Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Rabbit stew with apparition of Dave Brock

Serves 2.
You will need:

1 medium sized rabbit. (preferably jointed and with liver)
Any old cider.
1 medium sized onion.
2 handfuls of Dawkins mushrooms.
2 carrots.
2 cloves of garlic.
2 stalks of celery.
2 or 3 rashers of bacon (optional - I don't really 'do' bacon, too salty, processed so therefore unhealthy. If you do want to add bacon just chop up and fry with the onion in the stewing pot.)
Thyme. (sprigs or dried)
Coarse Dijon mustard.
Seasoning to taste.

Mashed potato to serve.

Everything's 'underrated' now isn't it? Elvis Presley - used to be the King Of Pop, been dead for about a thousand years, hasn't had a hit in even longer. No one knows who he is. I carried out an experiment recently where I handed out pictures of 'Elvis' to total strangers on the street. Not one of the ten thousand people I spoke to recognised the former 'King of Pop.' So yeah, Elvis, totally underrated. I'll tell you what else is 'underrated' apart from Elvis, Stereolab, and Radiohead: Rabbit stew. Actually Rabbit isn't 'underrated' at all, rabbit is probably appreciated about as much as it deserves. It's all right, it's just not as nice as fillet steak. So, fucking rabbit stew. First things first. Off you go down to the bottom of the garden, to the wabbit hutch, where your five year old daughter's beloved bunny wunny lives. Sorry Mr Flopsy Mopsy, but you had it coming.

Of course, you don't really need to kill the pet bunny wunny. What you need to do is go to the butcher. The butcher will sell you a rabbit for around a fiver, if you're lucky, the rabbit will be dead and jointed (i.e cut into five pieces) If you're less lucky the rabbit will be dead but not jointed, in which case you'll have to cut it up yourself. This isn't too bad but there will be a fair bit of blood, and you will look like a murderer. Incidentally, if you do have a five year old daughter you may not want to tell her that you are cooking rabbit stew. Five year olds think that rabbits are actually wabbits. Some grown ups think that rabbits are wabbits as well. Anyway, you may think that you are being terribly responsible in telling your children where meat 'really comes from,' but actually you're not, you are just on the fast track to unleashing a biblical flood of tears and you will end up eating fish fucking fingers. Okay, before you cook anything, you need to pluck out the rabbits liver and kidneys, fuck knows whereabouts the rabbits kidneys and liver actually are within the dead rabbit, just have a rummage around and you'll find them. They're the things that look like kidneys and liver. Got 'em? Nice one. Chuck the kidneys in the bin, along with anything else you have of value, and set the liver aside, erm Clyde.

Stews are, by nature, epic. So you need to be listening to something truly epic whilst you stew the fuck up. Hawkwind's 'Space Ritual'  should cover it. On its original release 'Space Ritual' was advertised as '90 minutes of Brain Damage.' Luckily, you've got the re-release double CD which should have about '2 and a half hours of Brain Damage' on it. The perfect amount of time - measured in 'brain damage' - to stew a fucking rabbit. Christ's chopper! Let's cook.

Slice up the onion, the celery, carrots, a bit of garlic, and the mushrooms. Now, if you we're making this stew for Hawkwind (underrated), as opposed to just grooving to Hawkwind whilst you heat shit up, then it would be better if you used magic mushrooms. Sadly these mushrooms are not magic. They are just some tired old mushrooms that you bought from the Costcutter. Anything but magic in fact. You see these mushrooms are Dawkins mushrooms. They are the enemy of anything poetic, they are rationalist mushrooms, not only do these Dawkins mushrooms know that God doesn't exist, they are also happy about it. Worse still, these mushrooms have never listened to Hawkwind before. These Dawkins mushrooms are awful. Oh. Now cook the Dawkins mushrooms, celery, onion, carrots and garlic in a little virgin oil  in a heavy bottomed stewing pot for about 12 minutes. Towards the end of this process chuck in a good handful of thyme. Shall I tell you what's happening now? Dave Brock is yowling out the 'lyric' to 'Lord Of Light.' That, my friends, is what the fuck is happening now. Brown the fucking rabbit. Oh God that sounds bad. It sounds like some sort of H Block dirty protest on the rabbit. Don't carry out a dirty protest against the rabbit. Just put the five pieces of meat into a separate pan (separate from the Dawkins mushrooms and other bits and bobs) cover in a little flour, and lightly fry on each side until brown. Thus 'sealing' the flavour of the meat. Oh yes. Once the bunny has browned remove it from the pan and place it on top of the Dawkins mushrooms and the other shit.

