This bread is absolutely fantastic and a staple for Easter morning when I was growing up. I like it because it's not too sweet. It is an egg dough which is really amazing in texture at the end. There are other versions of this bread but it is too sweet for my liking. I prefer the mildly sweet Easter bread. At our house we slather REAL butter on top of wedged slices of this bread. I also like to slice hard boiled eggs in rounds and place the slices on top of the bread wedge. My father spent time in Norway so we inherited the placement of creamed herring on top of the Easter bread as well. I enjoy it both ways. This is a recipe that my mother has been using for years from a Ukrainian cookbook that she got when she got marriedRead More
My dearest mother-in-law used to make these around the holidays. I absolutely loved the taste and texture and couldn't believe how easy they are to make. They are soft, light, chewy, and full of chocolate. I'd say they are like a cloud-like vehicle for chocolate, melty goodness.Read More
It's Valentine's Day 2016, and my husband made me this delicious beef Wellington by Gordon Ramsay! It was spot on delicious! If you are a Gordon Ramsay fan you may remember that every time a Hell's Kitchen contestant makes this dish wrong he says, "It's RAW! It's RAW!!!" We always love that....of course. For a video of Gordon making this recipe click here.
- 2 x 14oz beef fillets
- Olive oil, for frying
- 16oz mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
- 1 package puff pastry
- 8 slices of Parma ham
- 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red wine sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6oz beef trimmings (ask the butcher to reserve these when trimming the fillet)
- 4 large shallots, peeled and sliced
- 12 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 thyme sprig
- Splash of red wine vinegar
- 1 bottle red wine
- 25oz beef stock
Wrap each piece of beef tightly in a triple layer of cling film to set its shape, then chill overnight.
Remove the cling film, then quickly sear the beef fillets in a hot pan with a little olive oil for 30-60 seconds until browned all over and rare in the middle. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
Finely chop the mushrooms and fry in a hot pan with a little olive oil, the thyme leaves and some seasoning. When the mushrooms begin to release their juices, continue to cook over a high heat for about 10 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated and you are left with a mushroom paste (known as a duxelle). Remove the duxelle from the pan and leave to cool.
Cut the pastry in half, place on a lightly floured surface and roll each piece into a rectangle large enough to envelop one of the beef fillets. Chill in the refrigerator.
Lay a large sheet of saran wrap on a work surface and place 4 slices of Parma ham in the middle, overlapping them slightly, to create a square. Spread half the duxelle evenly over the ham.
Season the beef fillets, then place them on top of the mushroom-covered ham. Using the cling film, roll the Parma ham over the beef, then roll and tie the cling film to get a nice, evenly thick log. Repeat this step with the other beef fillet, then chill for at least 30 minutes.
Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Remove the cling film from the beef, then wrap the pastry around each ham-wrapped fillet. Trim the pastry and brush all over with the egg wash. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the red wine sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the beef trimmings for a few minutes until browned on all sides. Stir in the shallots with the peppercorns, bay and thyme and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots turn golden brown.
Pour in the vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes until almost dry. Now add the wine and boil until almost completely reduced. Add the stock and bring to the boil again. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, removing any scum from the surface of the sauce, until you have the desired consistency. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Check for seasoning and set aside.
When you are ready to cook the beef wellingtons, score the pastry lightly and brush with the egg wash again, then bake at 390F for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked. Rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, reheat the sauce. Serve the beef wellingtons sliced, with the sauce as an accompaniment.