food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘recipe’ Category

ribeye roast with mustard and horseradish sauce

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Succulent beef, roast vegetables and a delicious sauce. Who could ask for more?

To improve the crust on your ribeye roast, allow it to air-dry, uncovered, on a rack in the fridge overnight. Season it generously with salt and pepper on all sides – seasoning with salt up to a day in advance helps the seasoning penetrate the meat. Preheat your oven to121°C (250°F). Place the prepared roast on a rack in a roast pan with the fat cap facing upwards and cook until the centre of the roast registers 52°C (125°F) on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare or 57°C (135°F) for medium. This could take up to 4 or 5 hours. Remove it from the oven to a large plate, tent it loosely with aluminium foil and allow it to rest. Meanwhile increase the oven temperature to the highest possible setting. Wipe out the roasting pan and replace the rack. Remove the foil from prime rib and place it back on the rack with fat cap facing upwards and cook for 6 to 10 minutes or until well browned and crisp on the outside. To make the sauce, fry a very finely diced onion in some olive oil over low heat until wilted and caramelised. Sprinkle with a little flour and allow it to cook a little more. Add ½ a cup of red wine and 1 cup of good beef stock and cook until thickeniong and reduced to half or less. Now add 1 tablespoon of seeded Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of grated horseradish, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. To finish, add some butter and stir through for a delicious glossy sauce.

* this roasting method comes from Serious Eats.


Written by michelle picker

November 29, 2017 at 12:22 am

Posted in recipe

flourless apple almond cake

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Here’s a simple variant on that popular orange and almond cake. Just as moist as the original this one uses apple sauce instead of puréed oranges.

Preheat your oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Oil and line a 23cm (9″) cake tin. In a bowl combine a jar of apple sauce, ½ a cup of sugar, 6 eggs, 340g (12 oz) of almond meal, the grated zest of one lemon and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix well, pour into prepared tin and bake until the cake is set (approximately 1 hour). Allow to cool in the tin before removing to a plate. Serve with cream or sour cream if desired.

Written by michelle picker

May 15, 2017 at 5:40 am

Posted in recipe

poppy seed cake with lemon icing

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One of the latest additions to my groaning shelves of cookbooks is Honey & Co The Baking Book by Sarit Packer & Itmar Srulovich. Poppy seed cakes are one of my favourites and this is a good one. Moist and not too heavy with a lovely tart icing.


Preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF). In a large bowl whisk 190ml (a little less than 6½ fl oz) of vegetable oil with 300g (10½ oz) of caster sugar until well combined. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, whisking well to form an emulsion each time. Once you have a smooth mixture add 180g (6⅓ oz) of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 200ml (6¾ fl oz) of milk, 150g (5¼ oz) of ground poppy seeds (I did this with an electric coffee grinder) and the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange. Whisk until well combined and pour this batter into your prepared cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes or so until firm and springy to the touch. While the cake is baking, make a sugar syrup by heating equal parts of sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and brush with 100ml ( 3⅓ fl oz) of sugar syrup). Allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to continue cooling. To make the lemon icing, combine 250g (8¾ oz) of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of glucose syrup (this is optional but makes the icing shiny) and the juice of 1 lemon. Depending on the size of your lemon you may have to add more icing sugar. When the cake is completely cooled, spread the icing allowing it to drip over the sides.


Written by michelle picker

February 10, 2017 at 5:56 am

turmeric assam chicken

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This Nonya style Malaysian dish is wonderfully complex and fragrant.


In a small food processor or mortar and pestle make a paste of 1 tablespoon of grated fresh turmeric, 1 tablespoon of grated fresh galangal, 3-4 stalks of finely sliced lemongrass (the white part only) and a 2cm (¾”) piece of belacan (shrimp paste) and add 1 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan and fry the paste until it is darker and fragrant. Add 10-12 chicken drumsticks and stir to coat them with the mixture, allowing them to cook a little. Add just enough water to cover the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 8-10 sliced fresh red chillies and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Next add 15 thinly slice cloves of garlic and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Finally add 15 finely sliced brown shallots, season with salt and sugar to taste and simmer for a final 5-10 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

*adapted from Elizabeth Tan’s three-generation-old recipe.

Written by michelle picker

December 5, 2015 at 5:33 am