Tag Archives: tooty the chef

Tooty the Chef in ‘Parsliotto!’

Tooty the Chef – when it comes to creating dishes – has been known to push the boundries of both his experience and his luck. Recently he decided that since everything else he has attempted ended in triumph and culinery glory, and also that the cupboard contained three packets of out-of-date arborio rice and the dregs of some Polish dried onions, he’d give Risotto a bash…

But when he looked in a cookery book for some rough guidence, he didn’t like what he saw…

So he put the book back from whence he discovered it…

…and decided to do it ‘his way’. In an aside, does anyone recognise this cupboard? If you’ve been reading Haunted Mars, you should. Look, it’s…

…part of Chef, Charles Du Glop’s Martian kitchen! But that’s by-the-by: on with the show. Well that self-same cupboard also contained this…

A rice cooker. Tooty the Chef is a big fan of rice cookers. He likes them so much that he keeps a spare in the attic. Never be without a rice cooker, that’s what he says. But before he set the wonder-device into operation, he sliced some chicken breast and peppers…

Then he proceeded to make some chicken stock by adding some ancient Spanish stock cubes (no Italian in the cupboard) to some boiling water…

After that he found time to turn his attention to the much-adored rice cooker, into which he poured sufficient water for three cups of rice…

Now Tooty the Chef is well-known for his stodgy meals; but on this occaision he thought it best to create something light and attractive that would linger in the memory for years to come. So, using his precisely measured Cafe au Lait cup, he poured in three cups of Waitrose Arborio rice…

Then – being an old and infinitely wise chef – he poured the remaining rice, from the packet, into a sealed jar – and didn’t forget to place a sliver of the packaging in with the rice for future identification. Good tip…

…even if the label was upside down. Well, no sooner had he done this, when it was time to start cooking the chicken and peppers together in olive oil…

But, of course, cooked chicken and peppers does not a risotto make. He knew he needed more. So he rooted through his supply of multifarious herbs and spices for something to add to the Polish dried onion. He found this three quarters-full container of parsley…

The onion was old, so it was a given that it would all go into the mix. Parsley is a bit of an unknown to our favourite chef, so he took no chances – or prisoners – and tipped the lot in. The result looked awfully like this…

So, whilst the rice steamed, blubbed and burst spectacularly in the direction of the kitchen sink…

…the parsley-stained stuff did much the same on the gas stove…

When he thought that it had bubbled like a looney for long enough, he reduced the heat – yes, you read that right: he REDUCED the heat – and let it simmer. This allowed him time to take out some plastic and cardboard packaging for recycling…

…and surrender to his prostate gland’s demands for him to visit the toilet…

Then, following a thorough washing of the chef’s hands (of course), it was back in the metaphorical saddle…

Which meant taking the cooked rice from the rice cooker and folding it into the chicken/peppers/Polish dried onions/parsley mush. It still turned out to be a complete stodge-fest…

But, boy, was it yummy! To call it a success would be to demean it. It was historic!

P.S This was written using WordPress’s fucking horrible Block Editing system. I anticipate that it took me twice as long compared to using their original system. If it was designed to reduce the amount of posts on WordPress, I imagine it has been a huge success: I’ve certainly cut back. Hmmm, I’ll have to try one of these Tooty the Chef tales on Wix.

Tooty The Chef in ‘cauliflower cheese cottage pie anyone?’

Tooty the Chef would have liked nothing more than to have replicated the original Cauliflower Cheese Cottage Pie he alluded to recently, but unfortunately there was a problem. Two problems actually. One: he couldn’t remember what he did last time. Two: there was a distinct lack of ingredients in the fridge. So, with this Mark Two version, he laid his mits upon this stuff…

Left to right: minced pork (couldn’t find any beef), packet cheese sauce and some Delmio pasta bake sauce (Chef forgot to buy any ready-made cheese sauce in a jar), packet cottage pie mix (why piss about making sauces when you can get it like this?), cauliflower (of course), an expensive pointy pepper (Waitrose had sold out of the usual kind), a courgette, and an onion. He later delved into the fridge again for some grated cheddar and mozarella cheese.

So then it was straight into prioritising mode. Time was tight: barely a moment to lose. Clearly he would require the Roasting Thing: but what else? Ah-ha – a big frying pan and the Microwaving Thing…

Decisions made, it was time to chop up the cauliflower, which was so huge that his microwaving thing was only half big enough…

So he had to cook the cauliflower twice. Here’s the first load going into the microwave for seven minutes…

With the first load heating up nicely, it was time for Tooty the Chef to start dicing. Within seconds this had happened…

When I say ‘seconds’, actually, by the time that he’d tossed it all into some hot olive oil in the frying pan, the microwave had gone ‘ding’, and Tooty was fighting with some super-heated cauliflower…

But no sooner had the second load of cauliflower begun its journey into culinery hell, when the meat-veggie amalgam demanded Tooty’s attention…

Now it was at this point that our wonder chef displayed his multi-tasking skills. The ones that have him swearing like a trooper. Yes, he had to mix up the cottage pie mix whilst boiling and stirring the cheese sauce mix (which drives him insane) and keeping the meat-veggie amalgam on the move so that it cooked evenly and didn’t create any nasty burnt bits…

As is normal, the cheese sauce took an eternity to cook. When he was half-satisfied he added the pasta bake sauce with a generous helping of grated cheese…

…which gave Tooty the opportunity to display his remarkable talent for thespianism that has had thoroughly employable actors crying into their beer – and shows just how much he enjoys using Waitrose products. Waitrose, please note this free advertising: perhaps you would like to get in contact? Whilst that mess bubbled nicely for a few seconds, Tooty upended the frying pan into the Roasting Thing and poured in the cottage pie mix…

Of course the second load of cauliflower had long-since cooked, so it, and the first load, were gently laid upon the first layer of the cauliflower cheese cottage pie…

Then it was simple matter of using a spatula to spread the cheese sauce all over it in a most generous manner, and stuff it into the very hot oven for fifteen minutes…

