In Jamie Oliver Together – Memorable Meals Made Easy, Jamie says “together feels more poignant in 2021 than ever before,” and encourages us to use the recipes in this book has an excuse to reconnect with those we’ve missed seeing in the intimacy of our home, and to create the power that food has to bring people together. “This is about saying ‘I love you’ through food.” The book has a fabulous recipe for easy baked eggs, with avo, spring onions and tomatoes … tasty, super-simple – almost beats avo and poached egg on toast. But our fave is the Jam Jar Prawn Cocktail, his take on the old fashioned but never out of style favourite. Prawns, avo, cocktail sauce (yes, the one we made years ago with mayo and tomato sauce, with a dash of lemon and Worcestershire sauce). Michael Josef, R609 from exclusivebooks.co.za
Jam Jar Prawn Cocktails
Cocktail sauce, avo, tomatoes & crispy pancetta crumbs
1 clove of garlic; 4 rashers of higher-welfare smoked pancetta; olive oil; 100g breadcrumbs; 3 tablespoons mayonnaise; 3 tablespoons natural yoghurt; 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup; 1 lemon; Worcestershire sauce; Tabasco sauce; 2 little gem lettuces; 1 cucumber; 200g ripe cherry tomatoes; 1 punnet of cress; 1 ripe avocado; 100g cooked brown shrimp, from sustainable sources; 200g cooked peeled prawns, from sustainable sources; cayenne pepper
ON THE DAY Peel the garlic and finely chop with the pancetta, then place in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs and fry until crunchy and golden, tossing regularly. Leave to cool. For the sauce, whisk up the mayo, yoghurt, ketchup, half the lemon juice and a dash each of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, then season to perfection, tasting and tweaking.
Finely shred the lettuces. Halve the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, then chop into 1cm dice. Quarter the cherry tomatoes. Snip the cress. Halve and destone the avocado, squeeze the flesh into a blender with the remaining lemon juice and blitz until smooth, loosening with a splash of water, if needed, then season to perfection.
Line up six clean wide-necked jam jars or glasses ready to fill. Divide the lettuce between them, followed by the cucumber and tomatoes, gently pressing down as you build the layers. Spoon in the cool, crispy pancetta crumbs, top with the cress, then sprinkle in the shrimp and prawns. Drizzle in the sauce and add a pinch of cayenne to each. Spoon over the blitzed avo, cover and you’re done.
PERFECT PRAWNS: A good fishmonger will have a nice selection of prawns – I like to use a mixture here, even a few smoked ones would be great. Have fun with it.