Having given Himself a course of Michelin starred ( Atul Kochar, Ex Benares London ) cooking classes for his birthday, somehow or other we/ he got a bit behind. So here we are on lesson #4 having skipped, for the time being #3 which is in the freezer.
Therefore this past weekend was designated His cooking day, which turned out to be Saturday. After his insistence, some Christmas decorations were done and he duly watched the video for his lesson.
On the whole, he is a very diligent pupil only occasionally going a bit left field, having been a scientist he mostly follows rules, but then again doesn’t always engage brain! “Why is my sauce a bit runny?” Um, because you used 750 mls of white wine and not 75 mls ! But, Hey Ho, onwards and upwards.
This week, the menu, was Venison, with mushroom rice, chocolate curry sauce and hispi cabbage. I almost never, in-fact change that to NEVER cook Cabbage, but that is about to change as I absolutely loved this cabbage and have done some research and have found a couple of more ways to cook and serve it.
The package arrived with everything needed to cook this meal Except the cabbage and so it was to my surprise that the following day , it arrived in a separate parcel. My only real complaint about this company ( Banquist) is sometimes for a novice in the kitchen there is a lot of guess work needed in deciphering what exactly is in each of the packets. Whereas the delivery of the Ottolenghi meal from a company called Dispatch, absolutely everything was well labelled or numbered.
For 2 people
- 250 grams Venison fillet ( and Lamb Fillet or Pork fillet can be used)
- 1 tabsp oil
- For the spice coating
- 1tabsp crushed dried juniper berries
- 2Tabs Garam Masala
- Cut the fillets into 2 and wrap tightly in cling film, refrigerate
- Sauté the juniper berries in a dry pan until they smell wonderful. Tip them out and crush ( use a coffee grinder if need be) and mix with the Garam masala and some salt
- When ready to cook the meat, heat some oil in a solid pan, roll the meat in the spices and sear on all sides, move to an oven proof dish and cook for about 4-6 mins at 200C (180 fan) Gas #6.
- Leave to rest covered in foil for 5 minutes)
Hispi cabbage or baby gem lettuce
- Take one baby gem per person and cut into half
- or a small hispi cabbage for two, cut into 4
- Wash drain and dry on paper towel
- Melt some butter in a frying pan and quickly sauté the cabbage/ lettuce on both sides, then transfer to the oven for about 4 mins to soften, so EASY and yet so NICE.
- The meat was served with a very nice Mushroom Rice, almost like a mushroom risotto with ooodles of mushrooms and Indian flavours!
- I think you can make your own version of this rice as Himself found it to be quite time consuming. Use most of the following
- 2 crushed green cardamom, 1/2tsp each of ground coriander, chilli powder, Garam masala and cumin seeds, a crushed clove of garlic 20 grms or so of butter, and assortment of mushrooms about 200grms ,100 grms basmati rice, 2 onions finely sliced, a dollop of cream and the same of tomato purée.
Boil some water, and pour it over the rice and leave for about 5 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
Melt the butter add the cardamom pods, spices, garlic and onions. Sauté add the chopped mushrooms, sauté until the mushrooms are cooked. Add the cream and tomato paste, stir well to mix. Add the rice stir and keep warm.
This was all served with a chocolate curry sauce, all a bit longwinded but simplification is at hand.
- You will need
- 2 tablespoons oil
- A chopped onion and 2 chopped cloves a bit of ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp each of ground coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, Garam Masala and cinnamon
- A tablespoon of tomato purée
- 40 grams good plain chocolate
- A litre of stock ( fond de veau, chicken or vegetable)
- Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, add the spices and cook for about a minute. Put all in a blender, blitz until a fine paste
- Add the stock bring to a simmer and add the paste along with the tomato paste and chocolate, simmer gently until it reaches a pouring consistency.
- Can be made well in advance and reheated gently. I would probably make a much larger quantity, cool and freeze in usable amounts, so it is there whenever it is needed !
He DID Good, it was a very lovely dinner.