Admit it, you’ve suspiciously eyed those little snails in your backyard and wondered if they were the same thing being sold at the posh french restaurant down the street. If you’re a fan of Escargot, you’re in luck, because you can get it right out of your garden!
I was watching Gordon Ramsay’s F Word a few days ago and he paid his kids to get some snails out of the garden and cooked a great looking salad with them! Now before you run outside and begin greedily stuffing snails in your mouth, you should be aware that there’s a little bit of work which should be done before cooking the snails. Snails in your garden may have consumed toxins so you should purify them.
I would suggest gathering the snails right after or even during a heavy rain. Snails like to come out onto the sidewalk when it rains (they probably don’t like drowning). If you don’t anticipate rain anytime soon, you can spray the yard down with a garden hose and then wait awhile for the little guys to come crawling out. I don’t know how long it takes them to come out when it gets wet, but they are snails, so it’ll probably take a few hours.
After you’ve gathered your snails, place them in a jar with a tight fitting lid and a few holes for breathing and leave them alone for two days without feeding them. You want to make sure you don’t skip this step as it’s the detoxification process and will allow your snails to purge any toxins they’ve consumed recently. Gordon suggests putting a carrot in their jar after two days of detox and leaving them until their poo starts turning orange. I’ve also heard that you can feed them cornmeal which is supposed to make them taste good (I’m going to go with Gordon’s suggestion on this one). After they’re pooing orange, put them in an airtight jar and leave them in the fridge until they stop moving. Your snails are now ready to cook!
I’ll post a great recipe or two for Escargot and link to it soon. For now, I’m off to collect some snails since it just stopped raining (really, it did)!
As I’ve become more serious about cooking, I’ve realized that my old J.A. Henckels Eversharp knives just aren’t doing the trick. If you’re not familiar with Eversharp knives, they’re basically serrated like those infomercial knives so that they never need to be sharpened. They don’t really cut anything, but rather tear everything. Tearing through my food was fine for the most part (although defrosted meat is really tough) when I was only cooking occasionally, but now that I’m a serious foodie, I need some real cutting power.
I took my hunt for new knives very seriously and scoured the net for reviews after visiting Bed Bath & Beyond for a precursory look at my options. After reading countless reviews, I narrowed my choices down to three different knife sets. I was very interested in J.A. Henckels International Classic Series, Wustof’s Classic Series, and Calphalon’s Katana Series sets. Upon deciding on my chosen three, I ventured back to Bed Bath & Beyond with my 20% off coupon in hand.
I must credit Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales staff for their patience, as I held one hostage for over an hour! Upon my return to the store, I accosted the first rep I saw and asked to see the fine cutlery (see as in hold). J.A. Henckels International Series knives felt fine, but nothing about them really stood out, so those fell to the wayside almost immediately. Calphalon’s Katana Series felt amazing in my hand and looked so cool that I had a hard time moving on to the Wustof knives. Wustof makes an amazing knife! When the sales associate handed me the Wustof, I immediately fell in love! These knives fit my hand perfectly; unfortunately they don’t look nearly as cool as the Katana Series and they carry a slightly heftier price tag. So after holding the Wustof and Katana knives about ten more times, I finally settled on the Katana Series. I still think that the Wustof knives are better knives, I just couldn’t get over the amazingly cool look of the Katana knives!
Armed with my brand new knives, I immediately headed to the local Butcher and delightfully purchased ingredients for the first meal I would prepare with professional quality knives. When I got home, I went straight away to cooking and let me tell you, the Katana Series knives cut through everything as if it where warm butter. I could probably slice onions by dropping them on the blade.
I am thinking about getting the Wustof Classic 3.5 Paring Knife as a stand-alone addition to my set. The Wustof Pairing Knife feels much better in my hand than the standard 4″ that comes in most block sets. The smaller blade is easier to work with and the bolster is positioned just right.
If you’re stuck cooking with mediocre knives, treat yourself to a set of real knives, you won’t regret it!
I just prepared this recipe for dinner tonight and “oh my God”, it’s delicious! It’s a cinch to make and so tasty that I stuffed myself to the point of being uncomfortable! This is a quick recipe that would be good for lunch or dinner.
I couldn’t find Toulouse Sausage, or a can of Mixed Beans, so I used Italian Sweet Sausage, and a can of Black Beans.
This Recipe comes from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food
Pan-fry the sausage with the olive oil and the thyme, then add the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the sausages to be a nice golden brown at this point.
Add the mixed beans and the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Loosely cover the pan and stew for 10-12 minutes until the sausage are cooked through.
Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar if the tomato sauce is too sharp. Serve in bowls with the bread.
Serves 2 (or 1 really hungry person)
This is a quick recipe which also uses up your leftover chicken from last night (you did eat chicken last night, right?). If you’re going to pack the lunch to go, make sure to store the chicken and watercress in different containers and mix them when you’re ready to eat.
This recipe comes from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food which is a wonderful cook book. You can get it on Amazon.com for about $20.
Trim 7oz watercress, removing the stalks, then wash and dry on paper towels. Slice or shred the meat from 1/2 roast chicken.
For the dressing, mix the juice of 1/2 lemon with 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, adding any pan juices from the roast chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the chicken in the dressing.
Add the watercress to the chicken just before serving and toss to mix. Serve with lemon wedges on the side and a few chunks of crusty baguette.
