Tuesday, September 23, 2003

How To Cook



For once I'm not going to post about games (tempting though it is, now I've found a fix to get UFO: Enemy Unknown working again) and I'm not going to post about politics (tempting though it is, given the spectacular contents of Ali Campbell's diaries as revealed at the Hutton Inquiry) - no, I'm going to post about food instead.



I caught the last five minutes of Delia Smith's How To Cook between the end of the Channel Four News and a documentary about Jumbo Maneating Killer Squid on Channel Five last night. Delia drives my girlfriend up the wall. She can't stand the way Delia implies that her way of cooking things is the perfect way, and the implication that she's the best and that everyone else is crap. I have to agree that filming a series telling people how to cook things as simple as a fried egg is a tad condescending.


I'm a very keen cook myself, and I like to think I'm pretty good, though not to the same levels of Delia's soufflé-inflated ego. I'm certainly more of the "live to eat" school of thought rather than the "eat to live" school of thought. I like to eat well, drink well, and I invariably cook for fun - it's not like coming home and cooking is a chore - I find it's a way of destressing after work - hacking up defenseless vegetables with a 25cm cooks knife, and then making dinner. (*ba-dum!* *tssssh!*)


So, I'm going to start a new meme in my blog, where I tell you what I cooked for dinner the previous night, along with instructions on how to make it.



Welcome to Mad Iain's How To Cook! On tonight's menu is a Quorn chilli for two. The ingredients you need are as follows:



4 cloves of fresh garlic (finely sliced into batons)

1.5 inch of fresh ginger (finely sliced into batons)

1 medium red onion (finely sliced into half-rings)

4 large flat mushrooms (coarsely sliced)

1 leek (washed and shredded)

1 Ramiro sweet pepper (deseeded and thinly sliced)

1 tin of chopped red tomatoes

1 tin of red kidney beans (drained)

200g of Quorn mince

125g of basmati rice

3 Oxo beef stock cubes

Dried Basil

Dried Parsley

Chilli Powder (to taste!)

Baslamic vinegar

Salt & Pepper

Tomato purée



Fry the onion over a high heat in a little vegetable or groundnut oil for a couple of minutes until it starts to brown. Add the sliced garlic and ginger, and fry for further minute. Add the mushrooms, and season well with salt and pepper. Add a good dash of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and prevent the food from sticking. Add the shredded leek and pepper and cook until the leek has wilted, adding more balsamic vinegar if necessary. Add the kidney beans, and after a couple of minutes the Quorn. Stir in the Quorn, crumbling in the Oxo cubes to coat the Quorn.


Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the chopped tomatoes, the basil, parsley and chilli, reducing the heat to low-medium, stirring ever few minutes. Cook for 20 minutes before boiling the rice in lightly salted water for 10-12 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Add some tomato purée a few minutes before the rice is ready and stir through the chilli sauce to add colour and sweetness.


Serve with chilled water, red wine, or a nice cold beer and enjoy!

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