I was discussing money-making schemes the other day. You know the kind of thing – creative thinking. Blue-sky discussion. There’s a box, right over there. Now go get in it and then step out of it, whilst thinking.
One idea that came to mind was supper clubs. How could you make money from that? Provide support to people who want to start one? Recipes, equipment, online networking?
While I was sitting on the sofa playing with the new Xbox One (it’s great – you yell at it instructions and it does stuff e.g. ‘Xbox On’ and it switches on. I’m trying to teach it the command ‘Xbox More Wine!’ but it isn’t quite there yet. Any I have (shock) completely lost my train of thought. What was I prattling about…
…oh yes, while watching telly a woman was explaining why she held supper clubs. She was single and liked cooking but didn’t want to cook for one. So she started a supper club. What surprised me was that generally the people who came didn’t really know each other.
And people do it for different reasons – making friends, looking for love and of course people who like eating. She had some tips – keep it simple; you don’t want to spend all evening in the kitchen. Offer something to eat as soon as people turn up, otherwise they will drink too much and you could end up with a fight/orgy on your hands. And don’t expect reciprocation. Not everyone likes cooking!
Anyway, I have no intention starting a supper club. Much too much hassle. But I know what I would serve up if I did. It would be my go-to favourite dinner. Meat and potatoes with a bit of greenery (to keep the health police quiet). Sirloin Steak with Fondant Potatoes and Bok Choy.
Regular readers will know my love of this particular creation – I’ve blogged it more than once I think (at least the elements of it anyway) – but as my great grandma used to say ‘you can’t plagirise yourself’.
I will beat around the bush no more. On to the food…
(Serves 2 – if you did actually serve this at a supper club or whatnot then just multiply up the ingredients to accommodate your guests)
For the meat
- 1 thick-cut sirloin steak (at least an inch)
- 1 large knob of butter (‘large’ is in the eye of the beholder)
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly flattened with the side of a knife
For the potatoes
- Baking potatoes – one potato makes one fondant potato. Use the leftovers for mash or something
- Several large knobs of butter. Controversial I know, but there is no point doing this if the idea of huge pools of melting butter turns you off.
- 1 pint of vegetable stock
- 2 sprigs of thyme
For the greenery
- 2 heads of Bok Choy (I won’t go on about the multiple different names for this. Been there. Done that.)
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ pint vegetable stock
First thing, the potatoes. Peel then get a food ring or pastry cutter and push it into the potato.
Use a towel to prevent hand damage. Cut off the rounded ends to leave nice neat potato tubes.
Melt (a lot of) butter in a large frying pan until bubbling but not too hot or the butter will brown too much. Add the potatoes and fry gently for five minutes by which time they should have started to form a crispy crust. Turn over and repeat.
Add the stock and leave to simmer, covered, for forty minutes. Check occassionaly, adding a bit of water if necessary.
Meanwhile cook the greens. Slice each bok choy in half, lengthways. Place in a large bowl and add the ginger, icing sugar, oil and soy sauce. Use your hands to coat the veg in the rest of the ingredients.
Heat a drop of oil in a frying pan. Add the pak choy, cut side down and leave to cook until it begins to caramelise. Turn over and add the stock. Leave to simmer for 10 mins.
Lastly the steak. You will, of course, have left it to reach room temperature. Smear some oil over the meat and season well.
Get a skillet, wipe some oil on it with a paper towel and heat until smoking hot. Add the garlic and then place the steak onto the skillet and leave to cook for 2 minutes. Do not move! Turn the steak, add the butter and cook for a further two minutes, spooning the butter over the meat.
Remove from the skillet and place on some silver foil. You are ready to serve.
Slice the steak across the grain and place on a plate. Arrange the potato and pak choy on the side and pour over some of the various juices. I like to eat this with some horseradish relish (not sauce, that’s too bland – hardcore relish will only do here).