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Carbonara Revisted May 20, 2018

Filed under: Fast Food,Favourites,Italian,Meat,Pasta,Uncategorized — delishuss @ 9:02 am
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Pasta is my comfort food. This recipe is so simple and so satisfying. It’s from the Matt Preston Fast, Fresh and Unbelievably Delicious cookbook. It’s a great cookbook, it’s one of the cookbooks that I cook from the most. Lots of no fuss recipes and so many left that I want to try.

I’ve tried many methods for cooking a poached egg with varying degrees of success. My method is below but I’ve also given you Matt’s as well. The choice is yours.

Serves 4

Ingredient

  • 500g spaghetti
  • 6 rindless bacon rashers cut into long thin strips
  • 4 eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper

Method

  1.  Cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions with salted water. Drain once cooked.
  2. Add some olive oil to a heated pan and fry the bacon until nice and crispy.
  3. While the bacon is frying, it’s time to poach your egg. choose from either method below:

Grainne’s poached egg method

For best results, do one egg at a time.

  1. Fill a deep pan with some salted water to a rapid boil.
  2. Crack an egg in a ramekin.
  3. Once the water has come to a rapid boil, reduce to a simmer.
  4. Make a whirlpool in the water and slowly drop the egg into the whirlpool.
  5. The egg will take about 2 minutes to poached.
  6. Remove with a slatted spoon and place on kitchen paper until ready to use.

Matt Preston’s poached egg method

  1. Take a saucepan filled with boiling water, lightly salted. Create a whirlpool in the water with a wooden spoon.
  2. When the water is swirling, gently lower one egg at a time to the centre of the swirl. Turn off the heat and leave to sit for 3-4 minutes. Drain.

 

  1. Toss the pasta into the pan with the bacon and add half the parmesan, stir through.
  2.  Tong the pasta into a mound on each of the four plates, making a shallow well on the top.
  3. Lower the egg into the pasta well and grate loads of parmesan over each mound. Season with salt and plenty of cracked pepper. Sprinkle over the crispy bacon. Repeat for each of the plates.

 

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Sunday Roast Brisket March 26, 2018

Filed under: Meat,Roasts — delishuss @ 10:57 am
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Yesterday was a bit dull and dreary, perfect weather for a Sunday roast. After sifting through my bookcase of cookbooks, I decided on beef brisket. It was a choice between a more traditional southern style brisket from Gordon Ramsey recipe or a Jamie Oliver one. I asked the taste tester which he’d prefer and he gravitated towards the Jamie Oliver Mothership Sunday Roast Brisket one. I was a little intimated by the fact that there are Yorkshire Puddings to be made but I’d said I’d give it a shot.

A couple of things to call out, give the meat a good seasoning. I mixed an Oxo cube with the mustard and smothered the meat with it and I still felt it was slightly under seasoned. I’d go a bit easier on the blackcurrant jam as the gravy was a bit sweet for my liking. I also added a stock cube into the water for the gravy.

It’s a really satisfying plate of food and we have plenty of leftovers for all the other great recipes from the Jamie Oliver book (Save with Jamie).

Ingredients

2kg piece of beef brisket

Olive oil

2 large onions

2 teaspoons of mustard

1 Oxo cube

1 bunch of fresh rosemary

1.5kg potatoes

500g carrots

1 swede or parsnips

1 knob of unsalted butter

140g plain flour

1 tablespoon blackcurrant jam (I’d probably use 1/2 tablespoon)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

400ml beef stock

Vegetable oil

2 large eggs

100ml semi-skimmed milk

 

Method

Brisket

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius/325 degrees Fahrenheit/ gas mark 3.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add a glug of olive oil.
  3. Season the brisket with salt and pepper and brown in the pan.
  4. While the meat is browning, slice the onions.
  5. Once all the meat is fried off, remove and set aside.
  6. Fry off the onions until brown in the frying pan. Add to the bottom of a casserole dish. (You can do all this directly in the casserole dish if you have gas, I only have induction).
  7. Rub the meat with the mustard and Oxo cube and rosemary leaves. Add to the casserole dish.
  8. Protect the meat with a sheet of wetted greaseproof paper. This keeps the meat moist and keeps in the juices. Cover with 2 sheets of tin foil and place in the oven.
  9. I like my brisket shredded, so I left it on for 5 hours. If you prefer to carve it, 4 hours will do. Check it half way to make sure there’s another moisture; if not, add a little water.

