The olive jam had another day out at the office today (yeah, how good is it to work on public holidays?) when, being the good bloke I am, I took lunch for the handful of troops there.
It meant shopping at the market on Saturday … there’s a surprise … and a trip to see, Tony, my favourite opera-singing butcher.
I swung on by his shop, had a chat with him and his wife (they renewed their wedding vows the weekend before) and said to him: “Mate, can you put a pork fillet through the coarse mincer and dice another into about a two-centimetre dice.” “No worries, big fella, they’ll be ready when you get back.”
Then I hit the organic fruit and veg shop and grabbed some fantastic tomatoes, some rocket, a cucumber, some unbelievable seedless red grapes (sweet beyond sweet) and a big fat nashi. Then it was on to the deli for a wedge of Edam, a dozen slices of prosciutto and a jar of pickled red capsicum, a trip to the nut shop (there are quite a few that qualify as nut shops but just one that sells nuts). A chicken breast at the chicken shop (it was one big mother) and that was the end of the food shopping.
No trip to the market is ever complete without a trip to Swords wine shop to chat with my mate, Dave, who had Ticket Booth Sideshow Pale Ale on tasting. I tasted (yeah, there’s a surprise), but I opted for another bottle of Trappistes Rocheforte 10, which I tried the weekend before. Again it was my weekend treat. (See the previous blog entry. Nothing has changed; it’s still the best beer I’ve tasted.) I also grabbed a bottle of Dave’s Full Fare blend of arneis, savagnin and riesling blend, still a bloody cracker summer wine.
Hunger had kicked in.
I reckon it had a fair bit to do with not having a proper dinner the night before … it’s not as if I didn’t eat, but a couple of barbecued snags on bread, a couple of beers and a two of small (OK that’s crap, they were large) buckets of vodka and lychee cocktails a meal does not make. It was the end-of-week get-together at the office. Oh, there was also a date with a bottle of 2004 Date Bros durif after the office.
But back to the hunger. Lunch became a salad of some organic tomatoes, cucumber, chic peas and some tuna in olive oil. Three minutes to prepare … and it was a life saver.
Post-lunch it was time to prepare the first part of lunch for the troops, a pork and chicken breast terrine with pistachios.
The terrine is shit easy: put the pork fillets into a bowl, add two tablespoons of Cognac (it was Camus Borderies XO, a family-owned vineyard said to be the smallest and rarest of all Cognac growths … I was tempted to have a snifter but it was a bit early in the day), some freshly grated nutmeg, a big handful of pistachios and the chicken breast (whole). Give everything a good mix for a few minutes and then cover it with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
The next day involved the market again for some bits and pieces, including a six-pack of the Ticket Booth Sideshow Pale Ale. It’s a beauty dominated by hops. I just love it. I also managed afterwards to do the domestics … stripping the bed, washing the sheets and a full load of towels. I also found time to clean the kitchen benches and scrub the bath. Christ, I need a cleaner.
Time then to cook the terrine. I usually pick four decent sage leaves and arrange them in the bottom of the terrine dish (a nice girly touch) and then line the dish with prosciutto and then layer the pork mince and chunks, then the whole chicken breast and then the remaining pork and fold the prosciutto over the top (which is really the bottom). I usually cook it in a preheated oven (in a water bath) at 180 for two hours. The rule of thumb is that when the juices are running clear, it should be cooked. Once it is, let it cool, weigh it down with a couple of cans of something (it was chic peas for me) and refrigerate it overnight.
After a picky dinner of cheese, dips and bread Sunday night, I made one of my toughest life decisions. I’m still hurting, but that’s not a story for here. I rode my emotions instead with another 2004 Date Bros durif.
Monday dawned with a heavy heart and a heavy head, but there was lunch to prepare and that involved grabbing a couple of crusty baguettes on the way to the office.
Maybe there’s a business opportunity there.
ME IN A NUTSHELL
- G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.