Oh hello my little French speaking child. Is your pancake ready you ask? Why yes it is. And here’s some Nutella. Mommy and Daddy had a big day on the farm. If I had access to take out or Mcdo’s, I’d be all over that.
But instead, you get crepes smothered in rich, hazelnut ju-ju.
And you will turn out okay. And you can tell your mates at the pub that when mommy and daddy weaned the calves, you’d get pancakes. And I love you. Pancakes for dinner builds character.
Gordito, the Bœuf that keeps on giving. Gordito was packed in fleshy, freezy lumps of unidentifiable origin. So when I defrost some beef, it’s always a surprise ( say “sur-preez” ) when it’s all warmed up and ready to go. Today’s beef was steak. I decided to thinly slice some of this entrecôte and brown it, remove and then rest.
Meanwhile, I slowly buttered up some onions and mushrooms with a clove of garlic. Easy now, don’t go browning the onions. A nice softening is what I was after. Don choo just love onions and mushrooms in a pan bubbling with butter? Yeah, me too.
I added a splash of wine to grab some flavor off the bottom of then pan. I added back in the steaky bits and lunch was ready. I served with cole slaw. My cole slaw is actually a slaw copy made by Coles supermarket in Australia. So really we call it Coles’ slaw. The essential ingredient to bring it from American Slaw to Coles’ Slaw is the addition of some chopped carrots with all the rest of the mayo and things.
… and yes, that is a lime-green Porsche Cayman by the steaky bits. This photo was not fluffed. You’ve just peeked onto my kitchen bench into my world where a Kinder Egg Surprise toy makes it to my workspace and is not moved until after I snap a photo and realize, ” oh look, a Cayman.”
What to do when you had a busy morning and forgot to bring the frozen flesh out to defrost. You reach for ” cooked porky bits.”. A fleshy bit roasted, enjoyed, put to the back burner then frozen waiting for a moment, the moment, to save my arse when people need to be fed and I ain’t got nut’in. At last, “cooked porky bits” stepped up to show me what it’s got. and this was its fate:
1) Chicken Pot Pie – the biscuit edition.
Chicken pot pie is a quick “oh crap” dinner. Made from scratch, it’s probably quicker and more tasty than the frozen equivalent. For this round, with these ingredients, I substituted pork for chicken. In southwest France, chicken is hard to come by. “Cheap” chicken is bad, very bad and not so cheap. We are in duckville. I can make duck confit cheaper and tastier than I can serve chicken. So why fight it? I embrace and work with what I have. Which is pork, duck and beef.
My chicky pot pie was served without a hint of change until Lucy caught on and the buzz ran quickly around the table. Otto, my number one chook pie fan, loved it. The others didn’t detect anything. It tastes like chicken. Brent gave it a taste and said “it could be ritz crackers” for all he knew.
2) Stir fry
If you don’t dig on wheat ( though said pie was made with Einkorn ), I used the rest of “cooked porky bits” on a spicy stir fry for the adults.
Hot peppy spice
A couple mushies
All fried hot hot in lard
Just step back and line up your steel.
Not unlike riding the shoe-shine wagon, you need to keep ’em coming. He’s on
A roll. Work it. Love it.
The smell of slow, buttery onions followed by small bits of garlic and ginger sprinkled with curry leaves. A setting that awaits your next move fills my small corridor kitchen of dreams and excitement.
This beef simmers in Sri Lankan wonder waiting for the cauliflower spice that doubles as rice.
Salad ( pronounced ” sah – lahd ” ) with cute, little tomatoes and some avocado from Maroc.
Chops. Shallow fried in lard.
Potato cakes. Yesternight’s mashed pots ( buttah, creme fraiche ) with added chives. Also added, a fresh- from-the-chook’s-bum egg and it all went a beautiful yellow. Shallow fried in lard and unicorn tears.
And chard. You know, cook the hard bits first. Then add the leafy bits with some stock. Cover and uncover to reduce.
I spent a good few hours figuring out the right treatment for a whole lotta pig skin. I’ve read that every breed is different with regards to crispy, crunchy crackling. After many attempts, I settled in on high heat for a spell, then turn the oven down low to puff and crisp. This routine worked perfectly with crunchiness at a maximum and saltiness at a suitable level and satiability at a medium. I did the skin deep fried in lard and it came out looking good, but hard as a rock. I salted before, then placed on a roasting rack for my high-low process Dinner is soon and all I can pallet is a brisk, veggie stir-fry. That crackling, when done right, is a meal to fence a paddock on. It keeps you energized, ready for more productivity on your farm.
Yeah, so some of my best friends are Lebanese. Yeah so he’s not all that great at ping-ping. And so he needs to use the hand break to move a car with a clutch stopped on a hill. But we love him. And we love his mum. When she comes to town, you learn how to cook for many, hungry people.
She cooks dish after dish of Lebanese yummidom that makes you sit back in your seat, loosening your buttons while giggling or singing. I’m not sure why I have a fear of leftovers, but tonight I tapped into my inner Lebanese mama and cooked a whole lotta meatballs. The kids munched and munched. We giggled. We sang. I think I’m going to arrive here again. Food, it ties a room together.
Perfecting pork crackling, some pork/beef combo waiting for some garlic-onion-ginger treatment, a little ground pork waiting for its moment to shine, cauliflower waiting for cheesy melty goob … these are the ingredients I work with. Full now, tomorrow brings a full day of what to do with the leftovers.
My daughter, Lucy, LOVES steak frites. Since we have our fair share of steaky, beefy yum at our hands, steak frites is a dish we are familiar with.
These babies were “mo-jo”-ed. Which means sliced in half and then cut into thick wedges. They were then smathered ( I know, not a word, but they were smothered and smacked ) with lard that was melted briefly in a small copper pot. Then in a high oven to bubble and crisp. I turned down after they were well on their way and got the steak going. While the steak rests, the chips finish up, get out of their lard bath and dust up all salty like.
And we eat. And we let steak juices meet frites fluff. And you dream of the cheese and cappuccino to follow.