Wednesday 25 June 2014
Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music... Ad Infinitum
Normally I use this section to post recipes by the likes of Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi. Tonight I'm competing against them. The photo you see above is of a dish I have been cooking every Friday evening for the last few weeks. It's spicy lamb with rice. What I love about this recipe is how simple and filling it is. I have my own method and, obviously, if you are a veggie, I recommend an alternative, like Linda McCartney sausages. In fact, my next instalment of Food, Music, Food, Music, Food Music... Ad Infinitum, will be of a vegetarian sausage hotpot. Again, I will add my own twist.
With this spicy lamb, what I do first is marinate the meat. I leave it overnight with mashed garlic, plenty of black pepper, salt and chopped up red, hot mixed chillies (I also leave one or two chillies unseeded to give the recipe that extra hotness. What I like doing as well is mashing the garlic and chillies together so as to make a lumpy mix). Brown some onions on the pan. Add in oregano, mixed herbs, cumin, coriander, turmeric and a couple of bay leaves and toss most of the chillies and garlic onto the hot pan. The garlic and chillies will cook faster than the other ingredients so make sure you put the meat in before they burn. I buy diced lamb because it cooks better and evenly. I let it stew in its own juice, stirring it every couple of minutes or so. As readers of this section know I am an advocate of slow cooking and this recipe is no exception, Make sure that the meat is nice and tender. Then, when the gravy begins to dry up a bit, add in the rice. The way I have been cooking rice for the last year or so is the Cuban way which makes the grain loose and soft. I use a small wine glass to measure the amount of rice to be cooked. The important thing is to use exactly the same amount of water, too. So, three quarters of a wine glass (for one person) correspond to three quarters of water. I turned the heat down (number one or two if you have an electric cooker) and let the rice cook until it absorbs all the water. The result? See above again. My Friday evening dinner.
The music I have selected for tonight's section is in tandem with a very important tournament taking place now. No, not Wimbledon, my dear friend, but the Football World Cup in Brazil. So, we start with the Southamerican giant and a timeless number. I hope Neymar and co. can take some inspiration from João Gilberto's Aquarela do Brasil. It's not just the way Brazilians play, it's the way they marinate their football.
The Anglo contribution representing USA, Australia, Nigeria and England (which at the time of writing has sadly crashed out of the World Cup early ) comes from a female vocalist who was born in Ohio and has lived in Blighty for many years. Whoever said that Chrissie Hynde or The Pretenders symbolise "middle of the road" has never heard... Middle Of The Road. Beautiful, like my recipe (sorry for the lack of modesty)
A Paris-based musical troupe that plays tango (representing Aregntina) is my next offering. Who knows? It could be the final in the World Cup on Sunday 13th July. In the meantime, have a first listen to Gotan's latest release, La Gloria. It reminds me of the tenderness of the lamb I cooked last Friday.
We round up tonight with a little number from Ghana. As I write the Black Stars are in with a chance, although remote. Let's hope they can go through, even if it means upsetting my Portuguese friends. Oh, well, you can never please everybody. In the meantime, enjoy Azonto by Fuse ODG feauring. Tiffany. Spicy.
Next Post: "Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music", to be posted on Sunday 29th June at 10am (GMT)