There some clever stuff on this page, but clever food too must look and taste good.
Baked potato is a superb meal or accompaniment. Here the potatoes were half-cooked, the flesh scooped out, mixed with butter and cream and cheese and olives and finely chopped red onion, then put back in the skins and dusted with paprika before being put back into the oven to finish cooking. There was lovely mustard and honey cured ham to go on the plates but after people took salad nobody wanted ham though the plate was passed twice. Soup is always a standby if you run out of ideas, especially in winter and if it will be only the family at table.
Bolognaise sauce, out of a bottle or homemade I care not, is not permitted in my house. The sauce for this pasta was made with tomato puree, browned onions and the same red wine served with the food. The cubed fetta cheese and roughly chopped olives were added at the very last moment.
They also serve who only slice the bread and smoked salmon and choose the wine! But the 'simple' meal on the right takes at least at least two hours between walking into the kitchen and putting the dish on the table. Aboutenough time, before it goes into the oven, to do that much damage to a fresh bottle of wine...
A fresh salad, grilled fish with grilled vegetables, chopped vegetables, olives and cheese waiting to go into some pseudo-Italian dish better than the Don's Mama ever made.
Bread, cheese and olives: tasty, nutritious and quick to prepare. The cheeses are fetta, a smokey Dutch and a mature cheddar. There are also sliced tomato and cucumber on the plates. The cucumber is not peeled but it is washed and the skin scraped with a fork to make it less tough.
All text and illustration Copyright © Andre Jute