Now you might have noticed at this juncture that Tooty the Chef has revealed a slender buttock: should Waitrose be wise enough to sponsor HamsterBritain.com, he may have to cook with his underpants on. It’s sad, I know: but Waitrose and buttocks are probably mutually exclusive. Of course, should the John Lewis Partnership elect to go it alone into an uncertain future, Tooty can continue to show his arse willy-nilly. But that’s by-the-by. With fifteen minutes to spare, it was off to the toilet (of course) and a quick watch of the local news on TV…

So, shortly, it was check-the-dinner time…

It was bubbling insanely, and was clearly cooked; but it just didn’t look properly cooked. Our favourite chef decided that it needed a few minutes under the grill. So, whilst Tooty selected some sugar-free Sprite and Mulled Wine…

… and warmed up the plates in the microwave, the cauliflower cheese was getting somewhat blasted by the grill, which left it looking slightly worse for wear…

But, being a seasoned kitchen campaigner, he quickly stirred the nasty burnt bits into the meal. And when he slopped it onto the waiting plates…

…it was, of course, glorious. It tasted quite nice too – with a good texture. And only one person noticed the burnt bits. All-in-all a vast success. You should try it.

Tooty the Chef: Has He Lost The Magic Touch?

All across the globe Tooty the Chef fans are asking each other (on-line of course) the same question; “Where the flipping heck has he disappeared to? ” Or: “Where’s that buttock-baring bastard got to?” Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, a few months have passed since he lost the most important person in the world to him; so he’s not an overly jolly chappie at present. But he hasn’t slipped into a  stagnant bog of dispondency: no, he’s been trying to live a little (in these Covid 19 lock-down days). So, in addition to his picture-snapping and story-telling, he’s also found time to utilize his playthings…

But the family must be fed, so Tooty the Chef must still wield the ladle with gusto…

…so that he might produce goodies such as the following…

And he still conjures up sufficient enthusiasm to use his roasting thing too…

…in which stuff such as these example meals are created to stratospheric levels of fabulousness…

But, despite the sense of satisfaction that he gleans from all this culinery artistry…

…what he really likes best is this…

Yes, dressing up in tight leather. No-no-no – I mean riding his motorcycle. But fear not – that hat and apron are never far away.

P.S that hula-hoop in the garage shot is not his. He doesn’t do the hula: he has a dodgy back.

No Time To Lose

Today Tooty the Chef turned one of his multifarious talents to the problem of a garden that had been left to its own devices over winter. It would have been a ten-minute tidy up, but (as usual) he got carried away, and, several hours later he realised that he should have been preparing a fabulous cauliflower cheese cottage pie for the main meal of the day. Yes, you read that right: Cauliflower Cheese Cottage Pie. It was an idea he had in the middle of the night. Paul McCartney dreams songs: Tooty the Chef has culinery nightmares. So, with no time to lose, he washed his delicate artist’s hands, and got stuck in. Speed was of the essence, so, of course, any thoughts of photographing the event were dismissed. In any case, there was the likelihood of abject failure, and none of us like to see a grown man cry into his ladle, do we? So he contented himself with a solitary shot of the finished product…

…which was splendid in every way. And because it was splendid – and not average-to-vile – he will produce the meal again, and give you all the gen in a full Tooty the Chef cookery lesson. Look forward to it!

And, yes, if you look  very closely indeed, it can be seen on his meal planner.

 

Tooty’s Fashion For Fogeys

It’s a well-known fact that not all old fogeys are as fashion-conscious as Tooty. They will happily go out in public in beige and grey. It’s almost as if it’s an age-dependent uniform. “I’m old,” they must think, “colour is an anathema so someone with so many years under his belt: I’m going out in public: where are my beige trousers and my light-weight grey jacket with matching flat cap?”  They will then step into their silver-grey Honda Civic and proceed to Waitrose at a snail’s pace.

Well, if you’re a regular here, you’ll know that Tooty the Chef will always dress inappropriately for both his age and the occasion. Check out his last display…

Yes, a red Waitrose Christmas apron with a Homer Simpson pajama top. Nothing wrong with that. But Tooty the Non-Chef also thinks about what will appear best suited to making him look…ah…non-linear in a chronological sense. By chance he does possess a single pair of beige trousers. He’s not proud of the fact; but at least there is no grey light-weight jacket or flat cap in his warddrobe with them. And, oh dear, he does drive a silver-grey car to Waitrose too. But it isn’t a Honda: and it’s due to be replaced with a snazzy bright blue car. So, today, as he prepared to go shopping, he pulled on his beige trousers and looked at himself in the mirror. “How very tedious,” he said eloquently, “you look like an old fart. Best do something about it.” So he went straight to his shirt warddrobe and fetched out a ghastly nylon shirt that he bought (in a moment of madness) in a Benidorm street market. But even that wasn’t sufficient to totally eradicate the fogey-ness of the trousers. So to the sock drawer he marched – delving deeply into its caverous embrace and having a good old rummage. This is what he found there…

Matching socks – and a red belt too. Almost perfect. See, he may be getting on a bit; but he refuses to be a boring old fart! 

P.S It’s a shame he made such a balls-up of the ironing: those creases don’t look at all groovy. Or maybe its just the bad light.

Tooty the Chef in ‘Root Canal: Toots Banal’

After several days of the abject misery that comes with having unrelenting toothache, Tooty the Chef went for a quick bit of root canal work. Finally, after so many missed lunches and dinners, he could let his culinary imagination loose. Only, when the time arrived, he seemed strangely lacking in that department. Late week meals are usually a special time when he uses up the remnants in the fridge, and his imagination is allowed to soar into the gastronomic stratosphere: but this time around the fridge was replete with perfectly usuable stuff that wasn’t out of date. So, rather reluctantly, he chose these very sensible items…

So what do we have? L to R = sliced pork, courgettes, breadcrumbs, eggs, ras el hanout, dessicated cheese sauce, cheddar cheese, olive oil, and cauliflower.

