Month: July 2014

Great Steak simply steamed

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This week I want to talk about using steam as a form of cooking steak. The advantage of this is to cook the protein slowly giving a beautiful moist tender piece of meat that has not lost any of its moisture or flavour.

The key is to cook it at a lower temperature for longer – for example set your steamer at 50c and cook a piece of sirloin steak – about 300g for 45 minutes.

It is best to steam first – cool the meat and then simply heat a frypan with a minimum of oil. When the oil starts to smoke place the steak in to simply colour. Brown one side and then brown the other.

The finished result is a browned steak which is beautiful moist and tender.

If you have a thermomix follow these steps

Steaming Ahead with Duck

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I have decided to do a series on steaming since it has become such a popular form of cooking – I really think they will be the newest appliance to rival a microwave.

Steaming has better results than microwaving and maintains more nutrients. Food looks and tastes more delicious.

Whats fun with cooking with a steamer is cooking food at lower temperatures – for example cooking eggs at 100c for 3 minutes or by simply cooking it at a lower temperature of 90c reduces the heat and its effect on the protein delivering softer more subtle result.

Last week on SBS Food Safari french cooking Mark Best cooked a whole duck using steam not at 100c but at 60c – this took 4 hours . This method produced a succulent moist soft fleshed duck.He then finished it off in a very hot oven producing a crisp brown duck . 

This method would apply equally for chicken with just a shorter cooking time when steaming.


Cooking Fruit




Sometimes we end up with simply too much fruit , we had brought a bunch of Beurre Bosc pears to place in a large bowl for table decoration. The brown pear worked well on the grey coloured bowl.

Now comes the challenge of what to do with them? We steamed some with sugar and spices to serve with frangipane and pear tart with chocolate.

One of my favourite things to do with some fruits is to roast them. With the pears we cut them into quarters along with parsnip and a drizzle of butter and baked them at about 160c for about 45 minutes .

The roasted pears are golden and sweet and were the perfect accompaniment to roast pork.

Fruits that are suitable to roast/bake/grill are pineapple , apple ,peach ,apricot , nectarine  and strawberries. Roasted strawberries with a splash of balsamic vinegar is delicious with a good vanilla ice-cream .

Cheese with Wine

This week I attend a Gourmet Traveller Cheese and Wine event. It was an incredible selection of beautiful wines matched with truly delicious cheese.

The Cheeses served were Jacquin tradition du berry goats cheese, Cashel blue from tipperary, Pyengana cheddar from Tasmania,Coolea cow from Ireland, Onetik Ossaun Iraty from the Pyrenees and the most amazing cheese served hot – Fromager Des Clarines from Haute-Savoie France.

The Fromager served hot was so simply – it was placed into a hot oven at 200c for approximately 20 minutes. Slices of garlic and some thyme sprigs were inserted for flavour before cooking. It was hot and gooey and sumptuous.

Some of the things that were discussed on the night were the following

1. Take your cheese out of the refrigerator at least two hours before to bring to room temperature.

2. Blue vein cheese matches beautifully with sweet items such as quince paste, fruit bread and plain digestives are wonderful.

3. Plain crackers like lavish and simple breads are well matched with all cheeses. Let the cheese be the Hero !

4. It is best to splash on one great piece of cheese from a cheese shop or good delicatessen than a cheaper piece from the supermarket.

5. When cutting the cheese rind maintenance is important – the etiquette is to allow any slice to have some rind attached.