Thanks Campion and Curtis!
Monday, July 2, 2007
To start off with, your fish isn't fried in any old batter it's Tempura batter. For that matter, it's not actually your regualar Tempura batter, either the batter contains lemon juice and lime juice, instead of soda water to give it a definate zing!
Your chips aren't normal chips, but they're deep fried Taro chips, which are finely shredded our julienned. You've also got nice little Taro chips to Garnish. These taste almost exactly like potato chips, but look amazing! The whole dish is seasoned with sesaame salt, which you make yourself by toasting some sesame seeds and pounding them up with sea salt. You also sift a small amount of icing sugar over the top of it all, which gives it a hint of sweetness, balancing out the saltiness and sourness from the lime served on the side.
The best fish to use for this one is Flathead tails as they are a nice short shape and are quick to cook when deep fried.
This dish is outstanding, I've made it on a number of occassions and everyone has loved it. Note the limes, which have been wrapped in muslin, so that when you squeeze it, it stops the pips from going into your food. Brilliant!
Friday, June 22, 2007
This is one amazing looking dish! Not only does it look amazing, but it's certainly a treat to eat! So many different flavours and textures, all on one plate, but they all mesh together so well.
To be honest, I didn't know exactly what 'curing' was or what it exactly involved before making this dish, but now I understand completely and am kind of annoyed that I hadn't ever tried it before.
To cure your Salmon, you need to be prepared and start the process 36 hours before you want to serve the dish. Basically you just mix together Rock Salt, Rock Sugar, Vodka and Dill and pat it onto the flesh side of the Salmon. Then place the Salmon, flesh side down on your plate and cover with glad wrap and maybe put a plate on top to keep some weight on there and place in the fridge. When you come back in 36 hours, you'll find that you have a plate full of liquid. This is because the salt has drawn a great deal of the liquid out of the Salmon flesh. You need to rinse your fillet under running water to remove the curing mix and then slice the Salmon, finely at an angle. You will find that the Salmon has dried out slightly and tastes perfectly seasoned. You'll also taste a hint of sweetness and some Dill.
For your Citrus Oil, you'll need to dry out some Lemon, Lime and Orange peel in the oven overnight and then blend it up with some Olive Oil.
The recipe calls for Lattice Chips, but unfortunately I didn't really want to spend $20 on a new attachment for my V-Slicer, just for this recipe, so I just used the thinnest setting on my slicer to slice the chips instead. Once sliced, you just deep fry them until crispy and golden.
From here, you just Zig Zag some Creme Fraiche on your plate, place a potato chip on the plate and start alternating with Salmon pieces, Creme Fraiche and Dill, then repeat 3 or 4 times. Drizzle some Citrus Oil around the plate and scatter some Yarra Valley Salmon Pearls.
How beautiful does this dish look! It's so tasty too! The crunchiness of the chips, the saltiness of the salmon, which is balanced out by the softness of the Creme Fraiche and the tangy, pop of the Salmon pearls are all outstanding! This dish has to be one of my favourites.
Roasted Barramundi with a Red Salad of Baby Beets, Grapefruit, Radicchio, Capers and Marinated Goat's Fetta and Fresh Herb Dressing
You start off by roasting your Baby Beets in a dressing of Olive Oil, Balsamic and Brown Sugar. Roast them until soft, sticky and almost caramelized on the outside.
Your red salad is made up of things that are all pretty much red. The Baby Beets, Shredded Radicchio, Ruby Grapefruit and then the non red ingredients, Capers and Marinated Goats Fetta. Instead of Goats Fetta, I substituted Yarra Valley Marinated Persian Fetta, my favourite!
Unfortunately, not one seafood stall at the Vic Market had any Barramundi at all, which was a little unusual. It wasn't that they were sold out, it was just that they didn't have any anywhere! So, I had to make do with another firm, white fleshed fish, the trusty old Blue Eye.
The final part of this dish is the fresh herb oil. You basically just blitz some Parsley, Basil and Mint with a few Capers. This is just to drizzle around the plate at the end.
The colours of this dish are amazing! The green of the oil, the red of the salad and the white of the fish, it's just gorgeous! Unfortunately, the flavours aren't as exciting as I'd hoped. Of course it's tasty, but it's one of the more uninteresting dishes featured in this book. A lot of the other dishes smack you around the head and wake your taste buds right up! But this one is much more mellow and if anything it's the marinated cheese and the Balsamic on the Beet's that give this dish it's kick.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The Creme Brulee tasted great. Even though the idea of a Five Spiced Creme Brulee probably sounds weird to a lot of people. It really does work quite well.
