Wednesday, April 28, 2010

new coffee machine!

We are the proud new owners of a Sunbeam em6910 coffee machine - our new baby!
We have spent a lot of time (and money) trying to get the shot just right, but we now have it, after about a week of tinkering, and testing, and extreme caffeine intake!

The great things about this machine:
- Has a twin thermoblock system so you can pull a shot, and do your milk at the same time
- Comes with a free barista course
- Quality of the coffee is great!
- Nice look and feel to the machine, much better than some of the plastic crap out there that you see
- Comes with everything you need, except the coffee

We also got the sunbeam em480 grinder, another great product.

here's a link to the full specs:


Ok, well I guess I had better give this blog a formal introduction! My name is Sam and I like to cook! (Just in case you hadn't guessed). I work in the hospitality industry, and have previously worked in quite a few kitchens.

I started this for a few reasons - mainly because it is a way to remember what I've cooked and how I have done it - but also because people are always asking me for recipes, so now I can just put them up on here!

Expect all sorts of other garbage to pop up, but mainly this will be devoted to all things food and drink. The things I cook at home (the delicious and the disasters!), and my experiences dining out.

The food I like is usually fairly simple, but big on flavour and freshness. I only follow recipes for desserts - for other dishes I will add ingredients or remove them, usually based on how I am feeling that day! I have no hard and fast recipes, usually whatever I cook requires 'a bit' of this, or 'a splash' of that!

I am not the biggest fan of wanky restaurant food (things like 'sphere-ified' food and other similar fads). That said, I will try anything! Don't expect haute-cuisine. Do expect lots of italian, spanish, greek foods, lots of meat and seafood, coffee, wine, beer, desserts hmmmm not sure what else but there will be more!

beef stroganoff - quick and easy

Now for the 2nd recipe that's been requested from me today - Beef stroganoff. This is so quick and simple to make after work, and that's exactly what Kara is going to do for me today. Hopefully it's ready when I get home!

Beef Stroganoff
(who knows if that's how you spell it, but that's how it's gonna be!)

serves 2

2 quality steaks of your choice - eg. rump, porterhouse
mushrooms, sliced - button, cup, swiss, a mixture - round about 2 cups
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp butter (no oil!)
1 glass white wine (and 2 for drinking!)
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sour cream
1 garlic clove finely sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
Pasta of your choice
Continental parsley

Preheat oven to 120 deg Celsius.

Put pasta on and cook to your liking.

While the pasta is cooking, cook your steaks on a grill or in the frypan, as if you were going to eat them as is. When cooked to your liking (medium rare for me), put them in a oven tray and cover with foil. Pop in the oven until the sauce is completed. (Just be aware that if you take too long on the sauce, your steak may be overdone. One way around this is if for example, you like your steak medium, cook until medium rare only. The steak will actually cook a little bit more in the oven and finish off to medium while resting).

While the steaks and pasta are cooking, melt butter in a frypan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook gently until the onion softens. Add the mushrooms, and a little more butter if needed, and cook until they soften and take on that nice brown colour. Turn the heat up to full, and deglaze the pan with the wine and beef stock. Add the juices from your steak pan and the paprika. Once this has reduced, add the tomato paste, and season to taste. Cook until the sauce reaches a lovely thick consistency. Add the sour cream and stir through. You may want to add a little more or less depending on how creamy you like your stroganoff.

Drain the pasta, place on your plates or bowls, and top with a little of the mushrooms and sauce. Thinly slice the steak and arrange on top of this. Place more mushrooms and sauce on top. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley.

Damn, I can't wait to get home!

yay first post - for gab

Well it's happened. Me writing about food has finally come about, and only because my sister wanted a recipe for pasties! She's all the way over in the US and I mentioned them today while we were chatting on skype, and I get the feeling it made her want a little taste of home and family. It is a family recipe, and was always cooked by my Mum and Nanna; and now by us. So here you go Gabrielle:

Nanna's pasties

1kg beef mince
1 pack puff pastry
5-6 large potatoes, peeled
1 swede
1 large onion
salt & pepper
carrot (if desired)

Mince the potatoes, swede onion, (and carrot if using), or chop very finely if you don't have a mincer.
Mix in a large bowl with minced beef. Season to taste with salt and pepper. A dash of cumin, smoked paprika and freshly chopped parsley won't go astray, but I don't think you really need it.

Now you can make the pasties by cutting out circles from your pastry, filling with mixture, and folding over. Crimp around the edges with a fork.

Or you can make pastie slice by simply piling mixture down the middle of the sheet of pastry, and folding in the edges.

For either type, brush with beaten egg for a nice browning effect, and top with sesame seeds or something similair if you like.

Now, the most important part - taught to me by my Poppa. Slice the pastie in half, take a knife and make a slot inside the cooked meat, and fill with homemade tomato sauce! Reminds me of being a kid again! Enjoy!