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Beef Wellington

February 4, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Advanced

For the mushroom duxelle
25g/1oz butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallot, finely diced
8 chestnut mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp cream
For the Wellington
dash vegetable oil, to fry
1.2kg/2lb 12oz beef fillet
salt and pepper, to taste
3-4 crêpes (you can use ready- made)
225g/8oz ready-made puff pastry
2 free-range egg yolks, lightly beaten
For the potato dauphinoise
1 garlic clove, halved
1kg/2lb 4oz waxy spuds, peeled and very finely sliced (preferably on a mandoline)
500ml/18fl oz double cream
salt and pepper, to taste
For the Madeira and port reduction
knob of butter
1 shallot, finely diced
100ml/3½fl oz port
100ml/3½fl oz Madeira
500ml/18fl oz veal stock (or beef or chicken stock)
1 heaped tbsp truffle peelings in brine, drained
Preparation method:
For the mushroom duxelle, heat the butter and vegetable oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add the chopped shallots and fry, stirring all the time, for two minutes. Tip in the chopped mushrooms. Reduce the heat a little and continue stirring and cooking for about ten minutes until the mushrooms are softened and their liquid has evaporated. Stir in the cream and cook for a further two minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
For the Wellington, heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Season the fillet all over with salt and pepper. Once the oil is smoking, add the beef and fry on all sides until it is a lovely caramel-brown colour. Remove to a plate and leave to cool. (NB. Don’t wash up the pan. Use this to make the Madeira and port reduction later.)
Place the crêpes onto the work surface, one layer thick, but overlapping – you need to create an area about twice the thickness of the fillet, and about 2.5cm/1in longer at each end. Spread the mushroom duxelle over the crêpes.
Lightly pat the fillet with kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture, before placing the meat on top of the duxelle.
Carefully roll the side closest to you over the meat encasing it within the crêpes and mushrooms. The crêpes should cover the meat on all sides, but trim off any excess.
Place the wrapped fillet onto a sheet of clingfilm and wrap up tightly into a cylinder. Set aside in the fridge until completely cold, about half an hour.
Meanwhile for the potato dauphinoise, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
Rub the inside of a deep baking dish or casserole with the raw garlic.
Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl and pour over the cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to coat the potatoes, then lay them evenly in the garlicky baking dish.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 20-30 minutes while you prepare the Wellington.
Roll the pastry out on a well-floured surface to a rectangle with a thickness of about 3mm.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk. Remove the clingfilm from the beef fillet and place onto the middle of the pastry.
Wrap the pastry up over the beef fillet. Lightly stretch one edge of the seam so that it is not too thick, then press down firmly to seal.
You should be left with a tube that is open at either end. Lightly press the ends of the pastry together using a rolling pin to seal and thin the two pieces. Then with a small knife, trim the edges on each side to form a triangle shape. Brush the triangle of pastry with a little egg and press it up against the side of the Wellington. Repeat with the other side before flipping over so that the Wellington is seam-side down.
Place your Wellington onto a baking tray, brush with the remaining egg yolk set aside in the fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (the dauphinoise should remain in the oven).
Remove the Wellington from the fridge and score a pattern of your choice onto the top.
Place in the oven with the potatoes dauphinoise and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the Wellington from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. This should give you a perfectly pink finish to your meat. If you prefer it more cooked, then leave in the oven for longer, but you must ensure the meat is well rested.
For the Madeira and port reduction, heat the butter in the same pan in which you cooked the beef fillet over a medium heat. Once bubbling, add the shallot and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
Increase the heat and add the port and Madeira. Simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half and then add the stock. Reduce again by half. When the sauce has a thick, syrupy consistency, strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the truffle peelings and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve slices of the beef Wellington with the potato dauphinoise alongside and the Madeira and port reduction.

Pukka yellow curry

January 20, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Indian, Skill Level: Advanced

2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 yellow peppers
1 cube chicken stock
2 fresh red chillies
1/2 bounch of fresh coriander
1 teaspoon runny honey
1 level teaspoon ground tumeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
8 higher welfare chicken drumsticks
olive oil
400 g thin of chickpeas
1 teaspoon tomato puree
320 g basmatic rice
1 lemon
fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve
Put 1 onion, 1 pepper, the garlic and ginger into a food processor.
Crumble in the stock cube and add the chilli, the coriander stalks, honey and spices, then blitz to a paste.
Place a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat and fry the chicken drumsticks (pull the skin off first, if you prefer) with a splash of oil for 10 minutes, or until golden, turning occasionally with tongs. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the pan on the heat. Roughly chop the remaining onion and pepper and add to the pan to cook for a few minutes, then tip in the paste and let it cook down for around 5 minutes. Pour in 500ml of boiling water. Drain the chickpeas and add along with the tomato purée and a pinch of salt and pepper, then stir well. Return the chicken to the pan, pop the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer gently for around 45 minutes, or until the sauce darkens and thickens.
With 15 minutes to go, put 1 mug (320g) of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into a pan with a pinch of salt and simmer with the lid on for 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Serve the curry in the middle of the table with a few dollops of yoghurt (if using) and a scattering of coriander leaves, with lemon wedges for squeezing over and the fluffy rice on the side.
Avatar of Zoey

