Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bistec Encebollado – Steak & Onions

This is a spectacularly easy to prepare and nourishing one pot recipe. Perfect for the autumn nights ahead of us. A beef and onion casserole is easily transformed into something far more exciting with a quick- Puerto Rican inspired - sprinkling of spices.
The main reason this is a 'keeper' though is the convenience factor. Combine the meat and marinade ingredients the night before cooking or in the morning before work and leave in the fridge. On returning home pour contents into a large heavy based pan, add the stock and cook. Simple.
The cut of steak used is entirely your choice. Though I prefer to use a cheaper cut for this dish such as a shoulder steak.
This recipe calls for 'Sazon' seasoning which is a Hispanic seasoned salt, not readily available in the UK, so I make up my own batch. It's good flavoursome stuff and I'm keeping the remainder for future use. The recipe for the seasoning comes first.

Sazon seasoning (alternative)
1 tbs salt
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs oregano 
2/3 tbs bright red paprika
Combine all the ingredients and store in an air tight container.

 Bistec Encebollado
900g (2lbs) beef steak, sliced thinly across the grain
60ml olive oil
60ml distilled white vinegar
pinch of oregano 
1 1/2 tsp of home made Sazon seasoning 
5 cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
2 large onions, sliced into rings 
400ml beef (chicken or vegetable will do too) stock
1 bay leaf
1. Place the beef in a Tupperware box and drizzle over it the oil and vinegar. Next sprinkle in the oregano, Sazon seasoning, garlic and the onion rings. Cover and refrigerate over night or for at least 4 hours.
2. Heat a large casserole dish or heavy bottomed pan on a high flame. Add the beef and marinade to the pan, stir and cook for 4 minutes whilst making up the stock. Pour in the stock and add a bay leaf to the pan. Bring the stock to a boil then turn the heat right down and cover the pan. Cook for 50 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve with rice, lime wedges and a scattering of coriander leaves. Provide some 'hot sauce'.
So good- I started eating before I took the picture! 

Monday, 15 August 2011

Kadhai Murgh

This is 'Kadhai' (Kar-a-he) Chicken, which means its a curry made in a big cast-iron pan called a 'Kadhai', but you can use a well seasoned wok, or a large non-stick lidded pan. 
Serves 4 
Main ingredients
-1kg chicken breast or boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I prefer it with thigh meat)- cut into 1 inch pieces
-3 tablespoons oil
-1 medium onion - very finely chopped
-5 cloves of garlic - peeled and very finely chopped 
- 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger - peeled and very finely chopped 
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
-3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 6 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- 8 tablespoons tomatoes- chopped finely
for the final flavouring:
-big hand full of fresh corriander leaves - chopped 
-2-3 hot green chillies - either chopped if you like it hot, or just peirced a few times and left whole
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 7 table spoons fresh tomatoes chopped finely

Heat oil in your pan over a medium-high flame. When oil is hot put in onion, Garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. 
Add the salt, Cayenne pepper and turmeric. Stir once or twice, then put in the chicken. Stir and fry until the chicken pieces turn opaque on the outside. 
Add the Yoghurt and tomato. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the yoghurt mostly disappears. 
Cover and cook on a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stir now and then to avoid sticking. 
Stir in the final flavouring ingredients, cover again and reduce the heat right down low and cook for a further 3 minutes.  
Serve with boiled rice, chappaties or some nan. 

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Salmon in a light, fragrant broth


•400ml/14fl oz chicken or vegetable stock

•3 Kaffir lime leaves

•1 small onion or 3 shallots, peeled, finely sliced

•1 mild red chili, finely sliced

•4 big Chestnut mushrooms or preferably 100g oyster or fresh shiitake, finely sliced

•Half a Red or Yellow Pepper, sliced

•1 tsp caster sugar

•vegetable oil for frying

•2 lightly smoked salmon fillets, With or without skin

•sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

•2/3 inches of cucumber chopped lengthwise into thick matchsticks or 100g/3½oz baby spinach leaves

•1 tbsp Thai fish sauce

•1 tbsp fresh lime juice

•sesame seed oil

•handful of chopped coriander

1.Pop the oven on full whack. Bring chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan, I used 1 chicken stock cube. Add the Kaffir lime leaves, the sliced onion, chili, mushrooms, pepper slices and sugar. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for ten minutes with the lid on. Add the cucumber/Spinach in the last few minutes.

