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Friday 25 March 2011

Recipe: Oyster Mushrooms Noissette

by ferdie

This is an unassuming but tasty little number, I often do it if I'm doing tapas since you can cook them in the afternoon and reheat them when you need them. Sitting in the clay dish with a little parsley on top they look very prosaic. Which is kinda what you want so that with that first bite your guests will have that look of mixed surprise and delight at the nutty loveliness.

They go well with tortilla, and as an accompaniment to a variety of things (add link to chorizo crisps), and are a great vegetarian option on their own, and, for example, with a little cream and tagliateli or torteloni.  
Oyster mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, salt.
400g oyster mushrooms
150ml Noilly Prat (dry white vermouth or failing that white wine)
50g unsalted butter
extra virgin olive oil
parsley to garnish
flakey salt and pepper

Put enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan with generous coat of oil and add the mushrooms, turn up the heat.
Add the mushrooms just before the oil starts to smoke and toss them in the oil to coat them all over.
Once coated sweat off the mushroom don't move them around too much allow them to brown from the heat of the pan.
Once they have released most of their moisture and are nice and golden brown, remove them from the pan to a bowl.
Get the pan hot, pour in the Noilly Prat / white wine - it should bubble as soon as it hits the pan - and boil until you can no longer smell evaporating alcohol. When you reach this point return the mushrooms to the frying pan, stirring them to coat them all over.
Once there is almost no liquid left in the pan remove the mushrooms to your bowl again and add the butter.
Melt the butter and heat it until it turn a light brown, (You do not want this smoking!) and then return the mushrooms to the pan, coat well. Once all the juices are soaked up, you can serve or put aside until later.
After they've taken a little colour they should like this. Fab!
If you put it aside simply return it to the pan to warm through.

Serve in a clay tapas dish with a few leaves of parsley on top and some rosemary bread.
A vegetarian dish: Oyster Mushrooms Noissette w/ Tagliateli and Baby Courgettes

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Recipe: Sweet Corn Velouté w/ Chorizo Film

by ferdie, in partnership with Unearthed for Action Against Hunger

This is a pretty standard flavour combination, the film is almost undetectable but adds a strong complementary chorizo flavour to the thyme infused corn soup. Another contributing factor is taking a proportion of the corn and frying it to within an inch of it's life, giving it a charred savoury popcorn-esque dimension to the flavour of the soup! It usually goes down pretty well! 
Flavour 1: Sweetcorn
Flavour 2: Chorizo (pronounced cho-ree-tho)
INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

Sweetcorn Veloute
8 cobs sweet corn (if you're going to use tinned use 4 tins unsweetened corn 280g each)
4 tbsp EVO
1.0 litre veg/chicken stock (or 2 pints water + 2 stock cubes)
10g lemon thyme
50g butter
1 tsp table salt
250 ml double cream
1 large onion (finely chopped)

Chorizo Film
75g chorizo diced
50ml milk (semi skimmed fine)
150ml single cream
Lemon thyme imparts a wonderful fresh depth to the soup.
Blend 3/4 of the corn until smooth and put aside.
Put stock, and cream in pot with bouquet garni of thyme and extra virgin olive oil.
Set to boil, then simmer for 20 mins to infuse with the lemon thyme.
Charring the sweetcorn adds an extra facet to the flavour.
Put remaining 1/4 of the corn in pan, with chopped onions and saute with butter until it's almost starting to burn, in fact the odd charred one will add to the flavour the frying brings out.
Blast the charred corn and onion in blender until smooth.

The chorizo film is an infused cream:
Pan fry finely chopped chorizo, let the fat seep out, add the cream and mix simmering to soak up the flavour of the chorizo for about 10 minutes, after which it will have taken the colour of the paprika from the chorizo, blend the mix, if the mix is a little too thick to sieve return it to the pan and add a little milk to loosen it, then sieve it, squeezing the mix down with a wooden spoon to extract as much flavour as possible. 

Put it into a squeazy bottle and, once cooled, into the fridge until ready for use.

