Pub Grub

Doesn’t this look like a happy picnic of all of your favorite fried foods, fresh from the pub, all laid out on a blanket of glee and sunshine? Don’t be fooled, it’s rainy and sardonic out there. This new lamp burns my retinas until I see only magenta and green splotches, and I can’t adjust the white balance on my camera if it’s on the macro setting. The bloody fuck?

When Scott and I quit smoking a year ago (next week), we knew there was only one place that we’d miss terribly: the Horse Brass. We had our commemorative send-off into ex-smokerdom there, to add one last wisp to the raw umber patina on the walls and to engage in what would be our last blissful respite in overt self-destruction. Not being ones for doing things half-assed, we had to order the halibut fish and chips (Scott’s favorite) and the Scotch egg (my downfall).

In case you haven’t surmised, a Scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg that’s been wrapped in sausage and deep-fried. I made bite-sized ones with quail eggs. It was a total hassle, but worth it. I made a honey-horseradish dip for them and it rocked me like a hurricane.

Just as big a hassle, but similarly worth it, were the halibut fish and chips (in a Boddington’s ale batter) and sweet potato fries. With plenty of homemade tartar sauce (store-bought mayo thinned with a little red onion vinegar, Dijon, lemon zest, chopped homemade pickles and S&P). The fries were alright, not awesome – they could’ve been a little crispier. We joked about making onion rings too, but there was so much golden brown on the plate already. To be honest, after eating the first perfect Scotch egg, I wanted to eat only those and didn’t need anything else.

I also made a batch (actually, a restrained bowl) of simple slaw by finely slicing savoy cabbage and scallions, and whisking together a dressing of mayo (opting again for store-bought), Dijon, white balsamic, honey, lemon juice and zest, salt and lots of pepper. It would’ve benefited from a denser crunch in retrospect, and I wish I’d added some apple or kohlrabi to the mix.

My cravings for fried, crispity goodness having been thoroughly slaked, it’ll be a long while before I wreck my kitchen again doing this (and at $18/lb., halibut was a real once in awhile treat to buy fresh). Besides, bars are smoke-free now. Horse Brass here we come.