Uniform Dating is launching a new app today which will feature recipes from Michelin Star chef Michael Caines. Along with a number of other bloggers I was asked to develop a recipe to go on the app too! In a survey carried out by Uniform Dating it was found that the number one food choice for nurses is a salad and so, being true to my profession, that’s what I’m going to contribute.
Most of the year I consider myself to be a non-salad person. I’m the one who picks the leaves out of her burger and never touches the garnish. But then in rolls summer and I find myself craving a big bowl of green salad. I have a few caveats, of course. There must be a good dressing to go with the leaves like a velvety french vinaigrette or a home-made mayonnaise. There also has to be something of substance in there – grilled chicken or vegetables for instance. Lastly, cheese. A good, strong cheese full of flavour. Chevre or anything blue would be my ideals.
The meal below is so easy to make even after a 12 hour ward shift (which is when I did it!). The main looks really great served on a big board in the middle of the table so your friends can dig in and take as much as they like. If you’re not a fan of red meat use chicken or fish instead and change the cheese for a mild got’s or mozzarella. Dessert is so easy but so delicious and just the pick-me-up you need on a summer evening.
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Steak & gorgonzola salad
Crushed potato salad
Italian chilli sauce
2 large Sirloin steaks
Maldon sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
3 large chillis
2 cloves of garlic
Large handful of fresh basil
1 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
For the potatoes
500g Jersey Royal potatoes
30g (drained weight) baby capers
½ a small onion, very finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
1tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
For the salad
2 sweet gem lettuce
35g wild rocket leaves
½ a jar of grilled artichokes
150g baby plum tomatoes
handful of black olives
1 orange pepper, sliced
For the asparagus
100g asparagus tips
½ a small onion, sliced
Splash of Extra Virgin olive oil
Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Tiramisu ice cream
Palastri Sangiovese – or any medium-bodied, fruity red
Start by making the sauce. This can be done up to a couple of days in advance and kept in a jar in the fridge. Beware though, it goes with everything so there might not be much left! If you like your food spicy leave the seeds in the chillies, or remove for a milder sauce. Then simply tip all the ingredients into a food blender (I use one which attaches to my stick blender, it’s the perfect size for sauces) along with some salt and pepper. Whizz until nearly smooth and garnish with a couple of basil leaves.
Wash the new potatoes well and tip into a large pan of cold water. Bring to the boil, add a good pinch or two of salt and boil for about 20 minutes, until tender. Once cooked cool slightly under cold water and then crush each potato very gently with the back of a fork. Add the capers, onion, lemon juice and oil, stir well and set aside.
Wash the luttuce, cut into quarters and then rip each quarter in half. Add the rocket, drained artichokes and olives, tomatoes and the pepper and arrange on your serving dish. Dollop the gorgonzola over the top of the salad and season with a little salt and plenty of pepper.
Heat a griddle or large frying pan to a high heat and add a splash of oil. Tip in the asparagus and onions and cook for a few minutes until the onions are just turning translucent. Set aside, season and immediately return the pan to the heat.
Season your steaks well and cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes each side, or to your liking. Allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting into 1cm slices.
I like to arrange everything on a large board in the centre of the table so everyone can just dig in!
One of my favourite (and easiest!) desserts is the Italian Affogato. Pop a scoop or two of ice cream into a cup and top with a steaming hot shot of fresh espresso. Delicious!