Sunday, June 17, 2007

Food, Drink and Sex...

One phrase I am probably over-using at the moment is Food Porn. It’s even appearing in Good Food and I love it. I love it! It’s the perfect example of how obsessive we foodies can be.

Hell, even one glance around the bookshelves of your highstreet booksellers, groaning with fat, glossy, cookbooks can tell you that food has gone a bit, well, porny. If the Moro cookbooks are not a thing of beauty then I don’t know what is. And the shrink-wrapped, limited edition, heavier-than-the-Rosetta Stone French Laundry cookbook?

Well, that just takes it one step further. That’s hardcore.
Does this make us all perverts? Does this make UKTV and The Food Network our Playboy and Spice channels? Does this make Gordon Ramsay (he who is everywhere) Hugh Hefner –and if so, what does that make Nigella Lawson? Does a cooking break in Tuscany now have the same snigger-inducing credentials as residential Tantric Sex Camp?
Next, we’ll be needing credit card info to log onto the Good Food website, and food photographers will be moonlighting for Escort Magazine.

I guess it could explain the ramblings that erupt from my mouth upon entering food festivals, and those fevered, panic-induced buys (Honey – Look! Olives soaked in honey and vinegar with parmesan cheese – gotta have it, gotta have it…), whilst elbowing other greasy -fingered, foodporn-glazed zombies like myself out of the way. Come on, we've all sunk to this level.

We’re all addicts, and we love it. Now excuse me while I tend to my ‘secret stash’...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

News Round Up 06/2007

The Leeds Food & Drink Festival 2007 is prety much organised now, see thier website for dates and events here...Market Town Tavern's website now lists all food nights at all thier pubs and bars across Yorkshire...Yorkshire Deli (see link) are now up and running - good luck!...check out North Yorkshire Local Food for excellent news of all farmer's markets across Yorkshire...and has anyone else visited the excellent Greek Gyro place in Kirkgate Market? Simple food but delicious - let me know your thoughts...

Market Town Taverns Global Press!

...Spotted an excellent article on Yorkshire's own Market Town Taverns in this month's excellent Beers Of The World Magazine.
About time, too. MTT are an outstanding company, putting the life back into the 'pub' experience in Yorkshire, and turning a new generation (ie, mine!) of people onto the joys or real ales from around the world.
It's in shops now, but you can read some of it here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Prawn Saganaki

As I mentioned earlier on, this was the one meal that really captured my holiday. It’s a common Greek dish, usually served as a starter, although as soon as we returned we set about making it up ourselves as a main course with bread for mopping up all that sauce. It’s not an original recipe, but my version of one. All the ingredients were obtained from Leeds Kirkgate Market at a 9am raid!

Serves 2. You will need;
4 ripe tomatoes (bigger the better)
1 large onion
1 large pepper
2 dashes of Tabasco
A dash of Balsamic Vinegar
2/3 Garlic cloves (or as much as you want!)
Some Good Olive oil
2 bay leaves
Teaspoon of sugar
Black pepper/oregano/thyme
8 large, fresh Prawns.
1 block of feta cheese, cubed into roughly 8 or so cubes.

1.Make a basic tomato sauce – take out the tomato seeds and roughly chop. Chop onions and pepper and lightly fry in about 2 tbspns Olive Oil, in a deep pan, until slightly golden and softened. Add tomatoes, stir, add Balsamic Vinegar, Tabasco, Garlic, sugar, herbs and pepper and another couple of good glugs of Olive oil. Add bay leaves and simmer gently for anywhere from 15 mins to 30 mins.

2.Prepare prawns if you like them shelled

3.When sauce is to your liking, pour into large casserole or any other kind of baking dish. Place Prawns on top, with cubes of feta arranged throughout.

4.Bake at about 180 degrees for about 15 mins. The feta will crumble slightly and brown, and the prawns will be well done by then.

Serve with Bread for mopping up.

There you go. Easy. Variations; Any shellfish will do in place of prawns, or even a mixture for a ‘seafood’ version. You can make the sauce as hot as you like also, I guess.

One Small Step...

Inspired by my buddies over at An Endless Banquet (link on the left, link fans!), I am taking the unprecedented step of introducing some recipes to The Good Stuff. Although I’m no student of Escoffier, I can whip up a good supper or two.

Where this is ‘an original’ recipe then I will say so but usually I’ll just be offering my interpretation of something I have seen or tasted – much like my first one, Prawn Saganaki.

I’ve recently returned from a jaunt round the eastern Greek islands and was inspired by so much of the food there. Mediterranean cuisine is possibly my favourite in the world – it’s just good, wholesome food with no eye for trends or fads, presented ‘as is’, and usually is great for sharing with other people and a great big bottle of wine. What’s better than that?

If you do try any of these out let me know how they turned out.