chickenfeet: (Default)
Last night I made chou farcie for the first time. It was quite fun, very cheap and delicious.

This is what you do:

Step the first The Cabbage. Take a large savoy cabbage. Trim off any ragged outer leaves and cut out as much of the stalk as you can. Cook it stalk side down in boiling water to cover for 10-15 minutes. (You will need a decent size stockpot). Cool it under cold running water. Peel away the leaves (cut the centre rib out of any where it's prominent) and put to drain on a tea towel. Kepp going until you have a big pile of leaves and just the heart of the cabbage.

Step the second: The Stuffing. Cook 100g smoked bacon, diced fine, and an onion, also diced fine, in a little olive oil. Place in a mixing bowl. Cook 75g rice and add to the bowl. Add 300g good quality sausage meat (or cooked diced ham), a good handful of chopped parsley, two eggs, the grated rind and juice of a lemon, the chopped cabbage heart and a small handful of chopped black olives. Mix well. Season with salt,pepper and coriander. It should be highly seasoned. Possible variations on this are infinite.

Step the third: The Assembly. Take a large bowl (big enough to comfortably hold all the cabbage and stuffing) and line with cheesecloth or muslin. Make sure there's a good 'margin'. You are going to gather this up into a ball. Make an overlapping layer of cabbage leaves and cover with a thinnish layer of stuffing. Keep going with successive layers until everything is used up. Keep a couple of large leaves to make the final layer. Gather up the edges of the cloth and bring them together so the whole thing forms a ball about the size of the original cabbage. Tie securely with string.

Step the fourth: The Cooking. Bring your large pot to the boil with enough salted water (or stock) to cover the cabbage. Place the cabbage in this and turn down to a simmer. Cook for one and a half hours. Meanwhile prepare some root vegetables; carrots peeled, halved and cut into 5cm lengths, turnips peeled and quartered, celery root peeled and cut in cubes. Whatever you like really. You can also include some highly flavoured sausages well pricked with a fork. After the hour and a half add these to the pot and cook for half an hour more.

Step the fifth: Serving. Make a cold sauce with two or three seeded and chopped tomatoes, a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, a healthy glug of olive oil, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Remove the sausages (if used) and slice. Place on a heated platter with the vegetables and keep warm. Remove the cabbage from the pot and place in a colander. Cut away the string. At this point you may be able to slide away the cheese cloth. If not don't panic. Either way, take a large warm serving plate and invert over the colander. In a decisive gesture invert the colander plate assembly. Now, remove the cheese cloth if necessary. At this point you should have you cabbage neatly unmoulded on a warm plate. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, cut into six or eight wedges and serve along with the sauce, the sausages and the vegetables.

Serves six to eight, possibly more.

Here's the unsliced version...

unsliced

...and with a slice cut.

sliced
chickenfeet: (Default)
I had a bit of an urge to cook Thai again, or at least to be a bit more sophisticated than making a batch of pork with basil and chillis for the freezer. So I did. Last night we had:

Salad of green mango and shrimp
Pork stirfried with long beans and roasted chilli paste
Choo chee curry of tofu
Steamed gai lan with oyster sauce
Nam prik kapi with fresh and pickled vegetables
Rice

I couldn't be bothered to make a soup as well.

Tofu is a good choice for a choo chee curry. It's normal to use fish or seafood but the curry rather tends to overwhelm the seafood flavour and it ends up being mostly about texture. Firm tofu provided that quite well. Pickled garlic goes very well with this curry.

Tagine

Jan. 25th, 2009 10:11 am
chickenfeet: (fishy)
For a while now, [livejournal.com profile] lemur_catta has been asking me to make a vegetable tagine for the freezer. I've done pseudo Moroccan things with mediterranean veggies, chick peas and the usual spices but never been entirely happy with the result so I went looking for an authentic recipe. I found one via a Zimbabwean food blogger who claimed to have been taught the dish by a real Moroccan. The recipe looked weird enough to be authentic so I thought I'd give it a go.

