Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lamb liver...

"Offal is a culinary term used to refer to the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of organs, but includes most internal organs other than muscles or bones. In some parts of Europe, scrotum, brain, chitterlings (pig's large intestine), trotters (feet), heart, head (of pigs, calves, sheep and lamb), kidney, liver, "lights" (lung), sweetbreads (thymus or pancreas), fries (testicles), tongue, snout (nose), tripe (reticulum) and maws (stomach) from various mammals are common menu items." - by wikipedia.org

Offal is widely used in Polish cuisine. I already posted 2 recipes with offal, for Kołduny and Jellied pig's feet. Recently I had a huge craving (yes craving!) for liver. I have to admit that from all livers available at butcher (lamp, chicken, calf) the lamb liver is the best - and that's the one I recommend if that taste is completely new to you.
Great website about offal, which I can definitely recommend, is Offal Good.



How to make it...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cheese - French Rocamadour...

I know it was a while when I posted about first cheese for you to try :) With the Baby J, all other things to do around the house etc. I have less time for posting, but the time has come to add another cheese to my cheese board.



Rocamadour is a French cheese from the regions of Périgord and Quercy. It takes its name from the commune of Rocamadour in the département of Lot. It has benefited from an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) since 1996. Rocamadour comes from cheese family called Cabécou. It's very small cheese in a shape of 2 inches flat disc. It is a very young goats cheese of just 35g that can be eaten after just 12-15 days of ageing, but gets more intense after a few months. When young it is often consumed on hot toast, in salads or, as it ages, on its own with a red wine after a meal.



Personally I love this cheese! Made with raw goat’s milk, cheese's rind is thin and inside is soft and creamy, with a subtle taste of milk and mould. The aftertaste is light and the aroma reminds me of hazelnuts. It will be perfect with white wine or very subtle and fruity red.
The only minus - it's SO small - so make sure you buy more than only one ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Always perfect crispy duck breasts with orange sauce...

I love duck. At my family home there's no Easter or Christmas without roast duck. My Dad always debone the bird, stuff it and roast. Then you just have to slice it and enjoy. Unfortunately my Dad is far away so we had ot do something else with our duck. We bought whole, frozen bird for eur10 when in the Chinese take away you'll have to pay eur16 for the half. I'd say it was a good deal ;) My Hubby loves duck breasts so he decided to make it for dinner. The result - fantastic - and he finally learned how to make perfect crisp skin on the breast (the tip was taken from John Torode's 'Chicken' book).



How to make it...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks #12 Food preservation...

The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

I couldn't possible miss this month's Daring Cooks challenge. First - the host is a person who I admire and always look forward to His posts and Daring Kitchen challenges results :) Secondly - I love food preservation, don't do it a lot here in Ireland as I really think the full advantage of this is when you have your own little veg patch, some fruit trees etc.
I've picked Apple Butter recipe as I still remember my Nan making apple marmalade every summer - that amazing smell... and that unforgettable taste! I recently made some apple marmalade myself and instead of all spice (as in this challenge recipe) I used vanilla pods - amazing result! :) The all spice version gives it another 'dimension' and my Hubby is already planning a dinner of pork chops and apple sauce - using of course this apple butter :)
As an addition to the challenge I also made a mint syrup - hope you'll try it!



How to make it...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Red lamb shank Korma...

I know I'm probably getting a little bit boring with all that Indian cooking - but I just can't help myself! Another great Anjum's recipe :) her cookbook is slowly becoming one of my favourite. The only thing is that I didn't have chillies lying around in my kitchen so had to use red pepper and some chilli flakes instead - definitely will use chilli next time! With the red pepper it was rather delicate and mild dish whereas chilli will give it definitely a kick!



How to make it...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Portuguese chicken croquettes...

Chicken is a main meat in our home recently. As you all know it's one of the cheapest meat and as times are though we're trying to spend as little as possible - that applies to food as well. With the chicken we always try to buy only free range or if organic is 'on sale' that's out first preference - I try and avoid buying mass produce chicken as it taste of nothing to me and I don't really approve the way the are kept... As we have a small budget I tend to look into cook books more than usual, one of my favourites recently are John Torode's books and this recipe comes from one of them. I was slightly disappointed with this dish... I don't know if it was my fault, wrong ingredients, wrong way of doing it or maybe it's just not my taste... I'll definitely try to do this minimum one more time to give it (and myself) a chance to make it better (even John advices in his book to try each recipe few times, to try and 'perfect' it :) ) As it was this time - the croquettes almost fall apart during frying and after they were done the consistency was quite unusual (not to say weird...). Anyway - if you try it, please do let me know about your result!



How to make it...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Kashmiri lamb kebabs and roti bread...

OK, I'm now officially Indian cuisine mad :) I already have stock up on all necessary spices and Indian like ingredients - by the way it all smells incredibly! Those kebabs are so nice, something different than my usual lamb burger - more taste and depth to it! When seeing them in the cook book I immediately thought about roti bread to go with it - and it was a great idea.
So with a fantastic smell in the whole house me and my Hubby enjoyed an Indian dinner (for a fraction of the price which we would have to pay in the restaurant or even take-away!).




How to make it...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tarka Dal...

"Dal (also spelled Dahl or Daal, or Dhal) ( Hindi: दाल Dāl, Nepali: दाल Daal, Bengali: ডাল Dāl, Kannada: ಬೇಳೆ Bēḷe, Malayalam: Parippu, Marathi: डाळ Ḍāḷ, Tamil: பருப்பு Paruppu, Telugu: పప్పు Pappu, Dāl, Urdu: دال, Gujarati:દાળ) is a preparation of pulses (dried lentils, peas or beans) which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these, a mainstay of Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi cuisine. It is regularly eaten with rice and vegetables in Southern India, and with both rice and roti (wheat-based flat bread) throughout Northern India & Pakistan. Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat. Sri Lankan cooking of dal resembles that of southern Indian dishes." - by Wikipedia.org

Recently I'm fascinated with Indian cuisine, to be honest not only cuisine but the whole country - it's history, religion, people, geography :) This was my first time making this dish and it was a success - the only thing I will change in the future is to use different lentils, as those disintegrated a lot and I would prefer more texture in my dish :) Though my self-confessed meat eater Hubby liked it a lot! That was a surprise :)
The recipe comes from a great book by Anjum 'Anjum's New India'.


How to make it...