Saturday, February 24, 2007

Surf and turf

D and I wandered around M&S food department trying to get inspiration for dinner tonight, we had pondered getting a table at Restaurant 22 but it’s too popular and we’d left it too late again. The chiller cabinets of M&S are somewhat spartan which I guess makes decisions easier; it’s more like what’s left? The problem is that we’ve not really shopped off our lunch so we’re not feeling too bothered about food but knowing that MC and LLcT would be probably not be feeling so laissez faire about a possible lack of dinner tonight, we think harder. We go looking for M’s beloved crab gratin but the cupboard is bare. However there’s some lovely looking thick cut wild salmon so that seems a good start and we add a packet of blinis and plan to mix some horseradish into some crème fraîche. We make sure that the LLcT’s ham coffers is replenished, we get a couple of packets of Iberico ham and some Parma ham and this gives us the idea of wrapping some beef fillet with the Parma and serving it with some purple sprouting or tender stem broccoli. Okay, so now we’ve made our decision we just have to find all the elements. M&S doesn’t seem to have any beef fillet left so that means a trip on the way home to the dreaded obese supermarket that D and I despise but unfortunately is conveniently local or should I say looming. And luckily they do have beef but what on earth has happened to their vegetables? I can only assume a plague of vegetarian locusts have stripped the shelves bare. However after some foraging we find some mushrooms which will go nicely with the ham-wrapped beef but still I hankered after something green though we do have some mâche left from the Waitrose shop last night so that will have to suffice.
It’s not as if we decided to have the delicious meaty slices of salmon and fluffy blinis so I could christen my crystal handled butter knives but that’s just a bonus and they do look awfully nice! And D puts her new copper tailed knife to good effect by chopping the chives ever so finely to finish off the zesty hot horseradish and crème fraîche sauce. A really delicious and frankly so easy starter for two weary shoppers to prepare!
The fillet steak turns out extremely tasty as well. I sauté some of D’s smoked garlic with a little duxelle of mushrooms and a splash of red wine to add a moist layer under the Parma ham, we tie it up and pop it in the oven for 25 minutes as we all like our meat rare. The mushrooms are softened in the garlicky buttery juices remaining from making the duxelle and get stuffed with a little sautéed leek that we didn’t use in last night’s flamiche and topped with either Cheddar (for LLcT and me) or Gorgonzola (for D and MC) before grilling until bubbling. The requisite green is provided by the ubiquitous mâche and a good splash of balsamic vinegar.

Okay. maybe not a traditional surf and turf but a very elegant Restaurant 74 interpretation!

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