One thing that I’m keen to point out to people when talking about my love of food and cooking is that my passion for it far outweighs my skill. Interestingly, most people assume that I have lots of skill in the kitchen and that I’m a very adept amateur chef. If only. After years of experimenting with different flavours and tipping countless plates of food into the bin, I’m simply more in tune with what will work and what will turn my stomach. Now, I’d be doing myself a disservice if I was too disparaging about this acquired skill. When asked about the difference between a cook and a chef, Michel Roux said that a chef was someone with an exceptional palate that had been developed over the course of a minimum of ten years. Well I wouldn’t say that my judgement was exceptional, but I’m usually able to avoid disasters. My failures in the kitchen tend to be lack-lustre dishes, the odd mismatched combination of flavours or some overcooking. A far cry from the horrors produced as a student.
Cooking every day has given me an eye for good quality vegetables and an appreciation of what goes well together. Once you’ve established a dish using certain ingredients, it’s often easy to transfer everything to another type of recipe. For me, where there’s Chorizo, I know coriander and onions will not be far behind. The following recipe came about by accident, but turned out to be a really cheerful meal that I’ll be making again in the future. It was just a case of putting together a team of ingredients who would get on with one another.
5 baby new potatoes
2 ripe tomatoes (roughly chopped)
100g Chorizo (thinly sliced)
1 red chilli (deseeded and sliced)
1 green chilli (deseeded and sliced)
handful coriander (roughly chopped)
grated Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes for twenty minutes, cut into thick slices and set aside. Slice the onion thinly and fry in a drop or two of oil until beginning to brown and set aside too. Season the eggs and whisk them vigorously for a couple of minutes until you can see plenty of air bubbles. Next, pour into a small heated frying pan (mine’s 23cm) with a little olive oil. Start adding all of the ingredients, making sure that you spread them out evenly. Push the potatoes and tomatoes down into the egg to allow room for everything else. Finish the fritatta with lots of grated Cheddar on top and a little more seasoning. Leave it to cook on the lowest heat until most of the egg mixture has coagulated. When only the very top is still running, finish it under a very hot grill until just golden.
Fritatta is great for slicing and sharing. It makes a really versatile brunch dish, or could be eaten for lunch with a salad. I love the fact that it tastes marvellous whether it is served hot or cold.