Monday, March 28, 2011

Recipe:Thịt Heo Kho Trứng (Braised Pork Belly In Pear Cider, Coconut Juice & Egg)

By Leluu (@loveleluu)
This is one of my favourite dishes, it can be cooked and left on the stove to be demolished throughout the week for lunch over some steamed rice. Its also a very traditional new year (tet) dish. Commonly, a peasant meal as it uses all the cheap cuts of the pork and people on farms usually have eggs from their chickens.

As this can be left on the stove for a few days (you should heat it up twice daily in hot weather so that it doesn't go off), the more you heat it, the more the meat falls apart and you can stretch out the meat to last you. You can always use the delicious broth to flavour your rice which means you can make this your meal for days and days to come which is really useful if you are poor in Vietnam (or anywhere).

In this dish, you can use quail's eggs, which are slightly posher but they are bite sized and do not look as intimidating as a large chicken's egg when you serve them to people who've never eaten this before. I normally use quail's and chicken's eggs for the variety.

This is a sweet, savoury and hot dish, seasoned with fish sauce and is a warm, hearty paradise for the soul. You should serve this with many fresh stir fried greens such as pak choi, choi sum or even with a green leafy soup to balance out the hot and cold elements, the ying and yang of a meal.

Seves 8

1kg Pork Belly, sliced and chopped into inch or less cubes
1 (50g) Disc Palm Sugar or (70g Brown Sugar Piece)
5 Small vietnamese Shallots or Medium Onion
Half Bulb Garlic - Finely chopped
6 Birds Eye Chillis, Deseeded - Finely chopped
1 Bottle of Pear Cider (or ordinary cider)
1 Can of Coconut Juice
150ml Coconut Milk (Optional - to thicken sauce, to make creamy)
24 Quails eggs or 8 chicken eggs
Three Crabs Fish Sauce to season
Pinches of Black Pepper
Cut the pork pieces (remove skin but leave some fatty bits) and marinate in the blended shallots or onions, garlic and chilli and fish sauce. Leave for at least half an hour.

Melt the palm sugar or brown sugar piece in a big pot. Watch that you don't burn it, however, a slight burning gives the whole thing a lovely smoked flavour. Add in the pear cider and the coconut juice. Bring to a gentle boil. Then add the meat. Once it comes to the boil, cook on simmer. Season with Three Crabs fish sauce to taste. (Do not use cheap fish sauce like Squid - it will make all your food taste like yuck)

Meanwhile hard boil and peel the eggs. Add this to the pot and simmer for at least 2 hours. 4 hours is better. If you want to have a creamy texture to this, add coconut milk. Make sure you have a good balance of sweet and savoury, add some black pepper.

Serve with steamed rice. it is also really nice when you serve it with a fried egg.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Recipe: Oyster Mushrooms Noissette

by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab)

This is an unassuming but tasty little number, I often do it if I'm doing tapas since you can cook them in the afternoon and reheat them when you need them. Sitting in the clay dish with a little parsley on top they look very prosaic. Which is kinda what you want so that with that first bite your guests will have that look of mixed surprise and delight at the nutty loveliness.

They go well with tortilla, and as an accompaniment to a variety of things (add link to chorizo crisps), and are a great vegetarian option on their own, and, for example, with a little cream and tagliateli or torteloni.  
Oyster mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, salt.
400g oyster mushrooms
150ml Noilly Prat (dry white vermouth or failing that white wine)
50g unsalted butter
extra virgin olive oil
parsley to garnish
flakey salt and pepper

Put enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan with generous coat of oil and add the mushrooms, turn up the heat.
Add the mushrooms just before the oil starts to smoke and toss them in the oil to coat them all over.
Once coated sweat off the mushroom don't move them around too much allow them to brown from the heat of the pan.
Once they have released most of their moisture and are nice and golden brown, remove them from the pan to a bowl.
Get the pan hot, pour in the Noilly Prat / white wine - it should bubble as soon as it hits the pan - and boil until you can no longer smell evaporating alcohol. When you reach this point return the mushrooms to the frying pan, stirring them to coat them all over.
Once there is almost no liquid left in the pan remove the mushrooms to your bowl again and add the butter.
Melt the butter and heat it until it turn a light brown, (You do not want this smoking!) and then return the mushrooms to the pan, coat well. Once all the juices are soaked up, you can serve or put aside until later.
After they've taken a little colour they should like this. Fab!
If you put it aside simply return it to the pan to warm through.

