Sunday, October 29, 2006

Food Uncut - cut

I’ve been trying to catch up with a stack of old episodes Food Uncut that were piling up on my Sky+. I do really enjoy the show but don’t always have a chance to watch them everyday. Some of the highlights I enjoyed in this batch were seeing the piece on potato ricers (a real favourite of mine) but surprisingly they didn’t mention that one of the pluses of using one is that you don’t have peel the potatoes. You keep all the goodness in the potatoes and save yourself quite a tedious job.

Merrilees and Stefan were talking about British cheese week and the papers had reported that generally if you asked someone to name three British cheeses they couldn’t so they duly positioned their camera in a few high streets and tested the theory. Most could name Cheddar but struggled beyond that and one guy couldn’t name any British cheeses. It seems rather weird to me. The first one I named was Flower Marie which D and I managed to track down for our Queen’s birthday meal and oddly enough it was the first one that Stefan Gates mentioned also. Spooky! Though to be honest I’d first heard about this cheese on the previous show that Stefan worked on – Full on Food and he did a piece on going off in search of the perfect English cheese and this won. It is an amazing cheese, not easy to find though.

Merrilees and Stefan had the infamous Digger Dean (Dean Edwards) who should have won Masterchef goes Large at the beginning of the year. It seems despite the travesty of him only coming second (I promise I won’t rehash that debate again!) he is doing well for himself. He has done a stint at the two Michelin starred Midsomer House in Cambridge and has now moved back to Bristol and set up a dinner party company. He did a very fine looking beef fillet with crushed potatoes and other accompaniments.

Jean-Christophe Novelli baked a Vacherin in a bread case, which seemed very interesting and tasty though I have to say looked rather tricky to eat. When Jean-Christophe sliced the bread, the Vacherin just totally escaped. You’d have to be really careful what you cut it on!

Merrilees cooked a delicious looking roast rib of beef and béarnaise sauce (Mike Robinson’s recipe) and tasty steak and kidney pie and they discussed everyone’s feeling about kidneys. I think I have to agree with Jean-Christophe, I love the kidney in steak and kidney pies but only in small quantities when outside a pie. Though I can’t say I’ve had kidneys very often ‘au natural’. Merrilees and Stefan discuss the "pimp my snack" website (which I believe has been renamed) and a couple of their production team make a giant pink and yellow iced biscuit.

Marcus Wareing tells us that his favourite restaurant is Chez Bruce in Wandsworth, his choice of butchers is Randall’s and his hidden gem is Patisserie Valerie.

Stefan makes his ultimate hot chocolate which has lashings of cream, egg yolk and crème de cacao. And Olly Smith convinces us that wine boxes are the way forward especially for the single diner (or should I say drinker) as they stop the air getting to your precious wine so they can stay at their best for a prolonged period of time. I like Olly, he reminds me of a gourmet Boris Johnson; they also sent him out to Southend in search of the best fish and chips.

I’ve still got plenty to watch so I’ll have more to report soon.

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