Jamie Hoyle, Food Columnist, shares what he cooked up in the kitchen for Valentine’s day and how you can make yourself a tuna steak that Jamie (Oliver.. and Hoyle) would be proud of….
Week one and I’ve been thrown in at the deep end. Valentine’s Day. A day personified by desire, passion and romance, yes even in the kitchen. Think candles. Think Robbie Williams’ best hits on in the background, warming up a cold February night. Think handsome boyfriend, towel over his shoulder, frying pan in hand, propelling a roaring flame high into the air. It’s enough to make anyone in love.
Needless to say, however, there is nothing desirable, passionate or romantic about my cooking. Cut to my kitchen. Think lights fully on so I don’t chop off a finger. Think radio on mute so I can hear my girlfriend reading out the recipe off my laptop. Think setting my fingers on fire when I held the chilli against a raw flame. You get the idea.
Anyway, as alluded to last week, Jamie Oliver’s Sicilian-style tuna Carpaccio was on the menu which is essentially raw tuna steak with a caper, dill, basil, garlic, chilli and olive oil paste/sauce thing and decorated with rocket and lemon. Let me start by confessing that I made a tiny error in my previous column. This is not a dish that is affordable to your average student! The tuna steaks were £6 on their own and the whole meal cost about £14 for 2 portions, better than restaurant prices, but you wouldn’t want to spend that much every day. But it’s Valentine’s, and I’m nice, so I’m doing it anyway.
What? No, I’m not doing a dessert – I’m not made of money.
The dish itself is actually relatively simple and it revolves around 2 components. The tuna is easy enough – smother that in lemon juice until you’ve flooded your plate. The paste, as we’ll call it, involves capers soaked in rosé for 10 minutes (not quite sure why but Mr. Oliver told me to), with finely chopped dill, basil, garlic and chilli. Although this sounds straightforward, I can assure you that the only thing I finely chop with any precision are my pubes. Finely chopping food took me a while. These were then placed in a bowl and mixed well with extra virgin olive oil. Oh yeah, the chilli. Living up to what I’m known best for, as aforementioned, I thought that just holding it with my bare hands over a raw flame was a good idea. It wasn’t. Then I used a fork. That caught fire. Finally I found some tongs. Crisis averted.
Put the two components together and garnish it with rocket and lemon and voila, my first dish on my ‘journey’ to Michelin stars was complete. Moreover, it actually tasted quite good, I could get used to this. Sadly it just wasn’t enough quantity wise. I ate it just thinking: “God I’d love some chips to go with this”. So that’s what I did. I went down the chippy, bought a large portion, shared it with the girlfriend, happy days. The Gourmet Fish & Chip shop on Longbrook Street – I highly recommend.
Oh, was that cheating?
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