I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Beef Stroganoff & Caramel Slice

I decided to take the MasterChef Pressure test this week and make their version of Beef Stroganoff.

If I had been on the show I think I may have been eliminated - I made the mistake of not reading the recipe properly, and I had to do a "Jonathon" and try and fix it mid way through the recipe and hope for the best!!  Having said that I think the dish turned out OK.  What I didn't do was include the paprika in the flour dusting of the meat - so I added it during the cooking.  The other thing I did that was different from the recipe was I used more meat (we are a family of carnivores!!) and I only used one carton of creme fraiche - the recipe called for 300g and the container I bought was 250g - at $6 per carton I wasn't using 2!!!  Also used slightly more beef stock as the sauce was a little too thick.

This recipe was quite different from the one that I usually make:
- the addition of brandy
- the use of copious amounts of butter and oil
- the use of creme fraiche (when I usually use light sour cream).
- french eschalots, I usually use onion and garlic.
- they also specified using fillet steak - I usually use rump.
- using swiss brown mushrooms - I usually use regular

I really liked the end result - but you certainly couldn't eat like this all the time.  As a special occasion or dinner party dish though it is certainly worth giving it a try.  I didn't make my pasta from scratch - yes I know, it's easy.  Let's just say I was time challenged the day and didn't want to risk it.

So here is the recipe for MasterChef Pressure Test Beef Stroganoff

Serves 4

600g tail piece end of beef fillet
2 tbs sweet paprika
2/3 cup plain flour
1/4 cup olive oil
50g butter
200g swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 french eschalots, finely chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1/3 cup brandy
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tbs worcestershire sauce
300g creme fraiche

Cut the end pieces from the fillet steak (the make a uniform shape). Cut the large piece in half widthwise.  Cut the steak into 5cm long pieces.  Cut each piece into 5mm thick slices, then cut each slice into 7mm wide strips.  Making all the pieces uniform sizes helps with the cooking time.

Combine the paprika, flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl.  Dust the beef strips, in small batches, with the flour mixture, then shake off the excess and place the beef on a plate.

Heat 2 tbs of oil in a large frying pan over high heat and brown the beef, in batches, turning once, for 1 minute.  Transfer the beef to a plate.  Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.

Heat 25g butter and remaining 1tbs of oil in the frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook turning once for 5 minutes, or until golden.  Reduce the heat to medium, add remaining 25g butter and eschalots, and stir mixture for 3 minutes, or until eschalots are soft.  Add tomato paste, brandy, stock and worcestershire sauce.  Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Stir in creme fraiche and return the beef to the pan with any juices.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes or until beef and sauce are heated through.

Serve with fettucini, garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley, or slivers of cornichons (tiny pickled gherkins).

MMMMM this was very yummy!!!  The additional investment in the fillet steak and swiss brown mushrooms is definitely worth it.  Using the creme fraiche and all that butter certainly gives the dish a rich creaminess that my dish doesn't have, and the french eschalots give the dish a different element as opposed to using garlic.

My verdict - try this dish, if only once, it is worth it!!

My next mission was to make a slice to leave for "The Darlings" for the snacks the next day.  I had a babysitter organised and was off the the Good Food and Wine Show!!!

"Precious" and I took off for a girl's day at the show!!!  What fun we had!!

We went to the Celebrity Theatre and Pete Evans taught us how to make the perfect pizza (I must admit I am now tempted to make my own dough!!!).  He even made a Chocolate Pizza!  I used these ideas when I returned home and made pizza for dinner!! Pete says "less is more" when topping a pizza - and I think I have to agree (well at least with the Prawn pizza I made) - not so much with the Mexican one - you just have to layer all those lovely elements to get that true Mexican Flavour!!

Next demonstration was George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan - they made their own pasta dough (and yes, tempted again to give it a go!!) with their pasta dough they made lovely prawn ravioli (oh so easy.... watch this space I will have to try that as well!!)  George also made a very interesting dish - hommus which he spread in a baking dish, then topped it with green prawns, then put more hommus over the prawns (he called it a hommus doona!!!) and baked them!!  Would have loved to taste them to see how they turned out.

We tried lots of things, peking duck, oodles of noodles, cheeses, wines, liqueurs, sauces..... and after 9 hours, came home with a trolley full of goodies to try out at home!  Also lots of new recipes to try out!!!

Caramel Slice

1 cup self raising flour
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 cup desiccated coconut
150g butter, melted
395 can condensed milk
2 tbs golden syrup
30g butter, extra
1 1/2 cups dark melts, melted

Preheat oven to 180C (non fan forced)

Line a lamington tin (18cm x 28cm) with baking paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, coconut and butter, mix well.  Press into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.

While the base is cooking combine the condensed milk, golden syrup and extra butter in a saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until almost boiling (make sure your stir constantly or it will go lumpy).  Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes (keep stirring!!)

Pour the caramel over the base and bake for a further 10 minutes.  Cool.  Spread the melted chocolate over the top, then cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares.

Very, very easy!!!

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