Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pasta and Blue Cheese

100g Pasta per person
Blue Cheese
White Breadcrumbs
Olive Oil

1) Put the water on to boil.
2) Heat some Olive Oil in a pan.
3) Gently fry the breadcrumbs until golden brown.
4) Cook the pasta till al dente.
5) Drain the Pasta and drop the blue cheese into the hot pasta pan.
6) Mix in the Pasta and coat it in the melting cheese.
7) Sprinkle the Breadcrumbs over the top and serve.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Veal Stock (demi)

Veal bones
Tomato Paste
Plain Flour

1] Wash the bones and pat them dry.
2] Lay them out into an oiled roasting tray.
3] Rub a little bit of Tomato Paste over all the bones.
4] Sprinkle some Flour over the bones.
5] Put the tray in a preheated oven, 180c.

Baked Mushrooms

1 really big Mushroom per person
Onion or Shallots (or Leeks, see below)
White Wine
Parmesan Cheese
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Unsalted Butter

1] Take the storks off the Mushroom and chop finely.
2] Finely chop the Onion/Shallots.
3] Heat the butter in a pan and gently fry the chopped Mushroom stalks and Onion/Shallots until they get a good colour (don't let them burn).
3a] You can add in the chopped Garlic here, or with the wine, both taste good to me, it depends how you like your garlic. Frying it a little will temper it, putting it in with the wine will keep its bite.
4] Add some wine and simmer the alchohol off.
5] Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream.
6] Wipe the outsides of the mushroom with Olive Oil and put on an oiled baking tray.
7] Put a slice of butter in the well of the mushroom.
8] Generously fill the mushroom with the mixture from the pan.
9] Top the mushroom with chunks of Parmesan.
10] Bake in the oven until the cheese starts to brown, about 15 minutes.

Serve up with a nice salad. These are really filling and don't need much else.

Variations: Use leeks instead of the Onion. Slow cook them in butter for 20+ minutes so they get nice and sweet before adding in the chopped Mushroom stalks, and gently fry for another 10 minutes.

Finely chop the Mushroom stalks and Onion/Shallots.

Gently fry them in some unsalted butter or Ghee... No burning them remember, makes for a horrid bitter taste.

Take the pan off the heat, wait for 30 seconds, then slowly stir the cream in. Not like I did here and dump it all in at once.

A generous slice of Unsalted Butter, oh look, there is the Garlic I forgot to put in.

I favour really good chunks of Parmesan, none of that grating business.

No pic of the final cooked thing, it got eaten too soon.
I will do an update.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fresh Tuna with Oloroso Sherry

Adapted from the Moro Cookbook

Serves 4
2 hours start to finish

4 Fresh Tuna Steaks (Look for purple/shiny flesh, not grey)
2 Garlic cloves crushed
300ml Oloroso Sherry
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
6 large Red Onions
Flat leaf Parsley
1 Fresh Lemon
Fresh Black Pepper, Sea Salt

1) Rub the Garlic all over the Tuna and pour over 100ml of the Sherry.
2) Cover and put in the fridge for an hour before cooking.
3) Heat the Olive Oil in a a large pan over a medium heat.
4) Cook slowly for at least 30-40 minutes.
5) Pour off any excess Olive Oil and add the Sherry.
6) Simmer until the whole lot thickens. Take off the heat.
7) Heat a pan on high heat and add a little Olive Oil.
8) Fry both sides until nearly cooked to your taste.
9) Add the marinade and Onions and warm through.
10) Serve up with the Parsley and Lemon chunks.

Marinade the Tuna in Sherry and Garlic.

Slow fry the Onions.

Heat your Griddle pan up, yes upside down, get it really hot.

Drain the marinade into the Onions and give it a good fast boil.

Fry off the Tuna, then let it sit in the Onions, off the heat, for a few minutes before serving.

