Steak and Black Pudding

The other week I was lucky enough to have dinner at the Mustard Seed Restaurant in Inverness. For my starter I had had the crayfish and salmon salad. For my main course I had the pan fried rump steak served with roasted fine diced black pudding and potatoes with parsley and garlic crème fraîche.

This was really really nice.

The steak was a rump steak, and I have found at many restaurants that rump steak can be quite tough, this one though was cooked to perfection and was very tender. I did ask for it to be cooked medium rare and I think that helped. The black pudding and potatoes were done well and really enhanced the steak. It was all complemented with the parsley and garlic crème fraîche, which had a subtle garlic flavour and the freshness worked well in opposition to the strong spiced flavour of the black pudding. Across those flavours you could still certainly taste the flavour of the beef.

Overall a really nice combination of ingredients, that was cooked well and was as a result delicious.

Pasta with steak and mushrooms

Though I eat pasta a fair bit, I do like to try different things, though more often then not it is a variation on a theme as is the case with this dish.

Pasta with steak and mushrooms

I cooked the steak in a hot pan, generally in the same way I cook any steak. Hot pan, no oil in the pan, but oil the steak with a good olive oil and season with black pepper (but no salt, as the pancetta used later has more than enough salt to season the dish).

I cook the steak and leave to rest.

While the steak is cooking, cook the pasta of your choice, I used a specialty air dried pasta from the Taste the Difference range from Sainsburys.

After removing the steak from the pan, add some diced onion and pancetta. When the onion has softened and the pancetta cooked, add some button mushrooms. When the mushrooms have cooked add some freshly chopped parsley, a few spoonfuls of creme frache and the steak which should be sliced.

Place the pasta on the plate and spoon the steak and sauce onto the top of the pasta.


Creamy Linguine

This is a nice pasta dish that is quick and easy to make.

In a large frying pan, fry off some pancetta and half a finely chopped onion.

Then add some mushrooms and freshly chopped parsley.

When nearly cooked, add half a tub of creme frache.

Cream sauce

For the pasta  used a fresh egg and spinach linguine.

fresh egg and spinach linguine

It only takes a couple of minutes to cook, mix with the sauce and then serve with a sprinkling of grated parmesan and ground black pepper.

Pasta Salad

I do like a nice pasta salad, especially as it can be eaten instead of bread and adds some substance to a salad based meal.

The problem I have with some you can buy is that they are either too salty or too wet! So where possible I try and make my own.

This is a very simple recipe and you can adjust quantities to taste, how much you want, how much you have in the fridge.

Pasta Salad

Cook some pasta.

You can use any pasta, but have been using and prefer De Cecco’s Fusilli.

While the pasta is cooking, in a frying pan add some olive oil and then add onions and red pepper. After that has cooked for a while add some mushrooms.

Ensure that they are cooked through, add some freshly chopped parsley and turn off the heat.

Now you could add the pepper and mushrooms raw, but I prefer to have them cooked.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and then to stop it cooking further and to cool it down rinse well with cold water.

Put the cooked pasta in a bowl, add a splash of olive oil for flavour and to stop it sticking. Note always add oil to cooked and drained pasta to stop it sticking. Adding it the boiling water does not do this as the oil floats on the top of the water.

To the cooked pasta add some mayonnaise and some creme frache.

Then add the cooked mixture.

Stir with a spoon until the rice and cooked mixture is evenly coated. As with a lot of salads though you could serve this straight away, it will improve if you leave it in the fridge for a few hours.


Pasta with Pork and Cream

Cooked a nice simple pasta dish tonight.

In a hot pan, cook off some pancetta, now add some diced (or sliced) pork and brown.

Now add some finely chopped red onion and add some Italian herbs.

In another hot pan, add a splash of olive oil then cook some sliced mushrooms, they will cook and taste much better than cooking them with the pork and onions.

Cook some fresh pasta in a pan of rolling boiling water.

To the mushrooms add some freshly chopped parsley.

Then add the mushrooms to the pork, add a tub of creme frache, some grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

Drain the cooked pasta, and add the pork and cream mixture on top.

Add some more grated parmesan to taste.