Classic: Steak with Béarnaise sauce

A new day has come and that means a new recipe! Now, I’m pretty sure that many people love MEAT and steak just happens to be one of their favorites (okay, I love steak, I hope you do too…). But a nice tender and juicy steak with Béarnaise sauce? With a side of pan-roasted potatoes and grilled cherry tomatoes? That’s just out of this world. The  Béarnaise is slightly difficult to make, it probably won’t turn out right during your first few trials so if you want to buy the sauce, that’s fine, just remember to take a high-quality one, not “Knorr powder sauce”, that’s just unacceptable. On the other hand, this dish doesn’t have too many ingredients (except the sauce) and it’s fairly quick to make. A dinner for two? Perfect!

Just another quick note. When choosing the meat, choose a piece of beef that’s fairly thick, and the fat should be marbled like this:

A cut like this will definitely be tender because that fat is distributed evenly across the piece of meat. And just another thing, store the sauce carefully if you have some left, and don’t keep it more than 2-3 days because it has eggs…

*Ingredients: (2 portions)

– Béarnaise sauce:

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 10 peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250 clarified butter, cooled to room temp.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (not lime)

– The Steak (capital S!!!):

  • 2 fillet mignon/entrecote (high-quality + tender cuts) ~ 300gr
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, just to prevent the meat from burning
  • a little fresh thyme for decoration

– Potatoes and tomatoes:

  • 300 gr new potatoes (these are best for roasting)
  • 50 gr butter
  • Herb Provençal (thyme, rosemary, tarragon, basil,…)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

*Methods:

– Béarnaise sauce:

1. Combine the white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons snipped tarragon, shallot and peppercorns in a small, heavy-based saucepan and reduce by half over a low heat. Set aside to cool.

2. When the vinegar reduction is cold, add the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons cold water. Set the pan over a low heat and whisk continuously, making sure that the whisk reaches right down into the bottom of the pan.

(As you whisk, gently increase the heat; the sauce should emulsify slowly and gradually, becoming unctuous after 8-10 minutes. Do not let it become hotter than 65°C.)

3. Turn off the heat and whisk the clarified butter into the sauce, a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then strain the sauce. Stir in the rest of the tarragon and lemon juice.

– The Steak:

1. Marinate the steak with the spices and leave it for at least 10-15 minutes.

2. Heat up the pan to medium hot, add olive oil and then the beef. Make sure you get a nice brown crust on the meat.

3. Cook the Beef to medium-rare/medium (depending on your taste). Check out this post for more info about temperature of steaks:

https://foodloverguy94.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/cuts-of-beef-and-temperature-of-beef/

4. Set the meat aside so that it could rest (soak up all the nice meaty juice)

– Potatoes:

1. Boil the potatoes for 10-12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, turn the heat on low, add olive oil to the pan and throw in the cherry tomatoes. Let it slowly cook itself.

3. Take the potatoes out, slice into halves lengthwise.

4. In another pan, add olive oil, turn heat on medium and then add the potatoes.

5. Season generously with salt and pepper. Make sure both sides of the potatoes are nice and crispy.

6. Add in the dry herbs, butter and garlic. Roast for another 1-2 minutes.

7. Start plating!!! And yours should be looking like this:

184111_2156728604956_1374303_n

Bon apetit!

LD.

Penne with steak and creamy mushroom

Hi guys!

Long time no see really! How is everyone doing? (including my blog, hehe). I’ve been really really lazy but busy as well lately and unfortunately food blogging just isn’t the top priority. But after a good friend of my told me that I should get started with the blog again (Thanks Trang!) and by the way, she has an awesome blog too, hehe. But hey, I’m back again with a new recipe! Wooohoooo!!!

Well actually… It was no real recipe and was pure creativity in the first place. Saw some nice steaks, marinated it with onion powder, salt and pepper, some chilli flakes and seared it until it was medium rare. Pasta cooked till al dente, stirred in a nice thick, creamy sauce with wild mushroom. The flavors were in just beautiful, the steak was nice and juicy, still pink in the middle and it was perfect for a dinner 🙂

*Ingredients: (1 portion)
– Flank steak (dry-rubbed with some onion and chilli powder) – 150g
– Wild mushrooms – 50g + 1 tbsp minced shallots for stir-frying + Olive oil 1 tbsp
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Cream – approx. 30ml
– Parmesan cheese – just not too much!
– Penne pasta – 100g
– Parsley to garnish

*Method:

1. Cook the steak to rare or medium/rare. Let it rest on the chopping board for 5 min.

2. Cook the pasta al dente, 8-10 min. Keep it hot.

3. Heat up the pan, add oil, shallots. Add in the mushrooms when the pan is nice and hot. Stir-fry for a few minutes and season generously with salt and pepper.

4. Slice your steak into thin, long strips.

5. Add the pasta and a bit of the starchy water that you cooked the pasta into the pan. Season again.

6. Add the cream and steak. Stir-fry for another 1 min.

7. Plate and garnish with chopper parsley.

DONE! BON APPETIT!!!!!

Image

Warm family dinner: Fettucine with spicy meatballs!

I dare not call this an Italian dish because I don’t really know if they have “spaghetti and meatballs” in any authentic Italian kitchen or not (I guess it’s more of an American “invention”). Nevertheless, this is my own take on this “classic” dish and I promise this is a recipe that even Italians would love 😀 What’s brilliant about this dish is that the meat is so soft and succulent, the sauce well balanced and… it’s easy to make! You can do it in a big batch and just reheat when you need, so it saves a lot of cooking time as well. Now let’s get to the point.

*Ingredients: serves 4 people

– Meatballs:

  • 200 g minced pork
  • 200 g minced beef
  • 50 g bread crumbs
  • enough milk to soak the bread crumbs
  • 50 g parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 small shallot diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 300-400 g fettucine
  • fresh basil to garnish

– Tomato sauce:

  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 100 ml of beef stock
  • 1 diced shallot
  • 1 chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp basil, oregano, thyme

*Methods:

1. Warm the milk and soak the bread crumbs for 10-15 minutes.

2. Mix the meat well together with the spices, cheese and 1/2 of the diced shallots in a large bowl.

3. Add the soaked breadcrumbs and mixed thoroughly again.

4. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and let rest in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.

5. Uncover the clingfilm and start forming the meatballs (the size is your choice)

6. Heat a non-stick pan with olive oil and start browning the meat.

7. In another pot, heat olive oil and stir-fry the garlic and shallots until fragrant.

8. Add the canned tomatoes and herbs.

9. Add the stock and turn heat on low , only simmering.

10. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook until the sauce is reduced to the right thickness!

11. Served with fresh fettucine. DONE!

Enjoy your meal!

 

Le Degustationator.

Authentic Italian cooking: Bucatini alla Bolognese (Mì ống sốt bò băm)

Okay, okay, for those who are real Italians (potential critics), I’m sorry that I used Bucatini but not Fettucine or Penne for this reach Ragu sauce but I just love Bucatini so much ! 😀 And for all my blog viewers, I’ve been really busy and lazy lately so it’s only until today that I’m updating my blog with a new post, I hope I can really make up for my laziness. I hope this point won’t disappoint you and I believe it definitely won’t!

Almost everyone has had a taste of some sort of pasta with the red sauce everyone calls “bolognese sauce” at some point in their lives, but how many of you had a real bolognese sauce? Do you in fact know what are the ingredients in a Bolognese sauce? And surprise surprise, a real Bolognese ragu uses very little tomato and the sauce supposed to be rich and velvety with a red/brown color from the meat juices. This is NOT a tomato sauce with a bit of minced meat. The authentic recipe also doesn’t require any spice at all, only the “mirepoix” vegetables (onion,carrot,celery) and there’s MILK in this essay as well (surprise again!) Oh and lastly, if you’re going to plan having this dish for dinner, I advise you to make it after lunch because it’s going to take a good 4-5 hours to get the best flavor out of the sauce. Okay, enough talking, let’s get to the point!

