Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Friday is coming !

2 days before “the” Friday…and still in hesitation. I am accountable for the main course!
That’s a huge responsibility! I have got an idea about the type of meat to cook: wild boar or pheasant. Quite an usual meat but it is the best period of the year to eat it! I hope this night will help…

Hasta Siempre le Rioja!

When haven't talked about wines yet but I think I should mention the wine we drank during the last 2 dinners.
It is a Gran Reserva Rioja from 1996 from Bodegas Muriel. I found this wine at a very good price at the Coop (£5.50 instead of £10)

The name gran reserva sounded a bit pompous so I made some researches to find out more.

It appears that the name Gran Reserva is given to a Rioja which has been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle.
There are actually 3 types of Rioja depending on how long they were kept in oak and in bottle.
You have the Rioja, Rioja Reserva and Rioja Gran Reserva.

I am not as good on wines as I'd like to be but I thought this wine tasted really good. I think the taste of oak really brings a nice taste to this wine. I am sure an expert could detect dozens of flavors but what I can say is that IT'S GOOD!

The rioja is a really good wine and one of the best Spanish wines.
It was actually the first wine to receive the "Denominacion de Origen" status in 1925 due to its consistent quality.
For more information on Rioja and wine in general, have a look at this link on wikipedia.

Knowing my love for the tempranillo grape, I am now on a hunt for similar wines from different grapes.
Any ideas?

Monday, November 28, 2005


I guess I'm on a mission to get fat this week.
I can't stop cooking!
I got some good pork sausages from Sainsbury's this week end and I decided to try some meatballs.
It's always a bit tricky to make your own meatballs, you have to mix your meat with bread, eggs and spices and hope it's going to stick together in the pan.
Well it usually does if you put the meatballs in the fridge for an hour but it's just a pain.

If you can get a good sausage with good seasoning why not make it a meatball?
You just open the sausage and take of the meat. The meat is so sticky it's dead easy to make balls out of them.

Then I heat up some olive oil in the pan and throw the onions and meat until golden.
When golden I add up a glass of wine to bring out all the flavours! So good.
Some tomatoes and herbs and you just let it cook for some time.

That's how it looks like....

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Sunday roast de puta madre!

That's what I'm talking about! A perfectly cooked piece of lamb, on the bone of course!
Sunday roast? I give you the ultimate roast cooked on the barbie!
With olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, paprika and spiked with garlic cloves this was amazing! I cooked it for about 1h30 on indirect heat and ended up with this pink lamb.

To go with the lamb, I treated my guests with a belgian specialty, a patate ardenaise. It is a big potatoe which I cooked in the oven and then removed the inside.
I then mixed the inside with creme fraiche, gruyere cheese and cubes of pancetta (you can use bacon as well). You put it back in the oven for 15 minutes and that's it!

With a good salad to finish, I think you can't go wrong.
Just happy faces and lotsa washing up! (Thanks Aglae!)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Always start with a brunch

First post so I had to make something big!
On Saterday mornings, I always take the time to make myself a good brunch usually with bacon, eggs and all the rest.

This morning I tried something new as I had a large potatoe left.
I decided to go for the paillasson de pomme de terre which is fried grated potatoes.

Basically, you grate your potatoes and you mix some chopped onions, gruyere cheese, an egg and salt and pepper. Then you just put it in the hot pan with olive oil!

Then it was the usual bacon cured in maple syrup and eggs and toasts.

Have a look at the pictures... Awsome!

Bon appetit!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday's dinner - Starter

Alright! It's Friday, let's find a good starter to do.
That's the question I asked myself 2 hours before having to do it for 2 others food aficionados!

I must admit I went the easy way and took Jamie Oliver's book out of the shelf. Easy but hey why should I make things harder for me?

The starter was a mozzarella salad with chili, olive oil, lemon juice and basil.
Very simple.
The only tricky part is too burn the chilies before and scrape the burnt part off.
This way, you take the heat out of them and it makes them a bit sweeter.

It may be a bit sweeter but I still recommend high amounts of bread to survive the dish!!!
We actually robbed Marco's baguette to bring our taste buds back to life! Thanks Marco, hope you had enough for the mozzarella hot dog!

I think the dish was a success and one of my first step to superstardom.
You know, you start with a salad and few years after you sit on a multi million dollar empire!

So make a salad!

Friday's night- Dessert

Ok...I am in charge for the last part of the supper. Last week Marco did an exellent dessert compose of vanilla ice cream, ginger cookies crushed and mandarin. It was I need to innovate, I was looking for something different than the usual dessert shown and done by the majority of young man!

I wanted something D I F F E R E N T! I had an exellent souvenir of a three stars restaurant in Brussels (la villa lorraine). It was good challenge. Usually majority of people are quite reluctant for this dessert. But I think that's a good challenge.

To find this recipe, I have been visiting the BBC food website. It is amazing the amount of recipe listed on this website. I have found different recipe for different flavour. My choice was a Banana souffle. I choosed this one, due to a good explanation on the website.

The recipe is quite simple. The secret, on how to succeed this dished, is in the white egg. I was totaly unlucky! I was not in possession of a food processor or a machine that can help me to create white egg. Just a simple whisk!!!

Raising 6 white eggs require time and a lot of E N E R G Y! Hopefully my mates helped me, souffle !!!
Clement and Marco cooked a delicious pork on the oven...i took the benefit to keep the oven warm for the souffle. The recipe require eight to nine minutes to cook the souffle.

Once the white eggs were raised I add the mixture into the ramekin and direclty I have put them in the oven.
The result was quite satisfying for the first try. I would advise to be carefull on the cooking time, because inside the souffle should be wet.
I like banana but other fruit as peach or peer could bring more fresheness at the end of this delicious meal.
I was satisfied for this first try, but I think I can do better the next time !