Sunday, August 29, 2010

veal rolls with polenta

what you need
4 (140g each) thin veal schnitzels, halved lengthways
4 slices pancetta, halved
2/3 cup (80g) semi-dried tomatoes
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce
1 cup polenta
1/3 cup pure cream
Small fresh basil leaves, to serve

what to do
Place 1 piece veal on a plate. Top with 1 piece pancetta, 1 tablespoon tomatoes, 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 tablespoon basil. Roll up to enclose. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining veal, pancetta, tomato, cheese and basil.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook veal, turning, for 3 minutes or until golden. Add pasta sauce. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until veal is cooked through.
Meanwhile, place 3 cups cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Gradually add polenta in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until polenta is soft. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Remember to remove toothpicks from veal. Serve veal and polenta topped with basil.

Ciabatta Italian Bread

Poolish (the starter dough)

what you need
300 g general purpose flour (Caputo Tipo 00 works well)
300 g room temperature water
1 g (pinch) yeast

what to do
Mix to a pancake batter consistency, cover with plastic wrap and let ferment for 3-4 hours, or overnight. Refrigerate after 3-4 hours.

The Finished Bread

what you need
The poolish, plus:
700 g flour
20 g salt
9 g yeast
430 g water (73% final hydration)

what to do
Mix the dough until it is well hydrated (it is very sticky).

Stretch and fold (like a letter) and let rest covered with plastic for 30 minutes.

Stretch and fold again, and let rest for 1 1/2-2 hours covered. (The stretch and fold lines up the gluten to give the dough structure.)

Cut the ball into 3 pieces, and stretch into the final shape.

Proof for 1 hour, then bake at 500ºF (plus or minus) until the internal temperature reaches 205ºF.

It’s a very moist dough, and you don’t slash it. The final shape looks almost like a dog bone, and the final bread is crusty, with big holes in the crumb.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ricotta and spicy chorizo calzone

what you need
Basic pizza dough
180g 00 strong plain flour (or bread flour)
140ml warm water
1tbls Italian extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp dried yeast

For the filling
500g ricotta cheese
200g cooked spinach
15 slices of spicy chorizo sausage
Handful of Parmesan cheese
Handful of pitted black olives
3-4 tbsp passata tomato sauce
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

what to do
Basic pizza dough
Mix the salt and the yeast in a bowl with the water. In another large bowl make a well in the centre of the flour and then add the water mixture and the extra virgin olive oil. Mix well with a wooden spoon until you create a doughy texture. Turn out the dough onto a clean well floured surface and work it with your hands for approx. 3 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover with a towel, leave in a warm place and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. At this stage, pre-heat the oven at 220º.

To make the calzone
Use a 30cm diameter pizza tray. Flatten the prepared dough into the tray with your hands.
Spread a thin layer of passata over the dough spread all the ingredients on one half of the pizza and very carefully fold the other half over the top and closing the edges with your fingertips. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, August 20, 2010

rosemary and parmesan crusted chicken cutlets

what you need
2 cups milk
2 cloves garlic crushed
5 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 grated parmesan
1 cup chopped parsley parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
500gr thinly sliced chicken breast
5 Eggs
Vegetable oil

what to do
Beat 5 eggs together and add 1 cup of milk.
Soak Chicken Breast fillet in 2 cups of milk with the crushed fresh garlic. Can be made 2 hours before or soacked night before.
add chopped parlsey and rosemary to the bread crumbs.
Add parmesan to the bread crumb mixture.
Add a couple of pinches of salt and some cracked pepper.
Now drain the milk egg mixture of each cutlets and coat with bread crumb mixture and fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.

Italian Sausages, with Potatoes and Rosemary.

what you need
6 italian sausages
800 g kipfler potatoes scrubbed and sliced
1½ teaspoons Paprika
1 Rosemary stalk
4 Garlic Cloves unpeeled
sea salt
freshly ground Black pepper
2 Slices ciabatta bread
50 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 handful continental parsley

what to do
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Slice the sausages into 4cm pieces and place in a large roasting pan.
Add the potatoes, paprika, rosemary, garlic cloves, sea salt and pepper.
Tear the ciabatta into bite size pieces and add to the roasting tray.
Drizzle over the oil and gently toss to combine.
Place in the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sausages and bread are golden brown.
Top with continental parsley and serve with a green salad and crusty bread

Saturday, August 7, 2010

pasta with braised beef and tomato ragu

A truly hearty Italian meal which will warm and fill anyone on these cold nights. This recipe is also well suited to lamb, especially lamb shanks.

what you need
1kg stewing beef on the bone (such as shoulder or veal shank)
100ml olive oil
3 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 bay leaves
400ml red wine
4 tablespoons tomato puree
4 x 400g cans chopped Roma tomatoes
600g rustic style pasta just as trofie
6-8 basil leaves, torn, to serve

what to do
Preheat oven to 180°C. Season meat with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Heat a dash of olive oil in a heatproof casserole over a medium-high heat, brown meat all over, then remove and set aside.
Add remaining oil to casserole, reduce heat to medium, and fry onion, celery and garlic until softened. Add bay leaves, pour in wine and bring to the boil, then stir in tomato puree, canned tomatoes, 300ml water and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Place meat back in casserole and bring to a simmer, then cover casserole, transfer to the oven and cook for at least 3 hours, or until meat is tender and falling from the bone and sauce is a glossy, deep burgundy colour; if sauce starts to thicken too much, add a little extra water.
Allow to cool a little, then pull meat from the bone, discarding bone. Refrigerate meat in the sauce, then scoop off and discard surface fat, and divide ragù into two batches; reserve one batch for another mealtime

Cook pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente and reheat remaining batch of ragù. Toss drained pasta in the ragù, scatter with basil leaves, and serve immediately.

You could also serve this ragu with polenta or creamy mash potatoes.

raspberry and white chocolate friands

what you need
125g fresh or frozen raspberries
185g butter, melted
6 egg whites
1 x 100g packet almond meal
1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
100g white chocolate, chopped

what to do
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease 8 x 1/2 cup capacity loaf friand pans.
Crush 1/2 cup (75g) of the raspberries, place in large bowl with butter, egg whites, almond meal, flour, sugar and chocolate, and mix until combined.
Pour evenly among prepared pans. Scatter with remaining raspberries. Bake 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Stand 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with a little raspberry coulis, if desired.