With his finger on the pulse, Ray McVinnie helps the boys man up about their health.
You’ve probably already heard my tired old mantra (via Michael Pollan) for a healthy diet which goes, eat real food (nothing with additives) and that will take care of the quality of the food you eat. Eat the biggest variety of food you can and that will take care of nutrition. Be moderate in the amount you eat, get plenty of exercise, and stop worrying.
This is a pan-human diet, it works for everyone regardless of race or sex. I also cook most of it myself so I don’t surrender my diet to corporations or 16-year-old burger flippers. It’s easy to get everything you need from your diet and you will if you eat real food.
Man up as they say; it tastes good. It has to be as fresh as possible.
In Venice they take very thin slices of liver, (veal if possible, lamb is fine), flour it, season it and flash fry it in extra virgin olive oil. Like slivers of hot pate, they are served with lots of sliced onions, slow fried in extra virgin olive oil with fresh sage leaves and lemon zest until they are caramel brown. Some people finish the onions with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Do the same with chicken livers.
Lamb’s kidneys need to have the fatty grisly bits cut out and to soak for an hour in salted water before being well drained, threaded on to rosemary stalk skewers with bacon, button mushrooms, red capsicum and slices of chorizo, drenched in garlicky extra virgin olive oil, dusted with black pepper and grilled fast on high on the barbecue. Serve with spicy homemade tomato sauce.
Salmon. For a cheat’s teriyaki marinade, mix equal parts Japanese soy sauce and mirin, Japanese cooking wine (get it from the supermarket) and sweeten it a bit more with some sugar. Marinade your piece of salmon flesh side down in the mixture for an hour. Drain, dry place on a lightly oil baking paper lined tray and place in a 200C oven until just cooked. Serve with Japanese pickled ginger, sliced cucumber, steamed Shanghai bok choy, more soy sauce, steamed rice and a pair of chopsticks.
Make the pilgrimage down to the fish market, or nag your fishmonger, and get some bait — things like pilchards, yellow-eyed mullet or small blue mackerel. Gut and scale them, put them side by side in a roasting dish on sliced fennel and onions that have been slow fried in extra virgin olive oil. Add a few sprigs of thyme, lemon slices, capers and black olives. Dribble some white wine and more oil over the top, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast in a 220C oven until just cooked. Serve with mashed potatoes, silverbeet that has been boiled, drained, squeezed dry, sliced thinly and fried in oil with chilli, garlic and diced preserved lemon peel. This will also work with kingfish.
Eat them for breakfast or have a tomato, basil, chopped prosciutto and rocket stuffed omelette for lunch (or cold as a packed lunch).
Toss hot spaghetti with flaked hot smoked salmon, sliced spring onions and capers and serve each portion with a soft poached egg, the yolk becomes the sauce.
In a little oil, stir-fry diced bacon, spring onions, finely diced carrot and lots of finely chopped garlic and ginger until the onion is soft. Stir in plenty of leftover rice, some Japanese soy sauce and thawed frozen peas. Stir fry again until hot and serve topped with plenty of sliced omelette made with finely chopped garlic, chopped coriander and green chilli. Sweet chilli sauce on the side.
I would far rather eat a small amount of a natural product like butter than any amount of man-made spreads, and males should.
Whip boiled agria potatoes with butter and hot milk or cream, stir in sliced spring onions and sliced, blanched savoy cabbage or kale leaves. This is colcannon, Irish soul food. Serve with crisp additive-free bacon (I like the Henderson’s brand) and a poached egg.
For a really delicious butter hit, buy a good fresh bearnaise sauce and serve it over barbecued steak with roasted agria potatoes and steamed green beans on the side.
And finally garlic
Put some whole garlic bulbs in a roasting dish and roast at 180C for 45 minutes or until the bulbs are oozing garlic puree and browned. Test with a skewer, the inside must be soft. Cut the top off the bulbs and squeeze the insides over roasted pork cutlets. Serve with apple slices slow fried in butter, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, drained and tossed in a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.