I like Francis Mallmann’s style of cooking. The Argentine cook – who is featured in the brilliant new Netflix series Chef’s Table – likes fire and smoke. He likes things burned – not black and acrid – just well caramelised. Extreme Maillardification, if you want.
I grew up in Cornwall and – when the weather very occasionally decided to play ball – me and my friends would go camping on a beach and cook over fire. I remember cooking steak on a huge sheet of slate and then using the embers to roast bananas in their skin.
I was bedridden with some sort of wretched stomach bug for most of yesterday but when I finally got a bit of appetite back, I ate some seared salmon with a few crushed new potatoes, some aioli and a couple of small, singed flatbreads I made in the day.
The drab brown block of flats which I live in at an exorbitant price do come with one advantage: a – sigh – artisan bakery within 30 seconds walk. In the evening, you can pick up a big, freshly-made sourdough loaf for a couple of quid. That’s what I did last night.
Today, I had the burning desire to make rarebit: If lunchtime snacks were the horses of Middle-Earth, this would be Shadowfax.
Anyway, I have a pot of eat17’s chorizo jam in the fridge and thought I’d do something a little continental. So, for lack of a real name, here’s Spanish Rarebit.
I am a hungry guy. I eat constantly, I eat late a lot of the time, and yet every day I wake up ravenous. Not just peckish-hungry but full-blown stomach-grumbles-and-pain sort of hungry. If I wake up late for work and wolf down a slice of toast, I’ll find myself lethargic and grumpy until lunch (or second breakfast). The best way of avoiding hangriness (it’s a word, language is fluid, it’s my blog, shut up) is to fill up on a big bowl of oats.
Life without breakfast is miserable. Get up a little earlier, make this, frown less.
Sorry I’ve been away for so long. Had a marathon and an election and a birthday and a holiday to deal with. Hard life.
Anyway, last night my friend decided to throw an impromptu meal for five of us. He made pie. I said I’d make dessert, thinking I had about six or seven good go-to recipes. Then I remembered that one of the five can’t eat gluten. So that was those ideas out of the window. I only had a few hours so decided on a slightly fiddled-with Ramsay recipe I watched on TV ages ago. It went down a treat, it was pretty easy… and JUST LOOK AT IT.