Prosciutto Wrapped Cod with Chorizo and Beans

Have you heard? The World Cup is upon us. I’m not writing about the World Series (what is that about, World Series, comprising the USA and Canada?) I’m writing about the beautiful game, 22 men on a pitch running around for 90 minutes trying to get a ball in a net.

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Only it’s not such a beatiful game if you’re English. It’s been 48 years since we won the World Cup. 48 years. Longer than I have been on this planet. And here I am watching a warm up game; England v Ecuador. Ecuador. Where the hell is that? Not too far from Miami I guess, as that is where they are playing. And losing.

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Pork Wellington

Just spent a day Christmas shopping. Whilst lying in bed reading the news on the (crappy) Samsung tablet (why didn’t I get an i-Pad) it suddenly dawned on me that if I didn’t get off my arse and go shopping today then I wasn’t going to get another chance. And that wouldn’t do. A lot of disappointed sproglets, and don’t even get me started on the wife’s reaction.

So I went right on in to town. Battled the hoards. The squealing brats with their uncouth parents smoking fags and swearing at each other. Sulky youths trudging around. But I did it. I purchased things for about 10 people. It is done. No more! And to celebrate I created this sumptious creation – courtesy of my favourite Hairy Bikers!

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Coq au Vin with Croissant Cobbler

I just remembered that while I was stuck on that plane last week coming back from being an international businessman (shame I don’t get international businessman pay BTW) there was a salesman sitting behind me next to an English undergraduate.

I know this because the guy didn’t stop talking from the moment I sat down until the moment I got up, opened the rear door and threw myself out at 22,000ft.

Okay I didn’t do that but honestly I would have rather been stuck next to a 300lb screaming monster-baby. With a bad vomiting bug.

Now this guy couldn’t stop talking because a) he was a salesman and b) he was nervous (probably because of the dodgy engine; see the last post). But he was scaring the hell out of the student. She was laughing in that hysterical way you would do as someone explains to you that the reason they say get into the ‘brace’ position if you are unlucky enough to be in an airplane disaster scenario isn’t to try to save your life, it’s to try and keep your teeth in your face so they can identify your body from dental records. Nice.

That guy was an arsehole but his buddy was worse – some kind of Eastern European who was trying to chat this girl up by explaining that his girlfriend had left him and that he was looking for love because he had ‘biological needs’. Really? Keeping looking mate you’re going to be in it for the long haul.

Anyway, after a particularly stressy work week I decided to unwind with a serious dose of cooking. I decided to try Coq au Vin again. This time with croissant!

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Double Crust Chicken and Mushroom Pie

It’s Roman shield time. Right now, as you read this, mums and dads all over the globe are trying to make Roman shields for their kids’ school projects. There is a global conspiracy; teachers get their own back on all those parents and their horrible children by sending them home with the task of making a Roman shield.

It’s a pain in the arse to make, and what’s more it’s an expensive pain in the arse to make. But wait, I hear you holler at your screens. How does he know all this fascinating information? Is he in on the conspiracy? No. I just went through that pain, and blogged it. And since the beginning of September this year that post has been read 650 times (2,500 times in all).

I even know when the shields are being created – September through November and another peak in April and May. I love the stats on WordPress.

But, as this is supposed to be a food blog, I’d better get down to business. And for me pies mean business. And you can’t call a pie a pie unless it contains a substantial quantity of pastry.

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Burgers in Brioche Buns

***Warning: this post contains evidence of a baking fail***

What a surprise. I don’t really get baking. Hot hands and a cold heart maybe.

Anyway, one thing I always liked about American restaurants and bars is that they serve up burgers in a brioche bap. Makes the whole burger thing that little more decandent.

Now in the UK you can get brioche loaves. You can get brioche finger rolls. You can get brioche with chocolate and brioche with jam. You can get things that are almost baps but they are called cholla (they even taste the same as brioche).

But for someone like me, suffering raging OCD, that will not do. I want brioche baps. So I decided to make my own. And that meant yeast. And that meant ‘oh dear’.

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