Monthly Archives: February 2013

Strogonoff – hearty stew with a refined edge to it:)

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Strogonoff is one of my favourite things to cook. It’s not only simple to make, it’s also full of flavour, and it’s really versatile.

Normally  strogonoff is made with beef. I take my own twist on it and cook it with pork. I use pork neck, as it’s perfect for braising, it’s very tender and full of flavour. It’s my own personal preference, you can use beef if you want to. 😉

For 4 people you will need:

About 600g of pork neck (or braising beef) cut into thin,long strips.

400 g of button mushrooms, sliced.

2 onions – diced

2 big red bell peppers – diced

200ml of sour cream

2 tsp of tomato paste

1 clove of garlic

Salt, pepper to taste

2 tsp of paprika powder

1/4 tsp of chili flakes (or powder)

About 700ml of beef stock (or water with 1 beef stock cube)

3 tbsp of flour

3 tbsp of oil

Start by seasoning your meat with salt, pepper, paprika powder and chili flakes. Toss the meat in the spices so its well coated, then toss the meat in the flour , it has to be coated evenly.

Then fry the meat off on hot oil, to sear the edges and juices. Fry until the meat is nice and golden. Don’t let the flour burn though, it will thicken the sauce later.

Once your meat is brown put it aside and on the same oil fry off your onions, mushrooms and peppers. After 5 min (when the veggies are softened) add the meat back in, add your tomato puree and your beef stock.. cook until the meat is tender (about 1,5 hour with pork neck, about 2 hours with beef). At the very end the sauce should be thickened and reduced. Then add the sour cream and stir through well. Check for seasoning at the end.. then it’s ready. You can serve it with potatoes or bread, I love to serve it with tagiatelle pasta 😉 enjoy!

 

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American classics part 2 – hamburgers !!!

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Hamburgers are delicious but very often they’re greasy and packed with salt and other preservatives that they don’t really need. Making them at home is a good options for those of us who like to eat fresh and control what is put into our food. I like to serve them with my version of the special sauce served with big mac, just for that special kick of flavour. 😉

For 4-6 burgers you will need:

500g of good quality beef mince

1 small onion- chopped very finely

2 tbsp of sweet chili sauce

2 tbsp of worcestershire sauce

2 heaped tsp of hot mustard

1 tsp of garlic powder

Salt, pepper to taste

About  3-4 tbsp of breadcrumbs

4-6 sesame hamburger buns

For the special sauce:

1 small onion, finely chopped

4-5 small gurkins , finely diced

5 heaped tbsp of mayo

3 tsp of mustard

Salt,pepper to taste

About 1 flat tsp of sugar

About 1 tbsp of the gurkin juice

1 tsp of hot sauce

1 tbsp of ketchup

Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato slices, red onion, cheese.

Now this is very simple, as most of the things I cook. All you need to do is mix your meat- preferably at room temperature with onion, and all the seasonings-season to taste and let it stand for a bit for the flavours to get to know eachother.

While the meat is developing flavour, you can prepare your toppings, I used tomatoes, lettuce,cheese and red onions.

You can also make your special sauce but simply mixing all the ingredients together – then put it in the fridge until you need it.

After 15-20 min take your meat and divide into even portions, form burgers- I like mine thick,and pan fry them- until they’re deep brown colour- if you want to make sure they’re cooked,you can pop them into the oven for a few minutes so they cook through evenly.

Once they’re in the oven, toast off the buns and assemble- some special sauce, lettuce,tomato,burger,cheese on top and decorate with red onion. Serve with some extra sauce on the side!

Simple yet briliant 😉

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Coconut Panna Cotta & Carribean fruit salsa

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Panna cotta always seemed very complicated to me.I’m not sure why, it just did. So I never made it and never even attempted reading a recipe.

Once I did, I realised- wow, this is dead simple. And I had all the ingredients on hand. Panna cotta means ”cooked cream” and that’s essentially what it is. Cooked, sweetened cream and milk, set with gelatine.. and the flavourings are up to you. Today I used coconut to flavour my panna cotta and added a fresh fruit salade to go with it. I hope you like it.

For 4 portions you will need

400ml of cream ( or a 400ml can of coconut milk)

100 ml of milk

50 g of sugar

About 200g of fresh coconut- grated (or a bag of shredded coconut)

1-2 drops of coconut food flavouring

2,5 tsp of gelatine powder disolved in 3 tbsp of hot water.( or 3 gelatine leafs-soaked in cold water)

For the fruit salade I used 1 banana,2 kiwis and 1 orange- feel free to use any fruit you like.

Put your coconut milk(or cream), milk, sugar and coconut, along with coconut flavouring into a pan and heat it up until the sugar disolves. Add your melted gelatine and stir it in well. Once it’s all combined you can strain the coconut,or leave it for texture. I left it in,for extra ”bite”. Pour the mix into oiled forms/ramequins (I used small coffee mugs, oiled with sunflower oil.

Let them set for 4 hours in the fridge. Before serving, put the panna cottas in the moulds into some hot water, that will loosen them up,or ease the edge of panna cotta with a knife. Shake to get them out, place onto a plate and put the diced fruit around it.

You can use vanilla to flavour your panna cotta..you can use coffee,chocolate,fruit or liquor. You can also serve with different sauces-chocolate, caramel.. it’s all up to you:) enjoy!

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American Classic – creamy potato soup. Can’t resist it.

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This soup is certainly not for the faint-hearted 😉 it’s also not for those who are on a diet .. it’s basically all carbs, but hey..it’s worth it. It’s simple and delicious but mostly- a great way to get rid of some leftovers veggies,cheese etc. Surely a crowd pleaser,and always a winner with the kids. I hope you like this American classic! 😉

For 4-5 portions:

1 large onion – diced

1 carrot- diced

1 small leek- diced

2 celery sticks- diced

About 6-7 medium potatoes- peeled and diced

2l of chicken stock(or vegetable if you’re vegetarian).

200ml of whipping cream

3tbsp of flour

3 tbsp of butter

200g of young cheese such as Gouda (Velveeta would work well too).

Salt,pepper to taste

Optionally-  parsley or fresh chives to serve.

This soup is dead simple. First, fry off your onion until it’s starting to go soft and translucent. Then add the diced carrot, leek and celery. Fry for about 2-3 minutes more. Add your potatoes and stir through well. Add your stock, season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the soup boil until the vegetables are tender. Once your veggies are soft, make a roux in a separate pan(melt your butter and once it’s melted add the flour, stir constantly,and fry the flour off until it’s slightly golden colour.)

Then take your roux and add to the soup gradually, while stirring the soup( prevents lumps from forming.)

Once that’s done, add your cream, stir everything so it’s well combined..then add the cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted and incorporated into the soup. Check the seasoning at the end, serve with a twist of black pepper on top – and some parsley or chives.

Comfort food at it’s best 😉 enjoy!

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