I don’t know about you, but I find I am becoming increasingly susceptible to suggestion. No don’t go raising your eyebrows like that – not THAT kind of suggestion – I’m thinking more along the lines of suggestions regarding food.
For instance. There we were, the other day, sat in the car outside the supermarket discussing whether to go for tiger prawns or chicken for our meal that evening. Suddenly there’s a great waft of seaside fish & chips smell from some fast food joint or another. There and then, we gave up all ideas of a healthy meal and were lusting after a piece of cod in golden crispy batter, chunky chips and lots of salt and vinegar.
In fact, common sense prevailed and we opted for tiger prawns and had a very acceptable home made curry – but that quiet yearning for crispy fish & chips is still there in the background. Sooner or later it’s going to rear its ugly head in a moment of weakness.
I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m continually working with food – be it looking for recipes, thinking about what flavours will go with what and considering what alternatives I can substitute in recipes I like but that have elements that I know wouldn’t suit our palates. I can bring to mind what a flavour is like very easily once I’ve sampled it – so whenever a delicious aroma occurs, I am instantly analysing it for the component parts.
It’s the same with cooking shows on the t.v. There are times when I can totally imagine how a finished dish would taste. Now this is sometimes very useful, as I can “tuck the recipe behind my ear” and bring it back out again when assembling the menu plan for the week.
Take this week, for example. I had a little bank of five recipes that I’d accumulated for consideration. Ultimately, I only went with two of them (a Chicken Buttermilk Stew and a Cumberland Pie), but we were also required to devise something yummy to go with a couple of interesting sauces that I’d managed to pick up en route. Add that to a couple of dishes that had fallen over from last week – and bingo, the menu plan is done.
However, there are some occasions when something so apparently delicious and wonderful attracts my attention in a way that says “Eat me! Eat me now!” – and such was the case with Gordon Ramsay’s Sweetcorn Fritters – as demonstrated on his Ultimate Cookery Course show (Ch.4) a couple of weeks ago.
I paid attention to what he was using by way of ingredients, because I’m perpetually interested in what goes with what by way of flavours. However, I didn’t exactly pay attention to the quantities. So, when I eventually buckled and thought “I’m having those for lunch today”, I was a little bit stuck as there was no evidence of a recipe on the internet.
The recipe isn’t difficult – which might explain my being able to remember it.
You quite simply take a small amount of flour (around 100g) and add a small amount of baking powder (which I couldn’t be bothered to hunt for, so I used self-raising flour), an egg and a small amount of milk.
Whisk them together to form a fairly thick batter, then add a couple of sliced spring onions, a tin of drained sweetcorn, a chopped chilli and a small amount of freshly chopped coriander. Add a little seasoning and fry gently in small spoon-sized dollops.
Fix yourself up with a pot of sweet chilli dipping sauce (or just tomato ketchup would do, in a pinch) and hey presto – lunch is served.
Now here’s your test. Are you as susceptible to foodie suggestions as me? Because those fritters are just To.Die.For. So simple, so easy to make, relatively good for you too (especially if you use rapeseed oil to cook them in, as I did) – and they kept the hungry wolf away right up until dinner time.
I have a feeling that the fritter is going to become the new flan. You may well be seeing many, many different versions appearing over the ensuing months! After all, how’s about a griddled courgette, cherry tomato & feta cheese fritter? Or a chorizo, potato & pea fritter? Maybe even a curried chick pea and prawn fritter?
Uh oh! That’s done it - where’s that frying pan?