Prawn Cocktail, Pork Loin & Velvety Chocolate Pots
This was the menu for Saturday 6 October 2012.
I woke up Saturday morning for a very nasty surprise: my house had been flooded because of the excessive rain in Totnes. I went in the kitchen to have breakfast and the kitchen floor was covered in water and I soon thought David had left the freezer door opened, but it wasn't that, and I realised that water was coming from the bedroom (I live in an upside down house and the bedroom is at the back of the kitchen), in fact it was coming from inside the wardrobe.
There was an inch of water in my bedroom, my rug was soaked and my Jamie Oliver book was lying on top of it, it got a bit wet but fortunately the rug got the most of it so the book survived. David's book was beyond repair though.
Inside the wardrobe, pairs of boots and baskets with handbags got very wet and I had to spend my morning trying to sort it out before teaching piano and then cracking on with the cooking. My boiler packed out at the beginning of the week and I had to wash the dishes in cold water. I mean, what could possibly go worse?
I nevertheless, tried to keep the spirits up as I had 2 guests for dinner, for the charity, Alan and Tommy, and I know those boys have a great appetite, so I tried to cook something quite substantial. I chose the pork loin recipe, David got a superb piece of pork from another local butcher, Luscombe, 48, Fore Street, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5RP.
The piece of pork was excellent, vert lean and tender and I am going to stress again the importance of supporting your local community and choose butchers over supermarkets. You will find it is not more expensive and the quality is infinitely superior. These people know what they are talking about.
This piece of pork was boldly cooked in lots of cider vinegar and bay leaves which made the flavour supremely rich. I, at first, doubted it, but as Jamie asks in his book to trust him, so I did, without any regrets.
It is not a very difficult recipe to make and I would encourage the beginners to try it.
I made neeps and tatties to go with it and it was the lightest, fluffiest mash I ever tasted, I often find, when you mash potatoes with other vegetables (like swede in this one), you can't really taste it a lot, but it makes the mash less heavy and lumpy then potatoes alone. Some peas and broad beans on the side and that was it. Everyone had seconds, which made 4 slices of pork each.
For dessert, chocolate pots. Very rich desserts, it really needs the fruit to break through it and a very small portion goes a long way. Strawberries went well with it but I suppose raspberries or cherries would have done the job as well. You might want to try it with dark chocolate? It might be less sweet, I can't tell as I have't tried it myself.
The starter was the old-fashioned-coming-back-to-fashion prawn cocktail. This one was slightly different, it had smoked salmon, tomatoes and cucumber. Jamie suggests we serve it in empty jam jars and it was a lovely idea! It can also be taken for a picnic, you take the jars, open them, a squeeze of lemon on top and...yummy!
Dinner was served in my French bistrot and as It is getting rather chilli in the evenings, I bought a little fan heater to keep us warm.
Another lovely evening with friends, some more money raised for charity and another 4 dishes down through the Jamie Oliver book. Who could complain? David has done the washing up for me and I couldn't!
We all drank cider with it, which accompanied the pork beautifully. Lads brought the cider and thank you for them. After we ate, the boys went to the pub for a pint and I watched the X-factor, even though I don't think this year is a very good year, a couple of quite good acts though.
Hope you are enjoying this blog. See you very soon.