Sunday, 18 January 2015

A vegetable dish "on the fly"

Last weekend we paid a visit to our local Chinese cash-and-carry, coming home with a lot of oriental goodies and plenty of inspiration! Since I have been out at work, Jane has made most of the meals this week, and we have had two Chinese-style dinners, one Indonesian and one curry. All those meals were really delicious, but when it came to my turn to cook I decided for a change to make something "European".

This was not a special meal; just an everyday one, so I had a rummage through the fridge to see what we had. There were lots of vegetables, and these therefore became the basis of my meal.

It began with boiling some potatoes and making some mash. Then I lightly fried some onions in a saucepan, and when they were done I added to the pan about a litre of water, a splosh of bottled chicken stock and a big pile of vegetables - carrots, parsnips and Butternut squash. I cooked them for a few minutes until tender and then drained them and left them to cool. Tipping them into a gratin dish I spread them out, seasoned them with salt and pepper and sprinkled them with a few chopped leaves of sage.

The mashed potato was spooned on top of the other veg, roughly smoothed-out and dotted with small pieces of butter. The final touch was to grate a little Parmesan cheese on top.

Then (at the appropriate moment) into the oven for about 40 minutes at 160C to brown the potato.

Meanwhile, I prepared the meat element of the meal - some thinly-cut pork steaks. I smeared them with a very small amount of vegetable oil and covered them with a generous grinding of black pepper.

Cooking them was easy - just a few minutes on a hot griddle-pan.

Final touch was a sauce made with cream (Elmlea, actually), shallot and crushed green peppercorns.

So here it is all together - griddled pork steaks with green peppercorn sauce, accompanied by mixed-vegetable gratin.

It probably wouldn't earn me a place on Masterchef, but it certainly served the purpose for which it was intended. Maybe I should also have done some Brussels Sprouts, just for their colour? That's why I added the Parsley garnish, by the way...


  1. You could Be a chef in your own restaurant. I enjoy reading your food articles.

    1. Thanks for the compliment! However, I'm sure there must be a big difference between producing food for two and for a whole restaurant full of paying customers. I'll just cherish the thought,,,

  2. Yum. We didn't used to eat very much pork as Mick wasn't keen on it but his tastes must have changed as we're eating more of it these days which is good as it's very reasonably priced.

  3. What a great meal to use up leftovers, well done you! I wish we had a Chinese supermarket type ting close by. We order most of ours requirements but I'm sure it would be a different experience in real life.

  4. I like the sound of the veggies dish,

  5. Mark, That looks delicious! I like the look of the mixed vegetable gratin and green peppercorn sauce is one of my favourites! Sarah x

  6. A nice comforting dinner. Those vegetables look particularly good!


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