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Jamie Oliver’s Recipeas


When we were visiting Notting Hill this spring, we happened upon Recipeas, one of Jamie Oliver’s kitchen shops. Have you heard of it?

I have nearly a dozen Jamie Oliver cookbooks and am a faithful fan of his TV programs, but hadn’t heard a peep about Recipeas. Taking a walk inside, I was struck by this charming little deli/cafe/cook store that also offers cooking lessons. So many intoxicating aromas! So many wonderful breads, olive oils, wines, cheeses, items perfect for packing into a picnic! Yet it was intimate and cozy, not intimidating or snooty.

I will definitely think of booking some lessons on our next trip over! Some classes center around a specific dish like beef wellington, roast pork belly or Thai green curry, led by cooking pros. Others focus on a technique like bread baking, filleting fish or rolling sushi. It might be the inspiration I need to get back into the kitchen with gusto!

Recipeas, 92-94 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3QB. 0203 375 5398.

Celebrate Pi Day with chicken pie

Jamie Oliver's chicken pie

In honor of Pi Day, I wanted to share with you my favorite fast pie recipe, courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s “Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast.”

For chicken pie:
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
A pat of butter
A bunch of scallions
6 ounces button mushrooms
1 heaping tablespoon all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons English mustard
1 generous tablespoon heavy cream
1-1/4 cups organic chicken broth
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/3 of a nutmeg for grating
1 large sheet of all-butter puff pastry
1 egg

Turn the oven on to 400ºF. Put the chicken breasts on a plastic board and slice into 1/2 inch strips. Put a lug of olive and a pat of butter into the hot large, wide pan. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes or so. Meanwhile, quickly trim the scallions and wash the mushrooms then slice together in a food processor. Add to the pan with 1 heaping tablespoon of flour and stir. Add 2 tablespoons of mustard, a generous tablespoon of heavy cream and 1-1/4 cups chicken broth. Stir well. Pick the thyme leaves and stir into the pan with a few fine gratings of nutmeg and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Leave to simmer.

Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and unroll the sheet of puff pastry. Use a small kitchen knife to lightly crisscross and score it. Take the pan of chicken off the heat. Tip the filling into an ovenproof baking dish slightly smaller than the sheet of pastry (approximately 9×13 inches). Cover the filing with pastry sheet, tucking in at the edges. Quickly beat the egg then brush it over the top of the pie. Put into the oven and cook on the top shelf for around 15 minutes or until golden and gorgeous.
Serves 4.

BTW, this cookbook has a lot of great shortcuts for preparing a full meal (starter, main course and dessert) in under 30 minutes. I’ve timed a few of these meals and it always takes me a while longer than that (I’m a slow chopper!) but turns out beautifully!

Jamie Oliver under the tree

Not sure if you caught Jamie Oliver making the rounds on morning TV last week but the Naked Chef was everywhere. My favorite appearance was his cooking segment with Anderson Cooper on “Anderson.”

Jamie’s latest books, “Meals in Minutes” (in the US) and “Great Britain” (in the UK) are on my wishlist for Christmas (although I’m considering holding out for the American release to save me from added hassle of converting measurements) and I am not alone. The British media is already betting that he will make the Christmas bestseller’s list.

I think that’s what you call talking turkey.