Friday, 4 December 2009

Tabbouleh winter

It is getting colder in Turku, there has been a hard frost and today the first snow has fallen. What does the kitchen do in a week like this? Cook like it is summer time! We started the week well with some tabbouleh and chicken which with it's lovely parsley freshness really seemed to pep me up from the slumbering darkness. It was remarkable simple to make and I cannot for the life of me think why I haven't made it before. I used the recipe in Leith's cookbook as a guide and towards the end let me taste buds guide me as I added salt, pepper and lemon juice.

I think it is an indication of the power of food to evoke memories of times, places and people gone by a long time ago that eating that tabbouleh in a kitchen in Finland put me in mind of a visit to some Lebanese friends of my parents called Sammy & Theresa and how at their house I was given tabbouleh for the first time and eating it again this week was a reminder of how wonderful it was.

The other thing to note is that tabbouleh will be a staple in the BBQs that will be a feature of next summer. So easy to make, so good to eat - can I praise this stuff enough?

Writing of BBQs my day job is about to launch a frying pan designed specifically for a BBQ, this has me very curious as I have only seen a bad photo of it and it looks like it has lots of holes in the bottom of it. I look forward to seeing it closer up!

On Wednesday evening we dabbled with Spanish food - here I used pimenton, sherry vinegar and garlic as a flavour base and added it to onions, pork, tomatoes, mushrooms and chorizo and let them stew. As I served it up with potatoes I realised that if I should have used chickpeas to make it even more authentic.

This is a perfect supper dish that demands minimal attention and any left overs can be turned into soup the following day as we did this afternoon for lunch.

Tonight we will be making a hearty macaroni cheese, I had thought about burying some asparagus in there to make it more summery but that seems to be trying too hard and maybe on this cold and darkening evening the best thing to do is to make the macaroni cheese as thick and as gloopy as I can manage so that it makes your insides so warm the cold will not touch you.

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