Saturday, January 9, 2010

We made it: sweet chilli caramel sauce

This is my first "official" post in this month's We Made It challenge, a challenge that Suzie from Munch+Nibble and I set ourselves. Each month, we choose a food magazine and aim to cook as much out of it as possible, in the vain hope that we will become users of the magazine rather than just gazers.

This month's highlighted magazine is the December/January issue of delicious magazine, which is packed full of recipes to help celebrate the festive season and the summer holidays. I adore delicious magazine. I love the mix of easy and challenging recipes, some that are easy to whip up on a weeknight after work, and others that are more elegant and suitable for a dinner party. I don't think I've ever had a failure from a delicious recipe yet.

The first dish I cooked this month was a sublime Tobie Puttock recipe, maltagliata di pollo con limone (pan-fried chicken with lemon). It's a recipe that was a huge seller when he was an apprentice at Melbourne culinary institution Caffe e Cucina and I can see why. It is supremely easy to cook and tastes wonderful. It's a great dish for weeknights.

But I neglected to take a photo of that masterpiece, so the first "official" dish I have to present in the We Made It challenge is seared beef with sweet chilli caramel sauce. The mix of sweet chilli and caramel sounded intriguingly delicious to me and it was one of the first dishes I marked to try. Not having the audience for a 1kg beef fillet, I decided to improvise and use the sauce with seared steaks instead. I can report that this was a huge success. The sauce is very easy to make and extremely tasty. I made a half-serve and still had plenty left over to freeze for another night. This recipe is highly recommended.

Seared beef with sweet chilli caramel sauce

Recipe from delicious magazine, Dec 2009/Jan 2010 issue
Serves 4-6
1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
2 long red chillies, deseeded, chopped
10cm piece ginger, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 Asian (red) eschalots, chopped
2 coriander roots, chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
1/2 cup (125ml) fish sauce
2 Tbs sesame oil
1kg whole beef fillet
2 Tbs olive oil
Micro herbs and edible flowers to serve (available from growers' markets)
Combine sugar and 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a pan over low heat, stirring to dissolve. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, for 3-4 minutes until you have a golden caramel.
Meanwhile, whiz chilli, ginger, garlic, eschalots, coriander root and 1 cup (250ml) water in a food processor to form a coarse paste. Add paste to the caramel (be careful, as it may spit) and stir to combine. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Remove from the heat, then stir in lime juice, fish sauce and sesame oil. Cook to room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Season the beef fillet all over with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof frypan over medium-high heat. Sear the beef for 5-6 minutes, turning until seared on all sides. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes for medium-rare, or until your liking.
Remove the beef from oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Thickly slice beef, then divide among plates. Pour over the sauce, then garnish with micro herbs and flowers.


Jenny said...

I love delicious - and wish I could make more out of it too! There are so many fruits and vegetables that I'm not sure I can get up here in Seattle...especially fresh passionfruit (which shows up in so many of their recipes). Great job on this recipe, I can't wait to try it myself one of these days!

Gastronomy Gal said...

Oh wow- love finding new recipes that are tasty but good for weeknights.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Suzie said...

I will give this a try in a week or two - your rave review has me convinced that it will be a winner in this house too. PS I'm planning to tackle the trifle this weekend. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

We cooked this last night at our dinner party with friends and the dish was a winner! Many thanks for publishing the recipe!

Melinda said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. For those who've made it, I'm glad your guests enjoyed it! For those who haven't - I encourage you to try it!