Calves’ Brains Zingara

Ingredients

2 calves’ brains
white wine vinegar
20 firm white button mushrooms, wiped
unsalted butter
1 lemon
4 slices of ham
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp white wine
1 cup veal jus
leaves from a bunch tarragon, snipped
all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
vegetable oil
salt
black pepper

Potato Cakes

2 baking potatoes
rock salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for frying
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp snipped chives
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 free-range egg yolk
all-purpose flour, for dusting
oil, for frying
salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Rinse the brains in cold water, then put them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar to keep the brains from discoloring. Quickly bring the water to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool, then gently remove the brains, drain them well, and pat dry with a clean cloth.
  2. Make sure the mushrooms are clean. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan, add the mushrooms and a squeeze of lemon, then cover and cook until tender. Cut the mushrooms into slices or matchsticks and keep the cooking liquid to add to the sauce.
  3. Cut the ham into pieces similar in size to the mushrooms. Dice the tomatoes.
  4. Make the sauce. Sweat the chopped shallots in a little butter over medium heat, then deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the mushroom-cooking liquid and the veal jus, then reduce to a sauce consistency. Finish with a tablespoon of butter and seasoning, then add the mushrooms, ham, tomato, and finally the snipped tarragon. Keep warm.
  5. Using a small knife, remove any sinew from the brains and cut them into slices. Dust in seasoned flour and gently fry the brains in a tablespoon each of oil and butter until golden brown — 3 or 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Make the potato cakes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the potatoes, place them on a bed of rock salt on a baking sheet, and bake until tender, 40 minutes. Let cool, then cut them in half and scoop out the flesh.
  7. Mash the flesh with a fork and add the 2 tablespoons butter, cream, herbs, egg yolk, and seasoning. Shape into little potato cakes about 2 inches across by 3/4 inch high, dust with flour, then fry in oil and butter until golden and hot.
  8. Serve the brains with lots of the sauce and the potato cakes.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen


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Venison Wellington with Port Sauce

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 1 kg well-trimmed boned venison loin fillet
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
5 Portobello mushrooms, very finely chopped
5 chestnut mushrooms, very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a few fresh thyme sprigs
1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
12 slices of Parma ham
flour, for dusting
1 x 320 g packet of ready-rolled, all-butter puff pastry
2 large free-range egg yolks, beaten

Port Sauce

a knob of butter
1 large banana shallot, sliced
a sprig of thyme
1-1/4 cup Port
2 cups fresh beef stock
a few juniper berries

Method

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Season the venison well, add to the pan and brown all over, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the remaining oil and shallots to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and fry for a further 10 minutes, or until they have softened and browned.
  3. Add the garlic, thyme and truffle oil and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Lay out a double layer of clingfilm about 40 cm long, then lay another double layer above it, overlapping the first by about 10 cm so that you have a large rectangular grid of film.
  5. Starting at the bottom, lay 6 slices of Parma ham centrally, overlapping each slice with the next. Lay the next 6 slices in the same way above this layer to double the width. Spread the mushrooms over the ham. Place the venison at one end of the ham then, with the help of the clingfilm, roll the venison in the ham. Wrap the clingfilm round the venison and roll it tight, tying the ends like a cracker. Pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll the pastry out on a floured board into a 40 cm x 30 cm rectangle.
  7. Carefully unravel the ham-wrapped venison from the clingfilm and lay it along one of the long sides of the pastry.
  8. Roll the venison in the pastry. Trim off any excess from the sides and tuck the pastry under the meat.
  9. Cut any excess pastry into shapes (I’m a fan of stars). Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg yolk over the pastry. Place the pastry shapes on top of the pastry, and then glaze these. Pop the Wellington into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  11. Remove from the fridge and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry has become golden and crisp, which indicates that the venison is cooked through perfectly and will be medium-rare. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  12. Make the Port sauce. Put the butter in a pan, add the shallot and thyme and sweat gently. Pour in the port, bring to the boil and reduce by two-thirds, then add the beef stock and juniper berries and reduce again by two-thirds until syrupy. Strain and serve with the Wellington.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts


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Egg and Sausage Taquitos

Ingredients

3 hot Italian sausages, casings removed (approx. 1 -1/2 cups)
6 large eggs, beaten
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup salsa, plus extra for serving
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 avocado, diced
sour cream, for serving

Method

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Cook sausage in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low. Add eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are clumped and just slightly wet, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer eggs to a large bowl. Add sausage to the eggs and toss gently to combine. Set aside.
  4. Wrap tortillas in a clean, damp dish towel and heat in microwave until softened, about 30 seconds. Transfer tortillas to a work surface. Working one at a time, add a scant 1/4 cup of egg mixture crosswise across center of tortilla. Top evenly with 1 tsp salsa, 1 tbsp cheddar cheese, and 1 tbsp diced avocado. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling, rolling from bottom to top. Place taquito seam side down onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  5. Bake until taquitos are crisp and cheese has melted, about 12-15 minutes. Serve with extra salsa and sour cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers


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Salami, Bell Pepper and Pine Nut Panini

Ingredients

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, sliced olive oil
2 panini rolls or individual ciabatta, split horizontally
6 salami slices
handful of fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 small head of radicchio or endive, quartered
Parmesan or pecorino shavings

Method

  1. Preheat the broiler on a medium—high setting. Lay a piece of cooking foil on the rack in the broiler pan. Mix the pepper strips and garlic in a heap on the foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil, turn the strips to coat them lightly, and then spread them out.
  2. Lay the bread halves cut sides down on the foil around the pepper strips. Cook for about 1 minute to lightly toast the breads, then remove them, and continue cooking the pepper strips for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to brown.
  3. Replace the bread on the foil, cut sides up. Cover the bottom layers of bread with the salami and basil leaves. Add the pepper strips and sprinkle with the pine nuts. Cut the radicchio into wedges and arrange them on top. Drizzle with a little oil, and broil for 2-3 minutes, until beginning to wilt and brown at the edges. Remove the top layers of bread as soon as they are toasted.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan or pecorino, add the bread tops, and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Source:


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Sausage and Mushroom Brioche

Ingredients

2 large carrots
4 fresh chunky Italian sausages (about 1 lb)
6 fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves only
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
7 oz open chestnut mushrooms or shiitake, thickly sliced
4 thick slices good brioche loaf (plain, not sweetened or flavored with vanilla)
corn salad or other salad leaves, to serve

Method

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to pare the carrots into fine strips. Place in a bowl of cold water, then add ice and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the broiler on a medium—high setting. Broil the sausages for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice, until browned and almost cooked.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the tarragon, garlic, oil, and orange rind and juice. Mix half the dressing with the mushrooms.
  4. Toast the brioche lightly on both sides in a toaster.
  5. Increase the heat to the hottest setting. Place the brioche on the rack in the broiler pan. Cover with mushrooms up to the edges of the bread (otherwise it will burn). Broil close to the heat source for 2-4 minutes until lightly cooked.
  6. Slice the sausages and arrange them on the mushrooms. Broil well away from the heat for about 5 minutes, until the sausages are browned.
  7. Drain the carrots. Arrange the corn salad or other salad leaves on plates and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Add the toasts and top with the carrot curls. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: Toast It!


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