And so it was, on one of the first glorious Sunday afternoons of the year, a few of us had a small gathering at one of the private rooms at Paradise By Way of Kensal Green, in London to celebrate another year’s worth of ageing of The Crow.
I mean, really!!! I needed further proof of my enormous appetite! This was the rather yummy wedding breakfast that we were served at TC’s bro’s nuptials on the weekend. It was all very tasty and at the same time, not too heavy, which meant we had lots of energy to rock out on the dance floor all evening. The very quaffable wine it was all washed down with had been shipped over from Argentina – it was ever so drinkable and not a headache in sight the next day – bonus! It was a fantastic weekend and the happy couple went to great lengths to ensure a super time was had by all. Congratulations J&T and may you have a wonderful future together.
I’m still refusing to go shopping – sorry – swimming for some food, so it’s back to the voyage of discovery of my cupboards. Last night I found some fresh chorizos in the fridge, some small capsicum peppers, some cherry tomatoes (I tend to only buy cherry tomatoes in the UK – I find them closer to the ‘true’ flavour of a tomato, than the usual plastic tasteless rubbish that is usually peddled in this country) oh and some puy lentils… and I made…um… chorizo and lentil salmagundi! Anyway, it went down very well with the boys. This is what I did…
4 fresh chorizo
half an onion – finely chopped
small garlic clove – finely chopped
a capsicum pepper (or lots of small ones) – chopped
couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes – quartered
1 1/4 cup of puy lentils (I used lentils from Merchant Gourmet – so much easier and no need to faff about pre-soaking etc. the night before)
Put the lentils on to cook with the required amount of water etc. The Merchant Gourmet puy lentils work really well with this as the lentils are ready in approximately 20 minutes, giving you enough time to get the chorizo mix all cooked and ready, thereby providing you with a wonderful sense of accomplishment when all your timings come in, in unison! Chop the chorizo into slices, and start to fry them in a non stick frying pan. No need to add any oil as the chorizo will provide all that. After around 5 minutes, add the onions, after another five minutes add the capsicum, after another 5 minutes add the garlic and a few minutes turn off the heat after that add the tomatoes (purely because I don’t like them to be too cooked) and wait for the lentils to ready themselves. Drain the lentils and pop into chorizo mixture and stir around and serve (with a drizzle of balsamic over the top, which really cuts through the oil and lifts the dish).
It’s been raining now for the past 2 weeks and I, along with my collection of animals, am patiently waiting to board the arc when it floats past. Until then, I have to make do with cooking up a storm with what’s currently languishing in my cupboards (as I’m refusing to don my galoshes and step foot outside in this weather). So, with some purple sprouting broccoli and some various odds and ends of cheese I made a little pasta bake which went a little something like this:
Pasta (I used conchiglie as that was what was in my cupboard, but penne or fusilli would work) – enough for two people
Broccoli (I used purple sprouting – again, enough for two people)
Half an onion (finely chopped)
15g plain flour
150 ml milk
1/2 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
100g cheese (I used a mixture of grated cheddar, some gorgonzola and stuck in a parmesan-end for good measure) plus additional cheese for the topping (I used some grated cheddar and parmesan for this)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Cook the pasta, together with the chopped onion in the boiling water. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, chuck the broccoli into the mix. When cooked, drain, reserving a tablespoon of the cooking liquid and set aside. Heat the grill to a medium temperature.
Heat the butter in the saucepan and when melted, add the flour and cook for a minute or so before gradually adding the milk, stirring all the time. Bring the mixture to the boil and then bring down to simmer for a couple of minutes. Before stirring in the mustard and the cheese (remembering to reserve some cheese for the topping). Melt the cheese down a little.
Put the pasta mixture and the sauce into an ovenproof dish, scatter over the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs, with a little pepper and salt on top and grill for 4-5 minutes or until the top is golden and yummy looking.
My usual choice of online writing tool has gone AWOL. Actually, it’s in San Francisco with The Crow so I do know where it is, but it wasn’t exactly granted leave to go there either! As much as WordPress tries to make it easy to upload posts via their iPhone and iPad apps, the functionality isn’t quite as good and I find typing on Apple things slightly arduous (although this doesn’t detract from my deep love of all things Apple for some reason). So anyway, until my laptop and TC return, I will keep Comestibilis updated with some mini-bites – a little of what I’m finding and liking right now… In any case, I’m not really cooking right now as cooking for one isn’t nearly as fun (and I would get seriously fat eating it all by myself!). I discovered this cheese last weekend, it was so good I had to buy more… So much for the trying to keep the lard of though – but in this case I’m willing to make an exception. It’s called Saint Vernier – the cheese is made from the milk of local Montbélliardes cows and it’s rind is washed with a white wine made from the Savagnin grape. Mmm, it’s little lump of gooey, tasty loveliness.