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Friday 22 April 2016

Recipe: Beef Pho - Vietnamese National Dish - Noodle Broth (rated 18)

Firstly let me begin by explaining the 18 rating. This recipe has been simplified so that an 18 teen year old with relatively little skill or interest should be able to produce a pretty decent rendition with an “am I bovered” amount of effort! (but proper good!! - chuck it all in the pot - 3hrs gaming - noodle dreams - lush)

short rib - cow rib init - cut into 4
ingredients for the beef pho (serves 6)
for the stock
3L water
2 chicken stock
75g  ginger (cut into 4 slices & charred)
2 large onion (cut into 8 & charred)
6 star anise
2 cinnamon stick
25g rock sugar (or brown sugar)
12 small oxtail segments (2pp)
3 short ribs (1/2pp) (what are short ribs? see below)
100ml fish sauce (to taste)

40g lime juice (1 or 2 limes)

for the pho 
600g fresh noodles (100g pp)
or 3 cucumbers (shredded)
500g sirloin / ribeye (80g pp medium rare)
2 large steaks

for the garnish
10g thai basil (4 leaves pp)
20g coriander (10 clovers pp)
4 spring onions (cut into rings)
1 red onion (cut in half, then semi circles) 
2 chillies (cut into rings)
fish sauce (tsp pp)
1 lime (1/6 each)

apparatus / equipment
large boiling pot

Put all the ingredients into a boiling pot, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. (Volume knob to 3 or 4!)
Simmer for 3 hours. Take the steak (for the pho component) out of the fridge so it’s at room temp when you cook it.
Salt it (a couple of pinches of salt on each side - evenly distributed) and leave it in a takeaway box. (or similar)

Just before the stock is due to be ready. Remove the short ribs and place on a chopping board. 
Cook noodles for 2 minutes in boiling water, then strain and place in hot serving bowls.
Add some oil (a glug - pour for 1/2 second) to the steaks and turn them to cover them with oil. Place them into a hot pan. Turn them once the underside is brown, 2-3 minutes max. Remove and place on a chopping board once the other side is brown. Leave them there (to rest) while prepping the garnish & assembling the pho.

to serve
Remove the meat from the short ribs by cutting along the flat part of the bone. Slice the meat thinly.
Prep the garnishes as shown. Share out the oxtail and broth into bowls, slice the steak and garnish!!
Good to go!!

If you can be bovered: stock
Boil the meat separately before you start for 5 minutes, and discard the water it was boiled in. 
(Will result in a clearer broth as it forces a lot of scum to the surface - out of the meat)
Char the ginger and onion on a griddle pan, this adds a nice flavour giving a more complex broth.
Skim scum off the broth constantly as it’s cooking.

thinking ahead (aka for when you really can’t be bovered)
Put the stock including oxtail and sliced short rib in a resealable plastic bags. 600g / bag.
Bust it out of the freezer when you want a pho!
Nuke it for 10mins (800W microwave). Make the noodles and steak while it defrosts!
Great hangover cure with minimal effort!

what could go wrong? (notes)
I couldn’t be bovered and I ended up eating 40p quick noodles. (Ahem, for the rest of my life!)

sirloin steak - medium rare

oxtail - niblbes

Sunday 17 April 2016

Recipe: Gently Pulled Lamb Shank w/ Flageolet Bean Mash, Blushed Tomatoes & Redcurrant & Port Reduction

This dish is simple bit of relatively hands off cooking, background cooking! (That said, one pot cooking it aint!)

Braised lamb shank gently pulled off the bone after cooking for 3 hours in chicken stock w/ onion. The lamb is removed from the braising pot and the liquor and and onions separated. The liquor is then reduced with a little redcurrant jelly and port to make a rich sauce, and the onions added to the beans to make a tasty flageolet bean mash. Topped with blushed tomatoes and served with your favourite veggies. (In this case tender stem broccoli!)
QFYI: fagioli is Italian for bean, frijoles in Spanish!

ingredients (serves 2-3)
for the blushed tomatoes (tray full)
300g baby plum tomatoes (halved, and pips removed - if you like!)
50ml olive oil 
1/2 tsp salt flakes

for the lamb shanks
2 lamb shanks 
2 large onions (peeled & cut into eighths)
1L chicken stock
3 cloves garlic (crushed)

for the flageolet bean mash
530g flageolet bean (2 tins)
2 slices smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
1 carrot (diced)
1 red onion (diced)
100g butter (small cubes)
onion & garlic (from the lamb)
2 spring onion (fine dice - optional)
350ml veg / chicken stock

for the redcurrant & port sauce
100ml tawny port or madeira (if you’re feeling flush!)
100ml red wine 
100g redcurrant jelly
liquor from the lamb (strained)
50g butter (cubed)
red wine vinegar (to taste)

for the tender stem broccoli 
400g tender stem brocoli
1/2 lemon juice
20ml extra virgin olive oil
salt flakes

for the garnish
12 blushed tomato halves 

apparatus / equipment
2 boiling pots
steamer or steam tray / basket (for broccoli)
stick blender (helpful, optional)
flat / drum sieve (optional)

blushed tomatoes
Halve the baby plum tomatoes and toss them in the oil and salt. Spread them out onto a baking sheet and bake at 80C for 5hrs.
(If you put them into a sterilised jar and cover them with oil they’ll keep for a couple of months no problem.)

lamb shanks
Season the shanks and sear them in the bottom of the pot to brown them off a little.
Place all the ingredients into the pot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Simmer for 3hrs, stirring occasionally and topping up the liquid with water, (just enough to keep the meat covered throughout.)
Remove the shanks and pull the meat off with a spoon taking care to keep the meat relatively intact. Put to one side to keep warm. (or you can add them back into the sauce when it’s ready)
Sieve the remains keeping the liquor for the sauce & the onions and garlic for the mash.

flageolet bean mash
Put the bacon into a boiling pot and fry with a little oil until it’s browned. Add the onion and carrot and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken stock and all the contents of one tin of beans, drain the other tin and add only the beans. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until almost all the liquid is gone. Towards the end stir constantly with a sturdy flat tipped spatula so the mix doesn’t catch. 

