Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Thursday, 25 August 2011
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
6 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
2 large shallots, sliced
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
300ml crushed tomatoes
7 chicken thighs, skinned
salt and sugar, to taste
Heat the oil in a pot and add the bay leaves, cloves, green cardamom and black cardamom. Fry for about 15 seconds.
Add the onion and fry until golden-brown.
Add salt, garlic, ginger, paprika, chilli powder, cumin, coriander and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until oil is released from the ingredients - around 10-15 minutes.
Add 200ml of water (or chicken stock) and bring to the boil. Season with salt and sugar.
Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook, covered, until the chicken is tender and cooked through - around 30-40 minutes.
Remove the lid and add a splash of boiling water if the sauce is looking too thick. If the sauce seems too watery, remove the chicken and cook over a high heat until the volume of liquid has reduced, then add the chicken back to the pot.
Monday, 22 August 2011
Simple Beef Casserole
500g diced beef
30g plain flour
Salt and black pepper
4 tbs sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 small turnip
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 vegetable stock cube
400ml unsweetened apple juice
400ml chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
Prepare the vegetables, wash , cut and set aside.
Place the flour in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper . Add the diced beef, toss to cover the meat in the flour.
Heat half the oil in a large casserole dish and saute the meat until golden brown all over, remove and set aside.
Return the casserole dish to the heat and saute the vegetables, garlic and shallots in the remaining oil until golden brown. Add the beef, coriander and the remaining flour left over from dusting the meat, saute for about 5 minutes.
Deglaze the casserole dish with the apple juice, tomatoes and vegetable stock.
Cover the casserole dish with a lid and bring the casserole to a gentle simmer, add the bay leaf and rosemary, stir and cook the casserole over very low heat for 40 - 60 minutes.
Friday, 19 August 2011
My first attempt at making risotto.
When I think risotto, I think labour.
It is a general culinary consensus that successful execution of the dish requires constant stirring and attention; basically, risotto becomes your baby in the kitchen.
The most important part of any risotto is, of course, the rice.
Arborio, carnaroli and vialone-nano are the classic choices; they are short-grain varieties that will result in a creamy product that retains a slight bite to each grain. Using regular long-grain rice will produce a mushy, gummy mass.
The next essential ingredient in risotto is the broth or stock.
Make sure you have the stock on a low simmer as you prepare the rice.
Have all ingredients chopped and prepared beforehand. That way you can cook your risotto straight through in 20 minutes maximum.
You want your risotto to be smooth, creamy and oozy, not thick and stodgy. A successful risotto is al dente, or cooked enough that the teeth can still detect firmness and is slightly creamy.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
These cookies are soft, crumbly and not-too-sweet, with a slight cocoa-bitter edge.
Traditionally, the cookies are piped to look like a "W" (or as I'd like to think of it, an upside-down "M" for Muna). Obviously, mine does not look anything like any letter from the alphabet, though a few objects do come to mind.... anyways, what matters is the taste (if all else fails...)
Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables
30g good quality cocoa powder
250g room temperature butter
100g powder sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp egg white (approx. from 2 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract (the original recipe does not call for this but I couldn't resist)
Preheat oven to 180C.
Whisk together the flour and cocoa powder and set aside.
In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk butter, sugar until creamy. Whisk in egg white until it is well combined with butter cream. Then add in the cocoa and flour mixture and mix until well combined.
Spoon dough into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe dough into whatever design you desire.
Bake at 180C for 6-8 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies).
Monday, 15 August 2011
Friday, 12 August 2011
Fillet of Beef with mixed peppercorn sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 fillet steaks, at room temperature
a knob of butter
2 shallots , finely chopped
2 tsp green and pink peppercorns , crushed
1 tsp anchovy sauce
150ml apple juice
3 tbsp sour cream
Heat a grill pan over a medium-to-high heat. Rub oil all over steak. Season the steak with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and cook to your liking. Be sure to seal the rounded edges, too. Transfer to a plate.
To make the sauce, add the knob of butter to the pan, then fry the shallots and peppercorns over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the shallots have softened.
Pour the apple juice into the pan, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until reduced by half. This will take about 5 mins. Add the stock and anchovy sauce and reduce again, this time by two-thirds. Stir the cream in to the sauce and allow it to thicken slightly. Check the sauce for seasoning.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
For dinner, we had fillet steak with homemade red onion relish and barbecue sauce, with a side of new potatoes in tarragon butter.
Galton Blackiston's Barbecue Sauce
1 tbsp honey
25g dark muscovado sugar
1 red chili, split and seeded
Fresh root ginger, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
100ml pineapple juice
100ml orange juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
100ml red wine vinegar
4 tbsp tomato puree
Good pinch of ground cumin
Good pinch of ground turmeric
2 tbsp brown sauce
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, transfer to a liquidizer, and blitz really well.
Transfer to a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
(Thank you, Elsa, for typing this and many other entries before this. Love ya!!!)