Sunday, 21 December 2014

Livening-up a steak dinner

Yesterday it was my turn to cook, and since I have not been feeling so good I was looking for an easy meal to do. Jane said she fancied a steak so that's what we had - except that I didn't want the meal to be too plain, so I made one or two extra bits and pieces. Here are our two Sirloin steaks, marinating with garlic and black pepper.

No chips this time, but a great big fluffy Jacket Potato (i.e. one baked in its skin), and a very special salad made entirely from home-grown ingredients - this salad:

It contains lettuce, radicchio, endive, rocket, leaf celery, landcress, chervil, mustard, chicory, mizuna and probably a few other things I have forgotten to mention. I think this one really does qualify as "Mesclun"!

To go with it I made some Hazelnut mayonnaise.

Jane showed me how to make this. It's really easy (when you know how), but utterly delicious. It uses a whole egg, half a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and a 50:50 mix of light olive oil and hazelnut oil, all combined into a smooth creamy texture by dribbling the oil into the other ingredients through the slowly-revolving blades of a food-processor. Many people think that making mayonnaise is very difficult, but I can reassure you that made this way it is definitely not!

The final enhancement for the salad was these crunchy croutons, which I made with stale bread doused with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and cooked in the oven at a high temperature for about 15 minutes until golden. They add a very different texture dimension to a salad.

Whenever we eat steak we try to have a bottle of this particular wine - a St.Chinian from Chateau La Dournie. It is a much lighter wine than many people would choose to serve with steak, but it suits us exactly.

Incidentally, the only place in the UK where I know you can buy this wine retail-fashion is Majestic, though the place we first encountered it was in the restaurant chain called Cote. We like it so much I once contacted the vineyard directly to ask where I could buy it! Unfortunately none of our supermarkets stock it.

So here are the results:

I think you will agree that all this was a sight better than just opening a tin of spaghetti hoops....


  1. I like making mayo too. But I make it vegan as eggs in the US can be contaminated with salmonella (I know in the UK they vaccinate the layers, I wish they would do that here). So to use eggs I'd have to pasteurize them which is just too much work. So I use a tablespoon of flax meal and 3 tablespoons of water as a substitute. Playing with oils is fun to get different tastes. My current favorite is 1T coconut oil (melted), 3 T olive oil. 1/4 c canola oil (or other flavorless oil), and a few drops of sesame oil.

    1. That sounds like an interesting technique, Daphne - though more like a school Chemistry experiment!

  2. Lovely. Hope you're feeling a bit better now. They're falling like flies here, Eleanor started yesterday and Daniel's been dosing himself with Paracetamol today. My Dad's on the Lemsip. Let's hope they're all better in time for Christmas Day, by which time, according to the odds, one of them will have surely passed it on to me.

  3. I'm shocked that you have heard of spaghetti hoops. Martyn is starting to feel a bit better after his 'bout of feeling unwell but I have started to feel not quite right. Hope that it's a blip.

    1. Well, a friend told me about spaghetti hoops (I have never experienced them myself, you understand)... Sounds as if you and Martyn have had / are having the same as Jane and me. Little spells of nausea, but nothing too dramatic. Hope it passes soon - you don't want to be sick on Christmas Day!

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Malia! Maybe we should start a Supper Club? (It might be a bit too far for you to come though!)


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.