Some June & July Food Porn

Josh PalmerNutrition

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Thought I’d just throw up a quick post with some of the munchies I’ve cooked up over the last couple of months. This blog is as much food as it is anything else so why not?!

First up: I cooked dinner for my Girlfriends parents when I was over in New Jersey recently. Needed something that was relatively straightforward but still interesting and visually impressive. I’d originally planned to cook a whole pork loin stuffed with peaches and wrapped in bacon but her Father cooked us roast pork the second day we were there so I had to change tact quickly!

American supermarkets are so much better than we have here. Shopright where we went was just massive and had literally anything you could want from budget items to imported delicacies. I loved it. I decided to go with a stuffed flank steak that gets cut into pinwheels and barbecued on the grill…very American!

Here’s the flank steak I butterflied with an antique knife that was freshly whet stone sharpened. It was so easy. I’m seriously considering investing in a set of whetstones now! Once it’s opened up and the seam pressed flat I stuffed it with a selection of herbs, breadcrumbs, garlic, parmesan and provolone cheeses then some salami! Hurdle one overcome!

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Then I had the tricky task of rolling and trussing the joint, which I was very nervous about but proved surprisingly simple. I used cocktail sticks inserted at each of the ties to make sure they’d stay together and with the outrageously sharp knife, slicing them into pinwheels was easy. I was also very concerned that when thrown on the grill they’d just fall apart but they held their shape perfectly and hey presto: cool looking grilled flank steak pinwheels! We served it with bruschetta, roasted garlic potatoes and grilled asparagus topped with almonds.

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When I was in Washington DC that same week I dropped in to Hill Country Barbecue just off the main mall. Oh man that was a meal and a half. Excellent brisket, ribs and chicken accompanied by cornbread with honey butter, burnt end baked beans, bourbon sweet potato mash and mac’n’cheese. Plus they served their diet cokes in mason jars which is never not fun. Highly recommend this place.

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I then decided that my Girlfriends American cohorts were stuck here in London on the fourth of July and needed cheering up with a good BBQ. I think I safely proved to them that English people can BBQ very well, all be it we didn’t have big hunks of meat to smoke!

I made sure to do a 6lb joint of my slow cooker pulled pork along with some steak burgers and some excellent rare breed pork sausages made 20 miles down the road less than a week earlier!

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For sides I knocked up a few dishes. A big man’n’cheese consisting of a pound of cheese blitzed with calcium citrate, water, mustard, salt and pepper to get a gooey cheese sauce. Folded this into pasta and topped with another pound of cheese and panko breadcrumbs. Then I threw together some BBQ beans: canned beans with added bacon, onion, mustard, honey, brown sugar and paprika…wicked! I also did a roasted sweet potato salad with a half creme fraiche half mayonnaise bacon, lemon and thyme dressing. A quick caprese salad and my girlfriends bruschetta rounded out what was a seriously nice spread of food…and a little over the top for 6 people! Loved it.

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No photos but I also treated them to some late night grilled cheese sandwiches made with three types of cheese. Perfect home comfort food.

Not content with having stuffed my guests on the Saturday I made sure to put together a nice brunch on Sunday morning. Most of the Americans have never had proper bacon. Yes America streaky bacon is not proper bacon. This was pretty thick good quality stuff that I just roasted in the oven for 30mins. Scrambled eggs, sausages, leftover beans, toast and fruit salad also found their way to the table. Happiness on a plate.

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As a quick closing note: I stopped by the excellent KERB street food fair in Granary square last week and got to try a Korean ox cheek burrito from Kimchinary. Very good indeed. Finished it with some great Eton mess frozen yoghurt from motoyogo!

Kimchinary burrito