May 25, 2010

Jamie's Food Revolution - A Cracking Burger and Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy Smoked Bacon and Pea Sauce

Last week I received my new cook book "Jamie's Food Revolution".  I was so excited!  I love cook books, to me they are just as fun to read as a story book.  So, Donovan took the kids to Boy Scouts so I could have a little one on one time with Jamie, wink, wink :)

I had no idea what this book was about.  Like he say's "On the surface it's quite simply about friends teaching friends how to cook good, honest, affordable food and just generally be a bit more streetwise about cooking."  Which, hey, that's cool with me.  That's a big reason I have this blog, to share with my friends the yummy recipes I come across.  Then, the huge "BUT" come's in which really sparked my interest!  He states "But underneath that, it's about getting a really fun and important movement called pass it on started, which could well change the health and future of the country."  That got me excited!  I believe we can change the way everyone eats one person at a time.  Don't get me wrong, I like food and I like to eat things that aren't always good for me.  But, everything in moderation!  I also work out like a fool because it make's me feel good and it gives me more energy to run after my kids.

So, tonight I went over to his website and signed his petition:

For dinner I made two recipes out of his book and they were so good,  I'm keeping up with my bargain to pass it on!

A Cracking Burger

Yields: 6
12 cream or plain crackers, I used Saltine's
8 sprigs of fresh Italian parsley
2 heaped teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 pound good-quality ground beef
1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Wrap the crackers in a kitchen towel and smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands, and put them into a large bowl.  Finely chop the parsley, including the stalks.  Add the parsley, mustard, and ground beef to the bowl.  Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.  With clean hands, scrunch and mix everything up well.  Divide into 6 and pat and mold each piece into a roundish shape about 3/4 inch thick.  Drizzle the burgers with oil, put on a plate, cover and place in the refrigerator until needed (this helps them to firm up).

To cook your burger:
Preheat a large grill pan or frying pan for about 4 minutes on a high heat.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Place the burgers on the grill pan or in the frying pan and use a turner to lightly press down on them, making sure the burger is in full contact.  Cook them to your liking for 3 to 4 minutes on each side - you may need to cook them in two batches.

I also made one of his pasta dishes:

Mini shell pasta with a creamy smoked bacon and pea sauce

Yield: 4-6
10 slices smoked bacon or pancetta, preferably free-range or organic
a small bunch of fresh mint
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried mini shells or other type of pasta
olive oil
a pat of butter
2 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoon creme fraiche or heavy cream
1 lemon
6 ounces Parmesan cheese

To prepare your pasta:
Finely slice the bacon
Pick the mint leaves and discard the stalks
Finely grate the Parmesan
To cook your pasta:
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the stock cube (if using). Stir until it’s dissolved, then add the mini shells and cook according to the packet instruction. Get a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil and the butter. Add the bacon to the pan, sprinkle a little pepper over and fry until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, finely chop your mint leaves. As soon as the bacon is golden, add your frozen peas and give the pan a good shake. After a minute or so, add the crème fraîche and chopped mint to the bacon and peas. Drain the pasta in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the frying pan. Halve your lemon and squeeze the juice over the pasta. When it’s all bubbling away nicely, remove from the heat. The sauce should be creamy and delicious but if it’s too thick for you, add a splash of the reserved cooking water to thin it out a bit. Add the grated Parmesan and give the pan a shake to mix it in

To serve your pasta:
Divide your pasta between plates or bowls, or put it on the table in a large serving dish and let everyone help themselves. Lovely with a simply dressed green salad

If you like these recipes, please pass it on!

Source: Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals

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