2.In the meantime, heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the salmon fillets, skin-side down if they have skin on them, on a low heat for a total of about 5 minutes. Then remove from the pan and place on a baking tray brush the tops with a little of the oil from the pan and sprinkle with some rock salt and black pepper and stick in the pre-heated oven for ten minutes. Place required amount of plates in the oven for the last minute.

3.Stir fry easy cook Noodles in the pan that contained the Salmon, as per the pack
instructions (You could use boiled rice). Remove from the pan and place on one of the pre-heated plates. With a slotted spoon and arrange the vegetables from the broth pan over the Noodles/Rice. Place the salmon on top.

4.Add the fish sauce and lime juice to the broth, stir, and spoon it over and around the salmon. Serve after drizzling with a little sesame oil, seasoning and sprinkling with chopped coriander.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Lobster with Lemon Risotto
I wont be leaving a recipe here, this was my first attempt at using lobster and as successful as I think it was I have no point of reference as the last time I had lobster in a restaurant was years ago (I've still not visited either Silver Darling or Bistro Verde). Also much to my shame it was a ready cooked lobster and not a live one. Next time I will definitely be using fresher produce! My risotto was good but that was a bit of a cheat as I used a company that have the flavorings added in the rice, in this case lemon peel , black pepper and a number of other herbs.

Here are some picture:

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie.


125g soft salted butter, 6tsp water / 1tsp lemon juice mixed, 200g plain flour, Grated zest of 1 small orange

Juice of 2 good lemons + 350ml cold water, 3 eggs, 120g sugar, 45g corn flour, 200-250g caster sugar.

1. To make the pastry: beat the butter with an electric hand mixer. Beat in the lemon juice mixture (1 teaspoon at a time). Sift in all the flour and mix well. Bring together into a smooth lump of dough.

2. Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface and line a 22cm flan dish. Prick the base and bake blind at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 – 20 minutes till crisp but not too brown. When baked leave to cool for 30 minutes.

3. Place the lemon juice in a jug and make it up with water to 350ml.
4. Separate the egg whites and yolks, putting the yolks in a small bowl.
5. Add sugar and corn flour to egg yolks in bowl and blend in water/lemon juice. Make sure there are no lumps.

6. Pour into this mixture into the pan and bring to the boil, stirring until it has thickened.

7. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
8. Pour the lemon filling into the flan dish. Place in a cool place until the meringue is made.

9. Whisk the egg whites till firm peaks form. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of caster sugar till firm (2 to 5 minutes) then add a tablespoon at a time whisking for at least 1 minute after each addition.

10. Swirl or pipe the meringue on top of the lemon mixture. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and bake in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 120 degrees Celsius for a further 20 minutes until the meringue is crisp but not too brown.

11. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes (preferably 1-2 hrs), before serving.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Make perfect rice

Say good bye to Uncle Ben, I'm sure he's a pleasant enough feller, but you really ought to be able to cook up a batch of boiled white rice by now! Its quick and more economical than buying packets of microwave rice and besides what do you do if your ever caught in a rice emergency and all you have are loose rice grains!?

Being a big rice eater and not and not being big on measuring (hence the lack of baked good on this blog) I can now perfect rice with my own approximations, but to help you out I have weighed and measured all the required amounts.

Plain Boiled Rice
Basmati rice (or other long grain white rice) 200g
Water 400ml
pinch of salt

1)Wash rice in the cooking pot (one with a tight fitting lid) with cold water a couple of times, until the water is noticeably less cloudy. Drain all the washing water.
2) Take the rice to the hob and add your measured water to the rice. I have found that your water should cover the rice and rise about a 1-2cm above your rice. 3)Bring the water to a boil on a medium to high heat this may take about 2-3 minutes give the rice a good stir to make sure it is not sticking to the pan. Don't stir too much or you will break up your rice and cause more starch to be released.
when the water is boiling quickly pop the pans lid on and immediately turn the heat down to its lowest setting. Leave the rice in the pot, lid unmoved for 12 minutes.
4) When the time is up turn the hob off and tilt the pan lid to let some steam out of the rice, you can also now gently separate the rive with a fork.
Note: This quantity of rice give me enough for two hungry people.
In Chinese the word for food is the same as their word for rice
Rice is the main food for half the population of the world
Rice is grown in over 100 countries and every continent except Antarctica
96% of the worlds rice is eaten in the area where it is grown

Monday, 15 December 2008

My clever neice singing... well sort of!

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