One reason I love the weekends (one of many, to be honest) is because you can slow everything down a lot more - there's no rush to get dinner on the table within 20 minutes because it's already 7pm and you're knackered, so you can spend a bit more time hunting down a new recipe and cooking away with some music on in the background.
This is what I did last weekend, and I had a bit of encouragement from Thomas Cook Airlines, who asked me to cook up a Lanzarote inspired dish to draw attention to the fact that it's not just out of season sunshine that has people flocking to the Canary Islands. I had some help in the form of fresh ingredients*, some blog posts filled with recipe ideas and this RIDICULOUSLY cool Lava Rock* and all that remained was for me to shut myself up in my kitchen for a little while.
The weather in Edinburgh last weekend was lovely, sunny and springlike, so I decided to cook up a fairly light two course lunch to eat in front of the window - almost like being on holiday eh? I was desperate to use my cool new volcanic rock slab so decided on slices of simply cooked medium rare sirloin steak, drizzled with green mojo sauce and accompanied by salty wrinkly potatoes (papas arrugadas) - followed by Spanish almond cream (bienmesabe) and vanilla ice-cream.
- Rub a pinch of good quality salt and pepper into sirloin steak - I tend to do this 10-15 minutes after taking the steak out of the fridge so that it isn't too cold.
- Spray your heated lava rock (or a frying pan or griddle works too!) with your choice of oil - I use rapeseed oil.
- Cook for two minutes on either side, or longer if you prefer your meat a bit less pink in the middle.
- Rest the steak for 10 minutes under some foil before slicing and serving.
The Papas Arrugadas
- Wash 1/2 kg of new potatoes and pat dry before adding to a large saucepan.
- Just cover the potatoes with water and add 3 tablespoons of coarse sea salt or rock salt.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes until softened.
- Drain the potatoes (leave a teeny bit of water in the pan), add a little more salt and shake until covered and then return to the heat until the remaining water has evaporated, leaving a layer of white salt on the surface of the potatoes.
- Serve immediately.
The Green Mojo Sauce
- Blend 3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 chopped green peppers, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and 2 handfuls of coriander.
- Serve immediately.
I'm gonna be honest - my dessert didn't QUITE turn out like the photos I'd seen - I think I over toasted the almonds so it was much darker in colour and it didn't quite thicken up enough. HOWEVER, one of my favourite things about cooking is the fact that it's actually quite difficult to completely ruin something - we ended up drizzling this sweet almondy sauce over vanilla ice-cream to resemble a twist on affogato and it was yummy.
- Toast 1/2 cup peeled and blanched almonds before blending to a gritty powder.
- Bring 1/2 cup of water to the boil and add the almonds along with 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of salt and the zest of half a lemon.
- Stir constantly whilst simmering for five minutes until the mixture has thickened and then remove from the heat and cool for 30 minutes.
- Whisk one egg yolk and beat into the mixture whilst bringing back to the boil.
- Serve warm over vanilla ice-cream.
I'm going to be making something similar to this A LOT this summer, it's the perfect alternative for when you can't actually be bothered to fire up the barbecue for just two people - and there's something very cool about cooking on an actual freaking slab of rock. It would make a great talking point for a dinner party too!
This week Thomas Cook Airlines will have a little competition between the bloggers taking part in this cook off with the chance to win a trip to Lanzarote - I'll pop the details here as soon as it's live if you'd like to vote for me!