Thursday, April 28, 2011

Steak Tartare Recipe From Valentine Warner & Smoked Mackerel From Nigel Barden

By Leluu
I was invited to have lunch at Terroirs for the launch of new Ryvita crackers. I went, seeing as Valentine Warner had created some new seasonal toppings for the crisp bread.

I was joined by the beautiful Gastrogeek and met the wonderful Nigel Barden - who took great pride in showing off his newly sliced off thumb. I got the great honour of seeing the photos off his phone.

Anyhow, I had some amazing food made by Valentine and Nigel and I began my new love affair with Ryvita crackers - they don't actually taste like cardboard anymore! So I thought I would share the recipes as I loved what we had. Valentine Warner's steak tartare was a dream as was Nigel Barden's smoked mackerel over cream cheese. Great for picnics or lunches for the coming summer months.


Ryvita Cracked Black Pepper Crispbread with Steak Tartare By Valentine Warner
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 Ryvita Cracked Black Pepper Crispbread
100g fillet steak
2 tsp baby capers, rinsed and drained
1tbs chives, very finely chopped (mosquitos bracelets)
1 ½ tsp tomato ketchup
Good dash of Worcester sauce
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp red wine vinegar
¼ tsp flaked sea salt
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:
Chop the fillet steak very finely with a knife. Do not chop it in a blender as the meat will be made too smooth. Put the minced beef in a bowl then add all the remaining ingredients and mix together well with a fork. Taste the mix and adjust the seasoning with a little more salt or a drop of vinegar should you so wish. Divide in four and neatly and evenly press over the crispbread. Serve immediately.
Seasonal toppings for Ryvita Crispbread from Nigel Barden

On the Sunflower Seeds and Oats Ryvita goes:
A thin layer of cream cheese
Thin slices of dill pickled cucumber (sliced gherkin is a tasty alternative)
Peppered mackerel
Garnish with torn rocket

‘The Sunflower Seeds and Oats give this combination a real feel good, wholesome crunch.  The dill isn’t essential but certainly enriches the flavour of the topping'.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Breakfast Club With Jordan's Cereals

By Leluu
Jordan's Cereals asked me to host brunch for fellow bloggers and I had the greatest pleasure in doing so the morning I flew out to Vietnam. As always, I believe that if people come to my place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, they must have a feast. Its something thats been breed into me from my mother and her family. They are launching a New Creations Oat Granola: Juicy Cranberry & Golden Honey and Bake Apple & a Hint of Cinnamon Creations.
Bacon & Cheese Swirls - This Photo Courtesy Of The Grubworm

Here is the menu:
Tea/ Coffee
Prosecco
Cranberry Muffins
Caramelised Onion, Tomato & Goasts Cheese Flan
Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
Charcuterie
Cheese Plater
Lobster & Madagascan Giant Prawns With Pomegranite, Salad Leaves & Passion Fruit, Lime & Honey Dressing
Panna Cotta With Strawberries & Bluberries Compote
Lobster & Prawn Salad W Pomegranite & Passion Fruit, Photo courtesy of The Grubworm

I spent many days testing out some baking recipes. I don't usually bake because one has to be ever so precise with baking and therefore, as a cowgirl - I find discipline very difficult (hence being self employed and all).


However, I found baking fantastic because if you follow all the rules/ instructions, things work out and when things work out, I love it!
Cranberry Muffins

Recipe: Cranberry Muffins Based on Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffin Recipe in The Baking Bible
It has been adapted slightly.

Makes 12

50g Soft Butter
250g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
60g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
175g Dried Cranberries
1 Zest Lemon
250ml Milk

Method
Heat Oven at 220.
With your hands, combine the soft butter, flour and baking powder together until it appears to be like breadcrumbs.
Beat the eggs and sugar together with vanilla and milk and add to the mixture. Then add the cranberries and lemon zest. Mix. Pour onto muffin cases in a muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes.

Serve warm.
 
