Venison steak salad

So last Thursday I went for a day out to the Yorkshire Show in Harrogate (picture heavy post to come) and I picket up some Venison minute steaks. At the Yorkshire show they were heavily promoting eating game with game cookery demonstrations. I know some people are squeamish about eating venison and certain other types of game but it is a good idea to embrace the idea of it. All venison are free range, they are often killed for meat in order to control their numbers and they live a better life out in the open when compared with some animals farmed for meat. Venison is also a very lean and tasty red meat. However, I am aware that some people’s opinions will not be changed so the meat can be substituted for normal beef steak.

To contrast with the flavour of the meat I used salad items with a bit of peppery bite to them. To make this salad I mixed a fiery “Foragers Salad” (reduced in M&S) with watercress. (Basically just mix watercress or rocket with the salad leaves of your choice). To this I added radishes and tomatoes slow roasted in basil and olive oil. I fried the minute steak for just under a minute and let it rest for a few minutes (the meat tastes way juicier this way). Finally I dressed the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sliced the venison. After taking this picture J tossed the salad to ensure everything was mixed more evenly.

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For those of you with sharp eyes, you may have noticed that there are flowers dotted in this salad. In my opinion they make everything look prettier and don’t taste too floral. However, I do appreciate that some of you will sympathise with J for having an annoying girlfriend that forces him to eat flowers!

I hope you carnivores enjoy this meat based salad. It’s definitely a lighter way to enjoy meat in the summer.

Warsaw – the Food

As mentioned previously, J and I visited Warsaw Poland earlier this month. We ate in some completely lovely restaurants including a more traditional Polish restaurant where we ended up eating on the first and last night, a communist themed restaurant and a sushi restaurant (we felt the need for something lighter one day). The food in general is really tasty, I particularly fell in love with pierogi/perogi filled with sauerkraut and wild mushrooms. I also adored my venison steak which arrived absolutely swimming in garlic butter. J liked the Polish bar snacks and his giant meringue cake.

It was just as well we did a lot of walking really, not once did we receive a small portion and we really really enjoyed most of the food (apart from one rubbish Greek salad in the old town). I’m already dreaming of my next perogi….

Food gawking

So, I haven’t quite jumped onto the instagram bandwagon yet (I probably should for blogging purposes). However, having more than a passing interest in food, I tend to collect photos of beautiful food in every form. A lot of these pictures are things my friends have made or are meals in restaurants I’ve reviewed. I hope you enjoy having a look at my food (and a couple of non food) adventures.

Some information about where I ate out at Wagamama and So! by clicking on the links.

Edinburgh part 2 – Tigerlily (So I procrastinated a bit with this post)

So you know from a previous post that J and I had a weekend away at the end of January to celebrate our 5 years together. Well I have a second restaurant review for your entertainment and enjoyment. I didn’t review every restaurant we visited as it does get pretty wearing I think for friends, partners and family when you are taking pictures of their food and saying “Don’t eat that! I need a photo for my blog!”. I did, for a variety of reasons, put off writing this for some time as we are now half way through March. Silly me!

Anyway, the staff at the Tigerlily (which is a boutique hotel with a fabulous restaurant) were completely lovely and managed to fit us in despite our lack of booking. The menu was lovely and pretty fashionable looking (not that I really know all that much about food fashion) making it difficult to choose. The restaurant was beautifully decorated and somehow it felt really intimate despite being really busy, mood lighting and the way it was all set out was probably something to do with this.

Enough scene setting, onto the food. I do apologise that the quality of the pictures isn’t the best. The “mood lighting” and me trying to be subtle made it difficult to get the perfect photo.

I started with tempura soft shell crab with wasabi mayonnaise and chilli and mango salad.

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I was really savouring these. The batter was perfectly crisp and the crab was divine. I could have eaten double the quantity but that says more about my love of battered seafood than portion size.

J had wild mushroom risotto, parmesan tuille and truffle oil.

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This picture really doesn’t do this justice. This was simply gorgeous, rich earthy flavours and perfectly balanced flavours. One of the best risottos I’ve eaten.

For my main course I had Szechuan pepper crusted tuna with bok choi and red miso.

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The tuna was cooked just how I like it. Rare in the centre and cooked but still tender on the outside. This was a great mix of flavours, especially the red miso which was unlike any miso I have tasted before. It was gloriously tart and really complimented the tuna.

J who had (more than once) said he fancied venison had Scottish haunch of venison with caramelised onion, barley, kale and juniper jus.

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The flavours of this dish were great. Really rich like venison dishes are supposed to be. J mentioned that the venison was a bit chewy, but as venison is ALWAYS free range it’s often less soft than other meats as the deer are run round in the wild allowing stronger muscles to develop. The meat had a lovely, rich taste though like you would expect it to have.

Now as a side note I should point out that J cycles and this was his last full weekend of eating what he liked without worrying. For dessert we decided to be really decadent and order chocolate fondue. We also discovered dessert wine (and a pretty amazing dessert wine at that). Looking at the restaurant menu it was called “Zuccardi reserva Torrontes Tardio.

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The fondue came with the above. somehow, even though strawberries are out of season and out of season strawberries are usually disappointingly tasteless to say the least. These weren’t, they were really tasty. I am of the opinion that Scottish strawberries are the nicest but my opinion may have been influenced by my Glasweigan grandmother taking me strawberry picking near Peebles one summer. I digress. Anyway, this dessert was glorious and we had lots of messy fun dipping the various items into the chocolate. The dessert wine was delicious and tasted citrussy, just like the wine list promised. J even piped up “goodbye chocolate” and he tucked in.

I will definitely visit both of these restaurants if I visited the city again. However, there are so many places to eat in this wonderful city I’ll always feel spoilt for choice and would obviously try lots of other eateries. I love Edinburgh as a city too, I have many happy memories of the places, both as an adult and as a child being taking around the Museum of Childhood with my parents, brother and grandparents. It’s a place I will keep visiting my whole life I think – even though the steps will inevitably cause a problem when I’m old and grey.

You can find out about Tigerlily here.