Fifteen.

Merry Christmas! x

Sunday, 6 January 2013

An Amish New Year

Apologies to both eichler and whatdidyouhaveforetealastnight fans, yes that's you mum. We've all been tres slack of late and the little German one has been holding the blogging fort solo.
Actually don't feel too bad for her, she lives for this shit, well this and finding catwalk copies for under 3 quid.
So to break the blogging drought, we had to come back with a cracker and what a cracker it was. The twine held its annual party, last year it was onsies, this year we went Amish. Turns out it was the easiest fancy dress evs #toomuchchoice #mywholewardrobelookslikethat

Yes that is a bra on Kate's head and a Claire's accessories hair bobble wrapped round jakes face. #resourcefulcouple.
To start the bash me and Taff were given the breakfast course. Now Taff LOVES a scotch egg. #askjones so I got seƱor bro to come up with a recipe, the full English scotch egg. We did a trial run which I wasn't allowed to touch, incase I ruined it. Oh the confidence.
Roll sausage meat with chives

Fill with mushrooms, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and fried off pancetta. Soft boil eggs and place in a line.

Roll into a massive sausage, seal then put I to the oven for 20 min.

Serve with homemade tomato sauce

Me and Taff recreated for the feast, he was sous chef, I was bossy. he'll probably never cook with me again. But at least we pulled it off in the end!

Et voila, it got the highly regarded Andrew's classic claim of 'restaurant quality' (she does say this ALOT)
We then exchanged gift, which Hendo lucked out on.. I mean who wouldn't want tattoo sleeves and an earpiercing gun?!

We almost managed to get a couple in the lobes too- that is before he wimped out like a girl after looking searchingly at jones for her approval.
The next course was Willmore and 'queen of the sides' jones. Now to be completely honest I had full confidence in jones' sides #cookingqueen #hasselbacks but wasn't quite sure that the snake could match. After Kate's threat, 'you better not fuck it up, we spent £40 on that beef' the pressure was on. And he did not dissapoint. The best beef Wellington I've ever had! Actually I've never had one before but it was goooood. Well Done Willmore

We then played an epic Xmas quiz made by Taff and moved onto desert, I have no pics of Kate and hendos crumble ...but it was yum nonetheless, And when I say Kate and Hendos I mean Kate's ... He was in charge of custard #heboughtit #copout.
We were joined by jill, Laurie, Mygdal and former housemate lynne #sobsob, necked jones' homemade limoncello and then hit the pub in our Amish attire.
Well not completely Amish, Mygdal insisted on wearing with sequinned leggings.. Well a gals gotta be zeeeeexy

After getting a few weird looks, branded racists and asked why we had tea towels on our heads.. Whatevs, losers. We headed home to see in the new year at the Twine.

The best new year evs, who knew religion could be so fun? Jones probably. Can't wait for next year. Fancy dress suggestions most welcome .......
Over and out
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Home Made Focaccia

Great british bake off can do one - gibbs house turned into a bread baking haven last night! For our foray into bread making, we decided to make rosemary focaccia. Put 750g strong white flour, 7g dried yeast and 3 tablespoons of rosemary in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 450mls of lukewarm water. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then put in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a a tea towel then leave in a warm place for about an hour to rise. Turn the dough on to a slightly floured surface and knead for about 3 mins until smooth. Roll out the dough to a round 5cm thick, cover and leave for another hour until the dough has doubled in size. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake in a pre heated oven at 190 degrees for 20 mins. Serve warm with an epic amount of butter, or if you're watching your weight, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Have it, Mary Berry.