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Food For Lovers ( Part Two )

"You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect - you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there."
— Bob Marley

I would add cook for her, to Mr Marley's romantic ruminations, and I'm guessing he might have been a whiz in the kitchen, soul always finds its way into food somewhere along the line, maybe even more so with all that ganja, bless.
I have always felt incredibly lucky in love, well in the culinary department anyway. A few love-struck food memories....
My first love, on our first night together, prepared me a feast of dolmades, hand-made, hand- fed, to the soundtrack of the Parapluies de Cherbourg

He followed that by the most delicious moussaka, in the days that I hated aubergine. It coulda been the way he said mousssse-sah- ka that made me melt, but he converted me absolutely.
 Another made me a pasta dish that has still never really been bettered in my soppy eyes.
A Bleeding Heart Sugo - 1kg of peeled and seeded Costoluto Fiorentino tomatoes, 10 cloves of garlic, 250 grams of butter, - slow cooked and served with pappadelle, shards of aged parmegiano and a subwoofer chock-full of Barry White.

I cooked for the Irishman on a freezing and blustery night in a draughty but cute cottage near the stunning Cliffs of Moher.
No music that night apart from the howling wind, roar of the fire and the clink of our wine glasses. Smoked haddock, colcannon rosti, and a little wilted spinach for the Pop-Eye affect.

Smoked Haddock Fillets with Grain Mustard Sauce

2 fillets of un-dyed smoked haddock ( about 200 grams a piece )
1 cup of milk
1 small onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
250mls double cream/heavy cream
2 heaped tablespoons of grain mustard (a nice fresh jar, you don't want anything that's been hanging around for eons)
salt and pepper

You'll need a saucepan that will fit the 2 pieces of fish,side by side.
Add the milk, onion and bay leaf along with the haddock. Bring it up to a gentle murmur and poach for about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Better underdone than over. Take the fish out and when cool enough to handle,gently remove the skin and any bones you can feel. Put aside and start on the rosti.

Colcannon Rosti

2 large Maris Piper potatoes
1 cup kale or cabbage, finely sliced
2 spring onions,chopped
Butter and a little vegetable oil for frying
salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, adding the kale or cabbage in the final minute or so just to blanch. Drain through a colander under cold water and put the spuds aside. Give the kale a good shake then put in a clean tea-towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Peel the potatoes and grate coarsely into a mixing bowl. Add the kale and the spring onions, loads of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly. Form large handfuls into patties, squeezing to bind. Pan fry in a spoonful of oil, and a large knob of butter until ongolden brown and crispy on both sides. They can be kept in a warm oven while you prepare the fish. Saute the spinach in butter, season and keep warm.

To assemble, put the smoked haddock with a little butter into a frying pan on a medium heat, add the cream and mustard, gently stir while the cream reduces and the fish heats through. Taste and season. Plate the rosti and top with haddock a generous dollop of sauce and a nook of spinach.
Would love to hear about your perfect love foods- am sure,together, we could menage a Food for Lovers Part Trois.
And I can't wait to meet my last love, bet he'll have a huge repertoire, failing that a huge appetite.

Love Food X


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