Fillet of beef stroganoff with riz pilaff

beef_stroganoff-1Beef stroganoff is one of my favorite beef dishes and it’s quick enough to prepare for a weeknight supper.
The secret to a good stroganoff is to saute the beef very quickly to keep it as rare as possible while still browning it. Another secret is to reduce the vinegar until almost evaporated, otherwise the dish can end up too sour.

Serve with a medium bodied red wine, like a Sangiovese or a Fleurie.

This recipe serves two [hungry] people.

Ingredients for the beef stroganoff:
450g fillet of beef
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp vegetable oil
30g butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
115g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp tomato purée
50ml white wine vinegar
75ml white wine
200ml double cream
115g dill pickle, julienned
125ml sour cream
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 pinch sweet paprika

Preparing the beef stroganoff:
Sprinkle the beef strips with the paprika and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a large frying pan with the vegetable oil. Quickly flash-fry the beef strips, making sure you keep them as rare as possible, then tip the meat into a colander, reserving any juices that drain off.
Using the same pan, add the butter, shallots and sliced mushrooms and cook for one minute. Add the tomato purée and cook for few more minutes, stirring the ingredients together. Add the white wine vinegar and cook until completely evaporated.
Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half then pour in the double cream, bring to a boil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the seared beef and the reserved juice and gently warm through, taking care not to boil or you will overcook the beef.
To serve, pour the stroganoff into a large warmed serving dish and sprinkle with dill pickle. Drizzle the sour cream over the top then sprinkle with chopped parsley and dust with paprika. Serve with the rice along side.

Ingredients for the riz pilaff:
50g butter
50g onion, finely chopped
250g long-grain rice
500ml hot white chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparing the riz pilaff:
For the rice, preheat the oven to 200C.
Heat an ovenproof sauté pan until hot, add half the butter and the onion and cook gently for a few minutes until softened but not colored.
Add the rice and stir well then fry gently for another minute, again without colouring, and add the hot stock, seasoning and bay leaf.
Bring to the boil, stirring with a wooden spoon, then cover with buttered grease-proofpaper and a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes until the rice is cooked but still firm.

Remove the bay leaf, add the last of the butter and separate the grains of rice with a fork.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper then transfer to a clean warmed serving dish and keep covered with a clean piece of grease-proof paper until ready to serve.


Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream


I got this recipe from Ideas in Food and it’s an amazing ice cream. A bit like a mix between vanilla and caramel ice cream and with some toasted notes as well.
The only changes I’ve done is to use vanilla pods instead of vanilla powder (my local store was out) and I charred it three times instead of two. If you want more of the burnt caramel note you can char it more times.
You can order guar gum online.

Ingredients for the Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream:
160g sugar
2.8g salt
1.9g guar gum
400g heavy cream
400g whole milk
10g vanilla paste
2 big vanilla pods, around 1.4 g vanilla seeds (Ideas in Food recipe uses 2 g vanilla powder)

Preparing the Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream:
Put the sugar, salt, and guar gum in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Put the cream and milk in a blender and turn it on medium. Pour the sugar mixture into the vortex and puree until the sugar is dissolved, 10-15 seconds. Add the vanilla paste and vanilla powder to the blender and increase the speed to medium high and puree for 15 seconds. Turn the blender off and pour the ice cream base into a metal bowl. Use a butane torch to burn the surface of the ice cream. When the surface is roughly charred, stir the mixture with a whisk and char the surface one more time. Repeat the whisking, charring and whisking a third time (or more if you want). Transfer the mixture along with the empty vanilla pods to a covered container and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to overnight. Remove the vanilla pods and then churn the ice cream in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.

The ice cream is good served with some warm stewed raspberries or similar fruit.

Mains, Pasta

Portobello-Porcini Pasta

porcini_pastaThis is a nice robust pasta sauce for autumn and 100 % vegetarian.
Makes two large portions.

