Tuesday, 26 June 2012


Those who have read more than one post on here will have noted that I attribute a lot of my cooking influence to my Step Father.  Well, as well as a huge culinary influence, he is also rather...opinionated...on the food I produce, and after most blog posts I will receive something like the below in my inbox the next day.

Re my pickled egg post. 

Subject: Don't let me catch you using pink peppercorns again

I’d have flung a bay leaf in and got hold of some proper pickling spices from the Coop.

You could do more on the pub food/pickles theme.

Scotch eggs?
Corned beef hash in little containers?

*won’t even spellcheck….

Oh and don’t admit that you’ve not even tried what you are suggesting someone else is about to spend an hour making!*

*(I have tried them now, they were fine).

I'm not entirely sure what his beef with pink peppercorns is (too girly?), but it's fair to say that Keith is pretty particular with his cooking and it's a brave (wo)man who messes with a classic in his company. I was once severely berated for telling him on the phone that I was making a beetroot risotto, "BEETROOT RISOTTO!  Fuck me.  Seriously, beetroot risotto? Have you got the Marcella Hazan book? I'll get you the Marcella Hazzan book.  You wouldn't catch Marcella Hazan making beetroot bloody risotto."  I haven't lived it down since.

Usually my response to any highlighted cookery faux pas is to sit back and wait for a new book for my shelf, but today I have a rare smug moment.  Last time I went home, Keith made asparagus and hollandaise sauce AND THE HOLLANDAISE SPLIT.  This doesn't often happen and is undoubtedly due to the current alignment of the planets or some other cosmic trickery, rather than lack of skill, but I have to take my chances where I can. 

So, Keith, if you want to do it properly, perhaps follow my perfect execution below *pulls cocky expression*.

Next week: rollmops.


2 egg yolks
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
4oz butter

Place your egg yolks in a blender or food processor with seasoning and blend for about a minute.  Heat the lemon and vinegar in a pan until it starts to bubble then switch on the blender and slowly pour into the egg.  Switch off when well combined.

Add your butter to the same pan and gently heat until melted.  Then switch on your blender again and very slowly pour in the butter in a steady trickle.  Once all the butter is added give a good mix with your spatula and then pulse once more. Taste and add more salt/pepper/lemon as desired. 

I served this with some asparagus, smoked salmon and poached egg.  If you hurry you'll catch the end of the asparagus season - I just trimmed off the woody ends and boiled for a couple of minutes. For a good poached egg you need to use a really fresh egg, add a bit of vinegar to the water, swirl and cook for about two mins, till the white is firm.

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