4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 beef cheeks, trimmed of excess fat
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups red wine
1 can whole tomatoes including juice, chopped (3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
While oil is heating, pat beef cheeks dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown beef, without crowding, on all sides, about 20 minutes total, and transfer with tongs to a bowl.
Pour off fat from pot, then add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cook onion, carrot, and celery over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 170°C.
Stir cocoa powder into vegetable mixture, then add wine and scrape up any brown bits. Increase heat to high and boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Return cheeks (with any juices) to pot and add tomatoes with juice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then braise, covered, in middle of oven until very tender, about 3 hours.
Serve with creamy Mashed potato & salsa verde!
Simple & Beautiful catering have recently been preparing some delicious "day after" Brunch Baskets. Filled with salads, fruit, sandwiches, nuts and refreshments, our delicious freshly prepared packs will have Mr & Mrs heading to their honeymoon well fed and recovered!
This week, we're going to pair up a beautiful local wine with a dish that makes the eyes water, it has such depth of flavour and matching elements... #drool
Our dish to match is a reversed seared rib-eye with hand cut (twice cooked) chips, Bearnaise, Jus and watercress.
The wine we plan on quaffing with this delicious meal is a Cullen Mangan Vineyard Merlot Malbec Petit Verdot.
"The palate offers a very attractive blend of rich plum, cherry and spice flavours backed by soft tannins. This is a marvelously balanced, fruit driven wine"
The thing with steaks with a slightly fattier composition, is that they just bloody well love a flavoursome and complex wine, and this one delivers in spades.
A simple yet beautiful dish, perfectly suited for a lovely summer afternoon.
1200g fresh skinless ocean trout
150g sea salt
150g caster sugar
1 cup dill chopped
1 cup crème fraîche
2 1/2 tbspn horseradish minced
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Radishes & micro herbs to garnish
To taste white pepper
1: Using tweezers, remove the line of bones visible in the trout.
2: Combine the sea salt, sugar and dill in a mixing bowl and stir together.
3: Choose two trays the length of the trout, then spread half of the salt mixture over the base of one of the trays, put the trout on top and then cover with the remaining amount of salt mixture.
4: Cover tightly with cling film, then place the second tray on top of the fish and place weights into the tray. Transfer the trout to the refrigerator and allow to cure for 8 hours.
5: Place the crème fraîche, horseradish and lemon juice into a mixing bowl and stir together.
6: Season with a pinch of freshly ground white pepper. Place into a serving dish, cover with cling film and place into fridge until ready to serve.
7: Wipe the salt mixture from the trout with a wet clean cloth. portion the trout into thin slices, across the grain and garnish with shaved radish & micro herbs, slices of fresh lemon and the horseradish crème.
If you haven't heard about grazing tables yet, you probably haven't been using social media very much! They are everywhere!
And why the hell not who doesn't love a good cheese, dip and fruit platter!
One of the best parts about a grazing table is there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Grazing tables are a perfect addition to most events, we have catered grazing tables for birthday parties, corporate events, engagement parties and weddings and even Christmas parties!
Here are some tips for creating the perfect grazing table for your next party:
1. The cheese: you want to buy 3 or 4 different types we suggest a good cheddar, blue cheese, Gouda, brie and some flavored cream cheeses.
2. Sliced Meats: this one is very important, assorted sliced meats are a must - we like using Spanish Chorizo, prosciutto, salami, Jamon, pastrami and a really nice ham.
3. Olives: Lets face it olives need there own sections, try grabbing some from the deli section of the supermarket they often offer olives marinated or stuffed these always go down a treat!
4. Dips and Paste: These can add some great flavours to your grazing table, We love having hummus & tzatziki as they add a nice freshness and also french onion is always popular. We also like to put out some quince paste which gives a yummy sweetness to pair with the saltiness of the cheese. Another great addition is pate most people love pate and it is great with some crackers.
5. Dried Fruit and Nuts: The same reason as adding dips and pastes its a great addition to any antipasto platter. We use almonds, pecans, walnuts, dried figs and dried apricots. We also always add fresh fruit to our grazing tables, strawberries, grapes, cherries, kiwis are so good this time of year and give your table some beautiful colours.
6. Crackers or bread: A must, you need some kind of crackers or bread. We love using either Turkish bread or sour dough, water crackers, rice crackers, bread sticks and if you look at your local farmers market you can usually find some delicious artisan crackers which are delicious!
7. Added extras: We also add some fresh ingredients like carrot sticks, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes.
