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Friday, July 31, 2009

Cachasa Laced Strawberries With Cachasa Cream.

These were very good and strawberries are in season now so they were already ripe and sweet.

Top about 10 strawberries. Wash them and put them in a bowl with a little sugar and cachasa. Marinate them for as long as you can.

Whip up some double cream in a separate bowl to a stiff whip. Add a spoonful of sugar and some cachasa to that. The cream needs to be very stiffly whipped to absorb the cachasa or it will become liquid. Correct the sugar taste. Sugar in cream acts like salt in savory foods. It will bring out the taste of the cachasa so add slowly because you can't subtract.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beef Stew With Baked Grated Potatoes

Make a nice beef or lamb stew as you normally would. Keep the sauce a little on the thick side. Grate a couple of baker potatoes and grate them using the large side. Rinse these potatoes off once, squeeze them dry and then add some chopped garlic, chopped parsley, salt and pepper and a little melted butter. Put these potatoes on top of the stew and bake in the oven.

You can also use sliced potatoes as in the boulangere potatoes which in a way might be better because the grated potatoes can get soggy if you are not careful.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mahi Mahi, Red Beans, Collards And Rice.

Salmon Gravlax.

Brazilian Caiparinha.

Finished caiparinha.

Add ice cubes, fill the glass with cachasa and stir.

Add sugar and use the pestle to crush the limes and sugar together making a syrup.

Cut the limes into smallish pieces and place in glass.

Ingredients for Caiparinha, cachasa, lime, sugar and ice cubes.

This is a great and easy to make Brazilian cocktail that has been around for a long time in Brazil but has just recently found new fame here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Guest Chef: Heather Garcia

Great looking dish of turkey meatloaf with asparagus , sauteed mushrooms, savory stuffing and mash. Thank you Heather for participating and for the great picture. Wonderful job.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guest Chef Spot.

Instead of a competition this time around I would like to do a Guest Chef spot. I was very impressed with Graham's effort and his willingness to post his photos and give us some idea of what he does. I thought he did a great job. He didn't tell us what sauce he served with his dish or give us a final gander of the plate but I am sure he will next time.
Given that the Walshes and the Dowlings are such food aficionados I really think that there is some potential to show off what we do best. There is no need for great painstaking detail, all you would need are a few photos of how you make the dish, the final product and a brief description. Send me the photos in and email and i will publish them. It should be fun.

This is a ' no pressure ' event and i see it as a sharing event.

Cold Roast Chicken, Waldorf Salad And Pickled Cherries.

Waldorf Salad
3 tart apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup seedless grapes or radishes
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons apple juice
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 bunch watercress, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, combine the apples and lemon juice. Add the grapes, celery, and green onions; toss.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, apple juice and celery seeds. Spoon over the apple mixture, and toss gently.
Wash the watercress, and dry thoroughly. Arrange greens on individual salad plates. Mound the apple mixture on top, and sprinkle with the walnuts.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guest Chef / Graham Connolly

Graham made the boulangere potoatoes and obviously did a very good job. They look perfect. He should tell us what his bacon wrapped dish consists of. Congratulations Graham it all looks very professional.

Joy Of Roasting

Cauliflower Gratin

Roast Chicken
'Tis an art requiring constant attention. This cost me $2.00 on sale.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tony Bennett 1992

There is a story behind this photo.

I have always been a fan of Tony Bennett. I went to see him in the Royal Festival Hall London in the 60’s , he was appearing with the Count Basie band. It was fantastic show even though I really couldn’t afford good seats. After the concert I went around to the artist’s entrance with my little program to get it signed. I did not get to meet Tony Bennett or Count Basie but I got the rest of the band’s autograph. That was good enough for me, I thought myself very lucky and went home to my flat.
Fast forward to 1992, I was the executive chef at a big resort in Palm Springs when I heard that Tony Bennett was to play in the local concert hall. Furthermore, he was staying at the resort where I worked. I sent him an amenity to his room with a note telling him all about the fact that I missed him at the concert 30 years previously and told him to call if he needed anything special. It turned out he was a vegetarian and did have a special request so he called and we prepared something for him. This became a daily thing where he would call and we would give him a menu.
Anyway, I dug out my program and got to meet him. He signed the program for me and remembered the day of the concert in London. He told me all about the small stage at the Royal Festival Hall. He was a charming man.
To show his gratitude for all the attention we had given him he offered to sing a few songs for the staff in the ballroom of the hotel with his accompanist Ralph Sharon.
This is where this photo was taken. He called out my name from the stage: It was great.
I went to his concert later that night.

Fresh Mango Chutney

This is a great mango chutney. I found it on one of the blogs I follow and I made it tonight. It is really easy to make and a great condiment for cold meat and salad. I had some tonight with the cold ham. I added a little honey to this recipe for texture.

Mango Chutney(makes 4+ cups)6 cups mango (stoned, peeled, chopped)1 onion (chopped)1 red chili (chopped)1 tablespoon garlic (grated)1 tablespoon ginger (grated)2 cups brown sugar1 cup raisins6 cardamom pods (crushed and ground)1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric1/2 teaspoon ground cloves1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon cayenne3 cups vinegarDirections:1. Place everything in a large pot and boil until it thickens, about 30-60 minutes.2. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Easy Night

Cold Virginia ham, homemade mango chutney, Caesar salad, potato salad and pickled egg. All with a glass of Rolling Rock .

