Saturday, March 22, 2014

Trout Salad with Tangerine Dressing

Wednesday 19 March
The two trout we cooked on Saturday came out of the fridge to make dinner salads tonight (obliging little things, they are). 
We flaked the pink flesh on a bed of little gem lettuce, rocket, tomato, sliced red onion, yellow bell pepper, and Kalamata olives.  And since trout love citrus, we scattered tangerine sections in, and drizzled the salads with a dressing of oil and white vinegar flavored with tangerine zest and orange juice. 

This is so good, it's worth making double the amount every time you cook fish.

Tortellini in Brodo

Tuesday 18 March
The chicken broth from last Saturday, which has provided spoonfuls of richness for our various meals since then, needed to be used up.  So we sautéed some finely chopped onion, celery, and carrot in a pot, poured in the broth, and simmered to get all the vegetable flavors.

When the soup was ready, we boiled a package of Co-op spinach and cheese tortellini in it.  Okay, it's not a patch on tortellini from our favorite Roman pasta all'uovo place (Casoli, on Viale dei Quattro Venti), but it did the trick.

Köfte Var

Monday 17 March
It was St. Patrick's Day, so we had to have Turkish food.  No really, Holt had gotten some lamb mince from the Co-op, and there are only so many shepherd's pies you can stand.  

So Barbara reached far back into her memory of meals out at Sardis (where the restaurateur Yalçin intoned the menu in a voice like gravel) and we made Turkish-style meatballs, or köfte.
We mixed the ground lamb with finely chopped onion, dried currants, and an egg, seasoned with salt, pepper, coriander and cumin, and formed them into "ladies' thigh" shape.  As we don't have a barbeque, we fried them in a pan, though broiling would have done just as well.
We served them with sliced tomatoes and Kalamata olives, drizzled with drained yogurt seasoned with lemon zest, salt and pepper. 

Not quite the same as at Yalçin's, but not bad at all.

Trout and Mushrooms

Sunday 16 March
Hooray, hooray, the Bibury trout farm man was at the Farmers' Market today!  As before, four of the little darlings swam home with us, two to eat tonight and two to brown and keep in the fridge for later.

Today's two were simply floured lightly (by sifting the flour through our smaller, finer sieve), and fried in butter in the pan we had just used to fry a batch of mushrooms (which were perfectly happy resting under cover until the trout were ready to join them).

Pork Roast and Braised Endive

Saturday 15 March
We got a "Sunday joint" of pork at the Co-op, but to be frank, we have not enjoyed the British style of roasting it tied up with the skin still on.  In our opinion, the resultant "crackling" is too tough to eat, and by the time it's crispy, the pork is an overdone sacrificial offering. 

So we untied and butterflied our pork, and roasted it with rosemary, under foil, for an hour at 190º C./375º F. until it came to our standard 140º F. on the instant read thermometer.  Result was tender and juicy.
To accompany it, we braised a pair of endives.  We cut them in half, and took a wedge out of each root up to where it joined the leaves.  Then we fried a little bacon and put the endive halves face down in the pan.  When they were browned, deglazed the pan with chicken broth and braised until tender.  Then topped them with grated grana and breadcrumbs, and broiled them just until browned. 

Pork and endive are now friends, though pork is still seeing fennel occasionally.

Venison Sausages with Fennel and Mash

Friday 14 March
Though there are stands at the Farmers' Markets that sell venison, we've not found venison sausages anywhere but the Co-op.  So we fried up a packet of them, and they are not bad. 
On the side were potatoes mashed with double cream, and sliced fennel braised in chicken broth.  Just a little out of the ordinary.

Christ Church High Table, Slightly Lower

Thursday 13 March
We went to dinner at Christ Church to meet up with Anna, Lydia, and Aneurin.  As it happened, there were so many people signed up that night that we actually had to eat at a lower table.  The shame!  But the conversation was stimulating, and the food is the same as on High Table. 
We started with honey-roasted parsnip soup with parsnip crisps and a dab of crème fraîche; it was served with sherry-like Lirac Dom la Fonde 2011.
Venison haunch steak, nice and rare, was the main course, served with raw cranberry and black pepper sauce, fava beans, and baby carrots on a bed of pommes Dauphinoise and shredded greens.  The wine was a rich Château La Rose du Pin Rouge 2009 that stood up to the deer nicely.  Take that, deer!

Pudding was a glass of tiramisu.  No dessert tonight, but we had drinks, fruit, and much more chat in the SCR afterwards.