5 large eggs
600g fresh ripe strawberries
Juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon (about a tablespoon)
200ml double cream
The restaurant that inspired me to start making my own pizzas (Da Michele, Stezzano, Italy) also makes their own ice cream and while I’m a sucker for their vanilla (it really is divine) Elly and Anto were completely taken with the strawberry when we visited last September. I waited until strawberry season began this year to start perfecting my own strawberry recipe and I’m really happy with this one.
The most important thing with this recipe is to use the freshest strawberries you can get your hands on, it really makes a difference to the overall flavour. They should be sweet but still have that tart bite.
So once you have strawberries, give them a rinse under running water and remove the cores. Next, purée them in a blender, until smooth and pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds, you may need to do that last step twice to remove all the seeds.
Place the strawberry purée in a pan along with the lemon juice and heat the mixture gently, as the purée warms up it will begin to give off a strong strawberry smell, just before the mixture comes to the boil remove it from the heat and put it to one side to cool.
Next separate the egg yolks. The egg whites are not needed for this recipe so you can put them to one side to be used later for and egg white omelettes or meringues. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they turn a pale yellow and have a smooth consistency.
Next bring the milk to a gentle simmer and remove from the heat. While whisking the egg mixture add the warmed milk in a slow trickle – if you add it too fast there is a chance you could scramble the eggs, which is no good for making ice cream.
Now place the egg yolk mixture over a low heat and while stirring continuously, allow this to thicken into a custard. You’ll know when it’s ready when it coats the back of a spoon easily and does not just flow off. Be careful to keep the egg mixture below 76C as the eggs will scramble at that temperature. Once you are happy that the custard has thickened, remove it from the heat, mix in the strawberry purée and place in a sealed container in your fridge and allow it to cool down as much as possible (5C or less).
While you’re waiting for the custard to cool down whip the cream to soft peaks. Once the custard has cooled completely, gently fold the cream into the custard and either follow your ice cream machines instructions to freeze it or place in a sealed container in your freezer until frozen, remembering to stir it every ten to fifteen minutes to break up the ice crystals.
Once the ice cream has frozen you’re ready to serve, be aware that this is a strongly flavoured ice cream, while sweet it also has that fantastic tart bite that just makes a strawberry, it goes great with most sweet pies and if you’re a real strawberry lover is fantastic on it’s own.
Yesterday, I mentioned that Gino made tiramisu as part of his demonstration at Taste of Dublin and thanks to the wonder that is modern camera phone technology today we bring you *ahem* a guest recipe from one of the worlds best known chefs 😉
For the fish cakes:
450g potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 large onion, finely diced
225g smoked trout, flaked
225g fresh cod, poached & flaked
225g fresh salmon, poached & flaked
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley (divide into 2 equal halves)
Zest of 3 lemons, finely chopped (divide into one-third and two-thirds)
6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs (approx 2 slices bread)
3 tablespoons of plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
For the parsley sauce:
1 medium onion, finely diced
75g plain flour
Large handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped (keep the stalks separate)
Makes 8 fish cakes (2 per person is a very decent meal) and enough sauce to cover them. If you are going to chill / freeze some of the fish cakes, reduce the ingredients for the sauce proportionately.
Directions on how to make speedy mashed potatoes can be found here.
To poach the fish, cover in cold water, add 1 bay leaf and bring to boil. After boiling for 5 mins, remove from heat and flake the fish, discarding the skin and the bay leaf. Remove any bones at this point and throw away.
Heat the 50g butter and sauté the onions over a medium heat for about 10 mins, so they are well cooked but do not take on colour.
In a large bowl combine the breadcrumbs, half of the chopped parsley and one-third of the lemon zest. Tip out onto a plate. On a 2nd plate, spread out your flour. Finally, on a bowl (or plate with high sides), pour out your beaten eggs.
In your empty bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, flaked fish, cooked onion, dill, chives and the remaining parsley and lemon zest. Mix well with your hands and divide into 8, forming into fish cake shapes. Dip each fish cake into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, coating well and set aside. The fish cakes can be chilled or frozen at this point for later use – 24-48 hours in fridge, 1 month in freezer.
Now turn your oven on to 200 C. Begin to cook the parsley sauce while the oven heats. Melt your butter over a medium heat and add in the chopped onion and parsley stalks, frying gently for about 10 minutes until softened, but not coloured. Reduce the heat and add in the flour, stirring well. Start slowly adding in the milk, about 2-3 tablespoons at a time, stirring in well to avoid lumps. You may need to play with the heat here, keep your mix just below a simmer.
Just after you start adding the milk to the sauce, heat enough vegetable oil in a frying pan to just cover the bottom. Fry the fish cakes over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly golden. Be careful not to use too much heat as they will burn easily. Once fried, transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
All this time you should have been keeping an eye on your sauce, adding the milk until you get to the consistency you desire. With about 2-3 minutes before the fish cakes are ready to come out of the oven, add in the chopped parsley and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper – this is very important as the sauce will be incredibly bland without added salt!
Note: if you can’t get the specific types or quantities of fish listed here, feel free to substitute smoked salmon, tinned tuna, etc, as needed.
500g lean ground beef
1 large red onion, finely diced
2 slices of bread, made into breadcrumbs
Large handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Large handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 pinch of cumin seeds
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of smooth French mustard
2 handfuls of grated mozzarella cheese
1 chili, finely diced
Burgers in general are just ground beef reformed into a convenient shape to place in a burger bun, right? Even at it’s simplest a burger is so much more than that, every burger maker has their own preference for the cut of beef to be ground for their burgers or the blend of cuts and the percentage of each. Some add nothing more than seasoning and others bulk out their burgers with all sorts of synthetic “fillers” and “flavour enhancers”.
I like the idea of a pure beef burger but in truth I find all but the most exceptional to be a little bland and lacking in flavour, which is why I go down the route of using a blend of herbs and other flavours to make every bite an event.
Once you have the onion and fresh herbs chopped, place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, a large pinch of salt and pepper and the oregano in your mortar and pestle and grind them up as finely as possible. Then add this to the blender along with the fresh herbs and the bread and blend until you have nice fine herby breadcrumbs.
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix them together well – get your hands in and mix everything together really well, yes even the cheese.
Next place a large sheet of clingfilm onto a clean surface and arrange the mixture on top so that you can roll it into a six to eight centimetre thick sausage and seal it in the clingfilm, making sure to have this sausage compacted into this size as much as possible. Now place this in the fridge and allow it to cool for at least an hour.
Now remove the burger-sausage from the fridge and (without removing the clingfilm) slice it into burgers about one and a half centimetres thick using a very sharp knife. Once all have been sliced it should be easy enough to remove the pieces of clingfilm.
These can then be cooked on a grill, in the frying pan, or my personal favourite, grilled over a charcoal burning barbecue for approximately 2 minutes each side. I like them served in a toasted bun on a bed of lettuce and sliced cornichon with a generous helping of grated cheddar melted over the burger, topped with some hot fresh caramelised onion chutney and a blob of ketchup.