Sunday, 20 October 2013

jamie oliver's chicken, olive and preserved lemon tagine

Having eaten out on Friday at Team Pettigrew, today it’s our turn to entertain with a little SceneOne reunion featuring television’s Louise Pepper, Great Britain’s Peter Magnus Leary, and Yorkshire’s Paul ‘Appen Thomas.

Mention of the Pettigrew’s is apt as they are the driving force behind our new campaign against tardiness, because when they came round for Sunday lunch a fortnight ago I once again delivered food a full two hours later than planned. This is obviously fine as we’re all friends and the kids were more-than happy playing, but it is annoying and it’s a habit I’m determined to break. Luckily Milo starts helping early doors by getting up at 07.30 and requiring more or less constant surveillance from that point on. Whilst there is NO upside to this, it does mean we’re in and out of Sainsbury’s in record time, Ana’s tidied the house and everything is actually cooking a full hour before everybody arrives.

Jamie’s preserved lemon tagine is a no-brainer as once it’s marinated it can happily sit on the hob doing its own thing until we’re ready, but the starter is a revisit to a darker time when I managed to cook a New Year’s Eve roast with a full six hours between the first course and main. All you need to know is I hadn’t taken into account if the oven is full of stuffed pumpkin starters, there’s no room for a roast and, it’s probably better to get the vegetarian course in the oven so it can cook for its recommended 3 hours rather than just assuming, as it’s a pie, that it’ll only take half an hour tops, and only discovering your mistake when you go to put the roasties in. Luckily Greg helped, by pointing out my mistakes, and prosecco helped by getting everybody too smashed to notice their grumbling stomachs.

This time around everything runs like clockwork, and in fact I’ve got to juggle things about as everybody was late, but I even though I say so myself, I think it was a minor triumph. You should definitely give the gruyere-stuffed squash soup a go (use squash, as pumpkin takes ages) as it’s so simple but sooooo tasty, and the salted caramel tarte tatin was about 40 times easier than I thought.

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