Thursday, 27 December 2012

Travel Quiz - Part 4

Find the hidden river names - there are at least 63 (and maybe one or two I haven't even spotted myself)

I've long been interested in cooking, My culinary passion began gestating when Fanny Craddock bossed poor Johnny on the old cathode ray tube. Later I discovered Elizabeth David. Artistry in the kitchen I thought. From her I got the bug. The awe you felt leafing through French Provincial Cooking makes her a muse in every sense. You can immerse yourself in her mouthwatering recipes. There could be no richer well of traditional recipes. Her books still outshine all others.

I have no use for processed food. I love Black Forest ham especially for lunch if I'm pressed by deadlines to urgently return to my desktop, or need to read our constitution yet again. With it I usually eat a salad in dressing. For a quick pud I like to get a yoghurt from the fridge. As an accompaniment I defy you to find sweeter honey than that from Greece.

For main courses love to cook with fresh or wild mushrooms - I get a gust of autumn forest when I open a bag. They are great in an omelette. I always want them with spaghetti - grissini with that of course and sometime I lust after them simply fried on toast. In fact that's pretty nearly my favourite snack. They really are delicious.

Beef must be served rare. I love rib bleeding when I carve it. And of course it must be - like lamb - left to stand when removed from the oven. Rump and best end of neck are are two of the tastiest cuts.

For the dessert I often experiment. Madeleines in dustings of sugar are a speciality. I smother them in hot vanilla sauce. In another departure from the conventional I soak the sponge in iles flottante with Calvados. I like to serve sorbets in nests of spun sugar. Apples are still good for pies at this time of year but you must weed out any that have brown marks (those bruised aren't suitable). With biscotti, berries and creme fraiche make a refreshing dessert.

After that a runny Camembert perhaps, a cheddar - notably a Montgomery - or a Stilton with which I happily put away a glass of port.

What to drink with all this? Recently I simmered monkfish in a white wine broth. Cider went well with that. I find fried eel benefits from a pinot noir but allow it the breathe. Let a little air enter the bottle before pouring.
We are lucky in the sunny UK on account of the fact that our ales go well with many dishes. With desserts try a sweet amaretto. Best of all I find a Sauterne vastly superior to a red wine with blue cheese such as Roquefort.

Food is unalloyed enjoyment. I get affable after a good meal and a glass or three (I like the wine flow yet prefer to keep a clear head) but despite my gourmet tastes I invariably eat sparingly.. To consume too much represents naked greed. Besides there's always some use for left overs. Some dishes as terrific reused.

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