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What to cook this week?

Sun, 26 February, 2017

If you open any papers today, pancakes in all shapes and forms will jump out of each and every one. A clear sign that Shrove Tuesday falls in this week. Everyone knows that you're supposed to eat pancakes on that day, or pastries if you call it Mardi Gras; or doughnuts if it's Fastnacht. Hardly anyone knows these days though that it's supposed to be followed by austerity, fasting and repentance. Glorious modern habits have chosen to ignore the forthcoming fast and only go for the stuff-your-face-on-a-Tuesday bit, naturally.

Pancakes then - first I'll suggest the traditional in England wheat and milk thin ones, which technically should be called crêpes. But I'll serve them with the not so common filling of spinach and blue cheese, and I'll stick them under the grill for a couple of minutes for extra crispiness. Beat that! What might do, actually, is a buckwheat pancake, or galette de sarrasin. Fashionably gluten free (has that silly fad not kicked the bucket yet?) but it's incidental - and they are a little easier to fry in the sticking-to-the-pan department. Ham, cheese and Bob est ton oncle.

That's Tuesday out of the way; what else to cook this week? I'll offer you a choice again, like with the pancakes: how about a chicken Caesar salad, a pure classic? Or else you might do a twist and cook the chicken in breadcrumbs, thus deconstructing croutons. Also useful if you don't have leftover roast chicken at hand and crave a Caesar.

Now two parmigianas: one meaty, one veggie. That's one of the most wonderful dishes ever invented and I honestly don't know which option is better.

Desserts beckon, since I limited my pancake offer to savoury ones. How about a gateau Basque which is a/ easy and b/ will do nicely for breakfast? If not French, let's go for a Scandinavian. The Swedish have the best kept secret (and it's not Abba reunion) in the shape of kladdkaka - sticky cake - which can be made with white, milk or dark chocolate. Time for a fika! Hej då!

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