I have been watching Sense and Sensibility and BBC's Pride and Prejudice. 'Dearest' is one of the great pet-names in Sense and Sensibility. So imagine I am addressing you with an English accent wearing a great bonnet and a dress with a frilly apron. It will have more of an effect.
Other phrases that have infiltrated my dialogue include: 'don't vex me!', 'make haste!', and 'capitol!' - all of course said in an English accent.
My meal last night followed this theme. I picked (yet another) Jamie Oliver recipe. It's called 'Dark Sticky Stew' and I believe it also sounds much better when paired with an English accent.
I'm not sure this one will make it in the binder. I really wish I could have found some Lamb to use as the recipe called for. I really believe it would have made it a little thicker, (I used pork tenderloin) which I think was Jason's main issue. He was hoping for something a little thicker. We also ate it straight out of the oven. I believe the left overs will thicken as any chili/stew/soup does overnight.
Although it was actually quite tasty, I think it was too flavourful for this time of year. It would be better suited for a freezing blizzard day in January (if we are to ever get that weather again...) This recipe was mainly attractive because it was a blustery day and it looked so cozy. Also... it calls for half a pint of Guinness... my mind was made up pretty quickly once this fact was revealed.
This recipe fills your house with such savoury aroma and (other than the Guinness) the ingredients are quite humble and (including the Guinness) compliment each other quite well.
Dark Sticky Stew (Serves 6)
adapted from Jamie Oliver's Dark Sticky Stew, from Jamie's Dinners
1 1/2 lb Pork Tenderloin, diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small handful of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
2 heaped tablespoons flour
extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion peeled and roughly chopped
8 mini-bello mushrooms, torn in pieces (any mushrooms will do)
1 handful of baby carrots, cut in half
1 parsnip, peeled and grated
1 dessertspoon Marmite
2 heaped tablespoons pearl barley
1/2 pint rich ale (Guinness, Caffrey's, John Smith's)
1 pint chicken stock
3 Italian sausages, taken out of casing and chopped
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Put your pork into a bowl and season well with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Finely chop your rosemary leaves and add to the bowl with the flour. Mix around so that the meat is completely covered. Fry the port in a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a hot casserole-type pan - do this in batches so the pieces get a nice bit of colour, then remove from the pan and put to one side.
2. Turn the heat down, then fry your onion, mushrooms and carrots for about 5 minutes until softened and slightly coloured. Add the pork back to the pan along with the parsnip, Marmite, pearl barley, ale and stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes while you prep your sausages. Just before the stew goes in the oven, add the sausage. Then place a lid on or make a cartouche*, wet it and tuck this over the pan. Cook for around an hour.
3. Serve with some crusty bread!
*A cartouche is simply a piece of parchment paper cut to the size/shape of the top of your pot. You simple cut it out, wet it with some water, and place it on top of your stew instead of a lid.
I was also stoked because I was able to use my brand new Lagostina pots! I actually got them for Christmas a couple years ago but have never used them. They have been taunting me for long enough! We took the convenient opportunity to move them from my parents' house to Jason's (our future home). It was a dream cooking with this pot! I love everything about all of them. The shape, the way the food stirs in the bottom, the way you can see your reflection in the side, how they are oven safe (an important fact for this recipe), how they react immediately to any heat adjustments, how they all match, how they all have glass lids, how the handles don't get hot when using them on the stove, and how they're mine!
I hope all is going well. I miss you dearly, but am comforted by knowing I will see you in a couple weeks! Both our weddings are creeping up on us. I believe we need to do a Skype date soon. Let me know what time works for you!
All My Love,