To make a vegetarian version, simply top the crostini with a mixture of red, yellow and black tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into small dice, marinade in a touch of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Serves 4 (as a main)
2 rump steaks (180–200 g/6½–7 oz each)
100 g (3½ oz) rocket (arugula)
30 g (¼ cup) pine nuts
50 g (2 oz) parmesan
1 large ciabatta loaf (alternatively 1 large baguette)
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 sprig thyme
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Salt, freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons canola oil
Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and leave to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before frying. Pick through and wash the rocket. Dry-roast the pine nuts in a pan until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Combine with the rocket in a bowl. Shave the parmesan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), using the grill (broiler) function, and line a baking tray with baking paper. Slice the ciabatta bread and arrange the slices on the tray. Drizzle the bread with a little olive oil. Transfer the tray to the preheated oven and toast the bread until crisp, about 5–8 minutes. Turn once after 3–4 minutes.
Rinse the thyme, pat dry and finely chop the leaves. Whisk the balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil to make a dressing. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss half of the dressing with the rocket and pine nut mixture.
Allow the toasted ciabatta to cool briefly. Halve the garlic clove and rub the toasted bread with the cut clove. Arrange the bread slices on a large serving platter. Top with a little rocket salad each.
Pat the steaks dry and season with salt. Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the steaks and sear for 1½–2½ minutes per side, depending on thickness. Season with pepper on both sides. Wrap the steaks in aluminium foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly and arrange on top of the crostini. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve garnished with shaved parmesan.
If you ever visit New York, you definitely have to try a pastrami sandwich, where deliciously seasoned beef meets hearty sourdough bread. Some of the city’s best pastrami sandwiches are said to be served at Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower Eastside.
For the sandwiches:
450 g (1 lb) pastrami, whole (available online, from deli butchers or fine food merchants, may need to be pre-ordered)
About 400 ml (11⁄2 cups) beef stock
8 small pickled cucumbers
8 slices of sourdough bread
For the coleslaw:
200 g (7 oz) white cabbage
1 French shallot
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
21⁄2 tablespoons yoghurt (3.5% fat)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish cream
A little freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
For the dressing:
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Freshly ground pepper
For the sandwiches, preheat the oven to 75°C (150°F). Place the pastrami into a small roasting pan or baking dish with a lid. Pour in the stock. The meat should be covered with stock by about
2 cm (3⁄4 inch). Cover the dish, place into the preheated oven and heat through for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim and very finely slice the cabbage for the coleslaw. Combine with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and massage well with your hands to soften the cabbage a little. Peel the carrot and cut into fine strips. This is best done using a julienne slicer. Peel and halve the shallot and slice into rings. Toss both with the cabbage. Whisk the mayonnaise, yoghurt, mustard and horseradish cream together. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar, then combine with the coleslaw.
Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together and season with pepper. Thinly slice the pickled cucumbers and toast the bread. Take the beef out of the oven, drain, transfer to a chopping board and slice as thinly as possible.
Spread the toasted bread with the dressing. Top half of the bread slices with coleslaw, plenty of pastrami and the sliced cucumbers. Place the remaining bread slices on top and press gently together. Halve the sandwiches and serve immediately.
Crunchy chocolate cookies with a creamy filling and a glass of cold milk are an amazing combination that will instantly make you forget any worries, and this milkshake works exactly the same magic! Top with extra chopped chocolate if you like.
Makes 2 milkshakes (about 250 ml/1 cup each)
6 cream-filled chocolate cookies (e.g. Oreos), plus 2 more for garnish
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
300 ml (11⁄4 cups) full-cream milk
1–2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 g (2 oz) dark (semi-sweet) chocolate
Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a double boiler, stirring continuously. Set aside to cool slightly, then dip the rims of two glasses evenly into the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip off and leave to cool.
Finely chop two chocolate cookies for garnish; coarsely chop the remaining cookies.
Add the ice cream, milk, coarsely chopped cookies, cocoa powder and vanilla extract to a blender and blend until smooth. Divide the milkshake among the two glasses, garnish with the chopped cookies and serve immediately.
The origins of American sticky buns actually go back to Germany, where they are known as snails. In the US, these deliciously sweet pastries are often served for breakfast or as a dessert.
Makes 12 rolls
For the dough:
370 g (2½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
50 g (½ cup) blanched, ground almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1–2 teaspoons vanilla extract
15 g (½ oz) fresh yeast
125 ml (½ cup) milk, lukewarm
60 g (¼ cup) butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling:
50 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
50 g (scant ¼ cup) butter
For the sauce:
100 g (⅔ cup) salted, roasted cashew nuts
30 g (scant ¼ cup) chopped almonds
70 g (generous ¼ cup) butter
140 g (⅔ cup) brown sugar
50 ml (¼ cup) maple syrup
Butter for the tin
Flour for dusting
For the dough, combine the flour, almonds, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crumble the yeast into the lukewarm milk and stir to dissolve. Pour the mixture into the well and gently stir to pull in a little flour from the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool.
Add the cooled butter and whisked eggs to the yeast mixture together with 1–2 generous pinches of salt. Knead everything together for 5–7 minutes to make an elastic dough. Cover the bowl again and leave the dough to rise for 1½ hours.
Meanwhile, butter a 26 cm (11 inch) round tin. For the sauce, coarsely chop the cashew nuts and dry-roast the almonds in a pan until golden brown. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sugar and maple syrup and heat over low to medium heat, stirring well. Pour into the tin and sprinkle with cashews and toasted almonds.
For the filling, combine the sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Melt the butter and leave to cool a little. Dust your worktop with flour and roll the proven dough out to a rectangle about 25 x 35 cm (10 x 14 inches) in size and 5 mm (¼ inch) thick. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and cardamom sugar.
Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the long side closest to you, and cut into 12 pieces about 2.5–3 cm (1–1¼ inches) wide. Place the pieces in the tin, cut side up, cover and leave to rise for another 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Transfer the baking tray to the oven and bake the rolls until golden brown, about 25–30 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately invert the tin onto a wire rack (make sure you place a sheet of baking paper underneath first). Leave the rolls to rest for 5 minutes, then remove the tin. Leave to cool and transfer the rolls onto a serving plate. Separate the rolls for serving.