The international day of the seafarer

WTF? Yeah I thought that to, but June 25th is actually the international day of the seafarer. So we are encouraged by various boaty shippy type clubs to appreciate semen today. You see what happened just there? Jen changed seaman to semen. It was too obvious for me to touch but there it is. Bad Jenny, you make me look like naughty little boy.

So many worlds of wrongness.

How to go about this…

Maybe dress up like a sailor bearing a freakish resemblance to a backup dancer in a village people stage show?

Get full of rum and stagger around cursing and using the language of the salty old sea dog, and maybe let one of your close mates take you roughly from behind?

Or get your cabin boy to swab your mizzen mast and hoist your mainsail…

Nope. I’ll pay homage to my all time favorite seafarer – Captain Pugwash.

From the 1974-75 cartoon series of the same name. What a legend. Sailing the seven seas on board his ship, the “Black Pig”, like every good seaman should. Giving his cabin boy, Tom, a good flogging (and rodgering I’m sure) when called for, eating an orange a day to avoid the dreaded scurvy, raping mermaids and telling stories of lands afar, inhabited by small carnival folk, reeking of cabbage and bad music.

And what does this story have to do with anything? Nothing, that’s what.

And now for some good shit.

DUCK WITH MASHED POTATO AND SPINACH

You like duck? Me like duck. You like mashed potato? Me like mashed potato. You like spinach? I don’t care. Popeye ate the shit so you can too.

Roasted duck marylands

I genuinely really like duck marylands (the thigh and leg). They are genuinely really nice people. They love nothing more than hanging out, watching a movie, followed by a bite to eat and then a cocktail at the bar. Every girls dream. Oh, and by that I clearly mean cook them for a few hours and then eat the shit out of them (season well and roast at 170C for 2-ish hours. Baste regularly with juices. Turn oven down if they start to brown up and still have a lot of cooking time to go)

Mashed potatoes

I spoke a couple of posts back about making potatoes your bitch. Well here’s another A1 dish to have them screaming “you’re my daddy. You’re my daddy”. Yeah, potatoes are pretty dirty little shits when they want to be.

For the mash I like to use desiree or dutch cream potatoes. Use what you want though. Don’t even worry about what I have to say…

1kg potatoes, peeled and diced into large, even-ish chunks
250g unsalted butter, diced (use 300-400g if you dare, but this gets a bit freaky for a lot of people right there)
1 cup full cream milk
a heap of salt
a little bit of pepper
• Cook potatoes in boiling water or a steamer until tender, and slide easily off the tip of a knife.
• Drain potatoes and put them back on a low heat for a couple of minutes to make sure we get as much moisture out of there as humanly possible. Water is the enemy of mashed potato, butter and milk are it’s friends.
• Now pass your potatoes through a mouli, ricer or mesh sieve. This ensures a smooth result. Yeah, David Hasselhoff in front of a crowd of 50+ women smooth…
• Back into the pot and onto a low heat again. Now you want to start folding in the butter, a bit at a time.
• Once the mash has eaten all of the butter give it the milk to wash it down. Just a splash at a time until you reach the consistency you desire.
• “Mmmm”, says the mash.
• “Nom, nom, nom”, says Greg. Wait. It needs seasoning. Put some salt and pepper in there you silly man.
• “Nom, nom, nom”
• Cover and put aside to keep warm.

Sautéed spinach with salsa verde

I have spoken many times of the magical stand-by herby goodness powers of the salsa verde. You should have some or the ability to make some. If you haven’t or can’t, it is beyond my ability to help you.

In a large pan or even a pot, sauté a shit load of spinach (it wilts down to about a fifth of it’s original size you need a fair bit, or a shit load as I said previously over a low heat with a couple of heaped tablespoons of salsa verde. Season. Take it off the heat after a few minutes, just before it is all wilted down, as the residual heat will do the rest. This will be the last thing you do before serving.

Red wine jus

Hopefully you will also have some homemade beef stock or some jus floating about in your fridge or freezer re: another one of those conversations we had way bay at the beginning when I only had 12 readers. OK, chances are you weren’t one of them so I’ll tell you now.

Make a big batch of good beef stock that you can use to make or enhance sauces, and freeze it down in ice block trays for easy access.

So right about reheat some jus or take 500ml of beef stock and a cup of red wine and simmer until reduced by two thirds, and is nice and saucy.

WELL DONE! Did you pull it off? Or maybe you just got too excited about all of the cabin boy talk and pulled… nope. Leave it alone Graeme. Leave it alone.

Nom, nom, nom.

I call this one “duck, mashed potato, spinach and my mate Izzy”, just because she’s been pestering me for weeks to get a photo of her up here. There you go Izzy, your dreams are realized.