The Father of Invention.
I have a limited repertoire of about 25 different dishes that I can knock up quickly to feed our family of four after finishing work, grabbing ingredients from the shops and walking our dogs. This month it seems I have cooked them all, so last night, bereft of inspiration, I decided to improvise by buying some disparate ingredients and just winging it in the kitchen. A self-imposed 'Ready, Steady, Cook' if you like. Lamb steaks, mange tout, edamame beans, red chillies, garlic, harissa and couscous materialised in my shopping basket and I was good to go.
The prerequisite of mid-week catering chez Yapp is that you only have about half an hour to prep ingredients before the Masterchef panel of professional critics start to complain (vociferously) about their hunger and long-standing parental ill-treatment. Time is of the essence.
I covered the lamb steaks in the harissa (both sides) and seasoned them then shoved them under a medium grill. Added boiling hot vegetable stock to the couscous and covered it with a lid and sautéd the mange tout in a wok pan along with sliced garlic and chillies. After turning the steaks and fluffing the couscous I added the edamame beans (where had they been hiding prior to 2017?) and a splash of wine vinegar to the mange tout.
I was then ready to plate up and face the music. To my pleasure and surprise my dining companions volunteered the end result to be 'good', which, by their calibration of positive feedback, is practically the equivalent of a Michelin star.
Wine-wise I'd pair that with a hearty country red – this month's Minervois: Domaine Le Cazal 'Tradition' 2016 would be as good as anything.