Staying at Home with Tony Goodman
We participate in a online quiz every two weeks. Its great fun, the subjects range from the usual suspects to the mind stretching esoteric. On line socialising is here to stay, it’s the new local pub or café. We won’t be mingling face to face anytime soon. Easy to set up, Zoom seems to be the better platform though there is an increasing selection available.
It’s impossible to have too much Anthony Quinn in your life. Like all the greats, regardless of the setting, he always plays himself. Starring in Portrait in Black (1960) and filmed in glorious colour along with Sandra Dee, Lana Turner and Richard Basehart Anthony runs through the full range of his faces with aplomb. Around an hour in Ray Walston makes an appearance, he’s definitely not Lana’s kindly uncle Martin. The story moves along, though the colour does distract. A nice filler when its wet out.
It’s impossible to plan for the Xmas-New Year with any certainty, however, given the news, it’s unlikely we will be visiting distant family members and they will not be visiting us. One thought we had was to make contact with neighbours who live alone and depending on the prevailing regulation try to find a way to safely share a very modest, socially-distanced and masked festive season. Xmas can be a tough time of year for some and the current situation would make it tougher.
Perpignan Xmas market
The market has been approved! We can consume spicy yuletide wine and seek trinkets and treasure from the huts set up beside the Basse again this year. Our favourite stallholder is the Alsace lass with her spicy cakes.
The photo below show crowds from last year’s pre-Covid, worry-free festivities. This year, masks will be obligatory, the authorities will be controlling numbers and all food and drink must be bought as takeaway.
La grande roue
PO’s Prefect, something of a big wheel himself, has also been asked where he stands on the big wheel. A decision will be made shortly.
A new addition to our weekly market in Place de la Belgique is a fresh seafood stall. Superb fish, oysters, moules, prawns, langoustines and this week it had large clams, palourdes in French.
Every Thursday and Sunday
Clam and Moule Linguine
This dish is all about the linguine, don’t go overboard for the clams.
Fresh pasta is always best , if none is available look for Barilla or De Cecco. Use the quantities as per the instructions.
Clams and moules
A mixture of clams and moules adds interest, a handful per person is about right.
Clams contain heroic amounts of sand so place the clams and moules in a basin and cover with cold fresh water for at least two hours. Drain, rinse and refill as required. Scrub the moules if necessary and remove any beards.
Start the water boiling for the pasta, add a white wine and vegetable court-bouillon cube. No salt, no oil.
While waiting for the water to boil, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a similar amount of butter and a finely diced clove of garlic to a hot heavy pan. Let the garlic get some colour, it will take less than a minute then add the shellfish and a glass of good quality dry white wine. Cover and let it simmer, giving the pan an occasional chef shuffle. You may need to add water depending on how much the shellfish release.
The pasta water should have a good roiling boil by now, add the pasta. Don’t overcook it as you want it quite al dente. When its ready drain it, keeping a cup of the liquid. Add enough olive oil or butter to coat the pasta thoroughly, add most of the parsley. Use the retained liquid to get a slightly creamy texture if necessary.
Put the pasta on large wide platter. Carefully add the shellfish, don’t drown the pasta with pan juices. Add a squeeze of lemon and garnish with rest of the flat parsley and perhaps a few flakes of red chilli. Allow your guests to add a grind of black pepper if they wish.
Accompany with a glass of your favourite light dry white wine.