Monday, 13 May 2013

Asparagus with Instant Hollandaise Boiled Eggs

I do love a bit of drama. And I am a bit lazy. Put these virtues(?) together, and voila! Do-it-yourself beautiful seasonal food.

Today's dish is a bit of an old springtime favourite - asparagus with hollandaise sauce. However, instead of slaving over a hot stove trying not to let your sauce curdle, just soft-boil a few eggs, and add the sauce ingredients at the table. Or even better, let your guests do it themselves.

All you need to remember is to not let the eggs overcook, otherwise the sauce will not smoothly come together and you will end up with vinegary eggs topped with hard butter- yuck.

I made this dish for my mum, Mrs Ribeye Sr, and she 'quite liked' it. I would love to tell you that she 'loved' it, but she is a die-hard traditionalist and would have preferred not to have 'done-it-herself'. Mrs Ribeye Jr (the wife), however, loved it - as did I. We too are looking forward to getting old and stuck in our ways in a few years time. Our (as yet unborn) children are soooo lucky...!

Serves 2


10 fat asparagus spears
4 eggs
A few drops of white wine vinegar
4 small knobs of butter
Celery or rock salt
Black pepper

Boil the asparagus and eggs, in the same pan, for 4 minutes. Remove everything from the pan and arrange five asparagus spears and two eggs per person on a serving plate. Serve by removing the tops from the eggs and adding a few drops of vinegar and the butter; then sprinkle with the celery salt and pepper. Dip and swirl the asparagus into the eggs to create instant hollandaise sauce.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Sesame, Chilli and Ginger Salmon Sashimi with Watercress and Radish Salad

What a beautiful late spring/early summer dish!

Yesterday I noticed that Marks and Sparks had some fresh salmon fillet in, so I decided to eat it raw. I normally only eat fish raw if I can guarantee its freshness, and with supermarkets you can never tell 100% how long it has stayed in some cold storage unit in an industrial estate in Derbyshire (or somewhere equally inauspicious). So when I'm not certain of provenance, I use my nose - and some salt.

Salting raw fish does various great things: 1. It makes it taste nice; 2. It firms it up for slicing; 3. It cures it. How long you decide to cure it for will depend on what you what to do with it. For Gravadlax, I cure for it for a few days - for sashimi just a few hours.

The rest of the ingredients for this stunning dish are also found in supermarkets across the land. In a few minutes, you have a great dinner party starter or a lunch dish all on its own.

Maybe this dish could be made with other fish just as well - bream or sea bass would be great I reckon. Mackerel: Yes. Tuna: Of course. Cod or haddock? Not so much.

Get sashiming! It's cheap (£3 worth of salmon fillet feeds two easily), healthy, and most of all, a bit... 'WOW HOW DID YOU DO THAT?'!

All-in, this is a Potless thrift speciality - £2 per serving is all.

Serves 2


250g very fresh salmon fillet
3 tablespoons salt
Large handful baby watercress
12 radishes, halved
2 large red chillies, sliced into 5mm rings
Thumb of ginger, finely chopped
Pinch of red chilli flakes
1 tablespoon each of rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, dark soy sauce, honey, wasabi paste
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

Sprinkle the salmon with the salt and refrigerate for an hour or two, until the fish has released about two tablespoons of moisture. Remove from the fridge and slice thinly (about 4mm thick). Arrange the watercress and the radishes on a serving plate and surround with the salmon slices, topping each slice with a piece of chilli. Mix the chilli flakes, ginger, vinegar, oil, soy, honey and wasabi together to make a dressing. Dress the plate generously. Sprinkle with sesame seeds immediately before serving.