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.
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.
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!
Here is a recipe that i experimented with today, for a simple and luxurious soup which can be used as a starter or a meal in itself, served with a wedge of crusty bread.
1 head of broccoli
100-150g Stilton (to taste)
2tbsp rapeseed oil
2tbsp porcini olive oil
Knob of butter
1 litre chicken or veg stock
Favourite bread cubed
Salt and Pepper
1 potato large
1 celery stick
1) Firstly chop the leek, onion, Celery, take the head away from the thick broccoli stalk and break apart then chop the potato into roughly 2cm cubes.
2) Heat up the rapeseed in a large saucepan add the onions on a medium heat and put on lid. Leave for five minutes allowing onions to steam and soften.
3) Add a small cup of water so the onions don’t burn on the pan then add in the celery leek and potato with a knob of butter. Leave on a low medium heat covered to sweat for five minutes.
4) Add the stock and leave to simmer on the same heat level for 15 minutes.
5) After that time add the broccoli heads minus any chunky stalks and cook for five minutes.
6) Blitz mixture with a blender until it’s as smooth as desired. Then crumble in Stilton and stir in it will melt and slightly thicken the soup. Taste and season until you are happy with the final flavour of the dish, remember the Stilton will provide a salty element to the dish.
For the croutons just heat cubed bread on a warm pan drizzled with your desired oil. I chose porcini infused mushroom olive oil for an earthy wild mushroom kick but you can use normal olive oil, garlic etc. Be careful not to have the heat to high they will burn easily.
It’s good to go shopping for ingredients late at night, you can really have an in depth look of the goodies they have on offer, minus the interruption of busy mums with their wailing demonic hell spawn of satan children or the nine to five guy who hates his life and his physique but just can’t find the Hellmans mayonnaise.
It’s no good shopping for a fresh sourdough bread at midnight but when it comes to pantry items and key ingredients, it is prime time to have a well thought out scan of what’s on offer.
My next post will consist of a broccoli, Stilton and potato soup.