Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

h1

Pizza

July 18, 2010


Crust and Crumb is an amazing book. I love it, I love bread so that’s probably why. Having said that the major problem is of course my intolerance of one of the most important ingredients. Yeast and I are not friends and yet I will not stop eating it!

I am slowly making my way through the different recipes, and today I started quite a bit today. I have made the Banana Bread, the French Bread II (with Pate Fermentee) and the White Sandwich Loaf. And have enjoyed every mouthful of all of them. I decided though that I wanted to make some bagels. So, I had to make some poolish style pre-ferment. This is a sponge made by combining yeast with a small amount of flour and a large amount of water. Due to the lack of resistance of dough, the yeast ferments and multiplies more quickly.

Like the recipe says due to the small amount of yeast that is already in this dish it makes it difficult to reduce the amount of fermentee you create. There is a suggestion of perhaps cutting the ingredients in half and using 1/8 t of yeast, but you can freeze the sponge if you want. Or you can just make the full batch and then make a lot of things! If you do decide to freeze the poolish you need to do so just before or after refrigerating it on the first night, otherwise it’s less reliable and take it out at least 24hours before you want to use it.

One of the many things I made with this pre-ferment is pizza dough.

Now the Husband makes a really good non-yeasted pizza dough that I love and actually prefer over this dough now that I’ve tried it. However, due to the fact that I had all this leftover poolish I wanted to give it a go. It is a nice flavoured dough but just didn’t have the same flavour that the Husband’s does. I would make it again if I had leftover poolish so it’s not a bad thing is it? There is 2 dough’s though so I could always try the other one as well.

The quantity of this was 3 pizza’s as I was catering for the parent’s-in-laws who came over to help the Husband mount our dryer so I could reclaim some space in my laundry, I needed to be mindful of tastes. So I went with a classic Hawaiian
a BBQ chicken
and pepperoni.

Poolish Style Pre-ferment


4 cups unbleached bread flour
4 cups cool water
1/4t instant yeast

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl large enough to hold the batter after it has doubled in volume. Beat or whisk for about 1 minute, until the batter is well mixed and quite smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for 3-5hours or till foamy and bubbly. Refrigerate the poolish, well covered, and overnight.
Makes just over 3 pounds

Pizza Dough I


3.5 cups unbleached bread flour
2t salt
¼ t instant yeast
2T honey
½ cup olive oil
¾ cup plus 1T cool water
1 ¼ cup poolish

Combine all the ingredient in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (not dough) or a mixing bowl. Mix on a low speed for 1 minute and then increase to a medium speed and mix for about 12 minutes until the dough is smooth and creamy. It will be very thick and like pancake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for about 3 hours, till bubbly. Refrigerate overnight; it will thicken as it cools. Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface and divide into 3 pieces. Toss the pieces one at a time in flour, gently round into a bowl and mist the tops of the dough with cooking spray and cover with a plastic bag. Let the dough rise for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. Preheat the oven to 290C (or as high as your oven will go) prepare the oven for heath baking. Line an inverted sheet pan with parchment and mist. Spread out the dough and make it as thin as possible without tearing. Dress the pizza with the sauce and toppings you want. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve.

h1

Two Giana’s sans photos

July 16, 2010

I’ve been a-hunting but do you think for the life of me I can find the photo’s for these two recipes? I’ve been searching and searching, and I know I would’ve taken them! Bit sad that I don’t have them too because both of these dishes were amazing in flavour. I could’ve devoured every single tiny morsel to myself!

I of course did not, I shared with the Husband, who also appreciated them as well. He loves pork in all its forms so the chops were always going to be a hit. I have a habit of always preparing the amounts the recipe asks for. It provides for leftovers – which isn’t always good as some foods just don’t taste better next time around. But, I don’t think these even made it to the next day. The Husband was making sneaky trips to the fridge through the night, so when I got up in the morning there was almost nothing left! not even enough for a full lunch. I shouldn’t complain though it means he enjoyed it, yes?

As for the veal….well it was me doing sneaky in the fridge visits, I love all good tomato based sauces. And this tomato based sauce packed a good punch in terms of flavour! I loved it, and it was fairly easy to make, didn’t take that long for me to whip it up, and it has featured on our menu a couple of times since I originally made it. Very happy!

Giada’s Kitchen – New Italian Favourites provides you two great recipes…again I really love this cookbook!

