Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Tuesday, February 28, 2006

    Garlic, Oyster and Mushroom Flan

    We all love Bluff oysters they are supreme, and served with a little balsamic vinegar, black pepper, a little triangle of fresh Vogels…you can’t get much better than that. Maybe a drop or two of Tabasco sauce for an extra zing. Don't waste these on this dish.

    Of course there are lots of other oysters and particularly the Pacific oyster (which I personally find very soapy and bit slimy) but it works really well in chowders, and is great for this little flan. The price is very appealing as well.
    Cook Like a Chef (which is a wonderful programme out of Canada, teaches all sorts of chefie techniques to us home cooks) featured this flan. I tried it out and it was delicious, very delicate and really simple to make. A nice little lunch or a starter for dinner.

    The recipe called for oyster mushrooms but my greengrocer didn’t have any on that day so I substituted little white cap mushrooms.

    So take
    25 gms butter
    100 gms mushrooms finely sliced

    8 cloves of garlic boiled about 5 minutes and pureed with a knife
    ½ doz oysters in shell with juice (pacific or rock)
    1 cup milk
    ½ cup cream
    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons chives chopped
    Sea salt & ground pepper

    First sauté the mushrooms in the butter till soft but not browned and cool a little.
    Then into your food processor add mushrooms, garlic puree, milk, cream, eggs, oysters, chives and whiz till fairly smooth a little texture doesn’t hurt. Season with salt & pepper.

    This should make 6 x 100 ml ramekins. Butter the ramekins, divide the mixture between them and prepare a bain marie (i.e. a roasting dish with some newspaper on the bottom to stop the dishes moving around)
    Place the flans in the bain marie, take it to the oven and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the little dishes.
    Bake 165-170◦ about 30 minutes.
    To test for doneness, wiggle a ramekin around. It should be wobbly like a jelly, but not soupy. When the custard in the ramekin moves as one mass rather than as a cup of liquid cream, it's ready. If a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, then the custard is probably overcooked. If this happens, remove the ramekins immediately from the water bath and plunge them into ice water to bring the temperature down and stop the cooking.

    Cool and turn out onto dish garnish with sprig of parsley and serve with some fresh bread. So smooth...and tasty.

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Chili and Cheese Bread

    Because of the advent of fabulous bread shops most people don’t bother to
    make bread or they have bread machines which are great, but this
    Chili and Cheese bread that I saw Iain Hewitson of “Huey’s Cooking Adventure”
    make is so simple and definitely delicious.
    The dough is very wet and little messy to handle but I guarantee it works.
    The wet dough technique also works exceptional well for pizza dough
    and Foccacio bread which I will post on another day

    400 mls hand hot water you may not need the full 400
    15 gms packet yeast these come in 8 gms packets

    Sprinkle the yeast over the water stir and leave to prove 5-10 minutes.

    This gives you time to assemble the other ingredients.

    500 gms plain hi-grade flour sifted
    4 little or 2 med chilies de-seeded and finely chopped
    1 spring onion cleaned and finely chopped
    240 gms grated tasty cheese buy ready grated for this recipe its easier
    2 tsp salt
    ½ tsp sugar
    1 tbs Sambal Olek optional for those with more tender mouths
    1 tbs olive oil

    1 loaf tin

    Egg wash
    1 egg beaten with 2 tbs of milk

    Place the flour in a large bowl if using stainless steel warm the bowl first…
    yeast likes a bit of warmth.
    Add all the other ingredients mix with your hand then pour in the yeast mixture
    Stir first with a wooden spoon till the liquid is blended in
    don’t add it all…try about 300 -350mls first to get it to a nice wet dough,
    then start to knead with your hand in the bowl, you may need to add a
    little more flour so that you can handle it.
    When you have a nice ball (shouldn’t take more than a 1-2 minutes) cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise till double its size (pictured below)
    This will take about an hour depending on the air temperature.

    Then collapse the dough into the bowl and drop onto a floured bench.
    Knead for about 1-2 minutes adding a little more flour if it is too hard to handle.

    Shape into loaf shape and push into a greased loaf tin
    Leave to rise lightly covered probably best with a clean cloth
    until doubled in size again.

    Brush with egg wash and into hot oven 190◦
    for 30 - 40 minutes till golden.

    Turn out from tin tap…the bottom; if it sounds hollow it’s done,
    if not back in oven for another few minutes.

    Voila!!! This is crowd pleaser.