Steak Tartare ala Tony Bourdain

* 2 egg yolks
* 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (28 g)
* 4 anchovy filets, finely chopped
* 2 tsp ketchup (10 g)
* 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (5 g)
* Tabasco sauce, to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup salad (i.e., corn or soy) oil (56 ml)
* 1 oz Cognac (28 ml)
* 1 small onion, freshly and finely chopped
* 2 oz capers, rinsed (56 g)
* 2 oz cornichons, finely chopped (56 g)
* 4 sprigs of flat parsley, finely chopped
* 1 1/4 lb. fresh sirloin, finely chopped (560 g)
* French fries, optional
* 4 slices fine quality white bread, toasted, quartered, for toast points


1. Place the egg yolks in a large stainless-steel bowl and add the mustard and anchovies. Mix well, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and pepper and mix well again. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the Cognac and mix again. Fold in the onion, capers, cornichons, and parsley.

2. Add the chopped meat to the bowl and mix well using a spoon or your hands. Divide the meat evenly among the six chilled dinner plates and, using a ring mold or spatula, form it into disks on the plates. Serve immediately with French fries and toasted bread points.

Some words of steak tartare wisdom from Tony:

Les Halles, the restaurant, was pretty much created to serve this dish. The key to a successful steak tartare is fresh beef, freshly hand-chopped at the very last minute and mixed tableside. A home meat grinder with a fairly wide mesh blade is nice to have, but you can and should use a very sharp knife and simply chop and chop and chop until fine. The texture will be superior. And do not dare use a food processor on this dish – you?ll utterly destroy it.”

I haven’t met a person who hasn’t said this recipe produced fabulous results. Its mindlessly easy too, so I urge you to try it for yourself.

*note: my sister and I like to temper the acidity by adding a little cream or milk during the last whisk at the end. Also, it is well worth the effort to pound the breasts as much as possible before cooking.

Giada’s Chicken Piccata

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and give it a shake to remove excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil.

When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner.

Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

annabel karmel.jpg

There is nothing as important as feeding our children. Yet food for kids isn’t exactly something that you see on TV everyday. In fact there are only a few people writing about it.

Enter Annabel Karmel. She is a household name in the UK. She is an inspirig person. She is not just a cook, she is also a mother which is why each of her recipes have been carefully tested against the best possible guage: her own kids.

Annabel Karmel studied at the Cordon Bleu school. It was the loss of her first child, Natasha, that she began to write. She believes that the one element that any parent can control that will help determine their health is what they eat. She began to create recipes that her son would enjoy eating yet still meet his dietary needs. The result: her first published book in 1991 titled The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner.

By no means though is she a homely, matronly looking mom. She may have 3 kids but she has kept physically active. She is a fun person who enjoys skiing, tennis and roller blading. She is also a musician and singer. In fact she has performed with Liberace, Denis Waterman, Queen Elizabeth and Boy George. The instrument she has performed on is the harp, though she also plays violin. She has also had a recording career.

To date she has several books under her belt. Her recipes are all kid friendly and are fun to make. If you have a fussy eater, try some of her recipes.

She has also been seen on TV as the Foodie Godmother on the Richard and Judy Show, BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and BBC2’s Working Lunch.

Faggots, fish cakes, braised oxtails and bread and butter pudding – these are English dishes that Gary Rhodes is credited with reviving. He has a passion for English cooking and is a fan of Manchester United. His peers have given him the accolade the Chef’s Chef.

Gary Rhodes first discovered a love for cooking at the age of thirteen. The delight of his family over the Sunday roast and steamed lemon pudding he prepared was the spark that lit his passion for the culinary art.

He trained at the Thanet technical college. After graduation he decided that he needed to expand his knowledge and increase his culinary skills, and figured the best way to do this was by travelling. He went off to Amsterdam where he worked as a commis chef at the Amsterdam Hilton.

He has worked as a sous chef at the Reform Club, Pall Mall, at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge and later in the Castle Hotel, Taunton in Somerset as the head chef. The Castle Hotel is where he truly began to make his mark, earning his first Michelin Star.

He moved to the Greenhouse Restaurant in Mayfair in 1990 where he earned his second Michelin Star. By this time his reputation was well established. He was already considered a master of the culinary art. He continued to bring a personal modern touch to classic traditional British favorite dishes.

Finally in 1997 he opened his own restaurant, City Rhodes and a year later Rhodes in the Square. Both establishments were awarded Michelin Stars. He later opened brasseries called Rhodes and Co. in Manchester, Edinburgh and Crawley. The first two were awarded the Michelin Bib – the award given to good moderately priced food.

His first appearance on TV was on the show Hot Chefs while he was 27. He has had numerous shows including Rhodes Around Britain and Gary’s Perfect Christamas. He has even hosted a show for kids with recipes based on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes.
He also has several cookbooks to his name including Gary Rhodes’ Cookery Year: Spring into Summer and Gary Rhodes’ Cookery Year: Autumn into Winter.