I’ve just got back from a couple of days in Antwerp with a great girlfriend of mine- more on what to check out there soon. She is willowy, slender and… absolutely obsessed with food. Not in a carrot stick-crunching, calorie-counting sense either. She is a wonderful cook and a real expert on deliciousness-savouring and delighting in food, rather than just mindlessly consuming it.
Fashion has a terrible reputation for promoting eating disorders, something I’ve blogged about before. I’m not sure whether the industry is really to blame but I do think more of us than would like to admit it have a complicated and at times troubled relationship with food.
So what if 2011 was the year we learnt to become gourmands? That doesn’t mean becoming greedy, but instead really taking pleasure in what we eat, without feeling guilty about it, and without fluctuating between days of eating barely a thing and days eating everything and anything. (If you can eat off a plate like these beautiful ones by London-based, paper-cut artist Rob Ryan, then all the better.)
I think cooking, with delicious, fresh ingredients, seems to be crucial to the whole thing. Practising what I preach, I cooked an Indian feast for about 15 friends on New Year’s Eve, including a glorious Keralan Prawn Curry using a recipe from my friend Flora who is a foodie pro. It was real success so I thought I would share it with you here (this serves about 4, depending upon how greedy your friends are):
Kerala prawn curry
500g prawns, deshelled any size can be used, Flora suggests large, meaty ones, but I like the small, shrimpy ones
Juice of 1 lemon
100g onion, grated
50g curry leaf
50g mustard seed
3 pieces green chilli
25g coconut oil (vegetable oil can be used if you don’t have)
500ml coconut milk
20g turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
1tbsp coriander, optional
Marinade the prawns in the lemon juice while you prepare everything else.
In a wok or sauce pan heat the coconut oil. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes, add a pinch of salt.
Stir in the turmeric and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chilli and keep on a heat until the seeds start to pop.
Pour in the coconut milk and heat through.
Add in the prawns to the hot coconut milk, cook for about 5 mins,
Taste and correct the seasoning.
Serve hot with steamed rice and sprinkle the chopped coriander on top.
Flora is also living and working in Mumbai on a new restaurant project. And she has a really fun blog with a very original voice called I’ll have the Haggis where she shares weird and wonderful culinary discoveries and experiences. Check it out.
Images via’ What Katie Ate’
Another favourite foodie blog is ‘What Katie Ate’ . The creator, a food photographer and stylist (who knew such a job existed!?) posts mouth-watering images and recipes that are simple, seasonal, hearty and wholesome.
She is a genius at capturing the seductive, evocative power of good food.