Happy Valentines day! Hope yours was as relaxing as mine was. My beautiful best friend, L-bean took me on a femme-date for sushi in Newtown followed by a Thai massage. It wasn’t quite your conventional Valentines day date when you’re alternating between purring happily and on the verge of sleep, to wincing in pain at the hands of a small Thai lady who at times felt like she was performing handstands on my back.
Suitably relaxed and supple, I went home to prepare a little something for Valentines day dinner for my bf, the co-pilot, who was on his way back from a business trip. With no kitchen and all my kitchen contents in boxes scattered around my house I’m limited to the ways I can cook at the moment. I had harboured some fantasies that perhaps my kitchen would be finished before the weekend – or at the very least I’d have the oven at my disposal (which I was going to use to cook up a Southern-inspired tasting menu for Valentines day with buffalo wings in blue cheese sauce and sticky meaty racks of ribs), but alas that was wishful thinking.
So, I changed tact and settled on a slow cooked beef and red wine stew made using my slow cooker crockpot. I used half a kilo of blade steak; some potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, lots of mushrooms; a can of cream of mushroom soup; red wine; chilli, thyme, a sprig of rosemary and of course salt and pepper. I put all of this in the crockpot and left it to cook for 4 hours until the beef was tender.
I made a simple ripe roma tomato and julienned cucumber salad dressed with good olive oil and aged balsamic and a few slivers of boccarones (inspired by my recent salads at Fix St James and Da Gianni Trattoria), and as the meal was so simple to prepare, I went out and got some little sweet treats from my favourite patisserie, Pasticceria Tamborrino in Five Dock.
A delicious hearty meal that was amazingly easy to prepare (well, it would have been if I had a working kitchen and didn’t have to prepare everything between my bathroom and the coffee table). I often forget about my slow cooker but I think I’ll make more use of it from now on.
75 Great North Road, Five Dock; (02) 9712 1461
Open Tuesday – Saturday 06:30 – 17:00; Sunday 07:00 -12.30
Foodie in the know:
Despite my lack of sweet tooth I lurve this patisserie because they make mini versions of all the popular treats so you can have more variety with every bite. Check out the cake display cabinet whilst you’re there – their cakes are works of art.