Sunday, 11 November 2012

London, A Supper Club and Roast Chicken with a Gratin of Aubergine, Courgette & Parmesan

I now live in London, work as a chef, and live in a cosy house with a gorgeous kitchen which…I never use! Apart from a bumbling foray into miniature fluffy lemon puddings for our first house dinner party (bumbling because the absence of scales required guess-timation and miniature because the absence of a baking dish meant using a muffin tin – as luck would have it the mix turned into divine little cakes which we served with a healthy dollop of mascarpone). As I am now working as a chef at a catering company, my days are filled with tasting, tasting and more tasting, so that when I get home all I feel like it something very fresh and cleansing like rocket with maybe some smoked mackerel, avocado and a my trusty agave/mustard dressing.

Last night I helped host a trial supper club with Christiana, a friend from Ballymaloe…it’s called the Whisk and Spoon and was an utter success and so much fun. Sticking to seasonal, warming food we served little glass bowls of pear and parsnip soup with wild mushroom crostini, boeuf bourguignon on creamy mash and a salted caramel tart tatin with homemade vanilla ice-cream. This time we did it for friends but watch this space for future dates…

However, today was the first time I felt enthusiastic about cooking something just for me. As it’s Sunday I felt roasted meat was needed i.e. two chicken thighs cooked on the bone with a sprinkling of Maldon to crisp up the skins. I also made a gratin by cooking aubergines until soft with red onion, garlic and plum tomatoes, stirring in parmesan and topping with ribbons of courgette and more parmesan. The gratin goes wonderfully gooey and crispy from the cheese - delicious with the tender but plain meat. I could never get away with serving this at home (too many aubergine-haters and roast potato fans) which is why cooking for oneself is never a bad thing!