The recipe )

The amount of onions looks way excessive, as does the amount of olive oil but don't be tempted to cut back. The dish works and it is delicious!

In other news, I'm still happily humming arias from Orfeo.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
OK it was wasn't canonical (for some value of matches advice in 1950s women's magazines) but it was rather good. We had:

Roast pork leg with crackling (pig from the Hungarian Pig Guys)
Sauerkraut cooked with onion, apple and white wine
Lemony roast potatoes
Baked russet apples
Brussels sprouts

... and a very decent bottle of Alsatian Gewurztraminer.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
In the summer [livejournal.com profile] lemur_catta and I don't get to eat dinner together very often. Her dance and my rugby commitments mean that we maybe get to eat a home cooked dinner two or three times per week tops. Tonight was one of them. I thought it would be nice to have a proper meal. The freezer coughed up Massaman curry and long beans cooked with roasted chili paste plus some choo chee sauce. There was also some nam prik kapi in the fridge, I added some veggies and herbs, cucumber stirfried with bean curd and eggs, a pomelo and shrimp salad and some seared sea scallops for the choo chee sauce (giant sea scallops $8.88 per pound at T&T, FTW). That and some rice and we had a feast for not much work at all.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
Friday night

Thai.
Shrimp with long beans, roasted chilli paste and lime leaves
Chinese celery with beancurd and oyster sauce
Burmese style pork curry (all from the freezer)
Pomelo salad with baby cuttlefish
Kapi paste cooked in coconut cream with platter of veggies and herbs
Steamed rice

Saturday night

Raie au beurre noir served with asparagus and wild leeks. Jane likes skate cartilage!

Tonight

Pesto pasta salad.
Fusilli tossed with a light pesto dressing, pine nuts, tomatoes, olives, spinach leaves, basil leaves and Asiago.
I made the pesto dressing by processing most of a bunch of spinach, half a bunch of basil, some garlic, lemon juice, a little Greek olive oil, a couple of tablespoons of 'real' pesto and a little salt.

Fish

Apr. 7th, 2008 12:16 pm
chickenfeet: (fishy)
I don't know why it should be but the local T&T store (big Asian supermarket) has fish that's as good as and way cheaper than anywhere else around here. Yesterday, skate was half the pice I'd pay anywhere else and it was very good indeed. Similarly, salmon was about 2/3 what it was selling for elsewhere.

The upshot of this was that last night's dinner was raie au beurre noir which remains one of my all time favourite fish dishes. Long may skate continue cheap. (I probably shouldn't be saying this. It may do a monkfish on us).

There is also a decent sized batch of gravlax on the go because one can never have too much gravlax.

On a completely unrelated note, I was watching the Patrice Chéreau Rheingold (Bayreuth, 1990s) last night. It occurs to me that if you are going to cast a soprano as well endowed as the average Wagnerian soprano (in this case Carmen Reppel) as Freia and put her in a seriously low cut dress then the rest of the gods fixation on "Freia's ripe golden apples" takes on a whole new slant.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
Tonight I experimented with a jar of commercial Laksa paste. The soup was the jar of paste, a 500ml container of coconut milk and about the same of water plus seasoning to taste with fish sauce and lime juice. I threw in half a packet of fish balls, half a packet of tofu puffs and a couple of handfuls of bean sprouts. I cooked 200g of rice noodles. I stuck about a quarter of the noodles in a suitable bowl (about the size restaurants use for pho) and topped up with soup. The quantity I mad amounted to four bowls worth. It was good and really did taste like Laksa.

X=posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm
chickenfeet: (Default)

indianfood
Originally uploaded by jgilks@rogers.com

Last weekend I cooked up a bunch of Indian vegetarian food.

Clockwise starting at 9 0'clock we have cabbage cooked with onions, coriander, chilli and yoghourt chutney, potatoes with dill, curried beets and beet greens, rajma dal, cauliflower with carrots, eggplant bharta with Punjabi sag in the middle.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
This is so easy I'm almost embarrassed to post it but it was very tasty!

