I am a Formula 1 fan and a few weeks ago was at Monaco watching the cars going round and round in ever decreasing circles. The atmosphere was electric…the view of the circuit ridiculous, seeing about 100 yards of track as the cars sped past me and then sitting twiddling my thumbs waiting for them to appear again 2 minutes later.
Indeed at what was clearly going to be a defining moment of the race, I got up from my seat, left the track – much to the incredulity of my neighbours – and watched the end of the race in a bar on the TV as I wanted to see the whole track and thus the whole shebang…rather than just the itzy bit of track for which I had paid so much…..!
Today was the British Grand Prix from Silverstone and as my budget for visiting Grand Prix has been shot for the next 100 years, we thought we would have a bit of fun and invite some friends over to watch the race on TV for free, but at the same time serve them up something of a treat in the way of food.
I bought an outsize Chequered flag on Ebay (£2.99!) which we used as a tablecloth, bought out my by-Poppy and by-Caroline hand painted Ferrari plates and plonked the table infront of the telly. It all worked out rather well, as we all watched the beginning of the race – I won the bet as to who would lead into the first corner – together…with an amuse bouche of Garlic bread made by Caroline, and then the ladies tripped decorously outside into the garden and us chaps remained inside watching the race in a manly sort of way!
As Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber shot off the line into the middle distance, we served up a rather nice Pea, Apple and Mint soup as a starter. I made this in about 5 minutes flat – plus boiling time – and it is still one of, if not my favourite soup, whether served hot or cold. We had a piece of garlic bread with it, made as usual by Caroline, which was a lovely contrast. Garlic bread really does go well with any soup.
Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button were trying hard to chase the leaders as the rain started to come down and so every popped into the pits for wet tyres….we weren’t getting wet at all, and for main I served a deboned leg of lamb which I had stuffed with lots of fresh herbs and which I pan-fried in more herbs, and white wine rather than roasted. It made for a wonderful flavour, a nice soft meat, and I added some apricots to the pan for the last few minutes which produced a great and slightly sweet gravy.
A potato Gratin went very well with this. I sliced up the potatoes, added a large shake of garlic, some shit-take (!) mushrooms and milk….the mik separated a little in the cooking…next time I will try it with chicken stock a la Francaise… and a cut-down ratatouille made of only Courgettes and baby tomatoes with dried herbs and loads of garlic were the vegetables.
Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari suddenly assumed the lead of the race due to a cock up in the pits by the Red Bull mechanics which was all very convenient as by this point we were on to our dessert of red summer berries eaten off the Ferrari plates…the colours on the screen and on the table were matching….!
Fernando went on to win the race in fine fashion – great to see Ferrari winning again, but shame on the McLaren mechanics for forgetting to put a wheel nut on Jensen Button’s car at the last pit stop – by which time we were on the coffee – Italian Fairtrade…..huh?? – which we had with Caroline’s home made Lavender Shortbread biscuits. Delicious.
A fun afternoon and we all gathered in the garden for a group photo, before gathering infront of one of our guest’s rather flash Jaguar XJ which we were forelock-tuggingly pleased to see parked infront of our house, thus raising our motley neighbourhood – and of course our social standing with our neighbours – up a little for the afternoon !
We are now looking forward to a short blast over to Paris on Friday with Caroline, our resident supermodel Poppy and an equally pretty friend of hers….look out for a rather special lunch I am planning…weather permitting !
Previous dinner posts from Peter
- Another culinary highlight ... but of a different kind. - May 17th, 2013
- A saturday evening in .... - April 20th, 2013
- Fish pie followed by Peter's Tiramisu ! - March 19th, 2013
- Borough Market, London - March 2nd, 2013
- “There were Angels dining at the Ritz .... and the motor was parked in Berkeley Square” - January 26th, 2013