Wednesday, January 13, 2010

first bites

The first thing that struck me when we thought about eating meat again was the variety. Seriously, it's almost endless. Now I know there's a lot of vegetarian options out there - I know, I tried 20 years of them, but adding meat into the equation just changed my way of thinking. Rather than dinner being "vegetarian lasagne and salad" it could be chicken {roasted, grilled, thighs, breasts, kebabs, poached...} with salad...

But the thing was, at nearly 40 I had no idea how to cook the meat. As I was 17 when I gave the stuff up that meant there were a lot of learning years that'd flown by. Unused. So I had to start afresh. Thank goodness for the internet and Lifestyle Food. Cooking programs were my saviour. So was a meat thermometer that saved many a roast.

I think I've finally mastered the perfect steak {after tips from Gordon Ramsay and my friend Pete!} and now I can serve up a perfectly seared on the outside, pink on the inside piece of caramelised tender goodness.

I went from chicken being my favourite food in my teen years, to dropping low on my list of loves now {probably because of the ubiquitous nature of skinless chicken breasts - why?}. Pork is my friend. Oh, my very best friend and I'm so glad I'm a carnivore during the rein of the pork belly {best bit EVER}. Duck, oh, I do love duck. Confit? Yes please. Lamb's also up there in my fave mouthfuls - and nicely cooked beef also does it for me.

What amazed me, and my husband, was how fussy so many people are about meat. In my years as a vegetarian I thought you either ate meat, or you didn't. But after having people around I learned some things.

1. Lots of people don't like salmon. I know - crispy skin salmon with a squeeze of lime and a dusting of pepper is delish!
2. Lots of women don't like a lot of meat - and will only eat chicken breast. Missing out ladies!
3. Some people won't eat meat with bones as it's too fiddly. But it's the most tasty!!!
4. Former vegetarians such as my husband and myself are quite possibly the most adventurous eaters.

Next up on my journey - foods I have known. I plan on filling this blog with recipes - so stay tuned...

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