The yeti abode will be empty for an indefinite amount of time, hence my comeback on this blog. Oh, hey. This means that I get to come home from work to escape into the kitchen, not be shooed out of the kitchen. Frankly, I don’t see why anyone would ever want to escape from the kitchen. The kitchen is my sanctum sanctorum, as Garfield’s kitty bed and blanket is to him (I modelled myself after Garfield as a child…which actually explains an awful lot now, but I digress).
During my university days, I had a copy of Nigella’s Express. It was my first cookbook and has been rendered extra special and memorable because Ms. Lawson signed it herself, addressed to me. I love Nigella for many reasons: her deep, rich Oxonian accent as she narrates her way through graceful swirls of woody sauces, coupled with her immense love for bacon and cream – oftentimes together. I don’t know why any man or woman would turn her down, in the kitchen or otherwise. I have since given the book to my mother for her safekeeping, but I’ve memorized quite a lot of her recipes.
This recipe has been a tried and true favourite of mine for a while now – except this time I took the liberty of modifying it ever so slightly by dusting curry powder, garam masala and chili powder into the marinade. Also, I used pork chops instead of steak. And I threw in other types of vegetables in place of mash in a bid to detoxify. I ought to have been more liberal with my dusting, because albeit I could smell the curry, I couldn’t quite taste it. Ah, well. I tossed in a few cloves of garlic for good measure. I love garlic. Completely unapologetic about it.
I marinated the pork in the morning before I left for work. My marinade consisted of curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, 2 cloves of smashed garlic, salt and a liberal dose of olive oil. A tip that I picked up from Nigella: whack your meat as though it were your supercilious ex-boyfriend so that it becomes a bit thinner and cooks more evenly and quickly. I parboiled my vegetables and served them without any dressing. Also, I ate my dinner with a generous serving of mustard and wasabi and hot sauce combined in one.
Here’s Nigella’s original recipe for your modifying/reading pleasure. Apart from the ingredient change, my methods are no different to hers:
Flash Fried Steak with White Bean Mash
60 Millilitres Olive Oil plus 2 teaspoons
1 Cloves Garlic crushed
1 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary (optional)
1 Lemon zest & juice
1230 Grams White beans (3 cans)
4 Entrecote steak (150g each) thin cut
1 A pinch of Salt to taste
1. First, get on with the beans: put the 60ml of olive oil in a saucepan, and mix in the garlic. Add the whole rosemary sprig, if using, and the lemon zest and warm through. Remove the rosemary, but do not throw away.
2. Drain the beans and rinse under a tap to get rid of the gloop and then add to the pan and warm through, stirring and squishing with a wide, flat spoon so that the beans go into a nobbly mush. Season to taste; some beans come saltier than others.
3. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of oil in a large frying pan and cook the steaks on high for a minute and a half a side. Remove to warmed plates, sprinkling some salt, to taste, over them as you do so.
4. Squeeze the lemon juice into the hot pan and let it bubble up with the meaty oil, then pour over the steaks. Serve immediately with the bean mash adorned with the reserved rosemary sprig.
I might make some sweets over the weekend. Aren’t you excited?!