This weekend's cooking was inspired by our fly fishing trip to a secluded lake in Bedfordshire. Our efforts meant we brought home six gorgeous trout; i gave one to our neighbour Josie, stuck a few in the freezer to be smoked for paté when I have time, and we shared the chubbiest one for dinner. Our new friends Louise & Jenny gave us a mountain of courgettes from their allotment, with the flowers still intact- what a treat! I stuffed the flowers with ricotta, dipped them in the lightest of batter and fried them. For the courgettes themselves, I hand grated them and sauteed in olive oil with a few cloves of fresh purple garlic. Just before serving, I tossed in a handful of freshly grated Parmesan and some torn basil leaves, and put a few lemon wedges on the side to be squirted at leisure. Dessert was my current fave- a wine tumbler (that sort you get in France!) layered with probiotic yogurt made in the Trough of Bowland, tart-sweet Scottish raspberries and soft, crumbled Milanese amaretti biscuits.
Now we're into Monday, and despite rushing back from the radio show it doesn't give me much cooking time in the evening. I made one of my standby classics- North African Quinoa Paella. This may sound like a culture clash gone too far, but I can assure you it is the best of Morocco, South America and Spain in one dish! Normally a dish like this would be made with rice or couscous; but being a healthy eater and always looking for low glycemic index options, it's easy to replace the expected refined wheat couscous or white rice with quinoa, a high protein grain from South America. I heat up some olive oil in my big stick-proof wok, and sautee red peppers, garlic, spring onions, ground turmeric, ground coriander and a big dash of cayenne (i like spice!) Then add cubed tofu, a cup of green peas, and two big handfuls of prawns. Let it sizzle, and when it's nice & hot, combine with about 3 cups of the quinoa you will have already cooked. Salt & pepper it, and put your creation on a lovely serving platter (here I have used my vintage Fiesta Ware- did you know Andy Warhol would eat from nothing else?!) A dash of roughly chopped parsley and some lemon wedges...now what are you waiting for? Dig in!