Everyone knows how to make spaghetti bolognese … after a fashion. It’s classic student cookery, isn’t it? Onions, minced beef and tomatoes into a pot, simmer for a while — bam, done. But it can be done right, and then it’s a glorious thing.
And the good news is, it’s not difficult. It doesn’t need the ludicrous over-complication of Heston Blumenthal’s version. The main thing it needs is elapsed time. What you can’t do is make it in a hurry. But most of the time is simply simmering, so it doesn’t need to take up much of your time.
This recipe is my homebrew attempt at synthesising my favourite restaurant/takeaway curry in a quick-to-make form, since all the dhansak recipes I’ve seen are very involved and don’t read like they’d produce anything very similar to the curry I know and love.
This is not my curry, but it looks pretty much like it.
As with all my cooking, quantities are very approximate: I never measure or weigh anything, so the amounts I’ve specified below are just my rough guesses at the amount that I tend to slop in. Although I work this way due to laziness, I argue that it’s positively a good thing, since the subtly different proportions every time you cook the same thing stop the palate from getting so used to it that it becomes boring.
I watched the first episode of this program tonight. Verdict: disappointing. It’s clear that Blumenthal truly is an extraordinary chef, and must have unique and valuable insights into how cookery works; but In Search of Perfection doesn’t tell us what they are.
In the first episode, he cooks bangers and mash (followed by treacle tart). There is a lot of messing about visiting pig farms and suchlike before we get down to business. He makes his own sausages by what seems a ludicrously over-complex method that involves toast stock. There is lot going on; but we never find out why any of it is going on.
I spent the back half of last week in Toronto with my colleague Jason Skomorowski. Jason’s great company anyway, but on his home turf he step up a level because he also knows his way around Toronto’s restaurants — and it’s a great city for food. And the most memorable of many superb meals I had in those four days was omakase sushi at Yasu.
Yazu exterior, taken after our meal, at nearly 8pm when it had got dark.
Omakase was a new experience for me. It’s a sushi experience where the chef decides what you eat, and in what order, and the individual pieces arrive one by one.
Celebrating Dan’s return from his first term at university.
(Note that this is only half as much as on certain other occasions.)
A very easy recipe that operates in the same space as boulangère potatoes, dauphinoise potatoes, potatoes au gratin and no doubt others that I have forgotten.
It’s basically just sliced potatoes, onions and garlic baked in cheese sauce: