August 28, 2008

Filed under: Northwest European, Offal — ros @ 12:36 pm

The internet is a funny place isn’t it? For a start, it isn’t really a place at all, although it does feel like one: a seperate world where people can quietly have a look into other people’s lives (yes, serial lurkers, I still know you’re there ;) ). It’s a place where one can anonymously irritate and insult perfect strangers all day without getting punched in the face and, on a chatroom somewhere, a lonely guy in his mid forties can start a loving relationship with a beautiful girl in New York without knowing that in reality she’s a fat hairy man from Newcastle.

I’ve heard some people say that one day the internet will be the world’s single source of information and will eliminate the need for books and television. Personally, I hope this doesn’t happen. I’m no stickler for tradition but I think there is one big problem with the net at the moment: search engines. Search engines were designed to be intelligent, but they are, for now, very, very stupid indeed. To demonstrate what I mean, let’s try a little experiment. Open a new tab on your browser (or a whole new browser window if you’re the type to have a messy desktop) and go to www.google.co.uk. Now, search for ‘how to cook couscous’.

Obviously Google, the biggest and most important search engine in the universe, is designed to bring you the best and most useful results for your query. Look down to the bottom of the page (possibly the top of the second page) and you should see a link starting ‘Andy Millar….’

That’s right, in Google’s opinion, one of the world experts on cooking couscous is Goon. The man who the other day served up crunchy pasta in a carbonara, the man who asked me if chocolate truffles were dug up by pigs in France, the man who I recently caught trying to drink sherry soaked raisins straight from a mug, is one of Google’s top choices for advice on cooking this particular carbohydrate.

Needless to say, Goon has never cooked couscous by himself. It is very, very dangerous to trust Google’s recipe choices.

Of course, in reality, I love the internet. Over the last week when my access was limited, I felt like I was going slightly mad. Google is the one of the things I use the most, both for searching and for advertising on my site. However, on occasions it does frustrate me. There are days, when I have a bit of comment abuse from the internuts and I wonder why they have decided to attack me so suddenly. Generally it turns out that Google has put me top of an image search for cute fluffy bunnies and I bet you can guess which posts it links to.

Then there are the occasions where Google does send people with relevant queries to my site but directs them to the wrong place. If you search for beef mince recipes (as a ludicrous number of people appear to do), my blog’s first appearance will direct you to the archive for September 2006, which is totally useless. I do have a page somewhere with beef mince recipes but that obviously isn’t relevant.

Now, one of Google’s favourite pages on my blog appears to be the recipe for devilled kidneys. It was an old page, from before the great hard drive crash of Summer 2006. The picture was gone, the recipe was vague. However it was Google’s 5th hit. I was embarrassed, so I decided to spruce it up and, to make sure that Google doesn’t start sending people to the August 2008 page instead of to the right place, I’m giving it a Google boost.

So, Google spiders, are you watching? This is the recipe for devilled kidneys. That’s right, a devilled kidney recipe. In fact it is a lamb kidney recipe too.  You may wish to call it a deviled kidney recipe  or a recipe for deviled kidneys.

I think that should do it. :) I’m afraid you have to click on one of the links to see the devilled kidney recipe. You’ll see why.

August 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 10:45 pm

It would appear the internet I had ready set up in the new flat was cancelled by the old tenants. Can’t say I blame them, athough it would have been nice if the estate agents had mentioned something. Tonight I am posting from Goon’s flat, 5 minutes from Covent Garden Market, where we have just  been shopping. We had some more oysters and fizzy, then I went haywire and bought some spicy salami, some pecorino, olive oil and balsamic syrup. After tasting the salami and cheese, Goon decided he wanted sausages and something cheese related for dinner, so I went and bought some additional good quality pork sausages and red onion chutney and we are now waiting on some hot dogs with smoked paprika wedges for dinner, while nibbling on the salami and pecorino.

It took us 40 minutes to work out how Goon’s new grill worked. This is why my gas cooker rocks, even if I’m paying more than Goon to live in zone 2.
I also bought Goon a cake from Lavender Bakery. I ate most of it. This is why I don’t make cakes: I would end up the size of a house.
Due to internet setup times I may be away for a week or so. No matter, it will give me time to sort out the interesting fungus growing on my new kitchen’s window.  Ah, the joy of renting….

See you soon!

