I love Jamie Oliver and judging from his success, I’m not the only one. I remember seeing him for the first time on Canadian television as the Naked Chef. I thought he was seriously cool. He made smashed baby potatoes in a frying pan and I tried his recipe. At the time, I was a student so I couldn’t afford to buy his cookbooks but I have more than made up for that now. I find Jamie’s recipes seriously tasty and bursting with flavour but also quick and easy to prepare at home. I cook a lot of Jamie’s dinners during the week but recently I realised that my ‘Jamie Does…’ cookbook has been neglected. I recall watching and loving the television series by the same name then buying the book and making the Tiramisu – my husband’s favourite dessert. Since then the cookbook has been relegated to my bookshelf where it has been ignored in favour of more recent ones. I decided to rectify that by doing a little bit of what Jamie does and trying out a few new recipes, one country at a time.
I started my culinary tour in Sweden and made Friday night a Swedish night. No we didn’t go to Ikea for meatballs, scented candles and flat pack furniture. I cooked Arctic Char Parcels for dinner and made the Quickest Berry Tart for dessert. I wanted to go full on Swedish with the meal and pair dinner with some Swedish beer but my beer knowledge is limited so I ended up with Carlsberg which I knew wasn’t Swedish but was close enough.
Arctic Char Parcels
I found this recipe simple and easy to throw together for dinner. It is essentially fish, baby spinach and new potatoes wrapped in a parcel with dill and chives then cooked in the oven for 20 minutes. This is a fabulous way to cook fish. It’s a very easy method and the fish turns out delish. The recipe calls for Salmon or Trout but I cooked Sea Bass instead. The dinner was lovely. My husband and I cleaned our plates. The chive sour cream that Jamie pairs with this dish really complemented all of the flavours. I will definitely be cooking this one again. Although I’m not a beer drinker, the Carlsberg was a nice companion to wash it down.
The Quickest Berry Tart
Jamie describes this as Eton Mess in a tart and he is bang on. I’ve never made pastry from scratch and I had considered trying to make it as per Jamie’s recipe but instead I opted for ready made pastry that I defrosted, rolled out and baked blind. I found I needed to bake the pastry for more than the recommended time to make sure it was ‘biscuit like’ as per Jamie’s instructions. I also chose to make small individual tarts instead of 1 large one as there are only 3 of us and the recipe is for 12. The tart was quick and easy to make although it has to be made in stages – pastry before dinner and filling after dinner immediately before serving. The combination of orange zest and berries was divine along with the crunch of the pastry and meringue.
I think we will definitely be having more Swedish food nights and trying some more of the Swedish recipes in this book. I would highly recommend trying both of these recipes.