I spent the beginning of the week with my partner, Katie, up at Gleneagles.
It was gorgeous, and of course we did some pretty amazing eating. Katie had this beautiful roast beef sandwich which was served with a mini portion of macaroni cheese. The mac 'n' cheese got me thinking, and so did many of the other little meals we had.
What I've devised this week is a take on both the classic lasagne, and, sort of, tapas. It's got enough carbohydrates to keep you running for 1000 miles -or you could do the Tour de France after eating it.
I'm not big on protein, forget it. For me, it's all about the carbs. For example, I love mash potato but sometimes it can be a bit much when it's a side all by itself. So we're mixing it up.
This is my toast-pancake-crumpet-potato-pasta-cous-cous lasagne.
Or, six-carb lasagne for short.
4 oz macaroni
2 big baking potatoes
4 slices of bread
For the pancakes
4 oz flour
4 oz milk
For the sauce
2 diced onions
6 fl oz cream
Splash of white wine vinegar
2 oz of mature Scottish cheddar
Big slash of olive oil
1 For the sauce, sweat the onions in the oil then and slowly whisk in all the other ingredients. Set aside
2 Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water and set aside
3 Grate the baking potatoes, then add to the boiling water
4 Spread the cooked potato gratings on a greaseproof tray with a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper to get them nice and mushy
5 Cook the cous cous in the boiling water for two minutes, then remove and put into a colander. Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper
6 Take 4 slices of white bread and cut out a disc with a pastry cutter. Set aside.
7 For your pancakes, add the ingredients then make and fry four. Each pancake should be double the size of your crumpets.
8 Toast and butter four crumpets
9 Start layering the four towers. At the bottom is the macaroni, followed by the pancake, then the cous cous, then potato, then crumpet. Keep layering until you're all out of each component part.
10 Add a little grated cheese on top, then trickle the sauce on top.
11 Garnish with any/all of the following: chervil, parsley, chives, salt and pepper, olive oil or Tabasco sauce.
12 Grill under a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until glazed
13 While the towers are grilling, shallow fry the bread discs with lemon and parsley which will cut through the creaminess elsewhere in the dish
14 Serve each tower with one disc.
Mixed heritage tomatoes (the colourful ones) are perfect with this dish - try them with a dressing of chopped shallots, herbs, cayenne pepper, chilli and plenty vinegar.
Alongside the tomatoes and the towers, add a dollop of sour cream.