FRIDAY 24TH AUGUST 2018
I buy pieces of fish and keep them in the freezer then, when I want it, take it (usually salmon) out of the freezer and put it into a saucepan of soup I always have in the fridge.
I boil the soup up once a day – it’s made of all the leaves and roots of vegetables which are left over from the preparation of previous meals. The washed outside leaves of cabbage, onion, bits and pieces, all go in with stock and water. Even the halves of lemons I’ve squeezed which are periodically discarded. When I cut up a pumpkin, I wash and cut off the tough skin. I cut it so as to leave some pumpkin flesh on the skin. That’s cut into thumbnail size pieces then boiled in the soup a few times before I serve them. In other words, I avoid them when I dish up the soup until I reckon they (the pieces of skin) are cooked and soft enough to eat.
Anyway, back to the salmon piece. It defrosts in the soup in the fridge or, if I’m in a hurry, I simply boil the soup with the frozen salmon in it. Once the salmon is cooked through, I carefully take the salmon out of the soup, take off the skin (if I was cooking it in a pan I would crisp the skin) and discard it as it’s not appetising. I pour a dessertspoon or two of the soup over the fish and the juice of half a lemon, a splash of soy sauce and the juice of a garlic clove. That’s served with raw baby spinach leaves and whatever else takes your fancy. Easy isn’t it?
PS. Remember – fish cooks quickly so be vigilant.
Friday 17th August, 2018
“Saddle up to have a bloody good steak”. If you were to saddle a cow you’d arrange the saddle over the eye fillet and porterhouse. This epistle concerns itself with the fillet and your cooking of this most tender cut of beef.
The eye fillet, as you know, is a tongue shape without sinew on the outside – that is if your butcher has done his job diligently. If any fat or sinew is, in fact, on the meat you must cut it off.
Now cut a 4 cm thick piece from the fillet, then with the palm of your hand, or knuckles, flatten that portion of fillet so it is 6 mm thin (or less).
Heat a lightly oil sprayed hot plate or non-stick pan to be very hot. Drop the flattened meat onto the hot pan or plate. After a half minute, turn it, sprinkle it with garlic salt, turn it and instantly remove it from the heat source.
It should be moist and succulent, not dry and flavourless. (I splash it with a little olive oil). It must be served IMMEDIATELY with little else on the plate other than a splash of lemon juice.
But DO NOT OVERCOOK!
I feel obliged to can the oft-held view that eye fillet steak has no flavour. Not so! It has a subtle flavour which must be nurtured. Eye fillet’s flavour needs no help as do inferior beef cuts. Admittedly, it must be cooked while you watch it. It doesn’t require added flavours other than a little oil, garlic and salt.
I must admit I serve it with fresh raw baby spinach leaves, a slice of orange and a smile.
Friday 10th August 2018
PETER’S POLISH SAUSAGE ROLL WITHOUT PASTRY.
A similar recipe originated in Poland I’m told. Anyway, if I’ve bastardised the Polish version, I apologise. But as there are said to be only four original jokes and all jokes are versions of those originals, I suppose it’s the same story with recipes.
For instance, I claim orange juice instead of milk in scrambled eggs. But the idea was muted to me long ago by the Drama Director of the ABC. And I didn’t invent scrambling eggs anyway. So there!! I think the recipe writer simply supplies an idea and the reader mucks around with that thought-starter – what’s in the fridge, what suits his or her palate or purse. So, having said all that, if this tickles your fancy (or palate), try it. And feel free to alter it to your heart’s (or fridge’s) content.
By the way, I serve it with beetroot – either from my oven or straight from the tin – sliced or the whole baby beetroot.
1 tablespoon butter; 115g mushrooms, finely chopped; 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs; 350g chicken breasts, finely chopped; 2 eggs, separated; 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg; 2 tablespoons plain flour; 3 tablespoons olive oil; salt; freshly ground black pepper.
Fry the mushrooms in the butter till they’re soft then let them cool before mixing them in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, chicken, egg yolks, nutmeg, a sprinkle of salt and some ground black pepper. In a separate, clean, bowl whisk the egg whites till they’re stiff then stir half the egg whites into the chicken mixture before folding the rest of the egg whites gently into the mixture.
Shape the mixture into sausage-shaped rolls about 7 cm long and 2 cm wide.
Roll the ‘sausages’ in flour, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry them, turning them from time to time till they’re cooked through and are golden brown – about 10 minutes. Serve hot.
This recipe should make about 12 ‘sausages’.
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