I got Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals for Christmas, like half of Australia (I requested it since I love Jamie food), and have been meaning to document some of the things I’ve been cooking out of it. The book is actually quite inspiring because it tempts you to break out of the after work mould and try and do something a little more gourmet than the same old tomato based pasta with sauce that is my go-to after work dinner.
It’s also great in the way that 30 Minute Meals (which I also own) was not: recipes are simple, one dish at a time, and nutritionally balanced – Jamie seems to have had to dial back the excessive glugs of olive oil he likes to add to everything with a crew of nutritionists standing over him as he stirs the pot.
This recipe is available on the internet so I won’t give it to you again – Spicy Cajun Chicken with Smashed Sweet Potato and Fresh Corn Salsa.
The chicken is supposed to be cooked with okra, bacon and polenta, but as I am cooking this in the real world, after work when I haven’t got time to go to the supermarket, I made it dusted with semolina as my polenta substitute (obviously if you were eating gluten free, this modification doesn’t work for you) and simply ignored bacon and okra in the recipe. Did it make it less ‘Cajun’? Probably. Was it less tasty? Not at all – the cajun seasoning takes care of that.
I particularly loved the blackened corn salsa with lime and tomato and coriander, although unlike Jamie I didn’t have fresh sweetcorn to hand so I fried up some frozen corn – worked well – and also canned corn – the next time I made it – which also worked well. Both types blacken up eventually in a dry frying pan, but you have to wait for all the water to evaporate off them first. The salsa was fantastic! I’ve been inspired by it and doing similar things to corn in other dishes.
The only bit I didn’t really like was the mashed sweet potato with sweet chilli sauce. It had a funny taste to it from the sweet chilli sauce – sort of overwhelmingly sweet – and the next time I made the dish I served it with plain sweet potato which was a lot better to my palate. If you still want to amp up the chilli aspect (there’s also fresh chilli in the salsa) I’d just use a hot sauce that’s not sweet – the sweetness of the sweet potato/kumara takes care of any need for sugar.