WHEN Mastermind comes back on our TV screens I am putting forward the Prince of Darkness as a contender. I don't know about his general knowledge but I believe he would walk the specialist subject round. Sadly Magnus Magnusson is no longer in the chair, but John Humphrys has stepped into the void. I imagine it would go something like this...
JH: So Prince of Darkness, your specialist subject is BBC2 and you have two minutes to answer questions on it starting now...
What did Nigella Lawson cook in her recent show Nigella Bites?
The Prince: Well it was a very nice sherry trifle, heavy on the sherry, with a crisp chocolate coating over a cream and custard topping.
JH: Correct. Now what followed Heroes on Wednesday night?
The Prince: Well, first came Dragons Eye, followed by Newsnight with Paxman, an interesting documentary about the military rule being imposed on Pakistan by General Musharaf and later again followed by the Indoor British Bowling Championships from the Billy Buntins Holiday Camp in Suffolk.
JH: Correct. What was Paxman wearing in the said programme?
The Prince: He had a silver gray Armani Suit, blue and black striped Ralf Lauren tie etc etc etc.
Why, you may ask, is the Prince such an expert on BBC2? You would imagine he might spend most of his time watching the Elligible Virgins channel or the Horror film special, or Devil Dog borstal, for instance. The trouble is that the Dark Lord has only managed to tune his television in to two channels. As the other one is the Welsh Language Channel S4C, and he has no working knowledge of his home tongue, it means he has been glued to the second Beeb channel for the last few weeks.
Every morning he comes into the office and regales us of what he watched last night. Come to think of it, perhaps the Prince should start up a blog devoted entirely to this pastime of his. He could call it something like: "What I watched on BBC2 last night."
Back to Mastermind, and it seems the Prince is already warming up, though I think he's got his eye on the questioner's chair.
When the shout goes up. "I'm buying a round, how are you doing for a drink, Prince? You seem to have almost a full glass."
"No problem," says his nocturnal eminence. "I've started so I'll finish."
Last night I cooked bass for the first time. Very nice. I found an easy to follow recipe in a cook book/dvd which was passed on to me by the wonderful Withers.
What you need:
two pieces of Bass
two slices of lemon
potatoes, washed and cut into wedges with the skin left on
A Schwarz packet of cajun wedge mix
A large handful of spinach
Two cloves of garlic, sliced thin
A table spoon of olive oil
A sprinkling of salt
A spoonful of sugar
WHAT I DID:
Heat the oven to gas mark 6
Put the wedges in a bowl, poor over some olive oil, then add the cajun mix
Place on a baking tray and put in the oven, turn regularly and cook for 45 minutes.
Cut the bass in two, put two slices of lemon side by side between the two parts of fish, add black pepper then cover with rock salt.
Wrap with foil but don't cover. Put into the oven when the wedges have been cooking for 25 minutes.
With five minutes cooking time left, heat some oil in a frying pan, then add the sliced garlic and salt for about 15 seconds. Add the washed spinach and wait for it to wilt to about a third of the size. Add a spoonful of sugar, stir and cook for a further three minutes.
Serve the fish together with the lemon juices which ran into the foil, then add the wedges and spinach to the plate. It's a nice, easy meal and healthy, too.