The third week of the Jamie Oliver Challenge was really expected by my husband. I think it was partly because of the deliciousness of the food of the first two recipes, but mainly because the recipe was a fancy Mac & Cheese. He has eaten Mac & Cheese before, but always made with the kraft box. Hubby has come to realize that everything is better when you make it from scratch rather than use a box, ie. cakes, hotcakes and now this!
Sadly, this week we couldn’t go to the Farmer’s Market because of my emergency visit to the dentist. So, it all started with our regular trip to the grocery store. We bought everything needed for the recipes. This week included Cauliflower Macaroni, Belgian Endive Salad with insane dressing and Stewed fruit. As in the previous two weeks, I didn’t find all the ingredients, so here is what I had to change…
endives – romain lettuce
fresh basil (I did have some, but it died) – dried basil
pancetta – bacon (which I find really similar)
country bread (I don’t know if this is the correct translation) – whole wheat bread
red wine vinegar – balsamic vinegar
dijon mustard – regular mustard
vanilla ice cream – cookies and cream. This last one was because I was too lazy to make a special trip to the POPS store, and bought the only POPS flavor I found decent at Walmart. Don’t do it!! Go to the ice cream store, there are two reasons for this: 1. vanilla will make the perfect match for the fruit, 2. Ice cream is always far fresher at the place where they make it!!
This week was kind of troubling. I really don’t like to point fingers, but it was all HUBBY’s fault! I feel kind of free now. One must follow the instructions to the dot, other wise you don’t finish in half an hour. It clearly states that you have to turn the oven first, otherwise it taked forever to heat up, and this messes with all the preparations. Hubby was not very careful following instructions (he rarely is actually) and boiled the water for the pasta first. Then I said, the oven was supposed to be ready by know and it’s not even on yet!! So, we turned it on, but he had already started cooking the pasta. Thus, the pasta was ready way before we could even put in the bacon! This alone turned the 30-minute meal into the hour meal…
After this mishap… everything else turned out really smooth. When the food was done, our mouths were watering with the smell and look! Of course it all not only smelled and looked good, but tasted really nice as well. The cauliflower macaroni had a lovely taste. The cheesy sauce was smooth and with a delicate taste. The crunchy covering gave it a great taste between the saltiness of the bacon and the always nice rosemary. The salad was incredible. I had never tasted crunchy capers. I loved them so that I’m thinking of including them on my regular salads. The fact of frying them until crisp enhances the flavor in such a way, that even Hubby who hated them wanted to eat them all! The dressing was really insane, partly because I made for two people and added the amount of garlic for 6, so it was a bit strong, so be careful!! It was still delicious though, in small quantities.
Finally the dessert. As you know this is the first week we actually made the dessert. Unfortunately, we were so exited that we didn’t photograph it! But I can tell you that the plums cooked with orange, cinnamon and vanilla are the best stewed fruit I’ve ever had. The taste was sweet, delicious, soft… a sublime adventure. Plus I love the hot-cold feeling on desserts, and this was just too good to be true. I do believe that it would have been at least 10 times better with the vanilla ice cream though… For this and more, I have to push you all to make at least one Jamie Oliver meal! Till next week…