Thursday, 10 January 2013
I don't think I'm alone in saying this, but...I fucking hate New Year's Eve. Always have, probably always will.
It started at the age of 16; the Millennium. A plan - of hanging around pubs that wouldn't let us in and flirting with boys in baggy trousers - somehow ended with me getting separated from my friends (before everyone had mobile phones) and being sat, at the stroke of midnight, on the steps of The Theatre Royal, sobbing like a beast and trying to convince one of my parents that they weren't too drunk to come and pick me up. I arrived home, an hour or so later, to find them all singing Joni Mitchell at the top of their lungs, and that the cat had pissed on our DIY cardboard millennium dome, which had come free with The Independent. Happy new year! The following year a friend was seriously unwell once we'd gone out (not even through booze) - so unwell she couldn't walk home - so we spent about three hours in the rain trying to hail a taxi. Another year I was fresh from a festive dumping, dragged out in London, and trying to remember how to smile at potential suitors, when you know you've put on three stone since last attempting it.
There have of course been some which weren't so bad, if I force myself not to be melodramatic. Those ones were largely based around big meals and going to local pubs, and didn't involve entry fees or public transport.
But it's just all so MEH and so BLEURGH.
As a result of this aversion, my main romantic aspiration in life became to meet a man who would be happy to stay in with me on a New Year's Eve. Being handsome and rich would be a perk, but the NYE thing really was the clincher. And, thankfully, I hit the jackpot two and a half years ago. Yes, this one does have a penchant for brightly patterned trousers, and a great ability to ignore an overflowing bin, but for the past two years I've been allowed to spend the last evening of the year drinking fizz, eating steak and chips, and taking the piss out of people's dancing on the Hootenanny - and for that I am truly grateful.
And this is what accompanied my steak this year: salsa verde. In my opinion, the best sidekick for steak there could be. When I lived at home we used to eat very healthily in the week, then the weekends were party time - started off with steak and chips on a Friday. My step dad used to make this salsa verde (although inevitably he'll look at this recipe and go 'that's not how I make it') and it has been a firm favourite ever since.
Don't be a wuss about the anchovies. You can barely taste them.
Big handful of parsley (about a whole plant from a supermarket), finely chopped
3-4 anchovies, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of chili flakes
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Rapeseed or olive oil (a good slug, about 5tbsp)
There's not much to say, just chop it all up and mix together! It's not an exact science of a recipe, so if you want it less vinegary or more mustardy or whatever then you know what to do...