Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken legs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 heaped teaspoon pepper paste
  • Fresh and dry basil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Corse corn meal for polenta

Method

  1. Clean the chicken pieces and place them in a roasting dish with s drizzle of oil.
  2. Let it roast for 50 – 60 minutes.
  3. Add the mixture of crushed garlic, tomato and pepper paste 2/3 cup hot water. Choose your quantity of water, depending on how much sauce you wish to make.
  4. Place it back into the oven for another 10 min.Polenta-
  5. Boil 1l of water and salt in a pot then add 1 cup of corn meal as you stir the water in the pot.
  6. Cover the pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Serve the dish with your favorite garnish. I use peas and corn(kids favorites) or broccoli.

 

Borsch it’s a sour broth made of vegetables and used a lot in Romanian Jewish cuisine.

Ingredients

  • 300g minced beef
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 handful of rice (optional)
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • Borsch

Method

  1. For the meatballs, take the minced meat, rice add salt paper and the 2 eggs.
  2. Mix all together.
  3. Finely chop all the vegetables, you will use about 1/2 a cup in total.
  4. Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil.
  5. Shape the mixture into round balls and drop them into the hot water. Add the rest of the vegetables and let it simmer for 1 hour with lid on.
  6. Add the tomato paste and the borsch. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes and add the parsley.
  7. Soup is ready to enjoy!

 

The Pastry

• 250g flour
• 200g cold butter
• 1 egg yolk, keep white to brush on pastry later
• 4 tablespoons cold water
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar to sprinkle on the dough just before it goes into the oven

Method

1. In a food processor mix the flour and butter to form a bread crumb consistency.
2. Add the egg yolk and pulse until it is incorporated.
3. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough pulls together to form a ball.
4. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for 30minutes.

The Filling

• ¼ cup poppy seeds
• ¼ cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ cup raisins
• ¼ cup sugar
• 100g butter
• ¼ cup flour

Method

1. While the dough is resting you can prepare the filling. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
3. Add the poppy seeds, vanilla, raisins and cinnamon and boil for 2 minutes. The milk will almost all be absorbed/evaporated.
4. Add the cocoa powder, flour and sugar. It should start to form a thick paste.
5. Add the butter and let it melt into the mixture. The mixture should look like a gooey paste.
6. Set the mixture aside in a bowl to fully cool.
7. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut two pieces of baking paper that are 40cm in length.
8. Roll the dough between the two pieces of paper to about 1mm in thickness.
9. Use a plate that is 27cm in diameter to cut round disk out of the dough.
10. Place the filling in the center and spread it outwards, as if you were creating a pizza. Leave 2cm around the circumference.
11. Using the baking paper as a guide, fold three sides of the pastry to form a triangle.
12. Crimp the edges so they are sealed.
13. Brush the egg white mixture over the pastry and sprinkle the sugar on top.
14. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden.

This is a browned butter, chestnut, sage and wild mushroom risotto with a cafe au lait cream folded through.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped (oyster, porcini, shitake etc)
  • 2 tablespoons dried mushrooms
  • 8 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 espresso shot/ 2 teaspoons strong coffee with 2 table spoons hot water to dissolve
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 table spoons oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 table spoons butter
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped chestnuts

