Occassionally, I spot an ingredient that I just have to use in a dish - this time it was a beautiful piece of smoked raclette. Raclette is a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese typically used for melting in dishes. Here I’ve complemented the savoury flavours of the smoked raclette with sweet buttersquash filling in cannelloni and a creamy besciamella sauce. This is quite a rich dish so I served it with some grilled asparagus and zesty gremolata to cut through the richness.
When I think of Hungarian food, the dish that comes to mind is goulash (gulyás). It’s a simple but very tasty and comforting dish, where beef is cooked slowly with onions and lots of paprika until tender and almost melt-in-your-mouth. The consistency is somewhere in between a stew and a…
Over a drink last weekend, a friend was talking about his typical dinners in Singapore. Food courts, takeaways, and occasionally a couple packets of instant noodles - it seemed like a home cooked meal was well overdue. After a few more drinks, Nick kindly volunteered me to cook Beef Wellington…
For Nick’s birthday this year I cooked a simple 3-course Tuscan dinner, reminiscent of our trip to Italy last year. It goes without saying that ingredients like fresh buffalo mozzarella, Parma ham and Tuscan extra virgin olive oil are not as easy to find in Singapore, and certainly not as fresh and high quality. But it’ll do until we find our way back to Panzano in Chianti to eat at Dario Checchini’s restaurant. Of course, the meal was washed down with a bottle of Chianti Classico and finished off with limoncello.
Insalata Caprese with Parma Ham
Slices of buffalo mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, seasoned with salt & pepper, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
Tuscan Steak Tartare
Finely chopped steak fillet mixed with capers, shallots and parsley. Served with Dijon mustard and free-range egg yolk on top. Full recipe here.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina with Cannellini Bean Salad
Thick T-bone steak (rested for at least 1 hour before cooking) grilled 5mins each side and seasoned AFTER cooking with just sea salt and olive oil. Rest for at least 5mins and serve sliced up on wooden chopping board.
Cannellini beans and salad leaves tossed with parsley, chilli flakes, minced garlic, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt & pepper.
Tuscan Steak Tartare
I discovered a delicious version of this classic french dish in Tuscany, where a squeeze of lemon and pinch of chilli are used to flavour the meat in place of Worcestershire and tabasco sauce. The freshly chopped meat is also a perfect canvas to showcase Tuscany’s famous extra virgin olive oil - herbaceous and full-bodied with just a hint of spice.
When making steak tartare at home, make sure you use the freshest steak from a butcher, not the supermarket, and never ever use pre-ground meat. It also makes all the difference to finely chop the meat by hand as food processors will destroy its texture.
200g beef fillet, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 free-range egg yolk
4 to 6 slices of bread
1 garlic clove, cut in half
Mix all ingredients together in bowl, except egg yolk, bread and garlic. Lightly toast bread and rub one side with garlic clove. Arrange steak tartare on plate, with egg yolk on top. Serve immediately with toasted bread.
Sunday roasts are as much a tradition for Kiwis as it is for Brits. Nothing makes me feel more like I’m back home than roasting a whole chicken, pork shoulder, or leg of lamb in the weekends. Here I have roasted a de-boned leg of pork for 6 hours until the meat easily pulls apart. Don’t be…