The good folks at Hachette Australia sent me a copy of JULIE GOODWIN‘S 20/20 MEALS towards the end of 2014. You could say I have been swamped, slack, neglectful or all of the above. Was just going through the recipe archives and found all the photos I did for the article and thought it was time I removed my head from my botbot 🙂 You must all remember Julie Goodwin, an Australian sweetheart from MASTERCHEF who has gone on to be a successful cook, author, TV celebrity chef and still manages to be an awesome mother to her children. How can you not love her?
The appeal lies in the fact that she cooks family meals, not gourmet hatted restaurant meals, meals that are accessible, and due to this she promotes better eating, easier cooking that is not abundantly time consuming so still possible after work instead of picking up Maccas on the way home. The premise of this cookbook, JULIE GOODWIN’S 20/20 MEALS, is simple and sound. Feed your family of four in twenty minutes for $20- or under. I wanted to put this to the test so called in the judges, the people never shy to voice their concerns or opinions – my parents! Dun dun darrrrnnnnnnn (in dramatic tones) :).
My choice was cooking Julie’s SESAME HOISIN CHICKEN – it looked big, colourful, I could serve it on a giant platter and make it look cool and I had half the ingredients already. Now two important things – firstly – I made this PRE PALEO – however in the recipe below I have included all the paleo alternatives, chances are if you are paleo you will have most of the substitutes or expect to bust the $20 thing, as we all know paleo isn’t cheap, it is healthier than cancer though :). Secondly, I price compared everything while putting the shopping together – and I am no master speed cook – so the title failed on one front – it cost me $27- and took me about 27min to cook – but hey, not bad for a family dish and I had so much left over for work lunches it was still a very economical dish.
The other thing I noted from this dish, and she does not apologise for them, they are SIMPLE dishes, for the entire family, and while tasty, all the StClair-Kings thought the dish was quite lacking in a flavour oomph, too subtle for us – BUT easy fix – remember this book/ recipe is also for kids, they will love it, but for us a bowl of sliced chillies was quickly prepared and for most people – a nice splash of tabasco over the top will also add some extra zing to it and issue solved.
I will definitely be cooking this one multiple times, especially when I have guests with kids, the winning for this is the ease of cooking and the presentation, my pictures do not do it justice as to how massive this dish looks, it was like an 80s banquet dish for a Sunday.
YOU WILL NEED: (in the cookbook Julie also explains all the utensils you will need – I reckon you can work it out :))
2 cups Jasmine rice (for paleo chances are you will make cauliflower rice – I loathe it and would have this on roasted sweet potato, sliced zucchini noodles or on its own)
1kg chicken thigh fillets – chopped into bit size pieces – about three pieces per thigh
2 tablespoons peanut oil (for paleo almond oil)
1/2 cup hoison sauce (for paleo suss out the amazing recipe for paleo hoisin from Eat Drink Paleo)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (paleo coconut aminos)
2 bunches pak choy
3 fat shallots
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup water
(Optional) fresh chillies or tabasco or hot sauce
YOU WILL NEED TO:
1) Cook your rice
2) Put a decent sized pan on medium high heat and heat a tablespoon of the oil
3) Add chicken and leave to brown for a few minutes
4) Combine hoisin, vinegar and soy in a measuring jug
5) Turn the chicken over and pour the sauce over it, put lid on pan
6) Wash pak choy and remove grit, cut into quarter lengthways. Remove outer layer of the shallots and cut into 3cm lengths
7) In a large pan pot, the biggest you got, ideally a wok, heat it to medium-high.
8) Toast the sesame seeds until lightly golden – 2mins max – remove from wok into a small bowl
9) Turn up the heat and add the rest of the oil, add the pak choy and toss with tongs until coated
10) Add shallots and water
11) Remove lid from chicken and put on wok, cover for 5mins, with occasional tossing, it is done with pak choy has softened but is still vibrant green, remove from heat
12) Chicken should be done now and sauce should have thickened – give it a nice big stir and remove from heat
12) Time to serve up – you can serve the rice separate but I went the giant pile up – rice on the bottom of a platter, cover it with vegetables and then pour the meat over the top of the vegetables and then sprinkle the sesame seeds over the meat
13) Voila – enjoy it!!!
JULIE GOODWIN‘S 20/20 MEALS cookbook is available in all good book stores – ideal for families and presents to families 🙂 Truly great inspiration for the family cooks out there!