Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Simple food is often the best ...

Plums Plums Plums! Get them while they are peaking!

Simple food is often the best ...
I’ve cooked lots of corn recently but I was tempted to buy more when I saw an enormous mound of it in my local vegetable store. I knew it had just been delivered. Unfolding the husks and silks took my breath away because the kernels were so perfect, so moist, and I just wanted to eat it raw. But that hardly makes a recipe, so I soldiered on. I love this mix of tarragon, smoked paprika and lime. Char-grilling adds a layer of flavour and this is an easy way to do it: Corn with Paprika & Tarragon
The best cooking plums are now appearing in markets. I decided to poach a bag of them. You know you’ve got a winning recipe when you go back for a taste again and again. Ilaria and I tried the plums before shooting them (naughty!), and then ate what was photographed. We had some more at 6.00pm, and another lot for dessert. Our only regret is that there are none leftover for breakfast today. Start with firmish slightly sour plums. Don’ use imports. If plums aren’t in season where you live, wait until they are before making this recipe. Don’t bother with the first plums of the season, and don’t try this with yellow-fleshed plums because they are often watery and collapse if cooked. Go for Omega, Black Doris, Billington, Elephant Heart and George Wilson, plums that have red skin and flesh, tight texture and a hint of sourness. Poached plums
How much of a slave should you be to a classic recipe? I’ve no worries about changing out ingredients or altering methods, but I do think if you make a huge change to a classic it should be acknowledged in the title. Hence Ilaria’s Caesar Salad. She’s come up with a yoghurt dressing that is so damned delicious you’ll want to use it with slaw, with a tray of baked vegetables, with eggplant and peppers, with fish, with lamb, with EVERYTHING! You’ve got to try it.

 This week you can read about
nutmeg and mace. Do you know what mace is? Or the difference between the two? And, tarragon. Good god I could chop the heads off growers or retailers who sell Russian tarragon instead of French tarragon. Are they dumb? They certainly can’t have any taste buds operating. Don’t get conned into buying it! Yep, I can get quite worked up about these things …

Anyway, please give me some feedback, especially about the cooking classes. If the dates, times or topics don’t suit, please let me know what it is you are after and I’ll see if I can schedule it in. I’ve got two slots left on this
Saturday’s Best of the Middle East class if it suits. The sun is set to shine on Saturday and the class is going to be full of  gorgeous and exotic plant-based dishes. I swear you won't miss the meat.
For info about the March cooking classes click here. March Cooking classes
Have a great week.

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