Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact I adore cooking and eating good food. Whilst I’ve no plans to turn this blog into a recipe or home-life blog, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favourites from time to time.
I can’t cook an interesting meal without taking its photo, making all my guests wait until the meal is cold, and generally being a food photo pest.
Here are my favourite dishes of 2009, in no particular order.
Layla cooked us all a fantastic “Tray Baked Chicken Maryland” at her new pad in Westminster. I like to call it “Banana Chicken”, which is frankly more descriptive, and the recipe she followed can be found on Jamie Oliver’s site here.
The recipe for the fabulous Carluccio’s dish “Penne Giardiniera” was released online this year. I haven’t pictured the finished product, but this recipe is superb.
On a trip to Budapest in summer, we were directed, courtesy of Yoon, to a fabulous restaurant called Babel, at which we ate their tasting menu with a perfect selection of wines to complement each course.
The award for the best chocolate this year goes to Babel, Budapest:
This year I have had good and bad experiences with pizza. I am a huge fan of pizza. Not the soggy, glutenous fayre served by the likes of Domino’s (or, for that matter, Pizza Express), but the freshly baked stuff, made to order.
I’m no stranger to baking my own; this was not something my mother taught me but rather I learnt at university whilst others were eating their pasta and pesto.
So this year, I decided to take my love for pizza a bit further, and spent hours perfecting the dish. I now use a stone base, which is really the only way to avoid slightly moist dough when you bring it out of the oven. It adds that stonebaked edge to the pizza, and almost negates the need for a huge stone pizza oven.
Here’s the Pizza Fiorentina, perfected back in July 09.
Now for the best cakes of the year, at the Marie Curie Tea Party.
James does the best dinner parties. His apartment is kitted out with the nicest crockery.
In fact, the Villeroy and Boch large bowl shown below was the very item of homeware that persuaded me to invest heavily in good crockery myself. As payment for a job this year with a homeware store, I decided to receive stock, in the form of a coffee grinder and some of my own Villeroy and Boch.
Here’s an excerpt from James’s brilliant Mexican food evening:
This guacamole also inspired my own ventures into Mexican food on a number of occasions later in the year.
Being a wedding photographer, it would be rude not to feature wedding cake in my list.
Courtesy of Jane Asher Party Cakes, here’s a photo of the most glorious Malteser Cake. I couldn’t resist the chance to turn the sparkly floor reflections into a bokeh that mimicked the Maltesers. (Which photographer could…?)