Soft White Dinner Rolls

These are heaven slathered with salted butter!

3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. caster sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 heaped tsp. butter

For the topping:
1 beaten egg
1 tbs. milk pinch salt
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds

Combine the 3 1/2 cups flour with the yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Put the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat until the milk is warm and the butter has begun to melt.

Pour the milk/butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork or wooden spoon to make a rough dough, adding more flour if the dough is too wet. Dump onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and silky. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch the air out of the dough and place on a floured work surface. Pull out walnut-sized pieces and form them into small balls. Place them on a greased or lined baking sheet about 1/4″ apart. You should get about 30 balls. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again in a warm place until they have puffed up.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Mix the egg with the salt and brush the dough balls, then sprinkle with the seeds. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove them to a cooling rack or serve immediately.

Vodka-Marinaded Steak

This steak is glorious! The vodka imparts a sweet tang and the left-over marinade makes up into a quick pan sauce. YUM.

1 1/2 lb. rump steak
1 tbs. sea salt or 1/2 tsp. table salt
1 tbs. black peppercorns, crushed
3 tbs. finely chopped parsley
2 tbs. finely chopped thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup vodka
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 – 2/3 cup beef stock
1 tbs. butter

Combine the salt, peppercorns, parsley, thyme garlic, vodka and olive oil. Add the steak and marinate for 3 days in the fridge or 3 hours at room temperature.

If chilled, bring the steak to room temperature. Take the steak out of the marinade, reserving it. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet and sear the beef on both sides over a high heat. Turn the heat to low and cover the skillet with foil and cook for 3 1/3 minutes longer on both sides for rare. Wrap the meat in a layer of foil and leave to rest up to 15 minutes.

Strain the marinade into a measuring jug and use the beef stock to make it up to 2/3 cups. Pour into the skillet. When the marinade is sizzling, stir in the butter.

Slice the steak into thin diagonal slices, arrange on a plate and pour the sauce over.

Serves 6

 

Pasta with Ham, Peas and Cream

Utter comfort food, this wonderful pasta comes together in moments and is such a divine treat.

7 oz. farfalle or other short pasta (2 cups)
2/3 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups diced ham
2 tbs. grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions in plenty of boiling, salted water. Add the peas after 5 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain it with the peas.

Put the dry pan back on the heat with the cream, ham and Parmesan. Warm through, then tip in the pasta and peas, tossing everything together well.

Serves 2