Tuesday, November 30, 2010

vietnamese beef stew

this dish is very easy and fragrant. growing up eating this dish,  it is always eaten with a french baguette...  but you can also substitute the bread for pasta, rice, or just eat it by itself.

2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
1 red or green thai chilli, diced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger,  finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or add more depending on your preference)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2lbs beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, whole peeled
3 cups water
4 tablespoon tomato paste
2 star anise
2 carrots, cut in 1 inch chunks
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1 inch chunks
2 daikon, cut in 1 inch chunks ( or about 2 cups)

1. in large mixing bowl, combine the lemmongrass, chilli, ginger, cinnamon, curry powder, fish sauce, salt and black pepper.  add the meat and marinate for at least 30 mins. 
2. heat oil in large sauce pan over high heat and stir fry the onion and garlic until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes
3. add beef and the marinade and stir-fry about 3 minutes or until the beef is browned on all sides. add the water, tomato paste and star anise. bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. add the vegetables and continue simmering until the beef is tender and the vegetable are cooked, about 30 mins more. 

serves 6-8

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

This one came from "The Victory Garden Cookbook", given to me by my old friend Jean Lair Smith. Her husband, Russell, was an avid gardener and this book was a favorite of theirs.
Don't worry about the chestnuts. I am usually forced to leave them out and the soup is still delicious. Here is the recipe as written. (I've added notes in the comments.)

This soup can be made without the chestnuts, but they add a rich and complex flavor, as well as being readily available in winter squash season.

1/2 lb. raw chestnuts
2-2 1/2 lb. Butternut squash
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
2 Tb. butter
5 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
1 1/2 c. light cream
Freshly ground pepper

Peel chestnuts. Peel and seed squash and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Chop onion, carrot, and celery, and add to butter melted in a 4-quart saucepan. Stew to wilt but not brown. Add chestnuts and squash and stir into vegetables. Add 4 cups chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook for 30-40 minutes or until chestnuts and squash are tender. Stir in ginger if you like. Purée in a blender with remaining chicken stock. Add cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reheat and serve. (Makes 8 cups)
Bon Appétit!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gordon Ramsay's Shepherd's Pie

You can use beef. This is a really good recipe. I promise!
Serves 4


Shepherd's pie

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500g minced lean lamb
  • 1 large onion, finely grated
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, needles chopped
  • 250ml red wine
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1kg Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Parmesan, for grating
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Pan-roasted carrots

  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • Small handful of thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 500g medium sized carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Few knobs of butter

Method: How to make shepherd's pie

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4 and get prepped by watching Gordon prepare this shepherd's pie.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Season the mince and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir the onions and carrot into the mince then grate the garlic in as well. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the red wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened
3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain then return to the hot pan over low heat to dry out briefly. Pass them through a potato ricer then beat in the egg yolks, followed by about 2 tbsp grated Parmesan. Check for seasoning
4. Spoon the mince into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, layer the mashed potato generously on top of the mince, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Grate some extra Parmesan over and season. Fluff up the mash potato with a fork to make rough peaks. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown
5. For the carrots bring a pan of water to the boil with the rosemary, thyme and garlic. Boil the carrots in the water for 3 minutes to soften slightly, then drain and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan then add the carrots and some seasoning. Brown the carrots all over until just tender, adding the butter towards the end of cooking