Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Birthday Dinner

Pan-seared Roasted Eye Fillet

        I was recently asked what my favourite meal would be, I didn't have a ready answer.  What gets my taste buds going often depends on and what I've seen at the market or what "food porn" is currently resting on my bedside table.  All those tantalising glossy pages just begging for me to cook them sometimes you just can't say no!  And sometimes an idea just sits there firmly in the back of your mind until it becomes an obsession.  My birthday dinner was a bit like that I'd been thinking about that gorgeous piece of steak for weeks normally I'll go on and on about other steaks, steaks with fat, steaks where the muscles have done some work and have flavour.  Steaks that are cheaper. (Although I have to say a big thanks to Sam's, my local butcher for the incredibly well priced piece of eye fillet.)  It lived up to expectation tender and succulent.  I served it with two of my favourite foods Double Butter Mash Potato and Creamy Garlic Spinach, as well as a Red wine Beef Jus.  It was a seriously good birthday dinner. 

Pan-seared Roasted Eye Fillet

1 tablespoon oil
800g beef eye fillet in one piece, at room temperature
salt and pepper to season

Pre-heat the oven to 200c.  Rub the oil into the piece of fillet and season.  Heat a frying pan to very hot and cook the beef for two minutes on each side so that the fillet is evenly browned.  Transfer to a roasting pan  and roast for 20 minutes for medium -rare.  Cover meat and rest for 10 minutes in a warm place.  Carve.

Double Butter Potato Mash

1kg potatoes agria
200mls cream
150g butter
salt and pepper

Peel and wash potatoes.  Cut the potatoes into similar sizes and cook in well salted water until soft.  Drain dry and tip into a sieve.  In the pot bring the cream to the boil, push the potato through the sieve on to the cream ( make sure you potato is still hot otherwise the starches in the potato become sticky and glue like)  Beat in the butter, stirring until smooth.  Season to taste.

Garlic Cream Spinach

2 cloves garlic finely chopped
100mls cream
spinach (1 bag stems removed and washed well)

Reduce cream and garlic in a large pan toss through spinach until wilted season and serve.

Red Wine Jus

Ok so I cheated here and bought a sachet of Beef Jus from the chilled department at the supermarket.  I reduced down a wine glass of red wine with some fresh thyme, bayleaf and finely sliced shallot and added the sachet, oh and I did this in the pan I had browned the meat so that I could get all those yummy caramelised meaty bits.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Honey Soy Chicken with Sesame

             Tonight I wanted something quick and tasty.  Oh and I wanted sticky and unctuous, something lip smackingly good.  Something that the kids would just eat without fuss, ok so I served it with bok choy which I am sad to say is not a a fuss free vegetable in our house, but I wanted it so they got too!  I enjoyed mine and they ate theirs because they wanted ice-cream.  But the simple steamed rice with the sweet and salty chicken and all the gorgeous goey sauce studded with ginger and garlic that hit the spot. 

Honey Soy Chicken with Sesame

1 inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
2 large cloves finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon flavourless oil
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons dark soy (of course if you've only got light use that)
3 tablespoons water
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
8 -10 chicken drumsticks

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Sliced spring onion (optional)

Heat the flavourless oil and add the ginger and garlic to it, cook gently until soft.   Combine honey, soy, water, sesame oil, lemon juice and black pepper with the softened garlic and ginger.  Cool.  Toss through chicken pieces and leave to marinate for as long as your schedule allows ie overnight or 30 minutes or somewhere in between.  Bake in a pre heated oven at 180c for 40 minutes.  Turning as often.  I recommend cooking the chicken in a smaller sized roasting dish so that the chicken cooks in a puddle of the marinade.  Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds and finely sliced spring onion.