August 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 12:12 am

There have been a few occasions when I’ve wondered why I blog. With the abuse from former students, the idiots who ‘tlk in txt spk n thnk yr fd lks dsgustin rofl lmao’ and the sheer amount of time it takes to write a post and upload some pictures, you have to wonder why we bother.  But then I remember all the fantastic people I’ve met through this site: other bloggers, a few readers and various people in the food industry. That makes it worthwhile in itself. Then there the few occasions when you get invited to some really great events.

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be asked along to have a look around the Covent Garden Night Market. This is a summer special. It runs through August on Thursday and Friday evenings hosting some fantastic stalls and catering for a variety of tastes. As well as tasty things to munch on while you’re there you’ll find all kinds of foodie delights: breads, meat, game, teas and coffees and Italian olive oils and vinegars as well as some of the Borough Market regulars. 

I arrived shortly after 6pm last Friday, just in time to meet some other food bloggers including Helen, Julia, Niamh and Krista before the entertainment began. 

Each Friday at 6:30pm the kitchen theatre on the West Side of the market plays host to some great chefs. Last week it was the hairy bikers who cooked up a three course meal of a starter with seared scallops and salmon, a Tuscan style beef salad and a dessert of zabaglione.

Hairy Bikers

The Hairy Bikers, being their hairy, entertaining selves.

HAiry Bikers2

 Si slices delicious fillet steak. I am jealous.

 Let me assure you that fillet steak was amazing. If I heard correctly, it came from the Northfield Farm stall at the market. Apparently on the 28th of August, the guest chef will be Fergus Henderson.  Pig’s ear salad, here I come!

After that little spectacle and almost being eaten alive by a Hairy Biker’s irate fan who NEEDED to be close to the bikers, it was time to explore the market along with Julia from a Slice of Cherry Pie and Niamh of Eat Like a Girl. The first port of call was obvious for me.

Prosecco and oyster stall
Quick! Join the queue before they run out!

Who could say no to oysters and prosecco? Ok, it supposedly isn’t the best season for them but they were still very good and at £10 for 6 oysters plus a glass of bubbly, they aren’t too badly priced. If you decided to indulge, try not to be like me and spill oyster juice down your arm and skirt. I smelled like fish for the rest of the evening. Classy.

As we sat and ate our oysters, I thought how nice it was to meet other food bloggers, especially after corresponding for so long over messages and e-mail. It was comforting to be chatting to two other young women and find out that they’re just as terrified of motherhood as me and for the same reasons. It’s not just the commitment or the physical and financial strain that worries us, oh no. It’s the thought of 9 months with no cheese, wine or rare meat! 

Continuing to explore the West Piazza, we found some very tasty salami.

 Chorizo stall

It’s a shame that the wild boar sausage had sold out by the time we got there but we got a taste of the spicy salami. I must say it was absolutely delicious with a substantial spicy kick.

And here we have a paella pan with paella.There’s always paella at these markets, isn’t there?

paella

Also present were Manor Farm. I have recommended these guys for years. If you want to catch them at Covent Garden, go EARLY. They sold out fast.

Finally, I got a briefly introduced to Michelle of The Lavender Bakery who is selling some beautiful cupcakes.

Cupcakes

 

Look at the little biscuits! They’re sooo cuuute!    

biscuits

This is Michelle’s first venture into retail and she is doing a marvellous job. If cupcakes are your thing, please go and support her.

All in all this was a very enjoyable evening. The mood was set well by the kitchen theatre and the stalls are fabulous. This time I only explored the West of the market but I will be back next Friday to have a look at the stall selling the flavoured teas and coffees that Niamh took advantage of and the stall with all the lovely olive oils. In fact, Goon is moving to a flat just 10 minutes away, so I imagine dinner next Friday will be from Covent Garden Market. Probably with some of that fillet steak. 

August 16, 2008

Filed under: Reared Poultry, Malay/Indonesian — ros @ 6:29 pm

Finally we’re out of budget zone. It’s been a gruelling 8 months, believe me. Goon has finally found a job, meaning my salary is now just for me and, as descibed in an earlier post, I won’t be putting down my flat deposit until after I get my final pay from Highgate, meaning everything has settled down.

Last weekend, Goon came back from his cousin’s weddng looking very smug with the news that a company in Baker Street had accepted him as their desktop support man. He filled me in on the details.