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This Recipe is so simple that anyone should be able to pull it off. Dive right in and have yourself a quick homemade lunch. You’ll be glad you didn’t get a ready made meal.
You can find this recipe and many more like it in Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food
Split two poppyseed bagels in half. Toast them lightly
Mix 3.5 oz of cream cheese with 1 tbsp of whole grain mustard, add salt and pepper
Spread the cream cheese mixture over the bagels.
Arrange 2 or 3 pastrami slices, a sliced large gherkin (or cucumber if you can’t find a gherkin), and some arugula leaves on each bagel base. Put the top half of the bagel on and you’re set! Umm, umm…
You can substitute milk for the water which will provide a duller finished product. You can also use yolks only with cream for shiny, darker brown finish.
This recipe was featured on The F Word and was a huge hit with the customers. It’s probably a little advanced for a beginner, but it’s a meal fit for a King (or a Queen). I’ve had to convert the measurements from grams, so they may seem a little weird. As always, use the freshest ingredients you can, and support your local butcher by getting your meat from them (added benefit is they’ll actually cut you .88 lbs, even though they may think you’re a little strange for asking).
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Heat oil in a large pan and sear the meat on all sides. Don’t cook the meat, just brown each side. Let it cool and then brush it with the mustard.
3. Chop the mushrooms in a food processor to make a puree. Throw the puree in a hot pan with no oil and sweat out all of the liquid. Let the water evaporate and then set it aside to cool.
4. Lay four slices of parma ham down on a large piece of cling film, slightly overlapping, then brush with mushroom mixture.
5. Put the beef in the middle of the ham and roll the ham around the beef using the cling film. Twist the ends of the cling film to tighten the roll, then refrigerate it for 15 minutes to let it set.
6. Roll your puff pastry and then brush the edges with Egg Wash. Roll the pastry over the beef completely covering it. Cut off any excess pieces. Egg Wash the top. Put your roll back in the fridge for 5 minutes. Egg Wash again and bake for 35-40 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
7. Par boil the potatoes in salted water. Quarter them and leave the skin on. Sauté in olive oil and butter with the garlic and thyme, until browned and cooked through. Season. Remove the thyme and garlic before serving.
8. Separate the outside leaves of the baby gem (leaving the smaller inner ones for salads) and very quickly sauté them in a pan of olive oil with a little salt and pepper – just enough to wilt them.
9. Serve hearty slices of the Wellington alongside the sautéed potatoes and wilted baby gems. A classic mustard vinaigrette makes a great dressing.
This recipe comes from Gordon’s cookbook, Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy, you can pick it up on Amazon.com for about $15. It’s a great cookbook with tons of tasty recipes just like this one.
These eggs are to die for! You should be warned that after eating these eggs, you’ll never want those overcooked tasteless eggs most people prepare ever again! If you have a hard time finding the Creme Fraiche, you can substitute it with sour cream. Bon Appetite!
If you would prefer to watch Gordon prepare this recipe, you can watch the video below.
6 large free-range eggs
3Tbs ice-cold butter diced
1-2 tbsp crème fraîche
Freshly ground sea salt and pepper (you can use regular salt if you need to)
Few chives, snipped (substitute with green onion if necessary)
2-3 chunky slices of rustic bread, such aspain Polaîne, to serve (Fresh French Bread works too)
1 Break the eggs into a cold, heavy-based pan, add half the butter, and place onto the stove over generous heat. Using a spatula, stir the eggs frequently to combine the yolks with the whites.
2 As the mixture begins to set, add the remaining butter. The eggs will take about 4-5 minutes to scramble – they should still be soft and quite lumpy. Don’t let them get too hot – keep moving the pan off and back on the heat.
3 Meanwhile, toast the bread.
4 Add the crème fraîche and season the eggs at the last minute, then add the snipped chives. Put the toast on warm plates, pile the softly scrambled eggs on top and serve immediately.
This is the recipe Gordon Ramsay used on Kitchen Nightmares when he went to Lela’s and created Lela’s Famous Burger. I’ve prepared this recipe three times and been delighted each time! These hamburgers taste best when prepared on the grill, but can be a little difficult because they tend to crumble. I suggest squeezing as much liquid out of the hamburger patties as possible before putting them on the BBQ. Don’t forget to add some color to the burgers while cooking them.
For best results you should get your hamburger meat from a local butcher and avoid prepackaged patties at all costs! Prepackaged hamburger patties are uneven in flavor and taste. Use a meat which has about 15% fat for a nice balance between flavor, health, and price.
Good luck and let me know how it works out for you!
Medium heat works best for cooking hamburgers as it allows for nice grill marks and color, but provides enough time to cook the inside without drying it out. Prepare your grill (or your pan) by allowing it to reach medium heat. Place your hamburger patties on the grill (or in the pan) and resist the urge to press them with a spatula or move them around too much; either of these practices will dry out the burgers and can also cause Lela’s Famous Hamburgers to crumble.
Flip your patties after 3 minutes of steady cooking and allow them to cook for 3 more minutes. You may need to flip once or twice more depending on the heat of your grill (or stove). USDA says that the inside of your hamburgers should be 160 degrees before eating. Some of you might like your hamburgers medium, or medium rare. Under cook hamburger patties at your own risk.
Now top those bad boys with some of the freshest tomatoes and lettuce you can get your hands on! You can now enjoy the tastiest hamburgers I’ve ever eaten!