Grill’s Grills.

(This was an occasional column I did in PCFormat, where I made disgusting high-calorie snacks to keep gamers going through long lonely nights. I just fancied a quick resurrection.)

Recipe – Spicy roe dumplings
Canned Cod’s Roe
1 large beaten egg
Chinese chilli oil (1 tsp)

I’ve no idea what cod’s roe is. I thought it was the eggs of the cod, mushed into paste, but opening the can seemed to indicate that it was, in fact, the basic ingredient of cat food. Or so the smell inferred. However, unlike its fishy brethren, it slices really well, indeed I’m sure you could sculpt all sorts of Boschian monstrosities out of it, if you were so inclined. I sliced the jellied lump into ten chunks, dunked them in the beaten egg, into the cornflour, into the egg again and into the cornflour one last time. Then fry (deep or shallow) for five minutes, flipping over when golden brown. (Leave it too long, or not use enough oil and the dumplings will revert to a pasty white colour as the water seeps out of the roe; if this happens, pour the water off, more oil in and turn up the heat.) Season and serve with a finely shredded green salad and the chilli oil for dipping.

Accidental discovery
Mixing a teaspoon of cornflour and 1 beaten egg makes for an excellent base for lovely fluffy light omelettes. Alternatively, mixing 2 beaten eggs with 1 tbsp of greek yoghurt makes for a thicker, more spending-all-day-in-the-fields, working-life-out-just-to-keep-life-in kinda omelette.

Cornflour helps with everything. Mix it with the juice of a roast, and you’ve got a great gravy. Mix it with butter and you’ve got the basis of a roué and hence a great white sauce. Mix it with HCL and put some rice in, and you’ve got a lethal paste for sticking on the end of your umbrella when wandering across London bridge. (Ric-in. See what I did there? Georgi Markov anyone?)

Embarrassed admission
I’d meant to use Matzoh Meal for all these recipes, but I short-sightedly picked up the wrong box.

Right; time to update you on my life. Sorry for the extended hiatus, but I’ve been busy/depressed/lazy. First off: I’m moving jobs. As of July 11th I’ll be Reviews Editor of The Official Xbox 360 Magazine. Woo!

Thoughts; I spent the majority of yesterday at Lionhead studios, where I saw Alpha code for The Movies, Black & White 2, and Fable: the lost chapters. All of which look fecking excellent, and I will be playing lots when they come out, assuming my computer can handle them by then. Considering the last time I played Black & White I spent a day thinking I was a orangutan, I’l try and ease down on that one. I spent most of my time, though, sat in chairs in various locations, discussing with people about our philosophies, our perception of the society we’re living in, and what we can do to change it. These people varied from Amanda, our photographer, to the lovely PR Cathy Campos, to Sir Peter Molyneux himself (if only there was a Von or De in the middle of his name).

I tried, subtley like, by getting Peter to talk about his problems with the governments support for the UK games industry and by mentioning that Jonathon Ross had stated that he’d only accepted his OBE so that he could give it back when he got annoyed, to get Mr Molyneux to agree to give it up in order to highlight the plight of UK games. But he was ahving none of it, just moaning “precious, my previous” to himself. (N.B. All statements attributed to persons living or dead are fictitious and should be taken as such – H.P. Squithin pp Pumrole of the Bailey.)

Looking at my diary (my memory is seriously shot these days) I spent the weekend in the park, playing Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines (yes, I am addicted. But, mmm, sweet ghoul blood), reading Umberto Eco’s The Name of The Rose, Iain Banks’ The Algebraist and John Wyndham’s The Trouble with Lichen, listening to Radio Four and watching dumbass film. Batman Begins was alright, couldn’t be more painting by numbers if Tony Hart and Neil Buchanan’s bastard love-child had daubed it, Once Upon A Time In The West was fan-dabbie-doozie, though I always get Charles Bronson confused with Charles Manson and think that he killed Roman Polanski, and the original Litle Shop of Horrors from 1960. To be fair, the latter has aged worse than its sequel and its by turns grotesque and bumbling, but is worth picking up for some of the individual performances – Dick Miller (the old guy from Gremlins) is great as a flower-eating nutjob, Jack Nicholson’s cameo is passable and the two incidental cops have wonderfully hard-boiled dialogue.

Det. Sgt .Joe Fink: How’s the wife, Frank?
Det. Frank Stoolie: Not bad, Joe.
Det. Sgt .Joe Fink: Glad to hear it. The kids?
Det. Frank Stoolie: Lost one yesterday.
Det. Sgt .Joe Fink: Lost one, huh? How’d that happen?
Det. Frank Stoolie: Playing with matches
Det. Sgt .Joe Fink: Well, those’re the breaks
Det. Frank Stoolie: I guess so.

When I can remember what else I’ve been up to, I’ll get back to you.