Last weekend we took a well deserved and much looked forward to four days in a National Trust cottage in Norfolk with two of our friends (reliable partners in food indulgence). A weekend of snow, cosy wood fires, food and drink.
There were many food related highlights, all of which would merit further blog attention: roast pork/fishfinger sandwiches from Roast at borough market; roast chicken; home baked bread, cookies and cupcakes; fish and chips and a massive amount of cheese - vacherin, stichelton, st marcelin and a brillat savarin stuffed with truffle (aptly nicknamed sex cheese).
But for me, the most interesting was a ready steady cook rematch. Set a budget, split into teams and decide who is going to cook which courses of a dinner - with four, we've found that two teams of two works well, with one team handling the main course whilst the other does starter and dessert.
Then, go out into borough market (or any other market) and buy exotic ingredients for the other team to play with. Once the ingredients have been exchanged, the cooking team will create something whilst the other team stay out of the kitchen - no cookbooks allowed.
We would strongly recommend that you try it sometime, the results range from the sublime to the vile, and it makes a great change from the tried and tested dinner party format. Duck a la chocolate orange anyone?