Method

  1. Add a table spoon of oil to a pan, then your butter. Let it melt and sizzle until the foam turns a light brown. Put the pan to one side to cool slightly.
  2. In another sauce pan add a table spoon of oil. Add the onion and garlic, as well as the water. After the water has evaporated, add the wine. Let the wine reduce by half and by this stage, the onions should be translucent. Take it off the heat.
  3. The butter should now be cooler. Add the chestnuts and sage to the browned butter. Turn the heat back on and coat the chestnuts and sage in the butter. Once the chestnuts and sage have browned slightly, put them, along with the butter in a bowl, and place to one side. You will use this pan again to cook the rice, so no need to wash it.
  4. You can now turn your attention back to the saucepan with your onions. Add the mushrooms (dry included), cream and espresso. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. It may need a pinch of salt, keep tasting your dish and flavour accordingly. Once this mixture is beautifully rich in colour and fragrance, you can take it off the heat. Do not be afraid to add the coffee, it gives a decedent flavour to the dish, as well as brings out the essence of the mushrooms. You will not actually to be able to taste coffee at the end.
  5. Turn your attention back to the pan that was used to brown the butter. Add the rice. Toss it about and coat it in the left-over butter residue. Keep your heat to medium and ladle in 1 cup of stock at a time. When the rice has absorbed it, add another cup. Keep going until you have used all the liquid. Taste the rice to ensure that it is soft, but has the slightest hint of a bite. You do not want the end result to be the texture of soggy porridge. If you need to add in a little more liquid, you can do so.
  6. Now that the rice is done, add the butter mixture and the creamy mushrooms. Fold this all through and taste to see if you need to add more salt.
  7. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and a crack of black pepper.

The coffee gives a rich umami taste to the dish. The earthy nature of the sage should come through and the various mushrooms should sing with all the flavours. The browned butter adds a further creaminess, as well as charred caramelised notes.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/4 small celeriac root
  • 400g minced beef
  • One Tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt, Pepper and basil
  • 1 kg baking potatoes

Method

  1. Fry sliced onion, carrots, celeriac root and pepper
  2. Add the minced beef and spices and fry together until the meat has browned.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the pan together with half a cup of water for another 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, boil the baking potatoes unpeeled. They don’t need to boil completely, just so they soften.
  5. Cut the potatoes in round slices and cover the bottom of the dish ( roasting tray).
  6. Add the meat on top and then another layer of sliced potatoes.
  7. If you would like, beat one egg and brush over the potatoes for a golden look.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30-35 min at 180°.

The Pastry

• 127g butter-room temperature and soft
• 85g icing/powdered sugar
• 227g flour
• 2 egg yolks, reserve 1 egg white
• 1 tablespoon heavy cream
• 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
• 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon cream/milk

Method

1. Using a hand beater, or the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat the butter and sugar. When it is pale, thick and creamy, add the egg yolks, cream and vanilla.
2. Add the flour and salt, mix until just incorporated.
3. Tip the crumbly dough onto a cool surface and form into a ball.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest in a cool spot for 20minutes.
5. Once rested, press the dough into a greased tart or pie dish (23cm), prick with a fork all over the base.
6. Place the shell into the freezer for 30minutes while your oven heats up to 180 degrees Celsius.
7. To prepare your tart shell for blind baking, line the pastry with baking paper and fill with rice and dried beans. If you have baking beads, you can use those.
8. Put the shell into the oven and bake for 20minutes. When the time is up, remove the baking beads/beans, place the
9. shell back into the oven to bake for a further 10minutes, watch that the pastry turns golden, but not too dark. If it is browning too fast, turn your oven down to 170 degrees.
10. Take the shell out of the oven, brush with the egg white and place back to cook for 5-10 minutes. The shell should be golden and firm.
11. Allow the shell to cool while you make the filling.

The Filling

• 200g pecan nuts
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 120g butter
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• Zest and juice of 1 orange
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 200g fresh/frozen/dried cranberries
• 1 teaspoon cornflour
• 2 tablespoons flour

Method

1. Cream the butter and half the sugar together until pale, add the eggs and vanilla and beat until creamy.
2. Add the remaining sugar, cranberries, spices and zest to a saucepan.
3. Add the orange juice to the cornflour and mix until it is a paste with no lumps.
4. Add the paste to the saucepan and gently simmer the mixture for about 5minutes. When the mixture has thickened, it is ready to come off the heat.
5. Cool the cranberry mixture and then fold it through the creamed eggs, butter and sugar.
6. Add the mixture to the prepared pie shell and arrange the pecan halves on top.
7. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-35 minutes. The mixture should have a little jiggle to it still.
8. When the tart is cooled, remove it from the tin.
9. Serve it on its own, or with whipped cream with orange zest and vanilla essence folded through.