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Monday, May 13, 2013

Lamb Liver Stroganoff

Lamb Liver Stroganoff

I know that I posted a “skinny chicken stroganoff” recently, about 2 posts ago, but I done this this evening for our Easy Monday Meal at The Links, and it was such a big hit, I tried a little myself and it truly is a classic that I think even the most stubborn non liver eaters would turn around and say, Ooh liver isn’t that bad, really easy to make consists of 2 parts, a base sauce and then the finishing of the liver.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep: 20 min
Cooking Time: 35 min
Serves: 6

Ingredients for base sauce
1 Small onion fine sliced
80g streaky bacon cut into batons
500g Mushrooms quartered
25g tomato paste
250ml dry red wine
250ml beef stock
1 clove fresh garlic
Small handful chopped parsley
A few sprigs of thyme
1 tsp paprika
250ml cream
1 small gherkin finely cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry off the bacon in a little oil, until it starts to go a little crispy, then add in the onions and cook until translucent, then add in the garlic, thyme and tomato paste, carry on cooking this for about 2 more minutes, then deglaze the pan with the red wine and add in the rest of the ingredients except the mushrooms and parsley, leave this to simmer gently for about 20 minutes, then add in the mushrooms and parsley and let simmer for a further 5 minutes.

At this point the base sauce is cooked and is ready to be used in either a beef stroganoff, chicken or as in this case a lamb liver.

Ingredients for Lamb Liver Stroganoff
Base sauce from above
1kg lambs liver cut into strips
2 small onions chopped
1 TBSP flour
5 TBSP sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry off the liver in two extremely hot pans, this is because as soon as you add in the liver the pan is going to lose all of its heat and the liver will stew opposed to frying, so better to use two pans to lessen this effect, as soon as the lamb is in the pan, add in the onions, toss once or twice until the lamb is coloured all around but not cooked through, divide the flour into the two pans toss until all the flour absorbs the oil, then add in the base sauce from the recipe above, leave this now to come to a strong simmer, then add the sour cream take off the heat and serve.

I have served it here with mashed potatoes and caramelized onions

Caramelized onions recipe
2 onions sliced
1 TBSP brown sugar
Oil for frying
1 tot of whisky

Fry off the onions until they start to colour, then add the sugar and cook for a further 4 -5 minutes then just before you take it off the heat add in the whisky and light it, let the flames burn out and you’re done.

Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting and homemade chocolate truffles

Recipe of the week……….Red Velvet Cake

For those of you who know me quite well, will know that there is one thing in the kitchen that I really really don’t like doing more than other things and that is baking cakes, well it always turns out that I get asked to please bake the birthday cakes and always end up saying, sure no problem, well a dirty little secret, its not a problem, I just don’t like to measure things out and that’s why I generally don’t like baking cakes, but from what I have been told this one was a real show stopper, so I thought I would share it for those of you who like to bake.

This recipe was for 40 people, if you would like to scale it down, divide everything by 4 and that will yield a cake big enough to serve 12 easy. Good luck and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Difficulty: Medium to Hard
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins
Serves: 40 people

Ingredients for Red Velvet Cake
1kg Cake flour
4 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp salt
½ cup cocoa powder
2kg white sugar
1lt oil
8 eggs
5 cups buttermilk
6 vanilla pods scrapped
6 bottles red food coloring
4 tsp white spirit vinegar
2 cups hot strong black coffee (this is for you not the cake, just joking its for the cake)

Preheat oven to 160˚c
In a very large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.
In a separate large bowl mix together the sugar and oil.
Then mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring, coffee and vinegar until well combined.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
Butter and flour 3 x 25cm cake tins or 4 x 20cm cake tins, place then in the freezer for 5 minutes just until the butter hardens
Dived the cake batter evenly into the cake tins you have chosen to use.
Place them in the oven and have 4 shots of tequila and hope it doesn’t flop, just kidding, bake for about 30 minutes, when you insert a toothpick is should come out fairly dry from the middle of the cake.
Let cool on a cooling rack until the pan are warm to the touch.
Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.

Now comes the fun part for me partly because you don’t have to be exact with your measurements and you know get to see how well you can hide any mistakes you have made on the exterior of the cake

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
2,5kg Cream cheese
500g unsalted butter
10 cups icing sugar
4 vanilla pods scrapped
Zest and juice from 2 lemons

Whisk all the ingredients together until light and fluffy.

Then you can ice the cake to your hears desire, this one in the picture is 3 layers with frosting in between each layer, and for added WOW factor some homemade chocolate truffles on top, but these are not for the faint hearted to make as I have used a 70% couverture chocolate that is not tempered and still have to be tempered, but here is the recipe anyway for those of you that are keen to try it out.

Ingredients for chocolate truffles
1kg Lindt 70% chocolate
500ml double cream
Cocoa for rolling in

You need to melt the chocolate over a double boiler whilst mixing continuously until the chocolate reaches 45˚c then you need to cool it down to 27˚c and then bring it back up to 31˚c, then work with it. The main problem is if you over shoot the mark, you are going to have to start all over again.

Once you have tempered it add in the cream and mix thoroughly and quickly as it will thicken very quickly, then place it in the fridge for about 4 hours, take out and heat up a melon baller in some hot water and scoop out little chocolate balls, roll in the palm of your hand to get out any defects and then roll it in the cocoa, arrange then all over the top of the cake, this cake here has 100 of them on it.