Ingredients for the Portobello-Porcini Pasta:
250g portobello mushrooms, sliced in 5 mm slices
50g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 200 ml warm water for 10 minutes
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
100ml double cream
1/2 lemon
250g rigatoni pasta
Olive oil
Splash of Noilly Prat vermouth, optional
Small handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley, optional
Small handful of freshly chopped basil, optional

Preparing the Portobello-Porcini Pasta:
Heat a large saute pan until hot. Add some olive oil and then add the garlic and thyme leaves. Saute for a few minutes.
Add the portobello mushrooms to the pan and saute for 15 minutes. They will release a bit of water so keep sauteing and “jumping them” in the pan until the water is absorbed back into the mushrooms.
Drain the porcini mushrooms using a finemesh sieve, reserving the soaking liquor. Wash them thoroughly under cold running water (sometimes they can have a bit of sand and grit on them). Chop the porcini mushrooms finely.
Deglaze the saute pan with a bit of Noilly Prat if using, scrape the bottom of the pan and boil hard to get rid of the alcohol.
Add the porcini liquor and the chopped porcinis to the pan. Saute for about 10 minutes.
Add the lemon juice to the pan and boil a bit, add the double cream and stir to incorporate. Add basil and parsley if using.
Boil the rigatoni according to the instructions on the packet (in water with plenty of salt).
Drain the rigatoni but reserve two ladles of the pasta water.
Add the rigatoni to the sauce and stir to combine, add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Serve in warmed bowls with plenty of parmesan, extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top and freshly milled pepper, add some parsley as well if you have some.


Clementine Sorbet

The use of fructose (fruit sugar) instead of sucrose in this sorbet gives it an incredible tangy flavour.

Ingredients for the Clementine Sorbet:
750g clementine juice (about 2.5 kilos of clementines)
125g fructose
One leaf of gelatin

Preparing the Clementine Sorbet:
Half the clementines and squeeze the juice out of them. Bloom the gelatin leaf in a bit of cold water.
Put the fructose and 125g of the clementine juice (passed through a sieve) into a sauce pan. Bring to the boil until the fructose dissolves. Squeeze as much water as possible from the gelatin and add it to the sauce pan while stirring to dissolve. Take off the heat. Add the rest of the juice (passed through a sieve) to the pan.
Transfer to a jug and store in the fridge until very cold.
Pour the mixture into your ice-cream machine and churn for 20-30 minutes until frozen.


Slow Cooked Fillet Steak, Pommes Puree, Braised Shallots, Veal Jus

steak_jus-1This was a nice dinner where I got to use a few different techniques.
I wanted to make a salad or something green to go with it but ran out of space and time.
Cooking the fillet steak at around 60C in the oven for a fairly long time (55 minutes) ensures that 95 % of the steak is medium rare (around 56C core temperature) and you also get a very uniform result throughout the steak.
It’s important to use a fairly hot pan when you sear the steak before roasting them in the oven since this step have to happen very quickly so you don’t overcook the steak.
The sauce is quite simple, just sauteing some mirepoix and then reducing veal stock. It has a fantastic umami flavor that really complements the beef.

This recipe serves two persons.

Ingredients for the steak:
2 fillet steaks, 175g each
Groundnut oil (or other neutral oil with high smoking point)

Preparing the steak:
Bring the steak out of the fridge at least one hour before cooking to ensure that the steaks come up to room temperature. Cooking the steaks from cold will lower the temperature of the pan.
Turn on the oven to 60C, preferably use an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Heat a frying pan on high heat.
Oil, then salt and pepper the steaks on all sides.
Have a small oven tray ready for the steaks.
When the frying pan is very hot, sear the steaks one by one on all sides. It’s easiest to hold the steaks with a tonge when doing this step. This step should take maximum 30 seconds per steak. Once seared all over put steaks on oven tray.
Transfer to middle of the oven and roast for 55 minutes. Half way through the cooking time flip the steaks over. Once removed from the oven let the steaks rest on a rack for a few minutes.

Ingredients for the braised shallots:
6 shallots, peeled with root area left intact
500ml chicken stock
1 sprig of thyme
2 garlic cloves, peeled
25g butter
Rapeseed oil

Preparing the braised shallots:
Saute the shallots in a bit of oil until golden brown all around. Add the butter, thyme and garlic and cook for another two minutes.
Add the chicken stock, cover and let simmer gently for about 25 minutes or until the shallots are very soft and tender.
Check for seasoning.

