I was looking for something to make with the Spicy roast pumpkin, feta & olive salad from the 2002 issue so decided that it would help to get through the recipes to make something to go with it from issue #20. I had marked a lot of recipes that interested me in this issue so was sure that I could find something that would work with it.
Jill Dupleix's Steak Diane is absolutely to die for. I have made this a number of times. I remember making it when this issue first came out and it was a revelation. Made, unlike most recipes that I know of, without cream. It has a brilliant tang to it and I would choose this recipe over a more traditional one any day. However, since I have already made this one more than once I had to move on to something else.
Another favourite in the issue is Valli Little's Quick chicken & tomato casserole. It is a rich and full of flavour dish. I have modified the cooking method slightly though. I use thigh fillets and let the dish simmer for around 15 - 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred it and then return to the sauce to warm through and serve with pasta. The longer cooking time helps to develop the flavour and, I think, makes it a richer sauce. This is a fantastic quick weekday meal and wonderful served with a nice green salad.
I ended up making something a long a similar line to the steak diane in Valli Little's Pork cutlets with sherry vinegar. This was very enjoyable. I have a nice large bottle of sherry vinegar that I acquired from an online providore that was closing down. It is a wonderful vinegar that I have been using sparingly as I have no idea when or where I will be able to obtain more. I find that it is very smooth vinegar that has a bit of a kick but nothing like the raw kick from white vinegar. I even find it better than the good red vinegar that I have. However, since I am using it sparingly, I dutifully had to cut the recipe down so that I wasn't using 150 ml of my precious sherry vinegar however I may have cut it down too far as I was wanting more of this delicious sauce. I didn't have tarragon so I just left it out. I didn't have any creme fraiche so I left it out too. This was a rich and luscious sauce for the pork and all the vinegar and alcohol did a wonderful job of tenderising the pork cutlet which was just melt in the mouth. I personally think that creme fraiche would have spoilt it but that is just my personal tastes. I would definitely recommend making this one. The sweet, salty and spicy salad of pumpkin, feta and olives was a perfect accompaniment to this dish.