The one pretty consistent thing is that I want to eat what he's eating. Not the raw liver in Japan or the many yards of andouillette he seems to encounter. The other stuff.
So after watching Berlin, Prague and Vienna, I made schnitzel (pork, not a proper veal Wiener Schnitzel, because veal is bloody expensive at the moment). I dusted pork escalopes with flour, then coated them with beaten egg and breadcrumbs flavoured with salt, pepper, fresh thyme and sage. I made a warm potato salad sauced with horseradish, chives and gherkins. I sauteed cabbage. I served it all with an abundant squeeze of lemon.
After watching the Moscow episode I felt compelled to make pelmeni. I figured that after my pasta-making successes I had that sort of dough under control. Um, yeah, not so much. It's a much softer dough and was pretty tricky to work. I made a very simple beef and onion filling and borrowed Paul's favourite whisky glass to cut out circles of the dough.
I think our shaping of the pelmeni also needs a bit of work. Some of them have a distinct Georgia O'Keeffe quality to them.
After boiling (I don't think for long enough - the filling was cooked but the dough was a bit too al dente) we served them with a dollop of sour cream, a splodge of mustard and a dusting of paprika.
They were OK, but I am sort of stuck between making them again to see if I can do better, or going to one of the many London restaurants that make delicious ones and leaving it in their hands.
Paul is a willing participant in most of my food experiments. He tastes, provides feedback and helps with a lot of my cooking. As a reward for his patience and even enthusiasm, when he asks me to make something I generally do (even if it takes a few weeks because I am working on other things). We were watching the Naples episode and he decided that he had to have a big, meaty ragu.
When I reviewed Pomodoro! A history of the tomato in Italy a couple of years ago I became familiar with the Italian American "Sunday Gravy" - a rich, slow-simmered tomato sauce containing a number of meats, which had developed from the Neapolitan ragu. I couldn't do the full version just for two of us, but I did use featherblade steak, spicy sausage and some little meatballs, simmered slowly in a rich tomato sauce. Instead of serving the meats as a separate course, they were eaten with the sauce, piled onto spaghetti. As an occasional treat and variation on our usual ragu, it was delicious. I'm looking forward to further inspiration from Tony's travels!