The word ‘creative’ is bandied about quite a lot in food and culinary speak, isn’t it. And creativity is indeed the spice of life — literally! When sperm and cell get together, that’s what they do, they ‘create’ life! When it comes to cooking, I am not always impressed by the finer shades of the word ‘creative’, however, because quite often it means that the person who thinks he or she is being frightfully clever and ‘creative’ is actually cutting corners. The genuine creative cooks are those who know their stuff inside out and who have a lot of experience to back them up, they don’t cut corners! they build upon sound foundations. End of lecture.
I thought I would go ‘creative’ last week … but not because my seams were bursting with hubris and arrogance but, quite simply, because I had to deal with some leftovers and some squid ink pasta that had recently gone past its best-before date. I suppose we could call this ‘faux creativity’, spurred on as it was by a rationale of waste-not-want-not and good husbandry as opposed to any searing fire of culinary genius.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Just to recap: I turned the heat on, to cook the garlic, than added the tomatoes, and finally the chopped up artichoke. While they were getting acquainted over a medium heat, I dredged the red mullets in flour and fried them in plenty of oil:
It may have been ‘creative’ of me — but was it good? Hmmm. Ahem … errrrr. Not bad, actually, more like pretty good (especially since this was lunch on Monday) but even so … I shall have to work at this recipe to get a little more ‘oomph’ into it. Some freshness was lacking. Whatever. We were hungry and gobbled the lot: