I’m a little under the weather, and this is particularly unpleasant weather to be residing under. There’s nothing in particular wrong, I just started to feel really shitty yesterday and woke up with an impending sense of doom that I haven’t been able to shake all day. Perhaps it’s the rain, perhaps it’s the apocalyptic political atmosphere, perhaps it’s without reason at all.
This evening – like on all the miserable evenings that have come before it – I worked out my worries in the kitchen. In the process, I discovered how easy it is to make a few tapas dishes just for yourself. I thought I’d share that with you, since it seems quite a nice thing to do for yourself when it rains, or when the political atmosphere is apocalyptic, or for no reason at all.
Public service announcement: you can now buy padron peppers in ALDI. For less than a quid, naturally. I used half the packet (about 75g) for my one person serving. I’m fairly sure that I overdid these, but I followed the packet instructions: shallow fry in one tablespoon of hot oil (olive, but the instructions didn’t specify) for five minutes, turning occasionally until blistered. I served them sprinkled with good sea salt (Cornish Sea Salt is my part-of-the-furniture brand) and demolished.
This is inspired by one of the dishes from the new summer menu at Slug and Lettuce that me and Tom went to check out yesterday. Hot chorizo with a sweet glaze, I don’t think I could want for much more in life. I just chopped hunks off of a chorizo ring (I won’t tell you how much, you know how much chorizo you feel like eating), and heated gently in a pan with just under 100ml water and a teaspoon of honey until hot and sticky and divine. Use good honey, if you can, my current jar of choice is Urban Grains Mount Flower.
My first ever experience of tapas was in a vegetarian restaurant in Dartmoor somewhere, and I can still remember the taste and texture of the carrot fritters. They bring me the same pleasure each time I make them. There are a thousand ways to make vegetable fritters, depending on what you want from them. I wanted thick patty-like things so that I could slather them with Allioli, so I mixed 2 medium grated carrots with one little chicken egg, some salt, a splash of milk and two tablespoons of chickpea flour (specifically, Spiffing flour) and fried in 1cm of sunflower oil for five minutes on one side and three on the other.
If you’re smart about it, and don’t mind chores in between eating, you can reuse pans and do bits of dishes while things are cooking. That way, once you reach the end of your tapas adventure and the food coma starts to set in, you don’t have a mountain of dishes in front of you.
I’d hoped that by the end of cooking and writing all of this up I’d feel much better, unfortunately I haven’t found that to be the case. I’m off in search of something cheery, perhaps I’ll buy a new top or crack open that leftover Easter egg I’ve been saving for emergencies..