Ingredients for the pommes puree:
500g Ratte potatoes (or Charlottes), scrubbed but not cleaned.
125g unsalted butter, chilled
125ml whole milk
White pepper

Preparing the pommes puree:
Cover the potatoes with 1 liter of cold water and 0.5 tablespoon of course salt. Bring to the boil and once it reached the boiling point lower the temperature to a simmer and cover with a lid.
Boil the potatoes for 25 minutes. Drain and peel.
Put the potatoes (while still warm) through a potato ricer or a mouli fitted with the finest disk into a clean saucepan.
Put the mashed potatoes over a medium heat and stir vigorously with a spatula for 5 minutes to dry out the flesh a bit.
Meanwhile rinse a small saucepan with water, pour it out (do not wipe dry) then add the milk. Warm the milk until boiling point and then take it off the heat.
Lower heat for the potato pan to low. Add the butter bit by bit while stirring with spatula, keep adding until it’s all incorporated and the puree is homogenous.The potato and butter might separate a bit at this stage but keep stirring and it will come together.
Add the milk in a thin stream while stirring briskly. When all the milk is incorporated you should have a silky smooth puree. If you want it even smoother you can pass it through a fine sieve.
Check for seasoning.

Ingredients for the veal jus:
1 carrot, diced
1 leek (white part only), diced
0.5 medium onion, diced
1 sprig of thyme
Rapeseed oil
Red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz or something similar)
300ml veal stock

Preparing the veal jus:
Heat a saute pan (preferably the same one you cooked the steaks in) to medium high heat. Add a splash of oil and then saute the carrot, leeks and onions until golden brown, add the sprig of thyme. Deglaze with a generous splash of red wine. Boil until red wine is evaporated.
Add the veal stock and let this simmer for a few minutes. When the sauce had a bit of body, pass through a sieve into a small sauce pan. Reduce further until you achieve a semi-sticky consistency.

Mains, Risotto

Risotto ai Funghi di Bosco

This is a great risotto, especially if you love mushrooms.

This makes enough for at least 4 people.

Ingredients for the mushroom risotto:
1.5 liters chicken (or vegetable) stock
140g unsalted butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
25g dried porcini mushrooms
25g dried galetti mushrooms (optional)
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped
150ml dry white wine or Vermouth
500g Carnaroli risotto rice
75g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparing the mushroom risotto:
Put the stock in a saucepan and heat to a gentle simmer. Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and poor over enough hot water to cover. Let stand for 20-30 minutes and then sieve the mushrooms over another bowl. Keep the soaking liquor. Rinse the soaked mushrooms under cold water then chop them roughly.
Melt 100 g of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and then add the shallots and garlic. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft, golden but not browned. Stir in the mushrooms and herbs then cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes to heat through. Salt and pepper.
Pour in the wine and boil hard until it has reduced and almost disappeared. This will remove the taste of raw alcohol. Add about 100 ml of the mushroom soaking liquor and boil a bit longer until this has reduced.
Stir in the rice and fry with the onion and mushrooms until dry and slightly opaque.
Begin adding the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until each ladle has been absorbed by the rice. Continue until the rice is tender and creamy but still with some bite. This takes about 20 minutes.
Add the rest of the mushroom soaking liquor to a small saucepan and put on high heat to reduce.
Taste and season the risotto well with salt and pepper.
Stir in the parmesan and the remaining butter (cubed into small cubes). Cover the saucepan and let rest for a couple of minutes.
Serve the risotto in warmed bowls. Spoon a bit of the reduced mushroom liquor on top to give extra mushroom flavor. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil and finally shave some Parmesan on top and finish with a few turns of the black pepper mill.


Barbequed Chicken with Chili-Aioli

chicken-1I woke today to a pleasant surprise – Delivery of my very own barbeque!
Barbequeing brings back fond memories of my childhood in Sweden where everyone barbeques as soon as the sun manage to stay up for more than a few hours. We did a lot of barbequeing in my family, at one point I think we had something like three DYI barbeques built with bricks scattered around the garden.
This is the first thing I cooked on the Weber. Gutsy flavours for sure but that’s what you want sometimes.I pared it with quite a heady Marsanne which worked quite well. Could also go with a medium bodied red wine.

