By Andrew Quigley
Jan 12, 2022
There's something about Grandmas and food.
Does anyone know how to leave Grandma's house without feeling so full you might be sick? The other day I visited my girlfriend's (Sri Lankan) Grandma, and ended up eating a few kilograms of rice and curry despite having had lunch only moments before.
It was amazing - don't get me wrong - but I'm not sure I would have been allowed to stop. It brought up fond memories of my own Grandma feeding me hundreds of mince pies regardless of the time of year.
Does anyone have any tricks on how to escape Grandma's house with your waistline in check?
This week's tip: Can't touch this
from Merlin Labron Johnson of Michelin Starred Osip
We all know resting meat is important. It makes it juicier and more evenly cooked. But how to know when your meat is properly rested?
The old rule of thumb is rest the meat for as long as you cooked it. But I've got an easier tip; if you can comfortably hold the meat in your fingers without being too hot, then you're good to go! If carving feels like you're handling hot coals...then leave it alone!
This week's recipe: Proper chimichurri
from Gary Foulkes, chef extraordinaire at Michelin Starred Angler
A while back me and my wife went travelling around the world in search for culinary inspiration (at least that's what we tell our friends...). When you're bang in the middle of somebody else's country and culture, you learn how to do things the proper way.
This is one of those lessons - proper chimichurri the way the Uruguayans make it. Look out for this little beauty on my upcoming Father's Day Banquist - launching next week!
- 100ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Big handful finely chopped parsley
- 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped or minced
- 2 small red chilies deseeded and finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. If you can, leave alone for at least 2 hours to let the flavours get to know each other.
- Don't cook meat covered in chimichurri - the herbs will burn to a crisp. The best way is to rest your meat in the chimichurri, regularly turning it over. The resting juices will add a punch to your sauce, and the chimichurri will impart so much flavour into the meat. A match made in heaven.
Your questions answered
by Theo Randall, master of proper Italian cooking
"What pasta/shape style should I choose for my meal?" from Sarah
Sarah, fear not.. we also lie awake at night worrying about whether our sauce was partnered with the perfect pasta shape. If you end up with uncoated pasta, or pools of sauce at the end of your meal - you've committed a cardinal sin of pasta choice.
Long pasta like spaghetti or linguine hates anything with larger chunks, so opt for a silky sauce that will coat your strands (think Alfredo or Carbonara).
Short pasta e.g. penne or fusilli is your go-to when using larger chunks like beans, olives, or veg in your sauce that can be stabbed not slurped.
Holey pasta like shells or rigatoni are better for the likes of capers, toasted pine nuts, and peas, where your smaller ingredients will slot in nicely.
Finally, tiny pasta like orzo is the best option for anything broth-like that requires a spoon to eat.
So please, make better pasta decisions and for goodness sake, don't forget to salt your pasta water.
This week's recommendation
We're back with part two of our extremely nerdy knife guide. Last week I explained why sharp knives are important and the difference between honing and sharpening. As a reminder, when we're honing we are realigning the sharp edge of the knife. Whereas when sharpening, we're creating a completely new edge.
We find the easiest method to properly hone a knife is to first place the steel tip on a chopping board, then place the heel of the knife against the top of the steel at a 15-20 degree angle (see below). This is where you see a lot of people going for a 45 degree angle, which is not what you want to do!
At this point, using light pressure, draw the knife down the steel maintaining your angle so that it finishes at the tip. Then repeat on the other side. You'll want to repeat this until the blade feels honed- around 8 strokes on each side. You'll see lots of chefs gently running their thumb across (not along!) the blade to check if it feels sharp.