Right, I’m going to attempt my first recipe blog post. Well, it’s not really a recipe, more a slap stuff together and end up with a meal type thing.
Given that I’ve been going to the gym a fair bit recently (hey, twice in 12 weeks ain’t bad!) and now have a physique akin to Adonis, I reckon I’m an authority on gym/man food. Consequently, I’m going to start telling you all what to eat and how to eat it (everyone else does right?)
In honour of me now having the body of a God, this recipe is constructed via the use of the God fish, or as most of you will know it, since I just made that up, Tuna.
Here’s what we’re making.
What you need
- Tuna Steak (x2)
- Sweet Potatoes (6 of average size)
- Curly Kale (1 bag)
- Spinach (1 bag)
- Encona Hot Pepper Sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh Lemon
This should serve 4, or 1 really fat guy.
Note: That says Tuna STEAK not a can of tuna. We’re not making a substitute for a crappy supermarket sandwich here dude, if the word STEAK ain’t in it, it just doesn’t qualify as man grub. If you’re feeling flash, or just think you’re minted, you could get Albacore tuna which will allow you to flex your platinum Amex card at the tills in Morrisons (we all know how much you love doing that, but we also know real rich people have the black one) for the rest of us, good old yellowfin will do fine.
A note about the chilli sauce. This Encona stuff is good. Real good, so use it. However, some knuckle dragging chilli head is bound to come along and tell me that it’s NOT a hot sauce, so I’ll pre-emptively say this: I know it’s not like eating freshly molten lava on the scale of Dave’s/Blair’s sauces. I also know you guys drink that stuff by the gallon and use it as mouthwash, but for mere mortals, the Encona sauce is pretty spangly. It also doesn’t turn the morning after into an event that would measure comparatively to the eruption of Vesuvius OR make you feel like you’ve fallen arse first into a Scout’s campfire. In short terms, it doesn’t make everything taste like a norovirus.
Do taste it first, though. If you’re a bit of a fairy, use Nandos medium or something equally girly.
Cinnamon isn’t really necessary but it’s fun to continuously repeat its name in a heavy Jamaican accent. This will massively wind up your girlfriend or anyone else that you live with. Good times.
Start by preparing your sweet potatoes. If you’re a total man and aren’t used to preparing food (cos doing that’s for girls right?) this means you need to peel the skin off them and chop them into smallish pieces. I reckon most of you can work out what ‘smallish’ means but for the truly special readers out there, cut an average sweet potato into about 6 pieces. The shape does not matter. DO NOT do what you do when you’re chopping carrots and eat half of what you’re cutting raw (everyone does that right?) You won’t grow three heads or an extra toe, but you will probably spit it out, make a mess and then have to clean it up.
GEEK FACT – Some people will say you shouldn’t eat potatoes raw because the potato plant is toxic and contains an alkaloid named solanine that appears in all the external parts of the plant. It is also found in the tender buds of the tubers during the germination process. This is bad BUT the sweet potato is not actually a potato, it’s more closely related to the flower ‘Morning Glory’. No sir, not that kind. You can now go and impress your (boring) friends with a useless fact.
You’ll now want to wash the curly kale. Wait…I’ll repeat that WASH THE CURLY KALE. You really do want to wash the curly kale. I know us guys usually eschew things like washing food before we eat it (it’s just not manly), but in this case, unless you enjoy the taste of licking a badgers poo socket, I highly recommend that you do so. Talking of curly kale, has anyone EVER seen straight kale? Why isn’t curly kale just called ‘kale’? Answers on a postcard, please!
Just in case some maniac in a factory had been hacking a raw chicken to death prior to stuffing your spinach into its cosy little bag, wash that stuff too (there’s also a good chance of it having been pissed on by a skanky, flea-ridden tabby cat with three legs).
To prepare the Tuna, sprinkle some salt (easy on the salt, though, caveman) and pepper (your own preference but tuna is quite a delicate flavour so go gently) onto a plate or chopping board and drop your tuna from a couple of feet in the air onto it. Actually, do drop it. There are few things in life that produce a sound more satisfying than a hunk of raw meat falling from a great height onto a plate. Perhaps slapping someone round the noggin with a prime cut of Kobe beef steak is better but I haven’t actually tried that. If you have, please let me know what it was like, I imagine it being euphoric. Flip the Tuna over so the seasoning covers both sides else it’ll look like someone who fell asleep on a Sun bed sideways.
Good To Go
Let’s cook this bad ass food, eh!
