Thursday, December 25, 2008

Vinegar marinated beef

This is a non traditional way of marinating meat. It is a combination of very unusual flavors, it goes very well with rice and the sauce made with mushrooms, creme fraiche and moutard.

- Red wine vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt (recommended to use rocky salt, not normal extra fine salt)
- Pepper
- Herbes de Provence
- Salvia
- Garlic
- Olive oil
- Oven tray (not a flat one, the one you'd use to make lasagna)

On the oven tray place a layer of salt, not completely covered but around 40-50% of the surface, on top of that add slices of garlic.
Cover one side of the beef with the Herbes de Provence and the Salvia. Place the beef on top of the garlic and the salt on the tray.
Once done that, carefully create a mixture of 50% of red wine vinegar and 50% balsamic vinegar. I recommend to add both to the tray, it has to be enough to almost cover the beef but not to completely cover it. Add some olive oil on top.
Let it marinate for about 1 hour or two. Once it's ready, place the tray in the oven (preheated to 180 C) and let it there for about 45 minutes to one hour.
Once done you'll have a beef that has a different flavor on each side! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Caramelized pepper

This recipe is not mine,I actually learned it from my mother. It's very simple and everybody likes it.

1 Red pepper (Actually it work with any kind of pepper, red, green or yellow)
500gms of sugar.

Cut the pepper in thin slices and take away all the seeds.
Put the sugar on a frying pan and caramelize it. The trick is to keep stirring the sugar to avoid burning it. Be careful with caramel, the line between great caramel and burn caramel it's very but very thin.
Once the caramel is done, add the pepper slices to it and make sure they are covered by a thin layer of caramel.
This is a very tasty side dish that will add flavor to any meal.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Curry rice

This is a variation of the previous recipe and it is very easy to make, given that you have curry (Curry in itself is difficult to describe since it is a term that describes a family of sauces and spices, refer to wikipedia for more info).

Ingredients (4 people)
2 Teaspoons of curry
2 Cups of rice
3.5 cups of boiled water
Oil (I prefer olive oil)
Salt, pepper, garlic.

Boil the water, as in the previous recipe don't let it boil long just let it reach the boiling temperature.
Put the rice on a pot and add salt and oil to it. 4 teaspoons of oil should be more than enough, but it is up to you.
Fry the rice, but don't let it burn. As soon as you see some grains turning really white, turn the fire to low position.
Add the boiling water, and after that add the curry and mix. Depending on the amount of curry used, the colour it will take. 4 Teaspoons should give a pale yellow color on the final rice. For most people that it is more than enough spice, you need to adjust it to your own taste.
Put the lid on the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium to low fire. As in the previous recipe, check the rice after 8 minutes to see how it's going.
This rice goes well with spicy foods, such as spicy chicken.

White "fried" rice

This is the simplest kind of rice, it is the base for all of the other preparations.

Ingredients (1 to two persons)
1 Cup of rice
1.75 Cups of boiled water
Oil (I prefer olive oil, but you can use your own favorite)
Salt, pepper

Boil the water, do not let it boil long just let it reach the boiling temperature.
Put the rice in a small pot and add the salt and a little bit of oil (2 teaspoons should be enough for one cup). Heat it and let it there for 2 to 3 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon. The secred is to avoid the rice to get burn, so watch it carefully, as soon as you notice some rice grains getting really white, lower the fire and move to the next step).
The next step is to add the boiling water to the pot and put the lid on top of it. Let it cook on a medium to low fire for about 10 minutes. Try to avoid looking at the rice every minute since it will loose the pressure.
Open the lid after 8 minutes and take a look at the rice, at that point, there should be very little water and the water should be boiling. Close the lid and wait a few minutes until the water is gone. Be aware that if you wait too long the rice will burn and stick to the bottom, if you do it before time you risk the rice to be still not fully cooked.
If everything goes perfect, you should have a very nice rice that goes wonderful with almost any dish you want to prepare. For extra taste you can add a few slices of garlic to it (according to your personal preferences).


I thought that rice was easy enough for anybody to be able to prepare it, but I found out that most people do not know how to make proper rice so I decided to add a few recipes here. They go in increasing level of difficulty and they can be used for different dishes, I tried to make a list of potential dishes on each case.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chicken with orange sauce

This is a simple recipe that will make you very popular.

4 chicken breasts (more or less depending on how many people)
1 Kg oranges (again, mileage may vary)
2 spoons maicena
Olive oil

Extract the juice from the orange and divide it into two recipients (Note of the editor: DO NOT USE BOXED ORANGE JUICE, it will not make a good sauce and it might give a very ugly taste).
In a sauce pan, add some olive oil and let the chicken breast cook for about 5 minutes in low fire.
After 5 minutes, dump the orange juice into the sauce pan with the chicken. Raise the fire to medium/high and let it boil. Once it boils, lower a little the fire and let it cook there for 40-50 minutes.
In another sauce pan, add the orange juice and add the maicena. Mix it well and let it boil. Once it boils, lower the fire and let it there for 20-30 minutes, until it starts to reduce. Be careful, keep your eyes on this since sometimes it might reduce faster than 20-30 minutes.
Once the orange juice is reduced, dump it into the sauce pan where the chicken breast is cooking and voila. Let it there until the chicken is ready.

How it should be
If you do it the right way, the chicken will be extremely tender and the orange sauce will be non liquid.

Potential problems
If you burn the chicken or let it get crispy in the beginning, do not despair. The solution for that, is to cook the chicken longer into the orange juice.
If the sauce is too liquid, you need to add a little more maicena and let it boil and reduce.

Of course if you are really into this, you can let the chicken marinating for a couple of hours in the orange juice.

Suggested companions
Rice, with red pepper, garlic and some asparagus.
This goes wonderful with Pinot Noir or Carmenere wines.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mushrooms, mustard and creme fraiche

This is a very simple sauce that will add flavor to any dish.

- Mushrooms
- Creme fraiche
- Mustard (preferably Dijon, but it's up to you)
- Olive oil or butter (or if you like you can use both)

Cut the mushrooms in slices, not terribly thin but not thick either.
In a frying pan put the olive oil (enough to create a thin layer on the frying pan), start medium fire and then when the oil is starting to warm add the mushrooms.
After a while the mushrooms will have suck some oil, so add a little to compensate (You can skip this if you are not fond of oil or butter).
When the mushrooms are ready (they turn brown and become very soft), add the creme fraiche. Let them cook for two or three minutes, you will notice the creme fraiche starts getting "liquid".
Once the creme fraiche is semi liquid (again, this is entirely up to you there is no magic bullet here, just your personal taste), add one spoon of mustard and mix it with the creme fraiche and the mushrooms. Once everything becomes an homogeneous mix (one or two minutes after the mustard was added), turn off the fire and voila!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Recipe exchange

Since I love cooking so much, I decided to create a blog specifically to post recipes, tips and trick about cooking.
My next post will be a simple but very tasty recipe for a sauce that goes with almost anything. It will give a special touch to any dish.