Saturday, 25 January 2014

Market day and a good mood

Woke early this morning and felt like it might be a cooking day. We rose gently, some pain au chocolat and a delicious (large) cup of spiced tea set me up for the short walk to the local market. There is a great fruit and veg stall there. On the front of the long stall is all the fruit and veg most of us would recognise. Behind that, set out behind the staff serving the customers is another long display of the exotics. Methi leaves, galangal, chillies, mooli, okra and dozens of other items I have yet to play with and learn their names. My basket was soon filled with herbs, peppers, asparagus, rhubarb and a whole lot more including a large bowl of oyster mushrooms.

We returned home with our purchases just in time for lunch. I put a pan on the heat and sweated off some sliced onion with minced garlic. Meantime I hammered out two small rump steaks ready for flash frying. Once the onions were browning I added a small amount of red wine to colour  the onions and added a handful of the oyster mushrooms to cook through for a minute or so. I then set this aside, wiped the pan and put it back on a high heat. A touch of oil and butter soon started to smoke telling me it was time to fry off the steak. A minute or so each side had the meat nicely coloured. I had toasted off some fresh chunks of grand paysan bread ready to take the steaks. Once the pan was clear, a dash more of red wine deglazed the pan. In went the onions and mushrooms to mix in with this flavoursome jus for a second or two before being doled out onto the steaks. A quick spread of good English mustard on the top section of the bread and the steak sandwiches were ready.

The rest of the day was spent cooking off the other goodies I had purchased. Two bunches of watercress and a good measure of creme fraiche were blended to a fine mix and poured into a tray in the freezer to set. I'll cut this into pieces later and put it into sous vide bags with filleted and rolled farmed turbot I picked up for £4 a fish. These will then be frozen ready for a quick but delicious meal later in the week.

I fried off a chopped onion, a stick of celery and two sliced garlic cloves in a large pan. A litre and a half of vegetable stock was added and the remainder of the oyster mushrooms, some thyme and parsley. 15 minutes of simmering followed before I used the Bamix to blend this to a thick mushroom soup. 400ml of creme fraiche was also blended in to make a delicious and warming meal for later in the week. Enough for six large and filling bowls. They are now ziplock bagged and cooling ready for the freezer.

With all that cooking out of the way all that is left to do is to clear down the kitchen, set the dishwasher off. Put some potatoes, swede and cabbage on to cook along with the Haggis. Sit back with a nice scotch and look forwards to a pleasant Burns night in front of the fire while a storm beats on the windows outside.

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