yesterday, while scrolling down my facebook feed, i read something that made me feel home at heart.
it was the title of an article about an upcoming book by Nelson Carvalheiro - a portuguese blogger, - about Portugal, food and travelling. as one could there read, the author believes that, especially in the north of the country, the portuguese say 'i love you' by setting food on the table and inviting you to eat it.'
this couldn't have been said better.
living in Germany for over a year, i think words cannot fathom the difference between the german and the portuguese when it comes to food - and particularly when you take it down to the same magical level as Carvalheiro.
i'm not saying you cannot find someone who feels the same way as we do around Germany - this would be false, as many of the german food blogs i follow and some of my friends have proven otherwise - but i feel like most of the time, german people who kind of like to cook do it for completely different reasons. from the most common, satisfying a need to eat, to proving themselves they can do it, most people simply have a completely different approach to food.
maybe german readers will find me bitter, or biased, but i had to say that i missed this. i miss having people who feel the same way about cooking, eating and sharing food as me around. not only my portuguese friends, but also my italian and spanish friends from last semester - i miss the southern europe way with food.
not entirely far from the subject, today i must draw your attention back to the name of my blog and to its origin.
i'm not a one kitchen kind of cook.
of course i need to have a kitchen of my own and that i feel the most confortable around it. but i often - willingly or by force of chance - take the challenge to cook in other people's kitchens.
and i do not like to stick to the grilled chicken with white rice. i always wanna go the long way...
i've spent these last few last days in Porto and i must admit i'm quite nostalgic over it.
you know, my girls mean so much to me - even across the atlantic ocean!, - we've been (kilometers) apart for quite a while, and we've gotten used to it and still kept the most amazing friendship over it. but going back to Porto after a year away when most of my friends from Uni are moving back there to finish their degrees truly turned on the lame side of me.
i miss these days. i miss it all, from parties to working all-nighters. and i miss them all together... and we miss us all together. we make such a great bunch!
i stayed at the house of my best guy pals from Uni - which was great, and how i miss them being around every day! - and of course i had to come up with something new and nice for dinner at least once. i also had a lot of sushi and walking around, but unfortunately my phone battery died and only then did i find i had forgotten my usb cable - thus i could take no pictures to share with you at all! luckily we had a (good!) camera in the house and i was still able to photograph my dinner creation ;)
from all commercial chefs, the one (and almost only) i like the most (actually it's quite a bit of a crush *blushing*) is Gordon Ramsay. somehow, i don't think i've ever talked about my favourite chefs or anything like that, but now i've said it. the crush is such that i've ordered two of his books at once. i really like to listen to the man talking about food - he has the passion and authenticity, and he feels it the way i do - or the way i want to be able to, someday. food is sexy, he knows it, he knows good food, and he's not afraid to tell! my opinion about the way he talks about food? in words that actually feel his - *read with english accent* - 'beautiful.'
one of the last recipe videos i've watched from him was a christmassy beef wellington, and that brings me back to today's recipe. i had long decided i wanted to try to make it once, but i don't eat that much meat, and i had to make it for someone who would truly appreciate it.
i think i couldn't have picked better either.
/ beef wellington /
(inspirado nas receitas de Gordon Ramsay)
250g de farinha
1 colher de chá de sal fino
250g de manteiga à temperatura ambiente mas bem firme
cerca de 150ml de água fria
1 peça de carne da vazia com cerca de 1 kg
sal e pimenta
250g de cogumelos portobello pequenos, cortados em quartos
2 dentes de alho
uma mão cheia de frutos secos de casca à escolha (avelãs, por exemplo)
sal e pimenta
coentros frescos, picados
12 fatias de bacon
1 gema de ovo batida
- massa folhada -
Peneirar a farinha e o sal para uma taça grande,
Juntar a manteiga cortada em cubos e misturar apenas até os cubos estarem cobertos de farinha,
Fazer uma cova no meio e juntar aos poucos a água, misturando com as mãos. É importante que os cubos de manteiga não se percam na massa e se mantenham inteiros,
Fazer um cilindro grosso de massa e levar ao frigorífico cerca de 20 minutos, enrolado em película aderente,
Deitar a massa sobre uma superfície enfarinhada e estender num rectângulo com as pontas bem definidas; dobrar um dos terços da ponta em comprimento sobre o centro e dobrar depois o terço da outra ponta sobre este. Repetir três vezes. É importante as pontas estarem sempre bem definidas. Se a massa começar a ficar pegajosa, levar ao frigorífico mais 20 minutos,
Reservar no frio pelo menos cerca de meia hora antes de utilizar.
