Mushroom Risotto, Spinach Salad and Lemon Cheesecake – Jamie’s 30 minute Meals

I was watching Jamie’s 30 minute meals whilst ironing last Sunday when Aidan (13 yrs) wandered in and got interested. He decided he’d try cooking the menu shown on the tv from Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals that evening. Now I must admit to being skeptical about a mushroom risotto plus salad plus dessert in 30 minutes given risotto usually needs constant attention and is best cooked slowly but overall the taste of Jamie’s 30 minute menus have ben worth the effort.

Our first hiccup was my food processor has given up so I have to chop the dried mushrooms, onions etc by hand so that took extra time. And great as Aidan is in the kitchen this was more ambitious than he’d ever made so I was coaching him through making the meal. We took at least an hr ! But it was very enjoyable cooking with Aidan and he learnt a lot so both of us were happy to spend the time. One of the areas he was not so sure on was identifying herbs so we spent a bit of time in the garden looking at the different herbs.

The spinach salad was nice but I felt too much dressing and I couldn’t work out the benefit of effectively soaking the pine kernels in the dressing before tossing. Next time I would make less dressing, toss the salad then sprinkle the toasted pine kernals on top (and much as we all like pine kernels and it pains me to say it you really could have got away with half the quantity of pine kernels. Family opinion was divided on the merits of adding the cucumber.

The cheesecake was really nice. I’ll get Aidan to make the cheesecake desserts a few other times. I think they could end up being very quick to make up. Perhaps using mascarpone next time. Not sure how many raspberries we used we picked what was available in the garden. One of the good things about this dessert is you could improvise with quite a few ingredients. I liked the individual servings.

Mushroom Risotto 

Ingredients

  • 1 large white onion, halved and peeled
  • 1 stick celery
  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1/2 a glass of white wine
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 litre boiling water or stock (we used Marigold swiss bouillon)
  • 500g mixed mushrooms, wiped clean and torn (we used a mixture of chestnut, shiitake and portebello mushrooms)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
  • a large knob of butter
  • 40g Parmesan, grated
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • small bunch of flat-leaf

Instructions

  1. Put the onion, celery and dried porcini into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Heat a large saucepan on medium and add a good lug of olive oil. Scrape in the processed mixture and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Throw in the chopped rosemary and rice; stir well for a minute. Pour in the white wine and crumble in the stock cube. Stir until the wine is absorbed and then season.
  4. Add a couple of ladles of the stock or water and stir in well. You need to then keep coming back to the risotto every minute for about 16-18 minutes – stirring in a bit more stock each time. Add half the mushrooms after a couple of minutes.
  5. Heat the grill.
  6. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan and add a couple of good lugs of olive oil, the remaining mushrooms, garlic, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir for a second, add half the thyme and take off the heat. Add the remaining thyme to the rice.
  7. Put frying pan of mushrooms under the grill to crisp up, turn the grill off when they are golden and crispy.
  8. When the rice is al dente stir in the butter and most of the Parmesan, add lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
  9. Stir in half the parsley and throw the rest over the grilled mushrooms.
  10. Put the risotto onto a serving bowl and spoon some grilled mushrooms over the top with some extra Parmesan.`

Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 100g pinenuts, (50g is sufficient)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 200g baby spinach, sliced roughly into 1cm thick strips
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced on an angle about 1cm thick

Instructions

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry non stick pan
  2. Put balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a large salad bowl and add the pine nuts (I’d add them later next time).
  3. Add the spinach, mint leaves, sun-dried tomatoes and cucumber. Don’t toss until the last minute.
  4. If you haven’t used the pine nuts sprinkle this on top.

Quick Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 50g blanched hazelnuts
  • 8 gingernut biscuits
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 heaped teaspoons good quality lemon curd
  • Approx 150g raspberries
  • 250g light or low fat  cream cheese, marscapone cheese or crème fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract
  • A splash of milk
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • Good quality dark chocolate for grating ( approx 70% cocoa solids

Instructions

  1. Place 4 tumblers for these cheesecakes into the freezer.
  2. Put the butter into a medium frying pan on a high heat. Wrap the hazelnuts and biscuits in a clean tea towel (we used a plastic food bag) and quickly bash with a rolling pin.
  3. Turn the heat off under the melted butter, tip in the bashed nuts and biscuits and stir. Finely grate in the lemon zest and mix well.
  4. Take the tumblers out of the freezer and divide the mixture between them, gently patting it down until firm.
  5. Put 1 heaped teaspoon (or two) of lemon curd into each tumbler and top with a few raspberries.
  6. Spoon the cream cheese, marscapone or crème fraiche into a bowl and add the vanilla paste or extract and a splash of milk. Stir, then ass the icing sugar and another splash of milk and mix really well until it looks soft and silky smooth. Divide between the tumblers.
  7. Scrape over a few gratings of dark chocolate and set aside until you are ready to serve.
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