Wednesday 8 December 2010
Snow can fool us into believe winter is here. When really it’s not.
And even after it came and went, the sharp winds still gives us goosebumps no matter how many layers of mittens, hats and scarves we’re wearing.
I’ve found a relief in the shape of a hot bowl of soup.
Slightly spicy, full of flavour, and damn good.
So good in fact, that I’ve made it four times in just a short eight days. Just when the sun goes down, my flat starts to smell of ginger and lemongrass.
Evidently, it’s always too dark to take a picture. But, who needs it anyway. You have my promise.
Make this – or as a matter of fact, any of the listed things below (which I see as a winter edition of my culinary obsessions chronicle). And feel better. Warmer. And possibly, happier.
Oh and while I’m at it, I’m wondering what are the foods that help you make it through winter? Please tell me. We can never have enough comfort in our kitchens.
And for the record, I realise it’s technically still autumn, but my frozen cheeks tell me it feels like winter. Hope you stick with me on this one.
One. Thai chicken soup. Grab a couple of chicken thighs, with all the trimmings: bone, skin and organic. Pan fry the chicken, skin-side down until golden, flip around and deglaze with a litre of water and a mini-can of coconut cream.
Add two spoonful of sweet chilli sauce, a dash of toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce. Squeeze the juice from one lemon, and bring to the boil. In the meantime, roughly chop the soft end of a lemongrass stick and grate a fat piece of ginger. Add o the soup. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs; then using two forks, shred the meat from the bones and skin. Place back into the pan and add a handful of each: frozen peas, rocket, and rice noodles. Divide in between two bowls, and top with chopped red chilli peppers, two sliced spring onions and fresh coriander. Eat with a spoon when still piping hot. Preferably with good company and a movie.
Two. Eggnog lattes. Be lazy and go to the closest starbucks. Order a venti eggnog latte. And burn your tongue while drinking it. Or make it at home. Bring 250g of milk to the boil along with 2 cinnamon sticks, a couple of cardamom pods and a little grated nutmeg. Add a dash of vanilla extract, the one with the seeds. In a bowl, mix 2 eggs yolks with 50g of caster sugar. Strain the boiling milk onto the eggs, mixing as you do so. Then place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stiring all the time until the anglaise reaches 84°C. Add a double shot of espresso or a heaped teaspoon of your favourite instant coffee. Drink. From the comfort of your own home. And perhaps, with a dash or two of rhum.
Three. Roast garlic. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with foil. Take four heads of garlic and chop their top off by a centimetre or two. Place on the prepared baking tray. Drizzle with oil and season with Maldon sea salt. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Make sure you have some bread close by.
Four. Gü chocolate banoffee. Walk to your kitchen. Open the fridge and reach the black Gü chocolate banoffee package. Open with your hands. Grab a spoon, preferably small. Lift the foild cover away. Eat the chocolate layer first. Then sink your spoon into the goo. And wonder if they’re is anything sweeter – literally and figuratively – in this world. Don’t even think about having the second one.
Five. Molly’s waffles. Before you go to bed, visit Molly. Read her words. Fell in love and in hunger. Then make the recipe. The first one, Marion Cunningham’s raised waffles. Except, switch the dry yeast for 5g of fresh yeast. Because your heart tells you to. Sleep. Wake up half and hour before your alarm goes off. Cook the waffles. And eat plain, thinking about sending Molly a thank you note later.
Thank you Molly. x