Sunday, 20 March 2011

Paprika Sauce with Saffron


Do you always order the same old sauces with your steak?  There's pepper sauce, cheese sauce, mushroom sauce or, if you live in South Africa, good old Monkeygland Sauce.  Or if you are entertaining friends at home, it seems to be en vogue to make a kind of blue cheese butter and put a dollop of that on your steak.

I love my steak and sauces as much as the next guy, but I feel that all these sauces and butters are hiding the taste of the steak.  We don't need to go without a sauce though because this Paprika Sauce compliments the taste of a nice juicy steak.  It is truly a match made in heaven.

Before you say that you don't like anything spicy, let me put your mind at ease:  the paprika used in this sauce isn't spicy at all, but it does have wonderfully rich flavour that compliments the taste of your grilled steak.  It also contains some pine nuts which can be substituted with walnuts.  The crushed nuts help with the thickening of the sauce and the oil it releases are also good carriers of flavour.

Paprika Sauce with Saffron


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cream
  • ½ cup pine nuts, NOT toasted (If using walnuts, only use ¼ cup)
  • ½ tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika (mild)
  • ½ tsp. rosemary
  • ½ tsp. oregano 
  • 1 tsp. whole black pepper corns
  • a pinch of saffron, or to taste (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese 

Method: 

  1. Bash up the pine nuts and coarse salt in a mortar and pestle until just broken up.  You can also do this with a table fork, if you want to.
  2. Pour the cream into a small saucepan.  Add the saffron (if using) and gently swirl it around in the cream, until it is moist.  Transfer the saucepan to the stove and gently heat the cream, without boiling it, stirring continuously.  Now add the pine nuts and salt mixture and keep stirring.  You will see some of the oil from the nuts being released on top of the cream.
  3. Next add all the herbs and the pepper corns and keep stirring the sauce gently.  The colour of the sauce should now be turning into a beautiful orange from the paprika and the saffron.  Remove the saucepan from the heat after about 2 minutes and allow the sauce to "rest" so that all the flavours can intermingle and develop.  Use this time to quickly cook your steaks on the barbecue or in a griddle pan.  All the meat needs is some olive oil to marinate in for a few minutes.  No salt or spices.
  4. Once your steak is done, allow it to rest (this is essential) for a few minutes.  While it is resting, put your sauce back on the heat.  You will notice that it has thickened slightly during it's rest.  Add the Parmesan cheese and heat through.  Spoon some of the sauce over your well rested steaks (you don't want it to drown in the sauce) and wait for the compliments to roll in!
I have to thank Chef Tyrone of Tyrone's Kitchen for teaching me this heavenly sauce!  Please check out his Facebook page.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Easy Home Made Bread



This easy bread recipe can adapted to make it as simple or as exciting as you want.  I also hope that you'll be so excited about it, that you'll forgive me for not posting for a while.


My last few weekends (my usual cooking and blogging time) has been choc-a-block with cooking and baking, but with no time for writing.  My friend (and master chef) Tyrone Jubber, has recently opened a new restaurant on an ostrich farm (I kid you not) here in Taiwan.  It is called Tyrone's Kitchen and it serves delicious, unpretentious farm food.  Tyrone's family comes from the Free State in South Africa and also from Italy and he makes the best authentic pasta, this side of the Tropic of Cancer!


I am very lucky to have been invited by Chef Tyrone to come and cook South African food at his restaurant, do some baking and also try my hand at such exotic dishes such as Ostrich Egg Salad!  It is really great to hang out with someone who knows his stuff because I learn new tricks every time.


This past Saturday we made a more-ish pineapple tart and we baked some nice, crusty bread. The great thing about this recipe is that this is the foundation recipe from which you can create anything you want, really.  You can bake it in a normal loaf tin.  You can flatten it out on a baking sheet, push some holes in it, cover it with fresh herbs and olive oil and make it into a Focaccia.






We decided to roll the dough into small balls and bake them in a 23cm diameter round tin.  We added some dried herbs, which you can leave out, if you want to.






Easy Home Made Bread


Ingredients:


5 cups of bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7ml (1 packet) instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sunflower oil and some extra for brushing (I used olive oil)
2 tsp sugar
850ml warm water
15ml oregano (optional)
15ml rosemary (optional)
15ml thyme (optional)


Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients well in mixing bowl.  Sprinkle over the oil.
  3. Make a well in the middle and add the warm water and mix well.  Knead the dough until it is elastic and silky in texture.
  4. Grease or spray the baking tin you're going to use with non-stick spray.
  5. Shape the dough into the shape you want your bread to be in.  I rolled mine into balls, roughly the size of golf balls and packed them into the baking tin.  They need to fit tightly in order for them to rise properly.
  6. Cover the tins loosely with a tea towel and place in a warm place in the kitchen to rest and rise for about an hour or until they have doubled in size.
  7. Brush the top of your bread lightly with some olive oil and bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean.  Serve warm, with some butter and jam, or whatever else your heart desires.
You can find both Kitchenboy in Taiwan and Tyrone's Kitchen on facebook.  You can also follow me on Twitter!