Crispy canape with soft, sweet centre
Andre Burgener has been immersed in all things food since she took over the making of the family's lunch box sandwiches aged eight (her mom could make a mean creme brulee and a staggering souffle, but could never butter the bread all the way to the edges.
THE DEVIL UNWRAPPED
WHEN did it disappear and why? I don't know, but what's for sure is that it should be revived.
I'm talking about that great savoury (or canape if you will), Devils on Horseback.
It's a simple item - good, streaky bacon wrapped around a soft prune, kept in place with a terribly glamorous toothpick and baked until the bacon is crisp and the prune hot and juicy.
The whole is far more delicious than the sum of its parts would have you think.
Pork always loves sweet, of course, and coupled with crisp bacon, the oft-derided prune becomes truly magnificent.
Nigel Slater suggests soaking the prunes in brandy for an hour before cooking, but I've not yet tried that variation.
These morsels are perfect for everything from the swankiest party to Sunday night videos, and the recipe is nothing more than the above description of the dish. What should be added is that the prunes must be depipped, that the cooking takes about 10 to 15 minutes at 200C, and that - perhaps obviously - the toothpick be removed after cooking. Also, the bacon you purloin should come from well-fed, well-bred healthy pigs, and not from the poor standard porkers living in pens their own size and being stuffed with antibiotics and growth hormones (look for good bacon at food markets).
If prunes just aren't your thing, the Devils' companion snack, Angels on Horseback, which involves oysters in place of the prunes, is almost as delicious.
I AM addicted to clips from BBC'S Freaky Eaters episodes - a time-waster of note.
From the 19-year-old girl who exists almost purely on burned sausages (they have to be burned), to a man with such a phobia of fresh fruit and vegetables that he almost vomits when a fridge full of them is presented, this is like watching slow-motion car crashes, with an added soapie factor. It's weirdly fascinating. Google Freaky Eaters YouTube for loads of horrible clips.
SALADS in winter seem to beg for dressings that have some substance, some "warmth", something that moves them out of the cold-hearted vinaigrette zone.
Green nut dressing - from German prodigy Nicole Stich - is a heartyconcoction you may want to drink neat.
To dress two salads: 10 walnut halves, 1 heaped tbsp unsalted shelled pistachios, 6 tbsps fruity olive oil, 2 tbsps honey, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, pinch of salt.
How: Grind the nuts into rough rubble in a grinder or processor. Combine with remaining ingredients, and slosh over bitter leaves, raw spinach salad, goat cheese salad or poached chicken.