Friday, January 18, 2008

So how was it for you?

So I did it, I cooked along with Gordon Ramsay Cookalong Live as did seemingly many other late eaters around the country. Firstly as promised, I had to make a late substitution for the starter as it seemed pretty pointless attempting the original salsa without the tomato, olives and coriander. The only thing was that I started it at 9 o’clock as per the schedule but then I had to cook the new potatoes first and I hadn’t boiled the kettle – naughty! So I had to play a little catch up during the gap left for eating aka the advert break and Gordon’s culinary guest challenges. With it being January, unsurprisingly summer truffles were a little thin on the ground so I added a little drizzlet of truffle oil to the crème fraîche dressing and it was very good! I hope that Gordon was impressed with my choice of crockery – yes, another excuse to get out the Royal Doulton Gordon Ramsay finest.

Scallops and new potato salad with summer truffle dressing recipe

Serves 4

* About 12 new potatoes

* 10 large scallops

* 1 medium-sized summer truffle

* 2 tbsp rock chives, chopped

* 2 tbsp crème fraîche

* Juice 1 lemon

* 1 tsp curry powder

* Olive oil

* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Boil the new potatoes in salted water until cooked, drain and set aside.

2. Trim the scallops and slice each one in half horizontally, so that one scallop produces two even slices. Mix the curry powder with 3 teaspoons of salt and use to lightly dust the scallops. Heat some olive oil in a pan and sauté the scallop slices quickly - roughly 30 seconds on each side.

3. Whisk together the lemon juice, crème fraîche and a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Finely chop some truffle pieces and add this to the dressing.

4. Slice the potatoes into rounds that are the same thickness as the scallops. Arrange an alternating circle in the centre of each plate - potato slice, scallop slice, potato slice, etc. Allow for 5 slices of scallop per plate.

5. Arrange a handful of frisée in the middle of the circle. Drizzle over the crème fraîche and truffle dressing. Finely slice any remaining truffle over the top. Serve immediately.

And I forgot the chives as the method didn’t remind me to add the chives at any stage so clearly someone else forgot them too! I also popped the slices of potatoes in the pan with the scallops to add a little colour. The dressing on the salad was delicious and I’ll definitely use this again. I don’t normally use crème fraîche in my salad dressings but I’ll remember this for next time.

The steak and chips recipe I followed word for word - fortunately no nasty tomatoes sneaking in here!

The centrepiece from Gordon's Cookalong Live menu is this glorious steak and chips recipe

Serves 4

For the chips

* 4 large Desiree potatoes

* 2 tbsp Groundnut oil

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* A generous pinch chilli flakes

For the steak

* 4 sirloin steaks (approx 200g-250g each)

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 2 tbsp groundnut oil

* 25g butter

For the salad

* 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

* 3 tbsp olive oil

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 120g rocket

* 50g parmesan, shaved

1. To make the chips: preheat the oven to 220C/ Gas 7.

2. Fill a large pan with boiling water, add a pinch of salt and place over a high heat. Cut each potato in half lengthways and then place the cut side down onto the board. Cut each half potato into 1cm thick wedges.

3. Add the potato wedges to the boiling water, bring to the boil agai

n and boil for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and then place the colander sitting over the pan, off the heat, to allow the wedges to dry further. Add the groundnut oil, salt, pepper and chilli flakes and toss well to coat.

4. Tip the wedges into a large baking tray (big enough so that the wedges sit in one layer so they crisp up evenly) and shake the tray until they are evenly spread out. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Sha

ke the tray once or twice during cooking to ensure even cooking.

5. To cook the steak: place one large or two smaller non-stick frying pans over a high heat and leave until smoking hot.

6. Place the steaks onto a large chopping board and if one needs to be cooked well done, roll it flatter with a rolling pin so that all the steaks can all go into the frying pan at the same time. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and black pepper and once the frying pans have reached temperature, add approximately two tablespoons of groundnut oil.

7. Carefully lay the steaks (the well done one first) in the hot frying

pan. Tilt the pan away from you so that the fat is touching the side of the pan to ensure the fat is cooked and golden. Shake the pan to make sure the steaks aren’t sticking. Fry for 3 minutes on one side and then using tongs turn the steaks starting with the first steak you placed in the pan. Fry for 2 minutes and then add the butter to the pan. Spoon the melted butter over the steaks to baste them. Remove the rare steaks from the pan and set aside on to rest.

