My dad recently introduced us to the Two Greedy Italians series. The Two Greedy Italians consist of Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio, two prominent Italian chefs from the UK. Each episode in this series is spent in a different town in Italy, eating and cooking the local delicacies as well as mixing with the local people all while they continually bait each other like teenage boys and reminisce of what Italy was like when they were children. It really is food porn for Italian food lovers.
When it’s cold and dreary outside there are some dishes that make you feel like you’re sitting by a crackling fire enveloped in a big soft blanket or if you’re lucky to have one, a doona/duvet/comforter suit. Say wha? People, someone has taken the snuggie to the next level and invented the doona suit. Probably the most unsexy outfit I have ever seen in my life but who cares when you can walk around feeling like you’re still in the comfort and warmth of your bed!
I came across this little gem whilst in Sienna in Italy. It totally crept up on me like a sleazy guy on a dancefloor. But unlike the sleazy guy, I welcomed this into my life with open arms.
You know when you were young and there were foods that just seemed so ‘adult’. By that I mean as a child it was impossible to comprehend why your mum or dad actually enjoyed that particular food and would choose to eat it. I can recall thinking that about pistachio ice cream, blue cheese (I mean why on earth would you want to eat mould when there was perfectly fresh kraft single cheese/cheese sticks in the fridge) and rhubarb.
Now I love all three of those things. I guess that makes me an adult, oh bum.
Today we’re taking the fig to the Middle East people. Told you this little gem was versatile. This recipe was inspired by one of Nigella’s recipes for Arabian pancakes with Orange-Flower Syrup. I have mixed it up a little here and half the figs are cooked and half them are served fresh which I think adds a lovely lightness to the dish. You could serve this dish either as a dessert or for brunch. It may seem like there are a lot of components to this recipe but I promise you it’s dead simple.
Ok folks, continuing on our figustation, today I bring you this totally delectable recipe from Maggie Beer from her book Maggie’s Kitchen. You have to love the gorgeous Maggie; she’s the mother you would love to have if your own mother was a crap cook. There should be no excuses not to try this recipe, it is a super easy one-pot recipe and it tastes bloody delicious. So delicious in fact that The Dr literally licked his plate clean. What I love about this recipe is that you don’t even have to brown the chicken before you bake it in the oven for only 30mins! Yes, you heard, only 30mins! You could really impress with this recipe even on a weeknight. Go on then, get in the kitchen….
Today didn’t start off that awesome as I had to get a test done at the hospital (nothing serious!) and I have a phobia of needles, but I was well rewarded when I visited my dad afterwards and received a lovely package of delicious purple figs that he had bought from his grocer. They had been picked straight from the garden of the grocer’s father, really folks, unless you picked these yourself…could it get any better?
I adore figs in every way shape and form. I love how they are so versatile and can be eaten as a savoury or sweet dish. I inherited my obsession with figs from my Mediterranean dad who was well into them way before they became fashionable on the food scene. I do remember though when I was a kid, I had a weird way of eating them. For some reason I wasn’t digging the texture of the skin and would just tear them in half, eat the sweet jammy insides and throw the skins away. My dad would throw his arms up in disgust at this fig crime I was committing. But now, things have changed, and my dad would be proud, I eat those things skin and all.