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I Love This and That: April 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Porcini Mushroom and Leek Pappardelle

During this years Food Bloggers Indaba in Cape Town, we each received a packet of dried porcini mushrooms from novelle mushrooms. We were asked to blog our own recipe with the packet of mushrooms.

To be honest, I have never worked with dried mushrooms before, so this was a challenge for me.  I soon found out, that these dried mushrooms are very similar to the fresh ones, and no need worry.  A packet of dried mushrooms has now become one of the have-to-haves in the pantry.

Because porcini mushrooms are nice and fleshy mushrooms, I decided to go for a meat-free dish, which might but not be the healthiest pasta you have had but surely very tasty and a perfect dish for meat free Monday's.

I made my own pasta, but you can used store bought fresh pasta, and if you really can 't find that, you can probably use the dried pasta. But don't be intimidated by making your own pasta, it is so worth the while.  If you don't have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin to roll out the dough nice and thin (it just takes a bit more time) and then as in the recipe below, cut them into strips.

What you need:
For the pasta:
2 cups of Cake Flour
3 Large Eggs
Half a tsp salt
Half a tsp olive oil

For the sauce:
20g Cake Flour
20g Butter
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
50g Novelle Dried Porcini Mushrooms (2 Packets)
4 Leeks
1 clove of Garlic
3 Thyme
1 cup Cream

Fresh Parmesan and ground black pepper for serving

What to do:
On a clean and smooth surface place the flour, making a well in the middle of the flour with steep edges.

Break the eggs in the middle of the well, and add the salt and the olive oil tot he eggs in the middle of the well.

Using a fork, start mixing the eggs with the flour slowly until most of the egg is mixed with the flour.  If the dough is too sticky, add a bit of extra flour.  If it is too dry add a few drops of water.  Then start using your hands and work the dough for about 10 minutes.  You will see that the texture of the dough starts becoming more pliable.

Once you have worked the dough through, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for about 30 min.

Remove from the fridge and allow to reach room temperature again.

Divide the dough in four equal parts, and dust lightly with some flour (not too much) and start rolling out the dough.  I made pappardelle which is the name for a flat, broad (2 - 3 cemtimeters) pasta.

So once the pasta is rolled out in flat sheets, you simply cut the sheet into wide strips.

Into a pot with boiling water, half a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil, you drop these wide strips in and boil until al dente (about 2 minutes), strain and drizzle with olive oil.

The basis of the sauce is a veloute, which is basically a mixture of equal butter and flour with some stock.
To start off with the veloute we first make a roux, which is a mixture of the butter and flour that is cooked before the stock is added, but not browned, thus over a medium heat.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, until it becomes foamy, then add the flour you will see that it makes a beautiful paste that you stir to cook the flour.  Then add the stock and mix it until you have a smooth sauce.

In the meantime you need to soak the dried mushrooms in a bit of boiling water for about 30 min, until soft.

In a difference saucepan, fry the leaks and garlic. Add a bit of olive oil and slowly fry the garlic and the leaks until it is cooked.

To the veloute, add the leaks, mushrooms, thyme and the cream.

Over a low heat simmer the sauce for about 20 min until all the flavour have combined.

Pour the sauce over the pasta.

Dish up and service with parmesan shavings, and black pepper.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sago Pudding

Sago pudding is one of the winter comfort puddings that I make a lot in the winter, and everyone loves it.  I have however noticed that the sago itself is much more popular than the meringue part.  What I have dome is fold the meringue into the sago mixture and bake it like that. It looks prettier with the meringue at the top though and who cares if nobody has the meringue, sure you will have the takers for the meringue. I sometimes I even have it for dinner, milk, egg, jam why not ;-)

What you need:
4k Milk
1k Sago
2 Tbsp Butter
3/4k Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
A few Tablespoons apricot jam

What to do:
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

In a Saucepan simmer together the milk, sugar, salt, and sago until the sago is see through. (Be carefully not the burn the milk - if you are scared of this you can do this in the microwave in a microwave friendly bowl).

Allow this mixture to cool slightly.

Then add the butter.

Beat the egg yolks and the extract and add to the sago mixture.

Spoon into an oven safe dish.

Spoon some apricot jam on top of the sago mixture.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, gradually adding 6 tablespoons of sugar.

Spoon the egg whites on top of the apricot jam.

Bake in the pre-heated oven until the egg whites are light brown.

Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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