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Friday, 6 January 2017

Recipe: Soft Shell Crab Bao Buns with Aubergine Caviar (para Reyes)


Un mensaje para la familia: Aquí tenéis las instrucciones por el regalo extraño que of he regalado!! : )
Que el Día de los Reyes Magos sea feliz y lo pasemos bien todos!

Ahora, a practicar el Ingles!!



Whilst visiting the family in Spain I was looking for ingredients for a Japanese style soft-shell crab sushi roll (something a little different from the classic Spanish fair) and I came across some Taiwanese bao buns!! I’ve experimenting with these and I just couldn’t resist!!! Excitement!

I put together a bao version of the sushi roll:

Order of execution:
Then prepare the dip and the mayoneizu and garnishes.
Make the aubergine caviar.
Once all the bits are ready steam the bao buns and, put the crab on to fry.
Assemble while it’s all hot. 

Here’s what you need . . .

ingredients (makes 2 bao buns)
for the dip / sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 garlic (finely shopped)
2 tbsp OJ
1 lime (juiced)
1 tsp vinegar (to balance the honey - optional - or more lime)
1/2 chilli (finely diced)
-
Mix all the ingredients together, and put aside to infuse while cooking the other elements.


for the aubergine caviar
1/2 aubergine (1/2cm dice)
2 tbsp EVO (for frying)
salt & pepper to season
1 spring onion (the white bit from above)
-
Slice the aubergine into small chunks.
Add a little oil into frying pan, and toss the aubergine to coat it.
Cook on a medium heat until browned (about 5min) and turning a couple of time to brown all over.
Once soft, but not mushy, put in a serving bowl to dress.
Dress with dipping sauce and coriander.


for the soft shell crab
2 soft shell crab
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp rice flour 
pinch salt
vegetable oil for shallow frying
-
Defrost the crab, prepare if needed. (See notes) (Los que os he regalado ya estan preparadas)
Pat them dry with some kitchen towel.
Mix the milk & egg & beat.
Season the crab with a little salt.
Dip the crab into the egg and coat completely, then coat in flour and repeat once more.
I’ve used rice flour because it results in a crispier finish.
Fry on a high heat (180C) turning once.
They should be a beautiful golden colour!


for the toppings
2 tsp tobiko
-
10g coriander (fried)
1g sugar (confectioners)
1g fine salt
-
5g coriander (washed)
-
1 spring onion (sliced green part)
-
5g chives (chopped)
-
Fry the coriander until it stops sizzling. 
It will stop sizzling when all the water has evaporated which means it will stay crispy.
Dust it with a little salt and sugar. (Icing sugar - azucar de polvo)


for the mayoneisu (quick and dirty version - more rounded version here)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
150g mayonaise
1/2g MSG (Chinese salt)
-
Dissolve the MSG in the lemon juice.
Once completely dissolve add a third of the mayonnaise and mix until smooth.
Repeat, twice more until you have a smooth sauce!


for the bao buns
2 bao buns
-
Defrost the buns, then steam them for 8minutes


to serve
Spread a little mayoneizu on the buns, add the cooked crab and dress with coriander, spring onion & tobiko!
Serve immediately!

Que disfrutéis mucho!! Abrazos Simon!

Picture guide:


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Recipe Experiment: Stuffed Pheasant Thighs w/ Quince & Prosecco Red Cabbage, Leek Verbena Puree & Creamy Mash


I fancied something a little different for a special dinner the other day so when I came across some pheasant thighs at the market I snapped them up, with no idea what I would do with them.  I wanted something tasty & comforting, so I was pretty happy when I pulled this little number together to make a lovely celebratory winter dinner!!

The cabbage is cooked in prosecco, quince and juniper berries, and the cooking liquor is the base for the sauce. Quince juniper & pheasant go very well together and when you add in the fragrance from the leek and verbena puree, it makes for a rather nice bite to eat! With a bit of bacon and creamy mash sneaked in it’s a winner!!! : )

See note at the bottom on lemon verbena.

ingredients (serves 4) 
8 stuffed pheasant thighs
200g leek verbena puree
600g  creamy mash
500g red cabbage in quince jelly sauce
300ml quince & cider reduction


for the stuffed pheasant thighs
8 pheasant thighs (skinned & boned)
120g pancetta
180g mushroom stuffing (recipe here)
~
Put a heavy gauge baking tray in the oven and turn it up to 240C.
Lay a sheet of clingfilm on the table, and a slice or two of pancetta on top.
Place a pheasant thigh on top of that and add a little stuffing.
Lift the cling film from the edge nearest you to roll the thigh and stuffing to wrap them in pancetta.
Place the meaty package to one side and repeat until they’re all done.
Take the baking tray out of the oven and place them onto it. 
They should sizzle when they touch the tray.
Put them straight back in the oven for 8 minutes. Then take them out and leave to rest for 4 minutes.
They dry out if they’re in too long!


for the leek verbena puree (makes ~500g)
500g  leek (cleaned & diced)
1 onion (diced)
50g olive oil
100g  dry white wine
1/2 lemon (juice)
3g lemon verbena (4g on the stalk)
25g butter (cubes)
~
Cook the leek and onion with the olive oil on a medium heat.
Keep the lid on, and cook them until they are soft, about 30-40 minutes. 
Remove the lid and add the wine and lemon and reduce until the liquid had gone.
Pick was and finely chop the lemon verbena and add it and the butter cubes. 
Using stick blender blend until smooth.


for the red cabbage in quince jelly sauce w/ beetroot (makes ~500g)
500g (1/2) red cabbage (coarsely  shredded)
large beetroot (medium dice - 1/2 to 1cm)
450ml  prosecco
150ml  OJ
juniper berries (crushed)
2 tbsp  quince jelly
25ml  sherry vinegar
~
Prep the ingredients, and add them all except the cabbage to a saucepan.
Stirring until the jelly is dissolved and the whole mix has come to the boil.
Set to a gentle simmer and cook with the lid on for about 15minutes, then add the cabbage. 
Cook for a further 15-20mins untli the cabbage is soft. (to taste)
Drain off the liquor, add a knob of butter and season if it needs it.


for the quince & cider reduction
liquid from the cooked cabbage
touch of lemon
weigh 1/3 weight butter
~
The liquor from the cabbage should have a syrupy consistency. Reduce it until it does if not!
Zero a small pan on a set of scales and weigh the sauce.
Weigh a third the weight of butter and cut into small cubes.
Just before serving, bring the sauce to the boil and add the butter string constantly until it’s completely dissolved and the sauce is rich and glossy.


to serve
Place a ring old off centre on each plate and fill with cabbage, pipe on the mash potato, then the lemon verbena. Slice the pheasant thighs into halves and place 4 halves inside each cabbage ring. Garnish each plate with lemon verbena. Lift the rings just before serving and serve with some sauce on the side. Don’t forget a nice red wine to go with it!!
Result!



One thing that worked particularly well with this dish was the lemon verbena puree. I’d not really used lemon verbena before so when I came across some in that garden I thought I’d give it a test run! It’s quite fragrant and has a lovely flavour with a decent amount of punch! Definitely worth a go if you can find it! (Garden centre!)

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