Monday, May 10, 2010

Veal Marsala with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Potato Mash

Veal is one of my favourite meats but I have never cooked with it but rather ordered it out at restaurants. This is the first time I cooked the veal and it turned out tender and flavoursome. Note that veal doesn't need a lot of different flavours, it doesn't freeze well and it only needs a few minutes on each side to cook through, any longer and it will become tough.

Veal Marsala
- 2 veal, schnitzel or 4 escalopes
- 50g of flour
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 4 tablespoons marsala
- 4 tablespoons stock (i used chicken real stock)
- 40g butter

1. Spread flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal in the flour.

2. Heat the pan. Add butter. Once the foam of the butter subsides, place the veal onto the pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side and remove from pan.

3. Turn down the heat to medium heat. Add the marsala and stock to the pan. Scrape the meat and flour residue from the pan and let the sauce cook for 3 -4 minutes.

4. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve.

Butter Chicken

Nick was up in the Gold Coast a few weeks ago and one night Simone and her friend from Melbourne, Neetu, came over for dinner. I decided to make butter chicken for dinner. Nick and I are obsessed (to say the least) with butter chicken from a local Indian restaurant near Nick called Indian Palace. Just thinking of it is making my mouth water.

This recipe is from a magazine article which I have kept from about 8 years - finally I have made it. The sauce is not as thick and creamy as from Indian Palace but it does have some wonderful flavours. (To bruise the cardamon pods, press on them with a knife until the outer layer splits.)

Butter Chicken
- 750g diced chicken breast (or thigh fillets)
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2tsp garam masala
- 2tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 140g yoghurt
- 80g butter (I used about 50g)
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 410g can tomato puree (I used canned chopped tomatoes as I didn't have puree, however I do recommend using the puree)
- 180ml chicken stock
- 5 cardamon pods
- 1 cinnamon sticks
- 250ml cream

1. Marinate the chicken in a bowl with garlic, garam masala, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, paprika and yoghurt for at least 3 hours.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan and add marinated chicken. Stir for 10 minutes

3. Add bruised cardamon pods, vinegar, chicken stock, cinnamon, tomato puree and tomato paste and mix well. Bring to the boil and then simmer it for 30 minutes (or until the sauce starts to thicken slightly).

4. Stir in the cream and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes.

5. Serve on rice with naan or chapati bread for dipping. Enjoy :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Homemade Gnocchi

I spent an entire day last week making an unreasonably large amount of fresh gnoochi. I would recommend only making this recipe if you have a few hours to spare and you have a mouli (a hand operated grater). I don't have a mouli and so I spent a very long time mashing up the potatoes, first with a potato masher and then with a fork to ensure no lumps - highly unrecommended process which is boring, slow and tiring.

I eventually made the gnoochi and froze majority of it. Don't do it! They freeze together and form a blob of gnoochi dough which have to be re-rolled and cut into shape again.

This recipe, however does make very light fluffy gnocchi, which are delicious. This recipe comes from Alex Herbert, the head chef and owner of Bird Cow Fish in New South Wales.

Potato Gnocchi

- 1.5kg desiree potatoes (pink skin with yellow flesh)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 125g plain flour
-salt and pepper

1. Place unpeeled potatoes with cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to medium and let the potatoes simmer for 30 minutes. (Use a skewer to check if they're cooked completely but avoid doing this too often so that the potatoes don't become water logged)

2. Take potatoes out of the water and wrap in a tea towel. Leave for 10 minutes for the potatoes to dry properly.

3. Peel potatoes (best way is cutting the potatoes in half and the skin should peel off very easily) and pass them through a mouli grater. Place the grated potatoes, eggs, salt, pepper and parmesan and mix gently. Sieve the flour into the bowl and gently fold. (I highly recommend sifting the flour as this aerates the flour and makes the gnocchi light and fluffy.

4. Flour a cutting board and place about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture and roll out into a sausage shape with a thickness of about 1.5cm. Cut each sausage into 2cm pieces and roll in flour.

5. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water for 3 - 5 minutes.

I made a four cheese sauce to serve with the gnocchi however I didn't record the amounts but it was made from butter, milk, blue cheese, parmesan, tasty, Kraft cheddar cheese (best cheese for sauces as it melts into a homogenous mixture - thanks Nick), salt, pepper, oregano and cream.