I even went out and purchased a domestic blow torch which works a treat! The Creme Brulee had the perfect amount of toffee on the top.
It took a couple of goes, but it really was a success!
Monday, May 7, 2007
Nothing too out of the ordinary here. This is pretty much your standard Panzanella Salad, but the little tip that Ezard offers, is when you fry your bread cubes, also fry some Rosemary and Garlic in the same fat, to help infuse the flavour into the oil and therefore the bread.
You need to make sure all your Tomato, Cucumber are chopped in nice little cubes. This is where your knife skills that you've been learning will come in handy.
Place your Panzanella in a large round ring to shape it on the plate. I like to use a little cake ring, without the base. Place the grilled fish on top of your salad and garnish with some parsley. Drizzle some olive oil around the plate and you're done.
I have to say, that while this fish was tasty, it was the least interesting of the dishes I've made so far. It's a very quick one to put together, so it's handy for impressing at a last minute dinner party. Also, it's pretty cheap to put together, I think it cost approx $30 to serve three people.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Once you've cooked your Lamb Shanks for the required 3 hours, you'll need to take out some of the liquid and strain it again, then reduce it right down. Once it's reduced, you'll need to add a little cream and reduce again. Be careful, because the sauce is extremely rich at this point. I added a little salt to season and it turned out to be too much. I had to add more water to the sauce to get rid of the saltiness, but once the sauce is reduced, it's hard to get rid of the excess salt, so it's either deal with the saltiness or deal with a runny consistency. I chose the latter.
Finally you'll need to roast some Tomatoes, which are part of the 'Watercress Salad.' It's not really a salad as such, just a Tomato with some Cress on top. Now you're ready to plate up all your ingredients. Basically it's just one on top of the other here. Place some Creamed Beans on the plate, then a Shank, which has been rolled in Gremolata. Place half a Tomato on top and then some Cress. Drizzle some of your sauce around the plate (hopefully it's not too runny like mine!)
As expected, the meat was so soft and tender, it was a struggle to keep it on the bone long enough to make it to the plate! The dish was delicious and perfect in our beautiful country setting. Unfortunately, it did make it a little hard to look the sheep in the eye the next day, that were wandering around the farm!
Admittedly, I had my doubts about this recipe from the first time I read it. Mainly because there is so much liquid in the Gnocchi dough, which usually makes for a heavy and gluggy finished product, because you need to use so much flour to keep it all together. The flour also enables you to work with the dough without it being too sticky. It wasn't until I made the dough and took it out of the food processor, that I realised how soft and light this Gnocchi was going to be! Here's how:
Boil your potatoes til cooked. I roasted mine, so that I could minimise the liquid in the potatoes(sorry for doubting you Teage!). Then push the potatoes through a sieve to remove all your lumps.
Now, the secret to this recipe is a Roux type mixture of butter, milk and flour.
I then put this Roux mixture into a food processor, along with the potatoes and added some eggs, one by one. This will create a fairly sticky dough. You will need to flour your work surface and your hands and roll this dough into even sausage lengths, similar in thickness.
Cut your sausages of dough into similar bite sized pieces, as I have below.
Now you'll want to make your Taleggio sauce. Mix together Cream and Taleggio Cheese and slowly melt the cheese into the cream over a low heat and reduce slightly. Now you might have noticed that I haven't mentioned Walnuts as yet. Well, that's because I burnt them. Yep, I forgot about them, they were meant to be in the oven for 3 mins, but I left them in for 15. They tasted like burnt popcorn and were unusable, so I left them out of this recipe. I didn't have any spare.
Boil your Gnocchi in salted boiling water, until they rise to the surface. They will puff up slightly when cooked.
Gently mix together your Gnocchi with your Walnuts (if you haven't burnt them), and sliced, peeled pear and place in individual serving dishes or one large one. I only had a large one, so I just used that. Drizzle your Taleggio sauce over the ingredients and then sprinkle some chives over the top and then some Parmesan cheese.
These soft and fluffy pillows of goodness is the best Gnocchi I have ever tasted! If you like Gnocchi, I recommend going out an buying this book, just for this recipe, it's seriously amazing! The best thing is, it's so easy!