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Showing posts from December, 2010

NEW YEAR'S EVE SUPPER

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The end is the year is nigh and it's time to reflect on what has been - and what might be. Demon Cook is just over a year old, and I have a small, loyal following - and a bigger following whenever I mentioned "Nigella" and "buns" in the same paragraph! I have not yet had the success I dream of: my blog going viral and becoming the next Belle de Jour, or me as the next Julie Powell (of Julie, Julia fame), the inspiration of a surprisingly popular film about cooking and piano-playing, starring Renee Zellweger (with Demon Cook standing in as the "hand double" to do the close up cooking and/or piano-playing scenes)..... Ah, one can but dream!

So, it's New Year's Eve - again. Funny how it comes round every year, ain't it? I am rather "Bah, humbug!" about New Year's Eve (as I am about Christmas). I feel it is over-rated, and I make a point of not celebrating it and being curmudgeonly about it by going to bed deliberately early, onl…

MOUNTAIN FOOD

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Mention the Alps and food in the same breath and most people immediately think of fondue, that warming, comforting dish of melted cheese, with or without the addition of alcohol, into which one dips chunks of  bread.

If you break fondue down to "component level", it is easy to see this is a dish constructed from leftovers: old, hard bits of cheese, and stale bread. Like many other dishes from this region, fondue is "make do" food in many ways - using up bits and pieces left in the larder. The landscape has a direct influence on the food: in the old days, before the roads were made good and kept passable during the winter, it was important for the indigenous population to feed themselves without having to traipse down the mountain every day to shop. Thus, much of the food of this region is made to last through the hard winter: cured and preserved meats, like salami and air-dried ham; bottled fruits and vegetables; pickles.

Visiting this region in the winter, you als…

DEMON COOK IS ON HOLIDAY

I am away in the French Alps, enjoying the cuisine of the Haute-Savoie - and a bit of skiing for good measure.

Demon Cook will return with a full food and snow report after the holiday.

SYLVABELLA

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I suppose this recipe should come under the heading "Legacy" which Nigella Lawson uses in her book Nigella Bites. For her, "legacy" recipes are those handed down from her mother or grandmother. This recipe, for a very rich chocolate mousse dessert, was not exactly handed down to me by my mother, as I do not have the recipe in any of my "scrapbooks" of recipes, but it definitely brings back memories of my childhood, as it was one of my mother's 'signature' puddings, and I do remember helping her make it. I also recall that it was almost better the day after it was made, when it had spent a night in the fridge and the chocolate (milk and dark) and butter had solidified, and the boudoir fingers were soggy with alcohol.... It's a grand dessert, rich and naughty, and should be reserved for special occasions. I would make it for an alternative Christmas pudding, if I were cooking Christmas dinner (which I am not!).

After a bit of digging on the …

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEMON COOK!

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Yes, Demon Cook is a tender one year old. This time last year, it was cold and I was blogging about eating steak and kidney pie in The Guinea, a wonderful old-fashioned pub in Mayfair. Today it is also cold - much colder than this time last year - and later I will be blogging about curry, porridge and other comfort foods.

Meanwhile, I owe a debt of thanks to my dear friend Jacky - for it is she! - who coined the title of this blog (she also calls me Demon Shopper). She has also been one of the main inspirations for it, as she was always requesting my recipes, or asking me how I'd made something. Since most of my recipes are begged, borrowed or stolen from others, a cookbook seemed a bit of a con - and very possibly plagiaristic - so a blog it is. As readers can probably tell, I enjoy the activity of writing about food almost as much as I enjoy the activity of cooking and eating it. Someone, who sampled my monkfish paella over lunch one day, once asked me, "How come you're…