Music Played12 items
Jonathan Jeremiah Heart Of Stone
(CD Single), Island, 1
Tenpole Tudor Swords Of A Thousand Men
Teenage Kicks (Various Artists), Polygram TV
Peter Gabriel Games Without Frontiers
Shaking The Tree, Virgin
Roxy Music Avalon
Roxy Music - Avalon, Eg
The Feeling Set My World On Fire
(CD Single), Universal Island, 1
White Plains When You Are A King
My Baby Loves Lovin', Deram
Joe Jackson Steppin' Out
Now 1983 - The Millennium Series, EMI
Van Morrison Avalon Of The Heart
Michael Franti & Spearhead The Sound Of Sunshine
The Sound Of Sunshine, EMI, 1
Status Quo Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You
(CD Single), Fourth Chord Records, 1
Gram Parsons I Still Miss Someone
Nigel's Recipes: Lentils with Grilled Aubergine
By Yotam Ottolenghi from Plenty
Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 1 - 1¼ hrs
2 medium aubergines
2 tbsp top quality red wine vinegar
200g small dark lentils (such as Puy or Castelluccio), rinsed
3 small carrots, peeled
2 celery sticks
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
½ white onion
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
? tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp each roughly chopped parsley, coriander & dill
2 tbsp crème fraiche (or natural yoghurt, if you prefer)
Salt & black pepper
To cook aubergines on a gas hob (the most effective way); line the area around the hob heads with foil to protect them. Put the aubergines directly on to medium flames & roast for 12-15 mins. Turn frequently with metal tongs, until the flesh is soft & smokey & the skin is burnt all over. Keep an eye on them so they don’t catch fire.
For an electric cooker, pierce the aubergines with a sharp knife in a few places. Put them on a foil-lined try & place directly under a hot grill for 1hr, turning a few times. They need to deflate completely & their skin should burn & break.
Take aubergines from the heat. If you use an oven grill, change the oven to normal setting. Heat the oven to 140C / gas 1. Cut a slit down the centre of the aubergines, scoop out the flesh into a colander avoiding the black skin. Leave to drain for at least 15 mins & only then season with plenty of s&p & ½ tbsp of the vinegar.
While the aubergines are grilling place the lentils in a medium saucepan.
Cut 1 carrot & ½ celery stick into large chunks & throw them in.
Add the bay leaf, thyme & onion, cover with plenty of water & bring to the boil.
Simmer on a low heat for up to 25 mins or until the lentils are tender, occasionally skimming away the froth from the surface.
Drain in a sieve. Remove & discard the carrot, celery, bay leaf, thyme & onion & transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl.
Add remainder of the vinegar, 2 tbsp of the olive oil & plenty of s&p; stir & set aside somewhere warm.
Cut the remaining carrot & celery in 1cm pieces & mix with the tomatoes, remaining oil, sugar & some salt.
Spread in an oven proof dish & cook in the oven for about 20mins, or until the carrot is tender but still firm.
Add the cooked veg to the warm lentils, followed by the chopped herbs & stir gently.
Taste & adjust the seasoning.
Spoon the lentils onto serving plates. Pile some aubergine in the centre of each portion & top with a dollop of crème fraiche or yoghurt. Finish with a trickle of oil.
Nigel's Top Tip
There have been a couple of cases where aubergines have exploded whilst under the grill, & with thunderous & messy consequences. So do make sure that you pierce your aubergines before putting them under the heat.
Confession: Trigger Unhappy
I feel that the time has come to relieve myself of the burden that has been weighing heavily on my shoulders for some years now.
In the summer of 96 I was a student in a seaside town, studying feet in an attempt to become a Podiatrist. The course went well and I graduated 2 days after my 21st birthday, and after much double celebrating it was time for me to head back home. My brother Dominic and our friend John had kindly agreed to come and pick me up and help transport 3 years worth of student memorabilia and tat all the way back home to my parents’ place elsewhere in the country.
Seeing as it was my birthday, my brother had very kindly bought me a great birthday present and something that all new graduates desperately want and need - a large toy gun! A laser gun to be precise, a bright blue laser gun about 12 inches long complete with flashing lights and a telescopic scope, not only that, but it came with a laser sensor headband to be worn by your target that would flash and beep every time you shot it. We had great fun in the park that night running around like idiots pretending to be Bodie and Doyle from The Professionals and generally being very childish.
The next day we loaded up the two cars with all my stuff. My brother’s car was filled to bursting so I was going in with John, we were just about to set off when we had a great idea. Well in those unenlightened times it seemed great, but now I can look back in shame and realise that it was irresponsible : By attaching the laser headset to the headrest of my brother’s car and with me travelling with the laser gun in John's car, we could continue our game of laser quest all the way home. The journey was far more interesting than normal, and we had great fun taking pot shots at my brother on the motorway, with him flashing his lights every time we hit. Some of the better hits were taken Miami Vice style as we overtook him. As I said Simon, we were young and highly irresponsible – we know better now.
Anyway, after unpacking the cars, John headed home and we thought no more about it until the next evening when a very sullen looking John knocked on our door.
He asked if we had had any visitors during the night, and when my brother and I looked a bit confused he went on to tell us the events that had occurred that night . Apparently at just gone 2 in the morning John and his family were woken by a very loud thump on the front door. John went downstairs to investigate and was greeted by two very large armed policemen with guns pointing at him. As John stood there in his pants he was presented with a search warrant relating to Firearms offences!
Unable to quite comprehend what was happening, he was escorted to a mobile police unit for further questioning . Whilst being escorted across the road the true enormity of his predicament sunk in. There were armed police everywhere - behind cars, in bushes , beside walls, everywhere he looked he could see very angry looking policemen with Guns, the police helicopter was circling above and both ends of his street were sealed off, and numerous neighbours in their dressing gowns had gathered behind the police cordons to see what was happening. Whilst John protested his innocence, his parents’ house was being turned upside down looking for , what a driver on the motorway had reported as being “a Large handgun being waved about all over the place".
Looking back, we often laugh about this situation, but I feel I should apologise firstly to the council tax payers across the county who footed the very expensive bill for what has probably got to rank as one of the most pointless police exercises of all time. Secondly to the Police who, based on the very reliable information they had been given, thought they were going to collar a violent gang of armed criminals, and instead got John in his pants! And thirdly to John’s parents who had to tidy up the whole house after the police had thoroughly searched it.
I am not going to apologise to John as he told the police absolutely everything, names addresses, phone numbers, the lot, so if ever you were going to break the law he would be a useless accomplice. Also seeing as John is now a high ranking officer in the Met it would not be appropriate to tell you that his surname is.............