Veggies

  1. While the meat is cooking away, peel the potatoes, halving any larger ones. The original recipe says to parboil in salted water for 12 minutes. I chucked them in microwave for 6 minutes.
  2. Press the potatoes down with a masher gently until the split a little. Shake in some olive oil and plenty of salt. Potatoes love salt.
  3. Place in the oven an 1 1/2 before the end of the brisket cooking time.
  4. Peel and chop the carrots and swede or parsnips. Cook in salted boiling water for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash with the butter. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Gravy

  1. Remove the potatoes and brisket from the oven and pour out some of the meat juices into a jug. Keep the meat and potatoes warm.
  2. Up the oven temperature to 250 degrees Celsius, 495 degrees Fahrenheit, gas mark 8.
  3. Heat a frying pan and add the flour, jam, vinegar, stock and resting juices. Similar until you have a nice smooth consistency. Keep it on a low heat until you are ready to use.

 

Yorkshire Puddings

  1. Grab a 12 hole shallow hole bun tray and add some olive oil to each hole. Don’t go too crazy as the Yorkshire puddings will end up being greasy and soggy.
  2. Place the tray in the oven while you make your pudding mixture.
  3. Put the flour and salt and the eggs in a jug and whisk. Slowly add in the milk and whisk until you have a smooth consistency that’s not lumpy.
  4. Carefully take the tray from the oven, it’s hotter than hell. Make sure you have somewhere heat proof to place the tray. Fill each hole 3/4 way full and place them in the oven.
  5. Bake them in the oven until they have puffed up and are golden brown, roughly 10 minutes.

 

Carve or pull apart the brisket and serve with all the accompaniments.

 

 

 

Easy Peasy Pav with Passion Fruit Cream February 5, 2017

Filed under: Cakes,Desserts,Tarts & Pies — delishuss @ 8:46 am
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I’ve attempted making pavlova in the past with lots of failure. I found this recipe in the Taste magazine. It’s one of Matt Preston’s. His recipes are always straight forward and tasty so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s pretty fool proof. I’ve tried it twice now and it’s worked both times. I’ve altered the topping recipe but the base ingredients are the same. You can add whatever soft fruit you like. It’s best to make the pav the night before.

Ingredients

6 egg whites

315g caster sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp vanilla extract (I used essence the first time around and it wasn’t very nice, so I’d go for the extract or leave it out)

300g thickened cream

3 large passion fruit

3 tblsp icing sugar

1 mango, diced

75g raspberries

75g quartered strawberries

75g blueberries

1 kiwi, chopped

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius, 130 degrees Celsius for fan assisted. Draw a 22cm circle on a sheet of baking paper. Place the paper on a baking tray.
  2. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric beater. Add the cream of tartar. Add one tablespoon of sugar at a time and beat until the sugar is dissolved in the egg whites. It’s worth taking your time to mix it in properly; I think that’s where I have slipped up in the past.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract. Your egg whites should now be glossy and stiff.
  4. Spoon some of the mixture onto the baking paper and spread it out in the shape of the circle using a spatula. Do this repeatedly until all the mixture is on the baking paper. Try and get some height as it looks better and it collapses a little when cooked. Also, put a dip in the middle as this will be for your topping.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 110 degrees Celsius or 90 degrees fan forced. Cook for a further hour and 20 mins. The meringue should be crisp and dry.
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue in the oven overnight.
  7.  Scoop out the passion fruit pulp from the fruit into a bowl.
  8. In a separate bowl add the cream and sieve in the icing sugar. Stir in half of the passion fruit pulp.
  9. Spread the cream mixture over the meringue base.
  10. Sprinkle over the remaining passion fruit pulp and scatter over the fruit.

