Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pass it On:Week three.

There has been some debate and a lot of articles over the merit of celebrity chefs driving a healthy food movement,  I am not talking about the George Forman grill or celebrity endorsements for Weight Watchers, I am talking about real food, real diet and a real change.

The current subject is Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and his TV show of the same same name. Oliver goes into and critiques a middle America's elementary school, the town's population, how they eat and how they feed their children. His premise is to teach the town's population to cook good meals, starting off with the school's lunch programme and then going into private homes. Of course the TV show is a little more than that- I have not seen it yet (I don't have cable TV and unless it comes out on DVD or itunes - I may miss it completely). But the idea is a simple one even with all of its critiques, (Oliver is not from the US, he is using big food as a sponsor, he's a celebrity, the chosen medium is television, etc, etc...) teach people to cook one good meal and have them pass it on.

And then I asked myself, inspired by someone else taking action, what can I do? I can pass it on, by being an example to my children, helping friends and inspiring others. My efforts feel small compared to Jamie Oliver's glitzy reality TV show but why not try?

For the past three weeks I have been cooking one recipe from each chapter of his book. I have chosen each recipe based on either what is in my fridge, or on suggestions or this week what I honestly think my family will eat. I have young children and I want them to be exposed to many different types foods and flavours but still have recognizable components. I involve them in the shopping, preparation and if time and safely allows, the cooking. This I feel prepares them for unexpected presentations and slightly different flavour combinations. This weeks selection is slightly unorthodox for the north American palate but hey, again it is simple, fast and flavourful.

ps- I am not happy with the photographs but for the sake of illustration they have been included.

a meal for breakfast or dinner.*
  • coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice.
  • 3/4 lb white fish fillets for poaching, look for thick firm cuts (most fish mongers will debone and skin for you).
  • 4 large eggs, free range or organic are best.
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried) small bunch of cilantro, and one fresh red pepper (I used a sweet variety)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and peeled.
  • 2 lemons
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of a favourite curry paste.
  • 1/4 lb smoked fish such as trout, salmon, or whitefish, skinned removed.
  • handful of fresh or frozen peas.
  • natural yoghurt to serve.
To prepare: I like to rinse my rice and soak it before use. Bring two pots of salted water to the boil, one for your rice and one for the poaching, add the bay leaves to the poaching water. Meanwhile remove the leaves from the cilantro and save, roughly chop the stalks, finely slice the pepper if using, cut the onion in half and thinly slice. Cut one of the lemons in half.

Procede with cooking your rice as per your favourite method. I set the timer  for 15 minutes for my rice, added the fillets and the eggs to the other pot and cooked for 7 minutes. Remove your fish with a slotted spoon, it will flake (remove any skin and or bones if necessary). Chill your eggs in cold water.** Set aside.

In a large pan heat olive oil over medium and cook your onion, cilantro stalks, peppers and curry paste for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Finish cooking your rice, flake the smoked fish, peel and quarter the hardboiled eggs. 

Add the cooked rice, both types of fish and the frozen peas, to the curry paste mixture and combine. Turn down to a low heat, squeeze both halves of the lemon over the mixture, season with salt and pepper, stir once again top with quartered hardboiled eggs and cover with a lid.

Set your table with the yoghurt and quarter the remaining lemon. Serve in individual plates, sprinkle with the reserved cilantro leaves, yoghurt on the side and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

Honestly do not know how much this dish cost, most of the components are from the pantry. The fish was the most expensive thing, costing about $11 for the fillets and smoked salmon. Again start to finish took about 42 minutes. Jamie Olivers says that this recipe serves 4, try 6-8. We have lots of leftovers, that I've already gotten into for breakfast and again for lunch.

*Kedgeree. A disputed dish of origin.
** Chilling your eggs immediately after they are cooked helps suction the membranes to the shells and peel easier.

photos sheepishly by me.

Please pass this recipe on, and  if you blog about it share your link with me. Click the red writing below to add your link.


  1. Megan, the fact that you cook, and share with your children and friends shows that you do more than your fair share of inspiring people to cooka nd to enjoy their food. My hat is off to you!

    Your kedegree dish looks, well, amazing. If I could get my children to eat this dish, I would be singing loudly.

    btw, I think Jaime Oliver is as cute as he can be- he can come teach my kids how to eat anyday (smile).

  2. You know how I feel about this J.O. situation BUT I love your very pro-active approach!! I thought I already left this message the other day...must have screwed up the captcha-hate that thing

  3. ok I'm a dork I thought you wanted us to share healthy meals our kids like-my bad sorry

  4. @Velva- just trying to pass on my love of food to my children, growing we/I had a much different relationship with food and I want to change that for them....

    @Laura, any recipe that you want to pass it on is great!

  5. @velva, I used sweet heirloom peppers and a mild curry paste so that my children would eat the indian flavours...

    @laura, your seedy crust looks awesome, it would be a great way to power pack it full of nutrients and good stuff!

  6. yes Jeff... just for the sake of my food blog... you can get a flash.



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