karohemd: (Chef)
After a couple of weeks of mediocre fare, I finally had some inspiration again and produced something worth posting.
I found some nice seabass fillets and when I saw the watercress various recipes I'd seen online clicked in my head. The fillets were simply pan-fried for two minutes on the skin side, seasoned with salt and pepper and flipped. I picked the watercress leaves and blitzed them with half a garlic glove and good olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper.

Seabass, watercress pesto, toasted pine nuts


I'm really happy with how this came out. :D
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karohemd: (Chef)
Halloumi "burger"


Ingredients (for one, multiply accoringly):
block halloumi
portobello mushrooms (the big ones)
1 beetroot
2 tomatoes
2 gloves of garlic, 1cm ginger, mixed herbs, olive oil
salt, pepper, pimenton

I first boiled the beetroot, then quartered and peeled it, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt and kept warm wrapped in foil.

The halloumi was sliced in three and marinaded in olive oil, pimenton and pepper (you don't need any salt as the cheese is salty enough) while the beetroot was boiling, then fried in the marinade with the portobello mushrooms (sliced in half).

For the couscous, I deseeded and finely chopped two tomatoes and cooked them down in olive oil with garlic, a bit of ginger, dried mediterranean herbs, freshly sliced chilli and seasoned with salt and pepper. Into that I stirred the couscous, added as much boiling water as needed and put on a lid until the couscous was nice and plump.

I started with a pile of couscous on the plate then stacked mushroom and halloumi slices in the centre and arranged the beetroot on the side.
karohemd: (Chef)
Pork Chop, Courgette, Buttery Mash, Cider Sauce
Pork Chop, Courgette, Buttery Mash, Cider Sauce
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
Friday was Sacrilege which turned out to be a very trad goth affair (with [livejournal.com profile] nevla as one of the guest DJs) until just before I had to leave because of knackeredness and the EBM came on. :/ Click the thumbnail and then on the link for the set on the right hand side for the rest of the photos:

DJ Nevla


Saturday I went shopping, relaxed, watched DVDs, processed Sacrilege photos and braised an awesome lamb shank for dinner:

Slow Braised Lamb Shank


More telly and DVDs later and then, just before I finally wanted to go to sleep, I read that Clarence Clemons had died. That news really got to me, although I had been fearing it after his suffering a stroke the previous weekend. As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Springsteen's music and the Big Man's saxophone and stage presence are an integral part of the experience. Here's a video of Jungleland, forward to 4:15 for the sax bit if you like, and you'll see/hear what I mean:



On Sunday I was mostly depressed and didn't do anything constructive except two loads of laundry and a simple dinner (ratatouille with couscous). I also watched the dire remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (mostly because Jennifer Connelly was in it) on telly and then the superb Lemmy documentary on DVD.

Now I'm at work and moping but I'm going out for dinner tonight so that should pick me up.
karohemd: (Chef)
I seared the shank on all sides and then braised it on a bare simmer in red wine and stock with onions, carrots, garlic and rosemary for about three hours.
I then removed the shank and wrapped it in foil to keep warm and rest. Then I turned up the heat and reduced the cooking liquor to a thick sauce while cooking the potatoes and cabbage for the colcannon. Before serving I blitzed the sauce to make it smooth and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
I set the shank on a bed of colcannon (almost didn't manage to do it in one piece as the meat fell off the bone) and poured a liberal amount of the sauce over.
It was just a bit big for me so I have leftovers. :D

Slow Braised Lamb Shank
karohemd: (Chef)
Pan-fried, simply seasoned (salt, pepper), with spicy couscous (hot smoked paprika, salt, pepper, blanched cabbage for crunch).

Pan-fried fillet of pollock on spicy couscous
karohemd: (Chef)
Pan-fried, simply seasoned (salt, pepper), with spicy couscous (hot smoked paprika, salt, pepper, blanched cabbage for crunch).

Pan-fried fillet of pollock on spicy couscous
karohemd: (Chef)
After a visit to a fine dining establishment it's always a bit daunting to go back to your own kitchen and cook but I was rather happy with the "lamb lollipops" (quickly pan fried cutlets from the rack bought marinaded from the Art of Meat, with colcannon and red wine reduction) on Saturday (no photo because I was in a hurry but they looked a bit like these).

On Saturday, it was time for pork. Whenever my butcher (the above mentioned Art of Meat in Arbury Court) has tenderloins in, I cannot resist:

Pork tenderloin with "pickled" radishes


Seared and slow roasted pork tenderloin (marinaded in rapeseed oil, thyme and pepper, seasoned with sea salt after searing), cider reduction, potato mash (milk, butter, a bit of goat's cheese), pickled radishes (balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper). The Aspall Dry Premier Cru cider I used for cooking was also a perfect accompaniment.

