And another thing about last night – I was asked why it was that I became a lawyer and the best thing I could come up with was a combination of Petrocelli and a lack of imagination. Then all I could remember of Petrocelli was that he lived in a trailer and his wife had blonde hair. A dubious couple of chareteristics to base a career on. Serves me right I suppose.
Did I mention how bad the food was. I wasn’t paying so there should be no complaining but I went looking forward to something half decent. But you can tell things have gone wrong when the highlight of the meal was the sugared mint leaf and two raspberries plonked on top of the pudding.
There was some confusion as to what the pudding was. Someone though it was a lemon tart only spoiled by the spoonful of goat’s cheese served on the side. I thought it was some sort of attempt at Crème brûlée and the reason why my neighbour thought it was a lemon tart was the sourness it had developed whilst going past its use by date. As for the goat’s cheese that was sour cream that was not meant to be sour.
There have also been culinary joys at home this evening. The weekend was set off nicely on coming home last night to find a scene of devastation in the kitchen. There were good marks for children for making supper but these were shot down by the chopped up pieces of onion left on the chopping board, the opened tins of tomatoes and the miscellaneous knives, forks, plates and cups that had made it half way across the kitchen towards the dishwasher and had then somehow lost the will to go any further.
Come morning all children seemed determined to blame each other including the youngest who seemed to think she had done enough on getting one of her siblings to pick her plate up and then to take herself off to bed.
There has been a form of revenge this evening by serving them fish. There was some sort of perverse pleasure in telling them they were having pasta for tea and watching the relief spread over their faces and then following that it up with the news that the pasta was coming with mussels, squid, prawns and red mullet. Notwithstanding the sour faces it was all pretty good and most of it got eaten.
There were no small squid so I picked up a monster. I was reminded whilst buying that that there maybe something therapeutic in cleaning the one squid there’s bugger all calming doing a hundred. This one was a mass of black ink and as I washed it down the sink I regretted not deciding to make some black rice and then remembered the approbation that would have been heaped on my head if I tried.
As the water for the pasta came to the boil I fried off garlic in olive oil and allowed to take on some colour. A dozen or so halved tomatoes were then tipped into that.
A small pan with a lid was put on a high heat and I threw in the two handfuls of mussels. They were given a shake after three minutes and then left alone.
Another pan was then put on a high heat. Olive oil was added. As it started to smoke I put in the prawns seasoning as I went with salt and pepper. They took about three minutes and I put them into the pan with the garlic and tomato.
The pan went onto the high heat and I put in the sliced squid. I am paranoid about squid. Either it needs to be cooked fiercely for about a minute or it needs to be left for hours. The only inbetween is a soggy elastic band in the mouth. I just about got them before they started to toughen and they went into the other pan together with the mussels and their juice
There was a bit of liquid in the bottom of the large pan and I stirred some creme fraiche into this.
The pasta was about done now but still needed a minute. So the small pan went back on the heat and I took the time to cook off four red mullet fillets.
It was then a quick matter of assembly:-
– drain pasta and pour into large, warmed bowl
– pour over prawn, mussel, tomato, squid sauce
– make it look good
– lay over the red mullet fillets
– season well with as much salt, pepper, chopped parsley as it needs.
Then eat. There were some in the family that just ate the pasta. The rest ate the rest.