Tag Archives: perfect

How to cook pork sausages braised in cider

pork-sausages-braised-cider

Yesterday I cooked two recipes for dinner for my Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge – Pork sausages braised in cider with apple and juniper, and Perfect mashed potato.

Basically you brown the sausages and onions and apples separately , then you combine them together and stew them in a casserole dish on top of the stove. It took about half an hour prep time, and then an additional one hour stewing, so this isn’t a quick after work dish.

Matt adjusted the pan as it wasn’t sitting on the hob properly in the center. I had to take the lid off to boil some of the liquid off and thicken up the cider sauce.

I boiled two potatoes to have as a side and mash them with a cool device which looks like a spiral on the end of a masher. (I don’t know what it’s called but it works a treat.) I added cream instead of crème fraîche because I couldn’t find any in either Coles or Woolies.

The highlight of the dish was the lovely apple and cider gravy. It was nice but I wouldn’t cook it again. The mash was delicious based on cream, but again a bit of treat since rice milk works just as well without the guilt.

Delia’s Complete How to Cook - Fishpond.com.au (Australia)
Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Book Depository (UK)

Written for the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge

100 recipes: Trifle

Best recipe
British Trifle – Gustoso

About

The basic ingredients of an English trifle are cake, fruit (usually berries), custard and cream. It is traditionally made up of sherry soaked genoese sponge, raspberries, thick custard and whipped cream. The addition of jelly is a more contemporary version. It is worth taking the time to make the custard from scratch.

The best trifle recipe is by Nigel Slater as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes. The recipe contains black currents, so it is not a traditional version.

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100 recipes: Sirloin steak

Best recipe
Sirloin steak with Cafe de Paris sauce - Gustoso

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Jill Dupleix recommends Damien Pignolet’s recipe for grilled sirlion Cafe de Paris sauce from his French cookbook. It is one of the most popular dishes at Bistro Moncur. You can prepare the Cafe de Paris butter up to a week in advance (or it can be stored in the freezer).

The authentic version of the sauce has 25 ingredients and best made in bulk. Skye Gyngell’s recipe for Cafe de Paris produces a realistic quantity for the home cook (although her version misses parsley, marjoram, dill, rosemary, brandy, Maidera, Cayenne pepper, and pepper corns).

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100 recipes: Roast chicken

Best recipe
Perfect roast chicken – Marcus Wareing

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The best roast chicken recipe nominated by Alain Ducasse is by his Grandma Jeanne for roast chicken, as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes. Jill Dupleix recommends Simon Hopkinson’s recipe for Lemon roast chicken.

Clarissa Dickson-Wright and Johnny Scott’s recipe for the perfect roast chicken was listed in The Observer’s How to make the perfect…. article, and features in their  Sunday Roast cookbook.

Look for an organic free-range chicken for the best flavour. If you can get one – the best type of chicken to use are poulet de Bresse for their succulent meat, although more popular in France.

Laukie Werle – in ‘Loukie’s Kitchen‘ cookbook writes there are four steps to a perfect roast chicken:

  • remove chicken from the fridge 1 hour before cooking
  • a size 15-16 (1.5-1.6kg) chicken always takes 1 hour and 20 minutes in a preheated 190C (170C fan) oven, whether plain roasted or stuffed.
  • always rest chicken after roasting for 15-20 minutes before carving
  • don’t turn or baste chicken while roasting

Skye Gyngell recommends serving mashed potato and green beans in summer. She serves roast pumpkin with red onions and sweet potatoes or fennel slices in winter.

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100 recipes: Risotto

Best recipe
Best recipe: Risotto with sausage and borlotti beans – Gustoso
Adapted from Risotto with sausage and cranberry (borlotti) beans - Marcella Hazan, Marcella Cucina

About

Italian: Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto is a soft and creamy rice dish, with versions from Milan and Venice. It is eaten as a first course in Italy. The rice used is able to absorb liquid, while not becoming mushy.

One of the  best risotto recipe is Anna del Conte’s lemon risotto appears in her “Secrets from an Italian Kitchen” cookbook, as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes . Giorgo Locatelli’s white truffle risotto as served at Locanda Locatelli also features in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes.

There are three types of rice used for risotto:

  • arborio – large grain and can be boiled
  • carnaroli – easy to cook grain that keeps it shape and texture. from Verona. good for seafood.
  • vialone nano – large rounded grain – gives an extra creamy, smooth risotto due to the high levels of starch. Good for strong flavours.

Elizabeth David writes “…there is a split-second in the cooking of the rice – just as for scrambled eggs – when the consistency is exactly right. It is neither too liquid nor too compact. It is light, every grain is separate although bound together in a homogeneous whole by the starch which has amalgamated with the cooking liquid.”

There are three traditional styles for cooking risotto: wet, baked and fried.

  1. A wet risotto is cooked on the stove top with the stock added gradually.
  2. A baked risotto is cooked on the stove top in stock and finished off in the oven. It is a timbale or pilaf which is cut and served in slices.
  3. A fried risotto is cooked in the oven like a pilaf until light and fluffy and then fried.

Risotto alla Milanese  should be made with real saffron and real stock. It is a traditional partner to osso bucco.

Elizabeth David advises to never “cook a risotto for a dinner party which had to be managed single-handed, because it is a bad dish to keep waiting.”

I’ve only ever had risotto once at a restaurant and I was so disappointed that it was undercooked that I’ve never attempted to order it again. Risotto is about the only thing that I can claim to still cook better than my husband!

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100 recipes: Potatoes

Best recipe
Gratin dauphinoise – Stephanie Alexander

About

Gratin dauphinoise comes from the Dauphine province in France. I prefer a variation where stock is substituted for the creamy sauce.

The best potato recipe nominated by Andrew Turner is by Joël Robuchon for mashed potato, as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes. Jill Dupleix also recommends Joël Robuchon’s recipe for potato puree, the ultimate mash.

There are three main French potato recipes: Boulangere potatoes , gratin dauphinois and pommes anna (potato cake)

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100 recipes: Meatballs

Best recipe
Meatballs with tomato, olive, rocket and basil sugo – Maggie Beer

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Italian: polpette
Greek: keftedes, keftethes

The best meat ball recipe is by Allegra McEvedy for Moroccan meatballs which appears in her Leon cookbook, as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes.

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100 recipes: Gazpacho

Best recipe
Gazpacho – Lindsey Bareham

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Spanish: Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a fresh summery chilled soup from Spain.

Chef Shannon Bennett recommends you “always rest the soup for at least six hours to release the potency of the onions and garlic – this will result in a much smoother taste.”

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100 recipes: Fish pie

Best recipe
Fish pie – J.Sheeky restaurant, from Cook: A Year in the Kitchen with Britain’s Best Chefs by Rebecca Seal

About

The best fish pie recipe is by J. Sheekey restaurant, as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes. Sophie Conran’s recipe for the perfect haddock and cod pie was listed as the perfect fish pie recipe in The Observer’s How to make the perfect…. article, and features in her Pies cookbook.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.

For choosing a sustainable fish:

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100 recipes: Fish cakes

Best recipe
Salmon fishcakes with sorrel sauce – Mark Hix

About

Aim for light and fluffy insides with a crisp and crunchy coating. They are a good way to use up leftover mashed potato.

The best fish cakes recipe is for The Ivy’s salmon fish cakes with sorrel sauce, as feature in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes. Jill Dupleix also recommends Gary Rhodes’ recipe for salmon fishcakes.

Serve with a green salad and tartare sauce.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.

For choosing a sustainable fish:

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