It’s the hottest day of the year and I’m finding out about food from the Republic of Mozambique in Divertimenti and cooking it on the AGA. Not only am I excited about finding out about a new cuisine that is Portuguese in influence, but also I know the kitchen will be cool as I’m cooking on the new electric AGA Dual Control. If you need, either a new cooking utensil or a state of the art AGA, Divertimenti in London is the place go. Divertimenti stocks everything you could imagine for the kitchen and a world of other products, all to help you cook food from all over the world too. I do wonder what they use for cooking equipment in Mozambique?
AGA customers have regularly asked me what to do in the summer; do I turn the AGA off? Do I keep it on? Will the kitchen get too hot? Its 35C today in central London and the new electric AGA Dual Control is perfect in this situation, the hotplates can be turned on and off independently and heat up again quickly when required while the ovens can be turned off, or, on a low setting that has a faster heat up time than turning the AGA on from cold. I’m imagining a crispy skinned roast chicken ready for a summer salad in a cool kitchen, well; surely Africa from my limited knowledge is mainly chicken and fish for it’s main proteins, especially a country like Mozambique with a large coast line?
Chef Grant Hawthorne arrives into Divertimenti with everything down to the last ingredient weighed out and ready to cook, he’s a very accomplished member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and an extremely polite man. All of his ‘mis-en-place’ (weighing out of ingredients to you and I) has been done. As gentle as his manner he places one hand on the AGA and says “does it cook on coal?” I explain that AGA has come a long way since then and the new generation AGA Dual Control cooker is electric and I explain that like all AGA cookers it cooks beautifully by radiant heat from the cast iron, but can have up to half the running costs.
Trinxado is the name of todays dish. Another recipe name from across the world I find difficult to pronounce with a Northern Irish accent, but as they say practice makes perfect, I get there, only to forget the pronunciation on the first take on camera. I quickly find out it’s a beef dish, not chicken or fish and we are going to make it with Grants own “African Volcano” brand of peri-peri sauce. A few weeks back I was one of the judges at the Great Taste Awards (3 days of judging 300 food products per day), and I’m still slim! To win one of these awards is special as every famous food writer and chef helps judge them. With these qualifications, I was expecting something spectacular. Grant marinated the beef in the peri-peri sauce, added the aromatics and the sealed the meat over the searing heat on the AGA Boiling Plate, the meat caramelised beautifully on the sides and edges. Stock added, reduced and thickened with cream, a bit more African Volcano sauce and served.
Now Peri-peri I have always associated with the Algarve and the famous Mr Franco’s restaurant claimed to be the home of Peri-Peri. It’s near the AGA shop at Almancil, I have eaten I there many times, but Googling on the bus today (the concept of travelling on the Tube in this heat was too much) has explained just how long the Portuguese have had an influence in this land. We serve the Trinxado with crisps or game chips and Portuguese bread.
The speed of cooking, the electric AGA Dual control, the beauty of the sauces all leave me feeling cool(ish) with a warm after glow of the spices from the sauce in my mouth.
Next stop on my world in one city adventure, Ireland.