Monday, 16 September 2013

Three Good Things - Three good meals

Since starting Tonight's Menu I have tried to steer clear of the weekly round up of meals style blog post.  The main reason behind this* is that it is "Tonight's Menu" not "This Week's Menu".  That aside, I have had good reason not to be writing this week, my Mum is visiting.  It may not sound like a good reason to you, but I like to spend time with my guests, especially family, rather than spending the evenings typing.

Luckily, a wonderful blog concept from the glorious Liz, who writes at Margot Barbara, may well have saved my blogging conundrum.  Three Good Things is a roundup of three things that Liz is grateful for over the space of a week.  As this blog is about my evening meals, here are the three best ones that I have cooked this week

Good Meal One - Harissa Baked Trout

The thing with Mum is that she is quite a fussy eater.  There are very few meals that are completely off the menu, apart from any form of cured pork.  Ham, gammon and bacon are all persona non grata when she visits**.  We are making progress with some of the other foibles, fish being one of them.  The problem with fish is the fiddly nature of them.  It is written that Mum will find a bone in every portion of fish she is served.  With this in mind, I took extra care to pinbone the trout fillets before applying some harissa paste and baking them in a tinfoil parcel.

I served the trout with couscous, roast peppers and cherry tomatoes.  By the time the fish had been flaked off the skin and mixed through the couscous Mum was more than happy.  As were Z and I as we love fish and don't eat it often enough.

Good Meal Two - Tuscan Bean Stew

With the drawing in of Autumn and the shortening of the days, I have already started thinking about comfort food.  One of my favourite and most comforting combinations is that of sausages and beans.  The combinations of flavours that you could use is only limited by your imagination and good taste.  We bought some Italian inspired sausages from Sainsbury's over the weekend and cooked those with onion, celery, borlotti and haricot beans in some pork stock for a couple of hours.  The stew was finished with green beans and spinach.

Good Meal Three - Gigot Chops

The third good meal was courtesy of Mum.  We had decided to have some lamb as Z, who can't stand the stuff, was out for the evening.  I pointed Mum in the direction of Kirkgate market, told her who my favourite butcher is, and left the rest to her.  I imagined a Barnsley chop or some shanks but Mum was on a mission.

Having found B & J Callard, she walked in and flummoxed the young butcher by asking for two Gigot Chops.  He didn't have a clue what she was after, but one of the more senior members of staff was there to help.  The Scottish gigot chop is what the English call a leg steak and although I will have eaten it in the past, years of living in England had let it pass from my memory.  It is easily my favourite cut of lamb.

So there we have it, three good things, three good meals, all completely different and all wonderfully tasty.

*other than my odd obsession with following unwritten rules that I have set myself.
**I have been known to smuggle bacon into dishes but once it is cooked down it acts more as a seasoning than an ingredient.

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