Raised an Irish catholic, I am a natural with the guilt, an expert some would say, and venturing in and out of the seven deadly sins on a semi regular basis as I do (gluttony: check), I’ve got the guilt to offer up at a Guilty Pleasures dinner party.
Guilty pleasures. Isn’t that a great phrase? And, it’s so appropriate! Sneaking that bag of crisps or chocolate bar, those deep fried treats or the haribo. Nibbling at the cheese straight from the packet after a night out. Those few stolen, guilty minutes offer rare pleasure. We all have them. Really, we do. Even if you deny it, I know you have at least one… don’t blush, I won’t tell, I promise.
Some people think, or assume that I am a food snob. Nay! I love good food, home cooked or high end. I love simple food and complex food, as long as it’s done right, it’s delicious. I try to be healthy and be nice to my body, but like (almost) everyone, I slip up.
I don’t want to brag, but I think I have more guilty pleasures than most. I like lots of dodgy food stuffs. No, I love them. CRISPS! Now, that was my first food love. My mother always said that I could live in the back of a crisp lorry with no other food stuffs quite happily. She might be right, although, where’s the pork belly? ;-) Other favourites include tinned peas, toxic green like kryptonite, with lots of white pepper. Fish fingers, flaky and crispy and less wrong now than they used to be, but still GUILTY. There’s lots more: haribo, fish and chips, instant noodles, FAT. Ooooh, fat.
Do you still respect me? Maybe a little more? ;-)
Born out of a fun conversation after a blogger meet up some months ago, six of us congregated in South London with our guilty wares in hand. Decadent as we are, we started some dirty martinis, and they were fine! Then, the food. Helen (Food Stories) started us off with her offering of cucumber and marmite sandwiches, they were lovely, and very naughty with that white processed bread. I’ll make them again. Denise (The Wine Sleuth) our lovely host, followed with cheese and sausage biscuits. She promised they’d be so good, you’d want to slap yo mamma! And, she was right… Lucky there was no mammas there for us to slap! How have I never had these before? Next stop for me: grits.
How do you follow this? Chris (Cheese and Biscuits) did admirably with bovril and butter on toast. I love bovril, it was a childhood staple, but I’d forgotten about it and bovril on toast may become a guilty staple of my own.
Next up was the most controversial dish of the evening, Lizzie’s (Hollow Legs) spam ramen which we approached with caution and devoured with speed. Delicious! A guilty triumph. This dish is very popular in Hong Kong where Lizzie grew up, and in homage to this, Lizzie used a chinese brand of spam. I loved Denise’s nickname for it: spamen noodles. That’s going to stick!
One more dish: mine. I had wanted to do crisp sandwiches with cheese and onion tayto (irish crisps), white bread and mayonnaise, but Denise was surprised and disappointed that not one guilty blogger had offered to make macaroni cheese. So, I did. I did a version of the one already on this blog, using raw buffalo milk, a sharp and strong english sheep’s cheese, cheddar and lots of pancetta including it’s rendered fat. I topped it off with 50/50 panko and grated cheese. It was nice but NOT GUILTY ENOUGH. It needed more crispy pancetta and it’s fatty flavour. Ooof.
Threaded through our guilty dishes were some wonderful wines supplied by Dan of Bibendum Wines. We blind tasted and compared some wines which was really interesting and delicious. You can read more about this on Dan and Denise’s blogs.
So, I suggest we start a craze. Have your own guilty pleasure dinner party. And do come back and tell me all about it.
Want a head start? Here are some of the recipes from ours.
My macaroni cheese