Like so many of your fellow cooks or chefs, you were most likely working on the big night of celebration to see 2018 in. However, I send you all belated best wishes for the New Year and hope it will be sensational time for you. I have established five things I want to do this year.
Firstly there are about four different recipes that I want to perfect that I have identified as my being deficient from cooking over the Christmas period. One of them is to cook turkey better than I did this year. Also, we have had a glut of prawns and I want to expand my recipe ideas for cooked King prawns. Any ideas – I would appreciate them.
Secondly, I need to do more exploring of local produce and to see the new products coming up in the new delis in our area. There can be no doubt we are getting more and more new and interesting products. We have a rich dairy culture in our region and more new cheeses coming into our markets. I need to enrich my product knowledge.
Thirdly I will be doing more reading in purpose written magazines and online about the increasingly new manufactured products I see in our supermarkets. I am fascinated by the new presentations and flavours around smoked meats and also the numbers of outlets popping up that process and sell smoked items. There are products coming to us from all over the world reinforcing the rich multicultural product range that already exists.
For the fourth one, I am determined to make the best basil pesto ever. I have been researching some of the recipes online and there is a real variation – including the nuts that you can use. It seems that it is possible to use cashews and not pine nuts. I am convinced that the Parmesan cheese chosen has a huge influence on the resultant flavour (see point 2). Do I do it traditionally using a mortar and pestle or do I blitz it with a Robot Coup? Such delicious decisions to make around the huge crop of basil I have growing right now – alongside the bumper crops of tomatoes. Gotta love Summer!
My fifth promise if you like – yes you guessed it. I need to lose weight/ Ugh, I hate this one. Perhaps I should find another promise!
During 2018 I will be doing some appearances at various trade shows and if you see me, please say hello and have a chat. More of that later through the year – in the meantime, make the most of 2018. Happy New Year.
– Peter Howard