A blog about cooking with a surprise set of ingredients.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Here's the bag, and don't grouse about it!

We're in Scotland this week, and I promised Henrik a bag of local food. He's expecting to be asked to cook a deep-fried haggis and chips supper, washed down with Irn Bru and proof strength alcohol, followed by the classic deep-fried Mars Bar. The obligatory street fight would no doubt follow. However, this is the Highlands, and we do things a bit differently. Henrik's bag of food contains 2 red grouse, black pudding, scallops, red-currants, turnip, parsnip, sweet potato, home-grown lettuce and home-grown nettles. Oh, and a Mars Bar. Well, we need something to get us going for the fighting.


If my memory doesn’t fail me, it was I who cooked last week too. And now, in Scotland, visiting Hazel’s parents, she’s given me a bag of Scottish food to cook in her mother’s kitchen. As I look at the ingredients, her dad announces that he has not eaten grouse in thirty-five years because he doesn’t like it, at which Hazel’s mother says ‘forty-two’ as that is how long they have been married. What do you say about my chances? Rather the colour of the scallops than of the lettuce.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lenny's revenge (or how to spherify a quail)

There was a large pig's trotter in the butcher today, and I seriously considered buying it as a suitable revenge for poor old Lenny the lobster. However, the tricky thing with this bag of food thing is that the buyer of the bag has to eat the results of the cooking, and I just couldn't face a trotter for dinner. On the other hand, Henrik has just done a course on spherification of food and our kitchen has been littered with what looks like discarded chemistry equipment and slightly odd wobbly spheres of different ingredients - blue curacao, olives, peach caviar - so I wanted to see if I could get him to spherify something. So, by a rather round-about route, Henrik's bag of food turned out as follows: 4 quails, saffron, beetroot, radishes, carrots, mango, raspberries and fresh green olives. The question is whether he will take the implicit challenge in all of this - will he have a go at spherifying a quail? We'll have to wait and see!


But, darling, how could I make spherical quails? That would be stealing

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who killed Lenny the Lobster?

I didn't buy Lenny the Lobster to start with. I went to the GB over at Bascule and came home with four small sole. But then when I was picking up Magnus from the creche, I thought that maybe sole and sardines are a bit too close and that Hazel will just do an Indian version of them (which would be quite intriguing, I must admit) so I went past a supermarket on the way and got Lenny. I chose him because he was defending himself in the fiercest way. The fiercer, the tastier, they say. I also got fennel, pak soi, water cress and a pomegranate, and the pantry is well stocked after quite some cooking sessions lately. What will Hazel make? There'll be an Indian touch in some way, but a lobster curry? Maybe not. Or maybe she will find the four sole in the fridge and skip Lenny all together. I'm excited to see the plates, darling!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rolling pin at the ready

Henrik is definitely a very macho cook - we have lots of meat, a few small bits and pieces of vegetables, and then some more meat, as rare as possible. So, inspired by the strangely addictive Great British Bake Off, I am going to see if I can get him to bake. And with vegetables at that. Flour, butter, baking powder, eggs, courgette, aubergine, sweet potatoes, shallots and red pepper are in the mystery box, with some Emmental to top it off. Looking forward to the results!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A skirt, darling

This was not intended to be a bag of food. Parts of Magnus' fan club were supposed to come tonight and I had bought a nice piece of salmon. We were going to make a version of beef from Harumi Kurihara. You cut the salmon in good cubes, fry them lightly and put in a shallow dish and cover with herbs and dashi. I also bought an onglet that I planned to transform into a Skirt steak Ssäm from David Chang's Momofuku cook book. But then as the fan club will come tomorrow, tonight turned into bag of food night and the onglet became Hazel's challenge. I look forward to tasting the result, darling!