The days fly by so quickly that, on the few occasions when I have sat down to write this post, I have ended up spending a good five minutes staring at a blank screen while attempting to remember what on Earth I have actually cooked recently. I mean, I do cook - most days. And it usually tastes pretty good. But I have an appalling memory, especially when it comes to blogging. I’ve resorted to going back through my photos as a reminder which means that this post ends up being a summary of the dishes that I have photographed recently rather than particular favourites, but there. I suppose that if I was moved to photograph it, I probably liked it.
Actually, I’m going to start by talking about something fantastically delicious for which I do not have a picture. I mean, I do have a picture but it is so spectacularly bad, even for me, that I’m not prepared to use it. And that is D’s Merguez burgers. When he made his last batch of Merguez sausages he reserved some of the meat to make into patties. We fried these and then loaded them into a brioche bun with houmous, slices of roasted red pepper and a minted yoghurt and feta whip. What a combo. What a burger. Why am I writing this post while hungry?
For something a bit more refined, I commend to your attention Nathan Outlaw’s pan fried fish with spring vegetable nage. Such a versatile dish. Such an understated pleasure to eat. I’m having a bit of a moment with hake recently, so that is what we chose to serve here and just behold that wonderful, salty, crispy skin - a perfect foil to the silken creaminess of the nage underneath.
And another lovely seafood dish: the always wonderful Diana Henry’s crab, tomato and saffron tart. I used the recipe in her latest book, but this online version looks much the same. Now I, personally, often find crab a bit cloying, but the layer of almost jammy tomatoes cuts through that richness and provides a welcome contrast. Unfortunately, my pastry skills remain poor and I struggled with the shortness of the dough here; I ended up smushing it into the tin like Play-Doh rather than rolling it out. Still good though, and it did us two suppers and one packed lunch accompanied by a variety of salady bits and pieces.
Finally, not so much a dish but another very welcome addition to the fridge: I’ve been strewing these pickled chillies over a lot of things recently and they’re a lovely way to add tiny pops of both acidity and chilli heat to all sorts of dishes. Along with my continuing sriracha obsession, and the fact that I manage to find a way to incorporate D’s green chilli and coriander salsa into practically everything I eat, I’m becoming quite the chilli fiend!