Monday 11 February 2008

Food Post

You may have noticed that despite mentioning food in the blurb about this blog I don't post about it that often. This is firstly due to the number one driver for a post here is me getting riled about something and food rarely does that. Secondly I am notoriously bad with recipes. Apart from baking which requires some accuracy, a recipe going in gets done while referring to the cook book, once maybe twice (and even then I tend to riff a bit with the minutiae) and after that it is from memory. In the other direction, when I am trying to create a dish from scratch I never quite manage to note it down. This weekend, while still not creating an accurate account, you will note the use of terms like "some" and "pinch" I at least made sure I set aside jars as I used them so I could make some stab at what I had done. So here is my Prawn Puree.

Before I start a note on chillies. My house mate is a chilli fiend and there are always some interesting specimens, both bought and home grown in the freezer. I usually use a pinch test to work out the strength of any that I get out that I am not utterly sure of. Pinching the fruit under your nose usually gives a fair idea of the pungency, even of frozen ones. This time it failed, what I thought mild was a Bhut Jolokia this lead to a far stronger sauce than I intended especially given the chilli was used whole, seeds and all. Luckily this one was home grown so nowhere near the octane of a hot country/housed version.

Firstly in a dry pan I toasted a large pinch of each of the following, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and whole Bristol blend five pepper; blitz these with a teaspoon of Garam Masala and a table spoon of flour. Into the spicy flour throw all but a handful of your prawns and get them covered well. Put some oil in the pan and gently brown four cloves of garlic, one hot chilli and a quarter of an onion roughly chopped. Into your blitzing device put the reserved prawns, a good squeeze of tomato puree, the browned garlic, chilli and onion, a pinch of salt a glug of oil and some Ginger Conserve (I follow the ways of Ken Hom who dictates that you must always have some sweetening with chilli, using conserve gives this dimension alongside getting some ginger into the sauce) and blend to a fine paste. Gently fry the prawns (timings here depend on if they are pre cooked or not, but neither take long) then when they are cooked/warmed through add the sauce. At this point I struggle for the word that describes how you know you are done, but when it smells right you know you are done. Serve on warm chapattis I buy mine but if you want to make them, finding a recipe for these is an exercise left to the reader.

If you think that is vague, my recipe for my idea of an excellent omelette is

More than enough eggs, too much cheese, a sufficiency of bacon, an uncomfortable amount of garlic and one tomato.

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