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23 March 2009

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce

I love pepper sauce with steak. I have experimented with quite a few variations. This week I tried a combination of one I saw on French Food at Home and one that was in Donna Hay Classics 1. I think it was the best by far, but probably not the lowest in fat. If I am trying to make a low fat meal, I use Carnation Light 'n' Creamy, which works really well. You probably need to add a little extra cornflour though.

I'm not overly happy with the photo for this one. Once I make it again, I'll take a better photo. But trust me, it tasted delicious.

I used creme fraiche in this recipe because I love its tang. It is also very thick, so I did not need to add much cornflour. I used beef stock that comes in one of those tetra packs. I have never tried this recipe using powdered beef stock and water. I really think the result would not be as good, but feel free to have a go.

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 steaks
1 cup beef stock
1 cup creme fraiche
3-4 teaspoons green peppercorns lightly crushed
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon beef stock, extra

Heat the beef stock in a small saucepan until boiling. Reduce until only 1/3 cup liquid remains.

Meanwhile, cook steak to your liking and set aside to rest.

Once beef stock has reduced (to allow the flavour to intensify) add the creme fraiche and green peppercorn to the stock. Whisk to combine. Blend the cornflour with the extra beef stock and add to sauce. Allow to simmer for a few minutes until thickened.

Serve steaks topped with peppercorn sauce. I like to serve this dish with crunchy potatoes.

Ginger, Garlic, Egg and Sesame Rice with Chinese Chicken

I made this recipe last night for Mark and our friends Scott and Amber. I have been making the rice for some time (inspired by garlic rice we had the The Rocks Teppanyaki which was amazing), often serving it with fish cakes, or grilled chicken. Last night I decided to experiment with my spices and season the chicken with a combination of spices regularly used in Chinese cooking. And the gamble paid off!

I cooked the chicken in oven, on a roasting rack. At the end of the cooking process, I turned the oven off and let the chicken sit for a few minutes. The chicken was juicy and succulent. Cooking it this way is also extremely easy, just pop it in the oven, set the timer and forget about it. I think I'll be doing it this way more often.

Mark and Amber both liked drizzling a little soy sauce over the rice, but you may like to give this a go also.

Ginger, Garlic, Egg and Sesame Rice

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 cups long grain rice
8-10 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 eggs lightly whisked
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3cm piece of ginger grated
2-5 garlic cloves crushed (add garlic to taste)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons peanut oil (extra)
Soy sauce (optional)

Boil the rice in the water as per packet instructions. Rinse under cold water. Toast the sesame seeds in a large fry pan until lightly toasted. Heat the peanut oil in the large saucepan. Add the eggs and cook until just cooked. Turn over to ensure cooked through, and then remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the sesame oil and peanut oil in the fry pan. Cook the ginger and garlic until fragrant (you can also add a bit of lemongrass if you like). Add the rice and mix to combine. If it seems a little dry, add extra oil. Roughly chop the egg and add to the rice with the sesame seeds. Stir to combine and serve immediately. Drizzle with soy sauce if desired.

Chinese Chicken

Ingredients (serves 4)

1/4 teaspoon green peppercorn
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon amchur powder
3/4 teaspoon cassia or cinnamon
1/2 teapsoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon galangal powder
1 teaspoon cumin
4 chicken breasts trimmed
Drizzle of oil

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Grind the peppercorn, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cloves in a mortar and pestle. Add the remaining spices and mix to combine. Coat the chicken in the spices and place on a roasting rack in a roasting tray. Drizzle with a little oil.

Roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Once cooked, turn the oven off and leave the chicken to sit in the oven for 5 minutes.

I served this with bok choy and chinese cabbage which had been briefly stir fried with a little sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce.