Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Loyd Grossman Spicy Italian Salami with Smoked Chilli Al Forno Potato Bake

Loyd 'Where's my other L gone?' Grossman is affectionately remembered as the co-host of Through the Keyhole, alongside David Frost, in which Loyd would show us around a celebrity's house, before the home and studio audience would be shown it belonged to someone like Geoff Capes, and then a panel of nobody celebrities, humourists and Kriss Akabusi would try to determine whose house it was, with the studio audience applauding any correct nugget of information. Oftentimes we'd get this......

Panel member: "Clearly we're talking about a man."
Audience: no response.
Panel member: "Or woman?"
Audience: rapturous applause.

That's some positively Holmesian deduction right there. When they had realised it was Geoff Capes, Geoff Capes would then come out for an intense grilling by David. Incidentally, I'm pretty sure Frost/Capes is in the pipeline, with Michael Clarke Duncan set to play the otherwise inimitable Geoff.

I once watched a whole week's episodes of Through the Keyhole, where every day one of the houses belonged to a former Baywatch cast member. Having ascertained that the owner was not only an 'actor' but also 'athletic', the panel would soon namecheck Baywatch before inevitably asking "It's not Pamela Anderson/David Hasselhoff, is it?" And of course it bloody wasn't. Pamela's house would be too familiar because we've all seen inside it before, while as for the Hoff, I think the guy who single-handedly brought down the Berlin Wall is going to be a little too busy, don't you?

After Loyd left Through The Keyhole in 2003, he was replaced by a succession of women of decreasing suitability, but this was missing the point. Loyd was Through The Keyhole. The show began as a regular feature on TV-am in which he would describe a celebrity by looking round their house, without knowing who's house it was. It's clear then that he brought intelligence and knowledge to his role. That and a Boston-transplanted-to-England accent that we all loved to have a stab at.

It's in that midatlantic accent that we inevitably read the description on the label for this potato bake...

"Inspired by traditional Italian wood-fired oven cooking, this deliciously smoky Al Forno sauce adds a great kick to a roast potato bake."

It's nice to see this in quotation marks, it makes it feel like Loyd really said it. Beside it, Loyd looks pensively at some garlic. This perplexed me at first. Surely he should be looking at some salami or chillies, these being the key ingredients inside the jar. But then I thought, it's good that he's thinking hard about the garlic, it implies he's thought hard about every little detail when it comes to this product.

When I made the bake, it didn't look overly exciting on the plate, but this may be down to my poor presentation skills, and the fact that I didn't top it with either the grated cheese or optional breadcrumbs as per the recipe. What can I say, I'm a maverick. That or cheap. I liked the prevailing smoky flavour, though that was no major surprise as Loyd mentions this in the description, and it went down really well with a bit of garlic bread.

Let's look at the evidence. The roast potatoes. The spicy Italian salami. The smoked chilli sauce. Who'd eat a meal like this? David, it's over to you.

Loyd Grossman: 8/10
Potato Bake: 7.5/10
Total: 15.5/20

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