After much hemming and hawing, I finally gave into friends’ insistent persistence, and am restarting the Jamie’s 30 meal challenge – this time to see it to its completion. The project may have been sitting on the back-burner, but it was brewing nonetheless, and with their gentle coaxing Mids and Shalu finally convinced me that it was time to get a move on.
As we move into another weekend, I am struck by the contrast between this week and the last, when we were busy preparing for Easter. As during every other festival at our home, food was the focal point of the observance and celebrations – the main departure from last year was the absence of my mother-in-law and the joys of eating the food she cooks. This year, for the first time, ever, inspired by her rendition, I attempted to make Pesaha (or Indiri) appam, which is essentially unleavened bread served and consumed on Passover night. This savoury bread is eaten along with jaggery-sweetened coconut milk called pesaha paal (Passover milk). Continue reading
Ever eaten something so good that you wanted to pay homage to it by re-creating it (imitation is the best form of flattery after all)? Or maybe been too skint to enjoy the luxury of a treat as often as you’d like? I have sailed both boats and the they have led me to the same destination – my own kitchen.
Chorizo, potatoes and eggs – this dish is simplicity itself
All these months I have felt bad about leaving the blog unattended, but honestly I had run out of ideas to talk about. It was an inspirational meal that prompted me to take the dust sheets off the blog, once again. A simple but scrumptious fish Paramentier that I had for lunch a couple of weeks ago reminded me of the many times I have tasted a morsel or meal so memorable that I feel compelled to recreate it. Thus an idea born (sort of!).
For my first post in this section I would like to share my experiment with making Oeuf Catalan – a favourite down at the local pub near my place of work. A few samplings under my belt (and around the belly), I cooked it myself. Three attempts later I have been able to capture the essence of the original. Simplicity itself, this dish is full of flavour, contains nearly all food types and is ready under half-an-hour.
(The ingredients listed above yield 4, 3 or 2 helpings depending on how hungry you or everyone is!)
- Potatoes (medium sized):4-5
- Round of Spanish Chorizo: Half
- Rocket and/or watercress salad leaves: a handful
- Fennel seeds: 3/4 tbsp (pounded)
- Oregano and thyme: 2 pinches
- Salt and black pepper: to season
- Olive oil: 1 tsp
- Dice the potatoes into around 1 inch cubes and parboil in generously salted water. It is up to you if you’ like to keep the skin on or not.
- Drain and dry the potatoes. I suggest patting them dry because they will be crispy when fried (see #3).
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chorizo. Remove once cooked and crispy. remove excess oil leaving behind 1tbsp
- Fry the potatoes in the chorizo oil till they too are done and are crispy on the outside, a bit of charring won’t hurt. Season with fennel seeds, oregano and thyme. Toss.
- Once the potatoes are done to your satisfaction, add the chorizo back in to the pan and season well.
- Break the eggs on to the dish and let the yolk set (as per your preferred state of gooeyness). I covered it with a close fitting lid.
- Take the pan off the fire and scatter the salad leaves on top, just before serving.
The pub serves the dish in a small skillet that it was cooked in. I used a regular sized frying pan to cook the entire dish.
So here it is, my first offering. Please do let me know your thoughts, especially if you try cooking eggs Catalan yourself. Till next time!