Monday, February 10, 2014

New Recipes and Old Favourites in Amsterdam

We had some people over, here in Amsterdam, as part of a little get together/dinner party. So naturally I was in charge of the food, whilst our housemate took care of the dessert. The big question of life was plaguing me.

What the hell am I going to make ?

I'm always in this predicament. Not exactly because I have no idea what to cook, precisely the opposite...I have way too many ideas that I don't know which one to go with. So I headed to my food board on Pinterest, and scrolled until I found exactly what to do. The trendiest of the trendy. At least in the world of Foodies, ladies and gentlemen: 

The Galette. 

Let me give you guys the lowdown, because it's fairly simple once you get the hang of it, it looks great, it tastes fantastic and it'll impress your mates. 

In this particular galette, I did goat's cheese and asparagus, finished with garlic infused olive oil and a little squeeze of lemon. There are 3 main parts, and 2 little extra things you need to take care of.

–The dough/crust
–The cheese filling
–The asparagus on top

and also, the garlic infused oil and the egg wash for the dough. 

© Margot Alais
Your oven should be preheating and up super hot, around 205 Celsius, and do this as you prepare the dough. The actual dough is amazing, it's flakey and smooth and absolutely delightful. In this dough, I put greek yoghurt and lemon juice, to give it moisture and zest. Make sure you refrigerate the dough before using it, for a good 20-30 minutes. 

The filling is basically a trio of goat's cheese, parmesan and shredded mozzarella, with a drizzle of the infused oil. The oil is not even a chore, literally mince up a 2-3 garlic cloves (not too big) and whisk them up with good quality olive oil. Do this at the beginning, around the time when you make the dough, so it has time to infuse. 

You can lay your asparagus however you want, but I like to trim mine so that they fit perfectly into the circular galette. Make sure you wash your asparagus and pat them down thoroughly, to remove as much excess moisture and liquid as possible. 

© Margot Alais
Once you've assembled the filling on the galette, fold the edges over, you may need to pinch the edges down hard into the filling. Now it's all a matter of brushing a good amount of egg wash on the dough area, and the remaining wash on the rest of the galette. The egg wash is super easy, just whisk up one egg yolk (do not use the white !!) and a teaspoon of water. Brush it on with a pastry brush and you're ready to put it into the burning hot oven ! 

© Margot Alais

© Margot Alais
 It should look somewhat like this, I took it out a little earlier and popped it back into the oven when the guests were arriving. 

© Margot Alais
Then there's the case of what to do as a main dish. Unless there are vegans and vegetarians, you can never go wrong with a prime cut of steak (or lamb and pork if you so desire). Opt for one around 2 inches thick, it will be enough to give you a perfect seared outside and a blush pink interior. Unless you're like me and you love your steak nice and rare. But tonight, I thought medium rare would be perfect. Of course you should go to a nice butcher for your meat...You get what you pay for. 

© Margot Alais
I make a classic rosemary, garlic and salt rub for my steak. I do sometimes marinate it, but honestly, the quickest and easiest (sometimes tastiest !) is with this rub. You can just use garlic and rosemary and season everything at the end, but I mix it all in one. I put the rub on the steak the second it's about to go into the pan because you don't want to season your steak with salt too early before cooking. 

Another tip: Make sure your pan is well preheated before you put your steak. You want to sear each side super well on high heat and finish off the steak (if you need to, depending how cooked you want it) on medium-low heat. 

© Margot Alais

© Margot Alais
De-glaze your pan by splashing a little red wine, to take in all the butter, oil, rosemary, garlic and meat juices. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes (not optional, just do it.), so the juices can redistribute themselves and serve the meat with the sauce you made from de-glazing the pan. 

© Margot Alais
And voilĂ  ! Perfectly pink in the middle and nice and seared on the outside. A perfect way to enjoy a night with a nice bunch of people and some really good food. 

xx Margot Ana 

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