Thursday, 21 October 2010

Frankie Valli meets Iron Maiden

It was  a beast of a day. Two straightforward dishes, but with multiple techniques and stages, and a late lecture, another 11 hour day.And I had a duty after lunch as well.

On paper a tuna pasta salad looks simple. But add in making the dressing, substituting ingredients and hunting missing ones and it was a labour of love. Similarly a chilli con carne is something thrown together in minutes, or not. Start by making the Colorado sauce that will provide the heat, cutting huge chunks of chump steak down to the  recipe level then dicing. Next make the salsa, chop the onions and shallots, dice the pepper etc and then think about presentation bit harder than opening a can of Stagg's Chilli or adding Tabasco to mince.

Then came today's bonus event, filleting a flat fish. One plaice neatly divided in four later, and several rather good profiteroles later I got back to cooking eventually turning out my allotted dishes. Full of profiterole I decided to skip lunch thus saving me from doing more than just tasting the aforementioned pasta and chilli though I did manage a glass or two of lemonade.

The Weigh Up Room returned to near pristine condition I hurried to Demo  for a presentation by the excellent and inspiring Ardsallagh Goats cheese producers and subsequently to see Rachel produce a range of goat cheese goodies and a couple of fish dishes as well as more exciting things to do with choux pastry. This means that I will be making it tomorrow in its baked rather than deep fried form. Also I have to make brown bread.

In the course of demonstrating this afternoon Rachel got to dismember a Monkfish, Midge look away now.

Demo over we had our extra lecture - Sherry (hence Frankie Valli). This under rated and definitely under priced beverage has a 3,000 year history and served correctly can be a delight and we are not talking about the bottle my parents opened in 1950 and still hand out thimble fulls from at Christmas. We tasted three types and this was just a warm up for the real tasting which will accompany "Tapas Day" next week.

So where is the reference to Iron Maiden and why did I have a beast of a day?

Amazingly my three dishes Pasta, Chilli and Salsa scored a perfect 6,6,6 (the number of the beast),  all together now "I lived alone dum dum dum dum My head etc" so for posterity and bragging rights, here they are.

And I enjoyed my minor moment of success that I decided to toast myself with Sherry.

Tomorrow's blog will probably appear on Saturday as Mrs K is making the long trip over and much as I love you , dear readers, I will be spending time with her rather than my keyboard.


  1. doesn't that filletted fish look like a lovely fluffy kitten! I couldn't possibly eat one of those!
    Enjoy the weekend I am off to Cornwall for Felix christening won't be back till Friday so will have loads of blogs to catch up on great joy!

  2. I love the fluffy kitten, Bill!

    I've started getting quite into good sherry in recent years. Have you come across or tried Banyuls, though? It's a 'sort of a sherry' from Banyul sur Mer in France, just north of Spain on the Med. Lovely stuff.