Tuesday, August 27, 2019

652/1038 - Maggie's slow-cooked fillet of beef

It really is amazing the number of different ways a cut of beef can be prepared.  

Slow cooking is not often a thing in my house, with me usually starting dinner preparations as the hunger pangs are threatening to set in. But on this day I had uncharacteristically planned ahead. A long, slow cook is definitely a great way to make a house smell sensational! 

The flavours in this marinade were spectacular and had I not slightly misjudged the cooking time for a larger cut, I do think the outcome would have been amazing. There were certainly some pieces which were perfect (see below) but the majority of the roast was a little on the dry side.

All in all, a good experiment with a little more care required on my part next time.

Friday, August 9, 2019

651/1038 - Belly pork in a piquant cream sauce

Oh. My. Goodness.

You know when you make something expecting it to be just OK and then it blows your mind? That happened last night. I had bought some pork fillet (yes, I cheated on the cut) and realised I had every ingredient for this recipe except the green peppercorns. I do, however, always have pink peppercorns on hand and knew they would go beautifully with the flavours in this recipe.

I have never boiled pork before and was interested to see if it would work with fillet. I reduced the cooking time quite a bit and took it out when a skewer passed through easily. I have no idea how long this took as I often just go on instinct when doing this sort of thing and just get a feeling when it's time to check. Once it was done, the pork was sliced, pan fried and then doused in this unbelievably fabulous, creamy sauce. 

The only downside to this dish is that it brings out the animal in diners, with everybody dying to lick their plate and not waste a drop of this incredible sauce.

A must try for all cooks. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

650/1038 - Spanish creams

This is an absolutely beautiful little dessert and even better, the recipe appears quite foolproof! Somehow the lemon infuses to a point where it tastes as if there is lemon curd in the custard, which of course makes for beautiful eating. 

A few things I learned while making this recipe;
  • If you run out of castor sugar, pure icing sugar works well. To break up the lumps, throw it in the blender and voila, a perfectly soft pile of icing sugar
  • If the whites are accidentally whipped to stiff rather than soft peaks, the recipe still works
  • The step of straining the custard can be successfully skipped. A good option if you like zest!
  • Well thickened custard means thick enough that it will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Test this by running your finger in a line through the custard on the back of the spoon. If the line keeps its shape, the custard is thick enough
  • I dutifully oiled six 100ml moulds...and still had an enormous amount of mixture after they were filled! I simply poured the rest into a large container and it set just as well as the small moulded versions (and was just as tasty!)
The day after I made the creams, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful artist working on a mural in our new hot tub and sauna area, now lovingly known as "the cedar precinct". I am not a day time dessert eater and so it was great to have somebody on hand to eat the plate I had styled for photographing. I don't think he minded much either! 

Another wonderful little recipe and with 650 recipes now complete, another small milestone reached. 

Our new cedar precinct with beautiful art by Barek