TIP: If you want to make a chorizo and leek pie you can get away with not blending the chorizo and cream, simply loosen it and sieve it and keep the chorizo back to mix with leek for a nice pie filler!
Serve me! serve me!
When nearing time to serve, remove the chorizo cream from the fridge, to bring it to room temperature.
Finally remove the bouquet garni from the stock and add all the sweetcorn purée. Bring to the boil and simmer not more than 10 minutes or the colour will become dull.
Here you can see the cream starting to spread to form the film.
To serve ladle the soup into bowls and squirt the cream gently (so that it doesn't go under the surface) in a circular motion onto the surface of the soup. Initially it will form lines, but as the cream warms through it will spread to form a film on the surface of the soup. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve immediately.

This is a version we did in partnership with  Unearthed for Action Against Hunger 
Me thinks this one sneaked past quality control - served in a bit of a rush! Ahem!
Sweet Corn Veloute w/ Chorizo Film
We used Unearthed spanish chorizo, pre-sliced.
You can find the whole 8 course menu we served here.

Monday 21 March 2011

Recipe: Flamenquines (Cordoban Rolls) w/ Saffron and Green Mayo

by ferdie, in partnership with Unearthed for Action Against Hunger

Like croquettes? Like dipping sauces? Like using your fingers ; ) . . .  I mean you don't have to but you can!! Well you'll love these! They're a bit of a faf but you can make a huge batch and freeze them and then pull them out when friends come over, or you fancy something snaky to go with that movie!!

Flamenquines a.k.a. Cordoban Rolls w/ Saffron and Green Mayo (makes ~12 rolls)

1 pork loins (butterflied and hammered)
10g parsley (chopped)
1 garlic clove minced
1 pack serrano / prosciutto ham
250g bread crumbs
flour and eggs to coat

For the cheese roux

50 butter
30 plain flour
165ml milk chicken stock (50/50)
40g cheese
1 pack Hungarian pepperoni

To serve
100g saffron mayonnaise
100g green mayonnaise
100g lambs lettuce

To make the cheese roux, melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Mix it into the butter to make a paste and keep cooking it to cook the flour through for about 5 mins, then add the milk. Mix it to a smooth sauce, than add the cheese and keep cooking it to thicken it up. We also used spicy hungarian pepperoni chopped up and sprinkled into the sauce to give it a little extra pep and texture!

Allow to cool, and then put into a piping back reserving 1/4 to coat the flamenquines.
Take care not to cut all the way through else it's GAME OVER
Cut the pork loins along their length in half, then butterfly each half and hammer them out thin.
Oooh! Aaaah! Make me thinner! Aaaah! Eeeeeh!
If you're lucky it will come out as an oblong in which case you can make one large roll!
If not, cut across it's length (see chopsticks) to the desired width.
If it comes out triangular cut across the width. Top of picture.
Now lay the pork onto cling film.Lay the ham on top, and then the parsley and cheese.
Next pipe a thick core (1.5-2.5cm) down and wrap the flamenquines so the edges don't overlap too much. This is important because it means the pork will cook properly when they are fried.
Roll them in the cling film and put in the fridge to set for 30 minutes. (this helps them retain their shape as you cut and handle them, patience required here because it has quite an effect on the outcome!)
The cheese roux will give you a sumptuous centre! Aaaah come to me lovely cheese roux!
Take them out of the fridge, unwrap them from the cling film and using a knife coat them with the remaining cheese roux.
Re-wrap and return to the fridge.
Last step is to coat in bread crumbs. You want 3 bowls: flour, whisked eggs, and bread crumbs.
Coat in flour, dip in the whisked eggs and then in the bread crumbs and then return to the fridge for 30mins before use.

Cook at 150C/5mins in fryer. Take one out to make sure the pork is properly cooked through.Then remove the rest.

