Saturday, February 24, 2007

Beef Stroganoff with croquette potatoes

I'm a little behind with my posts, and am spending less time in the kitchen. Busy with a trip to England to prepare, Lizzy's birthday, weekend visits...
So this recipe is a couple of weeks old. The beef Stroganov owes the name to its creator, (and not Strogonov it would appear) and is of course a Russian classic. As for the croquette potatoes, they went down very well with the girls...


Preparation : 1 hour
Cooking : 3 minutes
Ingredients for 4
800 gr lean beef filet
2 tbsp oil
10 gr butter
1 chopped onion
1 tsp mild paprika
10 cl white wine
4 cl veal stock
1/2 tsp concentrated tomato puree
10 cl crème fraîche
Salt and pepper

  • Cut the beef into cubes of 1cm. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, and sear the cubes of meat (with should remain rare.)
  • Drain,
  • Drain, and set aside the beef in a metal bowl.
  • Add the tomato concentrate to the veal stock.
  • Remove some of the oil from the frying pan, and add the chopped onion.
  • Soften for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Deglaze with white wine, and leave to reduce.
  • Add the veal stock, and reduce once more.
  • Add the drained meat cubes.
  • Add the crème fraîche, and reduce for a further 3 minutes.

Croquettes potatoes

Preparation : 1 hour
Refridgerator : 1 hour
Cooking time : 2 minutes per pan
1 kg pototoes (ex. Bintje)
1 whole egg and 3 yolks
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
75 gr butter
100 gr golden breadcrumbs
Plain flour
Salt and pepper


  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut into small pieces and place in a saucepan of cold water.
  • Salt, and cook for 30 minutes on a high heat.
  • Drain the potatoes, and press through a mill. Return the mash to a saucepan on a moderate heat, stirring constantly, to evaporate some of the humidity.
  • Off the heat, mix in 75 gr of butter and 3 egg yolks to the hot puree, incorporating each one fully before adding the next.
  • Season with salt and pepper and the ground nutmeg. Spread the puree into a dish, and leave in the fridge for one hour. This will firm the potato making it easier to handle.
  • Flour a board and kneed the potato puree to make it smooth. Take one large spoonful of the mixture and mould it into a cylinder. Do the same with the remainder of the puree.
  • Place 100 gr of breadcrumbs onto a plate.
  • Beat the whole egg with a pinch of salt.
  • Dip each croquette into the beaten egg until completely coated, and then roll in the breadcrumbs.
  • Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a deep fryer to 170°c. Deep fry the croquettes in this hot but not smoking oil for around 2 minutes.
  • Drain the croquettes on absorbant paper.

Keep warm in the oven until serving.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ideas for Aperitif n°2

This week is Lizzy's birthday, and as a treat tomorrow we're going straight to the Paris horse show from the gates of school. They of course love horses, which is not excactly my case... And when I see Becky getting thrown off, my fear only increases...
After some quite heavy cooking these last few weeks, I'm trying to lighten things, hoping even to loose a few excess kilos before the end-of-year celebrations. Here are a few ideas to get into the a festive mood...


Parmesan Cornets
Preparation : 45 minutes
Cooking : 30 minutes
for around 30 Cornets
150 gr grated parmesan
150 gr ricotta
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp freshly chopped chive
3 slices of proscuitto ham
2 fresh or dried figs

  • Preaheat the oven to 200° (mark 7).
  • Place 4 circles on a sheet of oven-proof paper.
  • Sprinkle 3 tsps of grated parmesan cheese evenly inside each of the circles.


  • Bake for 3 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns golden.
  • Use a spatula to remove each circle of cheese, and roll each around a cone made from cardboard or stiff paper. If the cheese hardens too quickly, return it to the oven for a few seconds.


  • Prepare the rest of the cornets using the same technique (4 cornets at a time).
  • Beat the ricotta with the lemon juice and the milk. Set aside in the fridge.
  • Brown the proscuitto ham slices slightly in a frying pan.
  • Dice into small pieces and add to the ricotta.
  • Fill each cornet with this mixture, and decorate with a slice of fig.


Mushrooms marinated in chilli pepper
Preparation : 20 minutes
Marinade : 30 minutes
700 gr of button mushrooms
25 cl olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 pressed garlic glove
1/4 tbsp sugar
1 chopped red chilli pepper
1 chopped green chilli pepper
1 tbsp freshly chopped de coriander
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley


  • Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and place in a bowl.
  • Mix the oil, the lemon juice, garlic, sugar, herbs and the peppers.
  • Add the marinade to the mushrooms, cover, and leave for 30 minutes.

You can marinate the mushrooms up to one week beforehandand and store in the fridge.

Semi-dried tomatoes
Preparation : 10 minutes
Refridgerator : 24 heures
Cooking : 2 h 30

16 cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 160 °C ( th2-3). Cut the tomatoes into 4. Place them skin-side up on a sheet of foil on a baking tray.


  • Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, and pepper, and the chopped thyme.
  • Cook for 2h30 in the oven.
  • Remove from the oven, add the olive oil, and leave to cool.
  • Store in a clean container in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.

These tomatoes will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for one week.

Pepper cigarettes
Preparation : 30 minutes
Refridgeration : 2 hours
Cooking : 10 minutes
20 pieces
1 red pepper
60 gr grated gruyère or cheddar cheese
30 gr grated parmesan
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
2 drops of tabasco sauce
10 slices of white bread
10 gr melted butter


  • Cut the pepper, remove the seeds, and place skin-side up under a hot grill until the skin blackens. Leave to cool in a plastic bag or in aluminium foil, and peel when cooled.
  • Chop into small pieces and place in a bowl with the cheeses, the mayonnaise, herbs, tabasco sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Trim the sides of the bread slices, and flatten with a rolling pin.
  • Brush both sides with the melted butter.
  • Spread the pepper mix onto the bread, leaving a 1 cm border all around.
  • Roll up the bread, and attach with cocktail sticks.
  • Cover, and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 180° (mk 5).
  • Cut each roll into 2, and secure each one with a cocktail stick.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until crisp.

You can prepare the cigarettes the previous day before baking.

Idées "Apéritif" épisode 1