Journey through the cookbook

A dear friend of mine showed me a very well-loved cookbook one day.  She said that when she was married in the 70’s, every new bride got one.  (She was living in London at the time.)  She said she cooked everything in that book and many of her friends did too.  I thought this was fantastic, to have cooked every recipe in one book.  I considered the books I have in my kitchen and decided I wanted to do the same thing with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook.  The recipes are not difficult, they use very common and fresh ingredients.   I have tried a few recipes from the book and have liked them.  The recipes cover a wide range of dishes, from classic seafood to roasted dinners, soups, curries, and stir-fries.

Yesterday I planned my menu for the week and today I shopped.  Then, I cooked the first recipe in the book – steak sarnie.  I did change the recipe a bit based on what I had available, but basically it is a steak rubbed with salt, pepper and rosemary, with a grilled portabello mushroom on top and some fresh watercress.  Underneath all of that is a piece of grilled ciabatta bread (we like to call it “Chewbacca bread” since we are Star Wars fans here) soaking up all the yummy juices.  The recipe calls for a filet mignon that you butterfly, and that would have been good as well except I have quite a bit of steak in the freezer from a side of beef we split with the family.  So today I used a T-bone steak, and placed the slices of bread that I’d grilled under the meat.  I topped it with watercress and the grilled mushroom, then the whole thing is drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

We were so unbelievably amazed at how good this tasted!  The rich steak had just enough flavor from the rosemary, the watercress gave a bit of green freshness, the mushroom was good and earthy and the lemon brightened the whole thing.  The best part was taking the bread and mopping up all the juices.  Oh, so good.  So good it should be illegal.  It’s company-over-for-dinner good.  Really, really amazing.  And so simple!  I cooked mine on our charcoal grill with some natural lump hardwood charcoal, but it could easily be done inside on a grill pan.

As I continue through the book, I will try to make the time to blog about the results, saving the blog posts for the really amazing dinners, like the one tonight.  Good eating at my house!


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