Friday, 3 August 2012

The Beautiful Game

I have just finished a short project at the Football League.  I, who have less than no interest in football have been chatting to many of the 86 clubs, helping them put together their new websites.  Websites, fun.  Football, a strange thing people get passionate about that I just don't get.

But I went in open minded and ended up enjoying the banter with the different clubs and their sport.  I know what a Gaffer is, two teams who are nicknamed "the Cherries" and I know the name of the Dagenham & Redbridge mascot.  This is all useful information.

I am even kinda proud of my pic with the cup, even though it's importance is a little beyond me.  I do, however, realise it's the most priceless thing I have been anywhere near (and touched, though I did get told off for that).

And I really do want to go and see a game, I guess I am supporting Reading for the usefulness of locality.  Plus their colours of blue and white suit me if I were to dress for the occasion, which I am sure I would ;-)

I am doing the food today as I have the whole day to myself and have been gagging to get my cooking vibe on.  I have even been slightly ambitious as I have a bunch of time to get it all together.  Let's just see how that pans out, haha.  It's not like I get totally stressed in the kitchen with new recipes.  And it's like one of them needs me to open a bottle of wine...

So with me cooking, that means he has to do the music, which is amusing as he likes football even less than me.

Music: Spotify playlist.  The first song goes "blue is the colour, football is the game".  It's sheer wonderment to say the least.  What an evening it will be... where's my drink?

Cocktail: After the potentness of the last few weeks I wanted something a bit more simple.  I found the Halftime Cocktail which is simply Vodka, syrup de gomme and lemon juice.  Fresh!

It's pleasant but he thinks it's a bit dull (how rude).  I think it's refreshing and would be good with a bit of soda water, sitting by the Thames (if one needs to be very specific).

There are either not many football puns or I wasn't feeling inspired today.  This starter is inspired by the idea of the boys puffing around the pitch with their big ol' thigh muscles.  I know, I suck!  Or it's amazing, who knows.  If I had had half a bottle of wine I would probably be in hysterics.

So I thought of puff pastry laden with mussels and some scallops and trout.  Kinda making it up but did find a recipe to follow (or ignore as is my very lazy way).  Scallops are 75p each!  How can that be!

This was so simple but really tasty.  The addition of a little of the sauce that the cooking fish gave off was inspired, otherwise I think could have been a bit dry.  Don't know why the trout in the picture ended up looking like carrots.  It aint.

He says: "A just awesome little puff pastry and seafood giant nibble. Really tasty and very moreish. Luckily she made a few extra so we can try them again tomorrow!"

Risotto Footballs (Arancini filled with Mozzarella, Proscuitto and Shitake Mushrooms) served with a Bitter Salad

This is a dumb thing to make as it's to use up risotto left-overs... which I don't have, so I have to make a risotto first!  As I am making this I realise I haven't ever made a risotto before.  I can't stand dishes where you have to actually focus, and this needs lots of attention and constant stirring.  Yawn.  I need to multitask.  The wine I need to put in this dish also ends up in my mouth as I cook way before the eveningtime.  I feel so naughty, it's not even 3pm.

So I did think this might be a bit dull; they're just some rice after all.  However, I really liked.  Preferred to just risotto in fact.  The crispy shell and the gooey contents were very satisfying.  Really worth doing.

He says: "My ghod! So I don't know if you know but risotto is one of my favourite foods, these take it, make it into a ball, breadcrumb and deep fry. Very awesome."

I am so scared of baking cakes.  I have no idea why, I have certainly baked some a couple of times in life, but I am a-feared.  I think it's because my Mum hated baking cakes and when she did they came out sunken, or horizontally cut in a crooked fashion.  My Mum doesn't even really like cake, so I think there's always a problem making things you're not that into.  I do like cake, but this childhood scaring is clearly hanging over me, heh.

In anticipation of baking this cake I went on a mad kitchen cupboard audit.  I really love rifling through and throwing out items over the expiry date.  Masses and masses were thrown out!

The cake came out well, but I am just so nervous around it.  Cutting it through the middle made me have heart palpitations.  I either need to not make cakes or make loads all the time.  Still not sure which road I want to go down.

After icing the middle of the cake with the vanilla butter icing, I gathered up many of the crumbs to make into cake pops.  Crumbs + more of the icing + melted white chocolate + dark chocolate chips = dodgy looking football.

The cake pop is all I can handle after all the food tonight (and throughout the day needing to taste it all, hehe) and it's really lovely.  This is the one and only time in my life I will make a football themed cake and I am happy enough with it.  I haven't actually eaten any of the actual cake yet.  I don't want to cut into it's perfectly formed beauty...

He says: "Incredibly rich white chocolate covered vanilla cake nom nom nom. But so very rich I'm not sure I can manage another... no really.... thanks but no... you're very kind..."

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