You need to be precise with the cooking time here, the centre must be piping hot, soft and gooey, and the outside cooked and golden crispy. If you cook them too long not only will you burn the outside but the inside will start to create steam causing it to squirt  out into the oil - Oh nooooo . . . catastrophe!!! - which isn't good if you're doing a bunch of batches because all the bits that squirt out will quickly start to char and pollute your oil with burnt bits. Result: rather mangled looking hollow husk of tough pork with burnt toast flavour coating! Oh, and no lovely gooey cheese centre, time to cry!

Serve with saffron mayo and green mayo and garnish with lambs lettuce (which also makes a nice side salad dressed with a little lemon and extra virgin olive oil). They can be served whole or cut in half to show of their porky goodness!

This is a version we did in partnership with  Unearthed for Action Against Hunger
I'm glad my freezer isn't big enough to have a cache of these. I'd be a reet podger
Flamenquines (Cordoban Rolls) w/ Saffron and Green Mayo
We used Unearthed italian pork loins, prosciutto, spicy hungarian pepperoni.
You can find the whole 8 course menu we served here.

I adapted these from the more traditional recipe so we could pre-prep them and cook them quickly in a deep fat fryer. The more traditional version, in which less cheese roux is used, and the pork is rolled swiss roll stylee, is baked for 25 minutes instead. It makes for a meatier snack, but of course you can't make them in a fryer in the same time as the above recipe because the pork simply wont cook.

If you have time - I quite like the relaxed pace of the baked version on a weekend afternoon, since you can make something else as they bake (or read the paper!) - you can roll them with more meat in the centre and bake them at 190C for 25mins. If you brush them with olive oil it gives a lovely golden crisp finish.

Friday 18 March 2011

Recipe: Arroz al Horno (Baked Rice)

by ferdie, in partnership with Unearthed for Action Against Hunger

I was asked to do an event for Unearthed, who have a lovely range of food and recipes using their products. So I had a look to see what recipes were on their page, to avoid being entirely unoriginal, and to offer something that Unearthed could add to their recipe list.

As you might imagine, paella is the first thing on their list, which kinda suits me because I've done it a million times, and so has everybody else. Since paella is already on the recipe page, I thought this might be great alternative, plus it uses more of Unearthed's bits and pieces.

I think the first time I came across this dish was when both Marta (a work colleague at the time) and I were trying to avoid the mind numbing pin checking exercise of swapping a microprocessor in one of our products. Instead of doing that, she regaled me with her version of this dish. I've adapted it a little to my tastes and then again for Unearthed.

One of the nice things about this dish is that it's simple to make, it's a lot harder to screw up than a paella, and when it comes out of the oven and hits the table, it smells great! A real crowd pleaser!

We served it with a tomato sauce, green beans and asparagus.

So here goes . . .  Arroz al Horno / Baked Rice (Serves 28 small/med or 12 large portions)

Fantastic ingredients! What a start : )
For the arroz al horno:
18 pork ribs
28 chipolatas
5 chillies (jalipeño)
14 cloves of garlic
4.5 tbsp cumin seeds
2.5 giant mushrooms
9 capsicum (long thin green peppers) chopped in rings
4.5 mug mixed rice (pudding Arborio 50/50)     - weight 500g
EVO (for frying off, base of pan and adding to rice)
750g potato (thinly sliced and baked w/ little olive oil) 200C/12mins turn once
48 tasty ripe cherry plum tomatoes (topping)   -  weight?
white wine
2 1/4 L chicken stock (2250ml + 7stock cubes)
salt and pepper

For the green beans & asparagus:
(par boil these then ice bath them so can be ready for service in seconds)
green beans (trimmed)
fine asparagus (trimmed and peeled at end) (if in season)

For the tomato sauce:
400g crushed chopped plum tomatoes
rock salt to taste
10g basil leaves
150ml white wine
50ml white wine vinegar (counter act the rice stojtastickness)
50ml extra virgin olive oil

1. Pre heat oven to 200C
2. Slice potato into thick crisp cuts & put them in an oiled baking tray and into the oven coated in olive oil salt and pepper.
3. Fry up the meat, garlic & cumin until starting to brown put to one side
4. Once the potatoes are golden brown (about 10 mins), remove them from the oven. Remove them from the dish and put to one side. Add a touch more oil to coat the dish and return it to the oven to keep the oil sizzling hot. Turn oven down to 190C
5. Fry up everything else except the tomatoes.
6. Mix meat & veg in pan, remove the dish from the oven and add the mixture to it, it should sizzle as it hits the oil.
7. Pour the rice evenly over the mix, add the stock, put potatoes on top and then the tomatoes on top of that!  Phwoar! : ) 
This bad boy is now ready for the oven!

