Sweet Potato and Haloumi Salad

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This was done on the same night at the Pheasant dish posted earlier. Basically it’s using up what’s hanging around, which is what we’re all about really. Carol had bought some haloumi that was going out of date and in true Southbank Stadium style I decided to use it a whole month after the sell by date. Who decides these dates and how? I mean the haloumi is cheese and cheese matures doesn’t it? Also it’s vac packed so no air can get in to spoil the cheese. I do despair of people who throw away good food because of the date. they’re uneducated and possibly quite snobby and would look down their nose at you for using such food.

Carol also a while back bought a pack of sweet Potatoes that were past their sell by date and again these were a few weeks on from that date too. How am I still alive?

I decided on a salad again as I planned to have the Pheasant and this dish on the same night so I had to keep both dishes light so I did go out and buy some well in date salad leaves.

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Sweet potato to me is a bit restrictive, I don’t like it mashed. Baked maybe but I do like it cut in to wedges or chips and roasting them. I did this by cutting them in to even shaped chips, tossing in olive oil and then for extra texture sprinkled them with cous cous and baked for around 30 minutes.
Meanwhile for the haloumi I tend to like mine with some crunch too so I breadcrumbed them in the usual flour egg breadcrumbs way and shallow fried them in olive oil again. There’s no science to cooking haloumi and I find this is the easiest way, when the breadcrumbs are golden, the cheese is cooked.
I dressed the salad and haloumi and sweet potato in a sweet chilli dressing, basically some sweet chilli dipping sauce mixed with some oil and drizzled.

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I must say it was lovely. We didn’t need a sommelier to match wine with these dishes we just had our usual tipples. I do like Pinotage these days and Carol’s always liked Rioja.
So two easy dishes for you to try, if you’ve got haloumi hanging around…
Glad to be back
Mugsie

Pheasant with Porcini. Up Your’s Fine Dining!

How many wrongs can I right with this post? Plenty but how far will it get me? Nowhere.

Actually scrub that. Food done right will get you to Nirvana.

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First “Wrong” is actually deciding to post something for the first time in 6 months when you’ve just got a new camera. I paid top dosh for the last one 15 years ago but alas my Mega-Pixels are ancient. The new camera is ace, I just haven’t learned to use it properly yet. So unfortunately my “top view” picture is a little blurred and undefined.

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My second “Wrong” is being slightly Scottish.

My third “Wrong” is fulfilling an ambition to eat at a top swanky fine dining establishment. I had £160 to spend after recieving a long service award at Tesco. Arrrggghh! Tempus Fugit. So spend it I did.
I love the fact that I can give a ham fisted go at any meal, even invent some meals . I know in the end I will be
a. FULL
b. SATISFIED

Having just spent an evening at a Michelin Star Aspiring restaurant I can honestly say that I was neither full or satisfied.
Sure, the razor clam was nice, or the sauce was, and the teaspoon I got to eat it with tells you how big the dish was.
The scallop in the next dish, yes, “The Scallop”, was scallopy and the sauces were nice………I can go on but I know you’ve got the drift. I kind of got the feeling that I was paying for someone to wash the massive plates that everything was served on.
If we had gone for the full experience we could have spent £280 easily for just the two of us. Ive done it now and I can get a little pious when I watch Masterchef The Proffesionals and say “I can do better than that”.

So a mate brings round some pheasants and partridges. Unfortunately it’s still warmish and Mr Bluebottle had gotten to most of the birds. I managed to rescue his birds and two breasts for myself. I won’t go in to how, but I took two breast fillets from the carcasses.

The day before while walking my usual run round Lidl I spotted a pack of dried porcini mushrooms. They are, without doubt, apart from truffles, the king of mushrooms. Hold on. How old am I ? 25years ago I would have been raving, yes raving about magic mushrooms from Rivington Pike but now it’s Porcini! Hell yeah.
I had a simple plan. Cook the pheasant breasts, rehydrate porcini, fry porcini, use the porcini water and reduce it down with some butter to an intense porcini drizzle. Serve with salad and Balsamic dressing.

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Honestly. It really was so much better than any food I had paid for.
I take you back to  “Wrong” No 2. !