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Posts Tagged ‘Ixta Belfrage’

Ixta Belfrage’s book, Mezcla, is full of genuinely new dishes with lots of flavour combinations that we’ve never tried before. These mushroom noodles are a great example. We used a mix of oyster mushrooms and ceps which worked well, but oyster mushrooms are definitely the way to go here. You can make the sauce ahead of time if you like.

Wine Suggestion: It’s not only mushroom season, but it’s Beaujolais Nouveau week too, so we had the luck of matching this dish with a bottle from our friend Chris. The Lapalu Beaujolais Villages Nouveau was smooth, dark fruited and earthy.

Oyster mushroom noodles – serves 2 as a main very generously

  • 200g fresh medium egg noodles (if you have dried egg noodles, cook them first)
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest and 2 tbsp juice
  • 10g chives, finely chopped
  • 10g dill, picked from the stems
  • créme fraîche or sour cream, to serve

FOR THE MUSHROOMS:

  • 400g oyster mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp fine salt

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 2 onions, very finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp caraway seeds
  • 1¼ tsp fine salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 500g chicken stock or veg stock
  • 2 ½ tsp English mustard
  • 5 tbsp double cream

Preheat the oven to 200C fan/220C.

Tear the mushrooms in half. Line a large baking tray with parchment, add the mushrooms, oil and salt and toss with your hands, then spread out over the tray. Roast in the oven for 22-25 minutes, stirring halfway, or until golden-brown and starting to crisp at the edges. Set aside.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the butter, oil, onions, caraway seeds and ¾ tsp of fine salt into a large sauté and put over a medium heat. Gently fry for about 12 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft and caramelized. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, you are looking for deep golden-grown but not burned or crispy. Remove half the onions onto a plate and set aside. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for 1 minutes, stirring, then remove the pan from the heat.

Add the stock, mustard, cream, ½ tsp of fine salt and lots of black pepper to the pan with the onions. Stir, then add half of the roasted mushrooms. Return to a medium heat and cook for 4 minutes. Stir the noodles into the sauce and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the noodles are hot.

Stir in the lemon juice and half the herbs. Transfer to a warm platter and top with the rest of the herbs, the lemon zest and the mushrooms and onions that you set aside before. Spoon over some crème fraîche or sour cream and finish with olive oil and black pepper.

(Original recipe from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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The mussels are cooked in a fairly light sauce but packed with flavour. Serve with some crusty bread if you like.

Wine Suggestion: This dish demands a white with good bones, though you need to keep it fresh and savoury as well for the taste of the sea the mussels bring. We chose to good effect Quinta Soalheiro’s Alvarinho Reserva which comes from some of their oldest vineyards in the north of Portugal. Aromatically intense with a complex structure, it nonetheless also maintains a salty freshness from the grape making it a great match for mussels.

Mussels and orzo with coconut & saffron – serves 4

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 80g orzo pasta
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ a small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli
  • 1¼ tsp fine salt
  • 150g yellow cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp tomato purée
  • ¾ tsp saffron threads
  • 400g tin coconut milk
  • up to 2 tsp chilli paste, we used paté bomba con peponcini piccanti (optional)
  • 1 lemon

FOR THE HERB OIL:

  • 5g chives, finely chopped
  • 5g coriander, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of fine salt

Put the orzo into a medium-sized ball and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse.

Heat the butter and oil in a large, shallow sauté pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, pepper, the whole Scotch bonnet and the salt. Cook gently for about 8 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and saffron and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the orzo, then spread the mussels out on top. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 5 minutes or until the mussels have all opened.

Discard the whole chilli, you can give it a squeeze into the sauce first if you like heat. Taste the sauce and add some chilli paste if you like.

Squeeze plenty of lemon juice over the mussels, then mix all the ingredients for the herb oil together and spoon over the top.

(Original recipe from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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A delicious steak recipe from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage. Ixta fries the steak in a pan over a high heat, we used a barbecue – fabulous flavours either way. You will need to grind about 3 black limes to get enough for the marinade and the butter.

Wine Suggestion: Thanks to our friends Tim & Mick, who’ve been travelling recently, we had an excellent Öküzgözü from Turkey which was regal, refined, and a delightful surprise. We wish we could remember the name of the winery as we forgot to take a picture and the bottle recycling was done the next day before we remembered! Full of black cherry, raspberry, and dark mulberry flavours; this was complex and had layers of dark chocolate, licorice, leather, tobacco, cloves, and something slightly herbal and minty, but we couldn’t put our finger on what.

Bavette steak with black lime & maple butter – serves 4

  • 500g bavette steak, cut into 3 equal pieces
  • 300g ripe tomatoes
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Urfa chili flakes (we used a mixture of smoked paprika and aleppo pepper)
  • 1½ tsp ground black lime
  • about 50 twists of black pepper

FOR THE SOY AND MAPLE BUTTER:

  • 40g ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2½ tsp maple syrup
  • ½ a small clove of garlic, finely grated
  • ¾ tsp ground black lime
  • ¾ tsp Urfa chilli flakes (see above)

Pat the steak dry and put into a large bowl. Add all the marinade ingredients and rub into the steaks. Leave aside for 10 minutes or up to 1 hour (you can do this further ahead and leave in the fridge but make sure you bring them back to room temperature before cooking).

Get your barbecue very hot, then sear the steaks for 2 minutes on each side, you want them dark brown on the outside but rare in the middle. Transfer to a warm plate and rest for 8 minutes, turning over halfway.

While the steaks are resting, slice the tomatoes and onions and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with ½ tsp flaked salt.

Melt the ghee in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When it is melted and hot, remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, black lime and chilli flakes.

Slice the bavette against the grain and arrange over the onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle with some sea salt, then spoon over the soy and maple butter and serve with the lemon wedges on the side.

(Original recipe from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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We’re super excited by the dishes in Ixta Belfrage’s new book – Mezcla. We’ve done lots of drooling over the recipes but so far have only managed this green salad – it’s a good one!

Green salad with maple, lime & sesame dressing – serves 4

  • 2 baby gem lettuces, cut off the end and separate the leaves.
  • 10g mixed fresh herbs e.g. coriander, mint & basil
  • 2 green chillies, thinly sliced into rounds (optional)
  • 20g scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (you can use black and white if you have them but white alone is fine), well toasted, then lightly crushed and mixed with flaked sea salt
  • lime wedges, to serve

FOR THE QUICK PICKLED ONIONS:

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp fine salt

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 60g olive oil
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 40g lime juice
  • 20g maple syrup
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 5g chives, finely chopped

Put the ingredients for the pickled shallots into a small bowl and stir together. Leave to pickle for 15 minutes or up to an hour but no longer.

Make the dressing by gently mixing all the ingredients, except the chives, together. You don’t want the dressing to emulsify here so just stir to combine.

When ready to serve, stir the chives into the dressing. Put the lettuce and herbs into a large salad bowl and pour over the dressing. Add the pickled shallots, chillies and scallions and toss. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve with extra lime wedges.

(Original recipe from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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