About me

After being diagnosed with a long list of food intolerances seven years ago, I was forced into getting more creative in the kitchen.

For me, the best recipes are those which are easy to prepare and deliver heaps of flavour, perfect for sharing with friends and family without having to single anyone out because of a specialised diet.

My love for cooking and adapting recipes for my own dietary requirements has given me the incentive to share tips with others who also live with restricted diets.

I hope you find a bit of cooking inspiration from my blog. Please feel free to comment and post any questions...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Weird but Wonderful

There is no denial in the fact that when it comes to food, we all have our own little guilty pleasures. For many, this may just be something as simple as a secret obsession with chocolate fingers, or the tendency to O.D. on salad cream. But the cravings that I find most interesting, are the bizarre concoctions that you hear of people secretly indulging in late at night, unable to make sense to the taste buds of anyone but themselves. The freaky eaters.

I openly admit now, when it comes to the munchies, I am a freak and proud of it. Tomato Ketchup for instance, something which I never use and do not enjoy as an accompaniment, yet I LOVE on peas.That's it. Just a bowl of peas and ketchup. My housemates questioned this at the beginning of the year, but they're no saints either. One of them disgusted us all after admitting his desire for "rice sandwiches". That's cooked, cold rice (usually egg fried), between buttered bread, usually with ketchup and mayo, yet for him it works.

A lot of people will attempt to hide their strange flavoured affairs, worried of what others will think of chicken Kiev with gravy or bagels with chicken, cheese and jam. Honestly, I'm not making these up. But why should we be ashamed? We're all individual in our likes and dislikes, and it can only serve as a talking point to announce that for the last few months you've been involved in a steady relationship with pasta and korma curry sauce. If we were all a little more open to discussing our peculiar eating habits, we might influence others to step outside their comfort zones and be more adventurous in cooking and experimenting with foods.

After years of being criticised for my weakness for crunchy peanut butter (HAS to be crunchy) and seeded raspberry jam, straight from the jars, eaten with a spoon, one of my closest friends admitted that they also know and love the combination well. I can now bask in the sweetness of knowing that I have a food soul mate. So no matter how peculiar others may find your odd indulgences, it's likely there is somebody out there who will know where you're coming from.

I am happy to say that the asparagus and mushroom risotto was a wild success on Friday night. Sadly the peas had to be omitted due to the size of the paella dish, but I made space for the white wine, as any good cook should when it comes to cooking risotto. There are several rules to be adhered to in order to produce a successful and delicious risotto. After lightly frying onion and garlic in a little olive oil or butter until soft, add the aborio risotto rice and mix until the rice begins to expand and turn more translucent. Reduce the heat and pour in a glass of white wine. Stir gradually with a spatchelor until the rice has absorbed the wine and then continue to stir whilst gradually adding stock ladle by ladle as the rice absorbs it. The rice should cook for about 20 minutes, until soft but still with a slight bite to it. As far as adding extra ingredients and flavours go, be adventurous. My favourite combinations include butternut squash and toasted pine nut or for the meat eaters; smoked paprika chicken and chorizo---I cooked this for a friend after they brought my laptop back to life and almost converted from pescetarianism, the smell was that good, and on tasting I was given a marriage proposal, so it must have been a success!

After having lost track of time writing this entry, my roasted carrots with thyme and a squeeze of orange juice now resemble charred, orange twigs. The slight carbon like taste however is another weird enjoyment of mine and although professionals would say it's not healthy, I compare it to the blue smarties debate. Blue smarties should be avoided because they can give you cancer? Yes, but maybe only if you eat 50,000 a year. Char grilled vegetables and I will continue to go steady.