Archive for the 'Food' Category

Home Alone

Tina gets all the fun blogging about food.

She’s out tonight, though, so it’s my turn. I’ve been reading the Julie/Julia blog, on the back of seeing the movie, so I felt inspired to do something French. Or, failing that, something French-inspired. Or, failing that, something involving butter.

I must admit, I’ve done very little cooking in the last year or two. Having a professional foodie in the house means that, at the best of times, the greatest benefit comes from Tina in the kitchen instead of me. Add to that the fact that our kitchen isn’t really big enough for two people at once; that she knows where everything is kept, and has the occasional desire to re-arrange things meaning that I, at any given time, usually don’t; and the general human tendency to start barking orders when someone else is doing something one believes one can do better oneself (thinking of Tina and cooking, of course, but I’m sure she feels the same about me and computers) and we have a self-reinforcing cycle whereby Tina exercises her tremendous cooking talents and I make sure to thank her profusely in between mouthsful.

But, as stated, tonight it’s my turn.

One of my fallback recipes, a step or two behind the ubiquitous stir-fry, is steak with mushroom sauce. If memory serves, Tina taught me to make mushroom sauce soon after we started dating. It seemed like it could be passed off as vaguely French and would benefit from butter, so it seemed like a good idea.

It occurred to me – and a quick Google search confirmed this – that a slosh of red wine would work well in such a sauce. Our wine collection is showing a bias from buying red and white wine in equal quantities but having a strong preference to drinking red – that is, we only had a few bottles of red, none of which I’d be sloshing around in a sauce without anyone to share it with – so I went down to Dan Murphy’s to pick up some cleanskins.

A quick aside about Dan Murphy’s. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with them. Apparently they put the screws on wine suppliers in regard to price and only deal in large quantities, which is fine for the big wineries but tends to work against small producers, and having a close relationship with at least one boutique winery I can’t, in good conscience, say that I support their business model. On the other hand, as a consumer, the fact that they’re cheaper than most other places, and that they stock cleanskins that go against the usual trend of tasting like vinegar diluted with kerosene, means that I usually end up buying booze from there anyway. Plus they’re a few minutes down the road.

So, armed with a 2008 “Reserve” Shiraz from “South Eastern Australia” and a sirloin from our (excellent) local butcher, I took a rare excursion into our kitchen.

Cooking off the red wine from the mushrooms

It turned out pretty well. I cooked the sirloin in butter (heh), then used the juices as a base for the sauce, adding the mushrooms and more butter (heh heh), some sage (of which we have an infinite supply), then the red wine, then after the wine boiled off, some cream. There were about a bazillion green beans in the fridge, which worked well with more butter (heh heh heh) and the overflow of the sauce.

The finished meal.

So there we have it. Sirloin in a creamy mushroom and cleanskin red wine sauce, with green beans and a glass of said wine.

I can do this food-blogging shit. Nothing to it.

(Oh, and the post title wasn’t just a cry of loneliness; Home Alone 2 was on TV while I was cooking. It’s actually better than I remember it. Which isn’t saying a lot.)