Review of last week’s recipes: click here to see post
Hmm, the highlight last week is a toss up between the salmon with the preserved lemon mayo, and the schezuan pepper beef.
I didn’t have the chervil required for the preserved lemon mayo, so I substituted with some fresh mint from my garden, which was just delish. Mint and asparagus (which I grilled on the bbq with the salmon) are great mates.
The beef was superb. It’s a bit of a treat, as the beef ain’t cheap (around $20 for a 400g piece of fillet, which serves 2) — so whilst it was lovely, not something we’re going to have often (but perhaps great for a dinner party, as it is quick and easy). I seared the beef on all sides in a hot oven-proof pan, then popped in a 180 degree oven for about 10 minutes. You can tell how well-done it is by giving it a squeeze with your tongs — if it feels soft, it’s rare; greater resistance and it’s well done. Ours was perfect — pink in the middle and melt in the mouth. The schezuan peppercorns, ground to a fine powder with salt in my mortar and pestle, gave it such an incredible flavour. And the ginger greens — yum! I used bok choy and brocollini.
The chicken quesadillas really needed the tomato salad accompaniment, plus a tomato salsa to add a little zing. I had neither, unfortunately. But they were still really tasty — I loved the green chilli in the chicken mix.
The risotto recipe suggests chopping up the pancetta and adding to the baking dish with the rest of the ingredients (stock, etc). I bought a couple extra slices so that I could fry in a pan with sage until crispy, and place on the top of the dish (with shaved parmesan, of course) to serve. I found that whilst the pancetta added flavour to the body of the risotto, the little extra on top made it a little more interesting and added to texture.
I had a trés biz weekend, was unfortunately unable to squeeze in a food shop. So, we’re having pantry dinners — let’s see how many meals I can invent from my cupboard’s bits and bobs! Tonight we’re having a tuna pasta bake. Tasty, but not quite schezuan pepper beef!
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