Jamie Oliver, guys, he is stressing me out. Watching him work himself into a lather over how easy and no-excuses-quick his latest 15 Minute Meals are is becoming somewhat akin, for me, to watching a train crash. I love the man, can hardly bear to tear my eyes from the series (he has SO many good ideas), but I had to email a friend who's catching up on his previously achievable 30 Minute Meals with a capital letter-ed warning: DO NOT SUBJECT SELF TO 15 MIN MEALS. I feel strung out by everything: the clothes and squiffy new do he sports, the manic graphics, the music (which is frantic, bordering on the manical), the amount of kit required (the washing up!) and the mess - this week he trailed the juices of drained, tinned beans from sink to work bench all over the floor.
Health and Safety issue, much?
All of which made me draw a deep breath, sit down, switch off the telly and get thinking about how I would approach a 15 minute kitchen task. In fact, I'd probably put on some soothing music, spin it out to 30 and do so carefully or, as I often do, just doctor a tin of beans. Like this, which I did one night a few weeks ago. Over and out in 20 minutes. Phew.
a simple pot of beans
Gently, very gently, fry a head of just-pulled garlic, chopped carefully, attentively, in 4 tablespoons of olive oil with quite a lot of whole fresh sage leaves until it smells irresistible. Crush whole black peppercorns and add to the pan with, if you have it, a little of Gerwurtzhaus' Winter Soup Mix (I bought it and am hooked, no under-handed promo stuff going on here) and some salt, though not too much. Tip in a tin of borlotti beans, broth and all, with either some halved cherry tomatoes or a tin of tomatoes, drained so you are just using the fruit itself. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes, or until you can no longer wait. A pile of tender greens - rocket for preference - fills things out, and a slice of toast on delicate days is helpful, but a poached egg sitting on top is best, I think, of all.