Nigella’s Steak and Chips

I’ve recently been watching Nigellissima – Nigella Lawson’s new(ish) Italian cooking show. She’s so sweet to watch, and I love how she always showcases easy, yet delicious, recipes, that I usually have the ingredients for in the pantry.

(Speaking of pantries… how amazing is hers? And she has a freezer drawer in her kitchen island?? Oh, I want her kitchen so much)

Her ‘steak and chips’ really appealed to me straight away. The recipe for her chips are here. You cook the chips in cold oil. Which is interesting, because I learnt from Masterchef that you should start boiling root vegetables in cold water. Connection? I don’t know… any ideas??

In the end, I don’t think my chips were as crispy as hers. I was scared of over-cooking them, so I think they could have had a few more minutes. But, the flavour of chips was amazing – a little soggy, but divine. The garlic and herbs made such a difference.

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So, it’s an exceptionally large amount of oil. I usually shallow fry everything (mainly because I’m kinda scared of boiling oil). But for a special occasion I guess it’s ok. And heaps fewer steps that the usual par-boil and double-fry potato chip method – you just had to watch them. Which also means less dishes.

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The deep-fried oregano and sage are just delicious.

Then, she made a very simple steak. You fry the steak for two minutes on each side, then allow it to rest, again for two minutes on each side. But, when resting it, let it sit in a dressing of olive oil, splash of red wine vinegar, chilli flakes, oregano, and S&P.

Then, remove the steak and let some cherry tomatoes sit in the dressing for a few minutes. Slice up the steak, and plate it all together! Yum!

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How pretty are the lines on my steak?

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So colourful!

I really look forward to trying out more of her recipes. Please let me know if you have any recommendations!

Masterchef Beijing

When Masterchef Australia finished for the year, I felt that there was a hole in my life. It’s slick. It’s addictive. It’s nail-bitingly tense. It makes you drool. And, it’s educational.

What better way to fill that hole but with more food!! So, we hosted a Masterchef challenge at our place. Every participant was given a mystery ingredient, and that ingredient had to star in 3 courses. We all voted, plus we had a guest judge, in case of any close calls.

The results were fantastic! We had such a wide variety of delicious food – way too much though. Next time, we need to invite extra guests as well.

We had a quite a few dietary restrictions within the group, which made it an extra challenge! By looking at the dishes, you can probably guess what they were.

My ingredient was ginger. For my entree, I made sushi with pickled ginger. When pickling ginger, if it’s young enough, it should naturally turn pink in the pickling process. Mine had no luck  though, so I cheated and used some food colouring. I did a sushi making course ages ago at my fave Japanese restaurant, Hatsune, and I’d been dying to try it out. I think it worked out pretty well! I filled the sushi with carrot, cucumber, daikon and fried enoki mushrooms.

Pickled ginger recipe from: http://www.rain.org/~hutch/ginger.html

My main course was fried tofu in a ginger broth. I really struggled with this one. I think I put a lot of extra thought into my dessert, and lost a bit of focus on the main. It was yummy, just nothing exciting.

My dessert was based around gingerbread. I made edible cups and spoons of gingerbread. Then I filled them with chocolate risotto. I’d seen Jamie Oliver make choccy risotto on TV, and had been dying to try it out. I topped the dish with candied ginger too!

Candied ginger from: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/12/candied-ginger/

And here are some pics of what the other contestants cooked:

Andy‘s ingredient was carrot. He made carrot soup with baby carrot rolls, carrot ravioli with pickled carrots and carrot cake icecream with candied carrot. And, he was the champion of the day!

Michelle‘s ingredient was lemon. She made baked fennel stuffed with lemon, lemon risotto and lemon curd panna cotta.

Nic’s ingredient was chocolate. She made mexican chocolate soup, mole and jicama salad, followed by Ancho chilli and chocolate truffles.

Zac‘s ingredient was chilli. He made pan-fried salmon with chilli salsa, chickpea and chilli curry and chocolate chilli muffins.

As you can imagine, after all this food, it was nap time!