Friday night is fish night but I wanted something so simple I could do it standing on my head whilst imbibing a glass or two of a rather fine cabernet sauvignon. Well, this is it. The trout was gently pan fried in olive oil, turned after five minutes and the skin removed with a fish slice. Then I cooked it for another 3 minutes. The Jersey Royals I had sliced prior to boiling them for 15 minutes, then draining them and adding a large wedge of butter, a dash of sea salt and a spritz or two of black pepper.
The mange tout I popped in a hot oiled wok for 4 minutes, then added several dashes of crema di balsamico before serving it alongside the trout and the potatoes. I had earlier added 4 tablespoons of mayo to a bowl with the juice of half a lime and several basil leaves roughly torn. Stir it round then gently tickle it along the cooked trout.
A wonderful Friday feast that makes you feel healthy just by looking at it.
The mange tout gives the dish a little crunch and the flavours simply skip off the plate.
Some suppers require little more than good ingredients and a firm splash of simplicity. Tonight it was just my daughter and I so we decided to go for a dish that reflected the weather. Not quite summer, and still a lot of spring rain in the air. A dish that blended the freshness of early summer with the warmth of late spring. So I turned to my trusted friends – new potatoes and smoked bacon. Made for each other.
I popped 10 halved Jersey Royals on to boil for 15 minutes until a knife could slip through them with delicate ease. I fried 4 rashers of good bacon once the spuds had cooked. I then drained the Jerseys, added a grind or two of black pepper and sea salt and added them to the frying pan to soak up the juices and take on a little colour.
The next important thing is to turn off the heat and let the potatoes cool for a few minutes.
Into two bowls I added a variety of salad leaves that were lingering with intent in the fridge plus some finely grated fresh beetroot. I then sliced 10 San Marzano tomatoes and shared them between the bowls. Then, with a steady hand, I dealt out the potatoes and the bacon slices which I had each snipped into three pieces or so.
I gently tossed all the ingredients and added a swirl or two of a balsamic glaze.
This is the simplest of suppers and yet one which, like a butterfly net, catches the very essence of the finely poised seasons of Spring and Summer.
And you leave the table thinking, yes, all is well with the world; Summer is not far off, and Spring is still watching over us.
The marriage of tastes is sublime – and it looks good too.
Right, time for another glass of tempranillo.
I know, I know, rack of lamb again….boring…sorry, but as it was so good last month I succumbed and ordered another rack from Parsonage Farm – please check out their website!
So, we had it ce soir…and I am still in Jersey Royal mode, so these were, once again, bosom buddies with the lamb.
But…. I had also a large bag of greens – and I felt that they needed more than just a stiff steam. So, I popped a large wad, sliced pretty thinly, in a wok with an inch of water- put a lid on and let them wilt a tad for 5 minutes. I then drained the green goddesses and whilst they lay recumbent in the colander, I added a grind or two of rock salt and some crushed dried chillies. Whilst they rested, I pan fried some finely cubed chorizo til almost crispy – transferred this to the now clean wok, popped it on the heat and stirred in the greens. The flavour was very very tasty indeed….I could imagine it with turkey at Christmas….but it certainly went well with the lamb.
Anyway…it was different…and it brought a hint of warmth, along with the succulent lamb to a frankly disastrously damp Wednesday. The cockles of my heart at least now feel dry and mellow…..