Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mediocrity malaise

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So…I did make a cake.  And unfortunately, like my health, it was pretty mediocre.  You see, I have a compulsion to cook.  There is very little choice involved and therefore, I end up cooking when I should be sleeping, eating, working, resting etc.  And that’s how you end up making a chocolate, banana and cardamom cake when you should be in bed attending to more pressing matters, like blowing your nose.  And the worst part, after all that effort, the cake was several shades of average.

We can’t win them all but we can look at pretty pictures of food and make ourselves feel much better about the world.  So here are a few recent photo’s which I hopefully haven’t shared with you yet.  I promise there will be a restaurant review this week.  Little Chef just needs a wee bit longer to get her mojo back.  Hopefully these will distract you until then…

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A lovely little risotto I made for myself in Italy.  Fresh, local produce.  So simple, so good!

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Delicious, nearly savoury peanut butter cookies I made for my lovely colleagues.

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A very rich chocolate mousse I made for my beautiful friends in Italy, I candied some fennel and orange and topped it all with a local hazelnut praline.  The best hazelnuts I have ever tasted.

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Accidental pork scratchings… Oops, I accidentally made bacon popcorn and this was a rather serendipitous by-product of that process.  Happy days.

Oh and that jelly hiding way up the top there is a champagne jelly, it is ridiculously good and super simple. The brainchild of my lovely, lovely ex Executive chef.

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Fish for friends

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I have a cold.  If I was a man I would be calling it flu.  But it’s not.  At this juncture, it is an elephant sitting on my chest, watery-eyed, swollen glands, tickly cough kinda number.  I was trying to find a polite word for mucus but gave up.  You get the idea.  It sucks.  And mostly because, prior to this goddamn cold gatecrashing my usually semi ordered life, I was attempting to be super productive.

Times they are a’changing in Little Chef’s world and there is lots to be discovered, researched and planned over the next few weeks.  Unfortunately for the curious ones amongst you, I cannot divulge the nature of the aforementioned excitement…yet.  However, if you can hold tight for a few weeks then I promise I will tell you all my darkest secrets.  Well, maybe not all of them but at least the relevant food related ones.

So, moving onto things I can tell you about.  I made some pretty delightful meatballs for dinner last night.  Impressive under the circumstances.  I managed to prise myself out of bed for long enough to take a walk in the momentary sunshine and pick up some rather special ingredients.  A wander past a lovely little deli ended in me purchasing some nice gluten free spaghetti and some lush, verdant organic wild garlic.  My destination however was The Ginger Pig butcher, which is the sort of place that takes my breath away.  You can see whole carcasses hanging up out the back and the counter is festooned with giant chunks of forerib with a beautiful thick layer of fat, aged appropriately and just begging to be bought.  However, I’m not a millionaire and forerib don’t come cheap so I headed towards the mince.  I make my meatballs with mixed media meats, a little from column A and a little from column B.  No, i’m not talking about the oh so British institution of slipping a little horsemeat into my meatballs, I’m talking about good quality pork mince making up two thirds, good quality beef mince making up the other third and then a wee bit of bloody good chorizo making up the last bit that I didn’t factor into my super duper mathematical equation.

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Not only were the meatballs a pretty sexy dinner when coupled with corn spaghetti, wild garlic and a glass of red but this morning they were reincarnated.  Fridge beans took on a whole new meaning when they were coupled with spicy meatballs and yet more chorizo. Heck yes!  Something else I made for a friend the other day which was rather lovely was a baked whole mackerel with some braised fennel and a rocket and tomato salad.  It was just what the doctor ordered, healthy, tasty and simple.  I feel like I might have just enough energy in me to make a banana and chocolate cake later but that means I will have to leave you good people, take a quick nap, dose up on some meds and fire up the stove.  I might even pop in tomorrow with news of the cake, if I can tear myself away from ‘Breaking bad’ and bed for long enough to make it into the kitchen tonight.

P.s.  Apologies to any of you who receive my blog via email and got sent a half finished blog yesterday.  Note to self, do not write blogs at 3am on your new kindle (which you don’t know how to use yet) whilst suffering from a brain debilitating cold, as it leads to you publishing half finished blogs!

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