Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm back!

GG has breakfast on the go - bagel from the famous bagel shop in Brick Lane, London

Hi Gourmet Goddess followers

I'm home after a fantastic trip and will be posting a whole lot of lovely foodie related pics and updates as soon as I get over my jetlag in a day or two. I ate some great food when I was away, saw and did some brilliant things and cooking school in Paris was just amazing - lots to show and tell you all. So stay tuned - will update in a day or two.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Comfort food - Italiano!

Is there a person alive who doesn't love a good schnitzel? I think it rates as one of the ultimate comfort foods and the other night I really felt like some comfort, so I decided to do a simple chicken schnitzel. As it turned out, I also had some eggplant in the fridge so what started as a basic schnitzel turned into something else entirely, with a distinctive Italian flavour. I simply prepared the chicken schnitzels as you normally would - well seasoned flour, then some beaten egg and breadcrumbs and in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes or so before shallow frying the chicken.

While the chicken was chilling, I sliced the eggplant thinly and then cooked the slices in a very lightly oiled pan until it started to colour. I also made a simple tomato based sauce at the same time. Once I had cooked the chicken, I spread on a thin layer of the tomato sauce, topped the chicken with the eggplant, then some more sauce. I then added a mixture of mozzerella and parmesan cheese and baked the chicken in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes or so. Easy.

Chicken Melanzane
with asparagus, baby carrots and white anchovy and caper butter
I had been to the organic market the day before and had bought some lovely baby carrots and asparagus as well as some white anchovies and these formed the basis for a side dish to serve with the chicken. The butter that I used as a dressing for the vegetables would also work really well as a simple sauce for filled pasta, such as tortellini or ravioli. You can also make a batch of the butter and freeze it.

To make the butter, I just finely chopped a handful of capers and 5 or 6 white anchovies. Add this to a couple of tablespoons unsalted butter, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper and a generous amount of black pepper. Mix well and then just toss through the hot vegetables. Delicious.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gourmet Goddess does takeaway

I love a kebab. Even those dodgy ones that you find yourself scoffing in the street as you stagger home after  lingering a little too long at the pub. (Oh come on! - we have all done it) My very favourite kind though, is one that includes lovingly cooked, beautifuly seasoned lamb (preferably from the leg), crunchy salad, soft freshly baked flatbread and then drizzled with thick, garlic laden Tzatziki. Definitely a cut above the "midnight kebab" style offering.

I had a small piece of lamb leg leftover from another recipe, (actually, it was the shank end that I had to cut off because the leg wouldn't fit in the pot that I wanted to cook it in) so I decided to roast it with a truckload of garlic, a touch of oregano and olive oil. I made a simple salad of vine ripened tomatoes and parsley (seasoned with lemon juice, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and lots of salt and pepper) and warmed up some pitta bread (made just around the corner from me in Marrickville)

To finish, I made a batch of homemade Tzatziki and served the whole lot on a platter so that we could just help ourselves and create our own kebabs. Of course I added some hot chilli sauce to mine - would you have expected anything else from me? The result was a delicious, easy to throw together and suprisingly healthy dinner. Here it is before we demolished it in front of the television.....

Gourmet Goddess Kebabs with Tzatziki

To make Tzatziki you will need: 2 cups thick, full fat continental yoghurt. (I like an organic Greek style one), 4 cloves minced garlic (feel free to use less, or a whole lot more depending on your pechant for garlic), 1 large continental cucumber, a couple of teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plenty of salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Slice the cucumber down the middle and scoop out all of the seeds (I just use a teaspoon to do this) Then, finely dice the cucumber. Mix with all of the other ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Tzatziki makes a great dip or a sauce for grilled chicken or seafood.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Posh Pasta

Lush is the only way to describe today's dish - creamy, garlicky pasta and beautiful fresh asparagus, topped with pan fried salmon tail and goegeous salty salmon roe. This dish is extremely rich, so serve quite small portions - and if you are serving it with other courses it would be wise to choose light, fresh tasting options to avoid the meal being too heavy. The great thing about this posh pasta is that it is so, so easy to put together. Just be sure to choose super fresh salmon and make sure your asparagus is at it's very best. (Don't try and make this when the asparagus is less than perfect - the dish relies on the quality of the ingredients to make it shine)

If salmon isn't your thing, then you could substitute scallops or prawns in this recipe. Even a combination of both would work well. This dish needs to be made just prior to serving - definitely not a make ahead or freezable option. Have everyone at the table when you start this - give them a decent glass of wine and they won't mind waiting the 20 mins or so it takes to create this delicious dish. The amounts below will serve four.

Creamy garlic and horseradish  pasta
with asparagus, pan fried salmon tail and salmon roe

You will need: 4 small pieces of salmon tail (or salmon fillet), 2 tablespoons salmon roe, 2 bunches asparagus, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 1 large white onion, about 375ml pure cream, 1 tablespoon horseradish cream, splash of olive oil, salt and pepper, dry or fresh fettuchini/spaghetti for four (depending on how big you want the serves to be)

Method: Cut the woody ends from the asparagus and slice each spear diagonally into 3 pieces. Finely chop the onion. Set both of these aside.

Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil (you will cook the asparagus and the pasta in this, so make sure it isn't too small) Add the asparagus and allow to cook for about a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and run the asparagus under cold water to stop it cooking any further - it should still be quite firm to the touch.

In a seperate pan, add a splash of olive oil and cook the onion for a few minutes until it is soft and transparent. Now add the pasta to the pot of boiling sallted water and give it a good stir so that the pasta does not stick together.

While the pasta is cooking, return your attention to the sauce. Add the garlic to the onion and cook gently for a minute. Be careful not to brown the garlic or it will give an unpleasant bitter flavour. Now add the cream and stir well. Bring the cream to a simmer and add the horseradish cream. Taste it and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Allow the cream to simmer until it thickens and reduces in volume to about half.

Season the salmon with a touch of pepper. Heat a frypan or grill pan and cook for a minute of two each side, depending on the thickness. Be careful not to overcook the fish or it will become dry. Set the salmon aside to rest in a warm place while you assemble the rest of the dish.

Add the asparagus to the cream sauce. Drain the pasta and toss through the sauce so that it is evenly distributed. Divide the pasta into portions, top with the cooked salmon and finish with a spoonful of salmon roe. Gorgeous.