Serve in a clay tapas dish with a few leaves of parsley on top and some rosemary bread.
A vegetarian dish: Oyster Mushrooms Noissette w/ Tagliateli and Baby Courgettes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recipe: Sweet Corn Velouté w/ Chorizo Film

by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab), in partnership with Unearthed for Action Against Hunger

This is a pretty standard flavour combination, the film is almost undetectable but adds a strong complementary chorizo flavour to the thyme infused corn soup. Another contributing factor is taking a proportion of the corn and frying it to within an inch of it's life, giving it a charred savoury popcorn-esque dimension to the flavour of the soup! It usually goes down pretty well! 
Flavour 1: Sweetcorn
Flavour 2: Chorizo (pronounced cho-ree-tho)
INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

Sweetcorn Veloute
8 cobs sweet corn (if you're going to use tinned use 4 tins unsweetened corn 280g each)
4 tbsp EVO
1.0 litre veg/chicken stock (or 2 pints water + 2 stock cubes)
10g lemon thyme
50g butter
1 tsp table salt
250 ml double cream
1 large onion (finely chopped)

Chorizo Film
75g chorizo diced
50ml milk (semi skimmed fine)
150ml single cream
Lemon thyme imparts a wonderful fresh depth to the soup.
Blend 3/4 of the corn until smooth and put aside.
Put stock, and cream in pot with bouquet garni of thyme and extra virgin olive oil.
Set to boil, then simmer for 20 mins to infuse with the lemon thyme.
Charring the sweetcorn adds an extra facet to the flavour.
Put remaining 1/4 of the corn in pan, with chopped onions and saute with butter until it's almost starting to burn, in fact the odd charred one will add to the flavour the frying brings out.
Blast the charred corn and onion in blender until smooth.

The chorizo film is an infused cream:
Pan fry finely chopped chorizo, let the fat seep out, add the cream and mix simmering to soak up the flavour of the chorizo for about 10 minutes, after which it will have taken the colour of the paprika from the chorizo, blend the mix, if the mix is a little too thick to sieve return it to the pan and add a little milk to loosen it, then sieve it, squeezing the mix down with a wooden spoon to extract as much flavour as possible. 

Put it into a squeazy bottle and, once cooled, into the fridge until ready for use.

TIP: If you want to make a chorizo and leek pie you can get away with not blending the chorizo and cream, simply loosen it and sieve it and keep the chorizo back to mix with leek for a nice pie filler!
Serve me! serve me!
When nearing time to serve, remove the chorizo cream from the fridge, to bring it to room temperature.
Finally remove the bouquet garni from the stock and add all the sweetcorn purée. Bring to the boil and simmer not more than 10 minutes or the colour will become dull.
Here you can see the cream starting to spread to form the film.
To serve ladle the soup into bowls and squirt the cream gently (so that it doesn't go under the surface) in a circular motion onto the surface of the soup. Initially it will form lines, but as the cream warms through it will spread to form a film on the surface of the soup. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve immediately.

This is a version we did in partnership with  Unearthed for Action Against Hunger 
Me thinks this one sneaked past quality control - served in a bit of a rush! Ahem!
Sweet Corn Veloute w/ Chorizo Film
We used Unearthed spanish chorizo, pre-sliced.
You can find the whole 8 course menu we served here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday Lunch At JamieOliver.Com Supper Club

By Leluu (@loveleluu)
I think that I was born under a very lucky star and among many sad moments in life, I am blessed in equal amounts of happiness, always with a yin and a yang - as how it should be.