“They’re giving you how much!?!!” Goon looked smug as he repeated his salary. “You’re straight out of University! You technically don’t have a degree yet!” 
“Good, isn’t it?”
“But I know people with PhDs that earn less than that!”
Goon thought for a second. “Yes!” he said. “Like you!” Goon stuck his tongue out at me.
“I don’t count!” I replied indignantly. “I’m in for love not money. Plus, given that I work 35 weeks a year, I’m still paid at a better rate.”
 ”Even including my bonuses?”
“You get a bonus?” Goon nodded and looked even more smug. “Wait. You have no degree result. Given you attended precisely 4 lectures during your 3 year course, I don’t want to see your degree result. This is your first job, and they are offering you that much money!?”
“ I have experience.”

I sat bewildered for a second.

“That tinkering you did instead of going to school counts as experience?”
 ”Yep. Enought to earn me more than you!” I shook my head in disbelief.
“No wonder the economy’s collapsing.” Goon snarled at me.
“So how much is this bonus of yours going to be?”
“Twenty percent if all goes well…. so…. ummmm…..” Goon thought hard and scratched his head. “What do you get when you divide my salary by four?

I ran his last sentence through my head again.

“Are you sure they haven’t confused you with one of the other applicants?”

At that, Goon decided he’d taken enough abuse and went downstairs to eat some celebratory cream cakes. I took a minute to get over the news that Goon was going to be better paid than me (I am clearly in the wrong business) and then started looking for places to host a celebratory dinner.

Now he has a job and can therefore stay in London, it is certain that Goon will be living on his own next year. There’s no way he wants to go back to eating tuna rice again so I have bought him a wok and a wok book.

Goon LOVES his wok. It really is the ideal cooking tool for someone like him. He probably won’t do the most exciting cooking with it but he’ll feed himself more healthily than he used to. Admittedly I bought the book primarily for its inclusion of pictures (Goon won’t use a book without pretty pictures) but, from what I’ve seen so far, the recipes are ideal for him. There’s lots of easy dishes taking less than half an hour to cook and, on the off chance he gets more adventurous, more challenging material too. Or, more likely, I’ll just use the challenging mateial when I visit. 

On Sunday he had his first lesson: chicken with satay sauce.

Easy Chicken in Satay Sauce (adapted from The Essential Wok Cookbook, Murdoch Press, various authors- serves 2)

Chicken in satay sauce

  • 400g chicken breast, cut into thin slices
  • 2 limes
  • salt and pepper
  • peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying 
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 heaped tablespoon red curry paste (from a jar if you’re like Goon, made from scratch if you’re like me)
  • 2 heaped tablespoonfuls peanut butter
  • 200ml coconut milk 
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • Steamed rice to serve and perhaps some vegetables stir fried with ginger, garlic and soy
  • Chopped coriander to garnish (optional)
  1. Toss the chicken strips with the juice of one lime and some salt and pepper. Leave to stand for ten minutes.
  2.  Slice the spring onions into 1cm lengths on the diagonal.
  3. Put a teaspoon of oil in the wok, swirl to coat and get the wok hot. Stir fry the onion until starting to soften. REmove from the pan and set aside
  4. Shaking off any excess lime juice, add half the chicken to the wok and stir fry until they are golden brown in patches. Remove from wok and set aside, repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  5. Add the curry paste, coconut milk and peanut butter to the wok, stir to combine well.
  6. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  7. Adjust the heat so the sauce is bubbling gently. Let it reduce until it coatss your spoon thickly.
  8. Retuen the chicken and spring onion to the wok and cook for 2-3 minutes until the choicken is hot all the way through.
  9. Just before serving, stir in the juice of half the remaining lime
  10. Serve with steamed rice, a vegetable side dish, garnished with the remaining lime cut into wedges and chopped coriander.

Recipe Notes: I think marinading the chicken in a full on lime juice, lime zest, peanut oil, ground cumin and ground coriander marinade would make this better. But Goon is unlikely to have those ingredients next year, so we kept it simple.

*************

Goon has learnt several lessons from this.

  1. It takes ages to season a wok.
  2. Stirring too vigorously makes satay sauce fly across the room. If another person is in the room with you, it may land in her hair and then she may start hitting you with a frying pan.
  3. Woks heat up quickly and thick sauces can cling to the edges and burn if the heat is too high. You must keep the temperature moderate and scrape down any sauce that is clinging to the sides of the wok.
  4. Always read a recipe through from beginning to end before starting. Otherwise you will realise half way through that you actually need a side plate and someone to make some rice very quickly.

