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Crash Test Kitchen

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Bangers and mash recipe – with video
* Go to the Bangers and mash recipe Our cooking method for sausages adds extra flavour to the sometimes ho-hum “bangers and mash” by creating a chunky onion and tomato gravy out of the pan juices. Along with the obligatory mashed potato, this dish really does need some greens as well – green beans or broccoli, plunged into boiling water for just a few minutes. Perfect. This is a reasonably quick dish – suitable for a weeknight dinner. It’s easy to scale up the recipe for extra guests – say, two sausages minimum per person. For many years I eschewed the sausage. I’d had so many bad ones as a kid that I didn’t know really good ones existed. Then a few years ago they started to get “big” again; along with the foodie culture came a renewed appreciation of the sausage and all it had to offer. Certainly bad sausages still exist: those extruded atrocities of mulched meat parts encased in an engineered sheath. Not good. A quality sausage is important: good quality ground meat – we favour pork over beef as a result of our years of eating lovely English sausages – enhanced with various spices encapsulated in a natural casing that doesn’t peel away when cooked carefully. The sausages need to be browned nicely all over before you add the water for poaching/steaming; the browning is what gives the gravy its flavour. Take care not to overcook the onion; it should be soft and translucent – thick slices are best. The acidity and sweetness of the tomato balances well with the saltiness of the gravy to create a flavoursome topping for your snags on their little pillows of fluffy potato. Our recipe focuses on the sausage method. If you’re having them with mash, make sure to get suitable potatoes, boil them through, and mash with plenty of butter, a splash of milk, and salt and pepper to taste. As with this recipe, you’ll get a feel for the kind of mash you like. – Lenny Bangers and mash recipe with onion gravy (serves 4) 8 good quality thick sausages in natural casings 1 large onion, sliced into thick rings 2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped olive oil, salt, pepper 1 tbsp plain flour (optional) mashed potato how you like it Heat some olive oil in a large pan on medium and add the sausages. Brown them slowly on all sides. After about 5 minutes push the sausages to one side and add the onion. Keep turning the sausages so they brown evenly and the onion so it doesn’t brown or burn. Preheat the grill/broiler in your oven, or just get the oven on a low to medium setting. When the sausages are nicely browned – but not necessarily cooked in the middle – add about 1 ½ cups of water and put the lid on the pan. You can go without the lid but you’ll need a bit more water – just don’t boil it dry. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sausages are cooked through and swimming in a rich brown essence. Remove the sausages to a plate or dish and put them in the oven on a middle shelf – not right under the grill/broiler element – to stay warm and maybe brown a little more. Add the tomatoes to the juices and simmer until they soften, adding pepper to taste and salt only if needed. If the sauce is a little runny stir about 3 tbsp cold water into the plain flour and tip it into the gravy, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. It should thicken only slightly. Serve the sausages on a pillow of mashed potato, drizzled with tomato and onion gravy, with a green vegetable on the side. The post Bangers and mash recipe – with video appeared first on Crash Test Kitchen.
Pavlova recipe from the end of the oeuf
* Go to the Pavlova recipe We’ve moved back to Australia and thought the first effort in our dowdy but spacious new kitchen should be pavlova. This is an Australian, New Zealand and, oddly, Norwegian dessert favourite that we prepare using a simple recipe that has a few special touches. A pavlova is basically a giant meringue, but rather than being crunchy or chewy right through it’s meant to be crisp on the outside, with a soft and fluffy interior. A while back I was making ile flottante and encountered what Lenny and I have dubbed the ‘warm method’ of heating the egg whites before beating. We reckon it makes the pavlova mixture more stable and less likely to collapse when shaping and baking, and the inside more marshmallowy when you come to devour it. Pavlova is not difficult but there are some rules to be observed, particularly that you must let it cool and keep it dry before topping, which you don’t do until right before serving. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge for a few days but they will become less perky as moisture gets into the meringue. – Waz Pavlova recipe Ingredients 8 egg whites ¼ cup/60 ml water 1 ¼ cups caster/superfine sugar 1 tsp cream of tartar (or 2 tsp lemon juice) 2 tsp vanilla essence (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean) 600ml whipping cream about 500g fresh fruit such as berries, kiwi, passionfruit Method Heat 1 inch of water in a wide saucepan until fine bubbles form in the bottom; keep it just on the brink of boiling. Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar in a glass bowl. Sit the bowl in the saucepan over the heat and whisk gently till the egg mixture is nearly too hot keep your fingers in it. You don’t need to aerate the egg mixture; just keep it moving. This process will help stabilise the mixture so it doesn’t collapse during cooking. Take the mixture off the heat and whip vigorously until it forms stiff peaks; an electric whisk is useful here. You should just be able to hold the bowl upside-down over your head without the mixture falling out. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper. Gently form the mixture on the tray into the shape of a large round cake – the higher it is, the longer it will take to cook. Cook the pavlova for at least two hours in an oven that’s been preheated to slow – which is about 107 Celsius or 225 Fahrenheit. Keep cooking it on this temperature until it forms a crispy shell on the outside; it should be marshmallowy and soft in the middle. It may take three or four hours to cook, depending on its overall size. A few cracks are normal. Don’t raise the heat or you will brown the pav; by cooking it slowly you are desiccating the outside and setting the centre. So your pav does not go moist and lose its crispness, leave it in the cooled oven with only the fan on (no heat) until you are ready to serve it. Whip the cream, spread it over the top of the pav. Chop the fruit and arrange over the top, preferably with a little fresh passionfruit sprinkled over at the last. Serve with a sip of sweet, sticky wine. The post Pavlova recipe from the end of the oeuf appeared first on Crash Test Kitchen.
