Friday, May 6, 2011

Note to self: an unpretentious parsley soup...

Curley parsley.  Lots.  Chopped with stalks.
Leek.
Sweat in 30grams of butter.

A few potatoes peeled - mostly to thicken
Light chicken stock.

Simmer.

Mix chopped chives into whisked cream.

Add a handful chopped fresh parsley to the soup.

Blend. Not for long.  MODIFICATION - BLEND LONGER

Put back into saucepan.

Cream.  Salt.  Black pepper.

Serve with a bit of pepper and the chive cream.

This is a really good looking starter - and completely unpretentious.

J

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Note to self - duck with ginger braised in orange juice

My wife has given me permission to cook curries again.  My tendency is to spicy - and she stopped eating them when she got pregnant.  That was a decade ago.

So - you will probably be treated to some Asian food recipes here.

Meanwhile I am watching Rick Stein's Asian adventures - and this recipe makes me salivate.  I am going to cook it later and will report back.

Fry some (8?) duck pieces in a little oil for six or so minutes to get out the fat.  Pour the fat out.

10 or so cloves of garlic - crushed - and put in -
Lots of sliced ginger

Fresh orange juice - not enough to cover the duck - but a long way up.
couple of tablespoons of fish sauce (guess that is where the salt comes from)
Half a dozen star anise (only - you know my addiction) and
3-4 chiles.  Ah - now I have permission!!!
Bruised stick of lemongrass. He says "gently bruised" before he bashes it senseless.  The guy has humor.
Spoonful of palm sugar
Good grind of black pepper

Gentle stir and let it simmer for a while.  I guess he wonders how free-range the ducks are.  (Vietnamese ducks he figures simmer longer).

Pieces of spring onion for the last 10 minutes

He pulls duck and spring onion out.

Reduces sauce a little and thickens with corn-flour and water.

Decorates with a few more spring onion.

Gonna cook that I am.


John

POST SCRIPT:  Cooked with a thai beef salad and rice.  It is every bit as good as it should be.  WONDERFUL.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Salt fish and - well - custard

Had a fabulous dinner Sunday - for an Asian family who had (literally) never had a really good Western meal.

--

Easy enough.  Ocean Trout cooked in salt.  Desert is custard.

Separate 10 eggs.  Use the yolks to make a really good custard (say 450ml cream, 300ml milk, vanilla pod. Make the custard - and then bake ... Serve with sweetened stewed rubarb - in which you have conentrated the sauce.  (Don't want to water that custard.)

But first the main:

Beat whites till stiff.  Mix with 150g corn flour and 2kg salt.  Lay 1cm on bottom of baking dish.  lay out ocean trout - cover the whole thing in salt mix.  Bake 200 c for 25 minutes.  Let sit for 25 min.  Serve with potato salad and salads.

You get the idea.  Will write this up properly one day.

J

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Slow cooking with too hot an oven, bad Burgundy and other disasters

Ok - I am a good cook - but not always.

It was slow roasted chicken with grapefruit - but it cooked way too fast. Served normally with polenta except the kid is not so keen on that - so it would have been dutch cream potatos mashed.

Two salads - one blanched beans and dijon mustard and one with rocket parmasan, olive oil and balsamic. Nothing complex.

Roman artichokes like you get in a good provincal restaurant out of Rome or in the Jewish quarter in Rome. I like but the wife does not.

Good meal - but not fantastic. Cooked way too fast.

J

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fish and Fennel again

I had guests for dinner last night - and apart from a little too much of the Vino (Howard Park Reisling 2001, Mitchell Watervale Reisling 2002) - it went well.

Quite a lot too it - but it presented simply.

Started with the desert (at least I started cooking there). It was quince - six of them - peeled and cored and sliced into segments. Put in bottom of Le Cruset pot. Place a muslin cloth over it - and all the peel and core and two star anise and two cinnimin sticks above. About a cup and a half of dilute sugar syrup. Put on lid. Oven for four hours at 120c.

Yum - and served with store bought ice cream.

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Mains was a potato and caremelized onion gratin, fennel in vegetable stock, french beans with mustard and mayonaise.

Prepare the vegies first - and take the scraps and boil them up for a vege stock.

Then caremelize two spanish onions - low low heat and some butter for 45 minutes stiring every 5-10 minutes. They should go brown and not burn.

The beans you top and tail, blanche in boiling water then an ice bath. At the end reheat in some butter serve with mustard and mayonaise. Simple really.

The potatos are peeled and sliced (mandolin time). They are layered with potato and caremelized onion, salt, pepper, more potato, more onion, more potato. Stock in the bottom. Little butter on the top. Browns nicely in oven.

The fennel is prepared and then grilled. It is then baked with the rest of the stock.

The fish done as per the previous recipe - except this fish did not fit in the oven - so the barbeque was used as an oven. Then you can say you are serving barbeque fish - which hardly seems so pretentious.

Good food was had by all.

J

Monday, May 25, 2009

Barramundi and fennel


Barramundi is an estuary fish from Northern Australia.  Fabulous fish.  I guess you could use any high quality white flesh estuary fish.  Maybe a big perch.  

I do this for 6-8 people.  

I am a fennel addict.  Here is a simple one which I kind of like…

Get yourself a big grill – something like this Le Cruset one.  Grill some fine slices of Fennel.  Take them off.  Let them cool.

Take your whole barra, cleaned but with head on.  Cut 3cm wide slices in the side.  Stuff the centre with butter, fennel and parsley.  Rub parsley and butter into the cuts.

Grill both sides for 6 minutes.

Put in oven on a low temperature (say 145c) till it is cooked.

Serve with a green bean salad (blanche beans in boiling water then ice water – reheat in butter and mint).  

Also some potatos.  Potato salad is fine.

Just fabulous.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The potato salad is a triumph


We were invited to a barbeque a few weeks ago at the house of a professional chef.  Simple barbeque – two salads and sausages – and indecent amounts of fine red wine.

The most memorable thing though was a potato salad which contained caramelized onion.

The chef would not give me the recipe.  She never does.

So I found a recipe on the web.  Here it is.


Simple – but modestly time consuming as you need to fry the onion very gently for 45 minutes.  Also it is kind of important to have everything warm – so do the sauce immediately, then put on the onion and the potatoes only towards the end.

Highly recommended.  

Better to do simple things really well.