I also learned something: It is harder to cook a simple side dish and steam some rice while supervising a Goon than it is to prepare a 3 course meal for four people. Still the result was good, especially given the short list of ingredients and the relatively short cooking time.   The only problem was that the chicken itself lacked flavour despite being decent free range meat. A marinade in spices as suggested in the note may help this. The book didn’t even call for a lime juice, salt and pepper mix.

Goon will have another turn at cooking on Monday. Perhaps something with beef this time and I may get him to do ALL the cooking, including side dishes.

August 13, 2008

Filed under: Mediterranean, Reared red meat — ros @ 7:10 pm

We’ve all been complaining a lot about the weather this summer. It has truly been a mixed bag, almost like Britain has developed a monsoon season.  To make it worse, the rain likes to make itself manifest at weekends or at around 6pm.

The weather is trying to spite office workers! How rude!

During the day, it has certainly been hot enough to go out with just a t shirt on, but my leather coat remains in my bag in case the heavens decide to open a little bit earlier than expected.

The rapidly changing temperatures really confuse my appetite. As I went food shopping last Tuesday, it was a very warm and humid 22 degrees. I had a bit of a bargain binge, picking up half price duck breasts, and some lamb neck fillet reduced from £5 to £2.05 and half price broad beans. I was thinking lamb kebabs using some super cheap veg from the Turkish grocers and a broad bean and feta salad (feta also seems to be one of the grocers’ cheap items).  Sadly, as I went to leave Sainsbury’s I saw that it had decided to storm properly, complete with a bit of thunder and lightning.

Half an hour later, when I got home, the rain had just stopped. I was soaking from the waist down and my hands were numb. I NEED to buy a bigger umbrella. I certainly wasn’t up for summery lamb kebabs with a light salad any more. I was more in the mood for a casserole. Time for another score cupboard raid, I thought, and so this came into being…

It’s essentially a twist on a lamb blanquette, kind of inspired by lamb avgolemono (which I’ve only read about but never actually had). It was cheap, which is the important thing right now, and it still tasted very good: good enough for Goon to ask for it again. The ingredients were
From the bargain bin: approximately 500g of lamb neck fillet and 400g unpodded broad beans.
From the storecupboard/fridge/freezer: a lemon, some garlic, frozen peas, fresh tagliatelle, a splash of cream and an egg
From the Turkish grocers: parsley
From the windowsill: the remains of the poor mint plant, which is now properly dead.
Total spent on the meal: £2.02 for the lamb. 40p for the parsley and £1.37 on the broad beans, so under £4 for two generous servings.

Summer Lamb ‘Blanquette’

  • Lamb neck fillet, around 450g, cut into bite sized pieces
  • around 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into quarters
  • about 10 mint leaves, finely chopped, plus a sprig or two to to garnish
  • 2 handfuls of frozen peas, cooked.
  • 400g of broad beans, shelled, podded and cooked (I’ve put a note on how to prepare broad beans at the end)
  • 1 large egg
  • around 20ml of single cream
  • two servings of fresh tagliatelle, cooked (around 200g) tossed in parsley and olive oil if you like 
  1. Brown the lamb in batches over a high heat.
  2. Place in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil, then immediately turn down to a simmer.
  3. Over the next five minutes or so, skim the scum that rises to the top of the water off with a wooden spoon.
  4. Once no scum is left, drain the lamb and place in a pan with the vegetable stock. Bring back to a simmer.
  5. Add the lemon zest and the chopped mint
  6. After 30 minutes, the lamb should be tender. Strain off the liquid into a seperate saucepan, reserving all the solids and boil until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 2 or 3 minutes. This is to stop the egg mixture from curdling when it is added.
  7. Beat the egg and cream in a bowl. Add to the reduced stock, stirring constantly. This should thicken the sauce although you may need to return the pan to a low heat for this to happen.
  8. Stir the lamb and other strained solids back in. Add the peas and broad beans. Warm through, taste, adjust seasoning.
  9. Serve with the tagliatelle, squeeze over  some lemon juice, garnish with mint leaves and wedges of lemon.

Note: to prepare the broad beans: remove the outer pods and discard. Put the beans in their white casing into some cold water. Bring to the boil. After 3 minutes, drain and pour over cold water to cool them. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the beans. They’ll pop out of their casing and should be almost cooked.

 *************

If you’ve never tried lamb with lemon in a dish, you should try it. They pair up remarkably well. Sharp flavours cut through the natural fattiness of the meat. I noticed that the supermarket packaging suggested that lamb neck is grilled or fried. I suppose this works too, but it is amazingly tender when braised slowly like this.   Now, what to do with that duck….?

