Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My kitchen really rules!

Saturday night A and I decided to get our chef on and cook up a feast for dinner.

Due to getting out of bed late, having much needed waffles and coffee at a nearby cafe prior to any preparation, we were making our shopping list for the market at 2:40pm. Markets close at 3pm. We still hadn't planned a dessert, but we had decided that mussels were essential to the meal, so getting to the market became essential as we weren't sure where else we would be able get them at 3pm on a Saturday. Well, that would be of any reasonable quality.

We jumped in the car and headed to the market, god bless the market that never closes on time. Got our ingredients, used A's trusty iphone to look up a dessert on the way to the supermarket and then headed home to begin preparations.

Our menu consisted of 4 courses, kinda French with a little Italian and a pudding for dessert.

Mussels Meuniere with Crusty Sourdough 
Cutting my finger on a broken shell while debearding the mussels was all worth it when we tucked into the mussels which we cooked in shallots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, butter and lots of white wine. The crusty bread we bought was perfect for soaking up all the juice at the bottom of the bowl. Not exactly the same as the ones I love to order at FranceSoir (Toorak Road, South Yarra), but still pretty good if I do say so myself.

Homemade Smoked Trout and Goats Cheese Tortellini with
Burnt Butter and Sage Sauce
Since A has just recently returned from her European Adventure, she was keen to show me her pasta making skills that she learnt during some cooking classes in Italy. We had decided on smoked trout and goats cheese as the filling as we had tried something similar at Taste of Melbourne last year and we have both been keen to recreate it ever since. Knowing that the filling has quite a lot of flavour in itself we made a simple burnt butter and sage sauce to compliment it. As neither of us had cooked it before, we probably could have let the butter brown a little more but we were happy with crispness of the sage with the bite of the goats cheese and trout.

Slow Cooked (in the LeCreuset) Mustard Beef with baked potatoes and
green beans with lemon and almond dressing
We got this recipe from N's mum, who is French, a complete whiz in the kitchen and always lends me her Raclette whenever I ask! We took a shoulder of beef, seasoned it and smothered it in Dijon mustard. Sealed it on each side and then allowed it to cook for 3 hours on a low heat. We made our own little additions, a few glugs of white wine and some sprigs of fresh thyme. The outcome was this extremely tasty meat that just fell apart with a fork and melted in your mouth. We baked some dutch cream potatoes and steamed some green beans, tossed them in olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and some toasted slivered almonds. Although by this stage we were struggling to fit the food in!

Caramel Apple Pudding with Vanilla Custard
Quite a basic recipe really, sliced granny smiths covered in a pudding batter (we added some cinnamon and all spice as there was no flavour in the batter apart from sugar). Over the top of the batter a syrup of brown sugar, golden syrup and water. Into the oven until cooked through.
This was my first attempt to make custard from scratch, its always seemed so hard to me. I don't know what I was thinking. It was simple! No longer do I need to nag my nan to make me her famous custard because I can actually make it myself! The vanilla was quite strong as the bean had lots of seeds in it. It really complemented the pudding and was a nice way to finish off our meal.

We finished eating just in time to see Harry Kewell get a red card - yes it was extremely late by this time, wine had been consumed over the course of the night, so our efficiency went down as the hours went by. This may also be the reason for my lack of photos for this entry.

A is, and will always be my cooking (and hamper) partner in crime, and if we ever get the urge to be reality TV stars (doubtful), look out My Kitchen Rules!


  1. What a fantastic 4 course meal! I would order that in a restaurant in a heartbeat :)

  2. Definitely the most fun I've had in the kitchen! Just remembering the delicious aroma of the mustard beef wafting through the house... and that amazing vanilla custard - oui! xoxo