Welcome to my first recipe attempt from Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals. Cindy and I opted to go with this book for a few reasons….
- the general desire to try another Jamie cookbook
- knowing that we both had a busy month ahead meaning quick and easy meals would be a massive benefit to both of us
- and for me, a chance to see if I could recreate what Jamie does on this cooking show of the same name. I tend to watch this show as I sweat away the time on the treadmill. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is realistic..like 15 minutes…really?
Not really…I found out. Guess how long it took me?
I had a timer set on my work phone for 15 minutes to see how far I got…I was slicing the tomatoes for the pasta and the lamb chops were pretty much finished cooking (though I had not applied any of the herbs or glaze). So the chops essentially just sat around for a bit while I got the pasta cooking…and then the opposite happened, when I finally the necessary glaze ingredients for the lamb. I say this knowing that I probably could’ve read and re-read the recipe a bunch of times so I know the next steps off by heart, but truly who has time to do that? Given that, I almost wish they had wrote it in the proper steps of what you need to do in that way…I feel like the meat could’ve been done and resting while I finished up with the pasta…rather than going back and forth, but maybe this is because I am not the most experienced cook.
Also not doing things mis en place …where everything is prepped and ready and you aren’t scrambling was stressful. This style of cooking is probably something you can get away with if you are Jamie Oliver…or a pro chef…not so much if you are me…in fact, especially if you are me. Not only did I make a massive mess while I cooked, I felt like I was constantly forgetting stuff.
I also found a few things strange – Jamie recommends putting garlic, peel and all, into a garlic press to save time. This felt like a time and garlic waster because there was so much garlic left in the press and it was a pain in the butt to clean.. End result, I really don’t think it saved me all that much time in the end.
See all those stuck together noodles?
The recipe also calls for sliced up, fresh lasagna noodles. This seems really silly and a bit of a waste of time. Yes, you do get thick sliced noodles, but it takes time. To me, using fresh fettuccini would be much quicker. Plus my thick cut lasagna noodles ended up sticking together, leading to big clumps of uncooked noodles that I couldn’t separate if my life depended on it.
There are some positives though…
it was an easy recipe…aside from the chaos of trying to get this done in 15 minutes. I legit feel like, if I had everything ready at the start, this recipe would’ve hummed along like a dream because it doesn’t require any crazy cooking techniques or tools.
I liked how he tried to mix up the flavours a bit…like mint in pasta? Really? Though the pasta wasn’t my favourite part of the dish because I found it bland, I liked the fact that he tried to make it different. I’m not sure exactly how to amp up the flavour to make it better, but I appreciated the effort of trying to make it different.
I like how Jamie laid out the different types of equipment/pots/pans and their temperatures, etc that you needed to get the recipe done. At the top of the recipe he said you need a kettle (I don’t have one, so I just put on a pot of water to boil), a hot frying pan and a medium heat Dutch oven. I got the stove and the necessary pans all heated and ready for when I needed them. Otherwise, I think this recipe would’ve taken well over an hour to complete.
Another great take away, for me, from this recipe is that I really got to see how a good sear on a hot pan benefits meat. I tend to get impatient and keep poking and moving my meat around in a pan when I cook, which impacts the golden sear that makes meat of all types rather yummy. Since I was so distracted by making the pasta, I just let the meat do it’s think, flipped it over halfway and it turned out rather perfectly.
As for recommendations, well, I would recommend part of the dish. The lamb was truly delicious, even as leftovers. Though I think I would probably chop the rosemary and garlic into a bit of a mince so that it can be nicely spread over the lamb vs just being clumps of garlic and rosemary leaves. And I would also recommend putting in some extra honey and cooking it down with the balsamic to make a bit of a sauce…and use that sauce when serving. It is truly heavenly.
In terms of ratings I give it the following:
- Overall: 3 knives out of 5 – losing major points for not being an actual 15 minute meal and bland pasta.
- the lamb chops: 5 knives out of 5 – they were pretty much perfect and I would definitely make them again and again and again.
Om, nom, nom,
Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals: Glazed Sizzling Chops with Sweet Tomato and Asparagus Lasagnetti
Equipment needed: kettle to boil water, large frying pan on high heat, casserole or Dutch oven on medium heat
8 large lamb chops, trimmed of fat
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus extra to serve
4 spring onions
2 bunches of asparagus (600g)
1 fresh red chili
300g/a pint ripe cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 small bulb of garlic
300g fresh lasagne sheets
30g Parmesan cheese
Toss the lamb chops with a pinch of salt and put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning regularly until golden (around 8 minutes). Trim and finely slice the spring onions, asparagus (leaving the tips whole) and chili, and halve the cherry tomatoes. Scrape the veg into the casserole pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.
Roughly chop most of the top leafy half of the mint and add to the veg with a pinch of salt and pepper, then squash in 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher. Bash the remaining unpeeled garlic cloves and add to the lamb with the rosemary leaves. Cut the lasagne sheets into 2cm (or 3/4 inch) thick stripes, scatter them over the veg, then cover with 500ml (2 cups) of boiling water and mix together.
Reduce the heat under the lamb to low and toss with the honey and balsamic to glaze, then remove to a plate to rest. Finely grate the Parmesan over the lasagnetti and turn the heat off. Serve with the lamb, adding an extra drizzle of balsamic and sprinkling over the remaining mint.