With tuna-spiked mayo
This is my twist on a classic dish from the Italian region of Piedmont – it’s totally retro and really delicious
Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
Serves 8 Approx time: 30 Difficulty: super easy
4 fresh red chillies
2 tablespoons small capers
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons quality tinned tuna, in oil
2 heaped teaspoons Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
freshly ground black pepper
800 g free-range cooked turkey breast, ask your butcher to slice it very finely for you
60 g rocket
Get your butcher to very finely slice the cooked turkey breast for you – it’ll save you a lot of time and trouble.
Prick the chillies with a knife, then hold them over a direct flame on the hob (or place under the grill) for around 5 minutes, or until blackened and blistered all over, turning occasionally. Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool for around 10 minutes.
Halve the anchovies lengthways, then add to a bowl along with the capers, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Scrape off and discard the blackened skin from the cooled chillies. Halve, deseed and finely slice them lengthways, then add to the bowl. Mix well.
Mash the tuna in a pestle and mortar to a smooth, creamy paste. Stir in the mayo, a pinch of cayenne, a squeeze of lemon juice and roughly 1 tablespoon of the dressing from the anchovies and chillies. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you think it needs it.
Arrange the turkey slices on a large platter, then drizzle over the tuna-spiked mayo. Now it’s time to get retro – lay over the anchovy fillets in neat vertical lines, then place the chillies horizontally on top so you’ve created a pattern, a bit like a checkerboard! Sprinkle over the capers and the rocket and drizzle over the remaining dressing. Finish with a sprinkling of cayenne and a good grating of lemon zest, then tuck in.
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Gluten-free pumpkin pie
A Thanksgiving show stopper
This gluten-free pumpkin pie is my twist on the classic American dessert –
lightly spiced and totally delicious
1.4 kg pumpkin
50 g unsalted butter
125 g golden caster sugar
4 level tablespoons gluten-free plain flour , (I used Doves Farm)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large free-range eggs
icing sugar, to serve
For the pastry:
250 g gluten-free plain flour, (I used Doves Farm)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
50 g soft light brown sugar
a pinch of ground cinnamon
125 g unsalted cold butter
1 large free-range egg
Win a dinner for 4 at Jamie’s Italian
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Lightly grease a 25cm non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin with vegetable oil.
Halve the pumpkin, scoop out and discard the seeds, then roughly chop into large wedges (there’s no need to peel it). Spread out on a baking tray, cover with tin foil, then pop in the oven for around 1 hour, or until tender, removing the foil for the final 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sieve the flour and xanthan gum from a height into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Chop the butter into cubes, then use your fingertips to rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Beat the egg in a separate bowl, then add it to the mixture. Use your hands to bring it together into a rough dough, adding a good splash of milk (if needed), but don’t overwork it too much at this stage. Pat the dough into a flat round, roughly 2.5cm thick, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Once tender, remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave to cool. Roll out the pastry to roughly the thickness of a pound coin (if you find it crumbles too much, roll it out between two large pieces of clingfilm). Carefully place the dough into the prepared tart tin, gently pressing it into the sides. Trim away any overhanging pastry, prick the base with a fork, then place in the fridge to chill for another 10 minutes.
Place a layer of clingfilm into the chilled tart case, fill with uncooked beans or rice, then pop in the oven to blind bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the clingfilm and beans or rice, then cook for a further 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, scoop the cooled pumpkin flesh into a food processor, discarding the skin, then blitz until smooth. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark and frothy. Add the brown butter to the blitzed pumpkin with the sugar, flour, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl, add to the processor, then blitz again until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the cooled pastry case, using a fork or spoon to spread it out evenly.
Roll out the leftover pastry to roughly the thickness of a pound coin, then cut it into long strips, roughly 1cm wide. Place on top of the pie, crisscrossing them as you go to create a nice lattice, then trim away any rough edges. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the pastry. Place the pie in the hot oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden. Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon, then serve.
Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
Calories 298 15%
Carbs 37.2g 14%
Sugar 17.4g 19%
Fat 15.2g 22%
Saturates 8g 40%
Protein 4.4g 10%
Of an adult’s reference intake
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No.1 toasted cheese sandwich
A toasted cheese sandwich is a beautiful thing, but I’m not messing about here – this is the ultimate one and it’s going to blow your mind
Red Leicester cheese
A toasted cheese sandwich is a beautiful thing, but I’m not messing about here – this is the ultimate one and it’s going to blow your mind. But there is a particular sequence of events that needs to happen in order to achieve the most ridiculously tasty, chomp-worthy sandwich. Follow this recipe, and it will always make you feel good. It is also especially useful when you’re suffering from a light hangover. This is when the condiments – dolloped onto a side plate like a painter’s palette – really come into their own.