500g smoked haddock fillet (preferably undyed) cut into small chunks
6 large potatoes, cubed
2 onions, diced small
2 x 341ml cans of corn, drained
3 litres milk
butter
salt and pepper

Saute the onion gently in the butter until soft
Add the other ingredients and bring to a simmer
Cook until the potatoes are cooked
Season to taste

That's it!

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm

Lasagne

Mar. 8th, 2008 02:25 pm
chickenfeet: (fishy)
The bear and lemur more or less piscatarian experiment continues. I haven't eat mammal or bird since last Saturday night.

Today I'm riffing on the theme of a vegetarian lasagne I cooked a few weeks ago. The layers are:

tomato sauce (1) and grilled eggplant
fresh pasta
"green" sauce (2) and roasted peppers

repeat for total three pasta layers and top with Parmesan.

(1) Just a touch spicy. I used one chipotle and one New Mexico pepper in 2x28oz cans of tomatoes worth of sauce.

(2) 2 bunches of spinach, blanched, a the leaves from a largish bunch of basil, 500g ricotta, some extra virgin olive oil, 5 cloves garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg all whooshed to a puree in the food processor.

This should get about half an hour in a hot oven.

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm
chickenfeet: (fishy)
Both of us are decidedly under the weather so this has been the weekend of simple cooking. Last night I egg and breadcrumbed some haddock fillets and panfried them in olive oil. They went very nicely with a red pepper and romaine salad. I also made a giant pot of jota (using [livejournal.com profile] panjianlien's recipe). That made for a very satisfying lunch today. I think jota is my favourite of the whole bean and veggie soup genre though garbure can also be very satisfying. Anyway the freezer now has an adequate stock of it which will keep the lemur happy. I also have organic free range chicken legs (no feet) which I should marinade at some point.

Menu

Aug. 11th, 2007 09:56 am
chickenfeet: (fishy)
The menu for next weekend is coming together. Thus far:

Vegetarian

Omelette soup with dried mushrooms
Pomelo salad (veggie version)
Lon Yaw Jiaw (Yellow beans cooked in coconut cream) (2)
Chu Chii Curry of beancurd and mushrooms (2)
Lots of raw veggies and herbs for dipping
Steamed rice

Pescatarian

Deep fried fish
Nam Prik Kapi (1)
Juk (1)
Lon kapi (2)
Seafood with basil, garlic and chillis
Pomelo salad (non veggie version)

For the Carnivores

Massaman Curry (1)
Burmese Style Pork Curry (1)
Long beans with BBQ Pork and Roasted Chilli Paste
Beef Salad

(1) Already made and in the freezer
(2) Should be done this w/e

So only three dishes that need to be cooked more or less at the last minute and three more that can be done on Saturday morning. The rest will be done in advance.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
First Peruvian cooking experiment tonight. I made Adobo de Chancho; a stew from one of the high altitude bits of Peru. It's basically a stew of pork and potatoes cooked with aji amarillo, cumin, paprika, onion, garlic and turmeric. Not what one would call haute cuisine but tasty. I served it with boiled yuca (surprisingly unyucky) and a salad of fresh cheese, red onion, tomato, cilantro and lime juice. Not bad for a first attempt I think.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
We got our first $20 organic veggie box today. Delicious raspberries, some peppers, a couple of summer squash, a small bunch of really nice carrots, some spinach, salad mix, assorted sugar and snow peas (which were a bit past their sell by date) and some tiny beets with the greens. All in all not bad.

I also have a 1.5kg octopus and Peruvian olives. We are not going to starve.

Also, in food plans, must check out the new T&T store. It's a very large Asian supermarket and the first one to open in this part of town.

Fast food

May. 20th, 2007 08:02 am
chickenfeet: (fishy)
Fast food doesn't have to be bad food. Dinner last night took about as long to prepare as it would have done to order in pizza. I tossed some cod's tongues (yes they have tongues) in seasoned flour and pan fried them in olive oil. I served them with chopped parsley and lemon wedges with some steamed snow peas on the side. We followed them with two excellent local sheep's milk cheeses. One was soft ripened, the other coated with rosemary and savory in the fashion of Fleur du Maquis. We drank a Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2006 which was delicious and a very good match for both the fish and the cheese.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
Last night I decided to cook the classic Issan combo; grilled chicken, papaya salad and sticky rice.

