An Omelette and a Glass of Wine

omeletteMy first recipe from a cook book since I started this blog, and Elizabeth David seems a mighty fine place to start. Wikipedia has the following to say about her:

“David is considered responsible for bringing French and Italian cooking into the British home (along with now ubiquitous items such as olive oil and the courgette). In a Britain worn down by post-war rationing and dull food, she celebrated the regional and rural dishes of the Mediterranean rather than the fussier food of the gourmands and aristocrats. David’s style is characterised by terse descriptions of the recipes themselves, accompanied by detailed descriptions of their context and historical background, and often laced with anecdotal asides.”

As usual, the great God Wiki is right. In An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, she recalls how diners at the Hotel de la Tete D’Or in Normandy would rave about the lightness and beauty of the omelettes made by the hotel’s proprietress, Madame Poulard, early last century. Did she mix water with eggs? Was cream the secret ingredient? Or had she reared a hen breed unique to her back yard? When Mme Poulard revealed her secret, the truth was rather more prosaic: “I break some good eggs in a bowl, I  beat them well, I put a good piece of butter in the pan, I thow the eggs into it, and I shake it constantly”. So much for secret ingredients.

David’s essay ends with a mightily calorific cheese omelette recipe she came across in Avignon, requiring Parmesan, eggs, pepper, butter, cream and Gruyere. I’m going to try it tonight – with the requisite glass of wine, of course. I shall report back.

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The recipe books currently by the side of my bed …

… are, in no particular order:

  • Simple to Sensational by Jun Tanaka from Pearl
  • The Rough Guide to Food
  • A New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden.

The first time … ever I blogged a meal

courgetteSusie conjured a culinary marvel this evening. She sauteed (is this the same as frying?) batons of courgette in lemon oil, then tossed in the rind from one lemon. To this, she  added one salmon steak, flaked, and then seasoned the mix, before turning it into some damned fine tagliatelle. The result was a great combination of zingy citrus, caramelised courgette and tender fish that called to mind the simplicity of River Cafe recipes.

I’m realising that I should have taken a photograph of the dish – boy, there’s so much to remember with this blogging lark. Imagine a courgette-y, salmon-y, pasta-y mixture and you won’t be a million miles away from the truth of it. You’ll have to take my word for it, that it was appealing and colourful.

My life as an eater of food

One day the small, green people who live in outer space will intercept our airwaves and analyse all our blogs. When they come to consider this blog, their small green web analysts will say, “Hmmm, why did its author call it Stupid and Hungry?”

The answer is that I love food, cooking, eating out and cookery books, and am fascinated by food issues and food history; but have never taken the trouble to really gen up on the subject, or to make a concerted effort to become a proficient domestic cook. In short, I’m a bit stupid when it comes to food and yet almost invariably hungry for food.

I am starting this blog in the hope that it will spur me on to become a food expert.

A few things you need to know about me:

  • I edit a trade magazine called Caterer and Hotelkeeper, so I am fortunate to have access to some of the UK’s greatest chefs. This could prove handy when  I need advice.
  • Having spent large portions of my adult life in Southeast Asia, I have a default leaning towards Asian cuisine which too often sees me chuck chilli into dishes inappropriately.
  • I have a mild adiction to carbs, and often enjoy the pasta/potato/rice part of a dish more than its other component parts.
  • My wife, Susie, is a great cook; some of the recipes I capture here will be hers.  

In this blog, I plan to track my attempts to learn the basics of cooking and to capture all the best facts and recipes I come across as I read around the subject of food.