October 22, 2020

Vegetables, Lesson #4 – The Spicy Vegetable Quesadillas

The word “vegetable” was first recorded in the English language in the early 15th century and was derived from the Medieval Latin word “vegetabilis”, which means 'growing, flourishing'.

Vegetables are part of our daily life with its everyday usage and eaten in a variety of ways, either raw or cooked. They play an important role in nutrition, as most vegetables are low in fat and calories but at the same time, bulky and filling.

They are an important source of dietary fibre and essential vitamins like vitamin A, K, C, E, and B6, minerals, trace elements and are also an important source of anti-oxidants.

Vegetables when included in the diet, have been found to remarkably reduce the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments.

 

Vegetable Recipe of the Day - Spicy Vegetable Quesadillas

Quesadillas are one of the most popular of Mexico’s street-side stand food, although considered to be an authentic Mexican dish but have a Spanish flavour to it. The corn tortilla, although many believe it to be quintessential Mexican, is actually of Native American origin.

The cheese, meat, and lettuce that grace so many of the famous Mexican dishes, including the quesadilla are actually of Spanish origin. The hot sauce, which is made from chilli pepper, is the only indigenous ingredient to Mexico in this dish.

 

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Flour tortillas 2 pieces (10 – inch)
Zucchini (chopped) ½ piece
Green bell pepper (chopped) ¼ cup
Onion (chopped) ¼ cup
Garlic (minced) 1 clove
Ground cumin ¼ tsp
Chili powder As required
Cheddar cheese (grated) ½ cup
Cilantro ¼ cup
Olive oil 2 tsp
To Serve
Sour cream As required

 

Method of Preparation: 

  1. In a sauté pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil; over medium heat until
  2. Add zucchini, bell pepper, onion, garlic, chilli powder, and cumin powder and stir for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  3. Spoon all the mixture, on one tortilla Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese and cilantro, then cover it with the other tortilla.
  4. Wipe the sauté pan clean and then add 1 tsp of olive oil. Add tortillas and heat 1 to 2 minutes per side over medium heat or until lightly
  5. Cut it into 8 even slices and serve with sour
  6. Sour Cream can be made by mixing lemon juice with cream. Do, not over mix or it will curdle.

October 16, 2020

Sandwiches, Lesson#4 – The Falafel Wrap

A sandwich is a combination of one or more varieties of food items, such as cheese, vegetables, or meat, put together and placed on top or in between slices of bread as ready-to-eat food. Sandwiches are generally eaten as a snack or could be served as lunch or dinner, even taken to work, school or picnics as packed food. Depending on the kind of filling, they could be savoury or sweet.

Recipe of the day - Falafel Wrap

Falafels are deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both together and are usually served as wraps in flatbread or pita bread. The falafel balls are topped with salad, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with a Tahini-based sauce for a more distinct flavour.

History of Falafel goes back to Pharaonic Egypt; stories say that the dish originated in Egypt, possibly eaten by Copts as a replacement for meat during Lent. Falafel is considered as the national street food of Egypt.

This ancient dish, most likely came to be in Alexandria (Egypt). As Alexandria was a popular port, sailors from all over the world took these delicious patties back home and in time, the falafel became a popular fast food all over the Middle East.

Falafel is served as part of a meze (appetizers), also can be eaten alone as a snack or even as a whole meal.

In this Dish, the crispy falafels are paired with refreshing Tahini sauce and onion salad, wrapped in soft Arabic bread to serve.

Recipe card

Ingredients Quantity
For Falafel Patties  
Dried chickpeas 300 gm
Onion (cut into quarters) 1 medium
Garlic, minced 3 cloves
Coriander, chopped 2 tbsp
Parsley ¼ cup
Green chilli, finely chopped ½ small
Chickpea flour 2 tbsp
Baking soda ¼ tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Sea salt As required
White sesame seeds ¼ cup
Tahini Sauce  
Tahini 1/3 cup
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Parsley, chopped 2 tbsp
Salt As required
Onion Salad  
Onion (thinly sliced) 2 large
Parsley (chopped) 1 bunch
Lemon (juice) 2 tbsp
For Filling  
Radish (sliced) As required
Tomato (sliced) As required
Cucumber pickles (sliced) As required
Mint leaves (chopped) As required
Saj/ Pita bread 8 pieces

