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foodie

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cream ‘no cream’ of the crop Carbonara

Cream of the crop 'no cream' Here I have my favourite recipe for an authentic Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Inspired by the brilliant Rick Stein on his travels through the med. The recipe is personally my only option for a true italian carbonara, accept no imitations.

Ingredients to serve 4:

Generous splash of Olive oil

400g dried spaghetti (preferably De Cecco brand)

175g smoked pancetta cubed

3 garlic cloves chopped thin

3 egg raw beaten

Hand full of flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped.

60g pecorino cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Method: Prepare all ingredients ready for perfect timing.

1) heat a little olive oil in a large pan, add pancetta cook until light golden then add chopped garlic last thing throw in parsley to quickly warm meanwhile the spaghetti is added to a large full pan of highly salted water.

2) when the spaghetti is done to your liking, hopefully el dente (7mins) transfer into the pan with pancetta make sure saving starchy water for creating the sauce.

3) Add in eggs and cheese in short sharp stages mixing about in pan,slowly pour in beaten eggs, they will cook in the residual heat of the pasta Beware if the pan is too hot the eggs may scramble. If desired consistency is not reached then add a splash of salty starchy pasta water. It’s the authentic italian way.

4) season to taste but remember the high salty ness given by the salty cheese and smoked pancetta.

Aerve with crusty bread or a simple bruschetta. Youre in italy! Heres a short video to give an idea   14 second clip

Sardinian Pecorino   Excellent sardinian pecorino. Now get to it.. Bon Apetit!

Swift Chicken Stroganoff

Heres a great way to use up chicken breast in a fast easy tasty little recipe.

Serves 4 people.

400g of chicken

500ml of Creme fraiche (full fat) but for a healthier option choose low fat and notice minimal taste loss.

A generous handful of mushrooms, preferably wild and mixed for added depth of flavour.

1 chopped onion

2 heaped tablespoons of dijon mustard

Paprika, salt and pepper.

Method:

Chop the onion, and the mushrooms, and slice the chicken into pieces. Rub the chicken with paprika, salt and pepper.

Start by adding olive oil and butter to a pan, throw in the chopped onion until it softens. Then add in the mushrooms until they are brown. Once brown, set aside in a bowl.

Add more butter to the pan and when the butter starts to froth add in the chicken strips. Cook chicken until brown.

Add back in the mushrooms and the onions, Dijon mustard and creme fraiche, season to taste, and simmer gently for around five minutes. Serve with some light rice or noodles, and enjoy this hearty warming convenient meal. Give it a go.. You can’t go wrong!

Stroganoff Simmer

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”

Spaghetti & Meatballs Supreme

I can’t take credit for this one as my fiancée created it using a simple BBC Food Recipe. But as a very basic skilled cook it turned out fantastic, well executed. I strongly advise optional ingredients of basil and red wine are used and also all of the ingredients are of a high quality that way achieving maximum flavour.

I also strongly recommend the wine used to for the meatball sauce is a good chianti found in any supermarket.

This recipe cooks ample to be frozen and used as more meals at a later date, very good convenience food.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/453623/spaghetti-and-meatballs

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Oh but of course i had to add my own touch, garnished with truffle shaving, very optional.

Bon Apetit!

 

 

 

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.