Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cooking with Al

Al is learning to cook, partly through school, but also with us as well as a great big dose of teaching himself and practicing. There are few things more satisfying than watching someone try cooking a dish for the first time, practice the technique, try the result and then comment sagely on possible improvements. If I sound like a very proud parent, I am, but I'm also trying to be restrained in my comment so I don't embarrass him out of the kitchen....

He made Beggar's Chicken, something I've wanted to try since, well, I was probably about his age and saw it in a Women's Weekly cooking book. It looked magical, yet in my teenage mind was wildly profligate (throwing away a kilo of salt?) and required a lot of faith. Al, on the other hand, leaped after the briefest of looks and was well rewarded. In fact, we all were...

The result was worth the palaver. It looked roasted but was floating in juices and was the most incredibly tender chicken I've ever tasted, as though the meat fibers had been individually softened. The flavour was perfect - the smell of a little soy, ginger, spring onions and five spice wafted above the juices. It was truly wonderful.

Vanilla Slice - You'd have to drive a long way to get one this old school

He also made a Vanilla Slice worthy of a country baker and last week made a goat curry (he has no fear). All wonderful, and I am hoping for much more.

Goat curry - rich and heady with fragrance. Everyone loved it (except the goat).