Without doubt the smartest iPhone app purchase I’ve made is Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals, which I bought on sale for $4.99.
Every recipe has step-by-step instructions, photos, audio hints and notes, instructional videos, interactive shopping list…on and on.
I have tried most of the recipes in the application (come on Jamie, time for an update!) and haven’t been disappointed yet. They’re simple yet delicious, every one taking 20 minutes or less. The use of lemon and warming your plates and bowls before service have been revelations.
Below is a recipe I have made several times. Noodley, garlicky and just a bit spicey. “What a pleasure.”
Dan Dan Noodles
From Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals Application for iPhone
200g beef or pork mince
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 cube chicken stock
3 medium dried red chillies
2 garlic cloves
1 small bunch spring onion
150g dried egg noodles
2 tsp honey
2 medium bok choi/pak choy
2 tbsp soy sauce
A couple splashes vegetable oil
Fill your kettle and put on to boil. Put your bowls in the oven and heat on the lowest setting to warm.
Fill a saucepan with the boiling water and crumble in the stock cube. Place on high heat.
Once it boils turn down the heat slightly to keep at a simmer.
Place a wok on medium high heat and crumble in the dried chillies. Toast for a minute until golden. Add the veg oil and cook for a few seconds to one minute. Pour all of the chillies and most of the oil into a bowl and put aside. (yummy yummy chilli oil!)
Turn the wok heat on high and add the mince. Stir-fry for 10 minutes or so til crispy.
Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic. Trim and chop the spring onions and grind the Szechuan peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Cut the lime into wedges to serve later.
Toss your noodles into the boiling stock water and separate them with tongs to make sure they don’t stick in a glob. Cook according to the packet instructions.
When the mince is crispy, add the honey and stir fry for another minute until all the mince is coated and sticky. (Jamie then says to pop the wok in the oven to keep the mince warm, but I find that I’m nearly ready to serve by this step. Just keep it on the stove top if you’re near ready.)
Cut the bok choi into quarters (lengthways) and drop into the noodles and stock for the last minute of cooking. (Note: bok choi cooks to a weird consistency VERY rapidly. Probably best to toss it into the noodles and turn the heat off!)
Once the noodles and bok choi are cooked scoop out a cup of water and set aside. Then drain the noodles and choi into a colander. Return the noodles, bok choi and reserved water back into the pan.
Throw in your raw garlic, soy sauce, ground Szechuan peppercorns and as much chilli oil as you want (the more the better!! I put it all in!:)
Mix all together and put the lid on.
Pull your warmed bowls out of the oven, divide the noodles between them and top with the crispy mince.
Drizzle with MORE chilli oil then scatter each portion with chopped spring onions. Serve with the lime wedges, squeezing over as you go.
(Dan Dan Noodles pictured with leftover gyoza :)