karohemd: (Chef)
This long weekend was perfect for some experimentation in the kitchen so on Monday I used up the rest of the asparagus (I had sauteed spears with my lamb steaks on Sunday evening), cooking the front half of the spears in lemony butter, removed them from the butter and kept them warm. Then I cooked the chopped stems in the same butter with some veg stock. When those were tender, I blitzed them with a stick blender, seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg, stirred in a good dollop of double cream and blitzed again, tilting the blender head to get in as much air as possible. The result was a light, smooth, fluffy soup. The flavour was spot on, too.
I served the soup in a deep plate, with the cooked spears and a poached duck's egg yolk on top. Probably the technically best dish I've ever cooked. Very happy. :o)
Cream of asparagus soup, poached duck's egg yolk
karohemd: (Chef)
After my light lunch, I fancied a nice piece of meat for dinner. I'm pretty confident in cooking steak my usual way (fast sear and then finished in a low oven) but I wanted to try the method Heston Blumenthal demonstrated in his last TV series.
The steak had quite a chunk of fat on one end so I cut that off, chopped it up and rendered it on a low/medium heat. There was enough fat to lubricate the steak so I didn't need any oil. It most likely helped with the flavour, too.
With the extractor fan on full and window open, I added the steak to the smoking pan and flipped the steak every 15 seconds (roughly, by counting, I didn't actually use a timer), seasoning with salt and pepper halfway through. After four times on each side, so for a total of two minutes, the steak felt as if it was done so I removed it from the pan to a warm plate to let it rest for five minutes. I poured off the fat as suggested in the linked recipe but made a standard red wine reduction instead to which I added the resting juices later.
After resting, the steak was just how I like it, dark pink throughout, wonderfully juicy and with a really nice crust on the outside, quite possibly the best steak I have cooked.
This I served with boulangere potatoes and fresh, blanched asparagus.

Sirloin steak cooked the Heston way, boulangere potatoes, new season asparagus Sirloin steak cooked the Heston way (cut), boulangere potatoes, new season asparagus


I remember watching this episode on TV and myself and many others on twitter found it a bit odd but it really works. I mentioned this to an American friend and she thought it completely normal. Different cultures, different ways of cooking steaks.
karohemd: (Chef)
Soft-boiled Egg with Asparagus Soldiers
Soft-boiled Egg with Asparagus Soldiers
karohemd: (Chef)
This was prompted by a repeat of Heston Blumenthal's mad risotto episode I saw last night. I knew I'd get asparagus in my box today so sometime during today I made up my mind.
All I did was a basic risotto but this time with a generous pinch of saffron in the stock which gave it a wonderful colour and slightly earthy taste. The asparagus was just seasoned with salt and pepper and steamed until tender but still crunchy. I arranged the asparagus on a pool of risotto and for some extra indulgence added some parmesan shavings and a drizzle of truffle-infused olive oil. It was absolutely divine.



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karohemd: (Chef)
Marinate the chops in olive oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme for a few hours in the fridge.

Cut the potatoes into cubes, parboil them for five minutes, drain. In a large frying pan heat olive oil from the marinade and a generous knob of butter and sautee the cooled potatoes until crispy.

Braise the asparagus in a mix of good olive oil and lime juice, seasoned with salt and pepper.

Scrape the solids off the chops and sear them in a very hot pan. Turn down the heat and cook a bit more until done to your liking.

Remove the chops from the pan and keep warm to rest. In the meantime deglaze the meat pan with a generous glug of red wine and let reduce.

Serve the chops on the asparagus with the potatoes on the side and drizzle everything with the red wine jus.



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More info on flickr (click the big pic)

February 2013

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