Favourite find of the week: Ram-It-Up Curry Goat Booster, lurking at back of kitchen cupboard.
Monday was spent cooking from India, by Pushpesh Pant (yes). There are reviews on Amazon which say this book is ‘not for the beginner’. Fine, I thought – I’m not. I’m no expert either, but I know my asafoetida from my fenugreek. I’m sad to say then that I found cooking from the book a frustrating experience. An example from the tomato coconut chutney recipe: listed in the ingredients, ‘fried chana dal’. Fried in what? Shallow fried? Deep fried? Fried in the hot Indian sun? No idea. Many of the recipes seem to be unedited, which is a huge shame, because this is a vast collection, full of interesting and unique dishes. Best was the pork vindaloo, although it took an hour and a half longer to cook than the recipe stated and managed to break a curry law by not tasting better the next day. In the absence of any side dishes (we gave up, basically) or rice, we made – wait for it – sandwiches, with the sauce alongside for dipping.
A spur of the moment dinner at St. John was like being welcomed by an old friend, although I have to say I still much prefer to eat in the bar rather than the restaurant. They make a kick ass martini, which seems to come in bucket-like proportions. The Welsh rarebit is hard to resist and at the right time of year they never, ever, fail to have crab on. This time I ate – brace yourselves – a sandwich. Egg mayo and watercress, one of my favourite fillings, had the reassuringly British tickle of malt vinegar. After years of occasionally adding capers to egg mayo and being annoyed at them for being too bolshy, I realised I wanted malt vinegar all along.
Egg mayo sandwich at St. John
Thursday saw me trekking to the swanky end of town to eat at Tinello. This swishy Italian makes the dinkiest, salty courgette fries which are hard to resist eating by the fistful. A salad of puntarelle came in a thick, bold dressing – perfect for those sturdy bitter leaves. The real star though was a special of truffle pasta, the sauce basically a truck load of butter and a splash of starchy pasta water as far as I could tell, the topping those intoxicating shaved truffles. We shared this between three which is one of the biggest regrets of my life so far.
Puntarelle and capers
I also stuffed my smug little face at Dip and Flip; you can read about their glorious patty melt on my sandwich blog.
I know you’re all jonesing for that weekly cat pic, so here’s one of Chas and Delia’s greatest hits from Instagram (I’m foodstories).
You let go. No, you let go. You let go first. No.
Finally I simply must introduce to you what is possibly the best/worst/funniest piece of marketing for wine EVER. Warning: it’s a stealthy ear worm. Readers, I present to you, ‘As Long As You Like’ by Prowein. So bad it’s brilliant.