Jamie Oliver and the Great Ketchup Fiasco.
Back to noshblog site
Diary and Notes
As you can see by the photos we're not much on presentation.
There's been a lot of hoohah lately about Jamie Oliver and the famous; beans on toast for 7 quid, fiasco. It has come to light that he was actually sponsored by Heinz to serve the dish in his restautrant as some publicity gimmick. I read the ingredients for his beans on toast and have to say it sounded pretty dire (baked beans, Parmesan cheese, rocket, olive oil, chillis and some other gumph). I'd happily eat a plate of beans on toast and unlike the now repentant Jamie, see no trouble in serving something made with baked beans to my guests if I'm in the mood. (Jamie now says that no restaurant should use baked beans in anything, to show my contempt for this opinion, I'll make something with them later in the week).
So what's all this got to do with today's dinner?
Well, by a strange quirk of fate, I was at my good friend Mr Spook's house and he was having a dinner party. On the menu was old Spookington's favourite concotion; lamb shanks Jamie Oliver style, which he makes by religiously following a recipe from a cookbook by our bean hating Barnum ( Recipe Here). It's a good recipe for lamb shanks and the honourable Spookster always makes a good go of it. It is a little odd however, that I'm at the home of our Heinz's ketchup loving friend, eating a Jamie Oliver meal, while all around us ,the cookery press are in a tizzy over a feud between Mr Oliver and Mr Heinz and some overpriced baked beans.
As usual, because I didn't make the main course I haven't given any recipe details below, and apart from congratulating my chum for doing a great effort, wont be saying any more about it.
I did however make the starter and the dessert. The devils on horseback are a very traditional English canape dating from pre-Victorian times and the Sneyd park pudding is some weird science based on some research done at Bristol University and named after the house in Sneyd Park where I baked it. I shall explain.
A man I know, knew a man, who was a researcher in the chemistry department here in Bristol. They were investigating the effects of combining different (unlikely) combinations of tastes and had discovered about fifteen very odd combinations of flavours, which were actually very tasty together, that no one in their right mind would think of combining. The intent was in some way to patent or copyright the combinations and make some dosh. There was however one comination that was already public domain, having been known about by those sneaky French pastry chefs for some years: Dark chocolate and melted blue cheese.
(see Global gourmet and Cookery Forum for instance.)
Unlike the other (still secret combinations), because the chocolate and cheese mix was public domain, they didn't mind spreading the word about this combination and I thought I'd have a go at inventing a chocolate sponge, with crumbled Roquefort cheese and ganache, to round off our dinner. It was a very good dessert - a light, French style sponge with a very chocolatey filling. I will say however that although it worked well, in future, I'd omit the Roquefort and have it with a glass of port afterwards. The blackcurrant coulis went very well however and was well worth the trip to Waitrose. The devils on horseback were good as well, though I think some of the guests (especially one who was about 8 years old) weren't overly taken by their mixture of sweetness, spice and rich filling. All in all not a bad evenings noshing.
Sneyd Park Pudding
Devils on Horseback
Lamb Shanks (Jamie Oliver Style)
Sneyd Park Pudding
Devils on Horseback: Chicken Livers, Worcestershire Sauce, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper, Dried Prunes, Streaky Bacon, Olive Oil, Sliced Bread (slightly stale is best)
Pudding: Eggs, Plain Flour, Dark Chocolate, Sugar, Roquefort Cheese, Single Cream, Blackcurrant Coulis (I bought some from Waitrose, but it could easily be made by simply boiling blackcurrants in a little sugar and water and then liquidizing))
Devils on Horseback: In a blender, mix the chicken livers, some cayenne pepper, black pepper and worcestershire sauce. Blitz until it forms a smooth pate. Stuff a little of the pate into the whole in the prune where the seed was removed (it's a fiddly job and well worth delegating). Next, roll each prune up in a half a rasher of streaky bacon and skewer with a cocktail stick. Fry gently in a little olive oil until the bacon has browned. Place each on a triangle of sliced bread, drizzle a little more oil over each and bake for about 5 mins until the bread is crispy.
Sneyd Park Pudding:
Sponge Base: Seperate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites and some sugar to a firm meringue. Over a bain marie, melt half the chocolate, when melted, mix in one egg yolk. Fold the melted chocolate/yolk mixture into the meringue. Pour into two equal sized pie tins and bake at about 150c for 20 mins or until set.
Filling/Sauce: In the bain marie make a ganache by melting the chocolate with some cream. Crumble a little Roqeufort cheese onto one sponge then pour half the ganache over the cheesed covered sponge. Place the second sponge on top and place back in the oven for about 3 mins to allow the cheese to melt.
Serve with some exrta ganache poured around and some blackcurrant coulis.