Salmon Terrine with a beetroot and mustard seeds relish

salmonterrine_lefermier_101215Terrines are always a great addition to the table, because there are so many different type and flavours. You can do one with vegetables, meat, fish, cheese or even ice cream! Terrines have been around for a long time but I think they are still popular with the foodies.

Today I’ve decided to show how to do a delicious salmon terrine with a beetroot and mustard seeds relish. It’s an easy recipe that can be done the day before and save you a little bit of time on Christmas day!

You can watch the how to video below or visit my YouTube channel here

I’ve matched this delicious terrine with a Domaine Bertrand-Bergé “ Le Méconnu” 2013 from www.airoldifinewines.com.au

Ingredients for the terrine:

  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch dill
  • 500g white fish
  • 300g salmon
  • 175ml water
  • 2 free range eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • Piment d’espelette (espelette chili), optional

salmonterrine1_lefermier_Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius and boil the kettle.
  2. Blitz the carrot and onion in a food processor until it is quiet fine. Then heat up frying pan with a little bit of oil and cook the carrot and onion on medium heat until it soften a little bit, keep aside.
  3. Blitz the parsley and dill until finely chopped, then add both the white fish and salmon and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs, the onion and carrot and slowly add the water until you have a smooth consistency. Season with salt, pepper and the chili.
  5. Transfer the mix into a terrine, put the lid on or cover with foil and cook in the bain-marie in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Once the terrine is cooked, place it in the fridge to cool down completely.

salmonterrine2_lefermier_Ingredients for the relish

  • 3-4 beetroots
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 80g yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 onion, finely diced

Method:

  1. Heat up a sauce pan with a little olive oil, add the onion and mustard seeds, and cook until the onion soften.
  2. Peel and grate the beetroot in the food processor, add it to the onion.
  3. Add the sugar, vinegar and a little bit of water, then cook on medium heat for about 1 hour, stirring from time to time.

 

Macarons

macaron2_lefermier_031215The Macaron appeared in Europe in the middle ages, made from sugar, almond and egg white from the very beginning. Some say that the Macaron was born in the VIIIe century in venetians monastery. They were introduced in France by Catherine de medicis for her wedding with the Duc d’Orléans. The macaron use to be eaten as individual biscuits and it’s not until 1830 that, in Paris, pastry chefs decide to stick two macaron together using ganache to create the “parisian” macaron which was later popularized by the very famous Ladurée.

They are now many different flavours of macaron like a mandarine and olive oil from Pierre hermé in Paris or lime and basil and even peach and rose! I have decided to add a festive touch to my macaron today by using Christmas spices to flavour my crème.

Watch the how to video below or visit my YouTube channel here for lots more videos

Macaron with a Christmas Spice Cream

Ingredients for the shells:

  • 210g icing sugar
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 130g egg whites
  • 150g almond meal

macaron4_lefermier_031215Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius and make sure all the ingredients are measured.
  2. In a food processor, blitz the icing sugar and almond meal until it is very fine. Make sure it is really fine otherwise the top of the macaron won’t be smooth.
  3. Sieve the almond meal and icing sugar to remove the chunky bits, and keep aside.
  4. Whisk the egg white to soft peak, then slowly add the sugar and keep whisking until it is all dissolved. Add the food colouring and whisk until combined.
  5. Using a spatula, incorporate half of the almond meal and icing sugar, mix, then add the other half.
  6. Gently work the mixture by folding it onto itself, making sure you scrape the bottom to get all the ingredients. Work it until it becomes glossy and form a ribbon when you lift the spatula (see video).
  7. Using a pipping bag with a nozzle, lay the macaron on flat baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  8. Leave them on the bench top for about 15 minutes so that a skin forms on the top. Check if they are ready to be baked by gently touching the top with your finger, if it doesn’t stick then they are ready.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then leave them cool down before garnishing them with the crème.

macaron3_lefermier_031215Ingredients for the Crème:

  • 2 free range egg yolk
  • 25 cl full fat milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g flour
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 star anis
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 75g soft butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds out

Method:

  1. Boil the milk with the vanilla ( seeds and pod) and the spices.
  2. Whisk the egg and sugar until slightly white and fluffy, add the flour and mix until combined.
  3. Pour the hot milk through a sieve, whisk to combined all the ingredients, and cook for about 3-5 minutes while whisking.
  4. Pour the crème in large dish, spread it as thin as you can to cool it down quickly. Once cooled completely, place it in an electric blender, whisk until it is smooth and add the soft butter. Keep whisking until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
  5. To put the macaron together, simply pipe a little bit of crème in the center of half of the shell and put a shell on top!

