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Jamie Oliver Sweet Glazed Carrots and Gnarly Peanut Chicken

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Dinner last night – and this this post –  was supposed to be all about the chicken, with the carrots as the supporting act. Well, I have to say that the carrots upstaged the chicken and were the starring act!

It’s a fantastic Jamie recipe, in which heirloom carrots are cooked in the pan with butter and honey or brown sugar, and thyme, resulting in a luscious dish with lovely flavour and texture. However, with the gnarly peanut chicken, they made a great side dish and definitely enhanced the eating experience of the chicken.

The link to Jamie’s Sweet Glazed Carrots is here. Jamie’s Gnarly Peanut Chicken recipe can be found in his great new book 5 Ingredients.

So here are the recipes, with my tweaks , starring those wonderful carrots. I halved the carrot recipe as a kilo of carrots seemed excessive!

Sweet Glazed Carrots

Ingredients
500g small heirloom carrots
30g unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic
A handful of fresh thyme sprigs or to taste
1 clementine or mandarin or small orange
1 tablespoon runny honey or soft brown sugar

Method
Trim most of the leafy green stalks off the carrots, then peel them. (I didn’t peel mine as they were fine as is).
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Crush the unpeeled garlic with the flat side of a knife, then add to the pan turning after 1 minute.
Pick and sprinkle in most of the thyme sprigs, reseving a few to scatter over at the end. Squeeze over the clementine or mandarin or orange juice, then add the honey or sugar and a splash of water.
Add the carrots in a single layer, season with sea salt and black pepper, then jiggle the pan to coat the carrots. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
Remove the lid, then cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the glaze has reduced, and the carrots are sticky and caramelised, turning often. Serve straightaway, or reheat when needed. Sprinkle over the reserved thyme sprigs just before serving.

Gnarly Peanut Chicken 

Ingredients
2 skinless chicken breasts
2 limes
4 cloves of garlic
2 heaped tablespoons peanut butter
1-2 fresh red chillies

Method
Turn the grill on to medium-high. Score the chicken breasts in a criss-cross fashion, rub with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and the finely grated zest of 1 lime.
Place criss-cross side down in a cold non-stick ovenproof frying pan and put it on a medium-high heat, while you peel and finely grate the garlic into a bowl.
Squeeze in the juice from 1 1/2 limes, stir in the peanut butter and loosen with enough water to give you a smooth consistency. Finely slice the chilli, then mix through the sauce, taste and season to perfection.
Flip the chicken over, spoon over the sauce, then transfer to the grill, roughly 10cm from the heat, for 5 minutes, or until gnarly and cooked through. Finely grate over the remaining lime zest, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with lime wedges, for squeezing over.

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Frankie’s Pizza By the Slice

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A little piece of the 70s in mid town Sydney…

50 Hunter Street Sydney, and a couple of security guys minding the poster plastered double doors under a dodgy neon sign reminiscent of the Cross.

Frankie’s Pizza looks like it has been there forever, dim, a little down at heel, and redolent with the charm of an Italian pizza joint plus American bar. That’s in the main space – but through the side doors and you enter a low ceilinged room which as a band venue is pure Aussie pub style. However Frankie’s is a recent addition to the burgeoning Sydney bar scene.

For me the most eye catching element of the decor is the collection of band posters mostly from the UK of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Some well known and more obscure artists.

Pizza is it for the food, plus wine, plus LOTS AND LOTS of different beers. The pizza was good – we had the Vegetarian and the Cappricciosa – both on thin bases with tasty, not too heavy fillings. The wine list was small but quite OK.

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But we had come here on a Monday night for the music – the house band that plays every Monday with a different lead singer. Yeah – a rocky, groovy, solid and basic lineup of guitar, bass and drums, straight out of the 70s although none of the lineup looked like they were even born in the 70s… like the gen X, gen Y audience, listening to music from Steppenwolf to Hendrix more suited to the ears of their parents, who were conspicuous by their absence. Quirky and her companions were by far the oldest in the room…

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The idea is a good one, bringing back the best of late 20th century popular culture in food and music, and a fun night out.

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