Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Veal with Soft Polenta

Another female cook who I love to make recipes from is Donna Hay. Most of her recipes are really simple and have such great flavour, which is how I like to cook.

This recipe is from her book Fast, Fresh and Simple. I like it how most of her recipes are for 2 people as well, which works great for us.

I never really cook with polenta and couldn’t find it in Coles when I went shopping, so I went to IGA and they had one sort. This one asks for instant polenta, but the polenta I got didn’t say instant on it anywhere, so I am not sure if I was using the right one.

The polenta turned out well at the beginning, but then half way through the meal it went quite solid. Is this meant to happen?? It still tasted good and the Veal was really nice. I don’t eat sage that often, but I really love the flavour, so I might have to use it a bit more.

Veal with Soft Polenta – From Donna Hay’s Fast Fresh Simple
Serves 2

4 x 90g Veal Steaks
Salt and cracked pepper
20g butter
4 Slices of Prosciutto (I didn’t use this)
6 – 8 Sprigs of sage
Lemon wedges to serve
Soft Polenta
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
½ cup (85g) instant polenta
½ cup (40g) grated parmesan
2 Tablespoons Marscapone (I didn’t use this either)

To make the soft polenta, put the milk and stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and whisk until smooth. Stir in the parmesan and then season , cover and set aside.

Put a fry pan on the high heat. Sprinkle the veal with salt and pepper and then put the veal, butter, sage and prosciutto in the pan and cook for 2 minutes each side, or until the veal is cooked to your liking and the prosciutto is crisp.

To serve, divide the polenta between the serving plates and top each with a tablespoon of marscapone. Add the veal, sage and prosciutto to the plate and serve with a wedge of lemon.

I served mine with a salad of lettuce, cucumber, capsicum and fetta.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes

Following on from the Nigella Theme I made another one of her dishes the other night that we saw on her feasts show. Her original recipe was suited for about 6 people, so I halved the recipe for us 2, and then had leftovers the next day.

You can find a link to the original recipe here, otherwise this is my version below.

I changed the chicken type, as that’s what I had on hand, although next time I will do drumsticks and cutlets. I also cooked it at 180 degrees instead of 220, as I thought that was a bit high. Maybe if I had the original quantity then that would have worked, but not with the reduced amount.

I also added in a couple of red capsicums cut into chunks, as I had them in the fridge. I would definitely add them in as they were a fantastic addition.

Everything in the pan, ready to go in the oven

Close up!

All done and looking good

Easy Midweek meal

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes

1 tablespoon regular olive oil
4 Chicken Breasts, Bone in, Skin on (I only used 3 cause that’s what I had, I thought I had 4)
2 chorizo sausages cut into 4cm chunks
300g chat potatoes, halved
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
grated zest 1 orange

1. Preheat the oven to 180ยบ. Put the oil in the bottom a roasting tin. Rub the skin of the chicken in the oil, then turn skin-side up.

2. Scatter the chorizo sausages, capsicum and the chat potatoes in the tin. Sprinkle the onion and the oregano over ,then grate the orange zest over.

3. Cook for 1 hour, but after 30 minutes baste the contents with the orange-coloured juices.

I just served with a simple green salad and it was delicious. So easy and so tasty

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nigella's Asian Braised Beef

If anyone is reading this blog after my 6 month hiatus, I have decided to do things differently. I stopped blogging on the site as I kept getting frustrated with how long it took to upload pictures on blogger (does anyone else have this problem??) and deciding what I should and shouldn’t blog.

What I mainly want to use the blog for is to document what I make for dinner each night, as there are times I make something really good and then forget where I got the recipe from or forget about the meal entirely.

Luckily I have a great partner who cooks a lot too, so I won’t be updating what I eat every night, just what I cook.

So a great place to start is with a Nigella recipe! I love watching her cooking programs (and have got Frankie to watch them too!) and they really make you want to cook whatever she is cooking. I like that a lot of her recipes are simple too, cause my favourite recipes are the simple ones that pack a lot of flavour.