Bake 15 min 190C
Then 10 more at 70C
The rice should be cooked - check it and return for and extra 5-10mins if necessary.

1. For the tomato sauce, pour the wine into a preheated pan so it starts to boil off the alcohol straight away, add the vinegar too and reduce by a third.
2. In a separate pan bring the EVO up to almost smoking and then add the the chopped tomatoes, TAKE CARE this spits, put a lid on straight away!
3. Once the tomatoes have stopped spitting, stir the oil that hasn't emulsified into the tomatoes and add the wine/vinegar mix, and basil. Season to taste. Take off the heat until required

I like my tomato sauce to be fairly chunky, giving you bursts of tomato flavour amongst the other flavours. If you like a smooth sauce with a consistent flavour profile you can blend it and sieve it at this stage.

Serve the rice with steamed green beans, asparagus, and the tomato sauce, The greens and the sauce provide a light acidic complement to the baked rice. (I think we actually served this with some fried off, sliced, giant flat mushrooms with the greens and tomato sauce)

For me two of the flavours that define this dish are the mingling of the pepper from the saucisson sec and the pave (which is sooo good on it's own BTW) and the flavour of the cumin seeds, hmmmmm!

This is a version we did in partnership with  Unearthed for Action Against Hunger
Criminal! Sooo tasty!
We used Unearthed pave for pepper flavour, saucisson sec w/ herbs, catalan sausage, organic pancetta, cumin seeds.
You can find the whole 8 course menu we served here.

TIP: Remember meat mix should go into sizzling oiled tray - just like you do with roast potatoes to get that browning and crusting going straight away!

This one's also for you Luiz I meant to get this up before Christmas but as you know it's been a bit hectic!

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Recipe: The basics - Mayonnaise

2 eggs
3 tbsp warm water
1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
400-450ml sunflower oil

Food processor (not absolutely necessary but it helps - mayo invented 1756, food processor 1922, mayo wins!!)

blend all the ingredients except the oil.
add the oil in a steady stream, it will start to emulsify the mixture, getting thicker and thicker.
Stop when you have reached the required consistency.
Happy days!
Keep refrigerated.
Tips: Using sunflower oil gives a light mayonnaise, the mayonnaise can be made richer a number of ways using only egg yolks, using  extra virgin olive oil, or both! And a further level by using the yolks from duck egg. Although I think duck eggs should be reserved for boiled or fried eggs at break fast, with soldiers or buttered toast! Hmmm, but that's me : )

Adding lemon is also nice and helps the mayo last longer.

Tips: You can flavour the mayo simply by blending in different herbs and spices, which in some cases can add a nice texture. If you want the texture to remain unchanged it's best to infuse the oil before making the mayonnaise.
Variants that we use to accompany various dishes.
Once you have a base mayonnaise to work with pairing it with a dish is quite simple. Here are a few examples:

Green Mayo (use with prawn cocktail and flamenquines)
600g mayonnaise (as above)
90g chives
45g parsley
20g wasabi (menu dependent: asian fusion)

Saffron Mayo (use with squid ink risotto, or flamenquines)
400g mayonnaise (as above)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 pinches black pepper
1 pinch maldon salt
2 tsp of saffron strands (simmered in 20ml water & left to infuse for 20 mins)
1 1/2 tsp saffron powder

Wasabi Mayo (use with sashimi and chips, fusion prawn cocktail)
35g wasabi paste (about 2/3 of a tube)
400g mayonnaise (as above)

Check out the ensaladilla russa post for a mayotastic recipe, I'll add more links as I put up more recipes : )

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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