Sometimes the greatest ideas, the most obvious combinations lead to naught. I don’t mind my dinner being a bit rubbish if I haven’t made much effort. But when I have followed a recipe to the letter, not making any substitutions (which is exceedingly rare) and it still tastes a bit, well, blah, then I feel cheated. Tonight I made Nigel Slater’s pork with lime, chilli and peanuts. I love all of those ingredients; I especially love them combined, as they were, with garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, spring onions and herbs. But it didn’t work or at least it did nothing for me: there was no fresh zing, no sense of the flavours working together and all I could taste was lime and chilli.
The recipe came from Nigel Slater’s Real Food which was, I think, his fifth book. I wonder if, like other writers, food writers improve with practice and age and he had yet to reach the heights of The Kitchen Diaries; however that makes no sense because his first book is brilliant. But the whole situation leaves me not only hungry but with a dilemma: I don’t want to share a recipe that doesn’t work but, this being a Mon-Fri blog, I must share something. So, since I have to return Bill Granger to the library this weekend (I’ve renewed it seven times; might be sensible to just buy it) here is his fabulous coriander salsa recipe which I make a lot. Like the pork, it is full of wonderful ingredients, albeit fewer of them; unlike the pork it tastes of something. BG serves this with a marinated spicy steak; I usually have it with a grilled sirloin though something tells me it would be lovely with pork too. I wish I’d used my chillis and lime juice on this instead.
Bill Granger’s coriander salsa
You will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
plain oil (e.g. sunflower), 60ml
caster sugar, 1 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
fresh coriander, 50g
lime juice, 2 tbsp (I find that one lime yields this much but it will depend on the size and ripeness of the fruit)
large red chilli
Thai fish sauce (nam pla), 1 tbsp
1. Rinse and chop the coriander (include both the leaves and the stems) and de-stalk and chop the chilli. You can de-seed the chilli too if you like but I never bother.
2. Juice the lime and measure out 2 tablespoons.
3. Mix everything together and serve with something chargrilled, like a steak or a pork chop.
I so know what you mean about following a recipe and putting in the effort for it to turn out average. Very annoying.
Bill’s recipe sounds delicious. I’m definitely going to make this. Just reading the ingredients list, you know its going to be one of those simple sauces that just make a meal amazing.
Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks for reading! Glad I’m not the only one
who has this problem!