Teriyaki Sauce/Marinade

8oz Dark Soy Sauce
1 Garlic Clove
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small Onion finely chopped
Fresh Black Pepper

I have a thing called a Micro Grater which does a lovely job of "juicing" the garlic and ginger for this sauce. Alternatively, you can whiz them in a food processor, or just chop them very finely by hand.

Mix everything up and let it stand for at least an hour.

Works well as a marinade for chicken, beef and meaty fish such as Swordfish.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Kangaroo Steaks with Red Wine Sauce

1 glass of dry red wine
Finely chopped fresh Chives
1 Garlic Glove, crushed
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 Kangaroo fillet steaks
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Some Double Cream for the sauce

Serves 4

1] Mix up the wine, chives, garlic and onion in a glass/ceramic dish.
2] Put in the Kangaroo steaks and rub the marinade all over them.
3] Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, overnight would be fine.
4] Drain the meat and keep the marinade.
5) Heat the oil and cook the steaks, turning occassionally for about 3-4 minutes for medium cooked.
6) Put the meat in a low oven to keep warm.
7) Lower the heat under the pan and add the cream and marinade to the pan juices. Reduce this for a few minutes until it has thickened up.
8) Serve right away.

Important! There is hardley any fat in Kangaroo, so if overcooked it will go dry and leathery, not much fun to eat. The point of putting them in a warn oven while you do the sauce is to let the meat rest, which makes for much more juicier tastier meat.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Steak au Poivre (Peppercorn Steak)

From the marvelous Les Halles Cookbook by Antony Bourdain
Serves 4

4 225g Steaks (Sirloin or Filet Mignon)
50ml Olive Oil
Freshly cracked Peppercorns (enough to totally coat the steaks)
100g Unsalted Butter
30ml Cognac
100ml Strong, Dark Stock (in order of preference, Veal, Beef, Chicken)
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1] Get the oven on at 220c.
2] Crack the Peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, you want big lumps, not finely ground.
3] Dampen the Steaks with a tiny coating of Olive Oil, and coat them in the cracked Peppercorns. Don't hold back, use as much Pepper as you can to cover the meat.
4] Heat the Olive Oil in a heavy bottomed pan, ideally a cast iron skillet. Get the oil hot, then add the butter. (if, like me, you only have a skillet that will take two steaks at a time, split the oil/butter/frying into two batches - Whatever you do, avoid overloading the pan)
5] Brown off the Steaks, say 5 minutes each side

Heat the skillet upside down over the hob for a few minutes, this helps to get the heat going right through the metal, and makes for a more consistent cooking temperature.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


2 tins of Chickpeas (Use 'no salt added' if you can get them - This is based on a tin being 425g)
4 Garlic Cloves
4-6 tablespoons Olive Oil
4-8 tablespoons of Tahini paste (They are all different, so use tongue to test)
Juice of at least 1 fresh Lemon
Fresh ground Pepper

1) Drain the Chickpeas (save the liquid in case you need to loosen the mix) and put them in a food processor.
2) Add the Garlic, black pepper, a little Lemon juice, a little Olive oil and some Tahini.
3) Whiz this for a few moments, until you get a rough, but mixed, texture.
4) Taste it. Usually one of the flavours, Tahini, pepper, Lemon, will stand out too much, so use your judgement when adding the rest of the ingredients.

Many spices can be added for fun.
Smoked Paprika either mixed in or just sprinkled on the top when you serve.
Roasted and ground cumin.
Cayenne Pepper.
Ground Coriander.
Fresh chopped Parsley.

Deluxe version
To get a velvety smooth version, spend some time removing the skins from the Chickpeas. Do this by rubbing them together between your palm in a bowl of water. The skins will rise to the surface. It is a real pain, but it does give an amazingly smooth Hummus, something purists will be dead against.

Rustic version
Instead of using a food processor, use a fork, damn hard work, but you end up with a much more texture version, something the purists will applaud.

Update: I was told by a friend the other day that she adds some carbonated water to the mix, she swears by it...