Back to Basics: 5 Formal Vegetable Cuts.

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Today I wanted to share with you 5 of the different ways that I was taught to cut vegetables back when I was training to be a chef. While it won’t change the taste of your veggies, it will change the look of your dish and show your level of finesse as a cook or chef.

Here are the different cuts, how to achieve them and when you’d typically use them.

Cut: Julienne – Thin string or matchstick shape

How to do it: Slice the vegetable length way as thin as possible, then stack your slices and cut paper thin strips length way. If you are starting with a round vegetable like a carrot, cut one side of it off so you have a flatter surface to rest it on.

When to use it: Commonly used as a garnish or in sauces

Cut: Mirepoix – Chunky square cut

How to do it: Cut chunky square shape of vegetables about 1-1.5 cm.

When to use it: Used in sauce bases like stock, normally including carrots, onions, celery and leeks.

Cut: Brunoise – Little cubes of vegetables or fruit about 2-3 mm size

How to do it: Similar start as the julienne, but cut the string of vegetables about 2-3mm then dice them in 2-3 mm cubes.

When to use it: Mainly used to decorate dishes, in salad or added to sauces at the end for better aesthetics

Cut: Macedoine – A slightly bigger version of a brunoise about 6-8mm in size

How to do it: Same process as the brunoise but slightly bigger.

When to use it: Most commonly used in cold salads such as Macédoine de Légumes

Cut: Paysanne – Thinly sliced vegetables of around 1mm in thickness

How to do it: Cut your vegetable in 4, so you have triangular shape pieces and then thinly them. You should end up with thin triangle of vegetables.

When to use it: Mainly used in potage, broth or in casseroles where the cooking time is short.

 

Et, voilà! Try one of these cuts next time you’re making a stir fry, ratatouille or salad.

Watch the how to video below or visit my YouTube channel here for more.

Pasta Alla Puttanesca

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Despite the more colourful inferences that pasta alla puttanesca was born of Italian houses of ill repute, made by prostitutes to lure customers in from the streets, the dish in truth, has far more simple beginnings.

Yes, it’s true that “alla puttanesca” can translate to “style of the whores” but the very similar word “puttanata” means rubbish, or crap, and its in this translation where we find a more probable history.

In the 1950’s, on the island of Ischia, a man by the name of Sandro Petti was asked late one night by some patrons in his restaurant to make them some food. Nearing closing, he didn’t have many ingredients left so told them there wasn’t enough to make a meal. “Facci una puttanata qualsiasi,” they said or “Make any kind of garbage”. Only having a few olives, tomatoes and capers, he used these to make a sauce and mixed it with spaghetti. Petti later placed it on his menu, but changed “puttanata” to “puttanesca” apparently because the former didn’t sound quite right.

 

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Pasta Alla Puttanesca

Ingredients:

  • 400g fresh pasta
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 red chilies, sliced
  • 80 g black olives, pitted
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ bunch fresh basil, picked and washed
  • parmesan, to serve

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Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for about 4 minutes or until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, then add the garlic, anchovy and chili. Add the pitted olive and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic starts to slightly caramelize and the anchovies start to blend into the sauce.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes and a little bit of the cooking water, cover with the lid and cook for 2 minutes or until the tomatoes start to cook.
  4. Add the basil to the sauce along with the fresh pasta and some of the cooking water, just enough to loosen and make delicious and saucy!
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, transfer the pasta in a big serving bowl, top with shaved parmesan, basil and anchovy fillets.

A glass of  EVOI Sauvignon Blanc Semillon   From www.airoldifinewines.com.au would be a perfect match with this delicious pasta dish.

Watch the how to video below or visit my YouTube channel  here for more.

Fresh Homemade Pasta

 

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Pasta is synonymous with Italy and despite theories that suggest it was brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo in the 13th century, its Italian origins go back much earlier than that.

It’s now more widely accepted that pasta in Italy dates back to Etruscan times (1st century AD) when the Romans ruled the area we now call Italy. The kind of pasta that existed was known as “lagane” (where the term for modern day lasagna comes from), but it was baked instead of being boiled in water.

Pasta in its modern form is thought to have been brought to the southern part of Italy, in particular to Sicily, by Arabian invaders and then settlers from the 8th century onwards. The first term for pasta was “macaroni” which in Sicilian meant “kneading dough with energy”.