Pork Chops with Fennel & Caper Sauce
¼ cup olive oil
4 boneless pork chops
Salt and pepper
2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 large shallots thinly sliced
2/3 cup parsley
½ cup dry white wine
1 can of diced tomatoes
½ lemon, zested
2 T drained capers

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Then brown for about 4 minutes per side. Set aside and cover loosely. Add the fennel, shallots and 1/3 cup of parsley to the pan cooking over a medium heat until the fennel is browning. Add wine and stir in the tomatoes. Then return the pork to the pan, making sure the pork is nestled and mostly submerged. Cook until the fennel is tender – about 15 minutes. Take out the pork and place on a plate, add in the last of the parsley, the lemon zest and capers to the sauce. Stir and combine all of this before spooning over the pork to serve.

Veal Saltimbocca
4 boneless veal cutlets
Salt and pepper, to season
4 thin slices of lemon
4 sage leaves
4 large slices of prosciutto
3T olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup low sodium chicken broth
1 can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
½ cup heavy cream

Season the veal. Place a slice of lemon on each piece and then top with sage and wrap in prosciutto. Warm a large pan with olive oil and place the meat lemon side up and cook for about 6 minutes. Turn this over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the prosciutto is beginning to caramelise. Remove from the pan and tent with foil. Add the white wine to the pan to deglaze over a high heat. Add the broth and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, cream and some more salt and pepper. Stirring until it is all combined and hot. Pour some of the sauce over meat and serve the tomato mixture next too.

h1

Lamb Ragu Suet Crust Pie

July 15, 2010


I have been cooking up a bit of a storm lately I think, and will be popping it all up over the next few days if I can find the time of course! Not all from Giada though but that’s ok, it is the cooking that I am enjoying I am still working through the cookbook slowly though. This entry is from Giada’s Kitchen – New Italian Favourites though.

I did a bit of an adaptation thing with the recipe though. What I went with was the Lamb Ragu with Mint. Only mine was sans the mint! Let me explain. I had an urge of late, to be making some pastry I like pastry. It may not be my friend so to speak when it comes to the weight loss that I may be wishing to achieve, however I am pretty happy with a small sample. But to make a small sample, it requires me too make pastry and you can’t really do it in small amounts can you? So I decided to make a pie with the ragu as filling.

Now I didn’t make any old pastry, I wanted to do something a little different for me, a different kind of pastry one I’d not done ever. Come to think of it I’m not really good at pastry which is why I’m trying! So I “stole” this recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess from Nigella’s Steak and Kidney Pudding – the suet crust in fact. And for something a little more different, I steamed it in the slow cooker!

So in terms of what I think about the recipes…..I really liked the suet crust. I could have rolled it out a little thinner; I must admit that in fairness. I didn’t have a large enough pudding basin for my pastry and I just wanted to do it! Plus since I like pastry? The Husband even enjoyed it, just did say that it would’ve been greater if it had been thinner.

The Lamb Ragu….I was really excited about the recipe to begin with. But, once it was completed whilst it was tasty. And I enjoyed it, it seemed to lack the punch I was expecting from it in terms of flavour. I’d want to add some more herbs to it I think. Give it a bit more flavour. But, it’s definitely a good base! Maybe it was just because I was putting it with pastry – it wasn’t a strong enough flavour to cut through the pastry. Maybe if the pastry had been thinner? Who knows…….but I will give it another burl as a ragu sometime.

Lamb Ragu

2T olive oil
2 shallots
1 minced garlic clove
680g lamb mince
½ t salt
¼ t black pepper
1 cup red wine
2 cups Marina Sauce

Marina Sauce

½ cup olive oil
2 small onions
2 minced garlic cloves
2 celery sticks
2 carrots
½ t salt
½ t black pepper
2 cans of crushed tomato
2 bay leaves

Suet Crust

350g SR Flour
½ t salt
175g suet
½ t English mustard powder

Make the Marina Sauce. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the celery, carrots, and salt and pepper. Sauté until all are soft. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over a low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Warm the olive oil in a large pan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until tender. Add the lamb, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat breaks down and is browned and all the juice is evaporated. Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Then add the marina sauce and simmer over a low heat until the flavours blend and the sauce reduces slightly. Recipe suggested 10 minutes, but I did mine for a bit longer.

Remove from heat and cool whilst making the Suet Crust.

Mix the flour, salt, suet and powder in a large bowl. Then stirring with a wooden spoon, add enough cold water to make a firm dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a large circle about 5mm thick and cut away a ¼ segment from the circle to use for the lid. Ease the circle into a world buttered pudding basin with about a 3cm over hang.

