So much excitement last week because I went out to eat, for the first time since lockdown properly out: drinks, two courses and dessert. It was excellent, mainly because it wasn’t me (or The Weather Man) who cooked the meal and even better that we didn’t have to wash up.
Joking aside, I also realised how through the pandemic and lockdown I lost a major source of inspiration for food. Going out, having something new and exciting which I enjoyed was only half of it – I’d return home and start thinking how to replicate it, copy it or twist it. No wonder I’m so barren of ideas these days I keep cooking various dishes with chanterelles…
One of the best reproduction dishes I have cooked is prawn tomato stew. You might try it out this week, as might I. Another throwback is the baked scamorza, based on a simple skillet of baked cheese I was served once in Spain.
Kedgeree was a restaurant starter – kedgeree on my menu. I copied the salmon and melon salad and am proud of it. Lemon potato wedges? Why, it was of course the full-blown Greek Easter feast one year!
My version of haloumi burgers lives on these pages, the original – in Cornwall. And my all time favourite oriental (though thoroughly westernised) dish, General Tso’s chicken, I first had in Shropshire.
The same goes for cakes and bakes. I started baking gateau Basque almost on my return journey from St Jean de Luz. Fougasse Emmental was inspired by the local bakery in Provence that offered the best crisp cheesy flatbreads. And my greatest achievement of this kind, dome cake, I worked out after a dessert in the French Alps.
So you could maybe pick one or more of the above to cook this week? Or wait for new recipes, and the easiest way to keep up is to subscribe to the newsletter. And don’t forget my YouTube channel – it’s building slowly but regularly. Keep well and eat well!