I have a confession to make. I’ m pretty obsessed with TV Cookery Programmes. It’s a constant mystery to my dad and my sister how I can sit down first thing on a Saturday morning and watch hours of food being prepared via Saturday Kitchen and the Masterchef that follows. And I’d have to say, there’s very few episodes of Rick Stein that I haven’t seen, yet I don’t eat fish! [Rick Stein runs a seafood restaurant in Padstow] I was impressed with Jamie Oliver’s last TV series as he seems to have finally grown up a bit, but he’s still about an 8/10 on the Twat Scale. I didn’t Cookalong with Gordan just before Christmas, I should’ve though, I felt as though I did because I even delayed getting to HQ to watch it each Friday. The thing is, though, I’m not much of a cook. Oh, I have a few things I do and over the last few years have built up quite a nice set of stir frys and pastas that I do, but I wouldn’t claim to knowhow to cook. Maybe it’s just a girl thing and I like watching food being prepared, salivating in the oohs and aaahs of the lucky devils that get to taste it!
Ok, so I’ve mentioned that I cook a few bits and pieces. And I’ve found that I like cooking. I like seeing how I can improve a supermarket bought jar of sauce with my own addition of herbs and spices. Maybe a bit of experimenting. Maybe the odd trial of something I saw on TV that looked easy enough. I cook for my parents and sister and her boyfriend quite a bit and they’re always impressed. It’s like it’s now my job to cook the odd evening there’s something to celebrate [or just for the hell of it!]. Mom still does the Sunday Roast though, that’s Sacrosanct!
Last week, for my birthday, I decided to cook for above mentioned parents, sister and her boyfriend, that way I could control the menu. I hadn’t done a 3 course meal before without any giving out that there was too long between the starter and main or that the starter was late in the first place or.. well, you get my drift and so I wanted to cook nice food that everyone liked, have the main follow the on time starter by just maybe 10 minutes and have the dessert follow at it’s own pace. I decided that I’d try some Thai food. Now, my Red Thai Curry is very famous around these parts and it’s damn near perfect! But I wanted to add to my Thai repertoire. I like spicy, garlicy food with a kick, some chili, maybe more than your average person, anything but bland. I like food that jumps around my mouth bursting with flavour.
I found this recipe from one of the Gordan Ramsay Cookalong’s. I’d been tinkering with the idea of trying it out for a while as i thought it looked yummy cooked live. Now, I wasn’t sure if sis’s boyf knew what we were having and when I asked and he said he didn’t, I proceeded to relay that the first course was Hot & Sour Soup with Prawns. His blank expression said it all and I remembered that he didn’t like mushrooms [Shitakes are added at the end]. My sis then gingerly said that he had issues with prawns. ‘Well feck ye anyway! That’s what you’re getting!’, he was told in no uncertain terms. He was far more enthusiastic about the main of Coconut and Lime Stir Fried Chicken with Jasmine Rice and positively ecstatic about the Chocolate Brownies for dessert, having sampled them before.
As everyone was either out for a walk or watching telly, I opened some wine and poured myself a big glass before i started cooking. Slightly risky, perhaps, but sure, I went for it anyway. There wasn’t a single hitch with any of the cooking in the end. Dinner was served on time – ‘8 o’clock, OK Glitter? We don’t want to eat later than that’, my sister warned me. There was approx 10 minutes between the starter and main, which is fine and all bowls and plates were practically licked clean! Well, all apart from my sis’ boyf’s mushrooms, he left them behind. And bless, even though throughout the whole starter the prawns were ‘Looking at him’, he tried them, liked them and ate them all. Molly and Fizzy even got a prawn each, all trace of coriander was removed from the fleshy morsels and they hoovered them up! Dessert was an unmitigated success, sure we’d all been dying for the brownies that had been made the night before and served heated with vanilla ice cream, that goes without saying!
So, all in all, there were five very satisfied humans and two happy little moggies. McSmile even got in on the act and was delighted with a couple of brownies the next day and I still don’t think he believes that I made them. Now, I’m no Nigella or Rachel and I’m sure there’s loads of stuff I can do that they can’t, but maybe if I just pretend I can cook every so often, that’ll be good enough.