 

Method of Preparation

  1. Soak the chickpeas for at least 12 hours in cold water.
  2. Mix the ingredients to make the Tahini
  3. To make the onion salad mix the onions, parsley and lemon juice in a bowl and set
  4. Drain the soaked chickpeas and combine with onion, garlic, coriander, parsley and green chilli season with salt and pass the mixture through a food
  5. Mix the remaining ingredients except for the white sesame into the chickpea
  6. Refrigerate for an hour before
  7. Use the falafel mold or shape with wet
  8. Garnish each falafel with sesame (optional) and deep fry at 180˚C in hot oil, until golden and
  9. Heat a sauté pan on medium heat and lay the bread on a flat
  10. Spread Tahini sauce and add the falafel, onion salad, tomato, radish and mint leaves over it and roll; making sure that the sides are
  11. Place the wrap on the pan and press down with another pan. (this ensures the roll gets crispy)
  12. Toast for a minute and flip over and repeat
  13. Serve with a side sauce of

October 9, 2020

Appetizers, #Lesson 4 – Calamari Rings

Appetizers are dishes that are served prior to the main course to whet our appetites and also to set the right tone for the main meal.

‘Appetizer’ specifically refers to building an appetite. Hors d’oeuvre, another word for Appetizer literally means “outside of the masterpiece”.

The varieties of appetizers are limitless. They could be preparations of raw or cooked, marinated meats, fish or vegetables served hot or cold in small portions. They require little to no preparation, even simply served as roasted nuts, brined or raw cut fruits or vegetables.

Recipe of the day - Calamari Rings

Crispy & Gently flavored Calamari Rings are deep-fried rings of squid served with Tartar Sauce and tangy lemon wedges on the side.

Recipe Card

Serves 2 pax

Ingredients Quantity
Fresh squid (cut into rings) 500g
Milk OR buttermilk 1 cup
Cooking oil For deep frying
Salt & pepper as required
For the batter
Corn flour ¼ cup
Flour (plus extra for coating) 1 ½ cup
Egg 2 pieces
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Parmesan cheese (grated) 2 tbsp
Salt ½ tsp
Freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp
Cayenne pepper ½ tsp
Ice cold water 220 ml
For Tartar sauce
Mayonnaise ¾ cup
Pickled gherkins (chopped) 1 tbsp
Pickled capers (chopped) 1 tsp
Parsley, chopped 1 tsp
Pickled pearl onion (chopped) 2 nos
Lemon wedges, to serve  As required

 

Method of Preparation

  1. Clean and cut squid into rings, put in a bowl and soak in milk or buttermilk for 10 minutes to tenderize then drain and pat dry. Season with salt & pepper as
  2. Combine all ingredients listed in the recipe and season as required to prepare sauce, keep in the fridge to
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, using a whisk, make the batter by mixing cornflour, flour, egg, garlic, cayenne pepper, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper then pour in the ice-cold water to prepare batter mix (just right- not too thick or too runny).
  4. Heat cooking oil in a deep fat fryer/ frying
  5. Dip the squid into the batter and coat in flour, then deep fry until lightly golden, strain and transfer to a paper towel to remove any excess
  6. Serve with Tartar sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

 

October 6, 2020

Salads, Lesson #4 – The Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Salads are dishes consisting of raw or cooked vegetables, meat, or seafood, which may be mixed with a sauce or topped with a dressing. They can be served as appetizers, main courses, side salad, or dessert salad.

The word “Salad” originates from the French “Salade”; sharing the same meaning with the Latin word “Salata” meaning salty or from “sal” meaning salt.

Salads are hot or cold, classical or contemporary, cooked or uncooked, simple (with one ingredient) or compound (with many ingredients) and may also include leftovers from a previous meal or carbohydrate ingredients like pasta, fresh or dried herbs like oregano, poached or boiled eggs or even lentils.

Recipe of the day - Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

This sweet-tart winter salad is a simple way to add elegance to a regular weeknight dinner, as it has a burst of colours and delicious flavour.

