10th October 2011
Holy Pork!

Another successful sailing trip on Erin to Holy Island (Lindisfarne) down there in foreign England. Successful in the sense that we actually made it to the island - there have been several earlier expeditions when we have been beaten back by the wind, the waves or the adverse tide of our own nausea.

It was a fairly windy weekend, all in all, but quite dry and even a bit sunny so the sailing was good.
We pretty much whipped around, and since we'd taken four days off we had plenty of time to cover the ground - berthing over in Eyemouth twice and hitting Pittenweem for a fish supper.
We like Pittenweem we do. We must do. We keep going back there.
Really, it is a nice little town, and the harbour is very comfortable even if, as it says in Reed's Almanac, it does not encourage yachts. Though to be fair, they've always been quite welcoming to us - it is a pretty busy working harbour and God knows there aren't that many of those left in Scotland.

Jude joined up with us in Eyemouth for a night of drinking relaxation, but otherwise it was just myself, John, Aidan, Ken and young Maggie. Young Maggie is still in training - she's getting on well with the drinking to embarrassing excess, and she has the vomiting nailed, but hasn't yet learned to take her sausages like a man.

Since Aidan did the drink shopping we ran out of Whisky and Gin (thank God for Cava eh?) and since John did the food shopping we were left with a herd of pork loins.
Which I gave a good home.
We also had a huge packet of stir-fry left over which joined the pork. But honestly - packets of stir-fry. What a gastronomic horror show! A motley collection of spare vegetable parts which quickly develop the smell of old mattress and all of which take different lengths of time to overcook.
Plus how many boats have you been on which possess a wok?
I rest my case.

I didn't actually produce any memorable meals this trip, but Ken was mightily impressed by my bacon sandwich.
And he was right to be - they are the best damn bacon sandwiches in the world.
So specially for you, Ken, here they are.

Oh and on another topic - apparently there was a curry-eating contest at a restaurant here in Edinburgh last Saturday. Why wasn't I told?

Stir Fry Sesame Ginger Pork
oriental main meat nautical
Pork loin marinated in ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir fried.
An easy way to use up a boat-load of leftover pork loin.
You can freeze the cooked pork strips and thaw them out before re-frying to serve.

Thinly slice the pork and set to marinate with enough 50/50 sesame oil/soy sauce to generously coat, thinly sliced ginger, garlic and spices if you like.
Leave for 5 minutes or for up to a day if you want a heavier flavour.
Heat a wok and fry the sesame seeds, remove and set aside.
Reheat the wok with a little oil and fry the pork in batches until nicely browned, adding more oil in between as necessary.
Now fry up whatever you will be having with your pork - sliced chinese cabbage, sliced okra whole okra stays too slimy mixed stir-fry vegetables, egg noodles, etc - add any remaining marinade, heat through, then serve with the pork and sesame seeds tossed over.

The Best Damn Bacon and Tomato Sandwich in the World
snack breakfast meat nautical
Yes, I'm sure I invented this. I remember it distinctly!

Slice your bread. I don't care what kind of bread it is. Whatever kind you like. Just because I'm actually writing down a recipe for a bacon sandwich doesn't absolve you of all responsibility.
Slice the tomatoes about the thickness of two pound coins (so fairly thin then), cut out the woody cores, and throw away the end bits. They're rubbish.
Fry your bacon on a high heat in a decent layer of olive oil so that the fat crisps up, but the meat stays moist. Personally I prefer thin slices of pancetta to bacon - it crisps up better, but whatever floats your boat.
Shuffle the bacon to one side or take it out, lower the heat slightly, replenish the oil, and add the tomato slices. Flip them once and cook them until they are on the verge of collapsing into a hopeless gooey mess. But not quite.
Without wanting to mess with perfection, caramelising some thinly-sliced red onions alongside the bacon makes quite a nice addition too.
If you're cooking the bacon as part of a complete breakfast, or making sandwiches for an army, either roast it in a 200°C oven for 15-20 minutes or fry a pan-load at a time and keep it warm in a low oven until you're ready to serve.
Dip or fry! your slices of bread in the tomatoey bacon fat, spread them with mayonnaise, layer one with bacon, then tomato. If you have a sweet tooth you can dab on some tomato ketchup too. Put the other slice on top.
Job Done.
If there's not enough bacon fat to dip the slices feel free to give them a good buttering, but still fry one of the slices until it's crisped up. It's worth it. A scattering of rocket leaves goes surprisingly well too, for the health-conscious.
If you are planning to take this sandwich up on deck in a howling gale then make sure to secure it with a cocktail stick.
Just saying!

The Best Damn Bacon and Mushroom Sandwich in the World
snack breakfast meat nautical
Did you know that HP Sauce is now only made in Holland?
Houses Of Parliament Sauce.
We had an empire once, now we can't even make our own national sauce.
Fucking tragic isn't it?

Slice your bread. Don't use that industrial white pap though - it won't take the strain and will collapse like a cheap hooker who got hit in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face.
Wipe your mushrooms clean of rat poo and slice vertically about the thickness of two pound coins.
Fry your bacon on a high heat in a decent layer of olive oil so that the fat crisps up, but the meat stays moist.
Towards the end of the bacon cooking time throw in the mushrooms and cook them until they glisten with eager sweat and have just started to wither.
Thickly butter (BUTTER) your bread, spread the top slice with mayonnaise, or first fry this buttered side of the top slice in the frying pan until crispy - which is quite nice too, and the bottom slice with the bacon so it melts the butter, squirt on the HP, cover with the mushrooms a few token lettuce leaves are also acceptable then place the other slice on top.
Now you're HP.

The Best Damn Bacon and Egg Sandwich in the World
snack breakfast meat
For Flora.
Thank you for being so impressed!

Slice your bread, and butter (BUTTER). Thickly.
Heat a layer of olive oil in a frying pan over high heat and fry the bacon until it crisps up at the edges. Lay it on one of the buttered slices of bread.
When the pan is good and hot again, carefully break in an egg. The whites should go all brown and crispy at the edge, but don't overcook the yolk. Flip the egg when it's cohered enough to do so.
Carefully remove the egg without breaking (this is when it usually happens) and place on top of the bacon.
Place the other slice of bread buttered-side-down in the pan. When the bread is nicely fried place it on top of the egg.
Sauce to taste.
You can, of course, combine this with either of the sandwiches above.

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