Mash it or blitz it with a stick blender then pass it through a sieve if you want a really smooth mash. Blitz the garlic and onion and spring onion and mix the paste, and the butter into the mash.

redcurrant & port sauce
Reduce the port and wine by half, then add the redcurrant jelly and dissolve it into the reduction.
Add the liquor from the lamb and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, add a little red wine vinegar if it needs it to lift the flavour. (Not forgetting that the butter with dull the vinegar)
Add the cubed butter just before its to be served mixing it in well to give the sauce a nice glossy finish.

tender stem broccoli 
Steam for 5 mins then toss with lemon, extra virgin olive oil and season with a little flaked sea salt.
Also quite nice if you pop it onto a griddle!! 

to serve
Spoon a healthy portion of broccoli and mash onto the plate, top the mash with lamb and blushed tomatoes and serve with a jug of sauce!!! Or just pour it all over  . . .  so good!

Friday 8 April 2016

Recipe: Embezzlers Chicken (w/ Honey 'n' Mustard)

I was rather pleased when I was introduced to this recipe. The chicken is portioned, which means it cooks quickly and has more surface area for the honey glaze to coat! It’s such a simple recipe and really very tasty! It goes rather, well with cardamom rice or roast potatoes depends on your mood! If you interested knowing how this recipe got it’s name why not come along to the supper club and ask me : )

In the mean time here’s the recipe. . .

ingredients (serves 2 - 4)
for the chicken
1 chicken (portioned)
2 onions (peeled, cut into eighths)
1 large bulb garlic (halved)
2 sprigs rosemary (bruised)
1 lemon (zest, pith cut off, sliced)

for the glaze
200g clear runny honey
100g english mustard
150g soy sauce

Preheat your oven to 180C.
Portion the chicken into quarters, then each quarter in half to give you eight pieces.
Use a high sided baking tray as it needs to hold the juices in! 
Prep the rest of the ingredients and place them all into the baking tray. 
Mix all the glaze ingredients together and pour over the chicken pieces.
Place into the oven, after 20 minutes toss the ingredients to re-coat them and return to the oven.
Repeat this process after another 20 minutes. 
After another 20 minutes the chicken should be cooked an the coating sticky, repeat once more if it needs it.
Finally add a little white wine and water (250ml) to the baking tray and mix it in to loosen the sticky sauce on the edges.
Mix them into the sauce.
Place the tray onto the table and let folk help themselves!

This is also quite a nice way to do pork loin. Cut the loin into 4 inch pieces, sear it to brown and follow the above recipe turning it every 15minutes and removing it after 45minutes. Any longer and it will be very dry.

Friday 1 April 2016

Recipe: Chicken Kaffir (No Fat, Low Carb Super Tasty Broth - 500kcal)

If you’ve ever suffered on one of those low carb diets but want to see it through and want a big feed packed with flavour, veg and protein then this broth is an absolute H E R O of a dish!! Even better it takes 20 minutes to make! Well, basically how ever long you can last waiting for the flavours to infuse into the broth!

Sometimes a little coconut milk can go a long way in terms of flavour. Quite a lot of calories in a whole tin though so you will never get through all of it. (Snork, slurp wipes coconut milk out of eyebrows, sideways look.) So the good old freeze it in an ice cube tray trick works a treat!! (They are however surprisingly hard to get out!!)


ingredients (serves 1 - very hungry person)
for the broth
600ml water
20g dashi miso
1 chicken stock
3 kaffir lime leaves (bruised)
1 large clove garlic
1 lemon grass (bruised)
2 large shiitake mushrooms (stalk off then sliced)
1/2 birdeye chilli (long one)
2 king prawns (buterflied)
15g ponzu
1-2 blocks light coconut milk (optional luxury - 30g each)
squeeze lime

for the cucumber noodles
120g cucumber (about 1/3 - julienned / mandolin)
1 spring onion (chopped)
4g coriander (chopped)
4g mint (picked, chopped)
touch of salt & lime 

for the dark lime dressing (120ml)
40g palm sugar
40g dark soy
40g lime

for the chicken
1 chicken breast 
15g dark lime dressing

for the garnish
mixed sesame seeds
maitake / enoki mushroom
chilli (sliced)

Put every thing but the prawns, coconut milk, ponzu & lime, into a pot and bring it to the boil then simmer for 20-30mins.
Butterfly the prawns and add them and the (optional) coconut milk. Mix in well then season with ponzu and lime juice. Remove the shiitake stalks and lemon grass before serving.

cucumber noodles
Mix the ingredients and dress with a little lime and a tiny amount of salt.

dark lime dressing
Put all the sugar and dark soy into a microwavable container and heat for 30-40 seconds. 
Stir the mix until the sugar is dissolved then mix in the lime juice. It should have lower notes of molasses in the flavour.

Butterfly the chicken breast, this will allow it to cook quickly and without loosing too much moisture which is important if you’re not using any oil. As soon as it’s cooked add the dark lime dressing (or ponzu or teriyaki). Slice it up just before adding to the broth so it stays warm and moist.

to serve
Place cucumber noodles into bowl, add chicken and pour on the steaming broth.
Dress w/ sesame seeds, small mushroom & chilli if you like a little heat. Serve immediately.

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More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
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