Monday, 22 September 2008
Rick Stein at Harrisons
It's not every school night you get to meet Rick Stein! We whizzed down to Balham in a nick of time to find Rick sat at a low round table, slightly awkwardly making small talk and signing books. After a brief chat with the publicist about Rick's forthcoming TV series and book called Coast to Coast Victoria and I siddled over for a chat.
Our chat was derailed pretty quickly when both pieces of infomration the publicist had told us turned out to be emphatically wrong! There is no TV series. And the book is about his travels around the world and not just the UK.
Perturbed by the sudden end to our conversation... I grabbed a conversational topic from nowhere and landed up asking Rick Stein whether he had ever cooked a fish meringue!!! As it turned out he was really interested in the idea and I explained that it's like baking fish in salt. Essentially you stuff a whole fish such as a sea bass with fennel, lemon and other goodies... and then pour over 6 or 7 whipped egg whites. Pop it in the oven for enough time to cook it and then serve your gobsmacked guests the most moist fish you'll come across. I first read about it a really cool book called "The Daily Italian" by one of Jamie Oliver's proteges.
So look out for this badger featuring on Rick's menu sometime soon!
We broke off from the book signing and settled in for dinner. Ignoring the special offer that had drawn us in the first place... we loved our raw salmon with soy, ginger and chillie. Although it may have been a bit feisty for some. But the star of the show was the liver and bacon... Having never had liver and bacon before I was twitching with excitement when it arrived and became increasingly anxious as I saw it drying out on the pass. But I needn't have worried because it was blissfully awesome. Soft and moist. Meaty and slightly charred. The mash was brilliant and the pancetta and onion rings didn't let it down either. I feel like a smack addict. I'm now gagging for the next hit.
Having had a few OK experiences at Harrison's we are now big fans - keen to pop in for dinner more often.