I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver. I love his energy. His style. His food philosophy. I don’t mean to be overly critical but the concept of a fifteen minute meal is seriously doing my head in. When I hear fifteen minutes I think fifteen minutes in the kitchen from whoa to go. My fifteen minutes starts from the minute I pull ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator, prepare and cook them and finally place the finished dish on the table.
Last night I sat down in front of the television to watch Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals. The catch cry of this show draws me in. Every single time. To paraphrase it goes something like this. “We all love healthy and gorgeous, nutritious and delicious super fast food”. I couldn’t agree more. It’s pure marketing genius. I spent fifteen minutes watching Jamie Oliver preparing a meal and multi tasking to the max. Marvelling at the beautifully prepared, precision cut ingredients. Admiring the beautifully styled kitchen. No chaos. No mishaps. No mess. No expletives. Eight minutes into the fifteen minute meal and the bench top is still sparkling clean. Not one greasy finger mark.
Do you know what went through my mind? Where is the pile of discarded utensils? The dirty bowls, pots and pans? The food splatter? The overflowing bin? I love the energy and speed of fifteen minute meals but wish I had a sous chef to do all the prep work and a kitchen fairy to wave a magic wand and clear the mess.
Here’s my fifteen minute meal. Lamb Stir Fry with Spring Garden Vegetables. Let’s clarify. Fifteen minutes after all the prep work is taken care of. What a pleasant, stress free way to cook. Washed rice steaming in the pot. Little bowls and plates of sliced and diced ingredients all lined up on the counter patiently waiting their turn in the wok. A sparkling kitchen as my daughter recruited to be my sous chef and kitchen hand turns her attention to the kitchen sink and overflowing bin.
I’m just looking at the photo of my stir fry as I edit this post. Probably not my finest effort. I struggle to take great photos at the best of times. Photography is definitely not my forte. The pressure of getting that plate cooked, photographed and to the table in fifteen minutes certainly shows.
Lamb Stir Fry with Spring Garden Vegetables.
2 t tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
500 g lamb back strap, very finely sliced
3 cm piece ginger, grated
1 long red chilli, minced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
100g snow peas, tailed and sliced on the diagonal
100 g green beans, tailed and sliced on the diagonal
½ capsicum sliced into strips
100 g button mushrooms, sliced
½ bunch shallots, white and pale green parts only cut into 3 cm pieces
¼ cup tamari oyster sauce
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons stock or water
coriander leaves, picked
steamed jasmine rice
HEAT 1 teaspoon of oil in a very hot non-stick wok and stir fry lamb in three or four batches. Remove from the wok and set aside.
LOWER the flame to medium. Add another teaspoon of oil. Stir fry the chilli garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
ADD vegetables in the following order, stir frying for about a minute between each addition: mushrooms, beans, asparagus, snow peas,capsicum and shallots.
RETURN the lamb to the wok and add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons water or stock. Stir fry for another 2 -3 minutes.
TRANSFER to bowls. Garnish with picked coriander leaves.
SERVE immediately with steamed jasmine rice.