Do you like food? Do you love great ingredients, carefully-combined to form simple, tasty and moreish dishes? Or – and come clean here – are you actually a Foodie with a capital ‘F’, obsessed with provenance and seasonality, dictatorial about free-range and organic, refusing to ingest anything other than the next big food trend or the newest foodie gimmick?
Jeff Miller, a journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle recently wrote an article lambasting foodies and foodie-ism as “pretentious, exclusionary and expensive nonsense”, and I think he has a point.
We seem to have got so caught up in food trends, chasing cronuts and bone broth, paleo and pork belly that sometimes there is no space for simple food which suits our lifestyle. We shouldn’t feel bad about using a stock cube or dried herbs as short cuts to complement fresh ingredients and cut down on prep time.
There’s no need to feel embarrassed if your supper consists of simple scrambled eggs on toast or a bowl of soup instead of grass-fed goose gizzard gelato or similar. And what about the humble and oft-overlooked tin of pilchards or chickpeas? Packed with nutritional goodness, ready and waiting to form the basis of a quick and delicious meal. And all it takes is the turn of a tin opener (try this chicken and chickpea coconut curry).
I recently interviewed Luke Dale Roberts for an article about getting kids interested and involved in the kitchen and in the course of the conversation, he shared his secret burger recipe with me. How exciting – the burger recipe from one of the world’s top chefs – what on earth could he put in it, I wondered?! Well, in case you’re wondering too, here it is:
- Good quality minced beef
That’s it! No fancy-schmancy herbs, spices or any other ingredients. Just simple, good food. And I bet Luke’s burgers taste great.
Right now, my cooking is all about speed – how quickly can I make something tasty and hot which I can get into my tummy allowing it to warm me up from the inside. I’m using all the shortcuts – tinned tomatoes, beef stock cubes, jars of curry paste, bottles of pesto, frozen puff pastry - and I just don’t care what you think about me. And of course, all these hearty dishes cry out for lashings of good red wine and there’s been plenty of that coming my way recently – check out my Cabernet Franc review as well as some notes on my recent trip to France.
Omar Khayyam said all you need for happiness is “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou” So keep it simple, keep it warm and all will be well this week!