Friday, 20 November 2009

In which we enter a brave new world...

What with one thing and another, I haven't managed to post anything much very foodie recently. I shall try to make amends with telling you what I plan to cook at some point this weekend but in the meantime, a brief diversion:

So - I am going freelance. Not for me the 9-5, the Clapham omnibus (or rather, the no.52 bus from Victoria up to Ladbroke Grove), the 6.42am starts; I am braving the world of the solitary home-worker. Actually it's all looking rather good - I am soon to be a Kitchen Queen, a prospect that thrills me as someone who lives to cook and also has a worrisome interest in the layout other people's houses. Simply put I teach people to cook in their own homes. I will be an Educator. Although - as MCD pointed out - as someone who might live to cook, but also can barely step foot into the kitchen without having some kind of accident or another, it might be best practice to allow them to handle the sharp objects.

I am also going back to my roots and working in the much-loved local bookshop for a couple of days a week. I used to work in Ottakars before it was bought out by big, bad Waterstone's wolf and I started my London life working in a psychoanalytic bookshop on Gloucester Road, so I have form. And I can embrace my creeping inclination to be Ash from Don't Ask Me Why.

I'm also pushing the food writing - I'm officially a hack for hire, so if anyone out there's looking for a food writer (or indeed any other sort) rather well-versed in SEO and websites, email me. Self-interested promotion now over.

But back to the point of the piece, which was my thoughts on what to eat this weekend. I shall roast some butternut squash, cut into cubes, then toss with sliced, seared pigeon breast and chicken livers, spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes. The pan I use to cook the meat in will be deglazed with a little sherry vinegar and finely chopped garlic and a little walnut oil, then I shall pour the dressing over the other ingredients. Then (I feel like a magician) I shall top the whole with a version of pangrattato - those crisp fried breadcrumbs mixed with some very finely chopped rosemary and some orange zest.

In my head, it's a visual and oral wowser. I shall let you know what reality is like. If I can make it look pretty, I might even treat you to a photo.

PS: There's an idea I came across recently for butternut squash I'll pass on. You make a stock sugar syrup (water and sugar) and infuse with rosemary. You roast butternut squash in the oven until tender, then pour over the syrup for the last 10 minutes or so. The result should be deeply golden caramelised butternut squash. I will give it a go at some point, but if anyone gets there first, let me know what happens.

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