Spoon the cold lamb ragu into the bowl, not letting it come up to higher then 2cm from the rim. Roll out the other segment into a small circle to fit the top and seal it with the overhanging edges. Clip on the lid, and place in the slow cooker. Cook for 3 hours on high, or 5 hours on low.

h1

Almond Soba Noodles

July 14, 2010


The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

It was a great challenge indeed, my instinctual leanings were towards sweet things, but then they always are. And, whilst that was an optional extra for the challenge I wanted to stretch myself. And, then my first thought was of course satay, but that doesn’t stretch me, I’ve done that before plenty of times. It’s a favourite dish for the Husband (especially in the form of a satay chicken pie…go figure). I liked some of the recipes on offer, especially the Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms but having provided a plethora of pasta dishes to the Husband of late I thought I’d go more noodley!

Having a huge stash of Almonds in my house ready for Cantuccio baking at all times I went there! I did an almond butter with soba noodle dish, I need to work on my photography and naming skills! Taste though? I think I got that!

Almond Butter

1 cup whole natural almonds, roasted
1/8 tsp. salt

In food processor with metal blade in place, grind almonds and salt until paste begins to form, I added about 1T of vegetable oil to mine as well.

Almond Soba Noodles

½ cup almond butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 tablespoons hot water
Dried soba noodles
150g good quality steak – diced
Baby Carrots
Onion
Green capsicum
Chilli Flakes
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce

Mix Almond Butter with lemon juice and water, until quite fluid.
Cook the soba in rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain.
Caramelise the onions, remove from pan. Pan fry the steak quickly then add in the capsicum, carrots and oyster sauce and chilli flakes.
In a large bowl combine the noodles with the almond mixture. Toss briefly before adding the meat mixture, tossing to fully combine. Serve.

h1

Savouries

July 2, 2010


It’s been awhile since I cooked from Giada’s Kitchen – New Italian Favourites many things have contributed to that. So today I decided that along with my desire to increase the Husband’s vegetable consumption I would do a couple of vegetable muffins (perhaps not heaps healthy, but more vegetables!)

So from Giada I cooked the Garlic and Sundried Tomato Corn Muffins. They are quite rich in flavour, which was great, my concern with going savoury is that the Husband would feel like he was missing out with depth of flavour and he’s not a topping person. That’s right you heard me, no topping! He does not enjoy butter can you imagine? Or jams, or vegemite, or peanut butter or anything really!!! But really? No butter! Imagine my life with butter-less mashed potato!

Anyway back on track these were so easy to make, and quite delicious! I did have to adapt the recipe a touch, the original recipe called for “jiffy corn muffin mix” which I didn’t have so I mixed flour and polenta together.

Garlic and Sundried Tomato Corn Muffins


240g Self Raising Flour
240g Polenta
2/3 cup sundried tomato
2 cups frozen corn kernels
3 cloves garlic
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 190C, insert paper liners into a tray.
In a large bowl, combine the corn, flours, garlic and tomato. Stir to combine. Mix in the buttermilk, sour cream and eggs and stir until combined.
Spoon the mix into the tins. Bake until golden on top and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

I also attempted a variation on an old savoury muffin recipe I had a sausage and vegetable muffin. They were delicious in my opinion. Unfortunately the Husband was not so keen, he really prefers his muffins to be sweet, which is what I feared……

Sausage and Vegetable Muffins


400g Flour
3 g Baking powder
2 Egg (medium size)
100 g Unsalted butter (melted)
140 g Milk
70 g Ricotta
400g Sausage (cooked and sliced)
50 g Cheddar cheese (cut into small dice)
100g Mixed Vegetables

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the cupcake liners into the pans.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
Put the egg and sugar in a bowl and place the bowl over the pan of hot water.
With hand mixer beat the egg mixture until very light and fluffy.
Gently pour the milk into the egg mixture using spatula fold to combine, then add the melted butter and fold again.
Pour all the rest ingredients, fold just until they incorporate.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

h1

Carnita

January 17, 2010


I made these awhile back, they were delicious and so moist and juicy. I loved it! I am not a big pork eater usually; the Husband is so I try really hard to incorporate it into our diet every now and then. I think I was influenced by my mum. She hated it, has never liked pork at all, so we very rarely had it. On a few occasions in my life we had some roasted pork – crackling and apple sauce but for the most part we never had it.

