According to psychologists, those post-vacation or post-holiday blues (PVB or PHB), strike savagely and indiscriminately. One minute you’re lying on the beach, the next you’re back home facing dull weather, a mega pile of washing, dead houseplants and 2133 unread emails. So how can you prevent post-trip doldrums from turning into a real bout of depression?
Delegate some of the chores to Raymond, keep fit, start planning your next holiday and prepare some of the scrumptious sunny dishes you ate while you were away or some of your favourite good mood food – such as oysters, blueberries, dark chocolate, etc. – and eat them al fresco.
September is a R month which, according to tradition, meant oysters were back in season – available and excellent. Nowdays, even if they are eaten all year round, they are tastier during these months, so you have a good excuse to prepare Stéphane’s Chorizo Oysters. Call them Mood Boosting Oysters for the occasion.
Ask Raymond to open 2 dozen oysters, get rid of the water, put them on a dish and stick them in the fridge. Soften 25g salt butter in the micro-wave for 5 seconds on defrost mode. Gently remove the skin of a poor 100g chorizo. Cut a quarter of the unfortunate spicy delicacy into bits and put in the mixer. Combine with the soft butter and spread on 4 exquisite small rye bread slices. Delicately dust with chili powder for extra oomph. Thinly cut the remaining chorizo into 24 thin slices. Pan-fry both sides in a hot non-stick pan for 20 seconds. Decorate each oyster with a warm chorizo slice and serve immediately with the divine bread.
To recapture the Corsican atmosphere, prepare a fabulous Figatellu with polenta, and call this marvel Pulenda e figatellu di Stefanu.
Figatellu, a thin liver sausage, is one of the island’s most iconic food, Napoleon famously was a figatellu fiend.
Fresh, it’s best grilled or cooked with dishes like lentils to proudly replace salt pork. Dry, you eat it like salami.
Choose a beautiful specimen, remove the skin, cut thin slices and pan-fry without any fat for 3 to 4 minutes. Make a quick polenta: in a lovely pan, bring 40cl salt water to a boil, gradually pour 100g quick or instant polenta into the boiling water, constantly stirring with a whisk, until the polenta thickens and slow bubbles "erupt", about 5 minutes, and begins to come away from the sides of the pan. Add salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, transfer to a sumptuous serving dish, decorate with the fabulous figatellu and serve with a ravishing rocket (arugula) salad or another of its leafy friends. Look Raymond into the eyes and sigh with happiness.