I knew it was going to be a good night at Cooking Club when my friend Darren brought me a steaming cup of Peppermint Hot Chocolate before dinner. What a scrumptious way to warm up before our feasting began!
I was too sick to make it to my British Night birthday dinner last week, but my lovely friends did a repeat for me and it was marvelous.
While the others cooked and bustled in the kitchen, I served up a few nibbles to tide us over: dilled green beans, Kalamata olives, and artichoke hearts.
Cameron unwrapped the cheesecloth-bound, salt-cured pork he made and sliced it into delectable little morsels of salty goodness. It went perfectly with Don’s mild Swiss cheese slices and glasses of red wine.
Soon the British portion of our feast was piping hot and ready to be eaten. We dug into Cameron’s herbed mashed potatoes…
…Robin’s peppery mashed turnips…
…Jen’s Toad-in-the-Hole, and drenched everything in beef gravy. Mmm, comfort food at its finest.
We ended the meal with a bowl of roasted chestnuts which we peeled and devoured as we visited happily around the dining table. It was a fabulous birthday dinner.
What is comfort food to you?
Jen’s Toad in the Hole – click here for the recipe.
Robin’s Mashed Turnips
turnips, peeled and diced
salt and pepper to taste
- Place turnips in pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until tender. Drain.
- Add butter, milk, salt and lots of pepper. Mix until smooth.
Cameron’s Salt-Cured Pork Loin
salt (several cups)
pork loin, cut into 2-3 inch strips
- Add salt to water and stir until dissolved. Keep adding until it won’t dissolve anymore.
- Add meat to salt water and make sure it’s covered. Let sit 24 hours.
- Remove meat from water and pat dry. Dip in cognac, salt, wrap tightly in cheesecloth, and hang in cool, dry place for 3-5 weeks. (Can also be smoked lightly before wrapping in cheesecloth)
- Unwrap, slice thinly and serve.