Grilled chicken

Pound lemongrass, garlic, coriander root and white pepper to a paste. Rub it over the chicken (whole, parts or boneless chunks). Marinade for at least two hours. Grill, preferably over charcoal but whatever. Serve with sweet chilli sauce and/or Jaew.

Papaya salad

Peel, seed and shred one unripe papaya. In a mortar and pestle bash 5-10 bird's eye chillis, 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and a few coriander roots. Take two pieces of fermented fish (this is the Issan bit) and bring to the boil with 125ml of water. Simmer until the fish has dissolved then strain, reserving the liquid. (Have extractor fan on full blast and dispose of the strained fish solids rapidly. This stuff could be used for chemical warfare). Halve 8 or so cherry tomatoes and cut 3 or 4 long beans into 2.5cm pieces. Add the chilli/garlic paste, tomatoes and beans to the papaya and mix well. Now add some of the fish liquor and some lime juice to the salad and mix thoroughly, ideally pounding it a bit to blend the flavours. Keep adding, mixing and pounding until the salad is to your taste. It should be quite spicy, pungent, slightly salty and slightly sour.

Serve the chicken and salad with steamed sticky and a plate of raw herbs and veggies. When I had this kind of chicken in Thailand it usually came with white cabbage and cilantro. Last night we had sweet red pepper, black radish, long beans, cilantro and white turmeric.

For a non-Issan variant on this, serve jasmine rice rather than sticky rice. For the salad, use fish sauce instead off the fermented fish liquor, add a little palm sugar and some dried shrimps (or salted rice field crabs if feeling brave). Crushed peanuts may also be added.

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm
chickenfeet: (toe)
In an attempt to pretend that spring has arrived despite the continuing freezing temperatures I cooked that quintessentially springy dish, navarin printanier, yesterday.

recipe )

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm

Going Hunan

Apr. 8th, 2007 07:42 am
chickenfeet: (fishy)
I was feeling like a change yesterday. I definitely wanted rice and stuff but It needed to be something other than Thai. [livejournal.com profile] misia had posted about some Hunanese dishes that she had cooked a while ago and one of them had caught my eye so that's where I headed.

I ended up with three dishes; smoked bacon and beancurd stirfried with dried chillis, a Hunanese variant of red cooked pork (reputed to be Mao Zhe Dong's favourite dish) and, by way of contrast, blanched gai lan with an oyster/sesame sauce. I had planned to do sweet and sour lotus root (from Habeas Brulee) but lotus root appears to be out of season. It was a good combination of flavours and textures though I would have licked a bit more of a chilli kick in the bacon/beancurd dish. I suspect the problem was the chillis I used rather than the recipe though.

Smoky bacon with smoked bean curd )

Chairman Mao's Red Cooked Pork )

Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce )

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm
chickenfeet: (fishy)
I've been trying to pluck up courage to experiment with a staple of northeastern Thai food, Bplah Daek, otherwise known as fermented mudfish or gourami. Basically, it's boneless chunks of freshwater fish, salted and fermented. One buys it in jars at the Asian grocery stores.

Today I bought some and made a batch of Jaew, the northeastern version of Nam Prik Kapi. This is what you do:

Peel 4 shallots, 4 cloves of garlic and a piece of galalangal. Peel and chop a stalk of lemongrass. Cut the stalks off 6 bird's eye chilis. Roast this lot in the oven at 375F for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile put two pieces of mudfish and 250ml of water in a pan, bring to the boil and reduce by half.

Let everything cool a bit then chuck it in the food processor with 60 ml of fish sauce and 60ml of tamarind water. Grind it all to a thin paste.

Use it as a condiment with any Thai meal and/or as a dip for raw veggies or herbs, fried fish etc.

It is quite intense though no more so than Nam Prik Kapi. It has something in common with fermented beancurd or a washed rind cheese.

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm

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