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Boulangere Potatoes

4-5 Russet potatoes
Garlic to taste
I or 2 large tomatoes
2 Large onions4 bay leaves
Chicken stock or water
Olive oil to cook the onions
Thyme and bay leaf
Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, preferably on a kitchen mandolin but if not with a sharp knife. Keep the slices the same thickness
Crush the garlic
Slice the tomato
Slice the onions thinly and sauté them very slowly until tender. Deglaze with a little white wine and cook till dry then allow to cool.
Put a bottom bed of potatoes in an ovenproof flat dish. Add a later of onions then add a layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle some thyme on the tomatoes and add the crushed garlic. Add another layer of onions and season with salt and pepper. Add final layer of potatoes and cover with chicken stock or water.
You can add as many layers as you want.
Cook in a medium oven until the top layer is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to settle before serving. Top layer of potatoes should be slightly browned.
This is a classic potato and goes back a long time. It is usually served with roast lamb. It will go with any roast but it is particularly good with lamb. The original idea was to cook the lamb over the potatoes so the fat would flavor them. This was when the whole lamb was cooked on an open spit and the potatoes would placed under it. The original recipe does not have tomatoes in it but I like them with tomatoes.
You have to be a little careful about these potatoes getting too dry. Don't be afraid to a add a little stock or water during the cooking process. Always make sure the stock or water is just a little over the top when you put them in the oven and if necessary cover the potatoes during cooking with foil or lid to keep them moist. The potatoes will soak up the water and you can always pour any excess off.....
If you are roasting lamb it is not a bad idea to take a little bit of the juices from the pan with a spoon and add them to the potatoes.

Smoked Beef Rib Rack, Spuds And Sprouts.

With a locally brewed Porter. Yum!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pickled Cherries

'Tis the season here. These are great with cold meats and such.
2 lb. Cherries
3 cups white vinegar
1 cup of sugar
8 tbsps salt
Pick through cherries and keep the good ones. Put the brine on to boil and then let it go cold. Pour the brine over the cherries and leave them for 3 weeks or so.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Parpadelle Pasta, Sauteed Vegetables And Shrimp, Garlic Cream Sauce.

Parpadelle is a kind of very wide linguine and one of my favorite pastas.
The vegetables here are crimini mushrooms, white mushrooms, okra, sweet peppers and tomato.
They are sauteed, then dashed with white wine and then some chopped garlic.
The sauce is chopped shallots sweated in Olive oil, a good amount of white wine and reduced by 3/4. Add double cream to this and bring to boil. Add a generous amount of garlic and allow to simmer with the addition of a bay leaf. When it comes to a sauce like consistency remove from heat and strain through a fine strainer.
Put the pasta on to cook in very fast salted water.
Add the sauce to the vegetables, correct seasoning and consistency, add a little white wine, water or stock if too thick. Add more garlic if you want.
When pasta is cooked, strain and add to the sauce. Bind in a little parmesan cheese and serve.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beef Goulash With Parsnip Cheddar Mash.

I think the recipe is somewhere on the blog. Just looked it is not so .................... recipe anon!
3 large onions
2 lbs beef or pork cut for stew
4 tbsp flour
6 cloves garlic, chopped
beef or chicken broth, or water
3 tsp white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon paprika plus more for the sauce.

Caraway seeds
Citrus zest
Soft butter
(A little of each)

Sauté onions in oil until they become soft and translucent. The ratio of onions to meat is almost the same. This is an onion and beef/pork dish as is so common in those countries.
Put the cubed pieces of meat into a bowl and sprinkle paprika over them. Cover and allow to marinate until onions are cooked.
When onions are cooked add a little white wine vinegar and reduce to dry. This will give the dish body and counteract the sweetness in the onions.
Then add the meat to the onions and allow to cook on a medium heat to bring out the flavors, keep stirring or it will stick.
Add a couple of tablespoons of paprika to this mix and cook for a minute or two. The mix should be a deep red almost brown mixture.
Add a little flour to thicken the sauce but not too much.
Cover the meat with water or stock.
You don’t really need stock for this. It will be cooked for a long time so it will make its own stock.
Cook on a medium to low heat or in a slow cooker until meat is cooked.

Remove meat when it is cooked and reduce the sauce to the desired consistence.

Chop together the caraway seeds, the citrus zest and the butter until they become a paste. Add this to the goulash and serve with mashed potatoes, dumplings or noodles.

This is an old and great dish. Don’t expect it to be exactly right the first time you make it. Make notes during the cooking process so you can adapt this recipe to your taste.
You can add carrots, tomatoes and a host of other vegetables to this but the original dish is only the onions and the meat.

Gazpacho With Shrimp.

This is a great, refreshing and easy soup to make for the summer and very quick. I bet Mam would love this.
There are five elements to this soup:
Sweet peppers
There is also the seasoning and the tomato juice but five is an easy way to remember the recipe. You can also use V8 juice for this recipe.
You get each of these three elements in equal quantities and cut them up into smallish pieces. Put them in a bowl and add chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Pour in red wine vinegar, or a vinegar of your choice and a little virgin olive oil. Cover and marinate overnight.
Next day drain the vegetables from the marinade and run them through the machine. Add the marinade and some tomato juice until you get the consistency you want. Let the soup rest in the fridge for at least an hour and then serve with grilled shrimp/lobster/crab.
Before you serve the soup correct the seasoning, not only the salt and pepper but also the vinegar and the oil.
If you don't have any seafood then just chop up some sweet peppers and some onions and add them to the soup. I guarantee you will love this.