Roasted Romanesco sounds like the title of a high-class porno, doesn’t it? Join sweet Romanesco as she joins college and gets more than her timetable filled.
Christ, I should write the next 50 Shades of Grey.
Anyway, only a quick entry tonight (see previous sentence) as we’re doing boring domestic things like ironing and re-messing-up our candle drawer, and I only wish that was a joke.
We’ve spent the day being entirely middle-class and fussy. First we washed the car in what must have been the least erotic car-wash vista imagined – I can’t imagine the sight of Paul and I clad in bubbles and shrieking and screaming our way through cleaning the car with a jet washer would float anyone’s boat, although judging by the search terms people use to find the blog, maybe we’re in the wrong business. Afterwards, I made a tomato sauce from the glut of tomatoes that have fallen onto the greenhouse floor since we went away on holiday – I slide the door open and it’s like I’m on Fun House, slipping and sliding. Then, off to the garden centre where we bought some Christmas cards (!) and a trillion more candles. Finally, off to Alnwick for a drink in a pub whose atmosphere was so forgettable the name already escapes me. There were lots of people clacking dominos though. We ended the day in Barter Books, which is a giant secondhand bookshop in what used to be the old train station. It’s a great shop – all the books smell foisty and everyone looks like they’re on at least two registers, but we normally come away with a car load of books and a scent we can’t shift from our shirts.
Not today though. Gutted – I’m forever reading and I’m certainly not picky as to the content – I’ll cheerfully sit on the netty for a good twenty minutes reading the back of the bog cleaner, but nothing took our fancy. Bookshops are a swizz anyway, they’re full of people who all desperately want to look at the low-rent stuff like JK Rowling and Stephen King, but instead feel the need to stand there stroking their facepubes and nodding at a book about the sewing trends of 1900s’ Liechtenstein. I, hand-on-heart, heard a lass say to her boyfriend (using both of those syllables exceptionally generously) that ‘would he really want a cookbook with pictures?’. She spat out the ‘…with pictures’ bit like he’d picked up a book about how best to chargrill newborn babies. Oh fuck off. Fuck off with your look-at-me hair and the same ‘unique and individual’ tattoo style that I’ve seen on countless other mouthbreathers clattering out of Newcastle University. So pretentious. I almost spat out my organic lapsang souchong into the section on Armenian cooking.
Perhaps that was what put me in such a fettle that we left without any books. We cheered ourselves up by making a quick stopover on the way home to look close-up at the giant golfball up on the moors. This thing:
We (my sister and I) used to ask my parents what it was every time we were taken on our bi-monthly trip to Seahouses to eat chips, have the back of our legs slapped and play in the arcade. We were never told, so it’s always been a mystery to me. To be fair, my parents were probably tired of us telling them to floor it down ‘the bumpy road’ (which Paul and I did – the DS3 was in the air so long someone came out of the boot with a trolley of cigarettes and perfume) or asking where we were going. Their reply to that question was always ‘there and back to see how far it is’. How infuriating. Anyway, it’s an RAF listening station or something. Naturally, being keen explorers, we managed to find a little road which, after many ignored signs, took us all the way to the entrance. However, naturally, being cowardly British people, we didn’t want to cause any fuss by asking the armed guard what the deal was, so we promptly span the car around and thundered back to the main road. And, remember, we’d just cleaned the car. BASTARDS.
Anyway christ man, I said a quick entry, and I’ve spent 700 words telling you about a trip to a bookshop. I’m such a tart.
Tonight’s recipe is tandoori chicken, served with onion rice and roasted romanesco. Romanesco is that pretty vegetable that looks like a crazy science experiment but you can swap it out easily enough for broccoli or cauliflower. Roasting any veg in spices makes it tasty. FACT.
to make tandoori chicken, you’ll need:
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 chicken breasts (remember, you can get loads of chicken as part of our meat deal! CLICK HERE)
- 150g fat-free greek style yoghurt
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/3 tsp garam masala
- 1/3 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- pinch of turmeric
for the rice:
- the other half of the red onion
- enough basmati rice to fill your belly
- handful of frozen peas
- pinch of turmeric
for the romanesco:
- one large romanesco
- pinch of mustard seeds, cumin, salt, pepper, garam masala
- thumb sized knob of ginger
- few squirts of olive oil spray
to make tandoori chicken, then:
- FOR THE RICE: cook the onion, throw the peas into the same pan and add a bit of turmeric – cook your rice at the same time, then mix it all together
- FOR THE ROMANESCO: chop it up into little florets, put on an oven tray, squirt with a bit of oil (syn it if you want, but we’re talking less than a syn), cover with spices, shake, and bake in the oven for thirty minutes or so at 180 degrees
- FOR THE TANDOORI CHICKEN: mix together the lemon juice and paprika
- cut three slashes into each chicken breast and place in a large, shallow dish
- pour the juice mixture over the chicken, add the chopped onion and toss well to combine, and set aside
- meanwhile, mix together the yoghurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala, cumin, chilli powder and turmeric
- mix together the mixture with the chicken and toss well to coat, leave to marinade for at least an hour, but as we all know, the longer the better
- when you’re ready to roll, preheat the grill to medium high and cook the chicken until charred and no pink meat remains, turning halfway through
Done! I’m going to have to really work on this ‘quick post’ business, aren’t I?