Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Cambridge Chop House

Tuesday 18 February
We stumbled on the Cambridge Chop House through an internet search once we arrived today in Cambridge, the Other College City.  It sounded all the right notes for a gastropub: not a chain, local suppliers, honest cooking, and right near Trinity College, where we're staying while Holt consults a manuscript. 
There was a nice wine list as well as good beers, so we got a bottle of Domaine Trinités le Portail red Faugerés, to go along with a "Grazing plate": succulent beet-cured salmon slices, a very tasty roll of pulled venison, smoked duck breast slices, haggis frittered into little lollipops, a chunk of Godminster cheddar cheese, corn relish, and cracklings (still just pigskin to us), plus a few leaves of salad and some bread to prop it up.
We then split a Radwinter venison haunch steak with wild mushroom sauce, colcannon mash, and carrot and swede; and a seared loin and braised leg of rabbit with (a little) mustard, mushrooms, barley, and carrots - and just a tiny pellet of shot, which lets you know it was wild.
Harold had a plump whole trout, fresh and light pink.

We all liked our food, and we liked the Cambridge Chop House as well.

Roast Lamb and Root Vedge

Monday 17 February

We seem to be having a lot of lamb, probably because it's something we like a lot, don't get enough of in the States, and under Rome rules, it costs about as much as beef.  Tonight we roasted a butterflied lobe of it, with potatoes, shallots, and carrots roasting alongside.

Frittata and Chocolate Cake

Sunday 16 February
We began our Sunday at Latin mass at the Oxford Oratory (with Diane and Dag among the angels singing in the choir loft).  Then we went wandering with our friend Priscilla through St. John's and Trinity Colleges, admiring the spring bulbs, but after a large and excellent lunch at Café Rouge, we still weren't very hungry (sounds like yesterday).

We decided to make a goat cheese, courgette, and scallion frittata, with rocket and tomato salad on the side.
For a not-so-light dessert, we managed to wrestle down some slices of the gorgeous chocolate cake from Patisserie Valerie that Priscilla brought and had been carrying about all day.

Pork Chops and Courgettes

Saturday 15 February
Sybille our kind neighbor, who happens to be one of the grandes dames of Etruscan studies, had us over for a drinks party to meet our other neighbors in Murray Court.  We ate lots of smoked salmon on toasts, little sausages with hot mustard, and other snacky things, so we weren't enormously hungry for dinner. 

That made us decide to simply fry up some pork chops dusted with thyme, and a couple of sautéed chopped zucchini (as they don't say here).

Valentine Puttanesca

Friday 14 February

Inappropriate as it may seem, we made penne puttanesca for Valentine's day.  
None of the materials (anchovies, capers, olives, tuna, tomato purée) were quite as we have them at home (or in Italy).  But after all, indeterminacy is what puttanesca is all about. 

Sausages and Mushroom Mash

Thursday 13 February

We like the lamb, garlic and rosemary sausages from the Meat Joint, so we fried up two each and served them with mashed potatoes, topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions.