Chinese New Year – Cantonese Food

Cantonese cuisine is all about simple dishes and letting the natural flavours stand out, not like the spice-laden cooking of Sichuan, it just uses the regions abundant natural produce such as seafood, pork, chicken and beef and a few additional flavours.

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Valentine’s Day Chocolate Mousse

So, you have successfully shucked the oysters, the steak was cooked to perfection and you matched your meal with a perfect bottle of wine, Valentine’s Day is going according to plan now you need something simply stunning to finish the meal. I have chosen something stunningly simple to make, that can be kept in the fridge and will wow your dinner companion. And the bonus, there will be a couple left over for the morning.

Valentine’s Day Cooking the Perfect Steak

What can be more romantic on Valentine’s Day than to cook and share a delicious steak with your partner, served with a rich buttery Bearnaise Sauce, some thick cut chips, and a crisp green salad? Here are the steps you need to prepare a fabulous steak just like a professional grill chef.

Valentine’s Day Bearnaise Sauce

A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar, and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect.” Fernand Point, French chef, and restaurateur

Valentine’s Day Oysters Blue and Blonde

The oysters are gratinated with a crisp mix of fresh herbs, savoury biscuit crumbs, and Jersey Blue soft cheese which creamy and slightly tangy taste accentuates the salty ozone flavour of the Jersey oysters. The very light continental style beer, Liberation Blonde provides the base for a refreshing dressing to the baked oysters and chilled is an ideal accompaniment.

Cooking Steaks

How you like your steak is very subjective and in a professional kitchen, you often get cooking descriptions that can be convoluted and incredibly detailed. Chefs gauge the thickness and weight of the piece of meat, the type of cut, the cooking technique and the provenance of beef when cooking and often access the stages by gently touching and feeling the give in the meat and using their experience as a guide. A good grill chef is a very valuable member of the kitchen.

Braised Beef and Red Wine Pie

Shin is an inexpensive cut of meat, which is big on flavour, and is full of gelatinous sinew which cooks down to make the most excellent gravy. It is easy to stew, you can also cook in the oven at around 350 F / 180 C / Gas mark 4 and it really lends itself to batch cooking in the pressure cooker and freezing down until required. You can substitute the red wine for a strong tasting beer for beef and ale pie and adapt the recipe further adding chestnut mushrooms, sautéd kidneys or if you are feeling indulgent a dozen oysters just before you finish cooking.