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Rogue Red Hot Chilli Pepper

Phew, excuse me a moment while I grab some ice and cool myself down. Today’s dinner definitely knocked my socks off, but along the way it also managed to strip my tongue of a layer of skin and several taste buds. Or at least that’s what it felt like. Let me explain…

Dinner today was steamed Thai style sea bass from Cook by Jamie Oliver. I hadn’t cooked fish for ages and feeling like I’ve overdone it on the chicken lately, thought I’d give this delicious sounding meal a go. You know how I feel about Thai food (love it), and making it healthier with sea bass fillets seemed like the right and proper thing to do. Plus I really like Cook as its packed with great recipes and guides for things like shopping for meat and fish, and was one of the earlier additions to the cook book collection so it holds a special place in my heart! It also has a great ethos to it, which is ‘if you’re going to eat 3 meals a day for the rest of your life, you might as well enjoy them’.Here here, now there’s a sentence I can relate to. Cooking this meal is really simple, you cook some rice, coat it in a Thai paste, then chuck the fish fillets and some sugar snap peas on top and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. If only eating it was so simple… To be fair, the OTT spiciness is really nothing to do with Jamie Oliver or the recipe, and I can only attribute it to my complacency towards chillies. Taste wise anyway, I definitely wasn’t getting complacent about them when it comes to my eyes and chilli fingers. Word of warning from someone who’s been there and got the damaged retinas: wash hands thoroughly after cutting chillies. Getting back to the sea bass dish, my mistake was not de seeding the chillies for the paste, and then thinking it a good idea to garnish the meal with slices of (again, not de seeded) chilli. The result was an exceptionally hot first mouthful which left me thinking that my mouth had actually been set on fire by those bastard chillies. Quickly picking out all the slices of chilli garnish, I carried on eating hoping to eat away the pain. This tactic didn’t work, every mouthful felt like salt on a very sore wound so I eventually had to stop to let the pain go away. I’m really not a wimp when it comes to chillies and hot food, I’ve chucked slices of chilli on loads of meals in the past and never has it been that outrageously hot. I can eat hot curries and have polished off some seriously hot Mexican prawns in a restaurant which no one else could bear, but this chilli was something else. I foolishly underestimated the red chilli, thinking I had conquered it and made it my bitch to do as I please to my food, but the red chilli well and truly hustled me. But what of the rest of the meal, what did that taste like? I only wish I could tell you, once the pain had gone I carried on eating, but taste was still beyond me so I can only guess that the rice tasted like a green curry, and the fish delicate and fresh. It certainly isn’t the end of my relationship with spicy food, but I will definitely proceed with caution before chucking in chillies willy-nilly.

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Photo taken while blissfully unaware of the perils ahead!

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Books, Cooking, Food, Thai

 

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Dream on, dreamer

Trying to lose weight when your a bit of a foodie is officially a bloody nightmare. And when you’re supposed to be writing a blog about unusual and/or delicious foods, you come unstuck. All the things I want to cook from my poor neglected cookbooks contain pretty much all the things that need to be avoided: butter, cheese, cream, chocolate, saturated fat, cholesterol… Damn that saturated fat tastes good. So I’ve been very healthy this week cooking boring healthy foods and doing boring healthy exercise, and now all I can think about is the complete opposite. All I can say is bring on the weekend, when I don’t have to even pretend to be good. After 5 pm on a Friday, there are no rules. With all of the above in mind, and rather than boring you senseless with what I actually ate, here’s what I wish I could have eaten for dinner this week.

Monday: A gigantic slice of chocolate cake. If this wouldn’t make you excited to see Monday arrive, then you must be dead inside. That’s all.
Tuesday: Homemade burgers with loads of cheese and bacon. While any food that when squeezed oozes out grease can’t possibly be healthy, you know for sure that it’s going to taste good. Add melted cheese, crisp bacon and crunchy gherkins and you’re in heaven.
Wednesday: Lasagne. Oh how I love lasagne. What’s not to love- rich meaty tomato sauce, smooth, creamy, bland white sauce (bland is good!), silky sheets of pasta, and a lot of strong melted cheese, with the cheesy edges gone all crunchy. Lasagne and I should really get a room.
Thursday: Thai green curry. When done right, this is so good. But it’s full of calorie laden coconut milk so not diet food. If you’re going to eat it, do it right: either make it from scratch, paste and all, or go to a good Thai restaurant. Spice and flavour paradise!
Friday: Nandos piri piri chicken, followed by chocolate fudge cake and clotted cream. Oh wait, that is what I’m having tomorrow. Thank goodness!

Sorry if any of you working on your summer body now want to roll around in a vat of chocolate cake. Just hold out until the weekend!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Books, Chocolate, Cooking, Food, Puddings, Thai

 

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