Naturally time was of the essence, so it was out with the microwave cooking thing…

…into which he placed the chopped-up cauliflower, and placed into the microwave oven for nine minutes…

Then Tooty the Chef laid into the courgettes, slicing them into thick slices with gay abandon…

Quickly followed by the breaking of eggs into a bowl and the addition of a generous sprinkling of ras el hanout, followed by a quick whisk of the ghastly mess that ensued…

But, of course, he didn’t choose sufficient eggs. He never does. Fortunately he had another in the fridge…

Then it was dip-the-courgettes-in-the-eggs time…

And again with the slices of pork…

At this point the microwave went ‘beep’, so the good chef tipped the super-heated cauliflower into a roasting thing…

Tooty absolutely hates making sauces from packets; but being a really good egg who always does the right thing, he went straight ahead without complaint…

By the way, here’s a simple cookery tip to save time and retain your sanity. When you’ve poured the sauce over whatever it is you pour sauce over, don’t use a spoon to retrieve the dregs: use a spatula. Cuts down on time and energy and waste…

Of course, as you’ve probably discovered yourself, cheese sauce by itself is utter shit: you must add grated cheese to it. Now normally Tooty would have gone straight to the nearest packet of pre-grated cheddar from either Sainsburys or Waitrose: but he only had a bag of Cheddar and Mozzarella, which, as you also have probably discovered, is like super-powerful spiders web when cooked. So there was no other course of action open to him: he had to open the fridge, select a lump of cheddar…

…and GRATE IT HIMSELF! Aargh! Then he sprinkled it on the steaming cauliflower….

So, having prepared one element of his wondrous meal for the oven, he returned to the pork/egg amalgam, which he coated with the breadcrumbs…

Likewise the courgettes, which he placed into an olive oil lined roasting thing…

Of course, assuming that pork and courgettes cooked at the same rate – but having no evidence to support this belief – he placed the pork into the roasting thing beside the courgettes…

And being a waste-not-want-not kind’a guy, he poured on the egg dregs…

The oven, which had been maxxed-out for a good fifteen minutes, then welcomed into its bosom the two roasting things…

This gave Tooty the Chef time to sit down for a while – forty minutes actually – to jeer whatever annoyed him on TV, which is most things…

After that it was a  simple matter of retrieving the perfectly roasted cauliflower…

…selecting some Pimms Number One to accompany his regulation sugar-free Sprite…

…grabbing the pork/courgette mix and slapping it on to the pre-heated plates…

…then adding some coleslaw…

…before sitting down to discover that he is the jammiest chef in Britain. Somehow it worked out  fab yet again!

 

Tooty The Chef Gets Photo-Bombed By Tootette.

Tooty the Chef has been quiet of late, due to this and that, but he couldn’t allow his culinery fandom fear the worst; so it’s back to the kitchen counter for our resident gastronomic genius. Before he’d even really thought about the subject of din-dins, the minced pork that had been sitting at the back of the fridge for days volunteered itself. But what to do with it?

Well what Tooty should have done was dig the multi-chef (or whatever they’re called) out of the cupboard: but he couldn’t be arsed. So he chopped an onion instead of obliterating it – which, as you’ve probably guessed, was an error…

Right then, that’s meatballs off the menu: have to think of something else to do with minced pork and chopped onion. Well there’s chilli flakes: that’s always a good standby…

Add a good old sprinkling of black pepper…

…and start stirring. Oh, but Tooty the Chef had miscalculated the viscosity of the mix: it was too stiff for his weedy arms. But ever one to re-adjust to changing circumstances, he took to treating the mix as though it was dough, and before you could say…ah…a really long word, he’d kneeded it into this ball of goo…

It was at this stage that Tootette reminded Tooty that he’d intended to use eggs. Cue eggs…

…to which he ingeniously added a slice of white bread – in pieces obviously – to help bind it all together…

He was then cheered in his efforts to stir the even more gooey mass into a sort of meatloaf thing…

Then it was a matter of what to cook beside the meatloaf thing. Well obviously some duck fat-coated frozen potatoes and parsnips were the only logical choice…

So they were nicely coaxed into the tray beside the gooey mass…

…and shoved into the oven (as usual set to max power) and left for fifty minutes…

In between times Tooty the Chef selected some sliced green beans to boil as a side dish to the roasted stuff…

The finished result was too good to photograph. Instead Tooty served it up instantaneously and got stuck into his own plate…

And all done without botty-baring once!

Hah – you didn’t think he’d cook a meal without showing his bum at least once, did you? No way!

 

Tooty the Chef: Still Down, But Not Out

I explained in an earlier post why Tooty the Chef appears to have disappeared, if you follow me. Well this is a sort of up-date. Food continues to be cooked in the kitchen of Tooty the Chef – but perfunctorily. Or at least that was the case – until today. After a thrash down some gravelly ice-strewn English back lanes at rather silly speeds upon his motorcycle, Tooty felt mentally invigorated enough to get equally silly in the kitchen. Witness this…

He intended to use up last weeks’ cabbage by simply boiling it; but then his eyes began to scan the shelves – and he added some bulgur wheat – followed by chopped onion and two tubs of out-of-date fish stock, which he boiled until the water was entirely absorbed by the wheat. He might have taken it a step further by utilising a tub of Moroccan sauce; but he noticed – in the nick of time – that the Best Before date had expired….in 2013! So, instead he threw in some microwaved Brussels sprouts – before donning his hat and presenting it thus…

He may not be back just yet – but surely it’s just a matter of time. And who knows – he might even keep his underpants on!

Tooty the Chef: Where’s He At?