This is the type of salad that feels like a hearty meal and also a comfort food for most people, with seasoned roasted butternut squash and a mix of flavours from the Frisee lettuce, turkey mortadella, and Parmesan shavings with a bit of crunch from the toasted walnuts and croutons to compliment.

This Dish

It is a great-tasting, healthy and satisfying vegetarian accompaniment of Roasted Butternut Squash in olive oil & balsamic vinegar dressing.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Butternut squash 600 gm
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Rock salt 1 tsp
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Black pepper 1 tsp
Turkey mortadella (very thin slices) 15 slices
Frisee Lettuce 4 handfuls
Parmesan (shavings) 10 shaves
Walnut (roasted, chopped) 1/2 cup
For Dressing
Balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Baguettes Croutes
Baguette (thin slices, 2-3 mm thick) 16 pcs
Olive oil 2 tbsp

 

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Crush salt, coriander& black
  3. Cut the butternut in quarters, drizzle the butternut with olive oil and sprinkle 3/4 of the salt & coriander seasoning over the butternut, marinate for a few minutes and roast for 35 minutes or until done and set aside to cool.
  4. For the baguette croutes: brush the baguette with olive oil and sprinkle the crushed black pepper over
  5. Place the slices between 2 baking sheets and bake at 180˚C for 6 minutes or until golden and
  6. The Butternut Squash Salad is presented on a serving plate. First, the Frisee lettuce is placed on the base, topped with slices of Turkey Mortadella, on which the roasted butternut squash must be
  7. Toasted walnuts, Parmesan shavings and croutes must be dropped on the heaped squash and allowed to naturally fall and settle on the heaped squash and the plate.
  8. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing, then sprinkle the salt & coriander seasoning as

October 1, 2020

Making Good Soups, Lesson #4 – Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

Soups are liquid food, generally served warm or cold. They are made by combining a range of ingredients such as stocks, vegetables, meat, etc. and are generally served as a starter or the first course in any meal.

Soups can be traced back as far as 20,000 BC, have evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. Originally, the term used for soups was “broth”, but the name “soup” is actually derived from the old French word “Soupe” which means, “bread soaked in broth”.

In the classical kitchen, soups were considered as a complete dish in themselves, because of their rich nutritional value and were served as breakfast or dinner. However, soups are now served as a starter rather than the main course.

To learn more about the different types of soups, you can go through the introductory lesson - Making Good Soups

Soup Recipe of the Day - Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

Sweet Corn Chicken Soup is one of the most popular Chinese soups and is enjoyed by a lot of people around the world.

This heart-warming soup is of a sweet-salty flavour; the combination of shredded chicken and the sweet corn, which complement each other, makes this dish a universal favourite.

This Dish

Sweet Corn Chicken Soup tastes sweet and salty and is rich in nutrition. Basically one needs just three main ingredients to make this soup. These include cream-style corn, chicken stock and egg drop, that gives the soup its wonderful texture.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Water 4 cups
Onion (Chopped in 4 pieces) 1 small
Garlic 2 cloves
Celery 1 inch
Chicken breast ½ inch
Cream style corn 1 can (Approx 400 gm)
Whole egg (beaten) 1 piece
Corn flour slurry 2 tbsp cornflour + 2 tbsp cold water
Salt & pepper As required
To Garnish  
Spring onions (green part sliced in rings) 2 tsp

 

Method of Cooking

  1. In a small saucepan add water, roughly chopped onion, whole peeled garlic, chopped celery and whole chicken breast, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat until the chicken is cooked well and the stock is reduced to ¾ of its original
  2. Keep aside the chicken pieces. Strain the stock into another saucepan and stir in the creamed style corn. Simmer the stock and cream-style corn for 3-4 minutes or until the bubbling stage.
  3. Shred the chicken to the desired size with your hand (the chicken can also be chopped) and add into the bubbling stock.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil add the corn slurry, constantly stirring to ensure that the cornflour is smoothly blended with the stock. Then gently pour in the beaten egg, using a fork to constantly stir the soup so long ribbon-like strands of the egg are
  5. Season to taste and serve hot.
  6. Garnish with finely sliced spring onions.

