Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beef Wellington a success!

This Saturday I returned to the kitchen armed with my Jamie Oliver cookbook. (In my last post I mentioned the title as Ministry of food...which is fine if you are in the UK-In North America you will find it as Jamie's food revolution.) Now as I promised I tried the Ground beef wellington, and now am pleased to announce that it was a big success.

The one thing about this recipe is it takes time. I have a little experience in the kitchen and for me it took approximately 1 hour of prep, and 1 hour to cook. So if time is an issue than wait till a day that you can dedicate 2 hours. Good news is that while the wellington is in the oven you can make the mashed potatoes and veggies if you wish. It doesn't take much maintenance once in the oven.

I made a couple amendments that I found easier than described in the book. The recipe asks for you to sauté the veggies (including frozen peas) then completely cool. I thought to add the frozen peas after to the bowl of veggies, and found that the heat from the veggies was enough to cook the peas and it cooled within minutes. Another time saver was that President's Choice had pre-rolled puff pastry, so I didn't need to mess about with rolling.

So this is Jamie's recipe for Ground beef wellington(with my instructions which are close but not verbatim):

1 onion

1 carrot

1 stalk of celery

4 sprigs fresh rosemary removed from the stem and chopped fine

2 cloves of garlic

large handful of frozen peas

1 lb of ground beef

1 lg egg (preferably organic/free range) beaten

2 sheets of puff pastry

2 portabella mushrooms (I used 4 cremini and it was fine)

Salt and pepper

Dice the celery, onions, carrots and mushrooms into small (1/4 inch) cubes and sauté together for approximately for 8 minutes until softened, adding garlic and rosemary a couple minutes in. Place in a bowl and mix in frozen peas. While that cools, mix a good pinch of salt and pepper, half the beaten egg, and ground beef in another bowl. With Clean hands, mix together with cooled veggies. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

On a well floured surface, place the two sheets of puff pastry out. If using pre-rolled make sure its about 12"x16" roughly, and if using unrolled make sure to use plenty of flour to roll to those dimensions as it can be sticky or tear. Centre the beef mixture and brush edges with some of remaining egg. Roll around beef and seal the edges, then brush with remainder of egg. Place on a floured cookie sheet (use one with a lip because it will drip a bit), and cook for 1 hour or until golden brown.

Serve with mash potatoes and gravy and you have a great comfort meal. Enjoy!

Hope you like this as much as we did, and don't plan for leftovers it disappears too fast.

Bon apetit!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

So here is the deal...

About a few months back I picked up Jamie Oliver's newest cookbook Jamie's Ministry of Food. The thing is most of the recipes that I wanted to try involve roasting or baking. That mixed with the big move, I put the cookbook away for safe keeping until the move was complete. Now that the weather is more fall like and better for stews, soups and roasts, I have pulled the book out with great anxiety to use it.

I have given it a read through and I really like Jamie Oliver's commitment to food. For those who aren't overly familiar with Jamie and his passion in life, it is to bring good, nutritious food to everyone. The newest mission of his continues bringing good alternatives to the over-processed crap - that a disturbing amount of us eat. He makes it affordable, and easy to do. Also another principle of the "Ministry of Food" is a Pay it forward pledge. Jamie asks each person to prepare at least 2 recipes, master them and then show at least 2 people who then in turn "pay it forward" to 2 more, and so on.

I have decided to chronicle my ventures in my food blog and hopefully I reach more than 2 people just in that way. I will still be showing anyone who is interested, because 2 is good but more never hurts. It troubles me, that we are a junk food nation, and that other countries, known for their rich culinary backgrounds are slowly following in this bad lifestyle choice. That being said I wish to do what I can to turn the tables on our reliance on processed food.

Bon apetit!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am back and come bearing BBQ...

Well Hi to all my 2 followers and anyone else that happened to fall apon my blog.

With the summer wrapping up I have been allowed to get back in the kitchen, as now I don't have to worry about heating the place up. Even though the summer was a bit of a disappointment weather wise I did manage to cook a couple awesome meals that even made me proud. I got a lot of BBQ in when it wasn't raining, but lost a lot of valuable cooking time while I was working nights and Moving to the new Home.

My girlfriend loves me a lot and our new home has a very nice Kitchen. This kitchen has rekindled a passion of mine that was dormant durring the busy summer we both had. Now that I am unpacked and have a fully stocked (and functional) kitchen, I will be getting back at cooking and blogging about it.

As I said this summer was time to work on BBQ as there were times it was just to hot to turn on the oven. One of the things that I worked on and got down pretty good was pork ribs. My Grandparents came for the weekend at the new place and Melissa and I were still settling. That and not knowing if was going to be scorching hot or not, I decided to BBQ. Well not going to make hotdogs for my grandparents so I went out rib shopping. I was a little over-zealous and bought a little too much (but better than not enough). The left-overs made their way to work, were they met curious coworkers. Well the secret was out, I know how to make ribs!

Well since there was such an overwhelming demand for the recipe, I decided the best way to share would be here...

So for starters you need good ribs! Not much of a secret, but surprisingly a lot of people don't know which type they like. So basic Rib education...

Back Ribs:
If you like meat and want a nice amount of meat on the bone, then you will want to go for Back ribs. These ribs are stacked, however they don't have as much fat as side ribs so need a little love to make sure they are still juicy.

Side ribs:
More bone and less meat but because they have more fat content they tend to be more juicy and hold up better for smoking.

For more info check out ribs on Wikipedia. Now for the juicy details...

City smoked BBQ Ribs:
2 racks of pork ribs (back or side- silver skin removed)

few drops for each rack of liquid smoke (hickory is easiest to find)

pinch of salt per rack
fresh ground pepper
2 Tblsp brown sugar

1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/2 ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cayenne

Take the ingredients (in the order listed is easiest) and rub on each rack. Let rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight if you can). When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 275 fahrenheit and let the ribs rest on the counter in that time. put on appropriate size flat tray and loosely cover with tin foil and bake for at least 1 hour. (This slow cooking method I find the best for retaining flavour and tenderizing). When you are about 10 mins away you can prepare my easy no cook BBQ sauce (and yes Mama goes well with Chicken). Fire up the BBQ on med high and give it 5 mins meat side down, turn over, slather with BBQ sauce and then cook another 5 mins or until sauce is bubbling. Let sit a couple mins. Enjoy!

Easy No-Cook BBQ sauce:
1 cup Ketchup
1 1/2 tblsp brown sugar
1 large clove garlic minced (grated on a hand grater is best)
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tblsp low sodium soya sauce
freshly ground pepper
ground cayenne to taste
1 tblsp meat drippings
few drops of liquid smoke adds a nice touch too

mix together until smooth.

Stay tunned for more good recipes...

Bon Appetit!
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