classic steak tartare

Meanwhile... in my kitchen, I'm loving the hell out of steak tartare! 
Easiest thing to make, and such a luxurious taste. 

First time I had steak tartare was in a restaurant somewhere in Amsterdam. And have been obsessing over it ever since. Around here you don't see it an awful lot on menus. Luckily it's not hard and you'll only need a good chopping knife, chopping board and a few not that expensive ingredients (except for the meat obvs). 

This is a recipe for the classic version of steak tartare. You might have come across loads of varieties of tartare (tuna or salmon, a Thai twist on the original?).  But you know, I like classics, they intrigue me, a dish that's around for such a long time, and still finds it way on menus has got to have something special right? Well, special it is and I am planning on not eating it for a while, to keep it that way. 

Some restaurants might serve steak tartare with all the components laid out separately on your plate. Or they will ask you how you would like your steak tartare (spicy, mild..), give you a taster, 'is this spicy enough for you?', and then get on with preparing the rest of your dish accordingly. The ingredients and amounts are according to my taste, so do make sure to keep a bit extra on hand, or be careful with chucking it all in!

Music to listen to while chopping:


blinis & sauce

The other day I tried two recipes that were new to me: potato blinis with tomato confit and crispy dried ham and salmon & a basil sauce.

Blinis always seemed a fancy way to start a dinner. When I saw the recipe in the French Laundry cookbook, I thought, hey, that's not that hard. I thought they were hard?!
Little did I know that this wasn't an original blini recipe! Then again, a lot of things seem to go about as a blini. According to Larousse they're Russian and commonly served as an appetizer with smoked fish or caviar.  Made from a yeasted batter with buckwheat. Wiki explains a blini more as an generic term for different types of pancakes. Which can have the addition of apple or potato, can be served with or without a filling and can be served either sweet or savoury. But their common ground is the addition of a leavening agent (which normal pancakes lack). I will have to try my hands on the most original-traditional seeming Russian version some other time!

I prepared the salmon dish mainly for the sauce, as unhealthy as it may be, I love sauce! They can elevate a dish from a weekday dinner to a weekend feast. But I don't know a lot about sauces. I've never ever even made a bechamel or hollandaise. So as part of learning more about the techniques and possibilities of sauces I started with this easy-peasy recipe.

Music to listen to while cooking:
Medicine chest - Nostalgia 77 (Spotify)