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Veal Steak with Roasted Baby Potatoes, Haricot Verts and Jus

As a New Year treat to myself and my partner in all-things-nice-and-tasty, I pulled out all the stops to make a meal that we would remember for the rest of the year. Personally, I am fond of all forms of eating… I love sitting around a tray of food with a few other people and just eating with my hands – yum! I am also a big fan of eating sushi or a stir-fry the right way with some chopsticks. Equally, I just love making a classic meal that would put a massive grin on the likes of Greg Wallace or Michele Roux Jr. There are two gentlemen I would love to have the pleasure of eating with.

So, this New Year’s day, I made what was one of the best meals I have made in a long time. Inspired by the meal I had at my work’s Christmas party, I set out to make: Veal Steak, with Roasted Baby Potatoes, Haricot Verts and Jus.

Here’s the recipe:

Veal Steaks

Haricot Verts

Baby Potatoes

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Nob of Butter

Pinch Mixed Herbs

200 ml beef stock

1 tsp Tomato Ketchup

1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Method:

Boil the baby potatoes for about 10 minutes until soft. Drain and place on an oven tray and drizzle over a tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt and dried herbs. Place into a warm oven, preheated to 200 degrees centigrade, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, top and tail the haricot verts and boil in water for 4-5 minutes. Mix the ketchup and balsamic vinegar into the beef stock and set aside.

Season the veal steak with salt and pepper and fry in a hot pan for about 4 minutes each side in a little melted butter and olive oil. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside to rest.

Add the ketchup, balsamic and stock mixture to the pan to deglaze. Make sure to incorporate all the bits from the pan into the liquid, which will make the jus. Once it’s reduced slightly, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and then add a nob of butter to thicken the jus and give it that glossy texture.

To plate-up: Place the haricot verts at the bottom of a deep serving plate, scatter with some of the roasted baby potatoes, drizzle over the jus topped with the veal steak in the center of the plate. Voila, your meal is ready to be served!

Bon appetit!

Happy New Year

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post, for which I apologize. It’s been a crazy few months, but they didn’t fly by without a couple of pots and pans on the stove bubbling away with some mouth watering treats. 2009 was a year for traveling, working, learning and experiencing. 2010 I am sure will be no less.

I made several trips to the UK, Sweden, while also stopping in Italy, New York and Malta. This year I will no doubt head overseas to the UK and Sweden again, with a few extra stops along the way to new lands as well. And you cn expect to find me reporting back on all the local treats that I find along the way.

For now, I leave you all with the wish that you make 2010 the year you want it to be…whether it’s filled with love, happiness, peace, adventures, or whatever you wish for…make it happen.

How Do We Eat Food?

It has been hectic at work these past few weeks and have had almost no time to post regular blogs. I did make a feast last weekend and promise to upload the highlights very soon.

But for now I pose this question: Why do we eat food? And, perhaps more importantly, how do we eat food?

I find myself thinking about this almost everyday. The factual answer to the first question is that we eat so that we can fuel our body with all the nutrients and energy it needs to perform everyday.

If we don’t eat a balanced and healthy diet then our body will not function as properly as it should. But somewhere along the way we have forgotten that this is the reason we eat. We should eat for necessity and not pleasure. But I do believe it is essential to have pleasure in what you eat. A balance of both.

Now, how de we eat? I’ve noticed that there are many people in the world who eat dishes which they like, regardless of its nutritional content or benefit to their health.

For example, there is an abundance of junk food being consumed in the world, and it does worry me. If you haven’t seen the film Supersize Me yet, I recommend you do.  I’m not saying it’s a brilliant documentary, but it will definitely open your eyes to how much fast food can affect your health. OK, the guy ate a specific brand of fast food 3 times a day for a month, which is what 90 visits to the fast food restaurant? I wonder if visiting 90 times in ones life will have an affect too?

I have to say that I used to eat a lot of junk food myself. I went through a stage of eating 5-6 packets of crisps (US: chips) a day, and basically having a no bars off eating habit. If it tasted good, I ate it. Consequently I piled on the weight…

I feel that we spend too much time eating the kind of food that makes us happy, gives us a good feeling, or even for nostalgic reasons. For example, last month I went back to London for a week and was together with my brothers who also have been away from the UK. The entire week it felt like we were constantly eating! Eating food that we missed like fish and chips, kebab rolls, meat pies, cheese and onion pasties and donner kebabs. And most of the time these were eaten in-between meals… Not very healthy, but we did it, and I watched myself and my brothers as we indulged.

It is a very real thing to eat for pleasure, nostalgia and so forth, but it is not a very healthy thing, and should be acknowledged. Next time you reach for a belly fix take a moment to ask yourself why you are eating it. Try to understand why and how you eat, you never know you may just realize something!

Disclaimer:

I am not a scientist or a dietist, so do not quote me on this. These are just my personal thoughts and musings.

Going Back to my Roots

When I started this blog a few months back I made promises of culinary secrets that were passed down to me from my mother and father, and now I feel it is time that I do just that. This weekend I will bring out the pots and pans and lay down a true Pakistani feast, and will return next week with recipes that will make your jaw hit the desk…or at the very least drool all over your top!

Till then, watch this space…

New York Bagel with Lox Spread

Still buzzing from my first New York City adventure, I wanted to share with you one of my morning delights on my week-long escapade: the infamous New York Bagel. Available almost everywhere, these donut shaped treats are served with a variety of toppings, most common of which is cream cheese. 

As a soul searching for absolute gastronomic satisfaction I embarked with my partner in all things hot and spicy to H&H Bagels where we indulged in what became a morning breakfast tradition. As a native English speaker I thought I knew it all, until I was confronted by ‘lox’ which stared back at me from the menu. Searching through my travel guide book like a confused tourist in a foreign land I became educated on one of New York City’s colloquial terms. Lox = Smoked Salmon. 

H&H Bagel: Cream Cheese with Lox Spread

 

Lox is usually served in two ways: either chopped and mixed with cream cheese (Bagel with Lox Spread,) or as thin slivers sitting on top of a cream cheese bagel (Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lox.) My choice can be seen in the image above.

I highly recommend these bagels. though I also tried other local bagel stores and they were equally pleasing. Whatever you do on your next or first trip to New York, don’t forget to try out this New York tradition, and if you can’t wait, try out my recipe here.

Till next time, eet smakelijk!

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Big Apple Posts Coming Soon!

Sorry guys for not keeping up with my posts! I’ve been super busy and have just jetted back from a my first trip to New York. It was a blast! But know that I have not deserted you guys, and thought constantly about food food food! I took plenty of photos and inspiration along my trip, and I can’t wait to share them with you..

So do drop back soon and find out which treats are coming your way!

First Post

Hello world!

I have finally joined the world of blogging, and couldn’t think of anything better to write about, other than my very own love-affair with food. What can I say? I just love good food! And it all began during my infant days apparently when a tandoori chicken drumstick was handed to me at the tender age of six months. Needless to say it was love at first taste.

But it’s not always just about the taste… It is after-all the reason we live, so why shouldn’t it take to stage in the theatre that is life? In the proceeding posts I will reveal secrets about my relationship and experiences with food, and the knowledge that has come with it. Plus lots of great recipes from my immediate ancestors, and those from around the world.

Stay tuned for a culinary adventure like you’ve never experienced before!