I’ve never understood the big deal about sushi. It costs a bomb and never fills you up. What am I missing?
If chocolate is the crack of the gastronomic world, sushi is the smack: It’s just as addictive, and it will cost roughly the same to support either habit. The first time I was invited for a sushi meal, I politely sampled everything that was served, thanked my hosts and then promptly went around the corner and ordered a hamburger. I wish I’d never gone back and given it another try because, soon after, I found my mind wandering to thoughts of it – and before I knew it, sushi had me so inextricably enslaved, I was fielding calls from my accountant who, after seeing my credit card statements, wanted to clarify if I was just a patron of the local sushi joints or an investor.
My advice? Run as far in the opposite direction as you can. If friends suggest sushi for dinner, say you’re allergic; if it’s offered to you at a party, say it’s against your religion. Do whatever you can to resist its siren song. If not, you’re doomed to end up like me: a wasabi-addled chopstick jockey, desperately picking the last grains of vinegared rice off empty sushi platters for two – that you finished, singlehandedly.
I hate steak – it’s bloody and disgusting. What’s the next manliest thing a guy can order?
Grilled portobello mushrooms, a thick tofu steak or a couple of skewers of paneer tikka are all substantial, delicious and have a manly, meaty texture. However, if you’re so insecure about your masculinity that people judging your menu choices is a concern, then perhaps don’t focus so much on what you order, but how you do it. My suggestion: channel Clint Eastwood. Drive a hunting knife into the tabletop to get the waiter’s attention, pull him in by the scruff of his neck and growl your order through tobacco-stained teeth. That way, even if you were to order a half portion of orange blossom salad with a glass of rosé, it’s unlikely anyone will question your manhood – they’ll be too busy questioning your stability.
Hosting grills and barbecues used to be my specialty when I lived in America. Now that I’m in Mumbai, I don’t know where to start. Any tips?
Hello? This is the land that gave the world the mother of all barbecues – the tandoor! If you live in a house with a garden, get an authentic clay one. For use indoors, a friend swears by his gas-powered one. If that still sounds too daunting for you, consider a traditional Indian coal sigdi. My brother has a little one set up on the balcony of his Mumbai apartment, which his cook uses to produce the most delicious barbecued treats. Good grill hunting! PS: A fire extinguisher is a prudent sister investment.
I’m having friends over for drinks. What’s a good appetizer I can serve to satisfy both the herbivores and the carnivores among them?
Here’s one of my favourite recipes. It requires minimal culinary expertise and delivers maximum impact. Remove the rind from the top of a wheel or a large slice of Brie – you can leave the rind on the sides and bottom. Place it in a similarly sized oven-safe dish. Sprinkle it with brown sugar. Then douse it in cognac. Bake it in a hot oven until it’s melted and bubbly. Serve with toasted baguette. Be prepared for an immediate cessation of all conversation, save for lots of mmmm’s and OMGs.
My girlfriend loves coffee – I’m thinking of buying her a coffee maker. How should I pick one?
I have three suggestions. If you’re looking to knock her off her feet, go with a fancy electric coffee maker that uses capsules or pods. There are many fantastic ones out there: Nespresso, Lavazza & Keurig, for example. These are state of the art and require minimal fuss to use. Team it with an electric milk frother and she’ll feel like she has a private Starbucks outlet in her kitchen.
If you’ve already knocked her off her feet some other way and are looking for something a little less extravagant, go with a classic French press – Bodum makes a superb one. The sensuality of the moist heat and the plunging action will hopefully have her thinking steamy thoughts about you whenever she brews a cup.
If you feel this girl’s a keeper, nothing says “You’re going to be the mother of my children” like a traditional Italian stove-top moka pot – try Bialetti or Bodum. This remains my favourite kitchen appliance. It’s old-school, will last a lifetime and produces the most delicious espresso I’ve tasted. Present it to her with a bag of freshly ground coffee (locally, I really like the offerings from The Indian Bean).
Under no circumstances should you give her a jar of instant coffee. As an Italian friend once remarked to a flight attendant who served him instant coffee, “This is a relatively pleasant brown beverage, sweetheart. But coffee, it is not.”
Via: GQ India