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General Food

One Pan Duck Dinner

Here is a recipe to easily replace you’re Sunday dinner temporarily, made especially to take a load off taking no more than 40 minutes start to finish.

Ingredients:

2 duck breasts

1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed

300g cooked new potatoes, medium sliced

bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped

Large handful of fresh asparagus

Method:

1) Score skin on duck breast season very well and lay on a cold pan skin down put the heat on low and cook for 12 minutes until crispy and then flip and cook on flesh side for 4 minutes.

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2) Remove duck breasts and place on a chopping board with tin foil covering over the top to rest the meat and keep warm.

3) Now add (boiled) cooked potatoes to the pan which will have plenty of duck fat in. Turn up the heat season well with salt and cook until brown and crispy depending on the thickness of the chopped potatoes will affect the time taken to crisp nicely.

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4) When potatoes are crisp add parsley and garlic and toss around in pan for a couple minutes. Now set aside onto hot plates.

5) Add bacon and asparagus to pan and slice duck thinly with a sharp knife. Cook for a few minutes until slightly softer and bacon is crunchy. Serve onto plates.

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6) Serve with cranberry sauce and enjoy.

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There it is, your a simple Sunday alternative!

Bon Apetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Bolognese “Like Mama Made”

Spaghetti Bolognese an italian classic we all know so well, but with so many different takes and variations throughout different regions which is the best and tastiest. I can’t confirm that I have the very best recipe but I can confirm i have a seriously good authentic take on this italian staple, inspired by ‘The Hairy Bikers’ but altered slightly for instance the use of pancetta giving an extra salty pork element to the dish.

To serve 4-6 people

Ingredients:

- 500g/1lb 2 oz lean mince beef

- 1 medium onion, finely chopped

- 2 celery sticks, trimmed and finely sliced

- 2 medium carrots finely diced

- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped

- 150g pancetta or streaky bacon cubed

- 1 tbsp plain flour

- 150ml/5 fl oz red wine (preferably chianti)

- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

- 2 tbsp tomato puree

- 1 beef stock cube

- 1 tsp caster sugar

- 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs

- 2 bay leaves

- 450g dried spaghetti (Preferably De Cecco brand)

- salt and freshly ground black pepper

- Parmesan cheese to serve

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Method:

1. Place the mince in a large non-stick saucepan with the onion, celery, carrots and garlic.

2. Dry-fry over a medium heat, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon for 8–10 minutes, or until the beef is no longer pink and the vegetables are beginning to brown.

3. Add the pancetta and fry with the mince and vegetables for another 2–3 minutes.

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4. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well, then add the wine, tomatoes and tomato purée, along with 300ml/12fl oz cold water.

5. Crumble the stock cube over the top then add the caster sugar and herbs.

6. Season with a few twists of freshly ground black pepper, stir well and bring to a simmer.

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7. When the liquid is bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 30–40 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

8. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. As soon as the water is boiling, add the spaghetti and push it down with a wooden spoon to encourage the strands to separate. It’s important to use lots of water so the spaghetti can move freely without sticking together.

9. Cook for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.

10. While the spaghetti is cooking, increase the heat under the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and the sauce is rich and thick. Stir regularly and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

11. Drain the spaghetti in a colander and divide between warmed bowls.

12. Spoon the Bolognese sauce on top, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

The end result is a thick full flavoured robust meaty sauce with a lasting after taste, one of My personal favourites.

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I hope you enjoy making this for yourself it’s by no means the most simple but it isn’t hard and the end result is magnificent.

This will certainly impress anyone you choose to share it with.

Bon Apetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fillet Steak With Pepper Sauce

For visual orgasmic purposes here was our second valentines day meal. I also include a simple sauce recipe for you’re steak topping.

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I stuffed the portobello mushroom with blue cheese and bread crumbs. They went in for five minutes prior to steak starting to cook on a gas mark 7 along with the vine tomatoes.

The chips were handcut thick seasoned and tossed in rapeseed oil for a crispy finish they went in the oven for 40 minutes on gas mark 6.

