Chicken Liver Parfait with Sultanas & Raisins
The people responsible for scheduling Saturday morning TV should be ashamed of themselves.
An hour of Saturday Kitchen Live followed by a cheeky peek at Nigella Lawson and her special Christmas edition of kitchen pornography and my original intention to dedicate today to Christmas card assembly tasks was in tatters.
Nigella is problematic. I know what her game is. She sells the idea of a groovy, stress-free kitchen creation experience. If her recipe book is open on my work-surface it doesn’t take very before I’m convinced that I’m in Nigella’s kitchen using her utensils and raiding her store cupboard to effortlessly whip up a lazy supper for the friends she’s rented from the nearby model agency.
A colleague on Twitter doing the same as me – watching TV whilst gracefully laid out on the sofa – made her feelings about Nigella clear. It must have been a female thing, I thought. @suellewellyn is every bit as glam in real life as The Lawson is on TV and is as adorable as I like to imagine the TV cook would be in real life too. When I read Sue’s tweet however, I was immediately defensive of The Lawson. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this was the final nail in the coffin of my day. Something in my subconscious focussed my attention on cooking, and specifically on the Lamb Tagine Nigella Lawson had demonstrated during the programme @suellewellyn found herself having to avoid.
And of course, this is where things started to go a bit awry. I leapt for the Christmas recipe magazines. There are three copies of BBC Good Food to work through, along with Delia’s original Cookery Course compendium, her original Christmas recipe collection as well as a handful of others from lesser known favourites of mine.
I started making a list, dreaming about all the things I’d like to see stocked up in the fridge and freezer in readiness for the impending holidays. First on the list was the tagine. Then there was the chilli jam from a couple of weeks ago to boil down a bit and make a bit more stodgy. Maybe I could slip in a few star-topped mince pies and have a go at some mini-smoked salmon souffles. Most important of all, however, was testing out the new chicken liver pate recipe I’d found in BBC Good Food magazine.
The Significant Other isn’t a big fan of chicken liver pate. At least, the one I normally make from Delia’s Complete Cookery Course isn’t a big hit with him. The spices, mustards, herbs and brandy make for a overwhelming intense eating experience meaning I’m left with the entire batch to myself.
So it was I ended up taking two and a half hours to drive from Lewisham to Crayford on the first Saturday afternoon of Christmas to get card supplies from Hobbycraft (a bewildering shopping experience for adult and children alike) and purchase various ingredients for a late afternoon messing about in the kitchen.
Nigella’s tagine is cooking on a low heat in my Le Creuset casserole dish. The chicken liver parfait with raisins and sultanas are chilling in the fridge. The rest will have to wait until next weekend.
The Christmas cards will have to be done tomorrow. If they’re not I fear I’ll start having other, more grandiose ideas when I see the first episode of a Victorian Christmas on Friday.