 

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 5:03 pm

So, not long ago I was asked if I was interested in supporting Allrecipes and their new website by giving £100 of Waitrose vouchers to a reader of this blog.

What I’d give to have £100 of Waitrose vouchers now! 

Bit of a no-brainer really. Shame I can’t enter this myself! So, below is a message from our friends at Allrecipes- it’ll just take a minute to enter and you never know,,,,

Please note, I didn’t write this but, if you have any trouble with links, let me know and I’ll try to fix.

Calling all Cookery Masterminds!

To celebrate the launch of Allrecipes in the UK, we and our friends at Waitrose are offering you the chance to win £100 worth of grocery vouchers by proving you know your basil from your bay leaves!

To prove yourself as the UK’s Cookery Mastermind you will need to do the following:

1.       Find the answers to the five questions listed below

2.       Take the first letter of each answer to make a secret code

3.       If your guess is correct you could stand a chance of winning a bumper weeks grocery shopping

1. What type of cheese is needed to make Nanmurat’s legendary salad? Hint: Click here

2. Edie Moon’s strawberry salad is both sweet and ­­­­­_________? Hint: Click here -

3. Polly Welby’s heavenly chocolate moouse does not include which poultry product? Hint: Click here

4. The Cobb Salad was invented in which country? Hint: Click here -

5. Black Bean Salsa was inspired by what type of cuisine? Hint: Click here -

Got your code? Click here -  http://www.allrecipes.co.uk/ScavengerHuntEntry.aspx?cid=livingtoeat to enter

Good luck and happy cooking!

August 12, 2008

Filed under: Northwest European, Reared red meat — ros @ 12:20 pm

Just before I wrote my last little whinge about renting in London, I had just spent a day flathunting in Putney. I saw some painfully dire places. costing around £1,000 per month for really horrible dingy studios. Around two days later, when I was about to give up, we finally found a decent place, costing just short of £800. So I put down the holding deposit. Three weeks later the estate agents phoned. The Landlady had cancelled the deal. Apparently she’d decided to move back to London and wanted the flat back. B*tch. A week earlier and things would have been so much easier

So there I was, £500 poorer, until the agents returned my deposit, looking for a place to live in the most heavy season for letting. Further flat hunting in that area proved futile because I needed a place for the 20th of August and it was already the 7th: far too late to be looking, apparently.  I seriously considered going down to Putney in person to give my former landlady a big slap.

Turning my hunt to Hammersmith, I was given more promising news. In a fairly well known agency I was told “We’ve got two places. A studio with separate kitchen for £960 per month and a one bed flat for £1040.” I squirmed at hearing the prices but in spite of my better judgement, agreed to have a look.

The studio turned out to be very small and poky and situated in a basement. It was the kind of place I would end up sharing with a family of mice. ”No way,” I thought ”not for almost a grand.”  

The one bed flat looked much more promising. It was still being done up but it had a nice big bedroom and certainly had a decent view over some greenery. There was just one thing that confused me.

“So where’s the kitchen?” The agent shuffled uncomfortably. It appeared that he wasn’t expecting me to ask this. “I DID only ask for self contained properties with seperate kitchens” I reminded him.
“This does have a seperate kitchen” I looked around. 
“Where?”

He pointed to the back corner of the room where two flimsy partitions had been put up. “Just there.”
“THAT’S A KITCHEN?!” He nodded. I scratched my head in disbelief. “I thought it was a toilet cubicle! Or a boiler cupboard!” I opened the door. “WHAT’S THIS? IT’S TWO FOOT SQUARE!  In front of me was a tiny cubicle, not even the size of my arm span containing a two ring electric hob and a sink.  “This is NOT a kitchen! There’s nowhere to store any food.”
“Well, technically its separated from the rest of the flat and contains a hob and a sink. That makes it a separate kitchen.”
“Separated from the flat? It’s separated from the rest of the flat by TWO PIECES OF CARDBOARD!”
“It’s enough, I’m afraid” “I poked and prodded the walls. Nope, no cupboards hidden here.”What the hell do people DO with places like this?!” “Well, there’s enough space to heat up a tin of something” he suggested helpfully.
I gawped for a few seconds then came to my senses. “Right, well….thanksverymuchI’llbegoingnow!”

I left very, very quickly.

