A useful diagram for various cooking orientated neccessities. The perfect kitchen companion.
A useful diagram for various cooking orientated neccessities. The perfect kitchen companion.
THE ULTIMATE STEAK & CHIPS.
You thought Miller & Carter do it well, prepare yourself for a lesson in the simple steak and chips. Juicy tender and cooked to perfection.
Firstly the chips, Heston Blumenthal inspired triple cooked chips.
To serve 4-6
You will need:
1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chips (approx. 2 × 2 × 6cm)
Groundnut or grapeseed oil
1. Place the cut chips into a bowl under running water for five minutes to wash the starch off.
2. Place 2kg cold tap water in a large saucepan and add the potatoes. Place the pan over a medium heat and simmer until the chips are almost falling apart (approximately
20–30 minutes, depending on the potato).
3. Carefully remove the cooked chips and place them on a cooling rack to dry out. Then place in the freezer for at least one hour to remove more moisture.
4. Heat a deep-fat fryer or a deep pan no more than half filled with oil (to a depth of around 10 centimetres) to 130ºC.
5. Fry the chips in small batches until a light crust forms (approximately five minutes), remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
6. Put the potatoes on a cooling rack and place in the freezer for at least one hour. (At this stage, if you don’t want to cook and serve immediately, the chips can be kept in the
fridge for three days.)
7. Heat the oil in the deep-fat fryer or deep pan to 180ºC and fry the chips until golden (approximately seven minutes).Drain and sprinkle with sea salt for most effective taste.
I recommend using duck fat for the chips it’s by far the most unhealthy and luxurious, so treat yourself.
Now for the steak:
I would personally choose a good quality well sourced local beef. An aged fillet, look out for darkening of the meat it means more flavour.
Basing this on a 8-10oz piece of meat:
1) Preheat griddle or pan til very hot almost smoking. Press either side of the steak with generous amounts of salt and pepper and brush with olive oil.
2) Lay down the steak flat so the whole surface meets the pan causing the meat to instantly seal and lock in the juices. For a rare steak turn over after 2 minutes for medium 3min 30 and the same amount of time on the other side.
3) When the time has passed remove steak from the pan place on a board or plate and cover with tin foil as if putting a blanket over the steak. This method is called resting and it’s where most people go wrong, resting is mandatory for the steak to re absorb the juices lost when the molecules retract during the cooking process and the end product will end up much more flavourful and juicy.
4) After 4-5 minutes remove foil and serve steak alongside the chips. Add garlic butter to steak if desired but keep it simple the steak alone if a good quality will taste incredible.
Coming soon.. Sauces!
Today I experimented with a quick and easy variation of the all time family favourite, bolognese. This is the perfect fast fix for people always on the go, as it took me less than 20 minutes to cook. Not only speedy to make its cost effective, as I used very few ingredients and ended up making use of things I had left over at the end of the week.
The dish is light, delicate and a warm pleasure to the tastebuds. I prepared this meal for two people, but you could easily double up ingredients and feed four.
3tbsp of Olive Oil
1 garlic clove peeled and chopped
1 small onion peeled and finely diced
220grams of cherry tomatoes – halved
4 large good quality pork sausages (if Italian sausages are not available)
180g of fresh egg pasta tagliatelli
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper
A small pinch of chilli flakes
1.) Add olive oil to large frying pan, add in the onions and garlic and sweat down for five minutes until soft. Remove sausage meat from the skins, add to the pan and brown for five minutes. Remember to break up the sausage meat as you fry it, so that it resembles mince.
2.) Cook tagliatelli in boiling salted water until al dente or to liking.
3.) At this stage the sausage meat should be slightly coloured, add in the halved tomatoes, some seasoning and the chill flakes to the pan. Continue to cook over a medium heat for five minutes until the tomatoes break down. Add a few tablespoons of pasta water to the pan as it cooks to create a sauce.
4.) Use tongues to remove cooked pasta and place it directly into the pan with the sauce. Toss well and adjust the seasoning to taste mixing in a small handful of grated parmesan.
5) Serve up into pasta bowls and garnish with desired amounts of Parmesan cheese and enjoy.
Here is a quick winter warming recipe from a friend that I had to post, seeing as it is winter and we need good fast fuss free winter warming food. One of our nation favourites to share lately is dipping bread in a soft gooey cheese and accompanied by an onion sweet and savoury relish, a comforting treat for those frosty winter evenings.
Here is an ever so slight twist and a simple recipe to make your own oozing parcel.
2 sheets ready made filo pastry
2 slices of cooked chopped bacon
2tbsp onion relish
Pinch of basil leaves roughly chopped
Method: 1) Lay out two sheets of filo pastry and lay Camembert on pastry. 2) Place the Basil, Bacon and Onion chutney on top of Camembert. 3) Gently wrap pastry around the cambert gently tucking in as you wrap. 4) Brush the pastry all over with mixed up egg wash for a nice golden shine. 5) Bake in the oven on gas mark 5 for 20 minutes and serve with a crusty baguette to dip.
