|Best of the best: Seared scallops with tomato tartlet and basil vinaigrette.|
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Yes, I know, it's been awhile. But the reality that you should all be aware of by now is my job is one where, to me, free time is as precious and rare a commodity as a listenable Justin Bieber song. But with the week that it's been and the workload required for our Valentine's day menu I've been spending so much time in work, that I'm one step away from just curling up in the prep kitchen with a sleeping bag at the end of the each night. So I apologies if the veg patch that is my blog has sprouted a few weeds and started smelling faintly of cat piss.
But the one meal I made is a demonstration of a piece of advice that is integral to been a better cook. In short, I'm feeling generous this week. Perhaps the hours have resulted in a fatigue-induced lobotomy, but I feel like sharing something with you all. Some advice, that if you've any interest in feeding yourself beyond ready-meals and potato waffle sandwiches, might help actually help you. This advice could be summed up in a one word. A word that applies to and encapsulates everything involved in cookery. It is a word that whether it be students in a grubby bed-sit with a copy of 'Jamie's 30-Minute meals', or amongst the brigades of the most avant-garde, pyrotechnical three-star kitchens of Paris, New York or Tokyo, holds just as equal relevance and importance. The word; technique. My advice; that if you want to be better cook, concentrate on learning techniques, not recipes. Now, considering that on the face of it techniques are, essentially, recipes I wouldn't be surprised if the following didn't come off slightly convoluted but I'll explain as best as I can. Also bear in mind that I'm so very, very tired.
Let’s take one of the simplest such bases in a kitchen: a vinaigrette or dressing for salad, one part acid mixed to 3-4 parts oil. Google ‘salad dressing recipes’ and you’ll get near seven million results, and even if there are millions of dressing recipes out there I can tell you that at least most of will have the above at their core. So here I’ve made a curry. But I’ve posted a curry before and on the surface they seem pretty different but at their core in essence, is a method of making curry. Before I used just rice and peas, because it’s all it had. This time I’ve used chicken, chick peas, and mushrooms, because at the time it was all I had. So if you’re making this and you’d didn’t have any of those and instead had just a load of veg, or instead of chicken had lamb or even fish, with the method as a guide it’d still be ace.
Chicken, Chickpea and Pea Curry:
The method and quantities are near identical to this. But as I’ve said, that’s kinda the point. Amounts are per person:
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp tumeric
½ tbsp chilli powder
1 spring onion
- Drain chickpeas and stir in.
- When the chickpeas are warm add in peas and butter in bring back up temperature. Add spring onions and serve.