by Zoey

coffee Cake

December 9, 2014 in Course: Dessert, Skill Level: Advanced

2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cupps butter milk
2 eggs
about 6 cups flour
1/5 cup margarine
1/5 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups apricots, dried
1 1/2 cups chopped drained maraschino cherries Coffee Cake Glaze
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.Add buttermilk, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix well with electric mixer. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto well-floured surface, divide dough into 3 parts. Roll one part into rectangle. Place rectangle on cookie sheet.
Mix apricots and chopped cherries. Spread one-third of the apricot mixture in a strip about 2 1/2 inches wide lengthwise down center of rectangle. Make cuts in dough at 1/2-inch intervals on both 15-inch sides almost to filling. Fold strips over filling, overlapping and crossing in center. Carefully stretch dough until 22 inches long; curve one end to form top of cane. Repeat with remaining 2 parts of dough. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until double. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)
4Heat oven to 375°F. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle Glaze over warm coffee cakes. Decorate with cinnamon candies.

The Best BBQ Chicken

December 4, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: BBQ & Grill, Cuisine: Poultry, Skill Level: Advanced

4 Chicken thights, boneless and skinless
1 chilli
For rub:
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
For BBQ sauce:
2oo g soft brown sugar
200 g tomato ketchup
100 ml bourbon whisky
4 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup orange juice
First you must preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
To make the rub, mix all ingredients until fine. Massage the chicken with rub well and place in the preheated oven for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, start to make the BBQ sauce. place all ingredients into a pan over a high heat and whisk well to combine until bring to the boil. reduce the heat and to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the chiken from the oven and waite until reduce the temperature.  Place each piece of chicken into the BBQ sauce, placing them onto the baking rack as you go. Return to the middle shelf of the oven for around 10 minutes, or until turning lovely and sticky.
After that remove the chicken from the oven and dip each piece into the BBQ sauce once more. Return it to the oven for 10 or 15 minutes. Serve with sliced chilli on top.

Grilled Turkey

December 1, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Advanced

1 12-14-pound turkey
2½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, sage or thyme
Wood chips, soaked (optional)
1. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least an hour before grilling so it can come to room temperature. Place the bird on a rimmed baking sheet or large cutting board. Using a sturdy pair of kitchen shears, snip along both sides of the backbone to remove it entirely. (Save the bone for making stock for your gravy.) Snip through the top 1-2 inches of the breastbone to make flattening the turkey easier. Turn the turkey over (breast-side up) and push firmly down to split the breastbone. Tuck the wings behind the breast. This technique is called spatchcocking, and now the turkey should flat. Using paper towels, blot any remaining moisture. Season the turkey on both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
2. Stir the wine, butter, oil and herbs together and set aside for basting.
3. Wrap a metal sheet pan or shallow metal roasting dish in aluminum foil to deflect some of the heat from the breast and to catch the drippings. Place the pan underneath the grill grates and heat the grill to medium-low heat (about 325-375°). If using charcoal, add a few pieces of soaked hardwood for additional flavor, or wrap the soaked wood in aluminum foil and place next to the turkey. Brush the grates clean. Place the turkey in the middle of the grill over the pan, breast-side up.
4. Cover the turkey and grill, basting every 20 mins, over medium-low indirect heat for 1 hour and 45 mins, or until the thickest part of the breast is 160°. Remove the turkey to a rimmed baking dish and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Add any accumulated juices and pan drippings to your gravy. Carve and serve.

Two Small Roast Turkeys

November 26, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Poultry, Skill Level: Advanced

2 10-12 pound turkeys
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves, fresh or dried
3 tablespoons grill seasoning (3 palmfuls), such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick butter, very soft
Trussing string
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Pat the outside of both turkeys with paper towels until they are relatively dry. Stuff the cavities of both birds with the onions, carrots and celery. Place five to six sprigs of thyme and two bay leaves in each bird. Season the outside of the birds with the grill and poultry seasonings, along with some salt and pepper. Rub the outside of each turkey with the soft butter, then place in a large roasting pan. Tie the ends of the turkey legs together with trussing string.
Transfer the turkeys to the oven and roast until a meat thermometer reads 160°F, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the turkeys from the oven and let them rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes.

