Tuesday, 1 March 2011

For The Love of It

Said Father and Small Dog
When I asked my Dad what he thought of the blog, I thought he'd say he didn't get it. Instead he said 'It's great darling, but there isn't nearly enough about your Father and his little black and white dog'. So this post is dedicated to him.

Nothing warms my cockles more than having a table full of mates and/or family to feed. I'm well aware I have no sproglets to feed on a daily basis but I do cook almost every night and know the novelty will never wear off. I know for a fact my enthusiasm for all things tasty is mostly a knock on effect of my Dad's passion for food. Be it a Frey Bentos pie in a tin when Mum's away, or steak tartare for 15 as an entree before a barbie ('You can never have too much meat darling'). I get so excited when I have loved ones coming over for a decent feed and like to make a real event of it. This doesn't mean spending a fortune, rather spending time and effort. If they're going to travel out to my house, the least I can do is provide them with food to smile about. On Saturday Dad reminded me he is exactly the same. He was having two friends over on Saturday to watch the Rugby and then the plan was a nice supper to celebrate/commiserate. I came home (home as in family home) on Friday night and throughout the entire evening (which lasted until 2.30am and consisted of way too many bottles of red wine and confirmation of my Dad's love of dubstep) he kept saying 'I can't get pissed because I've got to get up early and get the scallops for supper!'. Whatever Daddio, pass the red and turn up the stereo.

I'm not sure what went into his scallop dish, but I know it used puff pastry and according to both Mum and Dad it 'Went mental and quadrupled in size.' I do know what was in the pudding because I groaned instructions to Mum, the morning after the night before, through my Cote de Rhone infused monster hangover from the kitchen table, hanging on to my cup of tea for dear life. This is how you make Earl Grey Panna Cotta for four people:

Soak 3 gelatine leaves in cold water, then in a saucepan (really beneficial if it has a poury-spout-lip) combine 200ml milk, 300ml double cream and 50g caster sugar. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Take the gelatine out of its cold bath and squeeze the excess water from it. Plop into the saucepan and gently whisk until dissolved (takes no time,  30 seconds). Throw in 3 or four earl grey tea bags and infuse for half an hour. Remove the tea bags from your very weird cup of tea and pour the mixture into 4 dariole moulds. Stick in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve dip the moulds in hot water quite quickly, and turn out onto a small plate (makes an awesome blobby wobbly noise). Tarting up with a posh coulis or nice fresh berries is optional. Dig in and enjoy the screams of 'CHRIST! YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE PANNA COTTA! AMAZING!!'

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