You may have noticed a dearth of Tooty the Chef posts in recent times. Millions have. Well there is an explanation. Of course the good cook would have liked nothing more than to blame the month of January and its scrotum-puckering chill that rises through the concrete floor of his kitchen and freezes his ass off. But, annoyingly he can’t. Not because it isn’t cold: it is. In fact he has been hard at work. Regard the following four pictures…

Nice, eh? Unfortunately poor old Tooty’s head isn’t in a good place right now. At the time of this report, it has been four months since he lost his wife to cancer, and, quite frankly, he’s having a hard time being funny. To use a colloquial term: he just can’t be arsed – which is quite ironic really, because  it’s his arse that he usually reveals at some point during the cooking of his meals. What little mirth he possesses is kept in reserve for the Earplug Adventure story. But he will be back: I’m sure of it. You can’t keep a good chef down – unlike his pants. And just as a reminder of  how brilliant he can be: here’s a picture of his trim buttocks as he selects a bottle of wine to mix with his sugar-free Sprite…

 

After the Debacle

Following the gastronomic catastrophe of his Omeletty Thing, Tooty the Chef took a day off cooking to lick his wounds. When he did dare re-enter the kitchen he chose to step upon safer culinery ground. A Dolphin Nose with Pork. You know how he did it; so here’s the result…

Yep, he’s back on all three cylinders, and with the turbo kicking in too.

P.S as a footnote, the omeletty thing didn’t taste half as bad as it looked. In fact, he was assured, it tasted rather nice – just as long as you kept your eyes shut. One hat eaten in vain.

Tooty the Chef Eats His Hat (part 2)

And now for the concluding episode…

Although daringly bare-buttocked, our favourite chef quickly re-stocked the frying pan with oil, heated it, and tipped in the shaved potato…

At this point he was so sure of success that he moved aside to allow the camera to witness the cooking of the shaved potato…

…which actually proved far more difficult than he had imagined. Being thin and starchy, the spud shavings stuck to each other like procreating foxes: they just didn’t seem able to let go. So some were barely cooked, whilst others were browned to within microns of destruction.

It was at this juncture that doubts began to make themselves unwelcome. Especially so when he added the ingredients to the egg mix – which needed the addition of a further two eggs…

So it was with waning confidence that Tooty the Chef took up his flipping tool…

Gonna need another frying pan, Chef. I think he realised that. But, not entirely blind to the inevitable, he carried on…

And for a few minutes all appeared well. But that omelette looked awfully thick and disturbingly runny. In such a tiny frying pan his flipping tool was utterly useless. So, being an adaptive kinda guy, Tooty the Chef decided to up-end the omelette into a second frying pan – thereby cooking both sides equally. Genius – or what? But…

…he wasn’t desperately good at it, and when the sloppy mess fell from one pan into the other, it folded and broke in the middle. So he had to beat it reasonably flat with his flipping tool…

This enraged him greatly…

Following a further two attempts, the omelette was sufficiently cooked to remain in one piece and to flip correctly. This brought him great joy…

…and demonstrated his remarkable acting skills. But despite this, the centre  remained uncooked. The omelette looked fine until it was pressed, when, disturbingly ghastly coloured goo and lumps of half-cooked vegetable leaked out in various directions in a most emetic manner… 

It was beginning to look a lot like shit…

And it didn’t smell too clever either. So Tooty the Chef did what any self-respecting cook would do. No, he didn’t chuck in the bin: he’d promised his Son ‘something omeletty’ and ‘something omeletty’ he would get. So, in a desperate effort to cook the centre, he re-used the second frying pan and chopped the omelette in two – then, ultimately, four…

But still the centre-goo refused to play ball. So Chef cast off his apron; put aside his regular sugar-free Sprite; and took to the Moscato…

When he’d recovered his decorum, the omelette looked like this…

Here you see it placed beside his dog’s dinner. Can you tell which is which. Also, it transpired, there was insufficient to feed three people. So poor Tooty the Chef was reduced to eating his hat…

So he never got to find out what it tasted like. But, 24 hours later, neither off-spring had been admitted to hospital, so perhaps it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked.

 

 

Tooty the Chef Eats His Hat (part 1)

Recipes don’t always go to plan. We all know that. Of course Tooty the Chef doesn’t even have a plan, so it’s odds-on that eventually he will crash and burn – at least in a culinery sense. This is the story of his first total gastronomic cock-up. And it all started so promisingly – when his Son suggested something ‘omeletty’ – to use up the eggs. Unfortunately he also suggested using potatoes. But even then, had the wonder chef possessed a wide-enough frying pan, maybe it could have worked. Let’s see how it went, huh?

Initially Tooty the Chef was pleased as punch to find a use for his ageing eggs…

But he wasn ‘t quite so sure about wasting some nice fresh bacon on an experimental meal…

And when he was presented with tubs of strange stuff intended for North African style meals his uncertainty increased to alarming levels…

But never one to stand around pissing about, he set to work on some spuds – shaving them into…ah…potato shavings…

Other veggies would be required, so he tried on this charming comedy nose…

…but decided to dice the pepper instead, and added it to the pile that included some onion…

Then, of course, we had the inevitable rigmarole of removing the ‘nasty fatty bits’ from the bacon…

I don’t know why he can’t get a grip: a little fat isn’t going to cause instantaneous rigor mortis. Anyway, on with the cookery. In order to make the eggs nice, Tooty the Chef added some black pepper and oregano. See how he carefully measures it into the palm of his slender artiste’s hands. Ever the professional – even when he doesn’t really know what he’s doing…

Then it was time to tip it into the eggs…

…and annihilate it with this wonderfully tactile whisk…

What – you thought he’s use a rotary whisk? Or perhaps an electric one? Shame on you: this is Tooty the Chef we’re talking about here!

Well having done the deed, it was time for the usual…

Yep, extra virgin olive oil. Only the best for Tooty the Chef. Then the moment came to hurl in the pre-chopped bacon. Oh yes, did I mention that? When he sliced off all the nasty fatty bits, he also chopped the bacon up into smaller (but not very small) bits…

Then, having given it a very quick fry, he separately did likewise with the onion and the peppers…

Attention to detail: that’s the thing. Talking of which: please note that the good chef isn’t slacking in the apparel department either. It may be January; but he’s still cooking sans lingerie

Which is where we must leave the great chef for now – wearing yet another Waitrose apron (that he found in the attic) and with his bum showing. Come back later for part two of Tooty the Chef Eats His Hat. You won’t be disappointed. Well you might; but your level of disappointment will fall well short of Tooty the Chef’s!

