karohemd: (Chef)
Quite a while ago (a year?) I was pointed at a tweet by Jane Travers who was looking for recipes that would fit into a single tweet for a charity book project. I somehow managed to squeeze my recipe for Dippadoom™ (my (in)famous garlic and herb dip) into 140 characters and submitted it as well as two or three others.
Today the release date of the book was officially announced and Jane just confirmed that the Dippadoom recipe made it. :o)

You can find a bit more background on the project here.
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)
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)
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)
I had a bunch of small vine tomatoes that weren't quite ripe enough for using in a salad but already on the edge of their usability so I cut them in half, drizzled a baking tray with olive oil, put on the tomatoes cut side down, added a handful of crushed garlic gloves (skin on), drizzled over more olive oil and seasoning (salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary) and put it in the oven to roast for about half an hour until squishy.
Then I squeezed the now wonderfully sweet and fragrant garlic gloves out of their skins into a bowl, added the rest of the baking tray and blitzed everything up with my stick blender. Out came this wonderfully fragrant, bright orange and tasty sauce that had just the right consistency. I tasted it and could just have sat there with a spoon eating it all.

I used this as a base for a veg dish but it will just as easily work as a stir-in sauce for pasta.
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.
karohemd: (Chef)
I cut the rack (which had been marinaded in herbs by the butcher) into individual ribs, rubbed them with olive oil, hot pimenton and pepper and let sit for a while.
In a stockpot I seared the ribs and when they were brown I added a finely sliced onion. After that was sweated off nicely, I added about half a pint of veg stock (which is what I had), turned the heat down, added a good pinch of salt and put a lid on.
After braising for about 90 minutes, the ribs were tender and practically fell off the bone.

Served on a bed of creamed chard and new potatoes.

karohemd: (Chef)
I still had loads of veg left over so decided to make a soup, something I don't often do.
I had a big bulb of fennel (reserve the tops), two large leeks, two tiny heads of cabbage, a baking potato and three tomatoes.
Method:
Chop everything into smallish chunks and sautee everything off in a generous knob of butter and an equally generous glug of olive oil, fill up with veg stock (I used a cube but the good organic stuff) and let it simmer until the potatoes are soft.
Blitz it all up (I used a stick blender) until it's smooth, check the seasoning (I added pepper, salt, freshly grated nutmeg and sweet smoked paprika), serve in bowls and garnish with a blob of cream and chopped fennel tops.
Devour.
It was gorgeous, I could have eaten that at a fine restaurant and not noticed the difference.


Bigger )
I have to take a little hat tip to Kayotic Kitchen (there are both LJ and DW feeds and she's @kayotickitchen), one of my favourite food bloggers (despite her penchant for Americanisms) and photographers, because she's making a lot of these kind of soups. It's not based on any of her recipes (at least not to my recollection) but she's certainly been an inspiration. Thanks, Kay.
karohemd: (Chef)
I had a small head of savoy cabbage, two really nice, fleshy tomatoes, some ham and half a block of cheddar.

I separated the cabbage into leaves, cut out the stems, washed them and blanched them in boiling salted water for a few minutes.
Meanwhile I made a cheese sauce (blonde roux, milk, salt, pepper, grated cheddar).
I brushed an ovenproof dish with butter, lined it with the cabbage leaves, added tomato slices, flung on the ham cut into strips and smothered everything in the cheese sauce. The rest of the cheddar went on top and the whole thing into a preheated oven for about 30 mins.
Om nom nom.
karohemd: (Chef)
This is an old family favourite, it might even go back to my gran (mum's mum). It's very simple.
You will need:
Brussels sprouts (mine came in my organic vegbox this week, still on the stalk)
Cooked ham, diced
half an onion, finely chopped
glove of garlic, finely chopped
olive oil
tomato paste
veg stock
salt, pepper, freshly grated nutmeg
(new) potatoes

Method
Wash the sprouts and take off the out leaves if necessary, cut the bigger ones in half.
In a deepish pan on medium heat fry the onion, garlic and ham until the onion is soft, stir in a good dollop of tomato paste and add enough veg stock to cover the pan about 1cm deep. Add the sprouts, season to taste, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat. Put on a lid and simmer until the sprouts are tender but still firm, about 10 mins.
Served with boiled (new) potatoes.



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karohemd: (Chef)
My take on Beef Bourguignon


Click the pic for the "recipe" on flickr.

February 2013

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