From a process that used to take almost a whole day to complete hundreds of years ago, pasta has now become one of the quickest and easiest recipes to make! The recipe I am sharing with you today should only take you about an hour to complete (and that’s including resting time for the dough!).

Try making the real stuff next time you feel like a delicious pasta dish, the taste is worth it!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 500g “00”Flour
  • 100g Fine Semolina
  • 6 Free range eggs
  • Pinch of salt

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Method:

  1. Place the flour and semolina in a mixing bowl, make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it.
  2. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth.
  3. Using your finger tips, mix the eggs with flour a little at a time until everything is combined.
  4. Knead well until all the ingredients combined and give you one smooth pasta dough! You can use a food processor if you’ve got one, just put everything in and mix until combined.
  5. Once you’ve made the pasta dough, you need to knead it to work the gluten in the flour to make your pasta springy and not flabby! Knead it until it feels smooth, then wrap it in cling film and rest it for 30 minutes in the fridge.

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To Roll the Pasta:

  1. If you’re using a machine make sure it is attached securely on the work surface (you’ll need the longest work surface you have)
  2. Dust the bench with “00” flour and set the machine to the widest setting.
  3. Take a piece of dough and flatten it slightly with a rolling pin, then feed it through the machine, if it sticks a little slightly dust the pasta with flour. Change the machine down a setting and roll the pasta through again.
  4. Fold the pasta in half, change the machine back to the widest setting and roll the pasta through again. Repeat this process until the dough become really smooth(3-4 times).
  5. Then roll the pasta through all the settings, down to the thickness of a playing card for pasta like tagliatelle or lasagna, a little thinner if you are making stuffed pasta (to the point where you can to see your hand through the pasta)
  6. Once you’ve made the pasta you need to cut it or shape straight away because fresh pasta dries quicker than you might think, so don’t leave it on the bench for too long or you can cover it with a damp cloth which will prevent it from drying!

Watch the how to video below or visit my YouTube channel  here for more.

Coq au Vin

 

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Coq au Vin is considered one of the all-time classic French recipes. Presumably, the original recipe called for Rooster, as the translation of the dish’s name is “Rooster in wine” but today it’s very much considered a chicken dish. This one-pot wonder is a delightful concoction of browned chicken, red wine sauce with salty pork lardons and mushrooms.

The best thing about this dish is that it tastes even better the day after you’ve cooked it because all the ingredients steep together overnight, making it a perfect dish to prepare in advance for guests or a busy week ahead.

More traditional recipes call for Burgundy wine, but I chose to make this recipe with Shiraz as I feel it gives the sauce more depth of flavour. There are some regions in France that use white wine for Coq au Vin, so really, you can feel free to experiment with your favourite grape variety.

Ingredients:

  • 1 free range chicken, around 2 kg and cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 litre red wine (I used shiraz but burgundy or Bordeaux are also popular choices)
  • 1 Bouquet garni (Make a fresh one from thyme, parsley and bay leaves – no pre-made teabags!)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • 1 small glass cognac or brandy

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Method:

  1. Put the chicken pieces into a deep cooking pot. I like to use my Le Creuset Round French Oven for slow cooking.
  2. Add the celery, bouquet garni, brown onion, carrots, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, cognac and red wine. Leave to marinate for 5-6 hours or overnight in a cool spot in the kitchen.

For the Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g unsalted butter or duck fat
  • 40g plain flour
  • 4 slice pork belly rashers, diced or cut into Lardons
  • 350g button mushroom, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 brown onion, diced

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Method:

  1. Take the chicken out of the marinade, discard the vegetables and pour the remaining wine into a jug.
  2. Place the cooking pot on high heat and add the olive oil and butter (or duck fat). Place the chicken into the pot and seal on all side until golden brown. Remove from the pot and keep aside.
  3. Add the onion and lardons to the pot and cook until slightly brown.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the onion and lardons and slowly add the wine while whisking. Whisk well to make sure everything is mixed through.
  5. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 ½ -2 hours on a low heat with the lid on but slightly open to let the steam out.
  6. Heat up a non-stick frying pan without anything in it. Add the mushroom and cook until they stop releasing water. Add them the pot ½ hour before the end of cooking.

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Side:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch purple Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch white Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 12 Kipflers potatoes, cleaned, peeled and cut in half

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place the vegetables on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Herb de Provence and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender.

I suggest you serve the coq au Vin with a fresh crusty baguette and a glass of EVOI Cabernet Sauvignon available from Airoldi Fine Wines.

Watch the how to video below or visit my Youtube channel  here for more.