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Tuesday 31 January 2017

Recipe: Red Pepper & Goats Cheese Hotpot (Bruisers In The Darkness)

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab

I was out for my first bike ride yesterday in our new location. It was a beautifully sunny day so I decided to take the bike out for a spin and explore the area. But first, time to tackle the shed!! In the end I probably left it a little too late to leave and I nearly got caught out by the setting sun. I’d forgotten just how dark it gets with out street lights!!!! Bloody hell!!! 

After feeling my way home I set about making some tea. In this neck of the woods every hill is a what my uncle would describe as ‘a bruiser’ and when I got back I was starving!

I realised immediately that there was NO garlic!!! After what I can only describe as an extremely mild panic I set about making something from what I did have. 

I can safely say this recipe is a keeper so I decided to put it up on the blog! Although I put chicken in this version, it wouldn’t be missed in a vegetarian version!!

Red pepper and goats cheese make a great combo and that’s no exception here!! No garlic required after all!!

Please excuse the photography, my camera is still in transit : / 

ingredients (serves 2-4)

for the red pepper & goats cheese stew
80g red pepper puree [will add a link]
2 onions (in sixths)
2 ripe tomatoes (in eights)
40g goats cheese (in chunks)
chicken bits (wings, legs boney bits - browned)
1 large potato (microwave 5mins - diced)
200g butter beans 
4 leaves cavolo nero (sliced)
1L chicken / veg stock
Section the chicken, season it, and brown it off in a frying pan.
Prep he rest of the ingredients and put everything except the cavolo nero into as oven proof dish.
Pop it into the oven at 180C for 45m. Then remove it from the oven add the cavolo nero.
Return it to the over to soften for another 10-15mins.

for the accompaniment
1 sour dough french stick
Tear the french stick into generous pieces, toast them, or roast them in the oven for 10min.
And serve warm with butter.

for the topping
2-4 eggs (1 each)
Just before you serve add the eggs to the top of the stew and leave for 3-7 minutes, depending how soft you like your eggs!

Serve in a warm bow with the rustic french stick along side! 

What a fantastic winter warmer, and I got to test run the aga!

As I mentioned if you leave the chicken out this would make a great veggie dinner!

Great the next day mixed with spring onion chicken stock broth:

tasty & light!

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 os 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:

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How To Book / Attend
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More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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