Eat Live & Breathe

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Archive for January, 2010

Veal Steak with Roasted Baby Potatoes, Haricot Verts and Jus

As a New Year treat to myself and my partner in all-things-nice-and-tasty, I pulled out all the stops to make a meal that we would remember for the rest of the year. Personally, I am fond of all forms of eating… I love sitting around a tray of food with a few other people and just eating with my hands – yum! I am also a big fan of eating sushi or a stir-fry the right way with some chopsticks. Equally, I just love making a classic meal that would put a massive grin on the likes of Greg Wallace or Michele Roux Jr. There are two gentlemen I would love to have the pleasure of eating with.

So, this New Year’s day, I made what was one of the best meals I have made in a long time. Inspired by the meal I had at my work’s Christmas party, I set out to make: Veal Steak, with Roasted Baby Potatoes, Haricot Verts and Jus.

Here’s the recipe:

Veal Steaks

Haricot Verts

Baby Potatoes

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Nob of Butter

Pinch Mixed Herbs

200 ml beef stock

1 tsp Tomato Ketchup

1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Method:

Boil the baby potatoes for about 10 minutes until soft. Drain and place on an oven tray and drizzle over a tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt and dried herbs. Place into a warm oven, preheated to 200 degrees centigrade, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, top and tail the haricot verts and boil in water for 4-5 minutes. Mix the ketchup and balsamic vinegar into the beef stock and set aside.

Season the veal steak with salt and pepper and fry in a hot pan for about 4 minutes each side in a little melted butter and olive oil. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside to rest.

Add the ketchup, balsamic and stock mixture to the pan to deglaze. Make sure to incorporate all the bits from the pan into the liquid, which will make the jus. Once it’s reduced slightly, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and then add a nob of butter to thicken the jus and give it that glossy texture.

To plate-up: Place the haricot verts at the bottom of a deep serving plate, scatter with some of the roasted baby potatoes, drizzle over the jus topped with the veal steak in the center of the plate. Voila, your meal is ready to be served!

Bon appetit!

Happy New Year

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post, for which I apologize. It’s been a crazy few months, but they didn’t fly by without a couple of pots and pans on the stove bubbling away with some mouth watering treats. 2009 was a year for traveling, working, learning and experiencing. 2010 I am sure will be no less.

I made several trips to the UK, Sweden, while also stopping in Italy, New York and Malta. This year I will no doubt head overseas to the UK and Sweden again, with a few extra stops along the way to new lands as well. And you cn expect to find me reporting back on all the local treats that I find along the way.

For now, I leave you all with the wish that you make 2010 the year you want it to be…whether it’s filled with love, happiness, peace, adventures, or whatever you wish for…make it happen.

Pakistani Cuisines and Chicken Curry

Much like India, Pakistan too has several kinds of curries hailing from the different parts of the land. There’s Punjabi, Lahori, Sindh, Pashtun, Blochi, Mughlai, Kashmiri, Parsi, Gujarati and Bihari. My family come from Lahore, so naturally the food I will describe in my posts hail from Lahore too, though on some occasion they may be influenced by other regions.

Lahori food is wholesome, full of flavor and have enough spices to put hairs on your chest! One of the major cultural attractions in Lahore is Gualmundi, or in other words ‘Food Street’. When I first went there, I felt like a kid taken to the candy shop!  The street is literally full of Lahori and Pakistani delicacies. There’s Haleem, Nihari, Kheer, Batereh, and let’s not forget Dhey Paleh! This place is definitely worth a visit if you’re a foody looking for adventure.

There’s one dish in particular that I found myself craving a few weeks back and when I heard my family in London were about to tuck into some chicken curry. My mouth immediately began watering and I just knew that I had to make some for myself that weekend. Chicken Curry is a simple yet delicious Pakistani dish. I can’t describe the taste, aroma or pleasure this dish gives, it can only be experienced…

For this dish I recommend using a whole chicken cut into no less than 8 pieces. Bones are essential to add a nice flavor to the sauce – boneless chicken will also be nice however, but not as nice.

Recipe

1 whole chicken cut without skin and into no less than 8 pieces

2 medium – large onions sliced

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 inch garlic chopped

2 black cardamoms

6 green cardamons

1 cinnamon stick

4-6 bird’s eye green chillies chopped

3-4 tbsp tomato puree

1/4 cup plain yoghurt

Salt to taste

2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ajwain seeds

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 litre water

3 tbsp oil – I use olive oil in all of my cooking

fresh coriander to garnish

Method:

Marinade the chicken in the yogurt and 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 of the chopped chillies for a few hours if you can.

In a pot, heat some oil and gently fry the black and green cardimoms and cinnamon stick for 1 minute, add the onions and continue to fry on a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they have softened. Add the crused garlic and ginger and fry for another minute. Add the chopped chillies and about 1/2 a cup of water and cook on a low heat to further soften the onions. Once most of the water has evaporated add the tomato puree and remove from the heat. Blend the mixture to a puree or mash with a potato masher to break down the onions as much as possible.

Add the turmeric, salt, red chilli powder and a drop of water if the sauce is too dry and return to a medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid the sauce from sticking. Once the sauce has reduced and is close to drying out add the chicken with the marinade to the sauce. Fry on a medium to high heat, stirring frequently so that the chicken turns white evenly. If your sauce is too thick at this point add 1/4 cup of water. Fry for no more that 5-7 minutes, then cover securely and simmer for 10-15 minutes. It’s advised to check half way through to stir and ensure the chicken is releasing its juices.

Once the chicken has released its juices turn the heat up and cook without the lid for a further 5 minutes or so or until the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has begun to release some oil. Remove the cardimon pods. At this point bring the heat down to medium and add a tbsp of oil to induce the oil release and the ajwain seeds, cumin and corriander powder and stir frequently. Once the oil has separated from the sauce add the water, allow to boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Check to ensure the chicken is cooked fully and then turn off the heat. Season with salt to taste and spinkle the garam masala and corriander on top.

Serving tip: Serve with plain boiled rice and a side salad. This dish may also be eaten with naan bread or even with regular french stick, if desired.