Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rouladen-In the Pressure cooker

I had intended to make rouladen for the last six months and about a month ago finally did get around to it.  I was not happy with the way it turned out so I wanted to give it another try.  In my first attempt, I'd cooked it on the stove. simmering the rouladen in broth for about an hour.  It did not yield the tender result I expected so I was going to try the next batch in the oven.  Since I was running short of time, I opted to do the second batch in the pressure cooker instead and was very happy with the result.  From what I found on the internet, filling them with mustard, pickles, onion and bacon is the most common although you may make other filling choices to match your preferences.  My son was not fond on the pickle in his, so I made his with carrot sticks instead.  I chose to throw in carrots and potatoes into the pressure cooker along with the rouladen to finish up the meal...although I think spaetzel and red cabbage would be more traditional.....But that I'll keep for another time:)  

I purchased precut rouladen meat all ready to go.  I did pound the meat with a mallet a tiny bit as well.


6 slices of beef cut less than 1/4 inch thick each about 6 X 8 inches
Mustard,  about 1 tbsp per slice
dill pickles cut lengthwise in quarters...about 1 small pickle per roll
Onion, cut in thin half round slices...about tbsp per roll
Bacon, one strip per roll

Additional vegetables to cook in pot as you wish or simply to flavour the gravy
Beef stock...1 1/2 - 2 cups as needed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 cloves minced garlic, optional
1/4 cup beer, sherry or wine to deglaze the pot
salt and pepper to season
2- 4 tbsp flour mixed in cold water to thicken the gravy

To assemble, lay out your meat slice and spread it with mustard keeping away from the edges.  Lay down bacon slice (I cut each slice in half and laid the two halves beside each other).  Place pickle slices ( about one whole small pickle per roll) and onion slices on top of the bacon and roll up each rouladen and secure with toothpicks.  Brown each roll in pressure cooker in a tbsp or so of oil and brown on all sides. Set aside and repeat until all are browned. 

Brown any vegetables you might want to add like carrots, onions, mushrooms etc.  Add minced garlic and tsp dried thyme if you'd like at this point and stir briefly being careful not to burn.  Degalze pan with a splash of sherry or beer or wine.  Add in 1 1/2 cups beef stock, 1 tbsp tomato paste and stir.  Add in any potatoes if you'd like them at this point as well as any other vegetables.  Place browned meat rolls on top.  You will want the broth level partially cover the meat, so you may add additional broth is needed.  Put on the lid and bring to high pressure.  Cook at 15 lb pressure for 20 minutes and depressurize naturally.  Open lid and remove rolls carefully to a side plate and tent with foil.  Thicken broth with flour and water and simmer to cook out the starch taste of the flour for a few minutes.  Serve rouladen with gravy and your choice of starch and vegetables.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

So...I bought this cute honeycomb cake pan and have been looking for a reason to use it.  I needed to find a dense cake give the pan a try and decided to try the Nigella recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread.  The cake is wonderful and I highly recommend it!  There is a frosting to go with it which I did not bother with as DH loves to pour cream on cake anyway.  It is a little too soft a cake for the pan and I had a tough time getting it out of the pan which is why I have no good whole cake photo.  I will continue to look for the right cake recipe to try the pan again:).....But if you like the sound of Chocolate Gingerbread give this a go.  This is an excellent cake for autumn and winter.  Nigella comments that this cake is not aimed at children.....but I don't see a problem with it at all.  I even bumped up the spicey by the cayenne addition as suggested by....A Cat in the Kitchen.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
 175g butter (that's 1 1/2 sticks)
125 g brown sugar (or 1 cup + 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp white sugar
200 g golden syrup (or 3/4 cup)
200 g molasses (or 3/4 cup)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ( an optional addition suggested by another blogger)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp warm water
2 eggs
250ml milk (that's 1 cup)
275 g flour (or 2 cups)
40 g cocoa powder (or 1/3 cup)
175g chocolate chips

Preheat oven for 340 F.  Prepare a 9 inch square pan but greasing and lining with parchment.  Melt butter, sugars, syrup, molasses and spices in a large pot on the stove over medium low heat.  Dissolve baking soda in water in a small dish and set aside.  Combine flour and sift the cocoa together in a separate bowl and set aside.  Remove the melted butter mixture from the heat and cool a bit so it is not too hot.  Whisk into the butter mixture....the baking soda and water and 2 lightly beaten eggs.  Mix the flour and cocoa into the butter mixture.  Fold in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake about 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Albert Squares

Albert Squares have been on my to do list for a long time.  I'm glad I finally gave theses a try.  The currants in them are really nice and next time I will try it with the optional lemon zest on top as I think that would be a really nice addition.  I read many comments that the cake was dry so I was very cautious and checked it early to make sure I got it out of the oven as soon as a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake cake out clean.  It is a drier crumb than some, so you will want to remove it from the oven as soon as it is done. I got two days out of it before I would consider the cake to be dry.  I have tinted the icing pink...a little more than intended as the food colouring spilled out unexpectedly.  Although not traditional...I thought it was pretty. This was a simple and sweet slice...really nice with a cup of tea. 

I've used the recipe from Edmonds Cookery Book which is outlined below if you'd like to give it a try.

Albert Squares

125g butter (about 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp golden syrup (or substitute with corn syrup)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup currants
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk

Cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in syrup and vanilla.  Fold in the currants. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl.  Fold the sifted ingredient into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.  Spread into a greased 20cmX 30 cm baking pan.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Timing will depend on your oven so start checking with a toothpick after 20 minutes...continuing to bake until the inserted toothpick comes out clean..  Remove pan to rack to cool cake completely before icing.

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
enough water to make a spreadable icing
3 Tbsp coconut
lemon rind, finely grated (optional)

Mix icing sugar with vanilla and enough water to make a spreadable icing.  Ice the cooled cake and sprinkle with coconut and with optional lemon zest if desired.