With the No. 1 toasted cheese sarnie we don’t score any points for buying expensive, artisan bread. It’s important to go for something neutral, and in my eyes, only a white bloomer will do. Lightly butter the bread on both sides (oh, and if you’ve got any leftover mashed potato, spread that across one piece of the bread – it’s insanely good). To one piece of bread, add a nice grating of good-quality cheese that melts well, like Cheddar, Red Leicester or a mixture of the two. Place your second piece of bread on top, then cook in a sturdy non-stick frying pan on a medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. This is important, because if it gets too coloured too quickly you won’t get the gorgeous ooze and melt in the middle, and this is all about encouraging that internal cheese lava flow. As it cooks, I like to rest something flat with a little weight on top to ensure maximum surface area and crunch.
When lightly golden on both sides, lift the toastie out of the pan and grate a little layer of cheese into the pan where it was sitting. Place the toastie back on top and grate some more cheese on the top side. Leave it for just over 1 minute – wait for the cheese to bubble and the fat to spill out of it, then add a little pinch of cayenne pepper. Give the toastie a poke with a fish slice, and once it has a cheesy, doily-like crust on the bottom that moves as one, lift the toastie out of the pan and hold it on the fish slice for 30 seconds so the melted cheese hangs down, sets hard and forms an impressive cheese crown. Flip it onto the other side and once golden, serve, remembering to let it cool for a couple of minutes before attempting to tuck in.
The final debate is what do you want on the side? Tomato ketchup, brown sauce, a shake of Tabasco or hot sauce, mango chutney or a mixture? All are fine choices.
Moreish, spicy & a total joy
When the nights are closing in, it’s great to tuck into a full-flavored, hearty dish,
and for me, a proper, rustic chilli rocks
Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
Serves 12 Approx time: 360
For The Chilli
20 g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 butternut squash, (1.2kg)
1 kg pork belly, skin removed and bone out
1 kg brisket
2 large onions
2 teaspoons soft light brown sugar
150 ml balsamic vinegar
2 x 400 g tins of cannellini beans, or chickpeas
2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
2–3 fresh red chillies
30 g fresh coriander
For The Salsa:
1 red onion
2 crisp eating apples
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
When the weather’s closing in, it’s really great to tuck into a full-flavored, hearty dish, and for me, a proper, rustic chilli rocks. The meat will fall apart and melt in your mouth. It’s moreish, spicy and with a clever contrasting salsa is a total joy.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Pop the mushrooms into a small bowl and just cover with boiling water. Bash the fennel and coriander seeds, paprika and 1 teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper in a pestle and mortar. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthways, deseed, then chop into 4cm chunks. Toss with half the spice mixture and a drizzle of olive oil on a baking tray. Roast for 50 minutes, or until golden, then remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150°C/300°F/gas 2.
Meanwhile, drizzle both cuts of meat with olive oil and rub with the remaining spice mixture, then place a large casserole pan (at least 30cm wide, 8cm deep) on a medium-high heat. Place the pork and the brisket in the pan fat-side down and brown on all sides for around 15 minutes in total, then peel and roughly chop the onions. Remove both meats to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and sugar to the fat and fry for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until lightly caramelised. Add the balsamic vinegar and most of the mushroom liquid (discarding any gritty bits). Roughly chop and add the mushrooms, followed by the beans or chickpeas, liquid and all, and the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, then return both meats to the pan. Loosen with a splash of water if needed, then bring to the boil, season, and pop a layer of damp greaseproof paper directly on the surface. Cover with tin foil and cook in the oven for around 5 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Prick the peppers and chillies, then blacken all over on a barbecue or in a griddle pan. Place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool, then peel and deseed them, keeping as much juice as you can for extra flavor. Roughly chop with half the coriander, and toss with a little salt and pepper. When the meat is tender, remove from the oven, break up the meat, then stir in the squash, peppers and chillies. Adjust the consistency with water if needed, taste and season to perfection, then keep warm.
To finish, peel the onion, then finely chop with the apples (core and all) and the remaining coriander. Dress with the cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and season to perfection. Serve the chilli with the salsa, bread or rice, and a dollop of yoghurt.
After a year in the writing and a lifetime in the making, Jamie’s Comfort Food comes out in the UK.
The book is all about food that puts a smile on your face – whether it’s hours in the kitchen making the ultimate lasagne,
cooking an insane burger on the barbecue with some friends, or a reviving ramen when you’re feeling down.