Tuesday, 2 February 2010

A very long lunch...

I was up very early a few weeks ago, looking for the best from the farmers market. Back home, after a three hours chopping, poaching and frying, I had ten minutes to spare for a gin and tonic before Carol and Michael came for lunch. Or so I thought.
After about an hour, doubt began to set in, so we re-read their email.... "Sounds great, look forward to seeing you... next Saturday"...
Thank god I hadn't phoned them, I nearly did, imagine... "How far away are you?"... "Oh, about a week".

Carol, Michael and baby Isla turned up exactly when they were supposed to. At least the rehearsal meant lunch was a finely honed performance.
First up, squat lobster salad with homemade 'marie rose' sauce. Based on an old Keith Floyd recipe taught to him many years ago by the owner of a hotel in the French Alpes. It's great and I'll pop the simple recipe at the end of this post. The squat lobster tails were cooked in sea strength salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drained, left to cool then peeled.

Carol and Michael brought along a couple of cracking wines from an Edinburgh merchant called Peter Green. The Macon was textbook stuff. All buttery chardonnay without any oak. Perfect with the squatties.
Next up, a Catalan fish stew. From the first Moro cookbook and, despite having eaten it twice in a week, I could go it again right now.

The base is long sautéed onion, pepper, bay leaf, rosemary, tomato and lots of saffron. Thickened with blanched almonds that are lightly toasted then roughly ground. When ready to eat, pop in mussels and monkfish- or any other fishy combination- cover with foil and cook for 5 minutes. Bingo. It's seriously, lusciously good.

The other wine from Peter Green was a Tasmanian Pinot Noir. This was a gorgeous drink that smelt of Turkish delight and tasted of cherries.

We finished off with some fascinating chocolates. Carol said they'd picked them up in Heart Buchanan on Byres Road. Flavours included Molasses & Hemp Seed, Strawberry & Black Pepper, and the sit up and pay attention... Smoked Chilli & Mezcal.

Recipe for Floyd inspired Pink Sauce for Prawns:


1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of fromage frais
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of bland oil (sunflower, groundnut)
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 - 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
splash of Worcester Sauce
salt and pepper


Put the lot in a blender and whizz. I use a hand blender. You could use a whisk instead.

1 comment:

  1. Saffron and the mussels are excellent, come take a look at the Saffron from France at my blog great work here!