How to cook with truffles
Windows video (small) mp4 video (small) Go to the recipe for Pasta with white truffle Go to the recipe for Eggs in cocotte with white truffle On “schoolnights”, when everything happens at helter-skelter pace, it’s always a rush to get home from work, throw a meal together and do the day’s housekeeping before crashing into bed. If I’m lucky Waz has been on an early shift and we can share the evening duties. So on the weekends we really like to give a lot more time and attention to creating lovely meals that we can enjoy eating at a slower pace. I thoroughly respect the ideology of the Slow Food Movement – begun in 1986 to celebrate and enjoy local and regional cuisines. So when time permits I love to create meals that embody the Slow Food philosophy of creating the simplest of dishes, with the highest quality ingredients. Chef Michelle and I recently treated ourselves with a whirlwind weekend trip to the centre of the white truffle universe – the Alba truffle festival in Piemonte near Turin, Italy. We ate a fantastic truffle meal at a Slow Food restaurant with some luscious local Barolo wine. We couldn’t believe our luck the following day when, while roaming the Alba hills, we ran into a local truffle hunter who sold us some white truffles that his little dog had just dug out of the ground. The white truffle has a pungent, earthy aroma that softens and mellows when you apply heat. When raw it reminds me almost of onion skin and garlic, but slow-roasted garlic or onion fried for a long time over the lowest of heats. The sharp aromas mellow into rich flavours that linger in your mouth and nose long after you’ve swallowed the last mouthful. So Michelle and I brought our truffles home and tried to recreate our Slow Food truffle meal. Yes, yes, you cynics out there: I admit we weren’t exactly in keeping with Slow Food philosophy by taking a short-haul flying weekend break to source our main ingredient. But we really wanted to take in the whole Alba festival experience. The thing about Slow Food is you try to use the freshest, highest quality ingredients, sourced as locally as possible. But everyone wants to cook with truffle once in their life (don’t they?), so if you’re lucky enough to be able to get hold of a truffle my suggestion is to do the least you possibly can with it so your dish is “all about the truffle”. – Lenny Pasta with white truffle (makes enough for 2 people) For both these dishes, try to splash out and buy the best quality (yes, that usually means most expensive) ingredients. The creamiest butter, the freshest eggs from the happiest chickens, the right cheese. I’m not sure this meal would work if it were made with bog-standard ingredients. The pasta should be home-made with strong wheat flour and semolina flour and fresh, free-range eggs. If you don’t have a pasta maker (like me at the moment) you can buy fresh pasta. I got mine from Selfridge’s and it was OK (but not, I venture to say, as good as my own would have been). 200g fresh, long, thin pasta (like spaghetti or tagliarini) 75-100g soft, unsalted butter 5g white truffle (tartufi bianchi) Get a large pot of salted water boiling and drop in the pasta. While it’s cooking, gently melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan – don’t let it sizzle or brown. The pasta will only take a couple of minutes. It should be al dente – with just a little bite to it. Scoop out a mugful of pasta water before very quickly draining the pasta and throwing it in the other pan with the melted butter. You don’t want the pasta to drain fully – you want it to be nice and wet. Give it a gentle stir around in the saucepan so the pasta water and butter emulsify. Add some more pasta water from your mug if the sauce seems at all oily or dry. Carefully lower the pasta onto a pasta plate, and shave half the truffle over each plate of pasta. Eggs in cocotte with white truffle (serves 2) At the risk of labouring a point, please use the best, freshest eggs you can in this dish – it will make all the difference. I made a bit of a rookie mistake by using single cream. Double cream is much better because single cream can split. Try to get raschera cheese – which is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese regional to Piemonte, home of the white truffle, and is therefore perfectly matched. If you can’t get raschera, try fontina. Without practice, it’s difficult to know how long to cook this dish to get the perfect consistency, so you could do what we did and prepare four so you can discard the first two if they are undercooked when you test them. The recipe below is enough for 2, but double it if you want to make 4 so you have two test-dishes. 2 eggs 1/2 cup double cream 200g raschera cheese, grated 5g white truffle Turn the grilll (broiler) on to medium. Butter 2 (about 200ml) medium-sized ramekins and put them on a tray so you can take them in and out of the oven easily. Carefully break the eggs into them, leaving the yolks whole. Carefully pour over the double cream – about the same volume as one egg (a bit less than 1/4 cup). Sprinkle over about the same volume of the grated cheese, so you have about one third egg, one third cream, one third cheese. Slide the ramekins under the grill and watch while they gently heat and turn brown on top. After about 5 minutes, check to see if the mixture is steaming hot and the eggs are on the brink of setting (it is easier to check if you have made extra and can discard them if they’re not done). Sit the ramekins on plates and shave truffle over the top; make sure to tell your guests to stir the truffle into the baked eggs to eat them. The post How to cook with truffles appeared first on Crash Test Kitchen.
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Podcast Details
Apr 11th, 2005
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Jun 21st, 2012
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