Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cheerio, Mate! ...wrapping up 6 months with Jamie Oliver.

Six months!  I swear, time flies.  We've spent the last six months cooking the recipes of the Naked Chef over at IHCC, and while I've always adored Jamie Oliver, I think it's probably fair to say that I adore him just a little bit more now.  From his crazy antics and down-to-earth attitude to his tasty food and awesome sense of style (I looooove the dishes and plates and even the kitchens he uses)...he's got it goin' on.  Needless to say, just because this six months is over, I won't stop cooking with Jamie.  I own most of his cookbooks (just missing two, I think)...and I don't see them losing their place on my bookshelves any time soon.  So, in honor of our final week with Jamie, I decided to share ten (no, I couldn't narrow it down any further than that) of my favorite Jamie or Jamie-inspired posts from the past six months.  
But first, I'll start out with a couple of recipes that never made it to post, but are still worth mentioning...

Just yesterday I made this Roasted Garam Masala Cauliflower w/ Almonds, which I adapted from this Jamie recipe.  He used cumin and coriander, but I subbed in 4 tsp. of garam masala, because I was in the mood.  Everything else pretty much stayed the same...I used 2 chiles de arbol.  

Another dish, simple but worth mentioning (because I love trout), was this Baked Trout w/ Lemon & Thyme.  I think it came from Happy Days w/ the Naked Chef, but I'm too "in the zone" to go look now, so if you really want to know, just leave me a comment and I'll go look.

Okay, now we go on to my ten favorite Jamie or Jamie-inspired posts of the past six months, starting with the Amazing Date Shake.  Who'd have guessed that something so simple would be so flippin' delicious!?  Sweet, thick, cold, and creamy.  Have can you resist?  I know I can't.

Next up is the fish dish that could charm anyone...even those leary of seafood, Bacon-Wrapped Cod w/ Rosemary and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.  I mean.  Look at it.  Gorgeous!  This is probably one of my favorite meals of the whole past six months.

As a girl who loves breakfast anytime of the day or night, this Midnight Skillet Breakfast is pretty much my idea of perfection.  Whether soaking up the alcohol from a long night of fun, or fueling the day you have in front of you, it's a winner.

This was the dish that kicked off my six months...the dish that inspired me to "get naked and eat breakfast"... Oatmeal w/ Bananas, Poppyseeds, Cinnamon, & Toasted Almonds.  Who says oatmeal has to be boring?

As a self-proclaimed breadie, I fell head over heels for Jamie's basic bread recipe that can be transformed into so many different types of amazing loaves...like these irresistible Onion Baguettes, for example.

I fell in love with pineapple all over again when I had it dusted with some surprisingly fabulous, flavorful crystals in Jamie's Pukka Pineapple w/ Mint Sugar.  It's sunshine on a plate.  No, it's sunshine in your mouth!  Oh, and I found out that pukka is an actual word.

Dark, sticky, fantastic for making a grilled cheese sandwich, this Raisin Rosemary Bread was a surprise front-runner that tickles all of your senses and keeps you wanting more long after you've finished your first slice.

Seductive, tantalizing, and possibly the best jam in the whole universe.  That is exactly what I was left with after I transformed Jamie's quick jam into one that took a couple hours longer (but mostly unattended), Roasted Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam.

I was inspired to make Sesame Seed Toffee Snaps by the fact that I love any sort of brittle, especially ones packed-silly with sesame seeds.  Keep me far away from it, though.  I will eat the whole batch if left alone with it.

And lest you think I'm all about hearty meals and bread and sweets {ahem}, let me assure you that I also love a good salad.  One that is more than just lettuce and dressing on a plate.  Take for example this Warm Bread, Pancetta, & Poached Egg Salad w/ Parmesan.  That's the stuff, baby.  That's the stuff.
LetsGetNaked
I am really going to miss having so much Jamie in my life, but at the same time, I am totally stoked to cook with our new chef, Tessa Kiros for the next six months!  I hope you join us over at I Heart Cooking Clubs to cook more often with a chef you already love, or to get a fabulous introduction to somebody completely new to you!  Tessa Kiros is introduced tomorrow...