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Archive for the ‘Eggs’ Category

Lavender Ice-Cream

The MasterChef final provided the usual mix of thumping beats, slow mo, tough cooking, Florence & the Machine’s ubiquitous warbling and contestants crying. Good on old Dick for refusing to shed a single tear even when goaded by the judges. Stoicism seems to be viewed as equivalent to emotional retardation on these reality shows and it was a delight to see someone like Dick Strawbridge, a man who never once mentioned a dead relative, go so far. I can’t not mention his moustache because it is utterly fabulous; a joy to behold. I’m not sure that a man with a ponytail hanging from his upper lip should really be cooking professionally though.

Like a lot of people I was rooting for Christine Hamilton to win and I’m sure like a lot of people I never thought I would root for Christine Hamilton to win anything. Lisa Faulkner did it in the end though and good on her. At times I was seriously concerned she might pass out from dehydration the sheer amount of bloody crying she was doing. It was quite pretty crying though, a sparkling tear elegantly sliding down her cheek rather than snot flying all over the shop. It’s so important to do the right sort of crying on these shows.

My highlight of the programme was when John Torode compared Lisa Faulkner’s panna cotta to a bosom with what can only be described as a filthy look on his face. John being more excited by a pudding than Greg the Green Grocer is unprecedented. Future competitors should take note and start designing puddings that look a bit like boobs; it’s a one-way ticket to the final.

Whilst watching Friday’s show I was also making some lavender ice-cream. This is a flavour that wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it. It is very floral and delicate but also densely creamy from the custard base. Now if I can just find a way to shape it into a bosom…

I used the recipe here. It mentions including glycerine and then doesn’t say when to put use it so I just stirred it in before freezing the mix. My father followed the same recipe without using the glycerine and it didn’t make any difference so it really is optional. I don’t own an ice-cream maker and I really don’t think you need one when making an ice-cream with a custard base.

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Fresh start omelette

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Sometimes life can get in the way of food. This is something I try to avoid; even at the most traumatic points in my life I have been able to ravage a curry and ask for seconds. I am, perhaps regrettably, not one of those people who sheds pounds in times of crisis. I won’t even let a razor sore throat prevent the consumption of solids.

 

Recently I have been stressed, away from home a lot and forced to enter my 28th year on this planet. I have found myself eating a litany of soulless yo shushis and ping pongs rather than cooking something delicious myself. The result is a few extra pounds around my middle and a palpable feeling that something isn’t quite right.  I need a fresh start.

 

I know it looks like a mess, this dish is beautiful on the inside.

I know it looks like a mess, this dish is beautiful on the inside.

 

So this evening I rifled through the fridge and removed the mould from anything that could be saved. Two eggs were judged to be edible despite the box advising a use by date of the 8th September. If I’m dead in the morning please point the coroner in that direction. I also had some red chillies, an onion, garlic, yoghurt and frozen broad beans.

 

My egg phobia has been mentioned in a previous post and this fear does extend to omelettes which I have never loved. Does anyone really love omelettes? I associate them with leftovers and muscle men. The omelette I conjured up though was made divine by the garlic yoghurt and egg combination which is Skye Gyngell’s invention. The broad beans, red chillies and sloppy presentation however are mine, all mine.

 

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Having had thirty minutes to digest and with the garlic aroma still lingering on my tongue I am filled with a sense of satisfaction and calm that yo sushi can never deliver. For the first time I understand the point of omelettes and I think that makes me an adult…or a muscle man, I’ll let you know.

 

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Continue reading for the recipe

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Chilli Eggs

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On Sunday afternoon I went to see Julie & Julia at the Picturehouse cinema in Clapham. It was just me, a large glass of red wine and a room full of fellow moviegoers. When I took my seat and the adverts began I felt one of those sudden bursts of utter contentment which threatened to erupt from me in an uncontrolled yelp of joy. Does anyone else experience sudden waves of excitement when going to the cinema alone? Throw in a packet of Maltesers and my ecstasy hits levels I can only imagine is comparable to that of drug users.

 

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The joy I take in my unaccompanied cinematic experiences does give me a rather rosy view of many films since my overall bliss at being alone tends to bathe the feature in a reflected glow. Of course the odd horror of a flick can penetrate my cinematic ardour (The Proposal anyone?) but this is a rare occurrence. Sadly this means that I could never be a film critic despite feeling so at home in a movie theatre. As is so often the case with food I am unable to look at a film objectively and my experience of it is intrinsically tied to my mood.

 

Julie & Julia I am happy to say was excellent. I could be wrong of course, it might be an absolute stinker but I was feeling so happy how could it not be great? There wasn’t nearly as much food porn as I expected but perhaps I am used to things a bit more hardcore, so to speak. It was very funny, or at least the Julia Child sections were. Honestly I’d have happily done away with the sections based on Julie Powell but hey, I’m no film critic.

 

All of this leads me to eggs, sort of. The Julie of the film was a food blogger who had never eaten an egg before commencing her mission to cook her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in just one year. This might sound like a travesty to any food-lover but, whilst I have eaten many an egg, I understand Julie’s reluctance.

 

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There is something about eggs (I’m talking poached, boiled and fried here) that makes me nervous. It’s not to do with eating embryo; I have not a shred of a principle when it comes to eating animal babies born or otherwise. It’s something about egg white, a substance with the potential to be quite revolting in an uncooked state. How can this gloop be married to the delicious and beautiful yolk? The white of the egg is the challenge and the yolk the reward. Don’t let meringues blind you.

 

The exception to this is my father’s chilli eggs. I like a runny yolk as much as the next person but I am ashamed to say I frequently sacrifice this to the greater good of a solid egg white. In this dish though I am always able to produce a runny yolk and cooked egg white.

 

Chilli eggs is a delicious mid-week meal. You can throw in any old vegetables you have knocking around the fridge. Speaking as an eggphobe I can vouch that this dish wins me over every time. Bon appetit!

 

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