Gretta Anna’s Pork Chops with Mustard, Apples and Garlic Cabbage

Serces: 6

This is just a wonderful bit of Provincial bistro cooking. So tasty, so simple, so warming.

Nat cooked this for lunch in the heart of winter last year and it totally nailed the brief.

French cooking luxury on a budget.

Ingredients

50gm butter for pork
6 foreloin pork chops
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into lengths

Onion mustard sauce

25gm butter
3 onions, chopped
350ml dry sherry
150ml chicken stock
150ml pure cream
3 generous tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water

Garlic cabbage

25gm butter
2 large onions, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 – 5 large garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley (stalks and all)
1/4 cabbage, finely sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Heat 50gm butter in a fry pan over a medium heat and sauté the pork chops for 5 minutes each side, turning until golden. Transfer the chops to a casserole dish.
  3. To make the onion mustard sauce, heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the onions for 5 minutes until soft though not coloured. Add the sherry, stock, cream and mustard, then stir the cornflour mixture in to thicken. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add to the casserole dish with the chops. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid.
  4. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, then add the apple and cook for another 10 minutes, until the apple pieces are soft but not falling apart. Remove all the fat from the top using a spoon or a ladle.
  5. To make the garlic cabbage, heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and sauté for 5 minutes until soft though not coloured. Add salt, pepper and garlic and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes and add the parsley. Add the cabbage and toss for a couple of minutes until the cabbage is heated through and coated with the buttery mixture, but still crisp.
  6. Serve the pork with the garlic cabbage.

Gretta Anna’s Coulibiac (Russian Salmon Pie)

Serves: 8

This is one hell of a decadent – and very pleasantly unusual – pie.

Something that Tsar’s no doubt enjoyed a hundred years back.

Scan the ingredients and you would have to agree.

There is a bit of effort in it – thanks Nat – and the handling of the filo pastry was touch and go; make sure you reduce the smoked salmon and mushroom mixtures until well thickened.

Also, we agreed that using fresh salmon might lighten the pie slightly, though the smoked salmon is subtle and the whole point of this pie is to live the good life.

Lobster or prawn bisque can be found at good delis and fishmongers.

Otherwise, I commend the Coulibiac to you. It is such a classic.

Ingredients

10 sheets filo pastry
100gm butter, melted
2 c walnuts, chopped
Beaten egg, for brushing
350gm sour cream (optional)
3 spring onions, finely diced (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rice Mixture

1/2 c medium-grain white rice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp chopped dill
4 golden shallots, chopped
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Mushroom Mixture

400gm mushrooms, chopped
90gm butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml pure cream
2 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp chopped marjoram

Smoked salmon mixture

1 x 400gm tin prawn or lobster bisque
400 ml pure cream
170gm smoked salmon, chopped
1 x 185gm tin crabmeat, drained and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Method

  1. To make the rice mixture, cook the rice until tender. Season with salt and pepper, then mix in the dill, shallots and pine nuts. Place in the refridgerator until required.
  2. To make the mushroom mixture, sauté the mushrooms in the butter in a frying pan until soft, then season with salt and pepper and add the cream. Stir in the cornflour mixture to thicken, then add the majoram. Place in the refridgerator until required.
  3. To make the smoked salmon mixture, place the bisque into a saucepan with the cream and and bring to the boil, whisking until it thickens. Add the salmon and crabmeat and season with salt and pepper. Add the boiled egg. Place in the refridgerator until needed.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190c and grease an overnproof serving dish.
  5. Place 2 sheets of filo pastry on the bench top with 2 further sheets alongside the first two. Brush the top sheet of each set of filo pastry sheets with melted butter and chopped walnuts. Add 2 more sheets of the follow to each set and add more melted butter and chopped walnuts. Add the last 2 sheets of filo, one on top of each set.
  6. Leaving a 5cm space top and bottom (to allow for tuck-in when rolling), place a 10cm band of each of the three mixtures (using half of each mixture), one on top of the other, down one set of pastry. Brush the pastry edges with beaten egg and fold the pastry over the top and bottom. Fold the pastry in on both sides of the mixture to form a roll, tucking in both tops and bottoms as they are rolled.
  7. Repeat with the other set of pastry and remaining filling.
  8. Place the two rolls in the prepared serving dish and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining chopped walnuts and bake for about 40 minutes until crisp and golden
  9. Combine the sour cream with the spring onions and season with salt and pepper. Serve the coulibiac in slices with the sour cream, or leave it unsauced.