September 25, 2020

Tarts & Pies, Lesson #3 – Apple and Orange Bakewell Tart

Tarts and Pies are generally made of a pastry crust base, with fillings that are either sweet or savoury. They are both quite similar in structure. In fact, the French word “tarte” also means Pie. A pie is usually covered, with a filling on the inside, whilst tarts have a filling over the pastry base and are generally left uncovered.

The history of tarts and pies dates back as far as the early origin of flour dough and the invention of the oven. The earliest ovens were simply clay pots heated by placing fire on the inside; to help keep the juices of the filling from escaping and getting burnt, the meat fillings were wrapped in a cover made of dough before being placed in the ovens to bake, thus resulting in the coming to be of the very first Pie.

To learn more about the popular types of Tarts & Pies, you can go through the introductory lesson  - Creative Baking... Tarts & Pies! 

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
For thePastry
All purpose flour (plus extra for dusting) 225 g
Caster Sugar 80 g
Unsalted butter 110 g
Large edd 1 piece
Baking beans/ ceramic or edible For blind baking
For the Filling
Apple (large) (peeled and cut into cubes) 2 pieces
Unsalted butter 110 g
Caster sugar 1 piece
Eggs 1 piece
Plain flour 55 g
Baking powder ½ tsp
Ground almonds 110 g
Orange marmalade 75 g
Milk 2 tbsp
Flaked almonds To cover the tart

Method of Cooking

  1. Put the butter & sugar in a mixing bowl and beat well until creamy and fluffy. Stir in the egg, flour and combine together. Turn the pastry onto a flowered surface and gently bring together into a small ball. Wrap in cling film and transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line the base of 25 cm loose-bottomed tart tin with baking paper/parchment and grease the sides. Roll the pastry out into 30 cm circles, carefully lift it into the tin and pinch it gently around the edges, using two fingers and your thumb. If the pastry is thin enough, don’t prick the base.
  3. Peel the apples and cube them. Set aside in a
  4. Crumble up a sheet of greaseproof paper, flatten it out again and use it to line the base and the pastry case. Fill the centre with dried beans or ceramic baking beans; this is called baking blind. Bake the pastry case for 10 minutes, and then carefully remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire
  5. Put the apples in a medium saucepan with 25 g butter and 25 g of sugar. Put the pan over low heat and cook gently (simmer) until the apples soften, approximately 10
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the remaining butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat well until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs, flour, baking powder and ground almonds, and then mix in the milk to get a dropping consistency.
  7. To assemble the tart, spread an even layer of marmalade over the cooked pastry case and top with the apple mixture. Evenly pipe the filling with a 10 mm plain nozzle, over the apple mixture and finish with a generous sprinkling of flaked
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and
  9. Serve warm with whipped

September 22, 2020

Cookies And Biscuits, Lesson #3 – The Chocolate Walnut Drop Cookies

Cookies are small, thin, flat, and cake-like baked treats. The name cookie is derived from the Dutch word “Koekje”, meaning “small or little cake”. Cookies are also known as “Biscuits” in England & Australia, in Italy, they have many names including “Amaretti” & “Biscotti”, the Spanish call them “Galletas” and in Germany, they’re known as “Keks”.

Bakers in the past used to bake a small amount of cake batter to check the right oven temperature to bake and so in the process, cookies came into existence accidentally during this process of making “test cakes”. Cookies now are made from a variety of different cooking techniques and ingredients to produce cookies with a range of different textures, styles, and shapes.

To learn more about the popular types of cookies and biscuits, you can go through the introductory lesson - Cookies And Biscuits… Bite-sized Delights!

Cookies And Biscuits Recipe of the Day - The Chocolate Walnut Drop Cookies

About Chocolate Walnut Drop Cookies

The Chocolate Walnut Drop Cookies as the name suggests are drop cookies. It’s a modern cookie and a cross between the brownie and cookie. Soft inside and crusty outside is what makes this cookie delicious. These cookies are of a large size, making each one of them a big filler and the cocoa powder & chocolate make them rich and decadent.

This Dish

The crisp crumbly texture of the cookie with the melted chocolate chips at the centre gives it a perfect combination of being fudgy and crusty.