 

 

Handmade Yellow Noodles with Braised Beef, Chilli and Sichuan Pepper October 3, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — delishuss @ 10:58 am

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My friend and I are big foodies. We often head over to our local department store and flick through all the wondrous cookbooks. I came across Neil Perry’s Spice Temple with all it’s Chinese style culinary delights. Needless to say I came home with the cookbook. I have bookmarked all the recipes that I like. I shouldn’t have bothered as it’s pretty much the whole cookbook. This is the first recipe that I tried and based on this, I can’t wait to experiment with the rest. A couple of things about this recipe, it takes a long time if you are starting from scratch. You will need to make the stock and the braised beef and the noodles separately. It’s well worth the effort, I must say. The second thing is that the original recipe calls for beef brisket. I could find any in my local supermarkets so upon researching, I found that chuck beef will work just as well. I have used it in shredded chilli beef before and was happy with that. You will need a pasta making machine if you want to give the noodles a shot.

My taste taster went back for 3 helpings, I think that speaks for itself. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Yellow noodles

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

135ml of water

1 teaspoon fine salt

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

vegetable oil for coating

Stock

2.5l cold water

500ml light soy sauce

250ml Shaoxing wine

125g yellow rock sugar, crushed

10cm knob of ginger, sliced

8 cloves garlic, sliced

4 star anaise

2 cinnamon sticks

3 pieces dried tangerine peel (I couldn’t find this, but used citrus peel instead)

Chilli and Sichuan pepper sauce

1 tbsp peanut oil

1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

4 dried long red chillies

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp chopped ginger

1 tbsp chilli bean paste

1 tbsp sweet bean paste

2 tsp Shaoxing wine

50ml stock (I used some of the braising stock from the beef)

1 tsp dark soy sauce

Beef

100g red-braised brisket, shredded (method below)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp chilli oil

finely sliced spring onion, to serve

Master stock  method (for braised beef)

The aromas in my kitchen from this stock were amazing. I froze my leftover stock to use at a later point in time. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Easy peasy.

Yellow noodles method

Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and combine with a spoon or your hand until it comes together. Remove from the bowl onto a dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes if your arms can last that long. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and repeat the process. Cut up the dough into 4 pieces and flatten one. Feed through the pasta machine at a thick setting (2 on mine) and work your way up to a thinner setting (6 on mine) approximately 5-6 times in total. Each time dust it with some flour and fold. Once it’s thin, cut into 3 cm in thickness and set aside. you can just use a standard knife if you don’t have a pasta cutter. Place the noodles over a rolling pin and repeat the process with the remainder of the dough.

Red braised beef method

I made this in the slow cooker. The braised beef recipe states 1kg beef but you only use 100g for the main dish. Cut the chuck steak up into large chunks or if you are using the brisket you can leave it whole.  You can  take some of the excess fat off but not too much. It makes it nice and juicy when slow cooked. Brown the meat in a pan in batches. Add to the slow cooker with the master stock, season with salt and pepper. I left it cooking on auto in the slow cooker for about 8 hours. Fish out the beef from the stock and place it in a separate bowl and pull it apart with two forks. If you don’t have a slow cooker, place the stock in an ovenproof saucepan or casserole dish and bring to the boil. Add the beef to the stock and cook in the oven for 3 hours at 170 degrees Celsius or until falling apart.

Chilli and Sichuan pepper sauce

Heat the peanut oil in a wok. Add the peppercorns and chilli and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, both pastes and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the liquid ingredients to the pan and reduce. Stir in the shredded beef and reduce the heat.

Putting it altogether

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add in the noodles. They should only take about 2 minutes. REALLY, I thought no way they won’t cook in 2 minutes but mine were slightly overdone because I left them on longer. Drain the noodles but hold back a little of the cooking liquid (approx. 2 tbsp.). Stir in the oil to stop them sticking together. Then add the noodles to the sauce and beef and coat the noodles well. Drizzle over some chilli oil and sprinkle over the spring onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs February 18, 2016

Filed under: BBQ,Meat — delishuss @ 10:14 am
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I think ribs need to be slow cooked, otherwise they can be tough and chewy. These are delishussly succulent. I saw this recipe posted on Facebook and thought that I so needed to try it. I made it for Valentine’s Day along with the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake. The way to a man’s heart, well let’s face it anyone’s heart. This is a set and forget recipe, so so easy.

Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients

2 cups of BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s bourbon sauce)

1/4 cup of brown sugar

4 tablespoons of cider vinegar

3 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of Worchester sauce

1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon of chilli powder

Salt and pepper to season

2 rack of ribs

 

Method

  1. In a bowl mix all the sauce ingredients together.
  2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  3. Place one rack of ribs in the slow cooker and pour over half the sauce. Get your hands in there and cover the ribs with the sauce.
  4. Place the second rack on top and do the same as point 3.
  5. Cook on high for 4 hours or 7-8 hours on slow/auto.

Serve with coleslaw and some corn on the cob.

Reference: http://www.buzzfeed.com: http://bzfd.it/1RPqsJo

 

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Filed under: Cakes,Desserts — delishuss @ 9:51 am
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I saw Nigella Lawson making this recipe on tv and thought I would make it for Valentine’s day for my beau. It doesn’t rise that high, which I imagine is because of the density of the mixture. You could if you wanted to make two and layer it but there’s no real need. It’s so luscious that you only need a smallish slice. I loved it, it has a brownie like consistency. It gets extra brownie points (pardon the pun) for being gluten free and if you don’t melt chocolate over it like I did, it’s also dairy free. Just double check the cocoa that you use as it may contain dairy. I made a little change to the recipe by adding half olive oil and half coconut oil.

Ingredients

 

  • 150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 50 grams good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 125 ml boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
  • 150 grams ground almonds (or 125g plain flour / 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs

 

Method

1.Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Use some oil spray to grease your 22-23 cm/ 9 inch cake tin. Line it with parchment paper.

2. Add the sifted cocoa powder to a bowl and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey viscous consistency.

3. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool while you are getting on with the rest. In another bowl, mix the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.

4. I used a hand held mixer because I don’t have a freestanding one. Either way, add the sugar, olive oil and eggs into a mixing bowl and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes you have a pale yellow coloured cream mixture.

5. Turn the speed down and add the cocoa mixture little by little. Do the same with ground almond (or flour) mixture. Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour the chocolate mixture into the baking tin.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks a little bit soggy still. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin. Remove from the tin after the 10 minutes. You can top it with melted chocolate and some fresh fruit or pistachios. For a bit of a change I served it with some vanilla flavoured Greek yogurt. It cut through the delicious dense chocolate.

– See more at: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/CHOCOLATE-OLIVE-OIL-CAKE-5551#sthash.fhQTcIGW.dpuf

 

 

 

 

Chicken and Broccolini Pasta Bake August 19, 2015

Filed under: Chicken,Pasta — delishuss @ 10:47 am
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I have been hankering after pasta a lot lately. I have been doing a lot of training at the gym, so I’m blaming that 🙂 This is a very straight forward recipe and one of my own creations. I did freeze this as it makes about 6 portions. I wasn’t very happy with it defrosted so my recommendation is to eat it up straight away. It’s so good, you’ll be going back for seconds anyway.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 bunch of broccolini, roughly chopped

2 chicken breasts, diced

1 can (400ml) of light evaporated milk

50ml chicken stock

100g breadcrumbs

2 sprigs thyme

200g cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

olive oil spray

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan assisted), 200 degrees celsius, 400 degrees fahrenheit or gas mark 6.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes until it’s starting to become translucent. Add the garlic, remove the thyme from the sprigs and sprinkle into the pan. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add the diced chicken to the pan and fry until browned. While it’s browning add the broccolini. I think to add the stalky bits first, fry for a minute or so and then add the florets.
  4. Re-add the onion, garlic and thyme and stir.
  5. Stir in the stock and simmer it down for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the evaporated milk, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for until the milk has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spray an oven proof dish such as a casserole dish with the oil spray.
  8. Transfer to chicken mixture to the casserole dish. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  10. Serve with some sugarsnap peas or green beans.