Coriander & Mango Pesto and a Steak Sandwich

The days of stomach pains and hunger are over. But you probably won’t believe what the first thing was that I had – after checking with my doc on Friday whether it was OK to give it a try. Coffee. A cup of black coffee. You wouldn’t believe how much I have been craving coffee while lying low this past week. I managed to read quite a few books during that time, and I swear in every single book there was talk of coffee, pots of coffee were constantly available to the protagonists, they went out for coffee all the time, and I could literally smell it!

My morning routine when I go to work is to switch on the coffee maker shortly before I leave home, and take the coffee with me to the office, where I would have it while going through my e-mails. So every morning when I got up while on sick leave, I would go into the kitchen, eye the coffee maker, and feel this incredible craving for coffee. Never in my life would I have thought that I could feel like this about coffee. Somewhere along the way I must have become an addict without even realising it. But then again, I guess that is the nature of addiction, not realising you have one. Maybe I should be lucky it’s only a coffee addiction…

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So yesterday I was able to have real food to go with my coffee. I had some coriander left in the fridge that I wanted to use up, and suddenly I had a vision. Or my taste buds had a vision. Whatever do you call that? My sense of taste had a vision, maybe? Or a hallucination? A tastorial hallucination? Okay I invented tastorial, don’t go looking in the dictionary. On to the important stuff – coriander. I would add mango, cashews, provolone cheese, and chilli. My, was that one genius idea!

I used to steer clear of coriander until about a year ago, because I found the taste a little soapy. However, in moderation I really like it, it gives a lot of things a special twist. In this case, the dominant coriander is balanced by the sweet mango, which is exactly how my taste buds had envisioned it.

I only made a small amount, just in case the visionary powers of my taste buds were a bit iffy. This recipe is totally adaptable to your own tastes.

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Coriander & Mango Pesto

handful of coriander leaves, chopped
3 tsp ground cashew nuts
piece of very soft mango (approx. 1 x 2 “)
4 slices provolone cheese, chopped
½ tsp chipotle chilli pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender until it reaches a grainy consistency and is a homogenous mass.

Steak Sandwich

4 bacon rashers
1 piece of beef tenderloin, approx. 150 g, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 slice provolone cheese
1 pitta bread, halved

Cut bacon rashers into strips and fry without oil. Take out of pan, remove excess fat and fry the tenderloin in 1 tsp oil until it is slightly browned. Switch off heat. Move the beef slices towards the middle so they are close together, add some salt and pepper, then put the provolone on top. Close pan with lid until cheese has melted.

Meanwhile, toast the pitta halves for 2 minutes. Spread coriander & mango pesto inside both pitta halves, add bacon, then divide the beef-cheese-mixture down the middle and add to the pitta.

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