Recipe Card 

Ingredients

Quantity
All-purpose flour

2 cups

Cocoa powder

2/3 cups
Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp

Salt

1 pinch
Butter

½ cup/110 gm

Light brown sugar

¾ cup
White sugar/caster sugar

¾ cup

Dark corn syrup

½ tsp
Vanilla Paste/essence/powder

2 tsp

Eggs

2 pieces
Baking chocolate chips

1 cup

Walnuts (chopped)

1 cup

 

Method of Preparation: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, soda and salt together into a large mixing bowl using a drum sieve.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, use a handheld electric mixer to cream the butter with the brown, white sugar and corn syrup. Add the vanilla.
  4. Add the egg one at a time. Beat well. The mixture will look like it is curdling however continue to mix.
  5. Put the dry mixture into the butter, sugar & egg mixture and mix in with the spatula, until everything is just combined.
  6. Add the chocolate chips, walnuts and give the dough another quick mix.
  7. Using two tablespoons drop even sized dough balls on to a baking paper-lined baking sheet/tray and bake for 12 minutes until the tops are set.
  8. Cool on a wire rack, Enjoy warm with a cup of milk!
  9. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

 

September 18, 2020

Seafood, Lesson #3 – The Baked Sea Bass

Any kind of aquatic life that is regarded as food fit for consumption by humans is called seafood and includes fish and shellfish.

Fish are of two kinds, either 'Round fish or Flat fish' and come from Saltwater (Ocean) or Freshwater (Dams, Rivers, and Lakes). On the other hand, shellfish include various species of Molluscs (Squids, Mussels, Oysters, Octopus) and Crustaceans (Lobsters, Crabs, Shrimp).

The most important factor to look into when choosing fish for a dish is the color of the flesh. The flesh is described as either 'white or dark' and the dark-colored fish can range from a pinky-red to orange or even brown in color. The oil content within the flesh determines the color; the higher the oil content the darker the color.

Classification and category of fish and shellfish helps determine the method of cooking that could be suitable for each kind.

To learn more about the points to keep in mind when choosing fresh Fish, fresh Molluscs, fresh Crustaceans, and some popular types of Seafood, you can go through the introductory lesson: Seafood… Cooking Fish, Shellfish, and more!

Seafood Recipe of the Day - The Baked Sea Bass

The Baked Sea Bass

About Baked Sea Bass

Sea bass has grown significantly in popularity over recent years with chefs and home cooks because of the versatility of the firm white fish.

The sea bass is a lean saltwater fish that is meaty and suitable for most types of cooking. Celebrity Chefs around the world embrace the sea bass, enjoying its ability to “hold any method of cooking and accept any spice” and never overcooks.

In addition to the juicy texture of the flesh, part of the appeal of sea bass is its attractive silver skin which cooks beautifully and looks striking on the plate.

The lemon-caper sauce works well with this fish along with the vegetables cooked with it.

This Dish

Baked Sea Bass laid over potatoes with tomatoes & anchovies, scattered with red pepper on the side, with sprinkled garlic, oregano sprigs, olive oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper to flavour.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
For the Baked Sea Bass
Sea bass 1 piece (1.5 kg)
Saffron a pinch
Anchovies 1/2 can
Potatoes (peeled, sliced into 1 cm) 750gm
Plum tomatoes (cut into quarters) 4 pieces
Chicken stock/ water 1 cup approx.
Red peppers (cut into 8 chunks) 4 pieces
Garlic (sliced into three) 8 cloves
Oregano (dried) 8 sprigs
Olive oil ¼ cup + 4 tbsp
Lemon (sliced) 1 pc
Salt & fresh ground pepper as required
For the Lemon & Caper Sauce
Butter, chopped ½ cup
Shallots (finely chopped) ½ cup
Parsley (finely chopped) 1 tbsp
Baby capers (rinsed and chopped) 1 tbsp
Lemon (juice) ¼ cup

 

Method of Cooking

For the Baked Sea Bass

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the saffron in a small bowl pour 2 tbsp of hot water on it and leave to soak.

2. In a saucepan, add water as required and season with salt, bring it to a boil, and put the potatoes in a pan and par-boil for 7 minutes. Drain well and arrange them in narrow strips on the base of a large roasting dish, large enough to hold the sea bass, either lengthways or diagonally.

