The Spanish Fly

The Spanish Fly

The spanish fly is a tapas bar that I had been dying to try out for a few months. A few of my friends had raved about how beautiful the food was, so when I tried it out, I saw what all the fuss was about! From the Sangria to the octopus, to the mushroom-filled Tortellini, the food reminded me of the many Tapas bars I visited whilst in Barcelona a year ago. I would definitely recommend trying this place out!

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

This lemon tart is the best! I am not a talented baker, but this tart is basically fool proof.

Shortcrust pastry:
2 cups plain flour
145g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup iced water

lemon curd:
1 cup of lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 vanilla bean
600g thickened cream
10 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar

Candied lemon:
3/4 cup sugar
2 lemons (finely sliced)
1/4 cup water

Miniature roses (i get these from my local asian grocery store – they come dried)
pistachio nuts, crushed

Method
1. For shortcrust pastry, combine all ingredients in a food processor an mix until a ball of pastry forms. Cover with glad wrap and refrigerate for 20 mins. After 20 mins roll pastry out and place into a large tart tin. Blind bake until golden and then set aside to cool.
2. For lemon curd, combine all ingredients and whist vigorously. Place on a low heat and continue to whisk until curd is lukewarm and the sugar has dissolved. Strain the curd and pour into cooled tart case. Place in the oven (140 degrees) for about an hour or until just set. Refrigerate.
3. For Candied Lemon, combine sliced lemon, sugar and water in a small saucepan and set stove to high. Let the mixture boil vigorously for about 10-15 mins or until the outside of the lemon has softened. Pour onto some greaseproof paper and leave to cool. Once cool, place candied lemon over the tart and decorate with the miniature roses and crushed pistachios.

Gnocchi in Tomato

Gnocchi in Tomato

When visiting florence, I had the most beautiful Gnocchi. It was in a crab sauce and was like nothing I had tried before. This is my take on Gnocchi, no crab, just a simple tomato sauce, but it is so good!

For the Gnocchi:
3 boiled potatoes, mashed
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt

For the tomato sauce:
Chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic
3 anchovies
4 tomatoes, pealed
olive oil

For the gnocchi, mix all ingredients together until a dough forms. Roll out into a long strip and cut the strip into small cylinders. Boil in boiling salted water and when gnocchi floats to the top, they are ready.

For sauce, fry garlic and anchovies in olive oil. When garlic is fragrant, add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Then add the gnocchi to the sauce and serve with pangritata and pancetta.

Ricotta Tortelloni in Boscaiola Sauce

Ricotta Tortelloni in Boscaiola Sauce

This is my signature dish (signature because I make it over and over again at work!) It is the easiest dish to make, and if you follow the few simple instructions, your boscaiola sauce will be thick and creamy!

For the Pasta:
1 cup Flour
1 large egg
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Pasta filling:
1 boiled potato, mashed
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan
salt and pepper

Boscaiola Sauce:
1 cup cream
Tbsp parmesan
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1/2 cup sliced mushroom
pepper

Pangritata:
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs
olive oil
thyme

For the pasta, mix all the ingredients until a smooth ball forms. Need the dough for ten minutes until soft.
Laminate the dough ten times in a pasta machine and then continue to roll the dough until you reach the smallest setting. Cut the dough into round pieces and cover with a tea towel.

Mix the pasta filling together and place small amounts in the centre of the circular pieces of dough. Fold the dough to form a semi-circle and seal the edges together with water. Fold again to form the Tortelloni shape.

For the Boscaiola sauce, on a high heat fry bacon pieces in a little oil until crispy. Add the mushroom and continue frying until the mushroom pieces are also crispy. Turn the stove to low and add cream, parmesan and pepper and let the sauce bubble away for approx. eight minutes. Do not stir! After the eight minutes the sauce should be dark and thick. Boil the pasta for one minute and then add to the sauce.

For the Pangritata, add ingredients into a hot pan and fry until all the bread crumbs are golden and toasted. Pour over pasta. Add some crispy pancetta pieces and serve.

Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Steak with Mushroom Sauce

This is my way of making the perfect steak;

Massage salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary into a scotch fillet steak. Sear each side of the steak in a hot pan until golden. Add a tablespoon of butter at the end and coat the steak in the melted butter. Transfer to the oven for 15 minutes. For the mushroom sauce, put sliced mushrooms and thyme into a pan with olive oil. When golden, add either 1/4 cup of cream (carnation milk if you wanted a lighter version) and parmesan and let simmer. When the steak is ready, pour the juices from the steak pan into the mushroom sauce. Let steak rest for about 8 minutes and serve.