Time for a Coffee: Top Ten Blog Posts 2018

This year I have written 35 blog posts.

Tenth post was over ten years old, Chorizo Frito al Vino which was my thoughts on cooking Chorizo sausage in wine.

Chorizo

Ninth place was also about Chorizo, this was about Sainsbury’s Cooking Chorizo. Having used cooking chorizo from Tesco, Marks and Spencers and Sainsbury, I much prefer using the chorizo from Tesco or Marks and Spencers.

The eighth most popular post on the blog was about the Pret A Manger Italian Chicken Salad I had in 2013. I have had it quite few times since.

The number seven post was Beef and Mushroom Stew with Dumplings. The post had a lot of thoughts about mushrooms.

The sixth most popular post was not about just any pork medallions, but Marks and Spencers Pork Medallions.

My fifth post was about retro chocolate. How many of these can you remember? Which were your favourites?

Retro Chocolate

Reminiscing about Newquay Steam Beer was the fourth most read post on the blog.

Climbing two places, the third most popular post was Basil & pine nut margherite, a simple pasta recipe.

Second most popular blog, having been top for two years was Sirloin for Beef Wellington? This was a response to the high ranking of another post about using sirloin steak in a Beef Wellington rather than fillet steak due to the way people were (at the time) searching Google.

In at number one Chilli Squid from Wagamama, maintaining it’s top position as the most popular post on the blog.. This post was one of the many on the blog about squid, however it is now quite old being from 2011.

So popularity appears to be dependent on older posts being found via Google searches.

Time for a Coffee: Top Ten Blog Posts 2017

This year I have written 37 blog posts. In 2016 I wrote 28 posts.

In the Birdcage

The tenth most popular post on the blog was about the Pret A Manger Italian Chicken Salad I had in 2013. I have had it quite few times since.

Ninth place, was a reminder from 2013, that if I ever go to Frankie and Benny’s again, don’t order the pasta! I have never had pasta again at F&Bs.

The post as number eight was about Sainsbury’s Cooking Chorizo, Having used cooking chorizo from Tesco, Marks and Spencers and Sainsbury, I much prefer using the chorizo from Tesco or Marks and Spencers.

The number seven post was from ten years ago, Pasta in Tomato Sauce. A recipe for a very quick and easy dish with a lovely piquant tomato sauce.

Pasta in Tomato Sauce

Sixth post was about the Wagamama Pork Ribs I had in 2011.

Post number five for last twelve months was Basil & pine nut margherite, a simple pasta recip.

Reminiscing about Newquay Steam Beer was the fourth most read post on the blog.

The third most popular post was not about just any pork medallions, but Marks and Spencers’ Pork Medallions.

Second most popular blog, having been top for two years was Sirloin for Beef Wellington? This was a response to the high ranking of another post about using sirloin steak in a Beef Wellington rather than fillet steak due to the way people were (at the time) searching Google.

In at number one is Chilli Squid from Wagamama, climbing one place. This popular post was one of the many on the blog about squid, however it is now quite old being from 2011 and the visit was the same one that I had the ribs.

So popularity appears to be dependent on older posts being found via Google searches. Hopefully 2018 will see more posts and more people seeing those posts.

Sirloin for Beef Wellington?




One of the things I do like looking at for this blog is the stats and particularly the referrals, most of which come from Google searches.

This one caught my eye recently:

can sirloin beef be used for beef wellington

This blog comes up quite high in the search rankings (number five at the time of writing) and a recipe I posted back in August 2008 does use sirloin steak for beef wellington.

Here is the recipe.

This is my version of the classic Beef Wellington.

Beef Wellington

I used sirloin steak, which I cooked in a pan until it was cooked medium rare. You can of course cook the steak how you prefer it. Ensure it is cooked to a point before you would call it perfect, as it will cook more in the oven.

I then cut the steak into portions, about two inches square.

The steak was then spread with a mixture of chopped mushrooms and mustard. I used French whole grain mustard.

Using some puff pastry (and I will admit I do buy ready made puff pastry as I have no idea on how to make it).

I cut out some circles, about four inches in diameter. Placed one circle on the baking tray, added the steak. Using beaten egg and a pastry brush I brushed egg around the edges of the circle and placed a second circle of puff pastry on top. This top puff pastry circle was then brushed with beaten egg.

The parcels were then baked in an oven for about ten to fifteen minutes until golden brown.

Beef Wellington

This is my version of the classic Beef Wellington.

Beef Wellington

I used sirloin steak, which I cooked in a pan until it was cooked medium rare. You can of course cook the steak how you prefer it. Ensure it is cooked to a point before you would call it perfect, as it will cook more in the oven.

I then cut the steak into portions, about two inches square.

The steak was then spread with a mixture of chopped mushrooms and mustard. I used French whole grain mustard.

Using some puff pastry (and I will admit I do buy ready made puff pastry as I have no idea on how to make it).

I cut out some circles, about four inches in diameter. Placed one circle on the baking tray, added the steak. Using beaten egg and a pastry brush I brushed egg around the edges of the circle and placed a second circle of puff pastry on top. This top puff pastry circle was then brushed with beaten egg.

The parcels were then baked in an oven for about ten to fifteen minutes until golden brown.

I served mine with a mix of salads.

The perfect Italian steak

There is a skill in cooking a steak on a griddle, especially if you want it to turn out well and tasty.

My technique is not perfect, but I get some good results.

Firstly I heat the pan, the heat will be the guide to whether I am cooking a rare, medium or well done steak, though it must be, even for a well done steak, quite hot.

I take the steak, preferably at room temperature and rub seasoning and oil into the steak. This is black pepper, some Italian herbs and olive oil.

I prefer using ribeye, but in the photo below I was using sirloin, as I can’t always get hold of ribeye.

perfect steak

I do not add oil to the griddle.

Once the pan is hot, I then griddle the steak.

This ensures I get the nice chargrill lines on my steak.

I serve the steak with some freshly cut lemon.

Steak and Mushrooms

Last night I cooked a very nice (and quick) meal.

I took some sirloin steak, I actually prefer ribeye but sometimes you have to have what is available and not what you want or prefer.

I heated the frying pan without oil, the steaks were oiled though and then placed in the hot pan.

In a separate pan I fried some pancetta and onions, once they were nearly cooked, I remove them, turned the heat up and added the mushrooms so they fried rather than steamed.

Once the steaks were cooked I removed them from the pan, and put them on a warm plate to rest (really important to let steaks rest for a few minutes before serving they will be a lot more tender).

I then added the onions, pancetta and mushrooms to the steak pan and a couple of large spoonfuls of creme frache.

Then in a pan of rolling boiling water I put some gnocchi.

In two minutes the sauce was ready, the gnocchi was ready, so serve.

Delicious.