Here’s an easy (yet impressive) hors d’oeuvre for a summer party. We
made them for Matt’s dad’s 70th birthday boat party, and they seemed to
go down well. The pink bubbly and Dorset coast sunset only helped. We
actually made loads of hors d’oeuvres, with the fine help of our nephews
– budding chefs Wilf and Oliver – and their parents, so I should be able
to send you more of those recipes should party food be of interest – ?
This recipe is with thanks to Matt, who managed to remember how we used to make these sweet and aromatic little cups years ago when living in Cambridge. We probably originally found it in a book or magazine, but can’t remember which. Each cup is crispy and juicy, cool and refreshing yet with a chilli kick, all in one bite. Yum.
So, it turns out I really like restaurant work. In fact I’m loving it.
I am learning loads every day at Chez Panisse. For example: you can
never peel too many onions (or shell too many beans); dead lambs are
quite heavy, and a bit bloody; you can still cook with blistered,
slashed and burnt hands; you need a very big pot to make 6 gallons of
soup; a ‘bus tub’ has nothing to do with buses or bathing; it’s
surprisingly difficult to keep a chef jacket white; there is very little
traffic at 6am, but loads at 6pm; and a tonne more about a spectacular
array of fresh ingredients and nifty cooking techniques. What has
struck me most is that good restaurants like this one are phenomenally
slick, well-organised, efficient machines staffed by extremely talented
and knowledgeable people. Hopefully some of this will rub off on me.