Now you hear a lot of ‘facts’ on TV, radio, the internet. ‘Experts’, with ‘opinions’, about ‘things’. For example:
It’s an absolute fact that if everyone in China jumped up and down at the same time, the orbit of the Earth would alter sufficiently for us to be put on a collision course with the Sun. Why? Well because the Chinese just get on and do what they are told.
If the population of Europe tried to do it everyone would start arguing; the Germans would want to tell everyone else what to do, which would cause the French to sulk, and the Italians would put two fingers up and go sleep with each other, whilst the Spanish would be too busy having a siesta anyway and would miss the whole debacle.
What about the English I hear you yawn. Well, we aren’t European are we?
Of course the Americans might be able to do it, but the Japanese would probably do it better. And cheaper. Probably more reliable as well. Now, where was I? Oh yes, facts.
If a butterfly in the Amazon farts, a dog gets a bad case of the shits in Hyde Park, London. (I put the London bit in there because there is a Hyde Park in NY State apparently, and I don’t want anyone there thinking their dog might take a random dump on the lounge carpet because of a butterfly; it won’t, he will do it deliberately to piss you off). Anyway, small changes having big consequences is called the ‘Butterfly Effect’. I think that’s it.
So I can handle being told all these interesting facts. Useful information even. I mean if I ever end up as head of the Chinese State and then go mad with power, I will just shout ‘jump’!
But being told what is good for you and what isn’t frankly gets on my tits. Red wine causes cancer, but it’s good for your circulatory system.
Red meat causes cancer, heart disease and bowel obstructions. But it’s got iron and protein, and they are good things.
Quinoa is an excellent healthy food, but looks like desiccated fish spawn.
So when is he going to get to some food you might well ask, if you’ve got this far. Well right now. Today’s offering on the culinary merry-go-round is ‘Satay Beef with Noodles’.
The combination of sirloin steak and peanut sauce was a new one for me, but it worked well (if memory serves).
Random selection of ingredients (why the water chestnuts, they weren’t in there. I think the photo is for the gratuitous steak shot)
- 1 sirloin steak (a biggish one cut 1 inch thick will serve two)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the satay sauce
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup peanuts with a handful of cashews mixed in
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- Glass of sherry
- 1 green chilli, chopped
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt, to taste
For the noodles
- egg noodles (medium)
- 1 onion
- 1 red and 1 green pepper
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice
First prepare the steak by brushing on some olive oil and rubbing in some salt and pepper.
Whizz the nuts with some salt until they are form a rough paste (you could add a drop of oil to smooth the process).
In a small pan fry the chilli, garlic paste and shallot for a few mins. Add the tomato paste and combine.
Add the soy sauce, lemon and sugar and stir.
Pour in the sherry and allow to reduce by a third . I added a touch more tomato paste but you don’t have to.
Add the nuts and simmer until the sauce is sufficiently thick to your liking.
Prepare the noodles (my ingredients list doesn’t have to be your ingredients list).
Finally the steak. Heat a ridged skillet ‘till it’s smoking!
Fry the steak each side for between 4 and 6 mins depending on your preference for rareness (I like mine really rare).
To serve slice the steak cross-ways and arrange on a warmed plate. Take a deep food ring, and fill with the noodles, pressing down a bit to make sure they don’t collapse when you remove the ring.
Pour some of the satay sauce over the steak in a thick dribble and decorate with a few slices of chilli.