If ever a TV chef drank more wine than what he used in his cooking, it was the late lamented Keith Floyd! His wine tasting and drinking on camera, “just a quick slurp”, was legendary, but since his passing the recognition of his contribution to TV gastronomy in the U.K. has been … well …. (g)astronomic! There will never be a food and wine raconteur to match!
“Keith Floyd, who has died of a heart attack aged 65, will be best remembered for his television cookery programmes in the late 1980s and early 1990s – the epitome of gonzo-TV – as wine destined for the pot was drunk instead by the presenter. Cheerful mayhem was the consequence, though attentive viewers learned sound basics of flavour and technique.” Guardian obituary, 2009
On a very hot Sunday afternoon last week we decided to cobble together a Paella for a lazy lunch in the garden, and for the next 10 minutes argued about ingredients, style, which pan, and choice of wine! The argument was settled by taking down from a kitchen shelf my birthday copy (1987) of Floyd on Fish. We found his Paella page recipe, and read the introduction to the dish:
“There is nothing like a yellow mountain of Paella after a hard day wind surfing or lolling on the beach, glass in hand, under a merciless sun, and since it is a one pot dish it makes an ideal holiday or party supper. It is very important to follow the cooking instructions carefully. Don’t cheat by pre cooking the rice and then stirring in pre cooked prawns and chicken. You may of course vary the ingredients to suit availability or taste. But remember, ingredients serve only to enhance the rice, not the reverse. And it is all right if the rice sticks to the bottom of the pan and is burnt a bit. Bags I scrape out the dish …..”
So we followed dear old Floyds recipe substituting his clams and mussels with swordfish and using prawns instead of langoustines. Plenty of squid and roasted red peppers were added too. Our choice of wine was, naturally a South of France Rose from Languedoc (now Occitanie) boughtfrom the Wine Society, nice and cheap too at only £6.75 too! This is a light and quite delicate rose made from a blend of Cinsault and Grenache grapes. Buy more!