Half Scottish, Half Japanese. Tempura Mars bar?

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I began writing this blog in October 2010 as a new father documenting food in his family. Before I knew it, I was in the final of MasterChef 2012. Now cooking is no longer just a hobby.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Comfort Food

Earlier this year, Heston Blumenthal created his version of Pot Noodles. Like any convenience food worth its salt, Pot Noodles are packed with umami. Umami was identified as a separate taste over 100 years ago in Japan and means "good flavour". It is a rich savoury flavour that is more than just salty. As well as Pot Noodles, you find umami in Marmite and many Asian foods.

Jemma and I have recently rediscovered Old El Paso fajitas. They are not only packed with umami but very simple to prepare, making a convenient mid-week meal for new parents. Fast and efficient food preparation is especially important this week. Hector is hungrier this week and we suspect it is because babies often have a growth spurt after 2-3 weeks. Also, we wanted to catch the second episode of The Apprentice.

The umami of the Smoky BBQ flavour pack, combined with the tang of the salsa, a soothing smear of guacamole and a cooling dollop of soured cream. For me, there is also the satisfying teeth-feel as you bite into the tortilla. It gets messy though, because although I can roll, I haven't mastered closing the end.

I would like to take tortilla folding lessons at Benito's Hat, where they manage to fit an unfeasible amount of ingredients into their burritos. Both of their outlets (Goodge Street and Covent Garden) are a short walk from SOAS, where I am taking Japanese lessons. I recommend the pork, it is super-slow braised with lime juice, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cumin and oregano. Umami.

1 comment:

  1. Mate, I spent 4 weeks one summer working for Old El Paso (it was all glamour), so I can teach you the folding stuff in a flash. This may be only area I am qualified to offer cooking advice to you in, so I'd like to make the most of it...

    You'll never get your fajitas like Benito's Hat though, as the tortilla's you get with the meal packs are crap, and not flexible enough.