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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Carne Assada/ Black Beans/ Tomato Rice

This is one of my favorite dishes. A marinated finely slided piece of rump steak served with black beans that have cooked for six hours and some rice. This is the quiet national dish of Brazil and of many south American countries in some form or another. There is a little story about my love for this and I will try to set it out in the next few day. In the meantime, get some carne assada, some beans and some rice along with a little salad and some beer and enjoy life.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shrimp Etouffee

I don't often do New Orleans Cuisine and I have been meaning to do some for quite a while. This dish was exceptional and it will become part of the repertoire. It is a great dish for buffets and dinners with a lot people to a great extent it can be prepared in advance. It was just delicious. I will try to get the recipe down here soon but there are plenty of recipes on the Internet for these kinds of dishes.

 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped green bell peppers
2 cups chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 quart fish stock or water
2 cups of white wine
3 pounds medium shrimp (21 to 25 count per pound), peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
Steamed white rice, for serving
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops, for garnish
I jalapeno chopped

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven and set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously to make a roux. Stir the roux over medium heat until the color peanut butter, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic to roux, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pot and season with the bay leaves, salt, cayenne. Cook the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the shrimp stock and the wine.

Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook the etouffee, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until fully cooked. Season the shrimp and add them to the pot, stirring to evenly distribute. Cook the shrimp for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Add the chopped parsley to the pot and stir to combine.

Serve immediately over steamed white rice and garnish with sliced green onion tops.

A little lemon is also good with this dish. Be sure to cook the roux thoroughly or you will taste the flour.
The gist of this recipe is that you make a roux and cook it out. You add the vegetables and the the liquid and garlic etc. You cook them out and then add the liquid, correct the seasoning and the consistency add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer till cooked. Correct the seasoning , add the chopped parsley and serve. Simple.

Savory Sausage Rolls

Savory Sausage Rolls
This is really just a guide line. You can put anything you want into this mix.

You will need:
Chopped onions
Chopped bell pepper

Chopped elery
Chopped garlic

Herb of your choice. Sage or thyme is good.
A little oil

Chopped jalapenos
Sausage meat of your choice.

One egg

A sheet of puff pastry

Sweat the onions, celery in the oil till translucent

Add a dash of vinegar to take away the sweetness

Add the herb and the chopped garlic and a handful of chopped parsley

Chill this mix and add it to the sausage meat season and mix well.

Beat up an egg and add some to the sausage mix. Keep the rest to brush the pastry

Allow mix to rest in the fridge for 30 mins while you are preparing the pastry

Thaw the pastry and roll it out.

Brush one side with the egg wash and put the sausage meat mix down the center

Make into one long roll

Score this roll along the top and wash with the egg.

Cut into approx. 2” lengths and place on baking tray that has been previously slightly oiled.

Start in a hot oven. And when rolls start to brown turn the oven down and finish the cooking.

Cover with foil if necessary so that the pastry does not get too dark.

When cooked remove from oven and allow to cool.

Great with a small salad and a glass of beer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Braised Onions

Odds ' N ' Ends

Dinner over the past few days.

Top is penne pasta with spinach stalks and mushrooms. This was finished with a bolognese sauce but I forgot to take the final photo with the sauce. It was excellent.
In the middle is an Italian sausage brochette with spanish rice.
On the bottom is a type of New England boiled dinner

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Poached Eggs / Stuffed Tomatoes / Pommes Sables

Same potatoes as yesterday with the addition of spinach and cherry tomatoes.

A Few Articles On JP........

Double click to read.
There are lots of these but I can't find them. I will post them as I come across them.

Pork Tenderloin/ Cauliflower/ Parsley Sauce / Pommes Sables.

Bechamel Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 cups milk, heated
Freshly ground pepper
Small wedge of onion with a couple of cloves
One bay leaf

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks; don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the milk slowly, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.

Add a handful of chopped parsley to the bechamel to make your parsley sauce. Parsley sauce is also a great accompaniment to poached fish. This sauce can also be added to cream soups to give them a creamy texture without having to add much cream.

It is also the sauce used for Lasagna and Greek Moussaka. It has very much fallen out of favour in modern cuisine and a lot of cooks don't even know how to make it properly. With the new wave of Nouvelle Cuisine all of these base sauces became passe because of the use of so much flour in them. The emphasis was more on a leaner and cleaner taste without the heavy sauces. However they are still good to know and come in very handy.

This is a very handy sauce to know how make as it is one of the basic or 'mother' sauces. ( Sorry Mam) and it is the base for a lot of sauces like mornay cheese sauce, onion sauce ( add sweated onions) mustard sauce ( add a spoon or two of Dijon Mustard) and a variety of other basic sauces for use with mostly fish or vegetables. You don't want to keep it on the heat too long after it is cooked or the milk will curdle and ruin your sauce.

Pommes Sables
Pronounced 'Sablay'
This translates roughly in " Sand Potatoes" and it is so called for this reason. The potatoes are diced and blanched and then refreshed in cold water. They are then sauteed in olive oil and finished with a knob of butter. You can also add some sliced bacon to this potato. When the potatoes are cooked you add some fresh white breadcrumbs and cook them with the potatoes until they soak up the butter and turn brown. Add a handful of parsley and serve. The breadcrumbs make them crunchy as if there were sandy. A nice change when you are trying to think of something new to do with the potatoes. This potato is a classic and goes back a very long time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mish Mash

This dish is spanish rice, meatballs and ratatouille with grated cheese. Doesn't look like much but it was delish.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shoyu Chicken

5 1/2 to 6 pounds chicken thighs
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 cups low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup mirin
8 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
4-inch piece ginger, sliced 1/2-inch thick and smashed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 5 tablespoons water
Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish


Combine all ingredients except cornstarch and green onions in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, covered, turning occasionally, until chicken is tender, about 30 to 35 minutes more.

Remove chicken to a serving platter. Remove garlic and ginger and discard. Bring sauce to a boil, skim off excess fat, and cook until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add chicken, turn to coat, and serve chicken with sauce and sliced green onions.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Be Warned!

If you don't want to spend two days with brillo pads, pumice stone and scraper , not to mention elbow grease, then stay away from the computer while you are cooking.