Like President Obama, the British leader loves "homegrown" vegetables...and savory meat...
UPDATE: The President presented the Prime Minister with a BBQ grill and other foodie gifts to mark the visit
President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron share a personal relationship, according to the White House, which goes beyond the Special Relationship that the United Kingdom and the US have always enjoyed. Thus Mr. Cameron's Official Visit, which begins on Tuesday. The two leaders also share culinary affections: "Homegrown vegetables" are among the Prime Minister's favorite foods, according to the BBC. Like President Obama and First Lady Obama, the Prime Minister and his wife, Mrs. Samantha Cameron, have a vegetable garden at their official residence in London, 10 Downing Street. On Wednesday evening, the Obamas will treat the Camerons to a State Dinner, and it will include early spring bounty from the Kitchen Garden. The Prime Minister is well acquainted with the First Lady's signature project: The President led him on a private tour of the lush crop rows during a White House visit in July of 2010 (above).
Lettuces, broccoli, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, and pak choi are currently growing in Mrs. Obama's garden, according to assistant chef Sam Kass.
"I have the most amazing mustard greens ever over the last few weeks," Kass said.
The Prime Minister's other favorite foods are "pork belly and slow-roast lamb," reports the BBC. For State Dinners, the Guest of Honor's food preferences are usually taken into account. Everyone the Obamas have hosted for dinner apparently loves steak: For four of their five previous State Dinners, a very fine cut of beef was the entree (think Wagyus). In fact, every high-profile dinner the Obamas held in 2011 starred beef as the entree, as did the two black-tie events they've already hosted in 2012. At the Governors' Dinner in mid-February, and more recently, at the "A Nation's Gratitude Dinner," Rib Eye was the star of the show. (Above: The President and Cameron cooked hamburgers and sausage together last May during a BBQ for US and UK troops at 10 Downing Street; their wives serve sides in the background)
The State Dinner menu has ostensibly involved months of thought, as well as tasting sessions with the First Lady, led by Executive Chef Cris Comerford. The full menu will be unveiled on Wednesday afternoon, when the Top Toque joins Mrs. Obama to preview the evening's details. Given Mr. Cameron's favorite foods, perhaps steak's White House winning streak will come to an end. UPDATE: The State Dinner menu starred Bison Wellington as the entree.
Mr. Cameron's favorite recipe...
The President and Mr. Cameron are both also enthusiastic home cooks. Mr. Cameron has offered his favorite recipe for "Italian Sausage Meat Pasta" to numerous celebrity cookbooks in the UK (it's reprinted below). The President's favorite recipe, the Obama Family Chili Recipe, is also a meat-love's delight, and relies on ground beef.
Whatever is served at the State Dinner, Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron could well be enjoying some meaty moments together beforehand: On Tuesday, they travel to Dayton, Ohio, to catch an NCAA mens' basketball game during the start of March Madness: Think hot dogs--and beer. UPDATE: Yes, the two leaders enjoyed hot dogs during the game.
Mr. Cameron and Mr. Obama made a famous swap of their favorite beers in 2010, after a men's World Cup bet over a US vs. England game that ended in a draw, 1-1. They later exchanged the President's choice of beer, Goose Island 312 "from my hometown of Chicago," and the Prime Minister's choice, a bottle of UK ale Hobgoblin. The President offered Mr. Cameron a tip on how to enjoy American beer.
"I advised him that in America, we drink our beer cold, he has to put it in a refrigerator before he drinks it, but I think that he will find it outstanding," President Obama said.
Herewith, Mr. Cameron's pasta recipe, which includes "tinned" tomatoes, Italian Sausage and "loads" of Parmesan cheese. Penne is the Prime Minister's preferred pasta, but any kind can be used. CLICK HERE for links to all posts about the Camerons' visit.
Prime Minister David Cameron's Italian Sausage Meat Pasta
Two chopped red onions
6 spicy Italian sausages
Handful of chopped rosemary
1 seeded and diced red chili pepper
2 tins chopped plum tomatoes
1 Pint double cream
1. Fry two chopped red onions in a large deep frying pan.
2. Add the meat squeezed from six spicy Italian sausages. Throw in a handful of chopped rosemary and a seeded and diced red chili pepper.
3. Turn up the heat and break up the sausage. Once the meat has broken up and browned, add lots of red wine and reduce.
4. Add two tins of tomatoes and reduce again, as with Bolognese.
5. Grate loads of Parmesan in a bowl. Once the pasta is ready, mix the Parmesan, half pint of double cream and the sauce with the pasta.
Serve and enjoy.
Among other places, the Prime Minister's recipe appeared in the Saints and Celebs Cookbook, to raise funds for All Saints Parish Church in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, and in The Celebrity Cookbook, to raise funds for The Princes Trusts’ Million Makers Challenge.
*Top two photos courtesy Number 10 Downing Street. Pasta photo via the Daily Mail UK.