Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chef Jules Birthday Bash

Hello Friends,
Antipasti
 It's that time of year when one becomes a year older, and hopefully a little wiser. As usual I had a great time with friends and family, celebrating with good food and wine. I thought I would just show you a few photos of what was available. As you can see we started with Antipasti. Items of note would be the orange tomatoes, Sicilian olives, cream cheese stuffed baby capsicums and the central plate of cured salmon. I want to share the salmon recipe with you because it is an easy one and is as follows.

Chef Jules Cured Salmon Recipe
1 fresh fillet of Salmon, go for the belly or central part (not the tapered tail end)
2 tablespoons coarse rock salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
Pepper
Parsley and dill chopped
Method
Remove the bones from the fillet. run your fingers along the fillet and remove with chefs tweezers, or cut out with knife if you don't mind a little wastage.
Take a suitable tray or plate and sprinkle half the salt on the bottom, lay the salmon on top and sprinkle the remaining salt on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Wash the Salmon under cold water and dry on a paper towel. Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the salmon, cover and keep in the fridge until needed. Serve with lemon wedges and grilled Ciabatta bread.
Rabbit Ragout
After the above we had my Rabbit ragout served with Schiaffoni pasta, which is a large tubular variety. Having friends in the wine importing business is a real bonus because you get to try wines that haven't been released on the local market, so when Carlo from Sapori d'Italia knew I was cooking rabbit he brought along a bottle of IL Conte Villa, Lu Kont, Montepulciano 2007, from the Marche region of Italy. This wine was amazing, full bodied and has spent 15 months in oak barriques, 12 months in cement tanks and finally 6 months in the bottle before distribution. It was unlike any Montepulciano I have ever tried and at 15% alc. was very robust and a perfect paring with the rabbit ragout.
Stuffed Pork Loin
Toffee & Almond Topped Orange Cake 
To follow I served a boned pork loin, with belly attached, stuffed with sage and onion omelette, rolled, roasted and served with a doubonet jus. To conclude, I made a toffee almond topped orange cake, which I have made on 3 occasions, and turns out perfectly every time.It really is a great recipe, relatively easy to make and as with all the above items, for the recipes feel free to e-mail me.
Ciao for now

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chef Jules Panna Cotta Recipe

Hello Friends,
Chef Jules Panna Cotta recipe is a very easy dessert to make, and one which will impress your guests. Panna Cotta, translates to "cooked cream" from Piemonte, Italy, where the dessert is thought to have originated from. Traditionally, Panna Cotta is a rich, velvety vanilla cream which has been cooked and lightly set using gelatin. I have created this panna cotta recipe, because the cardamom and mint combination work really well together. For those of you who aren't sure of what cardamom is (also spelt cardamon), it is a spice, related to the ginger family, derived from a plant in which the dried pods containing the seeds, also known as "seeds of paradise" are used in a variety of ways from perfume in ancient Greek and Roman times, to an exotic and pungent additive in Asian, Middle Eastern and Central American cuisine. Cardamom is also used to flavour tea, coffee and several liqueurs. The pods vary in size and colour from white/green to reddish-brown.
Panna Cotta Recipe Ingredients (makes 5, 75ml custard cups or ramekins)
350ml double cream
150ml milk
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways
60g caster sugar
5g granulated gelatin
2 tablespoons boiling water
6 white cardamom pods, lightly crushed to expose the seeds
10g roughly chopped fresh mint leaves

To make the panna cotta recipe, put the gelatin in a cup, pour over boiling water and stir with a teaspoon. I usually put it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it hot again and to ensure the gelatin is fully disolved.
Take a saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients and very slowly bring to the boil. Now add the gelatin mixture and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla  pods, strain the mixture into a bowl. Scrape the inside from the vanilla and add to the bowl. Cool in the fridge, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.
Lightly oil the ramekins and pour the panna cotta mixture into them. Allow to set for a few hours or over night in the fridge, covered.
Chef Jules Tips
When making panna cotta, the idea is to use as little gelatin as possible to ensure a lightly set dessert. I have experimented to acheive this with the above recipe. It would pay to measure the gelatin with digital scales, to be exact.
You are only limited by your imagination when deciding on the flavour of your panna cotta. If you think of fruit, or the many different teas, i.e green tea, raspberry. Even coffee, chocolate flavoured. Or you could simply make a plain vanilla panna cotta, and have a fruit compote of your choice, on the plate to accompany the dessert.
Do not allow the panna cotta to set too much in the bowl when cooling down in the fridge.
That's all for now, I hope you try Chef Jules easy pannacotta recipe.