… is one who cooks a beautiful meal for you. Wow.
A friend has come to visit who said she doesn’t really know how to cook but has had two lunchtime lessons at a cooking school in London and knows two recipes. She made one last night. She is showing great promise.
The dish was a seabass filet on a cake of smashed potatoes with lots of parsley and olive oil, and a wonderful sauce of red pepper and choriço in a reduction of sherry vinegar. Divine. What most impressed me was the presentation – when she went to the shop for her groceries, she also bought an octagonal biscuit-cutter looking device, which she said was for presentation. Presentation? You don’t just put the food on the plate? Nope. The smashed potatoes were spooned into the tin octagon and compacted down, the perfectly sautéed fillet was place on top, and the chunky reduction was spooned all around the perimeter of the plate, and a little bit on top of the fish. Very beautiful, tasted wonderful.
I feel challenged to improve my own game now on cooking and presentation, but I am not sure how one best presents toast and a glass of water for breakfast.
With it, thanks to a generous boss who said I could take home a bottle leftover from a tasting, we had a wonderful red wine, Symington Family Estates’ Altano Quinta do Ataide Reserva 2008. This is a wonderful classic Douro red, with floral, herbal and black fruit notes uppermost and crunchy tannins. As Paul explained to the visitor, we don’t generally do single varietal wines, we believe in the beauty and complexity of blended wines, but this pure Touriga Nacional was too good not to go with as a single-varietal finished wine. Yes, dear reader, a red wine with fish. Try it some time.