Dear Mr. Oliver,
Can you please tell me what you were thinking when you instructed us culinary novices to add 700 grams of long grain rice to our jambalya for only 15-20 minutes? And what exactly made you think that it was a brillant idea to mix 70% dark chocolate with dark beer and cocoa powder and only use 5 tablespoons of sugar to sweeten a bread pudding that consisted of a whole loaf of white bread? Seriously? What exactly was running through your intentionally deselved hair topped head? Explain.
Not so in love with you right now,
Ok, here's how my angry letter to young Jamie began - on Friday and as previously posted here, it was my husband's birthday. We decided to be fiscally responsible this birthday season and dine in instead of out. So in my daily scouring of The Times (London) I found Jamie's recipe for jambalaya and after reading the list of ingredients I thought it would be a great birthday dinner for Mike. Unfortunately, a well cooked jamabalaya did not result by following his directions. Apparently 15-20 minutes was sufficient amount of time according to Jamie for long grain rice to cook....well, its not. By the time the rice was almost cooked (adding an extra 45 minutes to his 20 and it was still somewhat el dante) it was 9pm, the vegetables and meat were practically pulverized and I was getting fed up. I'm not sure if the time was a typo or if the recipe was an adaption of a slow cooker recipe or if in Jamie-land rice cooks really quickly but in normal world, rice (not instant rice or with the help of a rice cooker) takes at least 50-60 minutes. I would like to try this recipe again as it is an inexpensive meal to prepare for a large group and it had really good flavour but I think I would cook the rice separately and then mix it in with the rest of the food and let that all simmer together for 15-20 minutes. Maybe that's what he meant to say but unfortunately was left out.
Here's what ended up on our plates (apologies for the crappy photo)
As for the second item in my letter - the chocolate and beer bread pudding for which I posted the recipe here a few weeks ago and put on my list of 30 things to do by the time I'm 30 - well, I can cross it off my list and out of my life - a little dramatic perhaps but it is deserved. I followed the recipe to the letter and end up with a soggy pile of very bitter and acidic tasting bread. The sauce was very lack luster and by following his directions of letting the bread sit in the cream/milk for 30 seconds, it absorbed way too much liquid and even after leaving it in the oven 10 minutes longer than what was called for, it was still very soggy. It was probably one of the least enjoyable desserts I have ever had. Truly. I will likely not attempt it again but if I did, I would use a less dark dark chocolate, perhaps 52%; I would add more sugar; I would add a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg; and I would replace the beer with either Baileys or Kahlua - probably kahlua. Anyways, here's what the yucky mess looked like (and again apologies for the crappy photo):
So yeah, Jamie is not on my favourites list at the moment. I think he and I need a time out. Too bad Jamie, we could have been great together!...