This evening, more pork, this time in the shape of sausages, the Art of Meat's Leek and Cheese variety (this week's special). I first browned the sausages quickly in some leftover marinade from yesterday, removed them, added a finely sliced onion and fried those in the pan juices for a while, then deglazed the pan with a generous glug of cider, adjusted the seasoning, added the sausages again, put on a lid and let it cook on low heat until the sausges were done. They were still crispy on the outside and wonderfully soft and moist inside. Inspired by a pic MiMi posted on Saturday, I served them on couscous, which worked really well, as did the leftover radishes which were even better than last night. No photo because it looked a bit rubbish (but tasted so much nicer).
karohemd: (Chef)
This was quick and easy:
I had marinaded the chops in garlic, rosemary, freshly ground pepper and olive oil, then seared in a very hot pan, seasoned with sea salt and finished in a low oven to medium.
I used some of the marinade to sweat off a bit of finely sliced red pepper and leek, stirred in the couscous and added simmering chicken stock (from concentrate in a little pot) to finish (it was lazy couscous, the kind that takes 5 minutes). I also had some green salad with this.

Lamb Chops on Red Pepper Couscous
karohemd: (Chef)
Soft-boiled Egg with Asparagus Soldiers
Soft-boiled Egg with Asparagus Soldiers
karohemd: (Chef)
I hadn't had duck in a while so I picked up a couple of Gressingham duck breasts during my lunchtime shop.
This evening I was meant to go out so I just made something quick:
I trimmed and scored the skin, put the breast skin side down into a cold pan and turned up the heat. This way the fat under the skin has time to render before the skin crispens. When the skin was nicely browned, I seasoned the fleshy side with sea salt and pepper, turned the heat down, flipped the breast and cooked that side until sealed, transferred into a dish and finished it in a medium oven for about five minutes before I took it out, covered it in foil and let rest.
For the sauce, I sprinkled some icing sugar into the fat (of there wasn't much, with more fattier ducks you might have to get rid of some of the fat), deglazed the pan with a good glug of red wine, added a teaspoon of concentrated chicken stocka and let it simmer until it was the right consistency, seasoning with salt and pepper.
I served it on crushed new potatoes and with some wilted spinach (cooked in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg).

The meat was soft and tender, the skin crispy and not fatty at all, the sauce was probably the best I've ever made and the spuds and spinach went well with it.


I have another breast which I'm going to cook differently tomorrow. It'll be an experiment so you might not see a post. ;o)
karohemd: (Chef)
This evening's dinner was mostly provided by friends. One had given me a slice off a leg of venison and two others had given me a cooking condiment collection from Hotel Chocolat which contained a savoury chocolate glaze.

Based on the structure of the meat, I cut the slice of leg into smaller portions, coated them in olive oil and seared the rather thin slices in a very hot pan, basted them with foaming butter towards the end, seasoned and set them on the side to rest. Then I deglazed the pan with red wine, seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme and added two spoons of the glaze mix to melt that in.

The meat was served on crushed baby potatoes, drizzled with the red wine/chocolate glaze, with creamed savoy cabbage on the side. A bit of an odd combination, I admit, but it's what I had on hand, I wasn't to go out and buy a head of red cabbage for one portion.
You can see in the photo how gooey that glaze was. Given more time (I was very hungry and just wanted to eat), you can turn this into something awesome. Also, it's probably rather easy to make yourself by just mixing grated dark chocolate with spices.

karohemd: (Chef)
I used:
- a thick slice of braising steak in 1.5cm cubes
- a slice of lamb's liver, same size slices
- flour seasoned with salt, freshly ground pepper and hot smoked paprika
- handful of shallots, quartered
- three (or to taste) garlic cloves, smashed but whole
- two carrots, cut into chunks
- handful of mushrooms, quartered
- bunch of chard, greens only, cut into strips
- quarter bottle of red wine
- beef stock as needed (I used one of those Knorr pots)

Method:
Dust the liver and beef separately in the seasoned flour. In a thick bottomed pot with a good lid, heat some olive oil on high and first sear the liver slices until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Then fry the beef cubes. When those are brown, add the shallots and carrots and fry them for a minute or so. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and some beef stock (the meat should just about be covered) and add the garlic cloves. Turn the heat down to a bare simmer, put on a lid and leave alone for at least two hours. After an hour or so check if there is still enough liquid (it shouldn't be dry), add some stock if you need to. Repeat after every half hour.
The longer you leave this simmering, the better it will be but you should give it at least two hours. About 20 minutes before serving, add the mushrooms and five minutes before the chard, just to wilt. Finally, add the liver slices to warm through and adjust the seasoning. The liquid will have turned into a thick, deep sauce that sticks to the meat and the beef will fall apart in your mouth.

Serve with mash (I had some leftover parsnips and cheese sauce from the day before so turned that into mash), pasta or rice and if at hand, sprinkle some fresh parsley over the top. Eat with a spoon and lick the plate (I dare you not wanting to do this afterwards).

