I have always believed that something is not a world record just because no-one has thought of doing it before (cf Big Brother 2 and the stupid sugar lump tower). So “breaking” the record for the highest dinner party is not a proper record in my book.
Andy anyway, couldn’t this easily be beaten by having a dinner party IN A PLANE! On A SPACE SHUTTLE. Surely it cannot be a dinner party unless Dido is on the stereo and people are talking about the rise in house prices. NONSENSE!
For those of you eagerly anticipating the results of the gin in the asparagus soup experiment, the results are mixed. Well, okay, the results were pretty unpleasant. That said I do think it was the cream that caused the problem, rather than the actual gin asparagus combo that worked so well the day before. But my knee jerk reaction to add cream to asparagus soup was unfortunate.
So I cheered myself up with aubergine & pesto, and you can’t go wrong with that.
There is one week in the year, one solitary week, when I buy asparagus. Usually. And it is this week my friends, when the glut arrives and the supermarkets (yes yes , I know, organic box blah blah) start a price war. They also start discounting ridiculously which left me with a nice bundle last night for twenty pee. On the turn possibly so it was straight to the stove. After considering a gratin and then discounting in because I still cannot get with the idea that cheese on toast is a proper dinner no matter how posh, I went for the old tried and tested risotto. This was almost scuppered when after frying the onion and bit o’bacon I realised I had no risotto rice. But that’s what flatmates cupboards are for. In the meantime the ‘grass was slowly going all dente, and I reserved the wood for a soup and started spooning in the stock.
I have made the error before of making a risotto with pretty much ONLY wine, and that was not very nice. However a risotto without any wine seems flat. But our flat had no wine. Not even in flatmates cupboard. Which is when I got creative. And got out the gin.
A shot seemed about right, burn off the alcohol but leave an interestingly juniper tang. And it worked a treat. Once the tips were dumped in and a generous slaver of butter added, the gin really added an aromatic tang to the risotto. What’s more it seemed to compliment the wee-altering taste of the asparagus. So much so that I also dumped a shot in the soup. On first tasting, the soup seems very nice, though tonight I need to add some cream and essential spices (SALT). But cooking with gin is here to stay round my house.
coke-butt chicken (courtesy aldo cowpat)
my friend T – who cooks by wild shamanic inspiration – made a sidedish of popcorn lightly sprinkled w. curry powder and ground cumin
ADD SALT TO TASTE
(we actually had it w.steamed salmon, carrots, brocolli and salad but i think it wd go with other ting just as well)
… but have no suitable luggage – what do you do? Tracer Hand of ilx has the answer.
a sight more delicious than Bombardier, so thank you, and
NUM NUM as luck would have it
Is someone on anti-crack at the Ananova offices? In a relatively tedious quirky entitled “Thief Falls Asleep“, is the pure gold of the final line:
Police spokesperson said: “It is like Goldilocks on gin”.
And suddenly the whole three bears story makes a lot more sense. The Daddy bears porridge/gin’n'tonic was too strong, mummy bears not strong enough. But baby bears was just right. No wonder she needed a kip.
I’ve been stir-frying again. Regular readers will remember that this has long been a source of pleasure and pain round our house. Anyway for Christmas I asked for a book about Chinese cooking, so I could learn to do things proper like, and given that there are two Chinese supermarkets within 5 minutes walk of the flat, and I had no idea where I would be living / working by the end of the year, it seemed to be a good chance to get to explore the various foodstuffs, more and less exotic, available. So obviously I’ve only used the book twice so far, both in the last week or so, and both times only to cook chicken :-)
But, but, but I can report one (so far) totally ace discovery (the lesser discovery is the numminess of sesame oil as an ingredient): the virtues of feathering. Chop yr chicken. Mix with flour and egg white. Refrigerate (20 mins, or as long as it takes to chop all the other ingredients, basically). Put the pieces into a pan of boiling water, off the heat (oil worked better the first time, but seemed an unnecessary extravagance, and since the first batch was breast, the second thigh meet, I’ve no means of comparing the effects). Stir for two minutes. Drain, and set aside. Do the rest of the stir-fry stuff and then chuck in chicken pieces at the end, cook for a little longer. And lo and behold — chicken with that great takeaway texture, cooked through but still soft and not at all dried out. Num.
Inevitably, no change on the job front after all, and although we’re moving, it’s literally 20 seconds walk away. So hopefully more experiments in the future: and, of course, you’ll be the first to know, dear reader.