Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homemade Herb Pappardelle

I got inspiration for cooking fresh pasta from Peter who owns a local Deli in Dubbo called Newtown Providores. Pete showed me some great flour he has that is about half semolina half durum wheat by Bellata Gold Australian Millers called "Duralina" and that it is the best flour for making fresh pasta. I have been wanting to buy a pasta roller but I couldn't wait and I thought I should make an effort to roll it by hand a few times for fun. I got some organic eggs from the Cobb & Co between Bathurst and Orange on our road trip out to Dubbo. I had some on toast and they were lovely eggs, so I used them to make this Pappardelle pasta. The name derives from the verb “pappare,” to gobble up.

2 cups Duralina flour
2 organic free range eggs
3 more egg yolks
2 tbsp fresh garden herbs chopped finely
1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper

Place the flour on the bench and make a well for the eggs.
Stir them in with a crab hand like so:
Add fresh garden herbs and pepper. Knead for about 5 minutes to get a shiny, silky dough. Hard work!
Leave for 60 minutes in fridge covered in plastic wrap. Remove when ready to cook and roll out on the bench. Always roll away from you, turning the circle as you go until it gets about 1-2mm thick - more hard work!

Cut into 3cm wide ribbons.
In a large pot boil 5 litres of water with a tablespoon of sea salt.
Drop in and stir straight away to stop sticking. Cook for around about 5 mintues till al dente (some taste testing in this stage is essential.....of course).

Serve with a yummy sauce - I used a wild mushroom Jamie Oliver recipe that has a chilli, garlic, butter, parmesan and parsely sauce. I think it would also go really well with a duck or veal and pork ragu with tomato and pancetta based sauce.

We had this pasta with a really nice wine; "Idyllic Hills" Shiraz from the Canberra region, given to us by Jess & Geoff - I thought the wine tasted really nice just after a taste of the lemon/butter/garlic sauce because it has a really nice strength and energy about the flavour and matched the meal well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

German Argentinian Food and Soccer

Geoff and Jess invited us over for the World Cup game between Argentinia and Germany and we all cooked food themed by those countries signature dishes.

Geoff and Jess made amazing Sauerkraut with bacon and three types of German sausages: Kransky, Bratwurst and another wurst....real nice!

There were other lovely foods like carrot salad, potato salad, German dumplings and we made an Argentinian BBQ leg of lamb with Chimichurri sauce.

Making Churros!

400ml milk  
200g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten 
Peanut oil, to deep-fry
caster sugar
cinnamon powder

Sift the flour onto a sheet of baking paper.
Heat milk in a saucepan with 150ml water.
When boiling, tip in flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it comes away from the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool slightly, then add the eggs, beating until well combined.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan over high heat. Place the churros dough in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle (you can get these from woolworths in a box in the cake section) and pipe the dough into the hot oil in strips or horseshoe shapes.
Allow to become golden brown on one side (about 1 minute), then carefully turn over and cook the other side for about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel, to drain.

Combine the cinnamon and caster sugar together in a bowl and dip the churros in the cinnamon sugar to coat.
Serve with Dulce de Leche a signature Argentinian caramel sauce made by boiling sweetened condensed milk in the can or in a double boiler (pictured below) for over an hour.

They were so yummy I forgot to take more photos!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chimichurri Argentinian Sauce

Chimichurri is one of most delicious and versatile sauces around. It's Argentinean in origin and traditionally served with grilled steak, as well as being an essential part of the Argentinian Parilla BBQ. Chimichurri also works well as a marinade for all sorts of meats and vegetables (like potatoes). 

Put simply, Chimichurri is a parsley, garlic, and oil based sauce served with beef, and all recipies will have these ingredients. However, each recipe I have come across varies these proportions a little as well as adding others sich as pepper flakes or oregano. You will quickly develop your own proportions depending on what flavours you want to accentuate (Jamie Oliver adds tomatoes to his recipe). This is an opportunity to use your best olive oil since the sauce isn’t cooked, and the olive oil flavor is going to be prominent.

1 bunch fresh parsley (approx 2 cups) minced in food processor.
3-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp onion, minced
1 cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (optional)
1 tsp red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Use a food processor to mince the parsely, garlic and onion separately.
Add together in a serving bowl and mix in the other ingredients.

Note: consider trying apple cider vinegar, red wine or sherry vinegar, or lemon infused olive oil.

Adding the liquids outside of the blender gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You don't want the herbs to be completely puréed, just finely chopped, and you dont want to emulsify the oil so its frothy.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serve with any BBQ meat. Suggestion: Slow roast a boned and butterflied leg of lamb at 170C for 1 hour covered, then sear on BBQ to caramelize and colour the meat. Rest covered for 10 mintues then slice and serve with Chimichurri.
We ate this sauce over the slow roasted lamb leg at the German and Argentinian Food and Soccer night.
¡Muy sabroso!