Friday Feast| 18 May, 2024

Introducing the Friday Feast!

Crispy broccoli leaves w/ coriander and fermenty dressing. Beef + radicchio salad. Quinces in bay leaf syrup w/ basic anglaise.

The good cooking just keeps coming at the moment, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Thus, we’re re-styling this weekly blog as the Friday Feast! We’ll still be sending interesting content, goings-on and stallholder features, but we’ll be slotting them into a shorter-form mailer that we’ll call… let’s say…The Harvest Weekly (working title). Anyhow, that’s a conversation for another day, for now, feast your eyes on this.

Crispy broccolini leaves with coriander and fermenty dressing.

It’s a super fun, punchy, warm salad for winter. You’ll notice that when buying brassicas from the market, they often come with their leaves attached. These leaves are packed with flavour and nutrition, so they are not to be wasted. Cooking them helps your veg go a lot further, too. Lightly dress them in olive oil, and put them in an oven at 150 degrees for about 15 minutes, (better yet, a BBQ) until the edges are going crispy and the bulk of the leaf has softened and cooked. Trim out any fibrous stems.

For the dressing, finely chop half a bunch of coriander, two spring onions, and a red chilli, and chuck it all in a bowl. Remove the seed pulp from half a cucumber and dice. Add to the bowl. Add two tablespoons of rice vinegar, a tsp of sesame oil, and two tablespoons of Lao Gan Ma. Mixy mixy. Present the leaves on a plate and spoon over the dressing. Done! Great served with red meat, particularly venison. Although, we had lamb backstrap at our disposal. For a beverage match, try 7 Sheds (recently returned!) Willie Warmer. That’s a feast fit for any table.

Beef, radicchio and parsley stem salad (aka use-it-or-lose-it salad)

Look, we won’t lie to you. This one is a use-it-or-lose-it salad. These things were in the fridge and needed to be used, and in circumstances like this, where soup is out of the question, a salad is called for. The great thing about a salad is that it’s a case of chopping it all up, slapping it in a bowl, giving it a dress and a spank on the butt, and you’re good to go! The trick is that a good salad will have a blend of textures created by different cutting techniques. A cooked, uneaten steak has been finely sliced for the beef component. Similar remnants, the parsley stems, are finely sliced. Half a radicchio was cut lengthwise into 1cm wide strips. Carrots shaved with a vegetable peeler. A simple dressing of cider vinegar, plus sugar, salt and olive oil.

Augment this salad with a soft-boiled egg, or roasted parsnips, or in keeping with the theme, a can of four-bean mix from the back of the cupboard, circa 2021.

Quinces in bay leaf syrup with basic anglaise.

This one came as a pleasant sort-of surprise. Although we were pretty confident it would work, we didn’t expect to achieve such great results. The complex aroma of the bay leaves pairs perfectly with the fruity musk of the quinces. Poaching quinces is a little trouble, but totally worth it. Start by making a 40% sugar syrup. 1 litre of water, 400 grams of sugar. Add to this two fresh (that bit is important) bay leaves. This will steep as you’re peeling and cutting the cheeks of about 6 quinces. Add these to the syrup as you do each one (they’ll go brown quickly). Cover with a cartouche, and simmer until the quince cheeks are a vibrant blush-pink. They’ll be tender, but not mushy. Perfection.

The Basic Anglaise

Next, a basic anglaise. There are recipes all over the internet for this, which is fine, but the key is in your ingredients. Buy yourself cream and eggs from the market. Starting with those guarantees you a delicious anglaise.

Begin by splitting a vanilla bean and scraping out the seeds (or use 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste). In a medium saucepan, combine the vanilla, 300 ml of cream, and 150 ml of milk. Heat until it just begins to simmer, avoiding a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 large egg yolks and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until thick and pale yellow. Slowly pour the hot milk and cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.

Return the mixture to the saucepan (or a double boiler if you’re a sissy) and cook over low heat, stirring continuously until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, reaching about 80°C. Remove from heat, discard the vanilla pod if used, and strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Allow it to cool slightly, then cover it with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve with the quinces. Revel in the glory, for it will be glorious.

Thanks for reading the Friday Feast! We’re really keen to keep bringing you the best possible cooking ideas. We believe that the kitchen, table and plate are the best way to connect the people and produce of the market to our patrons. We hope you agree. See you tomorrow!

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