28 March 2011

Putontha Puttanesca

When I was living in Melbourne, I used to get acupuncture once a fortnight after work. I would look forward to this day for thirteen days before it - not because I was going to get stuck with needles, sucked with cups and given a revolting tea decoction by Marina, but because Simon Johnson Fine Foods was underneath her parlour of mini-pain. After every session, I would buy a 560g jar of his Puttanesca sauce, and bring it home to make the easiest dinner ever - boil and drain pasta, add jar, chilli and one tin of drained tuna, stir and heat, and serve with stacks of piquant pecorino. And despite being the least difficult of all meals to prepare, it was always the household favourite, even when young Lion came along (minus the chilli).

16 March 2011

Twisted Ratatouille

With multi-hued farm-fresh capsicums as my inspiration, I set off to make one of my all-time comfort foods, ratatouille. Now, there are a million recipes out there for ratatouille, and probably 90% of them would offend the historically correct die-hard ratatouillans, but general consencus is that it has to be a tomato based dish with onions and garlic, herbes de Provence, and vegetables such as courgette and aubergine. 

So you will all be shocked to find that my recipe below does not contain aubergine. It's not because I dislike aubergine, but because I find the recipe far easier to make, more flexible in its use, and more delicate in flavour without it. I also have a couple of illicit ingredients that I think make my ratatouille better than everyone elses (no false modesty around here).

15 March 2011

Chicken and Herb Salad

The problem with living life as a hedonista is that you tend to get fat - all of that overindulgence eventually catches up with you. I have a friend who refuses to let that get him down - he laughs and pops another cholesterol pill with his saucisson, and says that life would be meaningless without good food. I however, also take pleasure from wearing beautiful clothes, and at the moment, all I fit into is tents from Carrefour.

So. Diet. But what diet for a hedonista? The Atken's Diet of course. Well, maybe an abridged one - I simply avoid all starches (rather than all carbohydrates including sugars) every second day, and amazingly, it works. When things get really bad, I have to go weeks on end without starch, but that has a particularly cranky side effect. 

07 March 2011

Party pies for adults

I love cooking for parties. It is the kind of food I really excel at - tit-bits that can combine my love of fusion food, and my desire to cheat at every corner. I make one hell of a Peking duck pancake, and my canapes (I reserve that title for anything on a biscuit or piece of Melba toast) are inventive and delicious. But (beside it not falling into the category of fusion food), this is my new favourite cheat. I served them at my husband's birthday party last week, and they disappeared before the steam ceased rising off them. 

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