8. Leave the medium/ well done steak in the pan to cook for another minute. Remove the steaks from the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes on a large plate. Spoon the juices from the pan over the steaks to add extra flavour.

9. While the steaks are cooking, start making the salad. Pour the white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper into a salad bowl and then whisk to combine. Place the salad servers together over the dressing, place the rocket on top and then using a vegetable peeler shave the parmesan onto the rocket. Leave until you are ready to serve and then toss.

10. To serve, lay out four plates, place a steak onto each plate, pour over the juices from the resting plate, divide the chips between the plates and add a spoonful of salad.

The sirloin was just perfectly cooked, I don’t normally baste the steaks with butter but it added that little special cheffy quality. The chips had a nice touch of heat with the chilli flakes but I should have added a tad more - how very outré of me! I am not sure how everyone else managed with one large potato but either my potato was enormous or you were supposed to have spares for backup as I had a little potato mountain left over. I wasn’t sure if I had room for chocolate mousse but in for a penny…

Gordon Ramsay brings his Cookalong menu to a close with this sumptuous chocolate dish

Serves 4

* 150g dark chocolate

* 250ml crème fraîche

* 284ml double cream

* 25g icing sugar, sifted

* 1-2 tbsp coffee liqueur (optional)

* 2 chocolate covered honeycombs (frozen for 10 minutes)

1. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces (reserving 25g for grating later) and place in a bowl that fits snugly over a pan of boiling water. Leave until the chocolate has completely melted and then remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Add the crème fraîche to the melted chocolate and whisk until combined. Put the double cream and icing sugar into a separate bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks. Fold the chocolate mixture into the cream, add the coffee liqueur and stir to combine.

3. Remove the chocolate covered honeycomb bars from the freezer, remove the packets and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Place the tea towel under a chopping board and press down hard on the chopping board to crush the honeycomb. Open up the tea towel and tip the crushed honeycomb into the mousse and gently fold through with a spatula. Spoon the mousse into four small serving dishes and then grate over the remaining chocolate and serve.

I left out the optional coffee liqueur being so over coffee despite my somewhat impressive coffee cup collection – well they are so useful. Even for a little mousse it seems occasionally. I am pretty exhausted after the cooking marathon and I have managed to take my kitchen to brand new heights of utter destruction! Oh my! Now I need a wash up-athon!

Update: It was terribly remiss of me not to mention how delicious the chocolate mousse was and how so very quick. When I made Nigella's 'Instant Chocolate Mousse' I was slightly thwarted by it needing chilling and as there was no room in the fridge I had to leave it to set a little of its on volition - which it almost managed. However I still had to serve it more soup-like than I would have liked, thus not being as instant as the recipe implied. Though I have to admit the infamous dessert-botherer - the lovely E(D) didn't seem to mind, it was a dessert to be heartily consumed however curiously liquid! But Gordon 's creation was pretty instant also (especially deploying the much loved silver Bamix) and it didn't need to firm up in the fridge. Though he did say it might, and when he made it live he left out the coffee liqueur to ensure it didn't get too sloppy which was an extra convincer for me to avoid the dreaded coffee flavour. And it worked, the mousse perkily sat in the little espresso cup like a bronzed Mr Whippy with its chocolate dusting of dandruff and tasted fabulous. And the Crunchie shards at the bottom of the cup were a pleasing touch. I will definitely make that again especially when I what a quick chocolate hit!
Oh another point, I only made half the specified recipe amount as I thought that whipping up a quarter of the ingredients might have defeated my Bamix a little, and there was a veritable mountain. Clearly my employment of my Gordon Ramsay espresso cups was considered stingy as I'm sure I could have eked it out to a generous 3 cups or maybe even 4, but even a chocolate lover like myself felt that was an adequate portion.
I haven't found anyone else who cooked along with Gordon, I hope a few more go for a later Sunday dinner tonight as it was rather fun, despite the ensuing kitchen mayhem!


Helen said...

You are the first person I have come across so far who actually cooked along live! The chocolate mousse in particular looks delicious....

J said...

I guess so many thought it was too late for shenanigans! I forgot to write in my enthusiasm to post so quickly how tasty the mousse was and so very, very quick.

Ann said...

Gorgeous meal! And what a fun thing to do!