Lamb Boulangere

I purchased a new device recently. A mandoline. Not a mandolin, that’s like a weird guitar. No this is a mandoline. It’s a slicing device. And in the wrong hands it could take a finger off. Fortunately it’s in the hands of Happiness Stan so nothing will ever go wrong. Ever.

The great thing about a mandoline is that you can slice things quite thin, but, more importantly, evenly. All nice and neat. Which is what I needed for Lamb Boulangere

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Online Shopping and French Onion Soup

This festive season I decided, to minimise the pain associated with christmas shopping, to do it all online. Of course, like a Pavlov dog, I had erased from my mind the reason why online shopping is not all it’s made up to be.

It’s easy to browse for something, to be sure. It’s easy to pay for something, of course. What isn’t quite so easy is obtaining your goods. It’s a hit and miss affair.

Your online shop of choice might state that you will receive your goods in one to two days. Then you get home (having ordered something at work for example) and find a card saying ‘we tried to deliver but you weren’t in so we’ve sent your parcel back to the depot’. But, you think, it’s supposed to come tomorrow!

Or, just as easily, the item that should have been delivered in one to two days turns up three months later, and you can’t even remember why you purchased it, or who it was for.

So there I was, waiting for one of those ‘delivery next day’ parcels. And I was quickly running out of ‘next day’, so to speak. But I had tools. I had a tracking number. With this number I could track my item. I could see, virtually, where it was. At that specific time it was…

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…‘Out for delivery’. I lived in hope. But not expectation.

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Obelix and the Wild Boar Casserole

Many, many years ago, when I was a lad, I had an ear-ache. Nasty one too. My father, in a moment of altruistic generosity, arrived home that evening from work with a comic. It was called ‘Asterix the Legionary’.

It was a story about a little Gaulish warrior and his best buddy Obelix. They roamed ancient France, bashing Romans and eating wild boar. A lot of wild boar. Obelix liked to finish off three or four in one sitting, and they were always (well nearly always) eaten roasted.

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Obelix could eat as many wild boar you could throw at him…

Later, as I got older, I realised it wasn’t a moment of altruistic generosity that led my father to purchase the comic. He liked it too. In fact whenever he got me one for Christmas or a birthday, he’d read it first. The cheek.

But I always wondered what wild boar was like. I mean from what I have read and heard, wild boar is like pork.

So when I took a trip to my new best-place-to-buy-food (the Farm Shop down the road) I spotted some wild boar, vacuum-packed. I knew I had to try it.

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Coq au Vin Redux

You know that thing where you think you can cook a recipe because you did it before so you must know how to do it again without Googling it? You don’t? So you remember how to boil an egg? It’s 3 mins of course.

Actually maybe its 4 mins….See, those that cook can easily get trapped in the ‘Valley of Indecision’. That deep, dark area where you start second-guessing the amount of flour, the exact proportion of water and milk, the number of seconds to leave that fillet steak frying in butter…

So this is what happened when we had Coq au Vin with Croissant. Coq au Vin with Croissant? What kind of messed-up tomfoolery is that, I hear you yawn at your PC/laptop/mobile device. Well it’s what it says on the tin;

You make a Coq au Vin, and then you stick some croissant on it. Easy. Except this version didnt’t turn out exactly as I remember it.

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Yes this is Coq au Vin…

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Steak au poivre

Or Pepper Steak. Simple enough concept, but check the internet and the gastronomes get pretty heated. It doesn’t have cream. Yes it does! It only has red wine. Brandy, you fool! Pepper should only be applied to one side of the steak. Oh you moron, its both sides.

I could go on. Basically I had two small fillet steaks, some brandy, cream and not enough peppercorns. In fact you’re supposed to have green and black peppercorns. Which I had. I bought the green ones by mistake thinking they were capers, for something else. But they’re pickled so I forgot about them.

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