“Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fries” from “My Paris Kitchen”

IMG_8403Steak Night!
I can’t tell you how much our family loves steak night. But the family member who loves it most is our (newish) dog Buddy, who goes out of his mind when I’m cooking these glorious slabs of red meat.

(Fun fact: Buddy also gets super excited when he sees the small white bags from our butchers Drings. Because we get his weekly bone from there, he thinks every bag from there must be for him. Buddy is awesome because his happiness and enthusiasm for life– for white bags from the butchers or tennis balls or belly rubs– is infectious.*)

But I digress. Back to steak night. I realised as I was cooking the steaks they are the ultimate in quick delicious dinners. If you were only going to have  steak and a side salad, your dinner would be ready in 10 minutes. Take THAT Jamie Oliver.

However, in this case, I also made the french fries, which took much longer. I was skeptical that any fries I could make would be good, but alas, I was wrong. I followed the instructions carefully and actually, it wasn’t as big a faff as I thought it would be. While preparing the potatoes it helped that I got fully distracted by listening to a debate on Radio 4 about Brexit while I was cutting all of the frites, so that helped enormously, as that’s the most fiddly part of the process.

Be warned, though: If you want to make these fries, start well in advance, as after you’ve done all the peeling and the chopping, you have to soak out the fries for one hour in cold water, and then bake them for another 45 minutes. This is not a speedy process, but the end result was a delicious tray of frites. So much so that I was worried that they would never make it to the table, since everyone seemed to be stealing them off the baking tray while I was finishing the steaks.

The mustard butter was a triumph, but only if you happened to be over the age of 17. The boys were not at all tempted to use it, let alone try it. Perhaps they didn’t want their steaks to be adulterated in any way. Who knows. But we didn’t care, because that meant there was more for us.

All in all, steak night was a resounding success. Or, to be more accurate, it was a resounding success for everyone who got to eat it. For Buddy the dog, he was left to lick his lips and give us mournful eyes during dinner. Better luck next time, Buddy.

To make this yourself, click through this link to find the recipe on Tastebook.

*For the dog fans among you, [non-dog fans can skip this addendum] here’s a recent snap of Buddy in his favourite place in the whole wide world. Greenwich Park. Luckily, he goes there every day, which means his infectious happiness level is maintained. He’s a lab-cocker spaniel mix. His tongue really isn’t that big, it just looks enormous in this particular picture because he was trying to catch his breath during our morning run.

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“Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fries” from “My Paris Kitchen”

“Chicken Rye Schnitzel with Mustard Sauce” from “A Bird in the Hand”

IMG_6651Cooking this recipe is hardly testing out the cookbook because as soon as I read the ingredients and the method, I knew my family would love it.

I was right.

What’s not to love? Chicken pounded down, then breaded and fried. To top it all off, a creamy mustard sauce. Yum.

Unfortunately I did have to deviate somewhat from the printed recipe as despite my best efforts to make rye breadcrumbs, they didn’t work out. The bread wasn’t stale enough, so I didn’t get bread crumbs in the food processor, but something more akin to bread mush. I ended up using some sourdough breadcrumbs that I had in the freezer that worked just as well.

For us, this is a delightful variation of the firm family favourite, chicken parmigiana. Only in this case, there’s no tomato sauce or mozzarella cheese.

Would I make it again? Absolutely. It received a universal thumbs up from around the dinner table.

Would you like to make this? Sure you would. Click through on this paragraph to get the recipe, which was printed in the Telegraph.

“Chicken Rye Schnitzel with Mustard Sauce” from “A Bird in the Hand”

“Chicken and Fennel with Honey, Mustard and Orange” and “Black and White Pilaf” from “Change of Appetite”

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Yes! Yes! Yes! This was absolutely wonderful in every way, if just a little bit time-consuming to make. The two kinds of rice complimented one another beautifully. And the chicken and fennel was a winner too. The mustard and orange added a little something special to the mix. Would I make this again? Oh most definitely. I might even make more so we could all have a little more because it was so yummy!

“Chicken and Fennel with Honey, Mustard and Orange” and “Black and White Pilaf” from “Change of Appetite”

“Baked Whole Trout with Jersey royals, peas and Mustard Sauce” from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals

Prep time: 10 minutes.

Cooking time: 20 minutes 20 seconds

Ella: This tastes like fishy chicken.

Kirstin: That’s because it is fish.

Tom: So you had to make it against the clock. What were your tips?

Kirstin: It’s rather like preparing for battle. I have to take a deep breath, read the recipe several times and get all the kit ready (remembering to familiarise myself with the food processor in this instance). Also have a glass of wine ready as it’s all a little bit stressful, this ticking clock business! This took 20 minutes and it would have been quicker…

Tom: If it hadn’t been for those pesky kids…

Kirstin: I was even able to tidy up as I went along.

Ella: Meddling kids, daddy. Not pesky!

Kirstin: I would make this again. I really loved that sauce with the horseradish. Anyone want to eat it again?

Ella: I would!

Tom and Georgia: Me too! (in unison).

“Baked Whole Trout with Jersey royals, peas and Mustard Sauce” from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals

“Pork chops with mustard and capers” from “Good Things to Eat”

Kirstin: I think this should be called yummy pork chops with mustard and capers! That was the yummiest pork chop recipe. Ever! What did you think?

Tom: I agree. It was great.

Kirstin: It was like Nigel Slater, only better. Not too much cream. And the flavourings worked beautifully.

Tom: Indeed. The sauce was fantastic. And all those little details when cooking the chops made them so much better.

Kirstin: I like the way he said “don’t torture them by overcooking them”.

Tom: But also the way he has you tip the chops up on end to render the fat. Yum! The sauce went brilliantly with the potatoes, too.

Kirstin: Didn’t it?

Tom: And I loved the lettuce! I love cos lettuce. Can we have this again please?

Kirstin: Tell me about it! How many pork chop recipes have I done over the years? Millions! And that was the best one. A perfect combination. Genius. I love this book already, just for this recipe alone!

“Pork chops with mustard and capers” from “Good Things to Eat”