It's time to de-glaze. Let the de-glazing begin. Pour a little cider over the the rabbit pan, and turn the heat way up, once the cider is bubbling excitably, you can tip it over the rabbit, the Dawkins mushrooms and whatever else you've manage to accumulate in the fucking stewing pot. Now pour enough cider over the meat to almost cover it. Cover the stew with a lid and cook on a low heat. Only come back into the kitchen when 'Orgone Accumulator' starts blasting out. If you have any cider left don't drink it. Remember cider is not an adult's drink. It is a drink for children and tramps. So, if you have a child - give them the cider. If you have a tramp give it to him.

Okay, we're about 90 minutes into this stew which means that it's time to start fucking about with food again. More importantly it also means we've reached the Bob Calvert 'Orgone Accumulator,' section of 'Space Ritual.' I love the classic UA period of Hawkwind, (underrated) but I love the Calvert/Brock led 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm,' late seventies period even more. (underrated) Around the time of 'Space Ritual,' space poet and fighter pilot enthusiast Bob Calvert, also recorded a solo masterpiece: 'Captain Lockheed And The Starfighters', a concept album based upon the true story of how after WW11 the American Military deliberately sold defective supersonic aircraft to the West German Government, featuring 'space rock' and spoken word skits from Calvert, Viv Stanshall, Lemmy, most of Hawkwind, Arthur Brown - oh and Eno. (overrated) We live in paltry times boys and girls, paltry times.

Fuck! Shit! Hells oily eggs and Dad's gizzards. There's a rabbit liver on the loose in this goddamn hoose. Er. Remember the liver wot you carefully extracted earlier, well now it's time to 'joosh' it the fuck up. Chuck the organ ( or orgone) into a food processor along with two tablespoons of coarse Dijon mustard and blitz. Now, to pack a punch add the blitzed up liver to the stew. Leave the whole fucking shebang cooking on a low, low heat for another hour, or until you hear 'You Shouldn't Do That' bursting out of your kitchen at the end of CD2 of 'Space Ritual.'

If Hawkwind are saying 'You Shouldn't Do That.' I'd listen to them, cos whatever you're doing must be pretty bad if Hawkwind are telling you to stop doing it. The stew is done, so is 'The Space Ritual.' You should definitely try rabbit stew at least once, even though you probably won't score with a lady with this recipe (if you do then she's a keeper) and if you haven't heard 'Space Ritual' you should give that a go too. Okay, Plate. The. Fuck. Up. Hang on, what's this appearing before me, perhaps all that Hawkwind exposure has had a positive effect on the Dawkins mushrooms, what is this apparition before mine eyes? as I lean over the stew I am sure I can see the image of a face forming in the broth. The face of a man with long hair and a beard. Is it Christ? No it is not. It is the face of Dave Brock. Oh yeah, serve with mashed potato. Bon Appetit.



                                           Can you see this man's face (Dave Brock below) in
                                           the rabbit stew? (above) I can.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Refried Beans For Paul Weller

A "mod" target

You will need:

For the refried beans,
1 tin of kidney beans in water
1 large onion
1 clove of garlic
1 mild green chilli
Olive oil

For the salsa,
1 tin of peeled tomatoes
1 small onion
1 birds eye chilli
1 chicken/vegetable stock cube
squeeze of lemon juice
twist of black pepper
pinch of sugar

For the rice,
some rice

So we've just come out of glut of Bank Holidays, bad news for me - can't stand the amateurs clogging up my local parks and alehouses. But for you, for you hungry modernist, the bank holiday is a chance to hang with your all time idol of pop. Ding fucking dong, who's that at the door dad? It's only Paul Weller. That's who. Right. The. Fuck. On.

Yep, the man known as the undisputed 'Best Mod in Britain' (Paul Weller) is standing outside your front door, and he wants to take you down to Brighton for a Bank Holiday ruck on the seafront and then on to an all nighter at some Locarno. Get your Parka on fucker, gulp down a load of purple hearts, take the Secret Affair album off the dansette, and jump astride your Vespa - you do not want to keep the 'Best Mod in Britain' waiting. You do not want to do that.

