Daphne Moon and A Tasty Blob of Congealed Pig's Blood - Great!
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Diary and Notes
Last Christmas, my friend Fran gave me a jar of pickled quail eggs (I think that she had been given them in a hamper and couldn't think of what to do with them) and they've been sitting in my cupboard ever since. When I recieved them I thought "yum, I know exactly what I'll do with them." And was going to make a tasty salad with black pudding and pickled quail eggs, but nobody wanted to join me.
"Yuk!" Was the general response at the time - and try as I did, I could find no takers. About half the people I offered this dish to decided against it on account of the pickled eggs. This I can understand as they tend not to be to everyone's liking, the other half decided against it on account of the black pudding and this is sheer madness.
For some reason the thought of black pudding makes many people wince. This delicious British treat is regarded by many as something that only poor working class Northerners eat for breafast, and has never managed to fulfill its rightful place next to pork pies, pasties and bangers, in our nations psyche,.
Black pudding is often the butt of jokes by both the British and our foreign cousins. The tv series Frasier often made mention of something called 'blood pudding' and Frasier would often taunt poor Daphne Moon about her eating this as a child in Manchester. This was a standard Frasier joke, along with taunting Daphne about 'kidney pudding'. There is, as the writers of Frasier must have known, no such thing as blood pudding, nor kidney pudding, they were both comedy inventions at the expense of us poor Brits. There is however Black Pudding and Steak & Kidney Pudding - the latter I shall make next week some time.
But it's not just the Americans who make fun of black pudding. The British have a good go to. Perhaps the most famous being an old Goodies episode about a Northern martial art called Ecky Thump - which involved the use of the black pudding as a weapon. There was even a song released which did quite well in the UK singles chart (see
GoodiesRuleOK) all at the expense of this wonder of British cuisine.
You wont find the French laughing at their boudin in this way. The French black pudding is considered a national treasure and is so revered that a song Le Boudin is the anthem of the French Foreign Legion.
I will say this to my French chums - I have eaten your boudin many times and a fine black pudding it is, but a quality northern black pudding from Bolton, is as good as yours, if not better.
Traditional food like this should be praised not denigrated, and when mocked by hamburger eating foreigners who know no better, we should be willing to take up arms to defend our heritage. Black pudding may be made from congealed pig's blood but I don't care, it's spicy, peppery and smooth on the tongue - just the thing on an Easter Saturday with some crispy potatoes and a glass of beer.
Pain Perdu: I had some old, dry left over French bread, what else could I do?
Pickled Quail Egg, Black Pudding and Chorizo Salad
6 Pickled Quail Eggs
50g Black Pudding
25g Chorizo Sausage
4 Leaves Iceberg Lettuce
3 Cherry Tomatoes
3 Spring Onions
Olive Oil (For Frying)
1 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
2 Medium Potatoes
1 Tbsp Clarified Butter
1/2 Clove Garlic
Drop Vanilla Essence
1/3 Stale French Stick
Salad: Make a dressing with the mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop the chorizo and black pudding into small 1/2cm cubes and fry until crispy in a little olive oil (put the chorizo in for a minute first as this will take a little longer). Slice the quail eggs in half. Shred the lettuce, chop the tomatoes and spring onions. Arrange the ingredients in some fancy fashion on a plate and drizzle over the dressing. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters, rinse well then pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the clarified butter in a pan (I used butter ghee wchich is the same stuff but it's easy to make clarified butter by microwaving butter until it melts then pouring the fat off and using this for frying). Add the potatoes and fry genely until brown on the outside and soft in the middle (this may take a while, poke them to see). Add the minced garlic and fry for another minute or so, add some chopped parsley and a little salt before serving.
Pain Perdu: Slice the bread. Whisk the egg and pour in the milk and vanilla essence. Melt the butter in the pan and add the cinnamon, fry the bread on each side for a minute then pour over the milk/egg and bubble away gently for five mminutes. Sprinkle with sugar and eat.
*All quantities are very approximate and for a single person