How to cook like me… and Heston

I’ve recently watched the Channel 4 series, How To Cook Like Heston.

It’s invigorating, and this morning I tried his recipe for scrambled eggs. I’ve been doing it wrong all these years!

His methods fly in the face of widely trusted ways and recipes, but hey, it’s Heston, so it must be good. Right?

I have no doubt his chips are deliciously crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, but seriously, who has time to cook chips three times? It seems simpler to just mainline the starch and sniff the glucose.

At what point is something too much effort?

I suppose I’m being a little hypocritical here. I’ll decorate a cake for hours only to have it guzzled down in minutes. It’s still worth it for me, as long as I got to take a good picture.

But chips that were boiled, chucked in the freezer for an hour and then fried twice? I don’t know… By the time they’re done I’ve eaten the burger and downed the milkshake and no longer yearn for that heady GI spike.

Great stuff, Heston. Your potatoes and steak taste the best. I’m not arguing that. I just feel that as we are already such elaborate consumers, such wasteful creatures, such over-doers, I could do with some tips on how to do less processing of ingredients, not more.

In my case, laziness is the mother of my “inventions”.

* I never peel potatoes. Potato salad, crash hot potatoes, roast potatoes… all better with skin. As a result I’ve stopped making mash. My diet is thankful.

* Have you tried raw oats with your yoghurt instead of muesli? Omnomnom. And so much better for you than muesli. Plus you only have to pick up one item from the cereal aisle instead of two.

* Want risotto but don’t want to stir for 45 minutes non-stop? Either substitute the Arborio rice with barley or bake your risotto in a covered dish in the oven instead.

There’s a place and time for all things indulgent, and Heston’s delicious food is indeed that. And if I ever get to eat at The Fat Duck, I really hope he went to the trouble of cooking my chips three times.

For now though, there’s a place for shortcuts, less processing and more enjoying. It’s in my kitchen and in my tummy.



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