48 hours later, and you're back at your awful home, you wave good bye to your new pals:
'Bye bye Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash, Bye Bye Bruce and Rick' you say sadly. Bruce Foxton and Rick Foxton, the Style Council's highly volatile identical twin sibling rhythm section, roar off on their stupid motorbikes. As does Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash. It's been a long weekend, what with all that fighting on the seafront, all that frothy coffee guzzling and all that frugging to the Shirelles and the Merton Parkas. But it's not over yet. Paul Weller wants to hang out with you a bit more, and he wants you to make him one of his favourite meals: Refried Beans with Salsa, and he wants you to serve it up to him so it looks like a 'mod target'. Christ's teeth - we got there in the end.

The reason for the previous three paragraphs of (frankly) utter doggerel is that my wife noticed that when you serve up this sodding recipe - refried beans, salsa, and plain basmati rice - on a blue rimmed plate, it can look very much (a bit) like a 'mod target'. I've been cooking this for about 20 years. I nicked it from a recipe book for fake Mexican food, written by a fake Mexican lady in Asda in Southgate, North London. I couldn't afford the recipe book as I was on the dole at the time, so I committed the instructions to my young, young beautiful mind. Right on Benson, let's do it.

First off, finely chop up the small onion and gently fry it in olive oil until opaque in a large pan. Whilst the onion solemnly does its very cool 'frying' thang, you can open up a can of  tomatoes and decant them into a smallish saucepan, turn up the heat and gently, gently cook. While all this 'stuff' is going on  crumble a stock cube into the tomatoes. Everyone laughs at stock cubes, including me. This is because they are shit. It doesn't matter, it's only cooking, and this dish is not exactly fine dining. It really isn't. Now, your finely chopped onion should be cooked, so add it to the tomato mess. Slice up a birds eye chilli and bung that in as well. A pinch of sugar, a dash of lemon, a twist of pepper and your tomato salsa is done. All it has to do now is reduce, Bruce.

Paul Weller is busying himself in your front room by laughing at your record collection,
"What the fuck's this?" says Britains Best Mod, as he pulls out a Sonic Youth album. "Not as fucking clever as they fink," says Paul. I have to admit he's got a point. Paul Weller is looking for some Traffic LPs. He won't find any. You need to sort out some sounds in the kitchen. Probably some 'hard bop.' Paul would approve of that. Maybe.

 Now that you've got Ornette Coleman freaking the fuck out on his bugle you need to make the refried beans. Easy – roughly chop up the large onion and the garlic and fry for about 10 minutes in the large pan, once the onion is cooked you can chuck the kidney beans in (including the water from the can) with the cooked onions, add in a mild chilli if you fancy and cook over a medium heat for around forty minutes. After about half an hour  the kidney beans should have softened up and the water will have 'magically' vanished. There is some science going on here, but I don't believe in science - science is shit. 'Science' is the pastime of warlocks. I reckon the water has just gone into space or something. Now, when you've stopped wondering about where the water's gone it's time to mash up the kidney beans and onions. You will know when you've mashed them enough because they will look like refried beans. Yeah? Ok. Plate. The. Fuck. Up.

It's time to carefully arrange your food in the shape of a 'mod target.' For this you will need a blue plate, now just plonk the food on the plate in the same way I have in the photograph that I have kindly provided at the top of this fucking blog. Oh, you need to serve the food with some fucking rice. You know how to cook rice, right? Ok, it's the moment of truth, time to present your 'Modernist Refried Beans' to Paul, who's angrily awaiting his dinner in the other room. Britain's Best Mod turns off the Small Faces compilation tape he's been listening to and walks over to the table where his food awaits him. He looks at the food for about 5 seconds then walks away from the table.
'Twat,' says Paul Weller as he walks out of your house and gets on his Vespa. The Vespa that will take him back to Woking. Oh well.

 'Mod targets,' and Paul Weller notwithstanding, you really should try making this. It's cheap, it's healthy, and although it looks horrible in the photograph, it actually tastes damn good. You can also garnish with some crumbled cheddar cheese and celery. I don't know what the fuck you'd drink with this. Perhaps as you're coming down from a 'weekender' you could serve it with some Mandrax. Does any body still do 'mandies'? If so, can I have some? Bon Appetite.



Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Ackee and Saltfish (Version)

Above, ackee and saltfish (version)

You will need:

2 smoked haddock fillets
1 tin of ackee
1 medium onion
1 small/medium red pepper
small finger of ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 scotch bonnet chilli pepper
sprigs of fresh thyme or good manly pinch of dried thyme
half a tablespoon of Encona chilli sauce
table spoon/good squirt of tomato ketchup.

1 large blackened plantain.

serves 2

(pictured - Ackee and Saltfish (version) with 'rice and peas.' I didn't have a plantain.

