As many of you know, I am temporarily back in the UK until summer 2017.
Whilst here I have been fascinated by the amount of television airtime given over to cookery programmes (not that I am complaining as I love anything to do with cooking and food – especially when it is linked to travel as many of them are)
A lot of them have taken up the stance of promoting home cooking (again something which I am all for) and particularly using ‘leftovers’. Now this, as many of you also know, is a subject very close to my heart and I am often ‘making something out of nothing’, but now every celebrity chef is banging on about it as if he / she has invented the wheel…….
So my next four posts are going to involve leftover ingredients that I had in my fridge over the weekend.
I usually tie in a little cultural feature, so, taking advantage of what my lovely ‘birth city’ has to offer, here is a little look around some of the statues, celebrating Liverpool life………
These two iconic figures, the sadly recently passed away ‘Cilla Black’ (born Pricilla White), Liverpool’s favourite daughter, who began working as a cloakroom attendant in the famous ‘Cavern Club’ on Mathew street, where she was discovered by the Beatles and shot to stardom with her powerful voice belting out such songs as ‘Anyone who had a heart’ and ‘You’re my World’ amongst many, many others; and the tragically taken from us too soon ‘John Lennon’ Liverpool’s favourite son, who has the city’s international airport named after him.
Another interesting feature of Mathew street is the Cavern’s ‘Wall of Fame’, where the names of all the acts who have performed there over the years are represented by a brick.
Quite a few famous names dotted about in there, many would have been before they were actually famous
The Cavern club links in nicely with my ‘Taste of Two Cities’ theme as the idea for the club, and indeed it’s very name, came directly from the founder, Alan Sytner, visiting ‘Le Caveau de la Huchette’ a jazz club in the cellar of a former fruit warehouse in’my home town for the last nine years’, Paris, and he opened the Liverpool equivalent as a jazz club in 1957.
I am too young to have been part of the Cavern scene, but the site was turned into ‘The Revolution’ in the mid seventies, then became ‘Eric’s’ in the late seventies / early eighties, which gave rise to the ‘punk rock’ era in the city, a scene that I was very much part of, but that’s another story………
Mathew street is still a hub of activity in the city and I was amused to see tourists and natives queueing in an orderly manner to have their photos taken with ‘Out Cilla’
No mention of Liverpool’s street statues would be complete without a mention of the ‘Fab Four’ gracing the Pier Head’ waterfront, but I couldn’t manage to get a photo without a tourist making up a fab fifth member…………
A little lesser known one though is that of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ from the song of the same name, tucked away on a bench on Stanley street………‘All the lonely people, where do they all come from. All the lonely people, where do they all belong’ has a sad resonance today walking around the city and seeing the amount of homeless people sleeping rough on the streets and another sad similarity with Paris.
Another interesting fact that I discovered yesterday, is that this statue is actually singer / performer and made by the Tommy Steel for the princely fee of 3p – plenty of ‘pub quiz’ trivia to keep you going in this post and I hope it has inspired some of you to come and see these statues for yourselves…..
Now, back to the recipe………
½ a packet of leftover bacon Lardons from a previous ‘Beouf Bourgignon’
Some ‘scraps’ of fillet steak that were too small to put on the raclette
½ a leftover Red Onion, finely chopped
½ 1 left over Red pepper, finely cubed
1 small Carrot (I always have a good supply of carrots on ‘stand-by’ to make soup or ‘carrot rapé’ or just throw in a casserole or veggie curry), finely cubed
½ a left over Celery stick, finely sliced
1 clove Garlic, crushed
A little left over fresh Chilli, finely chopped
4 or 5 left over Chestnut mushrooms, quartered
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
A splash of Red wine vinegar
½ pint of Beef stock
A good pinch of Mustard seeds
4 small left over potatoes, finely sliced
Sauté the lardons in their own fat until beginning to brown
Add the red onion, carrot, celery and pepper a little at a time so not to create steam and continue to sauté Add the garlic, chilli, steak and mushrooms and sauté until beef and mushrooms begin to brown Add the mustard seeds, salt and pepper
Add the red wine vinegar and beef stock
Pour into a casserole dish and top with the finely sliced potatoes and bake at 200 degrees / gas mark 6 for 45 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and crisp
I served with some (left over) steamed Kale, but I think some warm crusty bread would go very well with this dish, if you were of a carb eating nature
So get into your kitchens and get creative with your leftovers……..