I always try to do something with the pork that will appeal to me, it’s not so much that I don’t enjoy the flavour, because I do. In small amounts, but I just never seem to enjoy it in more than 2 mouthful quantities. The Husband, always orders sweet & sour pork when we go chinese takeaway (and thai if they have it) he will ask for pork ribs over beef ribs, pork sausage is his favourite – do you get the picture? So when I saw this recipe and envisioned the ways it could be all moist and good I had to give it a go. Pleased I did I must say!

Carnitas


4-5-pounds boneless pork should, cut into 5-inch chunks, trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
water
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoon chile powder
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced

1. Rub the pieces of pork shoulder all over with salt.
2. Heat the oil in a roasting pan set on the stovetop. Cook the pieces of pork shoulder in a single layer until very well-browned, turning them as little as possible so they get nice and dark before flipping them around.
3. Once all the pork is browned, remove them from the pot and blot away any excess fat with a paper towel, then pour in about a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged utensil to release all the tasty brown bits.
4. Heat the oven to 180C degrees.
5. Add the pork back to the pan and add enough water so the pork pieces are 2/3rd’s submerged in liquid. Add the cinnamon stick and stir in the chile powders, bay leaves, cumin and garlic.
7. Braise in the oven uncovered for 3½ hours, turning the pork a few times during cooking, until much of the liquid is evaporated and the pork is falling apart. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the pork pieces out of the liquid and set them on a platter.
8. Once the pork pieces are cool enough to handle, shred them into bite-sized pieces, about 2-inches (7 cm), discarding any obvious big chunks of fat if you wish.
9. Return the pork pieces back to the roasting pan and cook in the oven, turning occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the pork is crispy and caramelized. It will depend on how much liquid the pork gave off, and how crackly you want them.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz.

h1

Flavour Mixture!

December 19, 2009


I have been a bit slack with my Flavour of the Month Essential Christmas Cookbook I actually thought I’d been doing ok, I thought I’d been baking and making a lot. But, I went a bit all out to begin with and suddenly have dropped off.

And, now…I’ve sustained an injury and am not allowed to walk until Christmas really. It’s an issue! But anyway, I can write about the things I have done still – I’m not stopped from doing that.
I am going to do a bit of a bulk post though, minus recipes – I feel a bit slack with that, but there is pain associated with my above injury. And, well I am slowly sipping my peppermint laced hot chocolate and watching Top Gear at the same time, so I am a little distracted.

First off is the Raised Pork Pie delightfully tasty! I could’ve devoured the whole thing too myself, the sage with the apples were delightful. Of course it’s not surprising to say the least that these worked well with Pork. It’s a quintessential combination isn’t it? However, as you can see……my pastry failed! Oh how it failed. Texture and taste wise it was good, but it wouldn’t hold its form, and it just fell to pieces as it cooked? Pastry continues to bother me!

Next up is the Raspberry Miroire I made this for a family gathering, minus the white bark on the outside. It was well received, I was a little worried about the texture but it actually turned out very well. My SIL was the person who I was concerned about in relation to this texture thing, and she enjoyed it so must’ve been ok yea? I had to pass on the recipe to the Husband’s aunt the next day so it worked out! And didn’t really take a good photo, because there was not really a lot of time for me to fiddle around between it being ready and it being taken to be eaten!

Then the Spicy Nuts were a hit with my grandmother, she loves nuts (as long as there were no hazelnuts) and she devoured them in half a moment. The original recipe just called for pecan, cashew and almonds but I just used a natural nut mix that included macadamias and walnuts as well. These are actually her favourite nuts so I really needed to include them didn’t I! I also, did not have any garlic powder so I substituted it with nutmeg, it worked well.

Finally Roast Sirloin with Mustard Sauce….saved the best for last! Oh my word it was divine! Perhaps it was the good quality meat I happened to get my hands on? Well it probably helped, but the recipe would’ve had something to do with it definitely! Oh it was moist and juicy and so perfect for the food to celebrate my 4th year wedding anniversary! I should actually stipulate that I didn’t make the mustard sauce, because I didn’t use a 1.5kg roast sirloin, I used 2 pieces of sirloin that I covered liberally with the mustard, honey and garlic mix they used as the crust. Oh it was good! My mouth waters as I remember it. Will have to do it again soon I think, and maybe take better photo’s because I was so busy wanting to eat it this time!