Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Dinner with Rick (Stein)

March 19th, 2010

I’m not thrilled by a great deal these days, but having dinner and a cooking class with Rick Stein in his new restaurant at Mollymook (3 hrs south of Sydney) is the best thing I’ve done in ages.  I have been a fan because he is so down to earth and uncheffy, and he does a good line is gastro-tourism with his very entertaining TV series — French Odyssey (canal boating thru France), Mediterranean Escapes and coming to ABC TV in May Far Eastern Odyssey.  All of these by the way come with the same-name cookbook. He is just as charming and passionate  in person, as on film.

Rick Stein at Bannisters (Bannisters is a boutique hotel at Mollymook) is the first restaurant he has done outside his home base of Padstow in the UK.  We were part of a group of foodies who spent 2 days at the hotel indulging in some excellent food, a dinner with Rick and a cooking class at his nearby home.  Here is a very easy recipe he gave us, perfect for your next dinner party:

Marinated Tuna with Passionfruit, Lime & Coriander

“Chefs agree that tuna is best served rare.  Here I’ve taken the idea of a ceviche and added some Australian flavours — but don’t marinate the fish for longer than 10 minutes.”  Rick Stein

3cm thick piece of tuna loin fillet (or Atlantic Salmon)

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 passionfruit

3 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 medium/hot green chilli, seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon caster sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt plus ground black pepper

Slice tuna into very thin slices.  Lay slices overlapping onto plaates.  Just before serving make the dressing.  Sieve passionfruit pulp into a bowl to extract the juice and mix the rest of the ingredients. Spoon marinade over tuna for 10 minutes only and serve.

Gregor & Lewis Bespoke Travel at Noosa organised the trip, and hopefully will be able to do another … after Rick has filmed his northern Spain/Portugal TV  series. or phone 5447 4666.

French Terrines

November 15th, 2008

Country terrine low res.jpgLike producing your own bread, making a terrine, ballotine or even a simple pate gives great satisfaction.  I’m not sure why this is … maybe it’s a tactile thing or just the pleasure of stepping back in time to when people actually made everything they ate.

When I first married I couldn’t cook at all but having married a Frenchman that situation had to change, and fast.  It was also the era (is it returning?) when the dinner party was was the thing to do when it came to entertaining friends.  We didn’t go out to restaurants that much in those days.  You spent a full day prior to “the big night” laboriously preparing tricky (over-worked) dishes, was most of the evening in the kitchen and then the next day cleaning up.  Nothing was spontaneous and freshly cooked — couldn’t cope with that!

But one of the things I did learn to do well was a French terrine.  There are endless varieties, they are better made ahead of time (the flavour develops) and make great left-overs.  Here is a classic recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion: Continue Reading »

Recipe for Blanquette de Veau

August 1st, 2007

This is (Baguette’s Head Chef) Bruno Loubet’s version of a classic French veal casserole. It never disappoints but you will need to source top quality, young veal.  It is easy to make at home and serves 6:

700gm veal shank and 800gm veal breast

200gm carrots & 100gm each of leeks, onions, celery

3 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 lemon

250ml cream, 30gm butter, 30 gm plain flour & celery salt to taste

Cut veal into chunks & cover with water in a pot with 4 pinches of salt — bring to the boil, lower heat to simmer, skim.

Add vegs cut into lg pieces and tie up herbs into a bundle with the leeks (easy to lift out). Simmer for about 1 hr or until tender.

Strain the stock and reduce by half. Melt butter and when foamy add the flour and stir for 2 minutes. Pour the stock over the butter and flour mixture, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Add half the cream. Simmer for 15 minutes, add a squeeze of lemon. Taste for seasoning and then add remaining cream and the meat.

Serve with rice or baby vegetables. Garnish with chervil.


Catalan Suquet

June 10th, 2006

Many food blogSuquet.jpgs detail personal recipes.  With so many great cookbooks available, I frankly can’t see the point because it is rare that someone comes up with a unique recipe — it’s all been done before.  

However here is one recipe that you wont find readily.  My husband is French Catalan and this quite distinct race of people occupies an area from Barcelona in Spain to Perpignan in the south of France.  They consider themselves distinct from either the Spanish or the French. They have their own language, customs and a very ancient culinary history — the first Catalan gastronomic manuscripts appeared in 1324, and was born out of the cooking of the Romans (who occupied the area for 700 years) and was enriched in later centuries by invading Visigoths and the Moors.

This recipe for Suquet is a personal favourite and can be reproduced very well in Australian given our superb seafood.  However, if it all seems too much trouble the Chefs at Baguette will cook it for you. Continue Reading »

Baguette’s Famous Creme Brulee

March 16th, 2006

Most well known restaurants have what we call ‘signature dishes’ — dishes that customers ask for over and over again. The one that Baguette can never take off the menu is our Creme Brulee. Here is the recipe for you to try at home:

creme-brulee_d.jpg1 litre of thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
12 egg yolks
250 gms caster sugar

Boil cream and vanilla.
Whisk yolks and sugar together.
Pour cream slowly over yolk mix and whisk to combine.
Strain mixture through fine strainer.
Skim the scum off the top with a spoon.
Pour into moulds.
Cook in a hot water bainmarie @ 140 degrees C for 40-50 minutes or until set.
Cool on trays and set in fridge.  Makes 6-8 brulees

To serve: sprinkle even layer of caster sugar over each pot, then caramelise using a blowtorch (now available at kitchen shops) or heat up the back of a big metal spoon and use like an old brulee iron.

Chef’s tip:  make the custard a day ahead, allowing for a bubble-free surface for even caramelisation.