*Ingredients: serves 6 people

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g ‘pancetta’ (bacon NOT smoked bacon if you can’t find pancetta), diced
  • 200 g onions, diced
  • 150 g carrots, diced
  • 150 g of celery
  • 250 g lean minced beef
  • 250 g lean minced pork
  • 250 g lean minced veal
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 800g-1kg dried tagliatelle/fettucine/parpadelle/penne/rigatoni
  • 150 ml of milk or 100 ml of light cream
  • freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, to serve

*Methods:

1. Preferably a heavy-based cooking pot, set the fire on medium-high and render the pancetta/bacon.

2. Add the diced onion,carrot and celery to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium and stir-fry until soft.

3. Turn up the heat and add the meat gradually so they can brown a bit. Season generously with salt and pepper.

4. After the meat has been browned evenly, add the white wine. Turn heat on very high so that the alcohol can be evaporated.

5. After 2 minutes, add the canned tomatoes and turn the heat on very low.

6. Cover the pot. Stir the sauce every 30-45 minutes to ensure there’s no burning in the bottom.

7. After 3-4 hours, open the lid and add the milk and adjust the seasoning. Turn the heat on medium-high.

8. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package and serve with the Bolognese ragu and parmigiano reggiano cheese. DONE!

Enjoy!

Le Degustationator.

Twist and roll! Chicken roulade in spicy tomato sauce (Gà cuộn sốt cà chua cay)

I’ve seen people making this a lot. Actually, I haven’t seen anyone personally but I’ve seen Masterchef contestants making this dish … on the TV. No idea how it tastes like, not truly sure how to make it but I decided to give it a go, luckily it totally paid off! Absolutely on the mark to be honest. If you want something “gourmet-like” for a fancy dinner for 2, something warm, something healthy but flavourful, I highly recommend this dish. It isn’t so difficult as well, so much the better 😀 Here’s how things work. Oh by the way, it’s kinda my recipe, not that I’m a genius or anything but I just made up the combination of the stuffing inside the chicken breast and they totally worked together 😀

*Ingredients: serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts = 250-300 gr
  • 120 gr fresh baby spinach
  • 4 slices of parma ham/prosciutto
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 100 gr chopped tomatoes
  • 200 gr high-quality tomato sauce (Barilla Napoletana, Olives, Basilico, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  •  olive oil

*Method:

1. Preheat oven to 150 oC.

2. Wash the baby spinach, quickly stir-fry with garlic and nutmeg powder in olive oil.

3. Drain all water out of the baby spinach, set aside.

4. Carefully butterfly the chicken breasts. Search youtube for a video teaching this technique.

5. Place a piece of cling film on the butterflied chicken breast. Pound until about 5 mm thin.

6. Remove the cling film and season the breast with salt and pepper.

7. Place two slices of prosciutto/parma ham on the end of each pounded chicken breast.

8. Place 1/2 of the spinach along the prosciutto.

9. Slice the sun-dried tomatoes into thin, long slices. Lay on top of the spinach.

10. Place the chicken breast under a piece of cling film, roll and form a cylinder.

11. Roll again inside another piece of cling film, firmly tie the ends of the cling film to form a sausage looking chicken roulade.

12. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan until hot, then add the chicken roulades and cook for one minute on each side, or until golden-brown.

13. Transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through. (The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.)

14. While waiting for the chicken roulade. In another sauce pan, heat olive oil and add the onion and garlic.

15. After 1 minute, add the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

16. After 5 minutes on medium heat, transfer to a blender. Blend the sauce until smooth.

17. Spoon the sauce onto the plate, slice the chicken roulade and plate it up. DONE!

Hope you will enjoy it 🙂

Le Degustationator.

Creamy and delicious: “No bake” (well not totally…) Lemon cheesecake

It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s summer time and it’s the perfect time for a slice of lemony cheesecake that literally freezes everything around you and make you feel refreshing! The only downside for this dish is that it contains a lot of fat and sugar, which is detrimental to your body. But then all desserts are! And come on, cheesecake isn’t the least healthy choice compare to other stuffs but please, do not try to eat the whole cheesecake by yourself, that’s not recommended :)) This recipe is beautifully simple, it’s not mine but I’ve modified it (I saw it somewhere on the Net, can’t remember right now) as I want something less sweet and more refreshing. So here you go !

*Ingredients:

400 g digestive biscuits
150 g butter
10 g lemon/orange zest
1 1/2 small-medium sized lemons
500 g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
100 g white sugar
150 ml condensed milk

*Methods:

1. Break the biscuits into small crumbs, I would suggest using a food processor if you want to save a lot of time (especially if the biscuits are tough, some are very tough to break).

2. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuit crumbs until they can form a firm base on the round baking pan.

3. Form the base on the round baking pan with removable side. Bake for 20-25 minutes on 180oC (this is why it’s “nearly” no bake)

4. Squeeze the juice out of the lemons, make sure the seeds are removed. Set aside.

5. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together using a plastic spatula until a smooth consistency has been reached.

6. Take out the base and let it cool down so it doesn’t melt all the cheese filling.

7. Add the filling onto the base and spread it evenly using a spatula (I’m not great at this unfortunately…)

8. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours to set

9. Serve with fresh berries, mangos, pineapples, or just like that. DONE!

Have fun!

Le Degustationator.

Romantic for two: Tiramisu <3

Hi all!!! 😀 Haven’t been updating for a few days since I was on vacation in Croatia (warm, sunny and lovely beaches => huge thumb up ;D ), time for some new foodie post!

Ok so, I just watched Masterchef U.S a few days ago and recently discovered that “Tiramisu” in Italian means “pick me up” which is unbelievable. At this moment, I can’t think of a dessert that is more romantic than Tiramisu (sounds Japanese to me though :)) ). Oh by the way, you know, after a romantic dinner, you guys share this dessert and the caffeine might help you have the stamina to go to second and third base.. he…he…he…if you know what I mean :-” No but it’s really awesome, my first attempt and it turned out perfect. By the way, it’s really simply to make as well! Can’t get any better. Just to give you a better picture, this dessert is supposed to e perfectly light, creamy, not to sweet, not to bitter but very fragrant due to the espresso and coffee liquor. YUMMY!

Here is the baby ❤ (Modified version of Gordon Ramsay’s Tiramisu)

*Ingredients:

– 500g mascarpone
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 3 tbsp Coffee Liquor
– 300ml strong coffee or espresso, cooled to room temperature
– 180ml single cream
– 8 tbsp icing sugar
– 24 lady fingers biscuit
– Espresso powder, to dust
– Cocoa powder, to dust

*Methods:

1. Whisk the mascarpone with the vanilla and Coffee liquor and 50ml coffee, until everything is thoroughly mixed together.

2. Whisk the cream with the icing sugar until smooth, then fold in the mascarpone mix.

3. Pour the remaining coffee into a dish (sweeten with more icing sugar if you like). Take one sponge finger at a time and dip it in to the coffee. Line it in the baking dish.

3. Continue lining the baking dish with sponge. Spoon the mascarpone mix in until the first layer is fully covered.

4. Continue with a second layer.

5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to infuse and the tiramisu to set (so you can cut and plate beautifully)

6. Remove the tiramisu from the fridge. Dust with sifted cocoa and espresso powder to serve.

Delicious!

Le Degustationator.

Simply elegant: Steak and garlic sautéed potatoes with pan gravy (Bò bít tết và khoai tây áp chảo kèm sốt thịt)

We ran out of rice yesterday so for lunch we had some spaghetti bolognese and for dinner we had this beautiful dish: Steak and garlic sautéed potatoes with pan gravy , which tasted amazing. The meat could have been a little tender but overall, the elements of the dish worked well together so it was fine in the end. The trick is that if you don’t have the best cut of meat, have it medium or medium-rare, it will be much more tender and juicy. Last note: you can always change the sauce into something like Bearnaise, demi-glace or mushroom sauce instead of a pan gravy.

