Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blood Cake

In case you're wondering what that is---it's blood pudding topped with a poached egg that has been generously dusted with cayenne pepper and drizzled with Lea and Perrins; all sitting atop a piece of rye bread. That's it. That's my dinner. Okay, my wife also made a salad of lambs' lettuce and orange segments that cut beautifully through the richness of the main.

What is there to say beyond that?

Poach an egg - boiling water, a bit of vinegar, a gentle simmer, three minutes. That's it. Then frizzle up the blood pudding. Find a good purveyor of the pud - don't buy the Maple Leaf brand stuff - it's awful. I get mine from  a very trusted butcher. The kind of butcher shop that you hang out in to talk meat. Anyway, this wasn't a blood cake in the truest sense of the word. What I did was release the black pudding from it's casing, fried large slices of it in butter and then lay them about the plate in a vague semblance to a cake.

I guess the last thing to say is that a man named Fergus inspired this simple dinner. I base this recipe loosely on the Blood Cake served in the St. John restaurant in London. (to be exact, Fergus' blood cake had a fried egg, not a poached egg) Fergus Henderson, the chef-owner, is a personal hero of mine. I own both his cookbooks (the Nose to Tail series). He has no formal culinary training (he started out as an architect), and yet through instinct and passion he has created a restaurant that Anthony Bourdin claims as his favourite in the world. One day I'll get up the courage (and the scratch) to get on a plane and go visit Fergus' place, but until then, I'll make my own blood cake at home. The ultimate comfort food.

It turned a bad day good.

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