[london.food] Things I have learnt whilst cooking roast dinner in America

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From: Simon Wistow
Subject: [london.food] Things I have learnt whilst cooking roast dinner in America
Date: 05:31 on 19 Dec 2006
... a short essay.

Yesterday I cooked Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding for my American 
colleagues. Despite having cooked this dozens of times before things 
didn't go quite according to plan. I think this might be because things 
are slightly different here. 

For a start the cuts of beef are not the same. We ended up choosing 
Tri-Tip which, I suppose, was kind of like Silverside. That actually 
came out brilliantly and is a nice cut of meat although a bit lean so 
not much gravy.

I couldn't find floury potatoes so the roast tatties came out a bit, 
well, not like roast tatties. A little like sauteed potatoes although a 
smidge softer.

There were parsnips but they were very logn and thin. I scrubbed them 
rather than peeled them and roasted them, adding a little parmesan right 
at the end. They were awesome.

Cabbage with apples and pears was lovely. Carrots in butter, cinammon 
and honey also were good although a lapse in concentration caused a 
couple to catch at the bottom of the pan.

The Yorkshire Puds ... well, disaster struck because a small error meant
I couldn't find any milk, only cream. Even if I had found milk it's very 
different from english milk. I tried to thin the cream out with 
sparkling water a la various blini recipes. It didn't work. The puddings 
didn't rise properly and were greasy. Which sucked. 

Cauliflower cheese was a bit odd as well because there was no Cheddar 
(as we know it) or other suitable crumbly cheese like Wenslydale or 
Cheshire. Also, as previously mentioned, no milk. Only cream. Still it 
came out ok I just needed far less roux.

The other issue when trying something as, err, multitracked as a roast 
dinner is that I'd never cooked in that kitchen before. I realised that 
when I was planning the vegetables etc I'd mentally just assumed that 
I'd have all the same pans and roasting tins as my house. This turned 
out not to be the case. And the oven used Fahrenheit which threw me a 

In short, I was a little ambitious but more confident for next time. 
Although I think I mike experiment with the Yorkshires and maybe feed 
the Americans Toad-in-the-Hole first.

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