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Food Anthropologist and Personal Chef

Tag: Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver’s Fish and Chips and my favorite English trifle recipe

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is a national treasure. He is well known in America, so he doesn’t need any introduction. However, many people aren’t aware that he is trying to change the way Americans eat. The obesity in this country is out of control. Many children don’t know what fresh fruit and vegetables look like or their taste. This country needs to stop their appeal for fast food and processed products. It is damaging their health. I admire Jamie for his concern and ability to be able to reach out across America to help curb our appetites!!

Fish and chips were a Saturday lunchtime staple in my home as a child. The fishmonger’s van stopped at the bottom of our road on a Friday. That is why we always had fresh fish for Saturday. Home made fish and chips is a favorite of mine. Especially with a huge helping of Mum’s home made tartar sauce. As I am on a Jamie day, let’s find a recipe, courtesy of him.

Fish and chips wrapped in brown paper from the chip shop

Fish and Chips
Recipe courtesy Jamie Oliver
Cook Time:8 minLevel: EasyYield: 4 servings


For the chips:
3 3/4 pints (2 liters) vegetable oil
2 pounds (950 grams) floury potatoes, like russets, peeled and cut into large chips

For the batter:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup beer
2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks
4 (9 ounce/250 gram) fillets haddock or cod, skin on, and pin boned


Pour all the vegetable oil into a deep pan or deep fat fryer, and heat to 300 degrees F (160 degrees C.) Blanch the cut potatoes in the oil until soft, but not colored, about 4 minutes. Remove and drain.

Mix together the flour and the beer, then fold in the egg whites. Turn up the heat of the oil to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Dip the fish in the batter and fry for a few minutes with the chips until golden brown.

Drain on kitchen paper.

An English Trifle

One of my favorite British deserts is trifle. Unfortunately, growing up I had the usual British one using jelly instead of plenty of fresh fruit. As an adult I love to make my trifle with lots of fresh fruit, custard and cream. Jamie didn’t have a trifle recipe for me, so I have provided one of my own.

English Trifle


2 (8 or 9 inch) white cake layers, baked and cooled
A punnet of strawberries
2 tbsp sugar
A punnet of fresh blueberries and raspberries
2 bananas
Pineapple juice to dampen the cake
A tin of bird’s custard already made
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds


Slice strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar. Cut the bananas into slices. Break up the cake and
use half of the cake to line the bottom of a large glass bowl, add some pineapple juice to moisten. Layer half of the strawberries followed by half of the blueberries and raspberries (sometimes I use kiwis, mangos etc), and then half of the bananas. Spread half of the custard over the fruit. Repeat layers in the same order.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks and spread over top of trifle. Garnish with slivered almonds.


My first blog post for Modern Mom website

Modern Mom website

Today I wrote my first blog for the Modern Mom website. As these blogs are also useful for my readers, I will include the posts.

Many of my working Mom friends ask me for healthy food ideas because they are tired of feeding their families the same meals every week. I am a personal chef who has created a successful business by going into a family home once a week and for a $250 service fee (plus a grocery bill), I grocery shop, cook, clean up after myself and leave in the fridge 3 nights of healthy food to feed the whole family. I recognize that the Modern Mom needs help with menu ideas for their family. This website is a great forum for me to make healthy suggestions and to provide recipes that will make your whole family look forward to meal times!!

Jamie Oliver spoke at the Ted conference in Long Beach last week. He pleaded to American families to take a good look at their eating habits. He applauded Michelle Obama for her efforts at helping Americans take charge of their children’s eating habits due to obesity. As a personal chef who struggles with my weight, I know this is an issue that I need to confront and to help educate families. I took the first step this weekend and signed up for the Eat Right America program that is currently being promoted in Whole Foods. Their regime is rigid, but it does provide food for thought.

As a personal chef I suggest that parents fill their fridges and pantries with organic, natural products. Learn to read labels before purchasing, checking for sodium and sugar contents. It is easier to teach children healthy food habits before they go to school. My goal would be that a child doesn’t have any refined sugar in their diet prior to school age. This is simple to achieve today. There are many healthy snack options and food recipes that don’t contain sugar. Meat needs to be considered a side dish to a meal, whilst introducing green vegetables to a baby’s diet prior to orange veggies will help them to enjoy these nutrient filled foods.

In my blogs I will recommend books to cook from and recipes to enjoy. I hope you will enjoy my posts and join me on our wonderful food journey.

These are the 3 entrees and sides I provided this week to a client whose family has different needs. The mother and teenage daughter are vegetarians (Mom eats fish, daughter doesn’t eat fish) and the husband and teenage son are meat eaters. Day one: Salmon Salsa Verde with green beans and fingerling potatoes (gardein chick’n breast for the daughter). Day two: Black bean burgers with mild mango salsa, brown rice and cauliflower cheese. Day three: Portobello mushroom steaks with roasted asparagus and polenta. I also leave a large salad and a cooked whole chicken cut up.

Black bean burger and avocado tomatillo salsa photo courtesy of Fine Cooking

This is my recipe for black bean burgers:
Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of thinly sliced scallions
1 clove of garlic
15-oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cumin powder or a pinch of cayenne if you like slightly spicy
Kosher salt and pepper

1. Heat the pan on medium heat add pinch of salt for 30 seconds then add 1 tbspolive oil for another 20 seconds.
2. Add the scallions and garlic, soften for 2 minutes.
3. Add beans and onion mixture to a food processor, pulse 3 times for a rough mixture.
4. Transfer to a bowl and add all the other ingredients, mixing together with a spoon.
5. Form into 4 patties and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
6. Bring to room temperature and sautee on medium heat in 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan for 5 minutes maximum

For a mango salsa (use a different fruit or vegetable depending on your children’s favorites):

1 mango chopped into small cubes
Small amount of thinly chopped scallion
2 tbsp lemon juice
Chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

This recipe is a family favorite and healthy.