Tooty the Shame-Faced Chef

Oh dear, look at Tooty the Chef…

Doesn’t he look sorry for himself? What could he have done to cause such shame-faceness? Shame-faceness? Is that a real word? It doesn’t look right. But then that’s the beauty of the English language: you can say or write something that’s completely wrong, but people still know exactly what you mean. But I digress: back to the shame-faced chef. Look what he created recently…

Doesn’t it look yummy? It even featured red cabbage and lemon sauce. I mean, by God, it must have been some wonder recipe! But there’s the point of his misery. He was so busy in the Attic Studio (fabricating some interiors of the re-fitted Gravity Whelk for the ‘Haunted Mars‘ photo-novel) that he didn’t realise how late it was. So he had no time or inclination to pause for photos of his wondrous gastronomic delight. Instead he could only spare enough time to actually snap this single shot of the finished product. And he’s so ever so ever so sorry about it. But, looking on the bright side; he did actually get something done on the third floor: look…

…a green deck,  sparkly gold wall, blue inter-compartmental air-lock, and a very nice lavatory with a pink light to show that someone is inside having a poop! Clearly it was worth all the misery.

 

Tooty the Chef Passes a Personal Milestone

Since his wife passed away, Tooty hasn’t been able to enter a Waitrose store. It brings back too many memories of the countless times they shopped there together. But today he required a boneless chicken that could only be obtained from Waitrose. So, plucking up courage, he entered one of their emporiums. After months of shopping in inferior stores, it was like a breath of fresh air to our master chef. So he duly bought the chicken – and a whole bunch of other stuff too. And all without a tear. Look how happy it’s made him…

Just in case you wondered – he likes Waitrose.

Tooty the Chef Makes ‘Rattatuti!’

Before we begin, let me bring you up-to-date with some of Tooty the Chef’s latest brilliant ideas. Well one anyway. Autumn has been wet and mild in Tooty the Chef’s portion of reality; so mosquitos have been rather prevalent in his kitchen. Unwilling to use ozone-depleting sprays (and having actually caught one of the little bastards as it attempted to finagle it’s pointy bits through the tough hide of his hairy knuckles), the great chef decided to tackle the problem head on. Literally. With a Sainsbury’s reusable cotton vegetable bag…

Voila! Not just a pretty face, I think you’ll agree.  Anyway, enough of that load of old bollocks: on with the cooking. Now Tooty the Chef has never been one to turn his nose up at a bargain: so when his local M&S Food Hall offered him three packs of four breaded chicken breast steaks for only £10 he snatched their metaphorical hands off. The downside of this was the need to devour them before the use-by date expired; which meant that whatever he was about to create, it must compliment breaded chicken breast steaks. Four of them to be exact…

No probs: let’s see what’s in the cupboard…

And, oh look, there’s some ancient eggs (that can easily recall high Summer) in the fridge…

Naturally the fridge had other gifts to give…

…those being soft and floppy courgettes; a pair of measly spuds; a couple of almost-rotten toms; three skanky carrots; an old onion; and a withered pepper that couldn’t decide if it was red or yellow. All grist to Tooty the Chef’s mill, I assure you. But what kind of sauce should he use? All the regular stuff was just too boring for words; so he stuck his fingers up at them…

But, after getting down upon his hands and knees, he discovered just what he needed…

…a can of Waitrose Cream of Petit Pois and Bacon Soup. Inspired choice. This was all the impetus he required: for the next half-hour he would transform in Le Chef Tuti!

Having turned on the oven to get warm, it was  dice-dice-dice-and- dice-again time…

Preperations complete, it was the correct moment to slide the chicken into the hot oven…

Now the race was on. Would the chicken cook before Le Chef Tuti was ready for it? Or would it be another of his fantastically unlikely dead-heats? Only…um…time would tell. Don’t fret Tuti; get those eggs broken…

…and lobbed into a bowl with black pepper, Himalayan salt, and paprika…

Come on Chef, pour out that olive oil with all your might…

Once heated upon the hob, the oil was joined by the slowest-cooking ingredients – those being the  potato, carrot, and onion…

Having given it a few minutes to get it’s head start, he added the courgette and pepper…

Look how delighted he was to do so. Actually he was acting.  He’s very good at that you know. He’d give Tom Conte a run for his money, I can tell you. And Pauline Collins. But I digress. After a while, when there was about ten minutes to go, he tossed the tomato in…

And, after fielding several gastronomic questions from his offspring, he tipped in the Waitrose soup and set it simmering on a low heat…

Yes, Le Chef Tuti has heard of ‘low’ you know. He doesn’t use it often, but (as a remarkable chef) he is aware that you should never boil soup: it makes it nasty or something. Then it was a simple matter of pouring the egg mix into a frying pan with hot olive oil at the bottom: blasting it for a while; then flipping it over;  blasting it a bit more; and chopping it into pieces with the edge of the flipping tool…

…before serving it proudly and displaying it to the camera with a stupid face…

Not bad,  eh?

Then, naturally, it was time to uncork a bottle of Muscat de Rivesaltes. On this occasion he decided to aschew the usual complimentary Sprite, and instead selected some vaguely uninteresting Schweppes Slimline Lemonade…

Unfortunately someone forgot to hide the key to the wine cellar; and when that one ran out, Le Chef Tuti found another, which could, inevitably, only end in one way…

Oh, if only we’d stocked it with shandy and ginger beer!