- beef -
Temperar bem a carne com sal e pimenta,
Aquecer uma sertã sobre lume bem quente com um pouco de azeite,
Cozinhar a peça de carne na sertã, voltando-a, cerca de 1 a 2 minutos de cada lado, sem esquecer os topos,
Retirar do lume e deixar repousar sobre um prato fundo; reservar a sertã.
- duxelles -
Picar os cogumelos, os frutos secos e o alho num robot de cozinha,
Levar a mistura ao lume na mesma sertã da carne, temperada com sal e pimenta e com os coentros picados, deixando evaporar bem a água dos cogumelos.
- montagem -
Estender uma folha de película aderente sobre uma superfície lisa,
Dispor o bacon num rectângulo, o comprimento das fatias no sentido do comprimento do rectângulo, de forma a que o rectângulo resultante tenha a mesma largura que o comprimento da peça de carne e comprimento suficiente para enrolar esta,
Cobrir o bacon com os cogumelos, colocar a peça de carne em uma das pontas e enrolar bem apertada com a ajuda da película,
Apertar tudo muito bem, fechar bem as pontas e levar ao frigorífico pelo menos 30 minutos, para ficar mais firme,
Retirar a massa folhada do frigorífico e estender com o rolo da massa sobre uma superfície enfarinhada, num rectângulo que baste para envolver a carne,
Desembrulhar e colocar a peça de carne numa das pontas e enrolar. Trabalhar rapidamente para não amolecer a massa. Pincelar com a gema de ovo e fazer um motivo decorativo com o gume de uma faca no topo. Refrigerar cerca de 15 minutos,
Colocar num pyrex fundo e levar ao forno pré-aquecido a 250ºC cerca de 10 minutos e depois baixar para os 200ºC e deixar cozinhar cerca de 20-30 minutos,
Retirar do forno e fatiar com uma faca de gume bem afiado.
/ beef wellington /
(inspired by Gordon Ramsay's recipes)
1 tsp fine sea salt
250g butter, room temperature but firm
about 150ml cold water
1 piece single angus steak with around 1 kg
salt and pepper
250g small portobello mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 cloves of garlic
a handful of nuts (hazelnuts, for instance, work good)
salt and pepper
freshly chopped cilantro
12 slices bacon
egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with a bit of water
- puff pastry -
Sift the flour and salt into a big bowl,
Add the butter, chopped, and mix just until all pieces are coated with flour,
Make a hole in the middle and pour in the water, gradually handmixing it. It is important that the butter does not melt and that you can see the pieces,
Form a dough cylinder, roll it up in plastic foil and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes,
Dust a clean surface with flour and place the dough over it. Roll it down to a rectangle with sharp edges; fold one of the top thirds over the middle, and then fold the other top third over it. Repeat three times. It is important that the edges are sharp and even. If it gets sticky, take it back to the fridge for another 20 minutes,
Refrigerate for at least half an hour before baking.
- beef -
Rub the meat with salt and pepper,
Heat a pan over high heat with a bit of olive oil,
Sear the beef, turning it every 1 to 2 minutes, not forgetting the any side,
Remove from heat and set aside to rest over a deep dish; set the pan aside as well.
- duxelles -
Blend the mushrooms, nuts and garlic until quite fine but not puréed,
Heat it over medium to high heat in the same pan as the meat, seasoned with salt and pepper; mix in the chopped cilantro and let the water from the mushrooms evaporate well.
- assembling -
Spread a large piece of plastic foil over a flat and clean surface,
Place the bacon over it, the lenght of the slices lenghtwise, in such way that the resulting rectangle is wide enough for the lenght of the beef and long enough to roll it in,
Spread the duxelles over, place the cut of beef over one top and roll it tight, using the plastic foil for leverage,
Wrap it tightly, close it well and take to the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up,
Take the pastry out of the fridge and spread it over a flour-dusted surface; roll it down to a rectangle large enough to wrap the beef in,
Unwrap the meat, place it over one of the tops and roll it tightly once more. Work fast so that the pastry won't melt. Varnish with the egg wash and run a knive over to draw a decorative pattern.
Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes,
Place in a baking tray and bake at 250ºC (pre-heated oven) for about 10 minutes, turning the heat to 200ºC after and leaving it another 20-30 minutes,
Remove from oven and slice with a sharp knife.
we had the pleasure of enjoying a nice gin tonic afterwards, but that had a different 'cook' ;)