I cooked the steak medium rare on a smoking hot griddle three minutes either side then set aside for 5 minutes under tin foil to rest allowing juices to reabsorb as i plated up the the finished components. Resting the steak after cooking is essential for the finish to be spot on and the outcome juicy.

The sauce was made using a pepper sauce consisting of cream, mustard Worcestershire sauce, whisky onion and pepper very basic, highly effective.

Ingredients:

1 small red onion, sliced

150ml double cream

2 tablespoons whisky

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Method:

Sweat onion in butter till sautéed add cream and all ingredients and Heath through for a few minutes strain out onion and serve on top of steak.

 Enjoy the visuals and good luck with yours.

Bon Apetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Scallops Starter With Pancetta & Rosemary

Here is my recipe for an extremely simple but effective starter using Seafood. For this particular dish i used scallops it took me about 10 minutes total including plating up.

If you like seafood but are weary about cooking it here is the perfect way to begin. I chose not to remove the roe which is the orange part of the scallop which is extremely tasty and soft when left on for cooking.

Ingredients: to serve 2

Pancetta or streaky bacon 4 slim pieces diced

Two sprigs of rosemary

Tsp olive oil

8 fresh scallops

salt and pepper

Recipe:

Firstly wash scallops and pat dry with tea cloth then season well with salt and pepper.

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1) Heat a tsp olive oil and add streaky bacon chopped for around 6 minutes until golden brown drop in sprigs of rosemary for the last two minutes to infuse the oil.

 

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2) Use spoon to remove pancetta/bacon and rosemary into a seperate bowl to set aside and leave the tasty infused oil in pan and back on the heat.

3) Now add scallops to pan and cook on medium high heat for two minutes either side and will turn golden brown but remain springy when pressed. Be very time conscious four minutes total is perfect for a fair size scallop,add pancetta back and prepare to plate up.

 

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(Notice the slight golden brown crust on the second picture)

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4) Now have heated plates ready and plate up placing scallops first flourishing with bacon bits and strategically placing rosemary sprigs. I used a raspberry balsamic glaze as an extra depth of taste but that’s a lesson for a later date.

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Good luck & Bon Apetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forty Dean Street

Spending the weekend in London not knowing where to eat is a pain, a thousand interesting looking eateries and two days to eat at as many as possible.

The first night in Soho it was late for food, me and my fiancée debated going out for food but as I didn’t want to miss a single opportunity we moved on it. We scouted Soho for a casual joint we had heard of called “Burger Lobster”. Lobsters, burgers and chips but fairly good reputation and reasonable prices. We found the place and the line was out the door around the corner all the way to gatwick, it was ridiculous we weren’t waiting outside so we slowly walked away and only a couple doors down noticed a quaint little restaurant looking lively by the name of “Forty Dean Street”.

The name instantly rang a bell in my head, I’d read about it and recalled nothing but good unpretentious criticism. No more searching no more waiting our appetites couldn’t cope, we had found restaurant number one.

We were seated immediately and the place was very very cool playing funky jazz music serving authentic italian dishes, the menus were obviously changed everyday as they were hand written on pieces of paper at the table. The place was brilliant an absolute diamond in the dirt.

Perfect Asparagus wrapped in Parma ham starters soft pale fresh veal on a bed of the best garlic mash i could ever imagine and salmon and squid ink tagliatelle mains this truly was a great meal. I beg anyone staying in the soho area give this a go, find dean street then number forty. Thank me later.

www.fortydeanstreet.com

 

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Specialist Oils & Vinegars

Thanks to the guys over at http://www.vinegartipsonline.co.uk for supplying me with some beautiful ingredients to experiment with. My absolute favourite of all time so far is the Porcini Mushroom Infused Olive Oil, gorgeous oil to use for various tasks. Another one to look out for is the aged sherry wine vinegar, an essential in any budding chefs pantry.

Vinegar tips products

 

There is no such thing as “no time to cook”, by taking yourself to the shops and purchasing a ready made meal means more time and less nutrients. Keep a well stocked strategically assembled store cupboard and be inventive last minute with rices, pastas,sauces,onions and garlic. Be experimental and don’t be scared, have fun with cooking and develop your back pocket recipes, these will soon be your last minute ’5 minute meals’. Food is fuel and for optimal performance we must eat a well balanced diet, you wouldn’t feed your petrol car diesel.

