Thank you Salad Club. If it wasn't for your Portuguese Eating Eurovision post I would have kept on walking past the Continental Deli in Brixton.
So on a Tuesday evening I popped in and spent quarter of an hour in a state of bliss. I tried cheeses, discussed polenta, sniffed chorizos, squeeze aubergines and nibbled on olives. Bella Cardoso is a star. I walked away with some spicy, semi cured chorizo, some fennel, baby tomatoes, an enormous maroon pepper a bag of polenta, some haddock from the fishmonger next door and plenty of advice to help me!
I kept things simple on the cooking front. I sliced the chorizo into chunks and fried it to crisp the outside and release the paprikay oils. I then fried the seasoned haddock skin side down in the chorizo "juice" and then flipped it over to finish. It was all done in a matter of minutes.
Prior to this I had roasted the red pepper, fennel and tomatoes with a glug of olive oil, ample seasoning and some lemon juice on a high heat with the aim of slightly scorching the veggies to give them a chance of punching their weight against the chorizo. Some steamed spinach made for a savoury burst of greenery.
And for the polenta I didn't know what I was doing, so simply followed the instructions on the pack, by boiling for 3 minutes. It was fine, but bland, as you'd expect.
The result was a dish I'm very pleased with. I adore chorizo and fish so this was a dish that was always going to make me smile.
As I sat down with a plate of Portuguese cheese from the Continental Deli and a glass of wine, I had a look on Twitter and was amazed at what I saw. Tom Aitkens, no less, had seen me a series of tweets about how to make perfect polenta...
"if you use 3-4 x the amount of stock to the polenta you should not go wring for example 100g polenta 400g white chicken stock
bring the stock to a simmer with a pinch of chopped rosemary, little smoked paprika, salt an pepper, pour in polenta and whisk
it will come together quickly then change for a spoon, add a little butter, 1 tbsp creme fraiche, little lemon juice and Parmesan"
Thank you, Tom Aitkens, very much indeed for your help, (even if it did come too late to put into practice this time). I'm now planning to cook your polenta recipe this week. It's episodes like this that make me realise just how powerful Twitter can be.