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Netflix star serves first cookbook

By Features Reporter

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Food and wine expert Antoni Porowski.Picture: Paul Brissman/Bluebird/PA
Food and wine expert Antoni Porowski.Picture: Paul Brissman/Bluebird/PA

There has been many a snarky aside at Antoni Porowski’s expense.

As beautiful, charming and thoughtful as he may be, as the food and wine expert on Netflix’s (very wonderful) Queer Eye reboot, his culinary credentials have been repeatedly trashed.

Take the time the 35-year-old Canadian ‘taught’ someone how to make grilled cheese sandwiches for instance, or that time he (quite unforgivably) added Greek yoghurt to guacamole.

The former model and actor has been upfront about the fact he isn’t professionally kitchen trained (although he was at one point the personal chef of Ted Allen, the original food and wine expert on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy), but that hasn’t stopped him launching ‘fast-casual’ New York restaurant The Village Den.

Neither have the cynics dissuaded him from writing his first cookbook, Antoni In The Kitchen.

A flick through Antoni’s cookbook and you know you’re probably not going to be overly challenged in the culinary department, but sometimes simple is what you need.

Ella Walker tested hanger steak with charred limes, fresh chillies and herbs...

As a general rule, I don’t buy beef to cook with at home – it’s one of the easier meats to cut down on, as it’s more expensive than most and arguably not so versatile (give me a chicken and I can wrangle countless meals out of it; a bit of steak or beef mince? You can have lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, or, erm, lasagne...)

But for Antoni, I thought I’d break my own rules – Queer Eye is all about pushing yourself and reassessing your boundaries, right? So gimme the steak.

While it’s a straightforward recipe in that it’s just a slab of beef brought to room temperature, seasoned and grilled (on a griddle pan, rather than over hot coals in my case), then eaten, there are a few smart nuances that make it a bit more interesting than simple caveman fare.

First up, the fact it’s marinated in grated fresh ginger.

There was some consternation in my house over the fact all that ginger had to be scraped off before the flesh hit the heat, but in the end, you can really taste it branded into the crinkled, burnished outer layers.

Second is the chargrilled limes, the juice of which I squeezed over the meat, the wedges I served with it, as well as the salad.

I plan to chargrill limes at every opportunity from now on – it gives you an instant dressing that hits amazing sweet-sour-salty notes, adding more zing than even the chilli and scrunched leaves of mint.

My only regret is that I went overboard on the coriander (sorry, Antoni) and that the pickled shallots were off limits (onion family allergies to blame there), but otherwise, it was quite a decadent midweek meal for two.

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