Italian-style Beef Tenderloin with Orange Sauce

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
4 tenderloin steaks (each weighing about 6 oz)
4 tbsp marsala
4 tbsp red wine
2 Seville oranges
salt and a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in as heavy a frying pan (skillet) as you have. Brown the steaks for a minute on each side. Retrieve them from the pan and set them aside in a very warm place. (An oven at 275°F would do.)
  2. Over a very high heat, add the marsala and red wine to deglaze the pan.
  3. Lower the heat, zest the oranges and add both juice and zest to the pan.
  4. If you prefer your meat medium, return the steaks to the pan and re-heat them as the juices reduce. For rare steaks, cook the wine and juice down to a consistency of light syrup before you return the meat.
  5. To serve, pour the juices over each steak. Arrange the zest in an attractive way on top of the meat. Sprinkle with salt and a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Complete Italian Cookbook

Turkey-style Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

3 cups vegetable stock (broth)
1 cup red lentils, soaked in water overnight and drained
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
6 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/4 lb Hokkaido pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 onion, quartered
1 head of garlic, unpeeled
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
3 sprigs sage, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sweet paprika, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 440°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the stock into a large saucepan, add the lentils, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  3. Combine the turmeric, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, the ginger, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin and onion chunks and mix well to coat the vegetables in the spices.
  4. Transfer the pumpkin and onion to the prepared baking sheet and tuck the head of garlic and the lemon wedges in between the pumpkin and onion pieces.
  5. Arrange the sage around the pumpkin cubes. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove the garlic and set aside.
  6. Return the other vegetables to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
  7. Discard the sage and peel the baked garlic. Scrape the pulp from the lemon wedges, removing the seeds. Reserve the peel.
  8. Using a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the garlic, lemon pulp, pumpkin, and onion in batches until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Finely chop the reserved roasted lemon peel.
  10. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the parsley, lemon peel, paprika, and the remaining cumin. As the spices release their aroma, remove the pan from the heat.
  11. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the spiced parsley and lemon peel, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan: The Cookbook

Indonesian-style Rice with Spicy Squid

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds squid
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 beefsteak tomato, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 cloves
2/3 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
salt and ground black pepper
fresh cilantro leaves and shredded green onion, to garnish
boiled rice, to serve

Method

  1. Rinse and drain the squid, then slice lengthwise along one side and open it out flat. Score the inside of the squid in a lattice pattern, using the blunt side of a sharp knife, then cut it crosswise into long thin strips.
  2. Heat a wok and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When hot, toss in the squid strips and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, by which time the squid will have curled into attractive shapes or into firm rings Lift out and set aside.
  3. Wipe clean the wok, add the remaining oil and heat it. Stir-fry the onion and garlic until soft and beginning to brown.
  4. Stir in the tomato, soy sauce, nutmeg, cloves, water and lemon or lime juice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and add the squid with seasoning to taste.
  5. Cook the mixture gently for a further 3-5 minutes stirring from time to time to prevent sticking. Take care not to overcook the squid.
  6. Divide boiled rice among 3-4 serving plates and spoon the spicy squid on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves and shredded green onion and serve.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Source: Asian Cooking

Spanish Pudding with Caramelized Sugar Topping

Ingredients

2 cups milk
pared rind of 1/2 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
4 egg yolks
7 tbsp caster sugar
1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Put the milk in a pan with the lemon rind and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the lemon rind and cinnamon. Place the egg yolks and 3 tbsp of the sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  3. Stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk, then add this mixture to the remaining milk.
  4. Return to the heat and cook gently, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Do not allow to boil.
  5. Pour the custard mixture into four shallow ovenproof dishes, about 5-inch in diameter. Leave to cool, then chill for a few hours, overnight if possible, until firm.
  6. Just before you are ready to serve, sprinkle each pudding with 1 tbsp sugar and a little grated nutmeg.
  7. Preheat the grill to high.
  8. Place the chilled puddings under the hot grill, on the highest shelf, and cook them until the sugar topping caramelizes by turning brown and crunchy. Leave the desserts to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Cook’s Tip

The dessert should be served very soon after the topping has caramelized. The caramel will stay hard for only about 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Best of Spain

Chinese-style Steamed Sea Cucumber with Tofu

Ingredients

1 pre-soaked sea cucumber about 6 oz
1 pack (10 oz) tofu
1 eggplant
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced shallot
1 stalk green onion, chopped

Seasonings

1-1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cornstarch
dash of chili oil and sesame oil

Method

  1. Rinse tofu and then put on a heat-proof dish.
  2. Cut eggplant into sections and then thick strips. Arrange on the sides of tofu. Steam until done. Pour away water and keep warm.
  3. Blanch sea cucumber in boiling water and then rinse. Cut into slices.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Saute ginger, garlic and shallot until fragrant. Add sea cucumber and seasonings. Bring to a boil and cook until sea cucumber is tender. Thicken sauce with some cornstarch solution. Sprinkle with green onion. Pour over steamed tofu and eggplant. Serve hot.

Source: Lisa Yam’s Low Cholesterol Recipes