Tuesday, October 01, 2002

I'm not a good cook. No, hang on - that's probably not true. I can cook - I just don't do it very often. A case of Can Cook, Won't Cook.

On the evenings I stay at my place, my evening meal is usually one of the following:
  • half a chicken and chips at Nando's
  • a curry at a cheap'n'nasty fast food place
  • a take-away pizza
  • a microwaveable TV dinner from Somerfield
  • a steak or tuna steak which I can quickly pan-fry
  • a bung-it-all-together salad
  • three packets of crisps and a Mars bar

    On the evenings I stay at Marcus's place, I eat very, very well. Marcus has recently discovered he enjoys cooking, and he loves trying out new recipes on me. His most recent discovery - a roasted onion and lemon salad - is one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten. Ask him for the recipe. As he loves cooking, I rarely have to venture into the kitchen myself, so I've lost any kitchen confidence I may once have possessed.

    So I was a bit nervous on Friday night when I offered to cook dinner for the two of us. I wandered around Sainsbury's in a dwaal, up and down the aisles, trying to find something I knew I'd be able to cook. "Hmmm... there's a special on tiger prawns - what can you make with them? I know, let's have a look in these cookbooks. Prawn curry? Sounds good. Let's see.. page 62. Right, prawns, coriander, ginger, garlic, coconut cream [whatever that is], curry paste. Sounds easy enough."

    It was. And it was delicious - I mean really, really good. So good, in fact, that Marcus demand I make it for him the next day, too. So good that I'll share the recipe with you so that you can impress your boyfriend/girlfriend/insignificant other.

    Finely chop half an onion, two cloves of garlic, some ginger, and some lime peel. Fry it for a minute or two. Then add two heaped teaspoons of curry paste. Stir it all together. Chuck in the prawns [or chicken or whatever]. Cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in a small carton of coconut cream. At the last minute, squeeze in a bit of lime juice and chuck in some roughly-chopped coriander. Serve on basmati rice. Delicious with a chilled gewurztraminer. Total cooking time: ten minutes. Total "ooh that was lovely, where did you learn to cook like that - oh I love you" time: hours, days.
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