Martin Teplitzky’s Egg Yolk Ravioli with Prosciutto, Asparagus and Lemon Butter

Serves: 6 as a starter

This is a bit of an adventurous dish, though ironically it’s the simplicity of the whole thing that is the point.

This dish from Martin Teplitzky – son of the great Gretta Anna – is all class.

Nat did this as a first course for a long-lunch we had over the past Christmas and my goodness, what a treat:

Doh. I forgot the Parmesan and chives before I took this photo.

The double whammy here is that you both need to make pasta dough and then expertly transfer egg yolks into each ravioli. I think we lost only two yolks.

Though its a fun dish to make – I helped with the pasta part – and it looks wonderful. (Yolks at room temperature are much easier to handle: pro tip.)

And as I said, it’s just the wonderful simplicity of it all.

Thankfully I nailed the other part of my limited brief which was to have a solid white wine chilled and ready.

Enjoy. (I did. Very much.)

Ingredients

18 egg yolks
1 tbsp olive oil
3 thin slices prosciutto, finely chopped
50gm Parmesan, finely grated
Finely chopped chives, to garnish

Asparagus and Lemon Butter

150gm butter
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 bunch asparagus, spears trimmed and cut into thirds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Egg Yolk Ravioli (Makes about 18)

300gm type ‘00’ flour
Pinch of salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
Semolina flour, for dusting

Method

  1. To make the ravioli, sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Using a fork, gently beat the eggs and gradually allow the flour to mix with them. Continue until the sauce is too think to work with the fork. Tip out onto a smooth surface and work the dough until all the flour is absorbed, then continue to knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes until it becomes smooth. (You may need to dust the work surface with a little semolina flour if you find the dough sticking a bit.) Wrap the dough in plastic film and place in the refrigerator to rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Dust the work surface with semolina flour, then cut off about a quarter of the pasta dough, being sure to wrap the remaining dough in a tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Flatten the first piece of dough and pass it through the widest setting on a pasta machine. Drop the setting down a notch and roll out, and again drop the setting a notch and repeat. At this point, take your dough and fold it over twice. Pass it through the pasta machine. Repeat this process 5 times on this setting, folding air into the pasta. Once you have done this, drop the setting down another notch and roll through once, then drop the setting down once more and roll your pasta dough through. You should now have a lovely thin sheet of pasta ready for cutting or filling Repeat with remaining dough it give 4 sheets of pasta.
  3. Using a cutter, cut the pasta dough into 18 discs about 8cm in diameter for the base of the ravioli, and 18 discs about 9cm in diameter for the top. Carefully place an egg yolk in the middle of an 8cm disc and wet the edges with a little water on the end of your fingertips. Place a 9cm disc on top and press the edges together, being careful not to puncture the pasta with your fingernails, and making sure you remove any air pockets from inside the ravioli. Repeat with the remaining pasta discs and egg yolks.
  4. The ravioli can then be dusted with semolina flour and placed in the fridge or thrown straight into a saucepan of salted, boiling water. Remove the ravioli when they float to the surface, after about 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-heat and sauté the prosciutto until crisp and golden, then drain on paper towel.
  6. To make the asparagus and lemon butter, simply melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the lemon zest and juice and gently sauté the asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until they turn bright green and have softened a little. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Drain the ravioli, divide evenly between the plates. Drizzle the asparagus and lemon butter over top and serve with prosciutto and Parmesan, then scatter over finely chopped chives.