Mushroom Cobbler

I found this recipe in The Sunday Times. It’s a Marcus Wareing creation. He’s a chef who is described as a ‘perfectionist’.

In my mind that means he is incredibly scary and has no sense of humour. I suppose you can’t have a sense of humour if you are a professional chef. I mean think about them – Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc – they aren’t exactly a laugh a minute are they; in fact, even with that happy-chappy exterior, you know Jamie Oliver didn’t build a multi-million pound empire by calling everyone ‘mate’.

And now it turns out that our very own Nigella has been cooking up more than just chocolate soufflé. I personally find it hard to believe that she was whacked out of her head whilst presenting Nigellissema, but it might go some way to explaining why she has a permanent look of bliss on her face.

Anyway back to Marcus, a very serious chef who doesn’t smile. Here is his Mushroom Cobbler.

IMG_0555

Continue reading

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.

IMG_8515

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

Continue reading

American Pancakes with Pig-Flu Free Bacon and Sausages and Chicken-Flu Free Scrambled Eggs

My oldest is currently explaining a new game on his iPad to me. It’s a global apocalyptic disease game. A map shows the spread of a disease by planes and ships criss-crossing the screen. Countries slowly turn from green to red as the epidemic takes hold.

Disease

Then the disease mutates and you watch the body count ratchet up. So, naively, I assumed the point of the game was to stop the population dying. Maybe it was even a bit educational. But no. The objective is to kill all human kind. The game tries to save people, you try to kill everyone.

The irony. There is a trend generally towards end-of-the-world films, TV, books, newspaper articles and of course ubiquitous rolling-news coverage. Should something nasty happen you will be able to watch it in real time from the comfort of your front room.

And if it does happen I will make sure my family of survivalists-in-waiting are fully prepared with a big hearty breakfast of American Pancakes with Pig-Flu Free Bacon and Sausages and Chicken-Flu Free Scrambled Eggs (I am assuming pancakes cannot act as flu transfer agents)

IMG_0478

Continue reading

How to Make an Angry Birds Cake

I love Angry Birds.

‘What’s Angry Birds’? I hear you ask. No I do hear you, I hear the voices. In my head. No I don’t really.

For the uninitiated, Angry Birds is just about the most popular App on the iPhone. You shoot little (and very angry) birds at some Bad Piggies who have stolen their eggs. It’s incredibly addictive.

So when my youngest son’s birthday came round last month I decided an homage to Angry Birds was in order (for he too is an aficionado of Angry Birds).

IMG_9633

Continue reading

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!

IMG_0339

Continue reading