Warm Up The Kitchen With Delicious Winter Produce
Peter Gilmore and Electrolux create winter warming meals
With the colder weather approaching, many home cooks can be tempted into take-away ‘comfort foods’ or dishing up the same winter dishes year on year. However, the colder seasons bring an array of exciting new seasonal produce that can reinvigorate our favourite winter warmers and create impressive home cooked meals.
World renowned chef and Electrolux Cooking Ambassador, Peter Gilmore of Quay Restaurant, encourages home cooks to be innovative in the kitchen and experiment with new ingredients.
“I love the colour, texture and flavour of winter produce. Some of my personal favourite ingredients to use in the cooler months are mushrooms, artichokes, hazelnuts and cauliflower,” said Peter.
“With the right kitchen appliances and some new ideas on how to prepare different ingredients, you can whip up restaurant quality dishes in your own kitchen.”
Peter shares some helpful advice on how to select, store and cook some of his favourite winter ingredients:
- Mushrooms – There are a few different mushroom varieties to choose from, some of my favourites include shiitake, oyster, swiss brown and chestnut mushrooms. When purchasing mushrooms, make sure the caps are smooth, unbruised and have opened. Mushrooms will keep well for a few days refrigerated in paper bags.
My favourite way to use mushrooms is to sauté them in a cumin infused butter until light golden brown in colour.
- Cauliflower – While cauliflower is available all year, it is at its best in autumn and winter. Select firm heavy heads with tightly compacted florets and green, fresh leaves. Refrigerate cauliflower for up to one week.
A unique way to serve cauliflower is as a puree. After simmering cauliflower in chicken stock with eschallots and garlic, place in a blender with 75g of unsalted butter and blend to a puree. Using an Electrolux Induction Cooktop allows for precision heating, ensuring the cauliflower simmers perfectly.
- Jerusalem artichoke – This vegetable, that resembles ginger, belongs to the sunflower family. Jerusalem artichokes have a nutty, sweet and crunchy flavour. When selecting Jerusalem artichokes, look for less knobs and choose ones that are firm and pale brown. They can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 10 days.
The easiest way to prepare Jerusalem artichokes is to use the Electrolux Compact Combination Steam Oven to soften the artichoke. This will make it easier to remove the skin, while keeping the flesh intact. First place the artichoke on a rack in the steam oven at 90 degrees on the full steam setting. After 45 minutes, remove and allow to cool. Then cut the artichokes in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
Peter Gilmore’s Winter Recipes
Slow braised crisp skinned pork belly with prunes, sherry and cauliflower cream
1 kg piece of pork belly, skin on
3ltrs chicken stock
2 star anise
2 sticks of white celery
1 small brown onion
1 small carrot
2 bay leaves
1 cinamon stick
16 dried prunes
150ml px sherry
50mls sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic
150g unsalted butter
Soak the prunes in ½ litre of cold water overnight.
Place the piece of pork belly in a deep casserole dish which has a lid.Cover with chicken stock, 1.5 litres of chick stock approx. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaves and Star anise. Dice the onion, carrot & celery and add to stock. Cook the belly in the stock with the lid in a low oven 95c for 8 hours.
Check that the stock does not evaporate too much. The belly needs to be submerged throughout the whole cooking process. Add more chicken stock if needed. One the pork belly has finished cooking remove from stock and press between two cling filmed flat trays waited with 6 plates. Allow to set in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.
Next make the cauliflower cream by dicing three eschallots and 1 clove of garlic, sweat in a saucepan with 75grams of unsalted butter. Cut cauliflower up into small pieces and add to the eschallots and garlic. Cover with chicken stock just until the vegetables are submerged. Simmer on high until all vegetables are soft and the stock has reduced to virtually nothing. Then place vegetables in a blender add another 75g of unsalted butter, blend to a puree. Pass this puree through a fine sieve.
Next drain the prunes. Place them in a pot with sherry, vinegar and sugar and enough water to cover the prunes. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer on very low until the prunes are very soft.
Approximately 1 hour. Add more water while cooking if needed. Allow the prunes to cool and save the juice. Remove the prunes from the juice and carefully with a sharp knife remove the prune seeds from the prunes. Return the seeded prunes to the left over juice and put aside.
Cut the pig belly into 8 oblong pieces 2cm wide by 8cm long. Place the pig belly skin side down into a non stick pan. Place a small pizza tray on top of the bellies in the pan and place another fry pan on top of the trays to weight the bellies down. Place the pan with the bellies on the induction top. Turn induction onto 3 and allow the bellies to sautéed for 8-10 mins. Check on progress ½ way through cooking. You are after a very crisped light brown skin. In the mean time reheat the puree and prunes. Serve the crisp belly beside two prunes and a cauliflower cream.
Savoury Gouda custard with Autumn mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes and hazelnuts
This vegetarian based entrée celebrates theWinter seasons bounty of mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes and hazelnuts brought together with a rich savoury aged gouda custard.
90 gms aged Gouda or Reggiano parmegiano
400 mls milk
1 eschallot peeled and sliced
½ clove garlic peeled and sliced
6 gms salt
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
200 gms shiitake mushrooms
150 gms oyster mushrooms
150 gms small swiss brown mushrooms
100 gms chestnut mushrooms
150 mls ghee or clarified butter
10 gms cumin seeds
16 Jerusalem artichokes
1 litre pure olive oil
200 gms halved, skinned and roasted hazelnuts
Wash the Jerusalem artichokes well but do not peel. Place them on a rack in a steamer oven for 45 minutes at 90 o steam. Remove from the steamer oven and allow to cool. Cut the artichokes in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh with a spoon keeping the skin intact as much as possible. Allow the skins to dry on a cake rack. Reserve the Jerusalem artichoke flesh for another use. Deep fry the Jerusalem artichoke skins in pure olive oil at 160 o Celsius. Do this in small batches until the skins are golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and allow to cool completely. Store in an air tight container until needed.
Grate the aged gouda. Bring the 400 mls of milk close to boiling point – 90 o Celsius. Add the gouda, garlic and eschallot and stir well through the heated milk. Allow the cheese, garlic and eschallot to infuse into the milk for 30 minutes off the heat. Strain the milk through a sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Add 6 gms of salt or to your taste. Mix the whole egg and yolks together in a separate bowl and slowly whisk on the milk mixture. Place the mixture into 8 x 50 ml ceramic ramekins, wrap each ramekin with cling film and put aside.
Roast 10 gms of cumin seeds in a dry frypan until golden. Place them in a mortar and pestle and grind. Add the ground cumin seeds to 150 mls of ghee or clarified butter.
Warm in a small saucepan and allow the butter to infuse off the heat for 30 minutes. Pour the butter through coffee filter paper and discard the solids.
Remove all the stalks from the mushrooms.
Place the gouda custards in a steam oven set at 96 o Celsius and steam for 8 minutes. Meanwhile sauté the mushrooms in the cumin infused butter until light golden brown in colour. Drain the mushrooms on absorbent kitchen paper and season with salt. Remove the custards from the steam oven and remove the cling film. Using a round soup spoon scoop the custard from the ramekin onto the centre of each serving plate. Randomly scatter the sautéed mushrooms over and around each custard. Scatter with a small handful of roasted hazelnuts and garnish with Jerusalem artichoke chips – Serve.