Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Speed bomb

Every now and then you have no time, no ingredients, but no desire to eat crap either. So, put down that bag of Doritos and do a riff on some recipe that lets you scrape the bottoms of your pantry and fridge barrels!

You may recall a few posts back the Salade LiƩgeoise I made (ok, maybe you don't -- if I call it freakin' awesome bean and potato salad maybe?!). ANYWAY, I like this salad a lot. I had some spuds on hand (from my wee garden!), and some green beans, but no bacon (but bacon fat! YAY!) so I did a quick improv and came up with the following.

First off, I sliced the spuds into 1/4 inch slabs (so they cook faster). My plan was to steam them, and steam the green beans at more-or-less the same time to a) save time and b) avoid dishes (steaming is great since the pots are mostly clean at the end -- they're sterilised anyway).

Pop the spuds into the double boiler steamer that you should use more often and set your timer for 15 minutes.

Then get a skillet going with a good slab of bacon fat in there -- don't be shy, Jennifer McLagan says bacon fat is as good for you as olive oil and I believe her. If you buy good bacon, then saving all the fat is an obligation! I pour the leftovers from brekkie into little bowls like the one on the left (it comes with a lid -- cool!) and keep them in the fridge for just such an emergency.

Pop (I say "pop" a lot) some sliced shallot into the skillet and fry it up. The recipe should have bacon in it but for some inexplicable reason I ran out (ok, it is explicable, I ate it all). To compensate, give the shallots a good toasting, just make sure they don't burn since, as you know, burnt onions suck.

Throw the beans in with the spuds when the timer is down to 10 minutes (if the beans are big fatties) or 7 minutes (if they're thinner).

When you have 2 minutes to go, splash some sherry vinegar into the skillet and swirl it around. Crank the heat a little to encourage it to boil down some.

When the timer dings, check that the spuds are done with a toothpick. This toothpick, by the way, came all the way from China (I bought it in Chongqing -- along with 500 other ones that look just like it). This makes me want to paraphrase Leonard Cohen "He checks his spuds with toothpicks that come all the way from China..."

Ok, sorry. Dump the steamer contents into a bowl and add salt and pepper.

Pour your vinaigrette out of the skillet into the bowl and give it a gentle but thorough stir. Then serve up and enjoy! Twenty minutes from nothing to something great!

This post is dedicated to my last bottle of limited edition Betelgeuse. Rest in peace dear brew. Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Bacon fat is a necessary ingredient for so many good things. I consider it a kitchen staple.