This makes enough for about 3-4 persons.

Ingredients for the Barbequed Chicken:
700g chicken breast fillets
2 garlic cloves
1 lime
Half a red chili
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp smoked paprika powder
A few dashes of Tamari soy sauce
Salt (smoked sea salt if you have it)

Preparing the barbequed chicken:
Start by preparing the marinade. Press the garlic cloves and the lime into a bowl. De-seed and finely chop the chili. Mix in the chili and the rest of the ingredients.
Cut the chicken fillets into 2 cm big cubes. Put them into the marinade, mix around to make them all coated by marinade. Put some cling film on top of the bowl and marinade in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, preferably more. Take it out about once per hour and mix it around a bit.
Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start cooking it.
Thread the chicken pieces on skewers and barbeque for about 6-10 minutes. Turning the skewers halfway through.

Ingredients for the potatoes:
750g Jersey Royal potatoes
A few sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic
5 black peppercorns

Preparing the potatoes:
Put a pot of water on to a rolling bowl. Add about a small handful of sea salt to it. You want the water to be quite salty, a bit like sea water. Leave the skin on the garlic but crush them a bit with a chef knife. Add the garlic to the pot with the thyme and peppercorns.
Add the potatoes and let them boil for 15 minutes.
Drain and let cool.
When you are ready to barbeque put the potatoes on and turn them regularly. They will be ready in about 6-10 minutes.

Ingredients for the chili-aioli:
2 egg yolks (in UK I recommend Burford Brown Clarence Court eggs), at room temperature
2 garlic cloves
1 – 2 limes
250 ml groundnut oil (or any other neutral oil), at room temperature
0.25 tsp red chili paste
Salt (smoked sea salt if you have it)
A bit of cayenne pepper

Preparing the chili-aioli:
Press the garlic and one of the limes into a glass bowl. Add salt and pepper, egg yolks and chili paste. Whisk together with a balloon whisk.
Slowly add the oil first to ensure that the emulsion is forming, whisking constantly. Whisk until all the oil has been incorporated.
Check for seasoning and some cayenne pepper if it’s not hot enough. Add more salt, pepper, lime juice if needed.


Chocolate Ice-Cream with Raspberries

chocolate_icecream2-1Chocolate ice cream is always great and if you make it with a good chocolate it will be fantastic.
I used Valrhona Guanaja 70 % chocolate that you can buy in 200 g bars for cooking with. The chocolate taste fantastic and melts beautifully into the Creme Anglaise, creating a silky smooth ice cream without any graininess.

I recently started using Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs. They are fantastic eggs with a deep yellow orange yolk.

This makes enough for about 2-3 persons.

Ingredients for the chocolate ice cream:
100 g chocolate (50 – 70 %), finely chopped
70 g caster sugar
3 medium egg yolks
150 ml double cream
150 ml whole milk

Preparing the chocolate ice cream:
Bring the cream, milk and 46 g of the sugar slowly to the boil in preferably a non stick pot while stirring occasionally. At the same time, whisk together the egg yolks and 24 g of the sugar in a glass bowl until it reaches light ribbon consistency.

Temper the yolk mixture by slowly poring over the warm milk mixture while whisking vigorously, when the first bit of milk is incorporated you can poor a bit quicker. A bit like making a mayonnaise.

You have to go slow at the beginning so that you don’t scramble the eggs.

When all the milk is incorporated poor the mixture back into the pot and heat gently over a low to medium heat while stirring with a wooden or silicone spatula. A bit like making a risotto.

When the custard thickens a bit draw a line with your finger through the custard on the spatula. If your finger leaves a line without the custard flowing back together it’s finished. Take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted.

Set a glass or metal bowl into your sink or a bigger bowl and fill the sink with cold water and a few ice cubes. Poor the chocolate custard into the small bowl through a fine meshed sieve or chinois.

Stir occasionally until the custard is cooled down.

Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ingredients for the raspberries:
300 g raspberries
25 g caster sugar
1 lemon

Preparing the raspberries:
Put the raspberries in a bowl and poor sugar and lemon juice over them. With a light hand, toss together the raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice.

Leave to macerate for 30 minutes in room temperature. This will boost the flavor of the raspberries.