Goulash – Brain Food for PowerPoint Monkeys

For those who work in ‘Big Corporations’ you may well know that it’s ‘Strategy Season’.

You know when Elmer Fudd goes mad with a double-barrel shotgun during Rabbit-Hunting Season? Well it’s just the same in ‘Big Corporations’ during Strategy Season – little Fudds stride the corridors of power with PowerPoint slides in hand, hunting for strategies that will see them through to next year.

And what, you may well (and rightly) ask, has all this got to do with Goulash? Not a great deal, but given the amount of time I am currently spending on PowerPoint, recipes need to deliver results that satisfy my short-term strategic objective (that is: feed me, I’m hungry) whilst also satisfying the time-poor nature of the day-to-day.

My longer term aspiration (stop feeding me, I’m on a diet) will be satisfied in the second stage of the development cycle, which will begin when my waistline fails to align correctly with my suit trousers and I enter a corporate condition known commonly as ‘you fat bastard’.

Until this stage is reached there is Goulash.

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Smoked Haddock Soufflé Pancakes

I watched the Great Gordon (Ramsay) the other night on Hell’s Kitchen USA. It’s usually great entertainment – a fiery Scot facing up to an equally fiery 3rd generation Italian American running a pasta joint somehwere.

But there was something a bit sad about this particular restaurateur. He missed his parents and even Gordon couldn’t be that shouty at him, although the meatballs that were being served had been frozen for longer than an Eskimo’s dangly bits.

So I warmed to Gordon and decided to search the archives for a Ramsay-inspired creation, and found this – Smoked Haddock Soufflé Pancakes.

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How the Destruction of Pompeii Inspired Me To Write About Making A Steak and Kidney Pudding

Whilst sitting staring at the Boob Tube (as my father used to call it; well he might still call it that but seeing how he now has a 3D 50 inch Samsung LED job I suspect he doesn’t) I found myself watching a piece about the disaster that met the poor folks in Roman times in the foothills of Vesuvius. The mountain blew it’s load, so to speak, and many people died.

That took me back to my Geography degree (dead useful a geography degree in my current role as a corporate development ‘professional’ in a software company) and the time I studied the explosion of Mount St Helens.

Where the hell is this going? Oh yes, that infamous event reminded me of my latest creation – a ‘Steak and Kidney Pudding’. Why? Let’s take a look:

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Here’s a steak and kidney pudding; note the collapsing outer wall, the innards spewing forth. And here’s a shot of Mount St Helens:

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Note the similarities – the collapsed outer wall, the innards spewing forth….

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Chinese Chicken Curry for People Who Are So Lazy They Can’t Even Pick Up The Phone And Order Take-Out

This is the second post in a series I am calling ‘Lazy Food’. The first post related to making cupcakes. This is the second. It will probably be the last.

A while back I tried doing a series entitled ‘Around the World in 80 Beers’. I did 8 and then got bored (not of drinking the beers, I’ve drunk thousands, just writing about it: ‘Hey, I drank some beers, got drunk, fell asleep watching Family Guy; that’s it’).

The key to creating ‘Chinese Chicken Curry for People Who Are So Lazy They Can’t Even Pick Up The Phone And Order Take-Out’ is getting your chicken to take on the texture of take away chicken. You know, all soft and wet and squashy. You don’t want firm fibrous chicken that has the chewiness of real meat.

No, you need the kind of chicken you get at 3am from the local Mr Wong after a night out, amorphous gloop that is undifferentiated from the soggy onion and floppy green peppers. You also need, and I cannot over-stress the importance of this, ‘Goldfish Chinese Curry Sauce’. You really need that.

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