“No time to cook”

Wild Mushroom Reginette Pasta

This recipe was based with a particular ingredient in mind, the English winter truffle.I have very recently due to the English truffling season only just beginning, received my preordered truffle and have been for a while now, scheming how exactly I should cook it.

A shout out to the English Truffle Company at www.englishtruffles.co.uk for providing excellent quality produce and a speedy delivery.

Something everyone MUST try.

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The dish that accompanied the truffle shavings must not be overpowering to the truffle so that the subtle musky, earthy flavour is not lost. I chose to do the simple wild mushroom tagliatelle but couldn’t source any fresh tagliatelle so just as good using the flat ribboned Reginette i chose a Wild Mushroom Reginette. Classic Italian Cuisine, as always.

This dish is so simple!!!! Done with preparation in less than ten minutes. Always prep well for an excellent finish, no searching for things in the last critical seconds.

TOTAL TIME TEN MINUTES!

Ingredients:

Quarter of a fresh lemon.

Hand full of flat leaf parsley

2 Cloves of garlic

Large knob of butter unsalted

180g Fresh Egg Reginette Pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

40g Parmesan/Parmigiana

Large handful of wild mushrooms (can be purchased from supermarkets finest sections)

NOW! Prep! Coarsely chop parsley and finely slice garlic ready to throw in pan together.

Instructions;

Step1) Bring salted water to boil ready for pasta and heat olive oil in fair sized non stick frying pan.

Step2) Drop mushrooms in medium hot pan toss around and add a third of butter, meanwhile drop pasta in to salted boiling water it will take no more than three minutes to over cook, so be aware of time.

3) The parsley should be thrown into pan with garlic remaining butter and a squeeze of lemon, tossing it all around in the pan add a squeeze of lemon.

4) By now two to three minutes should have passed and you can remove your pasta and drop it directly into the mushroom pan. Drop it a palm full of Parmesan. Move the ingredients around the pan and add a few tablespoons of starchy pasta water. The pasta should not stick together and should have a light saucy consistency.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Garnish with a small flourish of Parmesan.

Here I have pictures to help you visualise the process before attempting the recipe.

Mushrooms cooking in olive oil:

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All of the ingredients cooking quick in olive oil and remainder of butter is melting creating an emulsion.

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Then the pasta and pasta water is added seasoned with Parmesan, salt and pepper and shaken and tossed.. The finish product should look something quite spectacular, like this:

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Now if you choose to splash out and add that extra depth flavour and elegance to the dish by shaving truffle slices on top your dish should look something more like this:

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Bon apetit!

 

Mastering Meat

Essential tips

I was lucky to be gifted a wonderfully aged TBone Steak. To anyone who doesn’t know this particular cut consists of the short loin and tender loin aka fillet and sirloin. A highly sought after cut of beef with bone in for added flavour.

Notice the darkening of the meat and fat caused by ageing for a stronger flavour. This is a very good thing, bright red flesh proves less flavourful.

Firstly i rubbed both sides with generous amounts of salt and ground black pepper and rubbed in olive oil.

imageI heated up this griddle until it was smoking and very hot. Lay down the steak flat so that all of the surface area is in contact with the griddle pan. After two minutes i flipped the steak and pressed it down the exactly the same.

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After two minutes on both sides i have achieved my preferred finish, rare and tender. Next step is removing the steak from the pan and rest on a chopping board with a tin foil tent shape covering the steak. This method is called resting and is mandatory for a juicy steak, in the time it rests juices are lost then reabsorbed if the steak is placed directly on a plate the juices will escape and the plate will be soaked with blood, inevitably leaving the steak dry.

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I chose to serve the steak with asparagus, thick chips part boiled and fried in duck fat and seasoned with sea salt the duck fat method is most common in France and provides an excellent finish possibly my favourite.

Good luck meat lovers, get cooking.