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Three Christmas recipes to share with friends Wine News

It’s not just what we cook that changes – today I can find everything from Vietnamese fish sauce, hot Sichuan bean paste, colatura di alici (wonderful essence of anchovy ), all of which satisfy my curiosity for foods from other cultures – but how we cook. The way we cook depends on the fashions of the times – food fashions change as easily as those on catwalks – and our situation in our individual lives. When I first thought of that pre-Christmas meal with friends, I imagined menus that required effort. We’ll have game, I thought, or partridge. Something a little fancy; something where I can flex my culinary muscles.

Then I felt exhausted at the prospect. It got me thinking about how I have cooked for friends at different times in my life. In my twenties, cooking was learning on my own. I worked my way through classic French dishes, then imitated the nouvelle-cuisine style in vogue at the time (yes, I own Anton Mosimann’s Cuisine à la carte and made a fond veal less than what should be possible while keeping regular use). I was in training, equipping myself with all the techniques I thought I needed. I didn’t really think about what the friends wanted to eat; I expected them to come and take the tour and take advantage. This was only possible because I did not have children. Children without children can serve a hot fish terrine coated with pancakes in a rich basin of white butter (and say hello).

In my thirties, influenced by Alice Waters, I started cooking California style. It was simpler – there was plenty of grilling, salads (fig and goat cheese reigned) and effortless yet poetic puddings (Alice thought a bowl of cherries with almond cookies was perfect). You had to get your hands on some great ingredients, but it was less laborious than making lobster the American way.

In my mid-forties, I was divorced and cooked for my own children and those of my new partner. It was about making “family” dishes: foods that would appeal most to these different people with very different tastes. There were endless roast chickens, too much pasta and cake on the shepherd’s pie, the fish pie, the fish patties – old-fashioned “British” dishes they had all known from school. I always felt like I was putting huge pots on the table, wiping my forehead and looking for wine.

I’m in my fifties now. I don’t care about trends, but I still want to cook food from other countries. I don’t avoid complicated dishes, but I no longer try to educate myself. I have been cooking for decades and it gives you freedom. When I invite friends over, I want the food to be good, but that’s not the main thing.

The word “entertaining” has gone out of fashion. It reminds me of a sea of ​​wine glasses, the etiquette rules for cutlery, the fancy dinners I reviewed in my mother’s magazines in the 1970s. I want to offer dishes that make diners happy. , generous plates, good bread and good butter. I also don’t want to be an upside down snob about it. I have had more than one fancy boyfriend who thought it was fancy not to care about food. (I remember finishing the pasta and mussels with chopped peanuts. That was the end. I don’t care.)

The meal on offer here suits me: a simple salad, soft pasta with a tender beef stew, ice cream and chocolate sauce. If you don’t want to make ice cream, buy some. Use fresh or dried pasta, as you wish. Food is not about high jinks and certainly not showing off. He is there to oil the friendship.

The best Christmas recipes to share with friends

Beautiful and fresh, despite the little cream added to the vinaigrette. Toasted hazelnuts cut in half can be added, if you feel like it.

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This notice was published: 2021-12-08 13:54:42

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