“Only a fool would mess with such a beautiful piece of beef.”
“Pepper it, salt it, fry it.”
“Are you sure you want to experiment with that? It must have cost more than the national debt!”
My expected guests were all of similar minds “Don’t mess with the beef.” seemed to be the unanimous theme. Like the late Margaret Thatcher, I was not for turning. Unlike the late MT, I was not wearing a blue dress. I was cogitating a new recipe for beef fillet.
Let me set out my stall nice and early here. I subscribe to the ‘Craft’ school of cookery. Please don’t confuse this with the similarly named conglomerate, I don’t subscribe to them. My ‘subscription’ to craft rather than science is based on my own laziness rather than any dark art that I have evolved or inherited over the years. As any regular reader will know, I tend to throw things together based on what I think should work. The results are not always perfect. In fact, the results are often pretty disappointing. My supportive family sits around the table lying to me. “No, it really is pretty good.” “I love the chewy texture of the meat.” “Actually, I like my vegetables nice and watery.” Continue reading
It looks just like any ordinary chicken casserole, does it not? But this casserole has an added ingredient that makes it extremely chickeney. In fact, it’s fair to say this is the most chickeney chicken casserole since the first chicken escaped from the egg. And, yes, the egg came first.
A friend of mine was suggesting something fun to cook in celebration of Ireland’s imminent victory played away against old rivals England in the 6 Nations Rugby Championship. One of us mentioned Toad in the Hole, as classic an English dish as one can find and a suitably juvenile play on words. There is a bit of the teenage sniggerer in many of us and when I found myself in the butcher’s later in the morning, I had to buy some Toulouse sausages (another pun, in case you didn’t get it) to make this simple and extremely lardy (Perhaps like the English rugby team?) dish. Continue reading
You don’t deserve this one. It’s not that you are a person of dubious virtue. It’s not that you have done any specific thing to offend me and it’s nothing to do with your personal hygiene. This little recipe is just too good to share. It fits the ‘easy oriental’ description like a prawn fits its shell. It looks pretty awesome and it tastes spectacularly good. Continue reading
Damn those darned Texans and their big attitude, big hats and big generosity. I was having a pretty easy time over here on the east coast of the Emerald Isle when Richard McGary suggested “You should try Carne Adovada. You have all the chillis you need in the chilli parcel.“ Now, a suggestion like this from most other people would prompt a response like “Yes, of course, I must give it a go one of these days.”. (That is an Irish way of saying “Thanks for the suggestion. I will never do it, not in this or any other lifetime.”). But, the gentle prompt from the refined McGary leads me to the cooking, my eldest daughter to buy a tortilla press and her boyfriend, to get the appropriate corn flour. Continue reading
Perhaps this should be retitled “We have a decent bottle of Spanish wine and we had better drink it before it goes off.” My only reservation with that is, while true, it might not tell the recipe story. It is the inspiration but not the dish. So, let’s stick with Spanish Inspired Monkfish, Chorizo and Bean Stew as the title and please forgive the mentions of the seventeen year old bottle of Faustino 1 that went with (and in) the food. Continue reading
It’s not just bloggers, we see the same slothfulness on TV, on radio and in press. Yes, I am referring to the pitiful recycling of old material in an effort to eek out one more programme, article or post from the previous year’s material. That “Best Of” programme is probably the most appalling form of TV one can endure. As a side note, comedy programmes bring this to a depth unplumbed by others. The sycophantic praising of old comedy by old comedians is an annual dirge that sickens me. They should be put out to grass, not bootlicked by ageing brownnose colleagues. It is pitiful and should be banned. Continue reading
When I decided to form a tight group to keep things in the food blogging world above-board, I was presented with a number of challenges. Firstly, I wanted a good spread of experience. I wanted somebody with high level financial experience. I wanted some youth and enthusiasm. I definitely needed some solid legal wisdom and guidance. I needed a top team. I scoured the blogs. I took advice. Numerous candidates were analysed. Their personal lives investigated. Many were rejected (You know who you are.).
This is probably the simplest of the easy oriental series so far. While I was doing my online research (seeing how others have photographed the dish) I came across the phrase “takeout standard” on a couple of blogs. I won’t provide links here as it probably is not fair to diss the efforts of fellow food bloggers. But, let’s get real. If the height of culinary ambition is to match the dross sold in most Chinese take-out, we are wasting each other’s time. So, either read on my friends, or reach for the phone and that menu you found in the letterbox. Continue reading