3. The potatoes should form a bed for the fish, leaving plenty of room on either side for the red peppers.

4. In a mixing bowl add the tomatoes, bell peppers, anchovies, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper and toss well using hands.

5. Scatter the vegetables over the potatoes, pour the saffron water into the tray and make sure the water is just cover the surface of the roasting tray, hence add the chicken stock accordingly and bake in the oven for 10-12 mins.

6. Once cooked, spoon out the tomatoes and bell peppers in a bowl and set aside.

7. Score the fish 5-6 times on each side and then score it in the opposite direction to give an attractive criss-cross pattern. Rub it generously with some olive oil, season well with salt and pepper on the inside as well., stuff the fish with the sliced lemon and place it on top of the potatoes in the roasting tray.

8. Return the dish back to the oven and bake for a further 18- 20 mins until the fish is cooked through and the skin is crispy.

For the Lemons & Caper Sauce

1. Clarify the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.

2. Add the shallots and sweat for less than a min.

3. Add the capers and stir for 1-2 min or until the butter starts to lightly brown.

4. Take off heat and add lemon juice and parsley.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Serve the baked sea bass with the potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and lemon caper sauce.

Tip: for additional flavor stuff the fish with parsley stalks inside the fish before baking.

September 15, 2020

Meat, Beef… Lesson #3 – The Beef Casserole

Beef is the culinary term used for meat from Bovines (Cattle). The word beef originally adapted from the Latin word “bos” meaning ox, then translated to “boef” in old French and finally made to its current name, “beef” in middle English.

Beef ranks third as the most popular meat consumed by people and accounts for 25% of meat production in the world. The variety of beef products ranges from ground beef, all the way up to steaks, from bovines grown in the modern, conventional, and as well as organic ways.

Organic beef is from cattle that are only fed organic grain and grasses grown without the use of artificial chemicals, fertilizer, or pesticide, and the cattle are reared without the use of artificial chemicals such as antibiotics and growth increasing hormones. Organic beef is very popular among those who are health conscious.

English cuts of Lamb have evolved through the centuries and reflect the change in cooking methods and taste in English homes

Apart from this, processed beef is also commonly available in the supermarket made from beef that is preserved to increase its shelf life by the process of curing, smoking, salting, or other added preservatives. The extensive use of chemicals here, generally renders the meat, not good for health and increases the risk of cancer and other diseases.

When buying meat, it is always good to ask a professional butcher to provide you with the right cut of meat and personalized requests could also be made to portion down the meat to the required size in line with your recipe, for added convenience.

To learn more about the popular cuts of Beef, you can go through the introductory lesson: Meat – Beef… Bringing the Best Out of a Good Cut!

Beef Recipe of the Day - The Beef Casserole

The Beef Casserole

About Beef Casserole

‘Casserole’ is a French word meaning ‘ladle like pan’ – a large, deep dish that is used to cook and serve something in. As the name suggests, Beef Casserole is a classic French beef stew wherein, diced chuck steak are simmered in beef stock, herbs, and vegetables in a deep pan for hours until a rich, aromatic, intense sauce covers melting tender pieces of meat.

Stews vary from cuisine to cuisine of different cultures and have a great amount of history behind them as they have been noted in history as far back as 10,000 years ago. Apart from stews, several other dishes such as the Spanish Paella, British Pot Pies, and Italian Lasagna, to name few, seem to have been derived from the idea of a common dish which everyone shared and because of its vague definition, they can all be classified as Casseroles.

This Dish

The browned meat is gently cooked in an aromatic luxuriously rich stew that is flavored with fresh herbs, vegetables, and spices. This dish is served best with toasted garlic bread.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
Olive oil 1/2 cup
Onions (roughly chopped) 4 cups
Carrots (peeled, sliced) 3 cups
Flour 1/2 cup
Salt as required
Crushed black pepper as required
Sage (dried) 1 tbsp
Allspice powder 2 tsp
Chuck steak (diced) 9 cups
Orange (zested, juiced) 1
Beef stock 2 cups
Water 2 cups
Bay leaves (dried) 4 pieces

 

Method of Cooking

1. In a large mixing bowl add the flour along with salt, black pepper, sage and allspice; mix until evenly combined, add the beef pieces, and toss until coated with flour. Once done, set aside.

