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Oven chips, pork belly, spaghetti … I am the lockdown recipe king

I have nailed three key dishes. You can have a go at them while I step outside to work them off… Beaten into the lawn of my back garden, hard against the low wall up from the patio, are two footprints of dying grass. They mark the spot where, five times a week, I have been placing the step block that has become the replacement for my gym habit. I have literally climbed the height of a Himalayan mountain. I now view that murdered lawn as a visual sign of my atonement. Because the furious activity outside the door to the kitchen has been matched by my activity in it. I have cooked things I normally would avoid. I eat them here, and work them off there. The outcome is that I have nailed three key dishes. And so, as a public service, and not in any way as a feeble justification for my outrageous kitchen habits, I shall now share them with you.First up, the oven chip, forever the sad relation of the proper deep-fried item, lacking in crispness outside, fluffiness inside and hope. They are a reminder of what you’re not eating. Here’s the solution. Cut the potatoes into chips. Cook in salted boiling water until almost done. Drain, and spread them out on kitchen paper on a tray in the fridge for at least two hours. When you’re ready, put the oven to at least 220C/gas mark 7 and put an oven tray in there with close to a centimetre of vegetable oil for about 15 minutes until it’s smoking. Introduce fridge cold chips to very hot oil. Turn them every 10 minutes until chip heaven is achieved. It should take about 45 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with sea salt. Eat them. Thank me.I have discovered that spaghetti should be braised. Yes, really Continue reading…