Dinner parties. By Christ they're awful. Just think of the fun you are missing getting apocalyptically drunk on your own, smashing stuff up and blacking out. Instead some fuckhead has had the temerity to invite you to their dinner party. The thing with dinner parties is that people always invite people who don't know each other. The people you don't know have a name - no, i'm not talking about their actual names, usually names like Ollie, and Dom - the name for people you don't know is 'strangers.' My old mum had a saying about strangers: "Monday's stranger - Tuesday's friend - Wednesday's sworn enemy for life." Pretty soon these fucking 'Strangers' will try and engage you in conversation.
Ollie. "Hi, my name's Ollie, how do you know Dom? Have you met my partner Ross?" and so it goes on. When 'The Strangers' are not saying retarded stuff like 'Cheese! It's just like drugs, isn't it?' They will relentlessly pump you for information, until they finally ask you the dreaded 'What do you do?' Luckily, explaining that you are a musician who doesn't consider himself to be a musician and who doesn't have hit records, closes the conversation down pretty damned quick, Mick. (Maybe 'The Strangers' just think I'm a busker - perhaps I am a busker.)
Oh, on the subject of closing down a conversation, here are a few handy hints on what you can do if you get cold-called on the blower.  a) Tell the cold caller that you are planning on killing yourself later on in the day, b) Ask the cold caller if they mind if you take your clothes off whilst they are talking to you. The only good thing to have come out of any sodding dinner party that has had the misfortune to have me as a guest is the knowledge that it is possible to make Ackee and Saltfish at home that can taste better than it does in a restaurant.

Frankly this recipe is a bit inauthentic. I prefer ackee and saltfish using smoked haddock rather than saltfish. I've got a lot of fucking albums to make, a lot of godamn books to write and who knows what other shit I've got to fling in the face of the public before my number's up - and saltfish, well it's just too, er, salty, Moulty. Even if you leave it in water over night - and double boil it - that saltfish is gonna play hardball with your blood pressure. Besides, having tried both saltfish and smoked haddock in this recipe, I prefer the latter. Think of this recipe as The Clash's musical bricklaying cover of 'Police and Thieves' as opposed to Junior Murvin's transcendental hypnotic original. Oh.

You will of course need a sound system in your kitchen to play your authentic roots rock rebel dub plates. So it's a toss up betweens 10cc's 'Bloody Tourists,' or Radio 4, where you can listen to a comedy that has people on who are just like people you would meet at a dinner party.  Marcus Brigstock -  yes that's his name. They call him Marcus Brigstock. 10cc it is then. Let's cook.

Heat up a little olive oil in a large pan, chop up the onions, the garlic, and a good sized knob of ginger. Fish is a cunt for ginger. Turn up to a medium heat and add the chopped red pepper and maybe a side or two of the scotch bonnet chilli - you don't need me to tell you that scotch bonnet chilli is a muthafucka. So look the fuck out. Now get the fish into the oven at 180 for about 7 minutes, you want the fish to be a little under done. Plantain is a fine accompaniment to ackee, ideally get yourself a ripe (i.e blackened) one, heat up a decent amount of oil in a heavy bottomed pan, and chop up the plantain, put the chopped up big black banana to one side as the oil heats up. Now get the fish out of the oven, and hide it. That was a joke - you don't need to hide the fucking fish, you just need to skin the fucking fish. Good, it's all working out well. If you were going to panic, now would be the time to panic. It's ok, you don't need to panic.

Fuck! fuck, boiling bastards, Witches, howling demons of the spitting fucking oil, wailing women, and fucking dogs. Secret ingredient time. This will be the making of your ackee and saltfish (version) - a capful of Encona Hot chilli sauce, a squirt of tomato ketchup and a good shake of thyme go into the pan of onions and peppers. Thyme, thyme running and passing, you can't scrimp on the thyme. Now flake the fish into the mix and stir. It's ackee time. Ackee is the only expensive part of this dish, a small tin will set you back around £3.00, I'd imagine that outside of major cities it's pretty hard to come by. I would definitely imagine this. Drain the ackee and add it to the fish and onions and whatever the fuck else I said to put in that pan. Now stir at a medium heat for a few minutes. Plantain time. Chuck the chopped up plantain into the other pan of hot oil, stir at a high heat for a few minutes until soft and golden brown. If you cook for too long at a low heat the plantain will go hard. There is a 'scientific' reason for this but I'm not really interested.

Plate. The. Fuck. Up. You will definitely score with a lady if you cook this. So put on some alluring scent and fix up a couple of martinis. Chin chin and bon appetite.