Like most good things in life, you can have enough of reading other people's blog lists at the end of a calendar year. And there's only one thing to do then: go and make your own.
So here are some things I ate and liked in 2010. I am not pretending that 70% of my favourite dishes are mine - this is more of a list of my favourite posts. And maybe someone will find a recipe to try or a restaurant to visit and my yet-another-2010-list will be justified.
1. Stuffed Onions
I do love Greek-style stuffed vegetables - peppers, tomatoes, aubergines. This was the first time I had stuffed onions. A pain to peel off onion layers whole, but worth it. Soft and sweet onions, meaty filling, caramelised- almost burnt- edges. Lovely.
2. Homemade Pita Bread
A revelation not in the taste sense (not the first time I've had pita bread!) but because of how easy they were to make. Great effort to result ratio and one of those things I make several times a month. A real keeper.
3. Apple Tarte Tatin
Possibly my favourite pudding ever - maybe I'm biased, but I thought my version was comparable to the one we had at Launceston Place. Take that Tristan Welch.
4. Lamb and Spinach Curry
I thought I preferred chicken curries to lamb ones. What a fool. Can't wait to try this with goat, like the original recipe suggested.
5. Aubergine in Yoghurt
This blog does love aubergines (maybe even more than steak...) and I'm always happy when I find new ways to cook them. These Indian-style aubergines are spicy and creamy and perfect as a side to a curry. Leftovers make great sandwiches when wrapped in pita bread.
6. Oxtail Ragu
Oxtail makes for a great ragu because you first cook it on the bone and the marrow melts away, creating a rich, thick, flavoursome sauce. When it's done, the meat will be falling off the bone. Serve with homemade pasta and wear some stretchy trousers.
7. Chinese Pork with Aubergines and Crackling
Maybe not the most authentic recipe - it was a mish mash of the few things I know about Chinese cooking. It worked though. I bloody love aubergines. And crackling should be served with everything.
and a few more I didn't make myself...
8. Goose Egg and Mushroom at Launceston Place
I loved the whole meal, and in a way it is a bit of a shame that the highlight was something I only had a tiny bite of. I want this egg to myself and I am going to have it soon. First New Year's resolution, done.
9. Fish Fragrant Aubergines at Chilli Cool
Have I mentioned that I love aubergines? These were silky, soft, sweet and spicy. And there was some pork, which always improves things. The whole place is an absolute bargain too.
10. Game Ragu with Polenta at Alimentum
You know a plate of food is good when you dream about it for months after you've had it. Maybe I should ask for a double portion for my main next time I go. And have it for starter too.
So, for 2011, I'm hoping I'll get to try a few more exciting restaurants, make some more tasty meals and, erm, finish my thesis (because I've promised myself a Midsummer House meal when I do so). I'm also hoping for other, more selfless things, like world peace and stuff, but this is my blog so I'll keep it personal (and selfish).
In short, may 2011 be a new and improved version of 2010, for everyone.