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Post subject: Menu, what's for dinner...  PostPosted: Nov 23, 2008 - 04:27 AM

Sergeant Major

Chicken Liver Pate with Brandy, with Sweet-and-Sour Red Onion Salad

To make the pâté, take a medium-sized, heavy-based frying pan, melt about 1 oz (25 g) of the butter in it and fry the chicken livers over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Keep them on the move, turning them over quite frequently. Then remove them from the pan using a draining spoon and transfer them to a blender or food processor.

Now, in the same pan, gently melt 5 oz (150 g) of the remaining butter and add this to the blender or food processor. Then pour the brandy on to the juices left in the frying pan (to capture all the lovely flavours), and pour that over the livers. Now add the mustard, mace, thyme and garlic, season well with salt and freshly milled black pepper, and blend until you have a smooth, velvety purée.

Next, divide the between the ramekins (or pots). Then melt the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of butter, pour a little over each one to seal, press in a sprig of thyme, and leave them to get quite cold. Cover with clingfilm and leave them in the fridge till needed.

To make the red-onion salad, all you do is heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the onions, turn the heat down to low and let them cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Next, add the sugar and 3 tablespoons water, stir well, then pop a lid on and let it continue cooking gently for another 10 minutes. After that, add the vinegar, mustard and some salt and freshly milled black pepper, and give everything another really good stir. Then spoon the onions into a serving bowl and cool until needed.

Don’t forget to remove the chicken liver pâtés from the fridge about an hour before serving, as both the pâté and the salad need to be served at room temperature

Serves 6

8 oz (225 g) chicken livers, rinsed and trimmed
2 tablespoons Cognac
8 oz (225 g) butter
2 level teaspoons mustard powder
¼ level teaspoon ground mace
1 level teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus 6 small sprigs to garnish
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the red-onion salad:

3 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges through the root
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon light soft brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¾ level tablespoon wholegrain mustard
salt and freshly milled black pepper

You will also need six 1¼ inch (3 cm) deep ramekins with a base diameter of 2¼ inches (5.5 cm) (or six similar-sized pots).

Main course

Luxury Smoked-fish Pie

First of all arrange the haddock in a baking tin, pour over the milk and add the bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley stalks, then bake, uncovered, on a high shelf of the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the kipper fillets and skin and bone the Arbroath smokies – the flesh will come off very easily. Then chop them into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces, along with the smoked salmon, if the slices are whole, then place all the prepared fish in a mixing bowl. Next, when the haddock is cooked, strain off the liquid and reserve it, discarding the bay leaf, parsley stalks and peppercorns. Then, when the haddock is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and flake the flesh into largish pieces, adding it to the bowl to join the rest of the fish.

Next make the sauce. Do this by melting the butter in the saucepan, stir in the flour and gradually add the fish liquid bit by bit, stirring continuously. When all the liquid is in, finish the sauce by gradually adding the single cream, then some seasoning, and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the chopped parsley. Now add the hard-boiled eggs, capers and cornichons to the fish, followed by the lemon juice and, finally, the sauce. Mix it all together gently and carefully so as not to break up the fish too much, then taste and check the seasoning and pour the mixture into the baking dish.

Now, to make the topping, peel and quarter the potatoes, put in a steamer fitted over a large saucepan of boiling water, sprinkle with a dessertspoon of salt, put a lid on and steam until they are absolutely tender – about 25 minutes. Then remove the potatoes from the steamer, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan and cover with a clean tea cloth to absorb some of the steam for about 5 minutes. Now add the butter and crème fraîche and, on the lowest speed, use an electric hand whisk to break the potatoes up, then increase the speed to high and whip them up to a smooth, creamy, fluffy mass. Taste, season well, then spread the potatoes all over the fish, making a ridged pattern with a palette knife. Now finally sprinkle over the grated cheeses and bake on a high shelf in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is nicely tinged brown. Serve each portion garnished with the watercress.

Serves 6

8 oz (225 g) undyed smoked haddock fillet
2 Manx boneless kipper fillets
8 oz (225 g) Arbroath smokies
8 oz (225 g) smoked salmon or smoked salmon trimmings
15 fl oz (425 ml) whole milk
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
a few stalks fresh parsley
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 oz (50 g) plain flour
5 fl oz (150 ml) single cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 large eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
1 heaped tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and drained
4 cornichons (baby gherkins), chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a few sprigs fresh watercress, to garnish
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the topping:

2 lb (900 g) Desirée potatoes
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 level tablespoons crème fraîche
1 oz (25 g) Gruyère, finely grated
1 level tablespoon finely grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

You will also need an ovenproof baking dish measuring 9 inches (23 cm) square and 2 inches (5 cm) deep, buttered.


Hot Chocolate Rum Soufflé with Chocolate Sauce

First of all, pop the baking tray into the oven to pre-heat. Now break the chocolate into a heatproof mixing bowl, add the rum and cream, and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Leave it until the chocolate is just soft, which will take about 6 minutes, then remove it from the heat and beat with a wooden spoon until it's smooth and glossy. Allow it to cool. In the meantime, brush the souffle dish with melted butter and dust with caster sugar. Now, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks thoroughly and stir them into the chocolate mixture. Then, in another large, grease-free bowl - and making sure the beaters of your electric hand whisk are clean and dry - whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Then, using a metal spoon, mix a quarter of the egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it then fold in the rest gently and carefully.

Next, pour the whole lot into the soufflé dish and bake on the baking tray for about 20 minutes, or until the soufflé is puffy and springy to the touch.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce. Break the chocolate into another heatproof mixing bowl and add the cream. Place it over a pan of barely simmering water, once again making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. After about 6 minutes, remove it from the heat and beat it with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour the sauce into a small jug and keep warm.

Serve the soufflé straight from the oven, dusted with icing sugar. Hand around the chocolate sauce and cream separately.

Serves 6

For the soufflé

4 oz (110 g) dark chocolate (50-55% cocoa solids)
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons double cream
4 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
a little melted butter for greasing
a little caster sugar for dusting

For the sauce

3 oz (75 g) dark chocolate (50-55% cocoa solids)
4 tablespoons double cream

To serve

10 fl oz (275 ml) double cream
a little icing sugar for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

You will also need a medium baking tray and a 1½ pint (850 ml) soufflé dish.

Cool (2) Cheese



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Cook, or be cooked. Have a nice day. Smile
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