Roasted veg vindaloo with golden gnarly chicken skewers

November 19, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Poultry, Skill Level: Advanced

For the paste:
1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 heaped tablespoon turmeric
1 heaped tablespoon garam masala
2 heaped tablespoons raisins
1 level teaspoon of sea salt
1 level teaspoon of ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
2 dried red chillies
a bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked and stalks chopped
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
200 ml white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
For the chicken skewers:
4 x 150 g skinless free-range chicken breast
rapeseed or olive oil
1 lemon
For the curry:
1 kg large ripe tomatoes
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cauliflower, broken into florets, stalk sliced, leaves removed
3 red onions, peeled and roughly sliced
1x 400 g tin of chickpeas
500 ml organic chicken or vegetable stock
500 g mixed peas, broad beans and sweetcorn
1 x 200 g bag of baby spinach
natural yoghurt, to serve
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Put all the paste ingredients except the coriander leaves into a liquidizer and whiz until smooth, then scrape the paste out into a bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the liquidizer, season well, then blitz until smooth and put aside for later. In a large casserole-type pan, toss the cauliflower florets and red onions with half the curry paste. Add 600ml of water, and roast in the hot oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into finger-sized strips, toss them in the bowl with the remaining curry paste, cover and pop into the fridge.
After 40 minutes, carefully move the hot pan from the oven to the hob. Drain and add the chickpeas,along with the stock and blitzed tomatoes and simmer on a medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the consistency you like. Meanwhile, preheat a large griddle pan over a high heat. Thread the chicken pieces on to 6 or 8 metal or wooden skewers. Drizzle with a little oil, season from a height, and cook on the screaming hot griddle for around 10 to 12 minutes, turning each one every now and again, until gnarly, sizzly and cooked through. Squeeze over some lemon juice and give the pan a good shake, scraping the bottom of the pan for around 30 seconds to get all the intense flavour. Transfer everything to a plate and set aside.
Go back to your curry and mash a few times to thicken up the sauce. Add the delicate veggies (peas, beans, corn and spinach) for the last 3 minutes of cooking, then have a taste and correct the seasoning.Marble through a few dollops of yoghurt, scatter over the reserved coriander leaves and chopped fresh chilli (leave the seeds in for extra heat), then take straight to the table. Serve with fluffy rice, the chicken skewers and anything else you fancy.

Pizza Pretzel

November 17, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Italian, Skill Level: Advanced

Pizza dough 
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/5 cup basil
2 cups pepperoni, chopped
1 egg
1 can tomatoe sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Cut the pizza dough into four equal pieces and roll each out into a rectangle. Scatter the cheese, torn basil and pepperoni over the dough. Brush one of the long sides with a little egg wash then, starting with the opposite side, roll the dough up into a log, enclosing the toppings inside. Shape the log into a pretzel and transfer to a baking sheet.
Brush the top of the pizza pretzel with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
While the pizza pretzel is baking, place a medium pot over medium-high heat to heat up tomato sauce, until warm.
Serve the pizza pretzel with the tomato sauce dipper alongside.

Meaty Baked Ziti

November 15, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Italian, Skill Level: Advanced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian Sausage
3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry red or white wine or 1 cup additional stock
2 cans San Marzano tomatoes (28-32 ounces each)
1 cup beef or veal stock
1 pound ziti rigate
1 pound fresh mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Heat the olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the fennel seed and beef and season with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and brown and crumble both until caramelized, breaking the meats up into small bits. Add the rosemary, onion and garlic and cook, partially covered, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften the onion. Deglaze the pan with a little wine; add the stock and tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes.
Cook the pasta for about 6 minutes, just shy of al dente. Toss the pasta with the sauce and place in a casserole. Top with cubes of mozzarella and sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake from room temperature at 400ºF, until the cheeses are melted and bubbly, 20 minutes. If cooking from refrigerated or frozen, after the pasta comes to room temperature, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover to lightly brown, another 10-15 minutes.

Stuffed Persimmons with Mushrooms, Bulgur and Feta

November 13, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Fruits & Vegetables, Skill Level: Advanced

8 firm Fuyu persimmons, tops sliced off and half of the insides scooped out
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped and divided
1 cup bulgur (quick-cooking works fine in this recipe)
2 cups cold water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup Spanish onion, small dice
1/3 cup carrot, small dice
½ cup celery, small dice
½ cup fennel, small dice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seed, whole
¼ teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 ounces assorted mushrooms, such as shitake, oyster and cremini, small dice
2½ cups country-style bread, crust removed, cubed and toasted
1/3 cup dry white wine
½ to 1 cup vegetable stock
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the persimmons in a large baking dish and drizzle the olive oil evenly into the cavities of the persimmons. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme evenly into the cavities and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
In a saucepan over high heat, ccombine the bulgur, water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for approximately 15 minutes until done. The bulgur should be bloomed and water should be completely absorbed. If there is any remaining water, drain it and discard. Transfer the bulgur to a plate and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery and fennel, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the fennel seed, the rest of the thyme, sage, oregano and garlic and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
Return the pan to the heat and add 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up all the bits of vegetables from the bottom of the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of vegetable stock and cook for another minute for the flavors to meld. Transfer the mushrooms and all the cooking liquid to the large bowl of cooked vegetables.
Add 1½ cups of cooked bulgur, all of the toasted bread, the egg, parsley, lemon zest and feta cheese to the large bowl. Gently mix to combine. The mixture should be quite moist; add remaining ½ cup vegetable stock to the mixture only if needed. Check seasoning and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Divide the stuffing mixture among the roasted persimmons and firmly pack it into the cavities. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375° for approximately 20 minutes. (If there is any stuffing left over, bake it in a small pan on its own.) Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve on a platter with any extra stuffing and a scattering of parsley leaves.