Jamie Who is a blog about everything. Except current affairs. And politics. Also science, sport, religion, celebrities, movies, media and marketing, technology, business and design. So...basically Jamie Who is a blog about food. All things food.

Monday, July 5, 2010

So long blogger.com - it's been real

This is my last post. *pauses for dramatic effect

Okay, it's not my last post. But it's my last post on this site. Yip, I'm moving on. (And up hopefully.) I've been working with some super-talented and creative people for the last few months on a concept which I can finally tell you guys about. It's a lifestyle website which aims to showcase the finer things in life. So things like fashion, travel, food, art, wine, cocktails, design, architecture etc. are all there for you to enjoy. Sort of like the online equivalent of standing in front of a magazine rack. I'll be handling the food&wine side of things, with other talented contributors talking about what they know best. 

I am pre-empting the cynics out there, who no doubt will point out the fact that the new site has advertising. Indeed, it does. I have previously been pretty outspoken about the fact that I didn't allow advertising so let me explain:
  • This is a step towards writing about food full-time. The last year and a half has seen a tiny blog grow to the point where I can genuinely make a career out of doing what I love. At the moment I spend a lot of time and money investing in a passion and I now feel it is fair enough to start generating some income from it. The ads WILL IN NO WAY IMPACT EDITORIAL CONTENT. This remains paramount and as long as we don't lose sight of this, we'll be okay. 
The new site will have awesome improvements for readers. As well as the fresh posts coming through daily (2 a day), I will be re-shooting old recipes. Some of my old photography makes me cringe and this allows me to re-introduce recipes that I'm proud of, this time with the images that they deserve.  Also, the new site makes searching for recipes/reviews etc. a lot easier. You'll see a drop-down menu on my site which you can use to navigate your way around the categories. Bear with me, at the moment all my old categories are there along with the new ones. I'm busy sorting through them so everything should be fixed up pretty soon. (I've been working flat-out on organising these - it is a slow process but the end result will be very skooch. Trust me). The new site is also a chance to get to meet me. My name is Andy. Not Jamie. I'm looking forward to this too, as we move into an area where the Jamie Who pseudonym becomes part of a brand, not the entire brand itself. 

The new site is going live from about 14h00 tomorrow. Check it out at www.aficionado.co.za - I am extremely excited about this but nervous at the same time. I have poured a lot of energy into building the blog and I know I will lose a few readers who see this as "selling-out". I just hope the majority realise that the new site is something I would not be part of if I didn't honestly believe credibility can be maintained. 

Andy Fenner  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ostrich and mushroom lasagne

I wrote in the past about some hake kebabs that arrived on my plate - and your screen - courtesy of The Queen. What you might not know is that she regularly cooks up pretty impressive stuff. After hustling me for the first 2 years (when I was convinced all she could do was a roast chicken) the cat is now very much out the bag. The girl has skizzills. This recipe is hers and I'll admit it is one of my favourite on this blog. The white sauce was homemade but it's not really necessary - you could easily just buy one. 

Stuff you'll need to feed 8 (or 2 of you. Umm...4 times):
  •  1 kg of ostrich mince
  • A box of the best lasagne sheets you can find. 
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x tins of tomatoes
  • A handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • About a tablespoon of tomato paste 
  • About a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • A handful of mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 x chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 x cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A handful of grated parmesan (I don't mean buy grated parmesan. Please, don't ever do that. Buy proper parmesan, grate it yourself. Come now) 
To make the white sauce (if you are backing yourself):
  • 1 and a half tablespoons of butter
  • About 3 tablespoons of flour (to start with. You might need more as you go) 
  • A litre of fat-free milk (we were keeping it healthy. Use whatever milk you want) 
Okay, what to do:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Gently fry your onions over medium heat for a few minutes until softened. 

2. Add the thyme, the chilli, the mince, the garlic and the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes more. 

3. Add the tomato paste, the tinned tomatoes and the parsley and bring to the boil. Season well, reduce heat and allow to simmer with the lid on for as long as possible. Depending on the time available, remove lid and allow sauce to reduce and thicken. 

4. In a suitable baking dish, layer white sauce, pasta sheets and mince mixture, repeating two or three times until the dish is full. Make sure the top layer is white sauce. 

5. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake for 45 minutes. 

If you're making the white sauce:

Start by melting the butter. Remove from stove and start adding flour slowly mixing in to form little dough balls. Make sure flour is covered in butter. Slowly start adding your milk, continuously whisking. As the milk warms, the mixture will thicken. IT IS SUPER-IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE TO WHISK THE ENTIRE TIME. If you don't, lumps will form. This is a slow process so be patient. You might need to add some more flour at this point - if you do make sure the whisking doesn't stop. 

I'd serve this with a very simple herb salad. That was the plan. That was also the plan for the shoot, but when I put it on a white plate there was something about the simplicity of it that appealed. I loved it. Hopefully you do too. 

Jamie Who