“Flank Steak with Salsa Verde” from “Repertoire”

That’s a lot of steak for three people. I make no apologies for my over catering.

Want to know a secret? If you’re ever short on time and you want a meal that truly can be done in 15 minutes (I’m looking at you, Jamie Oliver), grill a steak. It truly is the quickest of quick meals.

But before you take the not-even-10-minutes you’ll need to grill the steak, make this salsa verde. It couldn’t be easier. It literally is a matter of throwing herbs, olive oil, seasoning and a bit of vinegar into your food processor. It is delicious. It looks impressive. It even keeps if you have leftovers. Win. Win. Win.

If you have an additional 10 minutes, you might as well roast some new potatoes in olive oil and garlic, like I did here. The thing that will take the most time is cutting each potato in half so you’ll have more crunchy bits by the time you’re finished. In my experience, everyone loves crunchy bits.

Sure, it was a bit of a cheat to “test” this recipe, given the amount of times I’ve made steak for dinner. But I’ve never had any complaints here when I’ve informed the family that we’re having steak for dinner.

But one final note, especially on a day where there’s been demonstrations around the world about our current climate crisis. I am very cognizant that the farming of beef, and specifically the farting of cows, contributes to our climate crisis. For that reason, steak is very much a special occasion treat. I’m trying hard to moderate our diet to include more vegetarian nights beyond Meat Free Monday, and more fish nights beyond Fish Friday. We can all do our part, and every little bit helps.

“Flank Steak with Salsa Verde” from “Repertoire”

“Salsa Verde” from “The Magic Fridge”

This idea behind “The Magic Fridge” is simple, but ingenuous: you make a large quantity of some type of “magic” ingredient– in this case, salsa verde– and then the cookbook provides you with a variety of recipes in which you can use the ingredient.

This blog is no stranger to the joys of salsa verde. It’s been used several times in a variety of cookbooks, all with success. It seems it’s best paired with fish, but I also could see it being used as a nice dip for vegetables (and indeed, that’s one of the recommendations in the “The Magic Fridge.”)

This recipe did not seem wildly different from other salsa verde recipes I’ve used and it was good. However, it should be noted that the quantities it produces is MASSIVE. While I know this makes sense from the book’s perspective– since the whole point is to make a lot of something and then have it to hand to use in other things– the yield for this recipe is so large (600 grams worth) it would take this family a very, very long time to get through it, especially since you can’t freeze it.

However, I am good at math– or at least I can half the output of a recipe when I need to do it– so that’s what I did here. I still had plenty left over for several different recipes [watch this space] but not so much that it didn’t go bad. I’m looking forward to trying it with other foods too until I’ve used all of it.

“Salsa Verde” from “The Magic Fridge”

“Salsa Verde Tuna with Sicilian Tomato & Pasta Salad” from “Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals”

Time taken to prepare: 35 minutes, 21 seconds (not including set up)

Nicholas (9): How much time did it take?

Maureen: This one was just over 35 minutes.

Nicholas: This is not a 15 minute meal. It’s not even a 30 minute meal.

Maureen: Maybe they should call the book, 15 Minutes for Jamie, 30 minutes for everyone else. What do you think?

Andrew (12): It’s alright.

Nicholas: This is not my type of dinner. Or, as I would say, “NMD– Not My Dinner.”

Maureen: That’s too bad, because this tuna is gorgeous. And expensive.

Tim: I thought it was good, but it’s similar to something we’ve had before.

Maureen: I’m not sure about that, to be honest. I think this is entirely new.

Tim: The sauce is definitely a retread.

Maureen: Yes, that’s true. It’s salsa verde. I’ve made this loads of times before. In fact, I think the first time I made salsa verde was from a Jamie Oliver cookbook. It’s perfect with fish. Would you like me to make this again?

Tim: Sure.

Andrew: Maybe.

Nicholas: N-O. That spells no, in case you were wondering.

A snap of the destruction we had to clean up afterward. It’s not pretty, is it?

“Salsa Verde Tuna with Sicilian Tomato & Pasta Salad” from “Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals”

“Roasted slashed fillet of seabass stuffed with herbs, baked on mushroom potatoes with salsa verde – a la Tony Blair” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”

Anna: I’m feeling very nostalgic, eating a dish named after Tony Blair. I’m sure you are too. Don’t give me that withering look.

Peter: Did Jamie’s next book have a recipe for T-bone steak?

Anna: New Labour, those were the days.  I thought this was going to be too much hassle for a mid-week meal, what with having to make the salsa verde and all. But it really wasn’t, and it tasted yum. It was a taste of the past.

Peter: It certainly was.

Anna: Do you remember, I made this at your flat in Balham for someone or other who came to dinner years and years and years ago? So long ago, I can’t even remember who we cooked it for! Was it Miff’s birthday?

Peter: I don’t think we’ll ever remember. We haven’t had bass in a while, I enjoyed this.

Anna: Me too. It was a bit decadent for a weeknight, but I will remember this recipe for when we’re having people to dinner.

Peter: It’s obviously a classic.

Anna: I’ve been so transported back to the early noughties that I’ve drunk far too much wine tonight. All I’m missing are the Marlboro Lights.

“Roasted slashed fillet of seabass stuffed with herbs, baked on mushroom potatoes with salsa verde – a la Tony Blair” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”

“Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat”

Andrew (11): The cod is really good.

Nicholas (8): I’m really familiar with cod.

Maureen: How is that then? Please explain.

Nicholas: Cod is always the fish I pick when I have fish and chips.

Maureen: That explains the overfishing problem, then. What do you think, Tim? This is your Father’s Day special.

Tim: I’m really excited about having lentils. We never have lentils.

Maureen: Do you like them?

Tim: How could you not? They’re delicious.

Continue reading ““Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat””

“Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat”