Magazine article The Spectator

Goods from the Greats

Magazine article The Spectator

Goods from the Greats

Article excerpt

WE HAVE another saint from across the Atlantic this week, Frances Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonised. She died in 1917 and was canonised in 1946. In fact she was born in Italy, at Sant' Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy. She became a nun at 18, then started the order of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. She longed to missionise in China, but realised that the Italian immigrants in the United States needed the help of her order in a big way. She established four hospitals, 50 orphanages, convents and schools and became a naturalised American. She is regarded as the patron saint of immigrants.

My nephew-in-law - if there be such a thing -- David Chater, was sacked from the Investors Chronicle, so he got on his bike and pedalled round to visit many great chefs and wheedled cheap and delicious receipts from them. The result is a great little paperback called The Impoverished Gastronome, published by Fourth Estate. Let us take an example from my beloved Rowley Leigh.

Fry the onion, carrots and celery with the fish head in a little butter until well coloured. Add the garlic, thyme, bayleaf and peppercorns. Sprinkle with 1/2 a dessertspoon of flour and cook until browning. Add the tomato puree and the wine or water or both. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, skimming well, allowing it to reduce. Drain through a sieve, return to pan and whisk in the 2 oz of butter and the mustard. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon to taste. Preheat the oven to Gas 8, 450F, 230C. Dredge the cod fillets through the seasoned flour. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until very hot, then quickly brown the fillets on both sides. Transfer to the oven for 3- minutes until the cod is just cooked. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes and plenty of the gravy.

I am exceedingly fond of rabbit and this is exceedingly good and simple, wormed out of Matthew Fanthorpe! …

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