Now this was by no means the worst flat I saw, although it possibly was the worst value for money. Apparantly, if you live in London and want to live in a single person’s/couple’s accomodation, you DO NOT COOK.

That is unless, like me, you are very persistant. After much searching I did find a reasonable studio with a big kitchen and a gas hob that cost considerably less then the two places I mentioned in this post. Apparantly I was lucky. It had been on the market for around 6 hours. It took me roughly 5 minutes to put down a holding deposit.

Of course, agents’ flat descriptions never give you a true indication of what a place is going to be like so, if any of you find yourself in my position, I have written a brief guide to finding a decent one person flat in London.

First Some Vocabulary

  • Studio Flat: A single room with a sofa bed/pull down bed. 
  • Small studio: Really, you’re just going to have the bed.
  • Spacious studio: You can possibly fit in a T.V and sofa.
  • Self contained: you get a shower, toilet and ‘cooking’ facilities to yourself, you lucky devil!
  • Open plan kitchen: One wall of the studio has had a sink and a hob fitted with a couple of cupboards and a mini-fridge. 
  • Kitchenette: You have a two ring electric hob and a sink. No kitchen cupboards or washing machine.
  • Seperate Kitchenette. One of the corners of the room jutted out, so the landlord has put up a partition and shoved the hob and sink in there.
  • Close to all local amenities: There’s a small convenience store/Costcutter withing 10 minutes walk.
  • Good transport links: You are guaranteed that at least one bus stops less than 5 minutes away.
  • Close to tube: Your location has increased your rent by approximately £200 per month.

And some tips…

  1. Start approximately 4 weeks before your proposed move in date. Any earlier and your offers are likely to be rejected because you can’t move in soon enough. Any later and all the places have gone.
  2. Don’t bother looking online. The market moves so fast that the listings are constantly out of date. Get down to where you want to move and talk to the agents in person.
  3. Well known and respected estate agents rarely give you any bullsh*t. The little independant ones are a lottery. 
  4. If a place seems inexpensive but is near a tube station, be prepared for it to be rubbish.
  5. If the place has just been put up for rent by someone who used to live there, don’t be too suprised if they decide to move back in or sell it instead. Things are far more stable if the property has been let before.

And, yes of course I do have some food for you… comfort food of the highest order from my point of view. I was still budgeting when I took this flat, but after having such a grueling day, Dad, who’d been looking at flats with me gave me £10 to treat myself and Goon. He’s very sweet like that. So I popped down to Borough the next day to try out a recipe I’d had in mind for ages.

Sirloin Steak with Sauteed Girolles and Watercress Pureé (outline recipe, adapted from Ramsay’s ‘A Chef for All Seasons’)

a psychadelic puree with steak

  • 1 sirloin steak
  • 100g watercress
  • 25g spinach leaves
  • 15ml double cream 
  • 100g girolles mushrooms, halved if large
  • handful flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, minced
  • olive oil

Make the puree by boiling the watercress in well salted water for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and wait until they have wilted completely. Drain and squeeze as much water out as possible. Process the leaves with the cream until you have a very smooth paste. You can add more cream if you like to make it into a sauce.

Brush the steak with olive oil on all sides, season and cook to your liking. 

Sautee the girolles with the garlic in olive oil until soft, stir in the parsley, cook for about another minute.

Serve the steak with the mushrooms and watercress puree. We had some steamed broccolli as a side dish.

***********************

As you might tell from the ridiculous close up of this dish, I found this ridiculously hard to present well. Why? Because the sauce was GREEN. I don’t mean the nice dark forest green that Mr Ramsay somehow managed to produce for his book but bright, bright green. When Goon decided he wanted to have his sauce as a pouring sauce and I added more cream, it was positively luminous.  

Despite being a little ‘colourful’ this was a nice relatively simple way to serve steak. The sauteéd girolles were gorgeous and the pureé was good, full of flavour from the peppery watercress but with the  the spinach coming through with almost equal strength. Providing you process it for long enough, the pureé will have the perfect texture:absolutely silky smooth.

So in short, I certainly recommend this in terms of flavour but it possibly isn’t one to try for a dinner party.

These steaks are from Farmer Sharpe’s in Borough Market. They turned out to be a bit less expensive than those from my usual butcher and had a noticeably different flavour and texture. These Galloway cattle give a very ‘beefy’ steak (if that makes any sense) with a strong flavour that reminded me a little of buffalo. I recommend trying them out if you get a chance.