Wild Mushrooms

I was staying up in Manchester. I was staying at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel. I had stayed at the hotel before in 2015, though back then I didn’t have dinner in the hotel. This time I was eating in the hotel.

After enjoying my Barnsley Chop, this time I went with the Wild Mushroom dish.

This was described on the menu as assorted wild mushrooms, asparagus, white truffle oil, port wine cream, mini fondants, puff pastry and tenderstem broccoli.

This dish had huge potential to be an outstanding plate of food, alas it wasn’t.

Well, firstly, I couldn’t find any mini fondants. the puff pastry was a little flat and I did struggle to find the wild mushrooms in the dish. Having said that I did enjoy the asparagus and the tenderstem broccoli. The sauce was nice, but I did struggle to taste the truffle.

Overall I did quite enjoy the dish, but this a mediocre plate of food and I wish it could have been better.

Cheese straws

Considering how easy these are to make and taste so much better fresh I am surprised that people don’t make them more often.

Take some puff pastry.

Now here’s a question? Am I hypocritical for being surprised that people buy cheese straws but then go ahead and buy ready made puff pastry to make my own? Is that not just the kettle and the pot calling each other names?

Well yes I did use ready made puff pastry. I usually make straws after using the puff pastry for something else and there is some left over.

So I rolled it out, grated some parmesan onto it, folded it over, repeated twice more.

I then cut the cheesy pastry into strips about six inches long and half an inch wide.

These I then twist, hold each end and twist your hands in opposite directions to get a twisty cheese straw.

Brush with egg and scatter some more grated parmesan onto the top.

Bake in the oven for around eight to ten minutes.


Beef Wellington

This is my version of the classic Beef Wellington.

Beef Wellington

I used sirloin steak, which I cooked in a pan until it was cooked medium rare. You can of course cook the steak how you prefer it. Ensure it is cooked to a point before you would call it perfect, as it will cook more in the oven.

I then cut the steak into portions, about two inches square.

The steak was then spread with a mixture of chopped mushrooms and mustard. I used French whole grain mustard.

Using some puff pastry (and I will admit I do buy ready made puff pastry as I have no idea on how to make it).

I cut out some circles, about four inches in diameter. Placed one circle on the baking tray, added the steak. Using beaten egg and a pastry brush I brushed egg around the edges of the circle and placed a second circle of puff pastry on top. This top puff pastry circle was then brushed with beaten egg.

The parcels were then baked in an oven for about ten to fifteen minutes until golden brown.

I served mine with a mix of salads.

Remember to thaw out the puff pastry…

Just a tip really, when cooking boeuf en croute (beef in puff pastry) remember to get the frozen puff pastry out in plenty of time!

Trying to thaw out puff pastry quickly basically doesn’t work, it will either break into lots of pieces, or go funny in the microwave.

Even if you manage to overcome those problems, it cooks okay, but not perfectly.

So tip of the day, go out and buy fresh puff pastry, make your own, or if you are using frozen puff pastry get it out of the freezer in plenty of time and not thirty minutes before you want to start cooking.