Debi's Recipe Pages

 

 3. Attention Seeking

"Give and it shall be given unto you." If you want some attention and praise for your culinary skills, devote your own time and attention to preparing a great meal.

I interpret this as the "slaving over a hot stove" bit, with four pans on the go, sautéing, sweating, simmering and being saucy - and that's just me!

Roasts also come into this category. They are supposedly one of the easiest meals to cook. "Just chuck it all in the oven and let it get on with it", or so I was told. Huh! What about basting, putting in things that take different times, turning over roast potatoes, making stuffing, gravy, sauces, carving, etc., etc? Lots of attention needed, but everyone loves you for doing it :-)

 

Tournedos en Croute (For Four)

4 fillet steaks (tournedos)

4 oz liver paté

2 tblsp brandy or dry sherry

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 x 7oz packet of frozen puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Butter for frying

 

 

 

 

Method

Clean the steaks of any fat or membrane. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan, add the steaks and sauté for 1 miute on each side. Remove from the pan, season to taste and set aside.

Put the paté and brandy into a bowl and mash together with a fork to soften, then spread over the top and sides of the steaks.

Roll out the pastry sheets and cut into four squares, large enough to encase the steaks. Wrap around the steaks, sealing the edges with a little water. Brush the pastry with beaten egg to glaze.

Place on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400ºF, 200ºC for 15-20 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Serve immediately.

Note

OK, so this isn't really that much work, but it certainly looks and tastes impressive!

 

Chicken Breasts in Red Wine (For Four)

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, fillets removed

8 rashers unsmoked bacon, chopped

12 medium mushrooms, cleaned & sliced

2 cups full bodied red wine (eg. claret)

2 tsp beure manie (plain flour & butter mixed into a paste)

Olive oil

 

 

 

 

 

Method

For the beure manie, put a quantity of softened butter into a bowl and mix in flour, with a fork, a bit at a time. When you can't get any more flour to mix in, roll the paste into a sausage shape, wrap in clingfilm and keep in the fridge.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry the bacon until opaque, add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook the chicken breasts in a little oil until well sealed all over. Pour in the wine, bacon, mushrooms and their juices. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer, turning occasionally for 25 to 30 minutes. When the chicken breasts are cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon and put on warmed plates. Turn up the heat and stir in thin slivers of the beure manie (about 2 tsp) to thicken the sauce. Pour sauce over the chicken breasts to serve.

Note

Be sensible with the wine - Don't use your best stuff of course, but equally don't cook with a wine you wouldn't want to drink!

 

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin (For Two-Three)

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)

1 tblsp grainy mustard

2 tblsp runny honey

1 glass dry white wine or cider

1 tblsp plain flour

Salt and pepper

 

Method

Put the pork tenderloin into a roasting tin, fat side down. Spread mustard all over the top and sides, then pour honey all over it. Cover and roast in a pre-heated oven at 350ºF, 180ºC for 50 minutes. Put the meat on a warmed plate ready to carve.

To make the gravy, pour the juices from the roast into a saucepan with the wine and the flour. Stir together over a medium heat, season to taste, and allow to bubble away gently, stirring occasionally, until needed. Proper chefs make the gravy in the roasting pan, but its rather unwieldy and darned hot!

Roast Potatoes

1 large potato per person, peeled and cut into quarters

Salt

Olive oil

 

 

 

 

Method

Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 15 minutes. Drain and shake the potatoes around in the pan to fluff up the outsides. Pour a little oil into a shallow ovenproof dish, add the potatoes and drizzle more oil over the top, making sure each piece is coated. Put on the top shelf of the oven at, preferably, 400ºF, 200ºC for an hour, turning a couple of times.

Note

Cookery books say to use dripping or lard and to always heat the fat first. This way is slightly easier and the potatoes come out nice and crunchy.

If your roast is on only 350ºF, put the potatoes in 40 minutes before the meat will be finished. Whack up the heat to 425ºF, 220ºC - the potatoes will crisp up in the10-15 minutes while your meat rests and is carved.