I have been trying to find the right subject for my first post of 2013. There have been various successes and failures in the kitchen, the successes being fairly unremarkable dishes until recently. Two things happened the other week, the first was I went to a local farmer’s market as my favourite pie man was there. I popped along to the very small event, probably only about a dozen stalls but it was good as it wasn’t table after table of home made jam. Each stall was different and after getting my hands on the pies I was pointed in the direction of the veg stall. I eyed up the veg and have to say by looks it was all good. I decided to buy some kale and potatoes to try out but did sign up for a very reasonably priced veg box to be delivered.
This was just the start of my latest inspirational journey. I was then working at our head office in London for the week and for my pleasure, but my wallet’s detriment, this is right next door to Borough market. Then to add into the mix an invite to my mum’s for the weekend who has a lovely big kitchen where I usually end up cooking (against my will honestly). Come Friday, I knew my veg was being delivered and I scoured the market whilst trying to avoid the annoying tourists who seem to think it’s a place to just stand in the way and take photos.
I headed for the mushrooms first as we’d already decided to have steak. I had no idea what I was doing, I just love the veg stall in Borough, especially the mushroom part, a food I never liked as a child and now love. I picked up what seem to be my usual now, girolles and chanterelle, shoving some in a bag and then spied some Japanese Enoki and another variety I didn’t even ask the name of but like the look of. Then I spied pink oysters which to me look like the kind that people make into cakes and tea (so I’m told). That was it, I had to buy and go before I bought the whole lot.
Then onto meat and I perused the meat counters to find some tasty looking ribeye steak for three of us. Organic steak, my wallet almost had a heart attack. Oh well, it’s been a while since we had dinner at my mum’s and mums are worth it. I needed pork for my non steak eating wife and being me I chose loin chops even though she doesn’t eat meat off the bone, but by jove it will be cooked on it. So off to Ginger Pig it was and the pork looked so good as well as feeling silly for only ordering one chop I asked for a few more and a slab of pork belly. This trip to just pick up a few things for one dinner was getting out of hand so I grabbed some lunch and headed back to the office, somehow stuffing my purchases into the small office fridge.
After a couple of after work drinks in the Market Porter where I probably talked food mainly, I gathered my bags and headed home to Essex, sitting with a proud look as my Borough Market bag sat next to me on a not too busy train. Yes fellow commuters, you look and wonder what’s in there, feeling envious of my fresh produce. I get home and walk to the local curry house, order dinner and grab a lift home where my wife is waiting with cold Cobra in the fridge for me. Well, really I’m not going to start cooking late on a Friday night.
The next day I am able to have a proper look in the veg box that had arrived but actually then realised I had no need of it for Saturday night but all was not lost as this just gave me ideas for Sunday and beyond. I pack my bags, knives, a few herbs, seasoning, the steak, one huge pork chop and the mushrooms and head with my wife to my Mum’s. After a freshly ground coffee I get to work, slicing red onions for slow cooking, in goes rum, a little sugar and butter to cook in a tray under foil for a good two hours on a low heat. I love cooking onions this way.
We decide on chips to go with them, oven chips my way. Maris pipers are peeled and chipped and coated with garlic and rosemary olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper and they basically roast in the oven I guess. The pork was seared in a pan with seasoning, nothing fancy and then transferred to the oven with a dash of honey. The steak again, nothing fancy, salt & pepper and pan fried to just under medium as I like ribeye cooked a little longer. The mushroom are washed and fried up in thyme and butter with the exception of the Enoki which I put in a Dijon mustard, olive oil, honey and cider vinegar dressing as an alternative to mustard with the steak. Bit of a mushroom overload but no one seemed to mind.
Dinner was served up with the addition of tomatoes that had roasted in the pork juices. It’s a meal that never fails to please and always produces empty plates. I love steak and was my second in the space of three days. Mine was better. Look out for part two coming up with the contents of the veg box and what I’ve cooked up with it in the kitchen.