Sunday, 18 May 2008

Sunday supper

After a fairly quiet day at work I came home to find the Kitchen needed to organise evening service. So with not a second to think we worked up this little gem. Enjoy.

Sunday night pork and potato

Olive Oil
Finely chopped onion
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 Red chili
Boneless pork cubed
Black Pudding
Chicken stock
1 medium Apple
Chopped mushrooms
100g Peas
Worcestershire sauce
Parmesan rinds


Put the oven onto 200c
Heat some olive oil in a heavy pan
When hot enough fry the onions and garlic and chili gently
Add the cubed pork and black pudding*
Put a dash of vermouth in and let the alcohol evaporate
When the pork is a nice colour add the mushrooms, apple, peas and chicken stock
A dash of Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon of sugar, a sprinkling of thyme and a couple of Parmesan rinds are good to add now
Put a lid on the pan and put in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour
Mashed potatoes - do I need to explain this?

*Here in Finland we use Mustamakkara which while are a little different from blackpudding are an excellent alternative

In other news we saw "No Country for Old Men" on Thursday. Our hostess with the mostess was unable to join us (ironic considering how much work I had this week) and I am sorry for her that she missed one of the films of the year. It richly deserved it's awards and was an engaging piece of cinema. Offbeat as you would expect from the Coen brothers and yet accessible enough to give it an appeal to the many. The cinematography captured the huge expanse of the Texan nothingness and it's sparse beauty acted as a counterpoint to some amazing dialogue:

"If I don't come back tell my mother I love her."
"Your mother is dead."
"Then I'll tell her myself."

I urge you to see this movie.

On Thursday next week the Kitchen will close for summer holidays and nuptials. We wish everyone a fantastic kitchen and ask you all to remember that you don't need to waste any food. It can always be used to make something good.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

When the chips are down

I apologise profusely for not posting sooner but the kitchen has been preparing for an international commercial review. The result was an almost unheard of 90% so a large quantity of cane spirit ( aka Rum) has already been consumed prior to blogging. I must, as a matter of public knowledge, thank the boss for keeping me fed on good food this week as I've concentrated more and more on the big task. Without her effort it wouldn't have happened. Thank you. So now you know who is the genius in the monkey house kitchen. Not me. The boss.

Friday, 9 May 2008


We watched Control last week. Before I get to the movie itself I need to go back a few years. When I was 17 years old I was at boarding school in southern England and sharing a room with Tom Polo. I was in the throes of my Simple Minds phase. I started out with the Once Upon a Time album but by this stage I was into the much more interesting period that lasted from their frankly odd second album (Real to Real Cacophony) up to Sons and fascination. Tom was into a totally different type of music and the deal was whoever got back first from class got the record player and got to play what they wanted. So despite my best efforts I was frequently force fed Depeche Mode, The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, New Order and Joy Division.

The years passed and my musical tastes grew wider and I discovered such crazy acts as Bob Dylan (I still remember the night I passed up the opportunity to listen to Blood on the Tracks while babysitting while raiding the neighbours record collection and missed out on it's wonders for nearly another decade but that is another story) and others I have come to love. Joy Division have been part of the journey. Never a comfortable travelling partner and at times neglected but there's always come a point when I've rediscovered them and been glad they're there. That is my Joy Division story.

As for the film it is quite superb. There's no getting away from Anton Corbijn's photographic pedigree. I remember one scene where the camera revolved around Ian Curtis in a dark room with a white door. It was like every second was like looking at a different photo. Sam Riley's portrayal was excellent and I wonder what someone like Daniel Day Lewis would have done with it. Samantha Morton's accent was perfect and the kitchen sink drama counterpoint she brought to the highs of the live performances gave the film real pathos. However the film's greatest triumph is that in taking such a sad story it doesn't miss out in the fact there was humour as well. The road to oblivion is often paved with funny moments. The film's greatest weakness is it's obsessiveness on Curtis and it misses out on fleshing out his relationship with the band. They were pretty much bit parts. However this is a minor quibble. This is a sad film but one you should watch.


In other movie news I saw the very amusing Iron Man last night. Do not analyse this movie. It is dumb. However watch and enjoy. Just for the record Gwyneth Paltrow did not work as the pretty girl this time. Or as a red head.

Today we have been in Fiskars and bought a waterproof bag for camping. I resisted the urge to buy an axe. I have to say that it gave me great pleasure to write that line. It was a beautiful day and it was pleasant to walk around. Tomorrow is a few wedding jobs and then I'm on duty tomorrow night saying thank you to all the people at work for their hard work recently at a party we're putting on for winning a global sales competition.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Beetroot Gazpacho

Yesterday friends came round for a BBQ which was admittedly a little on the rubbish side. The food was good and BBQ's brocolli definately has something to it worth exploring. However I wasn't thinking about what order I should be cooking things in, ratios of food so nobody got a nice, balanced plate of food. Still it seemed in keeping with the mood of the day. We did make a Beetroot Gazpacho which was excellent. The original idea was that I was going to make a salsa to go with the BBQ'd vegetables so I wanted to keep my tomatoes in reserve and that's when I had the idea to use beetroot instead. It is simple and very tasty. In addition the colour is simply amazing.

200g raw beetroot peeled
400g tomotoes
3 cloves garlic
Half a cucumber
Half a pepper (green or red)
100g Breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (red wine will also do)

Put all the ingredients apart from the olive oil and vinegar into a blender and let it run until you have the consistency of a smootie
Check seasoning
Add oil and vinegar and pulse again
Check for taste
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some nice fresh bread

Off out for a bike ride now.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Marie Claire

I saw the Darjeeling Limited on Thursday and really enjoyed it. It took me ages to decide I liked it (approx 2 thirds of the film) and then I made everyone stay until the very end in the hope of a great last shot that we'd already seen. In the way the Stones movie last week went straight to the stranger corners of my mind this one was the same and I now know that Adrien Brody is actually quite handsome and I need to be open about the fact that I love this gem of a song from my childhood. I've read another post which I wish I'd remembered to bookmark which talked about the use of colour in the film which I didn't get at all the first time round but now is blindingly obvious. Better than the Royal Tennebaums. Makes me want to see the Life Acquatic.

The Kitchen will be hosting a BBQ today, the sun is shining so I have to go play out there.