I've been having some interesting dialogue going on on Facebook and I want to share that with you.
Firstly, I sent musician friend Bekki Williams a tomato sauce recipe and a few uses for the base sauce. This is that recipe;
2 Tins chopped plum tomatoes in juice
2 Carrots, peeled
1 Medium onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt (to taste)
Cracked Black Pepper (to taste)
2 Table spoons Olive oil
1 Tea spoon Oregano
Using a food a food processor, finely chop the carrots, onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the garlic, carrots and onion.
Cook over a low heat for twenty minute and than add the tomatoes and oregano. Bring to the boil and season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.
Lower the heat and simmer gently for one hour.
Once cooled Store in the fridge for up to three days.
The sauce can be used as it is. Just reheat and toss with your favourite pasta. Fresh basil is a great addition to enhance the flavour.
Or, fry some diced smoke bacon and red onion in a little oil, add 1 finely chopped red chilli and some of the tomato sauce. Then toss in your favourite pasta and sprinkle with
freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Or fry some thinly sliced button mushrooms in a little oil, add some diced ham, the tomato sauce, a little double cream. Bring to the boil and reduce until thickened and then toss
in your favourite pasta. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. That led onto the following discussion;
In response to the tomato sauce recipe. Using the carrots adds a natural sweetness as they are very high in natural sugars and olive oil gives a greater depth of flavour to the sauce. I like your use of honey as it reminds of something I read the other day. It was an article on Rene Redzepi, the worlds number one chef and owner of Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. He said that he always uses honey as a sweetener as sugar is the enemy. Anyway, anytime you want recipe or food ideas just drop me a line. Always happy to help in that department!!!
Bekki Williams; Tell you where I love the use of carrots (really finely diced, so they almost disappear in the dish eventually): Cottage pie. Just made one for myself and a couple of mates who are due over in a bit, and it's such a simple recipe that a kid of 5 could make it - but my goodness, it's lovely! Real 'comfort food', really rustic. Would love to hear your recipe for that, as although mine really is nice, I'm sure it could be improved by a chef's take on things. :)
Paul Walker; I always add carrots to cottage pie. You need to create depths of flavour in a dish, no matter how simple.
Bekki Williams; The thing I love about rustic and homely food like this is that not only is it easy and fun to prepare, it tastes like what it's supposed to. Had a meal once at a restaurant where everything was shaped and stacked into a massive pile - noooooo! Gimme food that looks and tastes like the stuff it actually came from!
Paul Walker; At home, I keep things simple butr I don't think you would like my reataurant food. But having said that, my opion is, that, when you go out, you want to be excited and have somethinng that you just couldn't do at home.
Bekki Williams; Hmm, I suppose. But then again, this is probably why I don't visit restaurants. (Well, that, and being agoraphobic! Although nowhere near as bad as I used to be). Personally I like to grow stuff and cook it. You'd probably hate my food! That said though, we both appreciate depth, texture and taste in our cooking. Obviously you more than me, being a chef. But at least I'm not one of the 'ready meal' brigade! :D
Paul Walker; I've done a lot of research into vegetables and there is an amazing wealth of varieties out there that you jus can't buy in the shops. Growing your own is the future and the real forward. Also, very eco friendly as it leaves a zero carbon footprint.
Bekki Williams; Exactly! The other thing is, it's seasonal. Nowadays you can buy anything at any time of the year in the shops... and I don't like that. I like to look forward to tomatoes, and apples, and cabbage, and all kinds of other things at certain times of the year. You make the most of things that way and come up with some amazing recipes. :)
Paul Walker; Yes and thst is what is Inspires me about Rene Redzepi, who I mentioned earlier!
Bekki Williams; Sounds like you have some great inspiration... and therefore must be a passionate and wonderful chef. Ooh, I wish you lived in Derby, I'd pay you to come and do me a meal! :D
Paul Walker; Yes, I do have some seriously great inspiration and I am very passionate about my cooking. Maybe someday soon, I'll have the chance to cook for you?
A recent staus update on facebook was this.......My dream job is out there but it's not in the job centre or any website but it will find me!
I was aked to define my dream and the answer that I gave was as follows!
My dream job would be to have an employer who would encourage me to develop my ideas in terms of creative and innovative cuisine to there fullest potential. An employer who would be encouraging and not afreaid to venture into the unknown and is willing to develop new concepts and ideas. Somone who is not afraid to look at things from a different perspective and who, like me. likes to think outside the box!
Then I thought about the restaurant Frantzen/Lindeberg in Stockholm and I borrowed their philosophy as a part of mine answer to defining my dream job and this is......
Our philosophy is to let whatever raw materials available to us at the time dictate and decide on our menu. To awaken your desire and imagination, we offer the finest ingredients we can find. What we create with these ingredients is then presented as a finely-crafted series of surprises at your table. Each list of ingredients and produce is the result of intense daily discussions with local livestock farmers, growers, fishermen and wine makers – with the understanding that they deliver the absolute best quality to us.
The result? Instead of being locked into set menus, we give ourselves the freedom to use whatever are the best quality ingredients at the time.
In our world, and out of respect for all our guests, we constantly strive for perfection.
We look forward to welcoming you in to share that world.
(copywright Frantzen/Lindeberg 2011)!
I added the following in addition to that;
It's the way forward and the future. Freedom from the constraints of having to work to something that has been preconceived.
That then led onto more dialogue with another Facebook friend that went something like this;
Lee M Sanders;
Interesting reading Paul. Makes me think about some of the crap we eat, pre-produced microwave crap. I try to cook as much as I can, but not always possible.
Paul Walker; I know what you mean. Too many chemicals and unnatural substances in so much pre - packaged food.
Lee M Sanders; Allergies etc. E numbers aghhhhh. What do we put in our mouths. Insecticides, pest control chemicals etc must get into us somehow.
Paul Walker; That's also why I'm interested in growing my own produce. You know how it has been produced and you can also find hundreds of really unusal varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs that you can just can't get from rugular supplie sources!!!
Lee M Sanders; Interesting stuff, always open to try new things. Wish I had a garden to that kind of thing. So much out there in the world i know little about.
Paul Walker; I've done loads of research on the subject and it's fascinating. A chef in chicago has built a greenhouse on the roof of his restaurant and is using a system to heat the greenhouse with excess heat from the kitchen. He will be able to grow all kinds of exotic produce with zero carbon footprint. Very eco friendly.
Anyway, that is some of the food related stuff that I've had going on at facebook this week. Hope it is of interest to you.
Also on the subject of Fratzen/Lindeberg, I like this from the Restaurant Magazine website;
Owners Björn Frantzén and Daniel Lindeberg's rise thus far has been nothing short of meteoric, with their restaurant Frantzén/Lindeberg gaining two Michelin stars within just two years of opening, and the pair are tipped for even greater things.
What makes their Stockholm restaurant so exciting is that there's no traditional menu – instead they cook 'free-form' based on what comes in that day – with many dishes feature intriguing ingredients. The result is a truly magnificent dining experience.
(copywright 2011 William Reed Business Publishing Ltd)!
ANd to round things out, enjoy this video og the restaurant Frantzen/Lindeberg!!!
Well, that's all for now and I hope that this has given you some more insight into my culinary thinking and inspirarions!!!