Tooty the Chef in ‘The Dog’s Dinner’

Now there’s a strange thing about the colloquial English language spoken in Tooty the Chef’s neck of the woods: If something is described as being ‘the dog’s bollocks’ it usually means that it is very good indeed. To use a motorcycling metaphor: a Yamaha Tracer 700 is considered ‘the dog’s bollocks’, whereas a Linfan 125 is  a ‘dog’s dinner’.  That is – not well put together. And so thought Tooty the Chef of the dinner he was about to produce. It was an end-of-the-week-use-up-whatever-is-left kinda meal. He was certain that the result would be a dog’s dinner, so he didn’t bother to take any photos of the preparation or the cooking. In fact, so certain was he of miserable failure, that he put aside some of the ingredients to actually produce a dinner for his dogs. Yes, a genuine dogs dinner. So he didn’t feel particularly inclined to place his chef’s hat upon his shapely head. In fact he wore this instead…

Oh yes, I forgot to mention: he was also really busy doing the weekly wash at the same time. And yes those are his underpants, freshly laundered and smelling sweet. But then, as the meal progressed he began to have doubts concerning the ineffectualness of his cheffing: the dog’s dinner was actually looking rather appetising…

So appetising that he decided to fire up his Canon Ixus and present the mixture to it…

Then to one of the recipients…

…which, because it contained minced turkey, minced beef, minced pork, sea bass, steamed carrot, sweet potato, and parsnip, with sweetcorn and peas, sent the little guy into a frenzy…

…and only too keen to get stuck in…

…unlike his pal, who wasn’t sure about something in the bowl…

…but because she’d been told to eat it by Tooty the Chef, complied anyway…

Meanwhile the human meal had finished cooking, and Tooty the Chef began to believe that (once more) victory was his…

A look through the transparent roasting thing confirmed this hypothesis…

And when he shoved the big spoon in, he became elated…

Sea bass, bream, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, peas, sweetcorn, and prawns – immersed in a parsely and onion sauce and topped with grilled mashed potato. Shit it was nice…

But then the celebration was ruined utterly  when he discovered that (whilst in his negative mental state) he’d swigged back the remaining wine, leaving nothing behind…

Bollocks! And not the dog’s ones either!

Tooty the Chef: Kitchen Commando

Welcome to the kitchen of Tooty the Chef: the only chef in Britain who cooks whilst going commando – at least publicly. The same chef who only cooks for people who don’t want to cook, but (through no fault of their own) have to…

Well  on this particular day, Tooty the Chef had been out of the kitchen doing other fascinating and often thrilling stuff – like walking the dogs, riding his motorcycle, or raking leaves from the lawn. Unfortunately not only had he forgotten to turn the heating on (December after all), but he’d also left the kitchen door open to the elements. But, true to his credo ‘the bum must always be bared’, he began as he always does. Only this time he turned on the oven early so that he could defrost his buttocks…

Then it was on to a grub hunt. Quickly he found some soft cauliflower. But before it had a chance to decompose in his hands he chopped it up…

Then he discovered a packet of bacon that still had a couple of days life in it…

It was smoked, which Tooty the Chef abhors almost as much as an astronaut abhors a vacuum, but the label said Great Taste 2020, so he went with it. But first he placed the cauliflower in his plastic microwave cooking thing; added some boiling water…

…and set it to cook in the microwave for nine minutes. Then he did what any chef worth his or her silver collander award would do; he trimmed the nasty fatty bits off the bacon…

…then splashed a whole bunch of olive oil (Spanish naturally) into the oval roasting thing…

…and laid the bacon in it. To this he added some frozen peppers…

…before returning to the freezer for a handful of peas and sweetcorn. After all you gotta have colour in your meal: otherwise it’s just oatmeal…

On cue the microwave went ‘Ding’, so it was a tentative tipping of the scalding cauliflower into a sieve…

…before slopping it on top of the other stuff in the roasting thing, and covering it with a jar of white wine sauce…

Tooty the Chef selected a white wine sauce by Morrisons. He reasoned that if the label was accurate, and that the company had been established in 1899, it was fair to assume that they knew a thing or two about sauce…

Anyway, then it was into the (already hot) oven…

Did you notice the tray on the lower shelf? Tooty the Chef didn’t. This would come back to bite him on the ass later – at least metaphorically. So, with the grub in the oven, it was time for some meditation…

A quarter of an hour later the roasting thing was removed from the oven and coated with the last of Tooty’s grated cheese…

Then back into the propane furnace, which released the great chef to watch a bit of TV and make himself a nice cafe au lait…

A further quarter of hour passed, and Tooty the Chef judged that the meal was cooked…

But when he poked around in the bottom of the roasting thing, he found – to his professional horror – that the bacon wasn’t quite done. He also discovered the hitherto unnoticed baking tray that had absorbed much of the oven’s heat. So it was out with the tray, and in with the meal. Then, as the oven door closed, he realised that his nether regions were once again chilled mightily. Fortunately he had the wit to plug in a fan heater with which he brought the general area back to life…

Ten minutes on and, not only were his comfort levels returned to factory specifications, but  the meal was cooked…

…to perfection…

So it was off with the jumper and hat; and time to select a complimentary drink. Naturally he chose a 2016 Muscat de Rivesaltes and 2020 sugar-free Sprite. A perfect combination, I think you’ll agree…

Tooty the Chef in…How Not to Cook Paella

Long ago, shrouded in the mists of time, Tooty the Chef cooked paella. He did it properly, using Spanish ingredientes; a Spanish butano stove;  and a casual Spanish approach. It was easy for him because he lived in Spain at the time. But his miserable life has moved on. He is no longer a handsome man in  his late forties, but a bewildered old duffer in his mid-sixties. Or, to put it another way, he kind of forgot how the cook paella: but he didn’t realise the truth until he was half-way through cooking the meal. Here is the tale.

