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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Perfect Simple Winter Meal

Filet Of Alaskan Cod With Grapes / AKA ' Veronique'.

Very old classic french recipe created by Escoffier in London in honor of the Operetta ' Veronique'. This dish is rarely seen these days and is mostly forgotten or done under some other name. It was a very popular dish and on all the menus in London in the 60's / 70' s. Many an hour was spent peeling grapes by us lowly apprentices. It was terrible job because the juice and water would roll down your sleeve and make your forearms very sticky and uncomfortable. We couldn't wait for the day when we would be able to tell someone to peel a case of grapes when we got older.
As you can see the grapes are peeled and poached in white wine, they are then added to the fish of your choice and braised in white wine and fish stock or water. When the fish is braised it is removed along with the grapes and kept warm. The stock is then reduced to dry and then a little cream is added and reduced to a sauce- like consistency. It is then ladled over the fish and grapes and served.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lamb Cutlet , Potatoes And Tomatoes.

I make this quite often so there is a recipe here for it somewhere on the blog. It is a very tasty dish and it's official name is lamb chops 'champvallon'. This is a very old dish that you just don't see anymore. It was made quite often as a daily special in hotels and restaurants. Always a good idea to let this sit for a while before consumption.

This dish consists of alternating layers of potato, sauteed onion and tomato with lamb and plenty of garlic and it is a wonderful dish.

You slice the potatoes as if for gratin potatoes and put them aside in a little water. Then you slice the onions and cook them slowly in olive oil until they are tender but not quite cooked. You slice some tomatoes into thick slices and you chop up a lot of garlic.
Then you saute some lamb chops and put them to the side.
When all is done you assemble by a layer of potatoes on the bottom of a earthenware dish. Then you add a layer of sliced tomatoes and then you season that and sprinkle some chopped garlic on it along with some thyme.
Then you add the layer of sauteed onions and you place the lamb on top of the onions. Then you continue in reverse until you end up with a layer of potatoes on top.
Add some stock, cover with some foil and cook slowly in a medium oven. The longer it cooks the more flavor you have.
30 minutes before you remove it from the oven, remove the foil and turn the heat up so the potatoes will brown. If you want the potatoes to turn a golden brown then melt a little butter in a ramequin and paint it on the top layer of potatoes about ten minutes before you remove it from the oven. Let it rest for a good half hour and serve
Because this dish cooks for so long you don't need a very expensive cut of lamb to make it.

( Repost from a previous post of this dish)

Pork Chop/ Capers And Mushrooms.

Roasted potatoes, green beans and red cabbage with a sauteed pork chop and caper lemon brown butter. There is a recipe for red cabbage on this blog if you are interested. Type red cabbage into the search box and you will find it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Slow Braised Shortribs / Roasted Fennel And Roots With Oregano.

Melt in your mouth shortribs marinated  in red wine and braised very slowly for about five hours in all. The vegetables were roasted in olive oil and finished with a brush of the braising sauce from the beef. They were first blanched and then started in a little olive oil and finally finished in the oven with some garlic , salt and pepper. Some oregano was sprinkled in at the last minute.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Portugese Fish Stew

Adapted from ' The New Portuguese Table" by David Leite. I will be doing a few dishes from this book so check it out. Nice , easy to follow recipes with plenty of Mediterranean flavors. The name of this dish in Portugese is'Cataplana De Peixe' , you can also find recipes for this dish on the Internet although the version in the book is better than any on the Internet.

A French Tradition

Pot Au Feu . This is one of my all time favorites. It takes quite a bit of time to make and it simmers slowly on the stove while filling the kitchen with the smell of winter cooking. This dish started off on the back of the stove where all the odd pieces of meat and vegetables were thrown in and left to simmer to be consumed later by the personnel. Hence the name Pot Au Feu / Feu meaning fire and the rest is easy to figure out. There is a specific recipe for it but really you can use any cut of meat. It is better to use something that will take a while to cook so that you get more flavor.

I used ribs here. They are relatively cheap and can take a lot of punishment if you forget them. You blanche the meat and put it back on the stove as if you were making a stock. You add carrots and onions and celery and thyme / bay leaf as well as a few peppercorns. Some parsley stalks so go in there too.

The dish will be served with these vegetables but not the ones they are simmered with.

Separately you should clean and shape some carrots, celery, white turnip. You will also need a few boiling onions and some cabbage. The peelings from the root vegetables can go into the stock.

When the beef is almost cooked all of these vegetables , except for the cabbage and turnips, should be placed in a cheesecloth, tied up and dropped into the stock. The cabbage and turnips should be cooked in a separate pot with a couple of new potatoes.

When everything is cooked remove the meat and vegetables from the stockpot then strain the stock. Discard the vegetables the you originally put in to cook the meat and keep the ones wrapped in the cheesecloth. Arrange everything an a plate or in a serving dish and pour some of the stock over it then sprinkle some chopped parsley over the whole thing.

Serve with mustard and sea salt.