Start by chucking your chopped sweet potatoes into a large pan of boiling water. Do not walk away for 20 mins like you would if cooking normal potatoes! These guys break down faster than a bad metal band. Look away and there’ll be a br00talz mosh in your kitchen before you know it and the neighbours won’t like it. You’ll also end up with really watery sweet potato soup that is not wildly unlike what you’d get served by the ‘healthy eating’ stand at Reading festival at 3am in the morning. (In seriousness they take about 15 mins)
After 9 or 10 minutes, you’ll want to think about plonking your curly kale into another (smaller) pan of boiling water. If you’re mental, you can also eat this stuff raw (see earlier point about washing it), but as well as it tasting awful, you’ll miss it turning a really vibrant, pretty green colour when it gets hot and wet. Awwwww. (I can’t believe I just said hot and wet in the context of a food post. Yes!)
Let everything boil away for a few minutes until your sweet potatoes start to get almost soft enough to stick a fork straight through. Drain the water off through a colander. Wearing the colander on your head and pretending you’re in a bunker during world war 2 is optional, though if you do this, getting someone else to throw brussel sprouts at your face makes it infinitely more fun.
Once the potatoes are drained, put them back in the pan you cooked them in (without the water, Sherlock) and grab a potato masher because it’s time to be a MAN! Roawr! Start mashing those potatoes good. For extra man points, you can discard the potato masher and mash them with your face.
You’ll probably notice that sweet potato is a bit coarser than normal potato mash, it’s not unlike Swede (the vegetable, not Sven Goran Erikson…That would just be weird). This is a good thing. Do not be tempted to use milk. Believe me, milk really doesn’t work in this instance and will leave you with something resembling baby vomit. Yeah. Exactly.
As you smash the potatoes into a pulp, add some butter (not too much, fatty) to cream them up a bit. Little and often here is better. Once the butter’s in and your potatoes are getting smooooooth like Miles Davis, you can start adding your cinnamon. If you didn’t earlier, it’s now mandatory to loudly pronounce cinnamon in a Jamaican accent (more fun if you say it like a confused Jamaican). Don’t put too much in straight away, like voodoo, cinnamon is pretty powerful (if you don’t believe me, check out some cinnamon challenge videos on YouTube) Actually, I’ll put one right here, enjoy:
You can also start mashing the (raw) spinach straight into the potatoes. Yup, it doesn’t need to be cooked first! Wahooo! The heat from the pan and the potatoes will do a good job of cooking it. Result!
Add it a little bit at a time and you’ll be able to get the whole bag of spinach in, which is awesome, have you SEEN Popeye’s arms?! Honestly, spinach must have one of the greatest powers of reduction known to man. It’s a little bit like watching a woman removing a Push-up bra. The science geeks need to get some spinach in the Hadron Collider and figure out how this black magic works. If they do, there’s a small chance I’d actually be able to fit inside a G-Whizz car which is good for the environment and would make me a happy bunny. If they don’t figure it out, I reckon it’d be fun anyway and definitely more interesting than reading this nonsense!
Pour some of the chilli sauce into the mash at this point. Again, little and often is key. Keep tasting it and don’t over do it. Not because anything other than loading in the whole bottle makes you a girl, but you’ll honestly completely blow away the relatively delicate taste of the Tuna and that would be a very bad thing, kiddos.
Once you’ve mashed everything together, stick a lid on the pan to keep everything warm while we cook the tuna. If you’re a bit of a pro in the kitchen, you could cook the tuna whilst you’re mashing the spuds, but you have to be real careful not to overcook it as tuna dries out faster than….well…. that comment would perhaps be a bit too far for this blog. Just be careful.
Heat a bit of good quality (hello again Amex users!) extra virgin olive oil in a pan and once it’s nice and warm, drop your tuna steak in it. That’s a LITTLE BIT of oil. We’re not deep-frying it, this is HEALTHY not a TV show about the fifty stone man. You probably only need a couple of minutes each side to seal it as you still want the middle to be raw (It should look like a well produced rare beef steak). Don’t undercook it either, we’re not making sushi and you probably don’t enjoy the idea of swallowing parasites (although eating a politician would be quite entertaining).
You could use a George Foreman or a normal grill to do the tuna if you’re feeling pedantic (or if you just want slightly less fat, but it doesn’t quite bake in the seasoning quite as well)
As the Tuna finishes itself off in the pan (haha!) spoon out some of your mash mix onto a plate. Drain the Kale (you hadn’t forgotten that was cooking in the background right!?) and put some if it on top of the mash.
Remove the tuna from the pan and slice it thinly (with the grain man!) Lay the slices nicely on top of the mash. It looks pretty hot right, it’s like the Kate Beckinsale of food! Dash some lemon juice over the tuna (please don’t use a jif lemon, it just isn’t right). Then garnish with a bit of parsley or if you don’t have any of that, just use some grass from the garden – It looks prettier with something green on it. (Disclaimer: Remove the grass before eating).
Done. Eat. Savour. Salivate like the god you shall become by eating food like this.
P.S I know the Tuna in the picture is slightly overdone, but it still tasted sweet 🙂