Beef Bourguignon

Bigger photo )
karohemd: (Chef)
My butcher had these wonderful pork tenderloins so I bought one as I hadn't cooked with one in quite a while. It was vacuum sealed so I thought I'd try a rough approximation of sous vide cooking. I basically poached the loin, suspended from a wooden spoon in a stockpot full of hot water (don't know how hot it was, I chose a temperature I could still touch so probably around 60 degrees) for a bit more than half an hour, prodding it now and then to get an idea for how done it was.
I took it out, removed it from the bag, patted it dry and cut it in half (so it would fit into my frying pan). It was done just a little under pink so after I seasoned it with salt and pepper and seared it in a really hot pan in some olive oil on all sides and rested it for ten minutes, it was on the spot.
While the meat was resting, I made a sauce by deglazing the pan with cider, seasoning with salt, pepper and thyme and finishing with some double cream and the resting juices.
I served it on some potato and parsnip mash and wilted spinach. It was fantastic and I could have charged good money for that at a restaurant. I wish this happened more often. I like my cooking but only sometimes it's as good as this.
The photo is a bit rubbish because it was rushed.

karohemd: (Chef)
When I did some shopping at tesco's yesterday, they had rather nice and fresh looking rainbow trout at the fishmonger's so I bought one.
I filleted it so it would cook faster, dusted the skin with seasoned flour and pan-fried it (I also cooked the head for the cheeks which are the best bit). With it I had some finely sliced red and green peppers, leeks, ginger and garlic braised in olive oil and balsamico. Because I was in a hurry, I only had some toasted sourdough rye bread with it and I didn't have the time to take a photo, either so you have to imagine how good it tasted. ;)
One of the best quick dinners I've ever cooked, all for less than 3 pounds or so worth of ingredients that tasted like 15 at least. :)
karohemd: (Chef)
It's been a while since I produced food that was worth taking a photo of (or I hadn't taken a photo of before).
Here's the yummy veg soup I made this evening.
Broccoli, leeks, carrots, potatoes (for starch), seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, sweet pimenton, mixed herbs, blitzed, scraped through a sieve.
Finished with creme fraiche, garnished with chilli oil and a few slithers of red pepper and mint leaves.
I even have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. :)

karohemd: (Chef)
I shared cooking duties with my mother today, I cooked the meat while Mum cooked the sides.

The loin was seared in a hot pan and then transferred to a 120°C oven to finish, seasoned with salt and pepper.
The sauce was made from a red wine reduction, pan juices and some stock made from the roasted bones and offcuts, seasoned with salt, pepper and allspice, finished with cold butter.
With it we served braised and creamed savoy cabbage and almond croquettes (not homemade but shop-bought frozen bake-in-the-oven ones). It looked like this:

karohemd: (Chef)
On Saturday I had a lovely, thick fillet steak with peppercorn cream, fluffy mash and wilted spinach and Sunday evening lamb steaks, red wine reduction, potatoes dauphinoise and braised savoy cabbage.
Red meat both times but fantastic quality and - if I may say so myself - cooked to perfection. I guess I had to make up for last weekend's and week's bout of vegetarianism. ;o)
I had potatoes and cabbage left over which I had last night. :D

I apologise for the lack of photos but you can probably guess what it looked like.
karohemd: (Chef)
Dinner tonight:

Very simple recipe:
Preheat your oven to about 200C.
Rub the partridge inside and out with garlic butter, salt and pepper, stuff a couple of smashed garlic cloves into the cavity.
Brown the partridge in a bit of oil on all side, then transfer to the oven for about 20 minutes or until the juices run clear.
Meanwhle cook and mash the potatoes with some milk, butter and smashed garlic and steam the broccoli.

karohemd: (Chef)
Inspired by a recent post by Kayotic Kitchen, I bought a nice, thick, free-range chicken breast from my glorious butcher, the Art of Meat (and the quality of his offerings is indeed fantastic at reasonable prices). I don't eat much meat so I usually pig out on Saturday and pay very happily at little extra over supermarket prices for meat that's three times as good.
Anyway, I also bought some streaky bacon to wrap it in but it turned out to be not enough (more of that later).

To start off, I made a marinade from olive oil, dijon mustard, lots of garlic, black pepper and thyme and smeared it all over the breast as well as inside a pocket I cut into the thickest part. I then let it sit in the fridge for three hours.

When it came to cooking, I laid out the streaky bacon on a big piece of clingfilm and noticed there wasn't enough. The strips wouldn't completely cover the rather thick breast but I tried anyway. In hinsight, I should have just shoved it in the oven as it was but I went through with the original plan of frying it off in the pan first to get the bacon a bit crispy all over. It obviously fell off so when I transferred it to the baking tray, I just draped the bacon strips over it and put it in a medium oven for about 20 minutes.

Despite the messy appearance, the taste was glorious. It was nice and moist (although it could have done with a little less cooking but with chicken I tend to err on the side of caution) and the marinade had penetrated well.
Note: I didn't add any salt as the bacon tends to be quite salty and it didn't need it. However, that's me who doesn't need much salt. Your mileage might vary so I suggest you put a little bowl of sea salt on the table.

With it I had a nice blob of creamy mash and some sauteed courgettes.

Omnomnom, definitely one of the tastiest plates of food I've ever made. Shame there's no photgraphic evidence because it looked just too hideous.

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