One of the things I love about John is the way he cooks. There might only be a select few ingredients in the kitchen, but let John loose and he is sure to whip up a delightfully tasty meal. John loves to experiment with flavours, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that. This is often much to my dismay, because, although there's a part of me that loves to experiment with food, there's also the part of me that is happy with the way things are and doesn't want to stray from the norm.
I am noticing more and more when we cook and bake together that there is much banter back and forth of 'let's add a bit of this' and 'no rules apply when I cook, don't worry about what the recipe says!' This presents a challenge to my stubborn character and takes me by surprise when I don't tend to think of myself as someone who likes to be in control. Apparently, when I'm in the kitchen, I do.
Anyhoo, what I wanted to tell you about was the delicious meal John cooked for us last week. In his true style, he added the john twist. This is when John takes a basic concept for a meal, and as he adds his little bit of this, little bit of that, the meal is taken to a whole new level.
Growing up, one of my favourite meals was my Mum's sausagemeat flan. it's a simple, homely, hearty meal that revels in the few ingredients required to come together to create it. I had a lot of reading to do for my course, so John was very kindly cooking for us. Having phoned my Mum for the recipe and dictated to John, he set about preparing the dinner. I was a little anxious that the pastry wouldn't work because the butter was at room temperature and not chilled, andd John had mixed the butter & flour together without adding the egg. Having given John my thoughts on the potential problems while trying to leave the kitchen but wanting to give a helping hand, he assured me that all would be fine.
Was it fine? Well, of course it was. While I was busy reading up on teaching children Science, John had created a delicious sauasagemeat flan. He built on the basics of sausagemeat, onion & a handful of oats by adding apple chutney, wholegrain mustard, and a generous shake of cayenne pepper & smoked paprika. The pastry turned out just fine, despite the warm butter and the omission of blind baking, and to top it all off, John made jam tarts out of the leftover pastry. Brilliant. I need to learn that for the most part, the john twist is a very good thing.