I was invited by Jamie Oliver's Web Editor, Danny McCubbin, to cook at Jamie's test kitchen last Sunday - (I was very busy and then unwell so I couldn't do it- but lucky me though as I got to enjoy being a guest instead).

Danny holds supper clubs in one of Jamie's offices with Cate Darlison, using test kitchens (where Jamie also films some of his cooking shows) to raise money for The Fifteen Foundation . Together, they design menus and this is also to inspire ordinary people to hold their own supper clubs at home with Jamie's recipes and raise money for their own causes and charities and to get people to cook and to eating well with their friends and families.
Danny McCubbin & Angela Morris
I was also lucky enough to be able to invite friends and fellow bloggers, The London Foodie, Cooking The Books, Hungry In London, Afternoon Tease, Slow Food Kitchen, SuperCharz and Rocket & Squash to come for Sunday lunch with me in this awesome place and have our meals cooked by Jamie's team:
Robbie Kadhim -(@Noreservations1) graduated with the second group of apprentices, is now working as a private chef - he has also worked with some very well known celebrities.

Robbie had worked in my kitchen before when we did the Yell event, fund raising for The Jamie Oliver Foundation.
Robbie cooked Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Truffle Oil and Freshly Baked Rolls from Stewart the lovely baker from Fifteen.
Tommy Parsons - worked at the River Cafe with Jamie then came and opened Fifteen London. Tommy is now a private Chef working for quite a few well known celebrities 
Tommy cooked Rotollo Filled with Butternut Squash, Ricotta, Spinach with Crispy Sage and Butter

Cate Darlison - is a self taught home cook with a background in cordon bleu cookery and like me she runs her own supper club, cooking classes at home as well as this one with Danny. She has her own catering company La Petite Boo and is a private chef.

Cate served up roasted spring cabbage parcels with bulgar wheat, shitake mushrooms, leeks and soft herbs. The poached portobello mushrooms were stuffed with grilled taleggio and roasted romanescco cauliflower roasted with cardamon and chilli and served with a warm aubergine salad with lemon and mint and griddled purple sprouting broccolli.
And later, Robbie made the dessert, from Danny's Pavlova recipe that was inspired by one of Jamie's recipes for Meringue with Vanilla Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Orange Zest.

As you would expect, it was a wonderful afternoon. I invited some lovely people and we were standing in Jamie's workspace, drinking prosecco and wine from Naked Wines, in awe and extreme envy of his larder (look how neat and organised it is!), his prop room, his three kitchens under a wonderful glass roof with light messelling in like it owns the place.
There were stylised pictures of food everywhere, flat screen videos, lovely mismatched crockery, glasses and cutlery, beautiful wooden benches and chairs to eat on and just kitchen equipment to send any kitchen fetish like me to their knees.

The place is heavenly, kept in pristine condition, clean, airy and full of knick knacks - anyone who comes to my house for dinner knows I love my knick knacks.
We all sat around a long table, stretching across the 2 kitchens underneath the skylight, all feeling so happy, so proud and honoured to be where we were - to be invited behind the scenes but especially to eat the delicious food that was coming.

The menu was served in enormous portions and delivered like in a great restaurant by the team. Everything was truly delightful. It was all cooked to perfection, my favourite being Tommy Parson's Rotolo.

All the ingredients was supplied by Fifteen - it was an entire vegetarian Sunday roast. No one missed the meat. Each chef had their own stations to work in, with an assistant each. Not a typical supper club, like mine, held in my little flat with everything cooked by me in a tiny little kitchen. This is the ideal place to hold supper clubs, this was just heavenly and very unique - its not everyday you can say you were in Jamie Oliver's kitchen. And we all raised £350 for the meal of all goes to Jamie's charity. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!
The Office
Thank you so much to Danny & Cate for organising this every now and again and all those who came to help and cook for us. Its such a good way to get people inspired to cook. I am arranging to chef there very soon. And I CAN NOT WAIT! to work with all those utensils, pots and pans and space! Whoo!!


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