December: What's Cooking?

We love to hear what you’re cooking with Sous Chef ingredients, so we’ve asked you to get in touch! Each month we're choosing someone to receive a £50 Sous Chef Gift Voucher until the end of February 2014. 

December’s winner is Kylie O., whose show-stopping Opera cake is below. Other entries included a spectacular fine-dining dish with wild fennel pollen and an authentic sauce from the Basque Country.

To enter, and to see your creations here just email a photo and description of the dish to hello@souschef.co.uk, and confirm you’re happy for it to be shared on the site. January's draw is on 1st February, so send us your photos before then.

December’s entries.


Pistachio and cherry Opera cake from Kylie O. An elaborate classic French layered cake balancing the flavours and textures of pistachio paste and crispy cherry pieces, topped with pistachio macarons. A show-stopper to rival all show-stoppers!

Roasted cod with wild fennel pollen and truffled puy lentils from David C. who used wild fennel pollen and white truffle oil to lift the dish to another level. On his blog Fine Dining At Home David explains the magical qualities of wild fennel pollen: 'Firstly it is the dried flowers of fennel plants. It smells intoxicatingly of aniseed, almost liquorice, but has a warm edge to it. In this dish I infused a teaspoon of it in a melted tablespoon of butter. This was then spooned over the fish at the last minute. I have to admit it was amazing. If you think of a plain piece of fish, season it well with salt it is lifted to new heights without tasting salty. Add this fennel pollen and it lifts the fish to another dimension without tasting aniseedy.'  

Vizcaina sauce from John N. Salsa Vizcaina is a traditional Basque sauce made from choricero peppers which give it a warm, smoky flavour. This sauce, from the Vizcaia region of the Basque country is a versatile one which can be used to accompany bacalao (cod), other fish and pork, or even with halloumi for vegetarians. David kindly shared with us his recipe for making Vizcaina sauce:

Ingredients

  • 4 x choricero peppers
  • 3 x tomatoes
  • 2 x red onions
  • 1/2 baking apple
  • 1 x clove of garlic

Method

  1. Using scissors cut the tops off the pepper and open up along the length.
  2. Remove the seeds and soak for about an hour in warm water. Take a spoon and scrape off the inside flesh.
  3. Peel the apple and tomatoes.
  4. Then cook down all the ingredients in olive oil for about 1/2 hour.
  5. Liquidise, season and that's your Vizcaina sauce.
  6. Cook some cod and serve with parsley or a sprig of rosemary.

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