Turmeric and Parmigiano Eggs

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Turmeric and Parmigiano Eggs

The paradox in the job I do is that even though I am surrounded by food all day, it can get pretty busy and before you know it, you realise that you have just skipped lunch again. Therefore, it is important for me to get a good breakfast; I love breakfast, from yogurt to beans, a lot of fruits of course, nuts, honey, and even goats cheese on rye. But what is sure to see me alive over the crest of a missed midday bite, are eggs. Scrambled or fried, at least once a week. But since the egg and avocado thingy doesn’t agree with me ( my eyes go funny, or rather my vision, I am very sensitive to some of nature’s chemistry, I get high very easily ), I wanted to come up with something that would work well for me. It happened early this month, in my kitchen ( well d’ah), I was “starving with the hunger”; the ingredients were staring at me, something happened, I knew then what a sorcerer must have felt when he cast his first spell…

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Conchiglioni Al Forno

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Conchiglioni Shells

Sometimes, dinner ideas come in the weirdest kind of ways. For me, it happens at night, when my mind rambles between two dreams, remembering an anecdote or feeling a story germinating; I must admit, I have found myself waking up and typing a few ideas on my phone, fearing dawn would wipe them all out of my mind. “is it serious Doctor?”. But not this time. Last week, I was an absolute horror to be around, grumpy,grouchy, frustrated and ready to set off like a trapped animal. That is the consequence – at least for me – of tempering with the clock. “Putting the clock forward”, “summer time”, saving day light… What a lot of rubbish! And for 40 years, we have been, like sheep, putting our clock forward of one hour, for the next 6 months. The result? 4 days of pain, at the border of depression. On the third day, I decided that staying around wouldn’t do any good so I took my car, my camera and I headed west toward Sligo…

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Momo’s Carbo

They say that Carbonara was designed to feed Italian coal miners… “The black faces”. I don’t know if it’s true, but if I was a coal miner, I am sure I would wolf it down after a day down below. So yes, like a lot of legendary dishes, there are a lot of speculations about one of the most cooked pasta recipes in the world. All I know is that it is the first dish I cooked, it has evolved since and sometimes I add extra bits, it has also saved my life a few times, a dish that should be at the final exam of any leaving Certificates… Here is my father’s recipe, one I tend to follow…

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Spaghetti

Carbonara
Carbonara

September 1991, it was a beautiful morning over the Breton Capital. I had left behind the hills of Glenveagh National Park, my first real summer job, for another, scarier adventure: independence and freedom. So long mother and father, I am 18 now and your evil powers have no effect on me anymore… Cutting at last the proverbial umbilical cord, living the dream! I was meeting my olf friend “The Hero” in the Ozone Bar, two years older, kinda wiser too; he felt that it was his duty, as a big brother figure, to welcome and show me the ropes, places to hang out and other music venues to be part of. “You are staying with us until you get sorted, you hear?” His statement came as a relief, I hadn’t planned that far, and sure, I knew Rennes, very well even, but only as a child with the eyes of innocence. I was a man now see, free in the big city at last! I quickly finished my skinny glass of Maes Pils and followed my compadre toward the giant spaceship like building that was the Judiciary precinct; “Galion Street”, my new quarter, my new home… And how appropriately named for my new voyage!

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Dirty Haricots

Aaaahhh the joys of summer and the simplicity of its cooking… If there is a veg that was always present on the August table was the green bean, or, like we called it “haricot vert”. My mother and grandmother used to simply boil them for a while ( I like to leave them with a crunch so 5 min in boiling water will do). It often accompanied a pork loin roast, with tomatoes and roasted garlic. To be honest, I just enjoy them like so, with or without meat… With a crumble of cheese at the end. Nice…

Haricot prep
Haricot prep

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Parmigiano Reggiano Rosettes

As I was preparing my next story, and therefore tonight’s dinner, I decided to have a bit of fun with Parmigiano Reggiano rosettes; or whatever they are called… First, you need some parmesan, the gold of Italy, but any two years old cheese should do, mature gouda being one of them, or, Coolea from Cork…

Parmigiano Reggiano Chunk
Parmigiano Reggiano Chunk

Grate the cheese and place good pinches of it on a dry tray, leaving reasonable intervals to allow “freedom of melting”; you don’t want them to overlap. Bake on a hot oven at 200c for 5 minutes or so.

Grate and place on a dry tray.
Grate and place on a dry tray.

Once ready, take the tray out of the oven and let it cool for a little bit; using the tip of a small knife, lift them gently and place on a sheet of kitchen paper; let them cool a bit further and enjoy as a snack or as decoration of a related dish…

Ready to crunch with a nice glass of wine...
Ready to crunch with a nice glass of wine…
Fancy up a cheese gratin...
Fancy up a cheese gratin…