31 May 2009

Bacon & Mushroom Risotto

Just one day before winter and its been pouring down with rain for most of the day. On days like this, there is nothing more comforting and relaxing than just curling up in front of the T.V, all wrapped up in a warm blanket with a creamy bowl of risotto. Here's the recipe for what we had for dinner tonight...

Bacon & Mushroom Risotto
Originally adapted from Jamie Oliver's Mushroom Risotto Recipe
  • 2x 50g of butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (smashed & chopped)
  • 1 leek (thinly sliced)
  • 1 onion (sliced & chopped)
  • 4 slices of bacon (sliced & chopped)
  • 500g risotto rice
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 cups of mushrooms (roughly sliced)
  • 4 cups of chicken Stock
  • 5-6 pieces of dried porcini mushrooms
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

In a separate saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil, then keep on a slow simmer. Give the porcini mushrooms a quick wash to remove any dirt, then add into the chicken stock with a pinch of salt.

In a heavy based pot (I use my dutch oven), melt butter in olive oil, add garlic, leek, onion. Cook over low heat for 5 mins then add in bacon. Continue to cook for a further 10 mins. Be careful not to brown the leeks.

Add rice and keep on stirring. Add in wine and continue to stir until all the wine has cooked into the rice. Add a ladle of hot stock and stir until the rice has absorbed the stock. Turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Keep on adding stock to the rice one ladle at a time as the rice absorbs the stock.

About 10 mins in, take out the porcini mushrooms (which has now been rehydrated from the simmering stock) from the saucepan and slice into small pieces. Add this to the rice. Add the sliced mushrooms to the rice and continue to stir. Continue until all the stock has been added, this should take around 20 mins.

Remove from the heat and add the remainder 50g of butter with the parmesan cheese. Place lid on top of the pot and let it sit for about 2-3 mins. Season with Salt & Pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with any leftover parmesan cheese.

19 May 2009

Black Pepper & Herb Crusted Beef Fillet

I saw this the other day... the photos from this post (and website for that matter) looks positively swoon-worthy. But I don't know where to get fresh horseradish around where I live. So I looked around for another recipe for black pepper crusted beef fillet. I found something else which uses herbs with the black pepper. So I combined the two concepts together with the ingredients I had available at home into this...

Black Pepper & Herb Crusted Beef Fillet
recipe adapted from sheknowsparties & Cookbook Catchall

  • 500g beef fillet
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
  • 1½ tablepoon black peppercorns
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt

Marinate the beef fillet in the olive oil, worcestershire sauce and garlic.

Pre-heat oven to 200C.

In a heated pan toast the black peppercorns, thyme and sage for about 1 min. You should be able to smell the aroma.

Add the contents of the pan into a pestle mortar with salt and crush the ingredients together. Work until the peppercorns are grinded into smaller pieces.

Pour this dry spice into a baking dish. Lift the beef fillet from the marinade and roll over the dry spices. Cover all sides.

Heat up the pan until very hot, then brown the fillet on all sides to seal in the juices. Place fillet back on the baking dish and place in oven for about 12 mins for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and let the fillet rest for about 10 mins.

17 May 2009

Coq Au Vin

I've made Coq Au Vin or Chicken in Red Wine plenty of times. Its yummy. But not mind-blowing-yummy. But after reading this on smittenkitchen.com .. I decided I had to try out this recipe which was based on one from the Author of Mastering the Art of French cooking - Julia Child.

The main difference with this recipe than my usual one, is with the 'brown-braised baby onions'. This part calls for about 18-24 peeled (Yes.. PEELED) white onions. Peeled onions which are simmered slowly for 40-50 minutes -- cooked separate to the Chicken.

I found it easier to make the brown-braised baby onions first, then the chicken and while the chicken is cooking, using a separate pan saute the mushrooms.

Onions and some shallots I had around braised with 1/2c of red wine and 1/2c of beef stock.

After nearly 50 minutes of slow simmering, the onions should look like this

The Chicken pieces are browned in the bacon then the wine, stock, garlic, herbs and tomato paste are added. Chicken needs to be cooked until tender. About 30-40 mins.

While the chicken is cooking, saute the mushrooms in some olive oil. Add a slice of butter when mushrooms are nearly cooked.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan to a separate dish. Add flour & butter mixture to sauce and continue to reduce until the sauce is able to coat the back of a spoon lightly. Add Chicken back to the pan with the onions and mushroom. Simmer for 3-4 mins and continue to baste the chicken with the sauce. Serve when chicken is hot.

We had it with some mash potato - see pic above.

And it was amazingly good !! P kept on asking me what I did different to the last time I made this dish. The braised onions were the first to disappear.

I didn't follow the recipe as closely as I wanted to. I didn't really have a choice. I didn't have cognac at home, and had to substitute some shallots for the onions as I didn't have enough. I also didn't want to boil the bacon. But Hey... its a Julia Child recipe. So I'm not going to repost the recipe with my alterations here. Somethings should stay as classics. However, you can find the Julia Child's recipe as posted by Smittenkitchen.com here. Enjoy

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