8. Decorating the table: Now the key to decorating is not planning too much and use lots of different platters bowls, cake stands, boxes, jars, ect and add some flowers or we like to use rosemary from the garden which always looks beautiful!
Let us know how you get on if you give this a go!
We have had the great pleasure of presenting quite a few private degustation dinner parties lately and thought we would share some of the pics. These dishes were all created by our talented Chef Ray.
At Simple & Beautiful Catering, we love creating new dishes and the degustation style of dinner gives us an opportunity to experiment with new flavour combinations, that more often than not make their way onto our canape, banquet and buffet menus!
The dishes above are:
- Fresh pea & saffron risotto with a pan fried scallop
- Textures of beetroot: slow roasted, puree, pickled - served with house made labna
- Charred cos with burnt butter, broccoli , fresh peas and cashews
- Beef wellington: slow cooked beef with puff pastry, mustard with mushrooms and spinach
- Tian of prawn: served with avocado and tomato hint of watermelon for sweet
- Slow roasted vegetables: served with candied walnuts and balsamic reduction
- House made pappardelle with slow roasted duck and red wine jus
- Chocolate 5 ways: chocolate macron, dark chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate ice-cream, chocolate ganache served with double cream
Let us know what you think!
A Feast with Family & Friends
There are many styles of Wedding catering, and all have their charms. Recently we have had quite a few bookings for the banquet style catering that is pictured above. This throwback to times gone by when a feast was used as a celebration for many occasions has now gained a renewed popularity with one celebration in particular..Weddings!
This I imagine is mainly in part to the wonderful feeling of sharing a meal with loved ones. And preparing a beautiful selection of food is always a wonderful treat for guests.
At Simple & Beautiful Catering we make sure there is always extra, as some of our dishes, like the tender seared Angus sirloin, slow cooked lamb or the grilled seasonal vegetable are definitely worth sharing a 'seconds' time :)
Spring has Sprung and what a beautiful season spring is!
Currently in supermarkets across the country you are able to purchase all types of fruits and veggies most of the year round. Now this may appear to seem as though everything is always in season, yet it is not.
There is something to eating in season... fruit & vegetables are much more delicious and full of flavour naturally, and it's definitely more cost effective when buying ingredients that are in season.
Here is a list of Spring fruits and vegetables for Western Australia to keep an eye out for next time your shopping:
Apricots, strawberries, guava, lemon, lime, mango, blueberries, figs, mulberries, oranges (valencia) .
Artichoke, asparagus, cucumber, cauliflower, beans (broad), peas, garlic, brussel sprouts.
And remember, when preparing fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables make sure to serve them with the least amount of fuss as possible. The natural flavours and textures are at their peak, so they don't need to many extras :)
So the key to a great low key party is simplicity...it's simple to throw a party... We mean literally, keep it simple.
From low key birthday celebrations to a impromptu weekend soiree with friends. The trick is to not worry to much about the event itself and just hit the basics really well. The basics are generally what people remember from a party anyway, great food, good music, great wine and most importantly great company!
Great food: this is going to be an excellent exercise into what we love to do...sourcing the best produce - Go and grab some fabulous seasonal goodies and some well reviewed, tried and tested artisan delicacies for a kick ass tasting board or even your very own grazing table. This style of party food is a great set 'n forget way to keep all your guests well fed, you can even chuck some delicious pastries in the oven and put these out to make sure everyone gets enough food.
Drinks: this is another important one, you want to ensure everyone has something to drink so it can be best to provide beer, wine and soft drink and ask guests to bring other items if they wish.
Great tunes: You may love renditions of chamber music, but your guests may not, so just pick a good radio station or stream some chilled party music station for a no fuss approach to good vibes.
Setup: Standing functions are fine and a great way to mingle with everyone, but is a good idea to make sure to have atleast a few different spots for guests to take a break and after Aunty Judy cuts that rug, she's going to need a breather.
We're on the downhill run to summer now, so start some planning, have fun with some quirky themes and make a space on the bookcase for that greatest host trophy!
This week we're going to take a quick look at a wine pairing we did recently. The dish was a grilled fillet of Barramundi with red curry broth and julienne garnish.
A couple pointers on this one are the subtleness of the fish and not wanting to be overpowered, but also the heat coming through the spice component of the sauce.
My personal preference is for a chardonnay with a little bit of weight and definitely a clean finish. Finding one with lemongrass, citrus notes will help balance out those flavours and pair wonderfully with the crisp freshness of the julienne garnish.
Also a brisk Riesling with some lime & lemonyess (not a word?) can help cool those spicey mouthfuls.
We hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Sharing our food adventures!