The pastry will remain crispy but soften slightly inside as the cheese melts making an irresistible Moreish snack.
There is no better way of bringing people together than food
Having a well stocked cupboard of seasonings, spices and sauces is essential for any budding little chef.
Here i am going to list 12 items that you may or may not be familiar with but need to use more for added depth and flavour to your dishes.
In no particular order;
1) Fish sauce – Widely used in Asian cuisine as a flavouring in curries, broths and other recipes. Gives off a pungent aroma and taste.
2) Soy sauce – A staple in asian cooking widely used as seasoning and as dipping sauce, used to dress salads and noodle dishes.
3) Anchovies – Used in salad and an excellent seasoning for for meats, also available in paste form. They have a very long shelf life so get stocked up and make use of them over time. Often found as a delicacy aged in olive oil for many years.
4) Kosher Salt – Used by professional chefs finer grains means more accurate seasoning control, finer grains.
5) Chilli flakes – Works well in pasta dishes, sauces, asian and indian cuisine adds a new warm depth of flavour.
6) Sherry Vinegar – The best and most flavourful of all vinegars used for many things deglazing, creating sauces, commonly seen in soups, casseroles and stews.
7) Porcini Mushroom Olive Oil – A new find of mine introduced to me by a friend. Olive oil is obviously used for an endless amount of things cooking in general requires an oil often olive oil. This particular oil has been infused with porcini mushroom and maintains a distinct smoky wild mushroom flavour and aroma. This product can be found at specialist olive oil producers.
8) Sriracha Chilli Sauce – Excellent sauce with a real kick of heat used as a dip or as as part of a sauce and hot dishes.
9) Smoked Paprika – Gives a smokey depth to a variety of dishes and a slight heat.
10) Spanish Chorizo – Usually found cured and smoked this sausage contains a variation of spices and can be eaten alone or used in other dishes for the fat and flavour contents.
11) Sardinian Pecorino Cheese – A sharp tangy and salty hard cheese similar to parmesan but with a stronger flavour. Used as part of sauces in pasta dishes alongside eggs and also shaved over dishes as a garnish.
12) Black Winter Truffles – An extremely expensive Funghi found commonly in France and Italy but there are suppliers and Truffle hunters in the Uk. Used as a garnish sliced finely with a special grater on dishes as an absolute luxury, commonly used alongside pasta dishes, egg dishes and on top of meat. Paired alongside ingredients that do not overpower the musky earthy mushroom flavour. Great depth of flavour, you must try it at least one time, found at specialist truffle suppliers and very high end restaurants. Also comes in a white form found in season over the summer period.
That concludes my list of ingredients to try, now get out stock up and experiment.
An extremely special and memorable restaurant we visited was located in Padstow, Cornwall.
The entire trip was focused on this particular meal as I am such a fan of the owner, tv chef Rick Stein who’s speciality is the wonderful delight of seafood.
The meal was nothing short of incredible, I chose a whole Dover soul, the Rolls Royce of the sea, it was filleted at the table for me, served with a simple parsley butter, padrone peppers and baby new potatoes. The fish was cooked to absolute perfection, it fell apart as it entered my mouth and can honestly say the best fish dish i have ever sampled. It took balls not to order the obvious Lobster or the magnificent Fruits de mer, fruits of the sea to you and me.
I would say to any fan of shellfish and seafood to make this a future must visit, a special occasion never to be forgotten. I was also told by my fiancee who’s a massive fan of fish and chips that it was the best cod and chips that had ever touched her lips, cooked the old fashioned way when people worked off their dinner with hard graft, cooked in beef dripping, the unbeatable.
Visit www.rickstein.com for an idea of pricing and menus etc. I insist you put this one on your foodie agendas.
Coming later this week..
Cooking with Black Winter Truffles
Courtesy of The English Truffle Co. www.englishtruffles.co.uk
Treating mum to grilled honey and mustard chicken strips with buttered parsley new potatoes and a mixed salad of red pepper, cucumber, celery, orange, baby tomatoes, beet root and gherkin with a raspberry vinegar and olive oil dressing. This recipe really excites the taste buds with different tastes and textures in every bite.
I marinated the chicken fillets with mustard powder and clear runny honey for two hours before placing on the medium heated griddle pan.
Simple ideas, happy mommas!
Watching ‘Floyd on Spain’ on the Good Food Channel finding myself completely inspired by Keith Floyd. His style and personality on screen reached out to millions of budding chefs and inspired a generation. Big character and was rarely seen on camera without a glass of wine to hand. Sadly he passed away in 2009, Rest in peace Keith Floyd a chef who’s originality will never be forgotten.