Mushroom millefeuille

The World Cup is nearly over. And I have lost interest. The two teams any self-respecting England supporter should despise (Germany and Argentina) are playing in the final on Sunday. Why are they despised? Too painful to explain. If you don’t know, you don’t need to know.

Nevertheless, I read something quite funny the other day. (If you hate football, and you aren’t English, you might as well skip this bit because you won’t get it or simply won’t care).

Gary Linekar, our very own ‘goal-poacher-extraordinaire‘, once said:

‘Football is a simple game: 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.’

And we Brits (technically we English) know this is true. But it’s okay. It’s still fun to watch other teams, and their supporters. Some of them think they are good enough to beat the Germans. Take Brazil. Well they found out didn’t they. Or the French. Now they played Germany just the past week, and they probably thought they had a chance. But they didn’t. German efficiency stretches beyond Vorsprung durch Technik.

But the French need not worry. They can cook. Germany is only famous for big chocolate cakes covered with cherries and pickled cabbage served with sausage. The French come up with all sorts of amazing things. Take mushroom millefeuille.

These are essentially big vols-au-vent, you know those morsels of ‘wind-blown’ lightness served up during ‘80’s dinner parties.

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Roasted Vegetable Roll-Ups – A Product of the Conveyor Belt of Reality

My wife is currently between jobs. And she likes it that way. Who wouldn’t? However she is in demand. The recruitment consultant is chasing her around and she is facing the reality that, although her husband is extremely successful* even he will eventually struggle to meet certain demands – face creams, shoes and handbags do not, after all, grow on trees.

So we have together created a motivational tool to assist in the employment acquisition process. We call it the CONVEYOR BELT OF REALITY. The Conveyor Belt of Reality is a virtual machine that, just like in ‘Bruce Forsyth’s Generation Game’ of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, passes before the eyes of the contestant a plethora of desirable items which they must memorise and then recall to win.

(For me the Conveyor Belt of Reality would comprise expensive cuts of meat, exotic spices and top-of-the-range kitchen appliances).

This got me thinking that if I had to find another job (sorry I mean a new direction to my career) I would need to rein in the orgy of food porn that I generate on a regular basis. Maybe I would create more dishes similar to ‘Roasted Vegetable Roll-Ups’ – wholesome morsels of healthy living that won’t break the bank.

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(*success is all in the eye of the beholder, of course)

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Vegetarian Hoisin Pancakes – Peking Duck, without the Duck. Quack.

Now one of my favourite recipes is Crispy Peking Duck. Chewy duck, slathered with hoisin sauce; what’s not to like? Well if you’re a vegetarian, basically – the duck. However, as an avid reader of the BBC’s Good Food Magazine, I discovered a vegetarian option.

I mean it’s not crispy, it’s not duck, but its got hoisin sauce in it so it can’t be too far off. What’s the magic ingredient? Mushrooms.

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Roast Aubergine Parmigiana

Of course the problem with preparing great big lumps of tender meat dripping with rich wine-based sauces is that no one else wants to eat them. So in the interests of maintaining a healthy marriage I do like to delve into the depths of vegetarian cuisine.

But chickpeas, lentils….spelt!? Come on. I’d end up growing a tail and start nibbling raw carrot. So I’m always looking out for UVCs (Unusual Vegetable Creations). And here we focus on the Aubergine. ‘Aubergine’? Alright the Eggplant. But I can’t call it that because it neither has the shape of an egg, nor the colour (Why is it called an eggplant? Come to think of it, why is it called an aubergine? I’m renaming it – ‘Purple Shiny Potato’).

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