Metro presents dinner with Rick Stein on October 20 at Cibo in Parnell. There’s a Malaysian theme – Rick is appearing in partnership with Metro magazine, as well as Martrade and the Malaysia Kitchen programme, who have been responsible for some pretty cool promotion of Malaysian food in Auckland over the past six months or more. Over five courses of his Malaysian dishes with matching wine, the always-jovial Rick will be spinning travel and food yarns and popping by tables to chat with those lucky enough to afford the ticket price. Sadly, that’s not me, though I would dearly like to be able to. Have heard great reports of Rick’s (I feel uncomfortable calling him that, it seems so matey) live appearances and I always love the look of everything he cooks on-screen and in his books.
The latest of which – Rick Stein’s Spain (BBC Books, 2011, distributed by Random House in NZ) is gathering a proliferation of post-its in my possession. From something as simple as A Stew of Mixed Summer Vegetables (page 111), to the rich, textural dream that Pork in Almond Sauce (page 188) looks to be, pretty much every single thing in this book looks utterly delicious, and not too complicated, either. There are some lovely recipes with broad beans that would do well right now, and the odd sounding Garlic Soup with Eggs (page 205) could make for an epiphany of a brunch. Having just bought some fennel seeds the other day, and with churros an all-time favourite of mine, I’ll definitely be giving the Fennel Seed Fritters with Thick Hot Chocolate (page 285) a go.