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Posts Tagged ‘Alsace’

These meatballs are melt in the mouth. Don’t make them too big (no bigger than golf ball size) or they will dry out.

Meatballs in Fragrant Coconut Broth – serves 2-3

  • 2tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, bashed and cut in half
  • 5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut  milk
  • zest and juice of 1 lime

FOR THE MEATBALLS: 

  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 500g minced beef
  • 75g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3-4 tbsp milk

First make the meatballs. Sauté the onion and garlic and some seasoning in a hot frying pan in a little oil for about 5 minutes or until soft and lightly coloured, adding the chilli flakes after a couple of minutes. Put the mince in a large bowl and season. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and moisten with the milk. Add seasoning, then stir the breadcrumbs and onion mixture into the mince and combine well. With wet hands, shape the mince mixture into golf-size balls. Transfer to a lightly greased plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until firm.

Brown the meatballs in a clean oiled pan for 4-5 minutes, turning until brown on all sides.

Add the coriander seeds, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli flakes, lemongrass and ginger. Heat through, stirring, until aromatic, then add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Simmer for 8-12 minutes until the sauce has a good flavour and has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

Add the lime zest and juice and serve hot.

Wine Suggestion: this is a rich and bold dish and requires a fuller bodied white wine with texture and savouriness. We would suggest a good Grand Cru Pinot Gris from Alsace (a drier version) or a Condrieu from the Northern Rhone. The wines would ideally have a couple of years development in the bottle to enable the overt fruitiness to mature and the savoury flavours to come to the fore.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.)

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So good that our friend’s David & Nicola fed this to their two-year old son Theo and he had seconds! We had trouble with the pastry, but the humid day really didn’t help. If you’re having trouble put the pastry in the fridge after bringing it together in the food processor to keep it cold, it will really help.

We served this at a French-themed dinner party where everyone brought a course and a complimentary wine to go with it. There was Quiche Lorraine for starter, leg of lamb roasted with lots of garlic and served with dauphinoise potatoes, an apple tarte tatin and some French cheeses. We are now all on a diet!

Quiche Lorraine – cuts into 8 slices

For the pastry:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
For the filling:
  • 200g pancetta, sliced into cubes
  • 50g Gruyère
  • 200ml carton crème fraîche
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  1. For the pastry, put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4tsp cold water into a food processor. Use the pulse button to process until the mixture binds. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin with the pastry. Trim the edges with scissors so it sits slightly above the tin – this way it will not shrink below the level of the tin (don’t throw the trimmings away yet). Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 189C/gas 6.
  2. Line the pastry case with foil, shiny side down, fill with dry beans and bake on the hot baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 4-5 minutes until the pastry is pale golden. If there are any small cracks or holes use your pastry trimmings to patch them. This part can be done the day before.
  3. Heat a small frying pan and fry the pancetta for a couple of minutes. Drain off any liquid, then continue cooking until they start to colour, but aren’t crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cut three quarters of the cheese into small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter the diced cheese and pancetta over the bottom of the pastry case.
  4. Using a spoon, beat the crème fraîche to slacken it then slowly beat in the double cream. Mix in the beaten eggs. Season, but go easy on the salt, and add nutmeg. Pour three-quarters of the filling into the pastry case.
  5. Half-pull the oven shelf out and put the tin on the baking sheet. Quickly pour the rest of the mixture into the case – so you get it right up to the top. Scatter the grated cheese over the top, then carefully push the shelf back in. Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden and softly set (the centre doesn’t need to be too firm). Let it settle for 4-5 minutes before removing from the tin.
Wine Suggestion: it is quite hard to match egg dishes with wine, but the addition of the cream, crème fraîche and pancetta helps. You need to balance the saltiness from the pancetta and the creamy and rich filling; so a white from Alsace with a touch of sweetness balanced by fresh acidity is a good match. We had a Clos Saint Landelin Grand Cru Vendange Tardive Riesling from 2001 – this is a late harvest wine that in most years is very sweet, but in 2001 had great fruit but ended up being just off-dry. With a beautiful balance of acidity and a mellowness from 10 years of age this worked a real treat and had layers of flavours that complimented the quiche superbly.
(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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