*Ingredients: serves 1

– 180-200 gr of Sirloin/Tenderloin (thăn bò)

– 100 gr of new potatoes (the round and small ones with a very thin layer of skin) (khoai tây mới)

– 5 cloves of garlic (tỏi)

– Dry herbs: rosmary, parsley, sage, thyme, basil,… 2 tsp (gia vị lá khô)

– Steak pepper mix (hỗn hợp tiêu cho bít tết)

– 20 gr of butter (bơ)

– 1 tbsp of oil (dầu ăn)

– Sea salt (muối biển)

– 1 tbsp balsamic reduction (dấm balsamic cô đặc)

*Method:

1. Season the beef with 1 tsp of the dry herbs, a splash of oil, sea salt, steak pepper mix and 2 cloves of garlic. Rest for 10 minutes.

2. Boil the potatoes for about 8-10 minutes until quite soft. Drain water and slice into 2 halves.

3. Put oil in the pan and fry on the potatoes with the skin side up. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rest of dry herbs.

4. Finish the sauteed potatoes with garlic and butter.

5. Transfer the potatoes to another plate. In the same pan, add the meat. Sear each side for 4 minutes until medium-rare.

6. De-glaze the pan with beef stock and some gravy powder if you want.

7. Plate the dish and serve!!! (dress a little balsamic reduction on the side)

Le Degustationator.

A taste of America: Apple Pie :) (Bánh táo)

When you think of America, you think of a nice, warm slice of Apple Pie (well, sitting next to a fat, juicy steak of course). This all-time-American favorite dessert is so perfect for any occasion, at any time of the season. But making a perfect Apple Pie isn’t easy, the finishing product has to be absolutely on the mark: the pastry must be crumbly and flavourful, the filling needs to hit the right balance between sweet and sour. Too much nutmeg and cinnamon isn’t great either (not for Swedes… they can take in as much cinnamon as you throw at them). Finally, it has to look good! The good news is that it isn’t rocket science either, a little patience, a little tinkering and a little practice would soon allow you to make the perfect Apple Pie. This is my first time making a real Apple Pie, I and my girlfriend has this thing about carving out “spheres of influence”, she makes desserts, I make savoury stuff but hey, I can’t participate in Masterchef without knowing how to make desserts :)) Nah, joking, I’m not that good. Not the perfect Apple Pie but definitely something you can impress your friends and family. Oh, this time I got some help from my sister as well, kinda like a 60:40 job so I have to give her some credit 😀

*Ingredients:

for the pastry

• 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

• 50g icing sugar

• sea salt

• 125gunsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

• 1 egg

• a splash of milk

• a pinch of salt

for the filling

• 3 medium-large apples

• 3 tablespoons brown/white sugar

• 2 tbsp of cinnamom + a dash of nutmeg

• ½ a lemon

• 25 g butter

*Method:

1a. Preheat oven to 180oC

1b. To make the pastry, measure out the ingredients. Use your fingertips to gently work the butter and egg into the flour and sugar  until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, make sure that the butter is really cold in the beginning.

2. Add a bit of milk and gently mix with your hands until the dough comes together.

3. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for >30 minutes.

4. Peel the apples, remove the core and slice into fairly thin slices. Shape doesn’t really matter.

5. Melt 25 g butter in a pan, add the apples, add sugar, a pinch of salt and cinnamon, nutmeg.

6. As soon as the apple starts to soften and becomes transparent, add the lemon juice. Let it sit.

7. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour. Divide your pastry dough into two and roll out one half until ½cm thick.

8. Roll the pastry on the rolling pin then gently ease it out on the baking dish.

9. Add the apple filling.

10. Roll the rest of the dough to make the top of the pie.

11. Brush some egg yolk on top of the pastry. Use your knife and make some incisions on top of the pastry to let the steam escape when cooking in the oven.

12. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. DONE! (Serve with some ice-cream or custard cream)

This is how it looks like after I had already taken a piece out 😀

Enjoy!

Le Degustationator.