Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Leftovers from 2012 and big things for 2013


Is there really anything that horseradish cannot improve? Words to live by, I say.

In any event, for those who care to notice, there has been little  happenings at the Beech Tree as of late. This is not to say that I'm not keeping myself busy, in fact, quite the contrary. I have managed to cook up some pretty impressive fare over the course of the Holiday season including forty servings of crispy brick chicken, garnished with walnut and parsley gremolata for my office's Christmas party. I also embarked on a fine assortment of seafood for Christmas eve, including my once-a-year indulgence of plump, wild-caught Atlantic prawns (terribly expensive, but once a year, it's worth it). For these I go old school; simply de-vein them, shell them, steam briefly till just done and then chill. Serve retro-style, hung from the rim of an ice-cold martini glass. Make sure the glass is filled with pungent cocktail sauce that positively evokes tears with horseradish. For the big day, I found myself as a guest and not a cook - a happy, if not infrequent, diversion. However, I cannot help but provide food, so my contribution to said feast consisted of small crunchy toasts gilded with proper creme fraiche, slivers of lightly pickled red onion, fresh dill and dainty drapings of smoked Atlantic salmon. Of course, a generous grating of horseradish sealed the deal - not a terribly kid-friendly hors d'oeuvre, but a barn buster among us old folk.

Ahh, horseradish - this nasal-clearing condiment has been my flavour profile of choice during a cold December. It has also followed over into the new year. Mayan Apocalypse notwithstanding, there have been plenty of sniffly noses, up-all-night coughing fits, over-excited kid injuries and other small calamities that make leftovers such a Godsend for those quick meals. Such was the photo above that demonstrates the ease with which last year's grub can produce this year's lunch. A recipe is hardly necessary, the requisite ingredients and accoutrements are all evident in the photo: leftover rib of beef, coral pink and tender as butter. The horseradish is what takes it to the next level. Make sure it's freshly grated. The root will keep for some time, lurking silently in your crisper, waiting patiently for an opportunity to knock your socks off with vaporous, earthy heat. Or even better, toss the ugly root into the deep freeze - it will grate into much finer (and more potent) shavings when done frozen and will last for months.

I suppose discussion of the new year also leads to discussion of resolutions, objectives and goals. Typically I hate words such as these - usually they are found spewing out of a motivational speaker's mouth and meaning really little to someone like me. However, this year is different for a whole host of reasons that will be revealed as events warrant. If all goes according to these 'resolutions, objectives and goals', the Beech Tree may very well be out-growing this little lunch box of a blog and moving onto grander adventures.

Taking the occasional risk is part of a well-lived life; I feel a really big one coming on.


1 comment:

  1. A little bravery and knowing you can always ask your friends for help......like ol'20 years in the business me...

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