It all started when he found this paella spice in the back of his ‘international’ cupboard…

As you can see, he was thrilled at the prospect of cooking up a splodge of his favourite meal. So, once more he delved into the deepest recesses of the freezer – to find this slightly aging Bream…

The fridge assisted by offering up a rather withered pepper. Luckily it wasn’t too far gone for Tooty the Chef to use…

Although, for a while, it did resist his blunt veggie knife…

Soon some generic cheapo prawns joined the Bream…

…along with a huge chicken breast and a pair of bacon slices…

The stage was set. But then Tooty suffered a lapse. For a moment he confused what he was doing with something else completely. So instead of cooking the chicken, followed by the pepper, some frozen peas and whole beans, and the other animal products…

…he sprinkled the paella spice and an inordinate amount of pudding rice (the closest he could get to paella rice) into his rather miniscule paella dish…

…and set about cooking it in boiling water. Unfortunately, not only did he cook things in the wrong order, he also lacked a butane powered stove with a large central gas ring for cooking paella. Instead he was forced to use the largest ring on his propane powered stove, and, quite frankly, it was not a match made in Heaven. Still, needs must, and in went everything else…

…which is where Tooty came a little unstuck. No matter how much extra water he added, or how much he stirred furiously…

…the heat was too great and too concentrated to cook the rice properly. In fact it became horribly vile…

…so he transferred it to a non-stick wok. Smart move…

It was about then that he discovered that his son hadn’t eaten all the chorizo after all, so happily included what remained…

But following a tasteless taste test it became clear that the paella spice had suffered a degree of entropy and no longer tasted of much. Cue the cubes of paella spice that his subsquent hurried search discovered…

Back on track – kind of…

So, with the application of more water to satisfy the rice’s insatiable demand, the deed was finally done, and Tooty the Chef found a use for the paella dish. It made an excellent lid to keep the meal warm whilst he rushed around warming some plates and poring out the bebidas…

…though, by then he couldn’t wait…

Any drink would do, just as long as it was alcoholic and would erase the memory of a complete gastonomic cock-up. But the finished product came out looking – and tasting – just fine…

Yes, he got away with it it once again.

A few hours later Tooty the Chef took the time to look through some of his greater culinery triumphs – and discovered the following three shots…

See, he does know how to do it. He just has to be in Spain to get it right!

Fishy Goings-On with Tooty the Chef!

It was a chilly day, so whilst Tooty the Chef scoured the kitchen for culinery ideas, he decided to wear his famous brown jumper – the most seen brown jumper on the Internet. It was a wise choice of apparel because his first port of call was the bottom of the freezer…

…where he stared myopically at items that had lain there for longer than he cared to remember. But eventually two items made their presence felt…

Sea Bass and Salmon: the obvious combination. Clearly it was time for a fish pie. Cue the packet of fish pie mix!

Well, as everybody knows – even Tooty the Chef – a fish pie recipe calls for mashed potato. Cue the spuds…

…which he boiled frantically. It an act of desperate inspiration he used the steam to steam some sprouts too. Please note: only keep a cloth beside the burning gas when your potatoes spit and dribble water down the side of the saucepan in an uninterrupted manner. Any decrease of flow could result in ignition!

So, whilst all that was going on, Tooty took to relieving the fish of it’s skin…

A filthy and aromatic task, I think you’ll agree…

Thereafter he chopped them up into chunks, before putting them aside…

Then it was out with a roasting thing. Not the regular roasting thing, or it’s smaller oval buddy: but a different roasting thing all together…

…into which Tooty sliced some tomato. He then did what no chef before him has dared to do: he added the steamed Brussels sprouts to the toms. Inspired or what!

Then it was time to add some butter and salt to the boiled spuds…

…and mash like buggery…

Setting the frothy mess aside, Tooty then mixed up the sauce with some milk and added a bunch of paprika…

Doesn’t it look appealing? It looked a whole lot less appealing when he added the fish, and boiled it all for five minutes.

Then it was time to add the resulting fishy goo to the sprouts/toms duo; pile the mashed spud on top; and shove it in the oven…

This gave Tooty the opportunity to take a short break and read a chapter or two of an Earplug Adventure – using Adobe Editions of course, which is free to download from Adobe and allows the user to read epub e-books on their laptop or desktop computer…

Tooty not only marvelled at the inventive stories and witty turn of phrase, but also at the fact that the e-books are readily available at most e-book retailers, and are remarkably inexpensive – or ‘cheap’ as it is more commonly known.  And look how amused he was by their silly silicon shenanigans…

But eventually it was time to return to cheffing, and before long he brought the grill into action for the first time…

Tooty the Chef avoids grilling if he can because his propane cooker was designed by a complete shithead, and he is forced to attach this shield to stop the knobs from melting. But that didn’t stop him sprinkling some cheese on top of the pie and set it to grill itself stupid…

Having done so he then took a moment to carefully select some pleasant Marks & Spencers ginger beer…

…before fetching the fish pie from beneath the grill and carry it to the serving area…

…where, once again, the finished product was proven to be aesthetically divine in every way…

…including the sprouts…

It tasted nice too. Another triumph!

Tooty the Chef Goes Crock-Potty

In this thunderously wonderful instalment of cooking tips for those who don’t want to cook, but have to, Tooty the Chef shows you the delights of the slow cooker – or crock pot as it is sometimes known. Hence the title of this piece.

Well, naturally he went straight to rooting for inspiration through the nearest fridge…

And he came away with…

…carrots, pork, potatoes and parsnip. From the cupboard he liberated some dumpling mix – after all he’s never been one for pissing about with flour, water and suet. And why not: it could all go horribly catastrophic: it’s so much safer with packet stuff. Ditto the Moroccan casserole mix. The cous-cous is all right though: no one can go wrong  with that. So, with the ingredients carefully selected it was time to chop up the veg and hurl it into the slow cooker…

…then dice and remove the disgusting fatty bits from the pork…

…and chuck it in on top…

…quickly followed by a furious stirring action…

Tooty the Chef’s next act was to stir the spice-mix in with some cold water and pour it over the meat/veg combo…

…then put on the lid; select LOW; and go do something else – like shopping; riding his bike; visiting the lavatory; watching some TV; topping up the tyre pressures on his ancient (but one day classic) Toyota; walking the dogs; revisiting the lavatory; and a quick spot of shed-clearing. Five hours later he climbed back into his apron; put on his hat; and turned his attention to the remaining ingredients…