You can read accounts of the event from the following blogs:

The Grubworm
Gourmet Chick
Fuss Free Flavours
Slow Food Kitchen
Domestic Sluttery
Afternoon Tease
Caramelised Onion, Tomato & Goasts Cheese Flan
If I were to create a new flavour for Jordan's, I'd do figs & peaches. There! I said it: can I win the Kitchen Aid please ; )

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Recipe: Sai Gon Summer Rolls

By Leluu
These are great. I don't know a person who doesn't love them. They are eaten fresh. They do not need to be fried or cooked in anyway. The prawns and the pork inside is poached beforehand. Its the Vietnamese answer to a sandwich but much healthier.

You can add whatever you like to these rolls and make them your own, just like Simon does here. In Vietnam, each region has a different version. In his last post, you can see that we made the Phan Thiet version which involves a lot more ingredients.

Ingredients
Rice Paper - (Brand with Green Bamboo)
Vermicelli - (Pour boiling water over and soak for about 5 - 10 mins, then drain)
Cooked Prawns
Lettuce
Poached Pork Belly (or other cuts of pork, thinly sliced)
Cockscombe Mint
Perilla
Coriander
Mint
Vietnamese Chives (not shown in picture)
Cockscombe Mint
Perilla
This is the traditional Sai Gon version. The mints and herbs in this roll turns the whole thing into some delicious delight of flavour. Fresh notes hitting all over your mouth along with the textures of pork and prawns.

These are very easy to do, you may need to do a couple of wrong ones and then its like riding a bicycle.
Dip the rice paper into some warm water, make sure all areas are moist. Lay the paper on a flat surface and at the bottom centre of the paper, line your prawns, some lettuce leaves, noodles, pork and all the herbs. Make sure you layer them just so when you bite into it you can see the different layers but this doesn't really matter if its just for yourself and you're not trying to impress anyone.
Fold the sides in, then turn the bottom flap up to cover the ingredients. As tightly as possible, roll the whole thing up.

TIP: Put a leaf or more at the top of the paper, after you have rolled it, it will be entirely visible on the roll. Makes it look very appealing.


For Dipping Sauce
Garlic & Chilli - Finely chopped
Hoi Sin Sauce
White Wine or Cider Vinegar
Sugar

Slightly brown off the garlic and chilli in a little oil in a frying pan.
Pour in the desired amount of hoi sin sauce and bring to a gentle boil. Add a splash of vinegar and a few spoons of sugar. Taste the mixture, add more vinegar if you need more sour, if too sour, add more sugar and vice versa.
If its too rich, add a little water. If desired, you can add a little fish sauce.

Pour the sauce onto dipping bowls and sprinkle crushed peanuts on top.

Now hold your summer roll and dip it into the bowl and enjoy them - they are amazing. You can use left overs in them, such as steamed fish, chicken or anything you like. Just make sure you always have a lot of herbs in them as well.

TIP: If you are preparing these in advance, keep them in a air tight container otherwise they will dry out. You can also wrap them in cling film.

TIP: Don't get the paper too wet, ie leaving them soaking in water, this will make them break easily. Just dip the paper in water. Don't leave it in there.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Secret Saigon In London

By Leluu

Here is what I have been cooking up lately.
Photos Courtesy of SecretDinnerParty.com
You can also learn how to make some of these things and more at my Vietnamese Cookery Classes.
Dill Fish Cakes with Choi Sum Wraps & Chilli Dip
Saigon Summer Roll with Cockscombe Mint, Perilla, Vermicelli, Pork & Prawns with a Special Hoi Sin Sauce
Hu Tieu Nam Vang (Southern Vietnamese Soup) with Prok, Prawns, Liver & Quails Egg

Chicken & Carrot Salad With Vietnamese Parsley, Coriander & Peanuts
Pork & Pea Puff
Bo La Lot - Beef in Lemongrass, Peanuts & Seasame rolled in Betel Leaves)
Sirloin Beef & Vermicelli Salad (No Picture)
Creme Caramel With Coffee Caramel

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