It's been a while since my last post. I've been suffering with a cough/cold which left me with limited energy to do much more than working and the basics around the house. It was strange really, I never lost my appetite but I did lose interest in cooking. My blog reader and sky + filled up with blog posts and foodie programmes. I'm feeling a lot better now and normal service will hopefully be resumed on the blog.
One thing I have found myself craving a lot whilst I have been ill is mashed potato. Now that I am feeling better I took the first opportunity I could to cook some. I decided to serve it with a recipe I had bookmarked in Nigel Slater's Tender. I love this book. It is the first of his books I have read and will not be the last. I love his style of writing and Tender is full of lots of delicious sounding recipes and advice on both cooking and growing your own vegetables. Even better, it's the first of two volumes. The recipe I chose to cook was grilled gammon with baked onions. I never imagined that onions could taste so good served as a side dish. The taste was so unbelievably mild and they melted in the mouth. The sauce was delicious too and worked really well with both the onions and the gammon.Grilled gammon and baked onions
Nigel Slater - Tender, volume 1
Serves 2 with second helpings of onions
6 medium onions
a thick slice of butter (about 30g)
a heaped tablespoon of flour
250ml, light stock (tsp Marigold vegetable stock powder dissolved in 250ml water), hot
250ml hot milk
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons grain mustard
small handful of parsley leaves
a little oil
2 gammon steaks (about 150-175g each)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4
- Bring a deep pan of water to the boil. Peel the onions, add to the pan, turn down the heat and simmer until they are tender enough to take the point of a kitchen knife (around 20-25 minutes). Drain them and discard the water.
- Put the pan back on the heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour, keeping the heat low to moderate). Let the flour and butter cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often so the mixture doesn't burn. Turn up the heat and add the milk and stock. Whisk together for a few minutes until there are no lumps.
- Season the sauce with salt, pepper, bay leaves,, a gentle grating of nutmeg and the mustard. Let the sauce simmer gently for a good 10 minutes or more, stirring regularly so it does not catch on the bottom.
- Cut the onions in half from stem to dip (they will be slippery) and place them flat side down in a shallow baking dish.
- Chop the parsley and stir in to the sauce, pour over the onions.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.
- Turn the oven off, but leave the onions in the oven whilst you cook the gammon. If your grill is in the oven, move the onions to the bottom and put the grill pan two-thirds of the way up, so that it blocks the onions from the grill.
- Oil the steaks and season with pepper and a light sprinkling of oregano. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, till golden.
- Serve the gammon with the baked onions and their sauce.