Inspired by seeing Julie & Julia the other day I decided to try Julia Child’s method of making an omelette by swirling it round the pan, then violently jerking it into shape before tipping platewise. As you can see from my picture (which is mysteriously glowing) I failed. My omelette cooked too much on the bottom and wouldn’t respond to my pan-shaking efforts. So I just did it the old-fashioned way: waiting for it to set and dragging the edges to the centre as the Bible instructs. I served it up with heavily-buttered toast and used up the last of my home-made mayonnaise. I felt like Edith Massey’s character from Pink Flamingos.
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This is yet another South African chenin blanc. This one is from Stellenbosch and has won awards in the past two years. It is crisp, with citrus tones, fresh and zingy. It has pineapple and green apple flavours and a nice balance. It goes perfectly with fish or smoked fish. I’d drink it alongside smoked cheese, too.
The goat’s cheese and beetroot chutney came in sandwiches at the Sanctuary in Tothill Street. I specified wholegrain bread. There was one downer, which was that the bread had been left out uncovered, and was marginally dry on the very outside, whereas one wants a nice moist and springy feel to it. The filling was good, though.
I drank Trivento Tribu, an Argentinian pinot noir that was very smooth (at 13.5 percent).
This time I made it without tomato paste or red peppers. There was no actual cream, but I did use crème fraiche and a little cornflour. Otherwise it was very like my peppery tomato seafood stew, but white instead of red. Again I used king prawns, mussels, squid, scallops, smoked haddock pieces, cod pieces and mackerel pieces. I cooked these lightly in half a pint of fish stock and added Mrs Dash’s herb mixture plus black pepper and cayenne pepper. I stirred in two good spoons of crème fraiche and maybe a half a level teaspoon of cornflour, and I made it all on the stove top, rather than using a casserole dish in the oven. I added chopped up new potatoes and onion.
It was pleasantly spicily hot, and I cooled down afterwards with more of my chilled compote of stewed apple, blueberries and kiwi fruit.
I ate at the Mediterranean Kitchen and steeled myself NOT to order their excellent eggs Benedict, as I usually do. Instead I opted for their salmon fillet, nicely done with string beans, new potatoes and a hollandaise sauce.
The wine, chosen for my dining companion’s food rather than mine, was quite unusual. It was called “Journeymaker,” a blend of shiraz and cinsault from South Africa’s Western Cape. It had tones of ripe cherries and summer berries and was very nice indeed, even with salmon.