Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals Review: Pimp My Salad

JAMIE’S 30 MINUTE MEALS: Monday 17th January, C4, 5.30pm ALERT ME

Ever keen to get the nation cooking, Jamie Oliver’s latest food venture promises a “revolutionary approach to cooking good food fastâ€?. Yep, apparently good old fashioned 5 minute wonders just don’t cut it anymore (that’s beans on toast to you and me), and so Jamie has come up with a series of mouth watering recipes, all with a cooking/preparation time of 30 minutes or less. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well Jamie certainly thinks so, and it’s his enthusiasm that, as ever, transforms a standard cooking ‘how to’ into something a little bit more interesting. Aside from some fine culinary tips, the Rib Eye Steak episode is worth watching, if only for Jamie’s brilliant attempts at getting down with the kids by inserting various Pimp My Ride references. Sound ‘bites’ (geddit?) such as “I just wanna pimp up this greens waterâ€? and “this kind of meal for me is about being able to pimp your ride; bit more chilli if you want, bit more soy sauce if you wantâ€? will surely have Tim Westwood trembling in his Nike Air Force 1’s (note: I have no idea whether these are actually Westie’s trainer of choice, but you know… it sounded right).

But onto the food; there is no doubt that the Chinese style steak feast looks a-ma-zing. Jamie insists that the
secret is all down to being organised and prepared, and thus counts off the tools you’ll need: griddle pan, chopsticks, chopping board and so on. Curiously, the pestle and mortar is not mentioned in this list, and casually appears in the seasoning section. Just something most of us have lying around the kitchen, eh Jamie?

Ever keen to maintain the “bish bash boshâ€? concept of the show (he is trying to convince us that cooking impressive dishes is easy, after all) a particularly fine moment involves Jamie – caveman style – ripping apart the steaks with his bare hands. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to indulge in such a fine moment? (Er admittedly ‘neat freak Monica’ types, but still – it looks fun.) Among the ‘pimping’ and caveman moves, Jamie does, however, indulge a softer more poetic side, with fluffy statements such as “look how it’s dancing on the topâ€?. He was talking about the seasoning. On the steak.

To conclude: if you’re bored of Nigella’s innuendos and Gordon’s foul mouth, then Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is perfect. It’s bright, it’s colourful and the quick recap style is great for digesting (last pun, I swear) the instructions. Just don’t forget your pestle and mortar.