2. In a medium stockpot heat 4 tablespoons of oil, sauté the onions and carrots until they begin to turn golden brown. Put the vegetables into a bowl and set aside.

3. In the same pan add the remaining oil; pan fry the beef pieces until golden brown.

4. When all the meat is browned spoon out the beef into a bowl, stir in the orange juice and beef stock, and let it come to a boil.

5. Add water to the pan and stir in the browned beef and vegetables. Add salt, black pepper, orange zest, and bay leaves, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer for 2½ hours.

6. Serve hot with steamed rice.

September 11, 2020

Meat, Lamb… Lesson #3 – The Spiced Grilled Lamb Chop

Lamb is a young one of a sheep that is under one year old and known for its delicate and flavorful tender flesh.

The word lamb comes from the German word “lambiz”. Historically, it is believed that sheep were discovered somewhere in Central Asia, and used not only as a good source of food but their skin & wool for clothing. Sheep have since long been a dietary staple as well as a textile source in Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

It is called a “Young Lamb” when slaughtered between 6 to 8 weeks; it has the palest meat of all. “Sprig” (which is also known as early or summer lamb) is lamb slaughtered between 3-5 months old. Lambs slaughtered between 1 to 2 years old are called “hoggart” and have a much stronger flavor and slightly less tender flesh. Anything above 2 years is called “Mutton”; although they are more flavorful, the meat is tougher and needs a slow cooking method to tenderize and cook well.

English cuts of Lamb have evolved through the centuries and reflect the change in cooking methods and taste in English homes.

To learn more about the popular cuts of Lamb, you can go through the introductory lesson - Meat: Lamb… Make the Most of Your Meat!

Lamb Recipe of the Day - The Spiced Grilled Lamb Chop

The Spiced Grilled Lamb Chop

About Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops

Lamb chops originated in the 17th century in Great Britain and came to be when London chop houses started cooking individual pieces of meat for customers.

There are two types of Lamb chops, either rib chops or loin chops, which are cut perpendicular to the spine of the lamb and include the rib & part of the spine. The rib chops have more fat content and are tastier compared to the loin chops, which are broader and leaner. Alternatively, a thin boneless chop is also available and is known as a cutlet.

These chops can be marinated in a variety of ingredients & spices and can be prepared at short notice as they do not take too long to marinate and are usually cooked using dry-heat methods such as grilling and pan-broiling.

This Dish

The smoky char-grilled lamb chops paired with the crispy roast baby potatoes, go very well with the aromatic smooth pan gravy for a great meal.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
For the Lamb Chops
Lamb chops 8 pieces
Olive oil (extra for the lamb) 4 tbsp
Sea salt as required
Freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp
Chili (dried, finely sliced) 1 piece
Thyme (fresh) 1 tsp
For the Potatoes
Potatoes (baby) 500 gm
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Black pepper (crushed) 1 tsp
For the Sauce
Garlic (minced) 2 cloves
Rosemary 2 tbsp
Lemon (juice) 2 tbsp
Chicken stock 1 cup
Butter 1 tbsp

 

Method of Cooking

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

2. Drizzle the lamb cutlets with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt, black pepper, chili, and thyme over it. Give the cutlets a good rub to massage in the flavors and set aside. (wear gloves to avoid contact with the chili). Cling wrap and chill.

3. Cut baby potatoes in chunks (half or quartered).

4. In a roasting tray place the baby potatoes and sprinkle crushed coriander seeds, cinnamon, salt, and crushed pepper. Drizzle over with olive oil and toss to coat the potatoes and then roast for 20 minutes at 200˚C. Take out of the oven and set aside.

5. While the potatoes are roasting, in a grill pan on high heat, grill the lamb for 4 minutes, turn the lamb over, grill again for 3-4 more minutes on the other side, and once done, set aside.

6. Drain any extra oil/fat and using the same grill pan, add garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, stock and deglaze the pan over high heat while stirring and scraping the brown bit off the pan.

7. Take the sauce off the heat, strain the sauce and whisk in the butter until combined.

8. Serve the sauce on the side or pour over the chops with the roasted potatoes.

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International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai
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