Richard Madeley was covering for Simon Mayo on Radio Two last week. As mentioned previously, I find him absolutely fascinating. He seems to be the most unembarassable person in the world. He’ll come out with some complete banality, inanity or drivel (and occasionally something interesting) and not be fazed at all.
He told the story about how he’d made a name for himself on the first day of his TV career at Yorkshire Television on the Calendar programme when he’d ‘broken’ a story involving the village of Penistone. Of course, in Yorkshire pronunciation it’s pretty inconceivable to avoid putting the emphasis on a short vowel sound on first syllable of the name: ‘Pen’. However, Madeley rushed on screen and did it the other way: ‘Pee-nis-stone’. Apparently the story is so legendary in media circles that the traffic reporter had heard of it — but didn’t realise it was Madeley who’d done it. Anyone else would probably have been paranoid about the cock up and hence their career disappear without trace thereafter — but Richard Madeley takes these things in his stride.
On Thursday it was cooking night and the resident ‘gastronome’ Nigel Barden was challenged to make a tuna fish pasta bake of slightly more authentic provenance. In the end his painstakingly researched Italian version didn’t trounce Madeley’s chemical concoction by as much as might have been expected. It was pretty funny to hear him simulate the length of time taken to create his dish — about 50 seconds. I guess, scientifically, he may have had a point as well on flavour — plenty of his ingredients would have had enhancers like MSG. The thing that probably is most off-putting about the dish is the crisps — they’re such an anathema and, let’s face it, guilty pleasure for foodie types that it seems unthinkable to put them into any recipe.
Here’s his recipe as purloined from the programme’s website. I’ve also added Madeley’s Twitter feed to the sidebar, which seems to be as amusing as his DJing.
Richard Madeley’s ‘Nothing Fresh In It’ Tuna Fish Casserole.
One medium tin mushroom/chicken soup
One medium tin tuna chunks in brine
Handful frozen peas
Handful frozen sweetcorn
One to two dozen frozen prawns
A palmful of dried mixed herbs (generous amount)
Two crushed bags of plain crisps
One uncrushed bacg of plain crisps
Dash of white wine
Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
Set the uncrushed bag of crisps aside and mix all the other ingredients in a medium-sized casserole dish.
Now for the piece of resistance. Place the crisps evenly on top of the mixture.
Do not cover.
Place dish in oven at 200 or equivalent gas mark
Leave for 30 minutes.
Remove and serve with penne pasta and a chilled glass of dry white wine.
*NB Your ‘Nothing Fresh In It Tuna Fish Casserole is delicious cold, too!