24 June 2008

The rehabilitation of Jamie Oliver

At the height of the Jamie Oliver-inspired brouhaha over the atrocious quality of UK school dinners I bought his book, Jamie's Dinners. Well, I thought I was buying a book: according to the blurb on the cover I was actually "making a life choice". The only recipe I remember making from it was 'Tray-baked Chicken Maryland', a combination of chicken, sweetcorn, banana and bacon which is described by Jamie as a dish loved by everyone, "including the kids". Well mine didn't like it at all - the dish was condemned as revolting by the whole family and in our house Jamie Oliver's name has ever since been associated with this disastrous meal.

The Naked Chef is being screened over here now and we caught an episode of it a few weeks ago, in which Jamie made a breakfast/brunch bread roll stuffed with eggs, ham, cheese and so on. The original recipe (which focuses on Italian ingredients) is on the Food Network site. It's an ideal dish for a family, as you can adapt the ingredients to suit individual tastes. Here's a picture of the version I made tonight, before I wrapped the dough around the filling:

Stuffed bread before cooking
Cooked tomatoes are only popular with the grown-ups, and child #2 doesn't like bacon, but everyone will eat eggs, cheese and baby spinach, so I distributed the filling accordingly along the length of the rolled-out bread dough. Jamie formed his loaf into a ring, but that's too much effort for me, so mine was more the shape of a slug by the time it was cooked:

Cooked stuffed bread
Despite its rustic appearance, this is a meal that everyone will eat and enjoy, and nowadays when I say I'm doing 'the Jamie Oliver thing' for tea the reaction is one of delight rather than revulsion.

Sliced stuffed bread


Linda said...

That certainly looks tasty ... can I come for dinner when you next make it?

Amy said...

Oooh, I love this idea, and I can easily leave out the bacon (I'm squeamish about cooking raw meat. After 11 years of trying to get used to it I gave up and switched to vegetarian meals, lol!)