A month without posting but back in the saddle. Not really.
Anyway, Rick Stein. I’ll come straight to the point, I had what I can now see as an irrational dislike of the guy. For some reason I found him a bit, well, twee. Not a serious cook, just an old git playing on having a dog called Chalky as a viewer magnet. I’m sorry. It’s a bit like saying I dislike Aston Villa. I don’t know why, there probably wasn’t an event in my past which caused either. Probably not, but suppressed memories are exactly that.
A couple of years ago I happened to watch a program from his French Odyssey series, the one with cooking eels on a barge if you know it. It was probably on Saturday Kitchen as I would never have watched the series. I enjoyed it and thought – why don’t I like this guy? Was it envy, plain jealousy? Could’ve been. Now I have a Jack Russel of my own perhaps I can see a kindred Russely foodie spirit. The fact is I was wrong. The guy cares properly about food and people and perhaps my dislike was caused by finding myself wanting in one of these departments. If not both.
So here is one of my favourite recipes from the book of the series. I have just started to be able to stand long enough to cook after an operation which is why there has been a gap between now and my last post. That and a week on the Costa Brava where I picked up a half-decent meatball recipe (albondiga) which I’ll share soon and I’ll link it into a football anecdote. In fact I would love to do a World Cup of meatballs, based on the countries qualifying for Brazil and have each recipe play against the other with tasters voting for the best ones. The countries can be in the same groups as the World Cup starts but after that, who will come out on top. Looking forward (for once) to any penalty shootout. I’ve got that planned as well, but I’m keeping it to myself and may Rick. So Rick, if you are reading all this then how about it?
I fantasise and digress, so here is the recipe. Actually, here are nearly all of the ingredients. If you want the recipe then buy the book. It also seems that there are some recipes on the internet which are the same but don’t mention Rick. Which is wrong. Give it a go, it’s really very, very good. So thanks Rick. You are one of my Food Heros.
Squid and potato stew with rouille
‘In the tradition of bouillabaisse’. As Rick says.
That’s it, I can’t sit for much longer. Got a great cheats rouille though. Take some mayonnaise, enough for 2. Crush up a couple of cloves of garlic against some sea salt with the blade of a knife. Add that to the mayonnaise. Now add 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika and the same of a non-virulent chilli powder – I use Kashmiri. You could use one tsp of a piquant smoked paprika but I don’t keep any of that. Mix well, allow to sit for 20 minutes et voilà.