He was so confident that he was almost looking forward to it. He’d reasoned that surely a chef of Tooty’s standing could knock up a bowl of cous-cous, and roll out a few dumplings with one hand behind his back and the other holding his willy. Well maybe he’s not quite that talented, but he could do it with one behind his back. I’m sure of it. If he really wanted to of course.  Whatever, he read the instructions on the packet; somehow managed to create more dumplings than the instructions suggested he could; and pressed them gently into the bubbling caldron of deliciousness…

Then he took thirty minutes off to await the dumpling’s inflation…

Five minutes to go he poured the desired amount of cous-cous into a bowl and covered it with freshly boiled water. It, in turn, sucked up the water; cooked itself whilst doing so; and then enjoyed a frisking by Tooty with a fork…

Tooty the Chef then selected an apropriate drink…

Slapping the finished product on to a plate, he admired his work…

…and took a picture to prove that not everything he makes looks like it fell out the back of a commercial restaurant’s garbage truck…

Oh yeah; it tasted nice too. Not sure about the cola though. It created dumpling-flavoured burps that lasted for hours. Perhaps a red wine might have sufficed.

P.S “Why didn’t Tooty the Chef use an onion in his casserole?” I hear you say. Well there’s a good reason for the onion’s omission: you can’t share the left-overs with your dog if it has onion in it. Onion and dogs are mutually exclusive. Something in it wrecks dog’s livers – or kidneys, I can never remember which. Maybe both. Anyway, it’s not good for them.

 

 

 

Tooty the Chef Gets All Iberian

Now, you may have noticed (what appears to be) a typo in the title.

“Tooty the Chef?” I hear your baffled tone. “Where’s our Chef Tooty gone?”

Well I’ll tell you. Being an egotist of vast proportions, he Googled himself – only to discover that there is another Chef Tooty. A proper Chef Tooty. A Chef Tooty who doesn’t cut corners and boil things to destruction. A Chef Tooty who cooks for people who enjoy cooking. A Chef Tooty who is prepared to piss about making fancy sauces, and who wouldn’t touch a jar of pasta sauce if you threatened to disembowel him/her. So, with ego duly deflated, the Chef formerly known as Chef Tooty felt constrained to alter his moniker. Hence Tooty the Chef. It’s not the same; but it isn’t really different either. So, explanation complete, it’s on with another recipe for people who would prefer to buy out, but can’t afford to do so on a perminent basis.

Tooty the Chef was rummaging about in his ‘International’ cupboard recently, and discovered this…

“Perfecto.” He uttered when he noted that the product was a Spanish form of stock cube intended for use with lentils. “I can add this to some baked beans!”

He was thrilled further to discover some spuds in the second fridge..

So, as inspiration struck like a meteorite from the depths of space, he dragged all of these from their respective gastronomic domiciles…

Front row from left to right; bacon, toms, eggs.

Second row from left to right; spuds, stock cube.

Back row from left to right; chips spice, paprika, garlic granules, baked beans, spicy baked beans with chorizo.

He would have used two beans with chorizo, but they only had one can in the cheap bin at Sainsbury’s, so he had to improvise. Hence the use of the Avecrem stuff. So then he chopped up the spuds as though he was going to make Patatas Bravas…

…and lobbed them into some boiling water, and wound up the heat…

It didn’t take long for them to go soft, so it was quickly out of the water and on to the perforated French Fries cooking thing, where he sprayed them with garlic infused olive oil…

And, of course, some garlic granules…

Despite his prodigous use of saucepan lids to keep down the steam, sometimes the contents of spice jars still become solidified. So it was in with the knife and a quick wiggle on the chips spice and paprika…

Here’s a tip from Tooty the Chef that should always be remembered. Waggling a knife inside a jar doesn’t always work that well; so tip the loosened contents into your hand before sprinkling. Like so…

See, he does know what he’s taking about after all. And just to prove it – here’s what the spud lumps ended up looking like…

What Tooty the Chef should have done at this juncture was place the chopped spuds into the oven thus…

But what he actually did was slice the toms and place them beside the bacon on a second tray…

Sadly he placed them into the oven at the same time as the spud chunks. Bad move. Should have put the spuds in five or ten minutes earlier, which just goes to show that even gastronomic genii can make culinary errors. But, unlike sixty-five million years ago, it wasn’t the end of the world. But it was time to transform the Spanish stock cube into a sauce, which only required the addition of boiling water a good old fashioned stir…

Please note: you don’t have to pretend to be French to make a sauce: anyone from anywhere can do it. Even Namibia.

Naturally this was added to spice up the baked beans – to which the spicy beans with chorizo was also added. Then came the egg-frying part of the recipe…

…which Tooty the Chef juggled perfectly with the stirring of the beans…

You may have noted that one of the eggs broke when dropped into the hot olive oil. Normally this sort of behaviour would not be tolerated by a chef of such high standards, like wot Tooty the Chef is; but on this occaision it didn’t matter one jot. And here’s the reason why…

As you can probably see, the psuedo-patatas bravas don’t look particularly over-cooked. That is because they are not. Sadly the toms and bacon were on the verge of self-destructing in the oven, so the wise and wonderful chef called time on them. The only-just-cooked spuds went into a dry pre-heated wok on a low setting. The toms, bacon, and eggs were then shredded…

…and added to the spuds…

…where they were folded in. Note the word ‘folded’. They were not stirred; that would have wrecked the eggs and made it all appear like another of his vomit-look-alikes. Then, whilst the conglomeration of yumminess sizzled for a minute, Tooty the Chef selected the dregs of the rhubarb squash that had been sitting in the cupboard since early Summer…

…and added it to some lemonade. A perfect partner for this…

Not too bad, huh? next time, though, he’ll use the beans as a bed, and lay the other stuff on top. But, all in all, very scrumptious – though probably not terribly Iberian.