Paul Flynn: Low-cal food has its place, but not here
`My wife makes zero-fat lentil stews by the bucketful and I dutifully eat and stare wistfully at my skinny jeans'
Black and white pudding, crushed-pea mash. Photograph: Alan Betson
We’ve settled into a routine at home of daily walks where we plough through podcasts. I’m all art and history, whereas herself loves nothing more than a good murder. I worry about that sometimes.
I’m trying to be reasonably good with the food we are eating at home. It’s so tempting to go full-on Julia Child every night as we have all this extra time on our hands. But steamed vegetables with misery dressing is the order of the day most days, unsurprising retribution for Christmas overindulgence.
I won’t trouble you with any low-cal recipes this week, in truth they are the preserve of my wife. She makes zero-fat lentil stews by the bucketful and I dutifully eat and stare wistfully at my skinny jeans.
These dishes were tried and tested over the last few weeks in the dark evenings. I put these three recipes together with the notion they would be perfect for tea around 5pm. Then I thought I must be a right old greedy guts when I considered a duck risotto might be something relatively spartan.
You might have guessed I’m a sucker for risottos. I hope that in my dotage I’ll be given the odd one. I’ll suck it in with gummy glee and reflect on past glories. This one has red wine which really gives it depth and gravitas. Confit duck legs are another favourite of mine. The salami delivers smoky, continental heft. I’m only using a few necessary leaves of cabbage, save the rest for another day.
The croissant is a gooey delicious mess, the creamy goat’s cheese oozes from the crisp pastry as if trying to escape being ravished by the figs. The compote would be lovely with some cheese or perhaps some duck at another time. Simply double the recipe and it will keep for a week in the fridge.
I’m making a pea mash for the next one. It's a firm favourite at home. It’s a pretty dish that’s simple to make. Just the thing for the jaded housebound gourmand. You can substitute the mustard for mint jelly to serve with some lamb chops, delicious and easy.