Monday, 19 March 2012

Prawn and Chorizo Skewers

What makes you choose to cook someone else's recipe? Is it the glossy, photography in the beautifully bound book?  Or if you're a blog fiend, would you choose a recipe where the person has had the time and patience to photograph every step and then spend endless amounts of time photographing the final product (unlike me who will take a quick picture before diving in face first).  Or do you pore over the index wondering what recipe will fit the ingredients that you have to hand or fancy?  And if you find what you're looking for, turn to the page and find it pictureless, would you still make it?

I ask because tonight's recipe test came from a book called 4 Ingredients (sic) - Special Garden Gourmet Edition.  It came free from Ocado when I purchased two tubes of Garden Gourmet herbs.  The book states it's value to be £9.99, yet if I'm honest, I wouldn't give it a second look unless it was free (as it was) or if it was on sale in my local discount book store for a couple of pounds.  Why?  Because it's all text and no pictures.  Call me fussy, but I generally like to see what I'm going to make before I make it.  And I honestly only picked this recipe in sheer desperation because I had all the ingredients, having earlier consumed the greek yogurt that I had forgotten I needed for tea tonight.

Take my plan to bake cake to ply my project manager with this week.  I've been flicking through Cake Days from the Hummingbird Bakery this evening.  Every recipe I've looked at has been accompanied by an arty picture of the product.  There are plenty of pictureless recipes in the book, but they've not garnered a second glance.  If, however, I ever find myself with five spare green eating apples and in need of cake, I might give their Apple Crumble Cupcakes a go - but only because I'd've looked through the index for an apple recipe.  I only looked at this recipe because I needed an example to support my current train of thought.

I realise that my blog is more a 'I tried this recipe, and this is what I thought' than me selling you my own creative talent so I'm not really sure if my photos matter or not.  I have tried to take a picture of the product of every recipe.  Some posts have several pictures (not always of the cooking process!) but none of them will make the average person go 'Wow, I really really want to make that'.  I would imagine (maybe I'm wrong here) that when reading my blog, people look for the thumbs up or down with the picture as secondary information.  Plus my pictures are more how the average cook who doesn't have several hours to artfully photograph their creations can achieve.  Don't get me wrong - I love food photography porn as much as the next person (especially that posted by @HarbourHussy on Twitter - seriously her posts should come with a warning message first) but I have neither the time nor the artistic bent to take great food photos.  Maybe that should be next year's challenge?

Anyway, back to today's recipe.  Such a simple recipe probably doesn't deserve such a lot of pontification, but I love to waffle so waffle is what you now have.  As I said, I lacked the greek yogurt to try the tandoori prawn skewers from the March edition of Good Food (and my cucumber had gone mouldy too) so instead I went with this prawn and chorizo option.

Just a quick camera phone picture - better than nothing!
It sounds pretty straight forward.  Slice the chorizo into rounds, fry for a minute on either side then thread onto skewers, wrapping a prawn around each chorizo slice.  But a lack of picture left me wondering do I thread the stick straight through the centre of the chorizo round so it's flat or do I thread the stick from one edge to the other so the chorizo is upright?  I went for the flat option, but when I then came to cooking the skewers, the prawns were lifted up off of the heat from the pan so didn't cook properly.  It would've worked well on a barbecue as the chorizo would've been partially below the bars, but in a flat pan, it just didn't work.

The trouble is, threading hot chorizo onto skewers was hard enough when poking the sick straight through the flat face, but as my slices were quite thin, to do edge to edge would've been even more fiddly and this was supposed to be a simple recipe.   A picture definitely would have helped solve this dilemma, but alas, free books are usually made on the cheap.  It was a good recipe for something that only had four ingredients - you make a dressing out of olive oil and some Garden Gourmet Italian Herbs - and it tasted appropriately summery to match the lovely sunset that happened this evening.

Will I make it again?  Yes.  Will I make anything else from the book?  Only in sheer desperation for this blog.  I doubt I will ever pick the book up again once this year is over.  Which might be a shame and it might be sacrilege but when time's tight, I want minimal effort to be put into seducing me into choosing a recipe.  Maybe I'm missing out...?

No comments:

Post a comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...