Saturday, 7 January 2012

le pain grillé français

Enough for three?

3 large eggs, a splash of milk, a knob of buttery substance, oil, rough cut whole meal bread (7 - 8 pieces), seasoning to taste.

Break the eggs into a pasta plate, mix with milk, add seasoning. Heat oil/butter in a frying pan. Dip the bread in the egg mix, two slices at a time and allow a little time to soak. Turn the bread over (more soaking up etc.) then using a fish slice drop the two slices into the hot oil. Sear each side and allow to brown. Serve with bacon, HP Sauce and whatever else you like for breakfast.

Alternatively once cooked you can dust the pieces with icing sugar and serve with jam or syrup.

Monday, 2 January 2012

High And Mighty

I'd never cooked roast pork or ham before so I saw mealtime on January the 1st as providing the perfect challenge. There is of course a lot of information and recipes out on the web, an easy google if you're new to this, pots of good advice from the old hands and experts.  Here's a Delia link that describes the mustard and sugar coated ham I prepared (on the right in the photo), it work surprisingly well. My main problem was understanding quite what kind of ham joint I had in the first place. I bought if from the (local) Hopetoun Farm Shop and despite having a conversation across the counter with the helpful butcher I failed to ask the correct questions. I was therefore unsure about how much of a soaking to give it, whether there was skin or fat and (oops!) how heavy it was. I therefore did what I usually do under these circumstances and hoped for the best and just did everything - strangely that seemed to work. Here's another recipe link, just to maintain a balance.

The pork (left) was much more straightforward, bought from Tesco with the minimum of human interaction there were instructions on the inner label (in a tiny font) that worked. I also knew the weight so it was simply a matter of rubbing in some rock salt and then roasting. I did both joints together at 180 degrees for about 2 hours, I then allowed the ham another 30 minutes at 220 to bake the added mustard glaze. The meat's best left to cool a little before you carve, then just serve warm with a gravy. Delia's further advice also helped.

I made the gravy by adding stock from both joints (they produce a lot) to some ordinary cranberry and sherry sauce I'd bought. I thickened it a little and hey presto, nice brownish colour too.  It was served with roast, mashed and sweet potatoes and various green veg. More than enough for the six of us in fact we'll be eating the leftovers for the rest of the week. The only mishap was my catastrophic dropping of a full bottle of champagne as the roast was being served. I flooded the dining room and soaked the guests in the process. Ho hum.