This recipe is very easy, but you need time to braise the meat, so best made on the weekend. The salad is an excellent accompaniment to the dish as well. Nigella served hers with noodles on the show, but I prefer rice.

The beef after it's been cooking for 2 hours - not the best picture...

Sweet and Sour Salad

Finished meal over rice

Nigella’s Asian Braised Beef with Sweet and Sour Salad

For the beef

2 onions, peeled, quartered
5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, peeled, sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp vegetable oil
250ml/9fl oz Chinese cooking wine (or dry sherry)
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 litres/3½ pints beef stock, preferably organic (I only used 1 Litre as 2 seemed quite a lot for the chuck steak)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
3.5kg/7½lb beef shin, on the bone, cut by the butcher into thick slices (or 1kg/2¼lb beef shin off the bone, cut into large cubes) (I used 1kg of Chuck Steak instead)

For the salad

3 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
4 spring onions, cut into matchsticks
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
1 long green chilli, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
20g/¾oz bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped

For the salad dressing

1 lime, juice only
4 tbsp Thai
fish sauce
1 tsp caster sugar

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

2. For the beef, blend the onions, ginger, garlic and coriander in a food processor until well combined and finely chopped.

3. Heat the oil in a large casserole or ovenproof frying pan and fry the mixture over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until soft and beginning to catch in the pan; this should take about 10 minutes.

4. Pour in the Chinese wine (or sherry) and let it bubble up. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, stock, oyster sauce and rice wine vinegar and bring to a boil, then drop in the cinnamon sticks and star anise.

5. Add the pieces of beef shin and let everything come up to a bubble again, then clamp on a lid and put into the oven for 2 hours.

6. Take the casserole carefully out of the oven and, using a slotted spatula, remove the beef to an ovenproof dish. Cover with foil and keep warm in the oven while you vigorously boil the sauce in the casserole (or pan) on the hob, without a lid, until it has reduced by about half.

7. For the salad, combine all the julienned vegetables and the chopped coriander in a bowl.

8. For the salad dressing, mix the lime juice, fish sauce and caster sugar in another bowl and dress the vegetables with this.

9. To serve, arrange the beef on a serving platter and pour the reduced sauce over the meat. If you are using cubes of stewing steak, rather than slices of shin, you’d probably do better to use a deeper dish. Dress the top of the beef with the hot and sour shredded salad.

This is definitely a dish I will make again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quick Chilli

I made this meal quite a while ago after seeing the recipe on Iron Chef Shellie’s site. I have cooked a few things from her website and they have all been great, so I knew this would be a winner too which it was.

The recipe is a Nigella recipe which also gave me an incentive to try it. I must say I do love any dish that combines chorizo, tomato and rice which is pure comfort food. I love the addition of sweet chilli sauce too, cause I always used to add that as my special ingredient whenever I made spaghetti Bolognese that even my dad started adding it to his as well.

I can’t have chilli without sour cream and avocado, so I added them as well. I will definitely be making this again when I am next in the mood for something quasi Mexican!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Spanish Chickpea Soup

This is another recipe from Jamie’s Dinners cookbook. I really love this book and it’s full of great recipes that I just want to try.

I love soups and there is nothing more comforting in this really cold weather than sitting down to a nice bowl of tasty soup with some really good bread with lots of butter on it.

We have a really great bakery that’s in the Belconnen markets that has baguettes to die for and really good sourdough. If I am making a soup I always make sure that I get some of this bread.

I have never seen a recipe with a hardboiled egg grated into the soup, but it really works. It adds a nice richness to the dish instead of adding cream or sour cream. I also managed to get some pancetta from Barossa Fine Foods which was delicious in the soup. I used the whole package too, cause I love a good bit of protein in soups

I think next time I might try it with a couple of tins of tomatoes in place of the fresh tomatoes, as I love the flavour of really good tinned tomatoes in soup.

You can find the recipe here with all his recommendations on how to cook the dish.