Salmon Ankake

20180328_200521When we began Recipe Road, we listed our favourite cuisines that we hoped to explore. We’ve presented some French dishes, and plan to explore Italian cuisine after our travels in Italy later this year. Japanese is our other love, and we know we’re not alone here! Who can resist the delicacy of finely sliced sashimi or sushi with a side of soy sauce, wasabi and some pickled ginger? For us it’s using the flavours of sake, mirin, soy sauce and rice vinegar in various combinations that keeps us inspired; whether it’s creating a simple teriyaki dish or something a little more complex like this salmon dish. The joy of this dish is the beautiful sauce, which enhances the natural flavour of the salmon fillet and vegetables.

We have adapted this recipe from Adam Liaw’s wonderful book The Zen Kitchen.

Serves two people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small salmon fillets, skin removed
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10g bonito flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into batons
  • 4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 100g enoki mushrooms, trimmed and broken into clumps
  • 2 spinach plants, washed and cut into 5cm lengths
  • ¼ tsp chilli oil

Method:

  1. Dust the salmon in cornflour and shake off any excess. Pour the oil into a wok or pan to a depth of 2cm, and heat to 180°C. Shallow-fry the salmon for about 2 minutes each side, until barely cooked and just beginning to colour. Keep warm in a very low oven until ready to serve.
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Add the bonito flakes and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, discarding the solids, and set aside.
  3. In another saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over a high heat. Add the garlic, carrot and half of the spring onion and fry for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the ginger and cook for another minute. Add the bonito stock, soy sauce, sake, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cornflour mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Add the remaining spring onions, enoki mushrooms and spinach and cook for one more minute, until the sauce thickens to a silky consistency and the vegetables wilt slightly. (We prefer the vegetables just slightly wilted, if you’d like the mushrooms and spinach more cooked, add them to the saucepan with the ginger and before the liquids are added.)
  4. Place each salmon fillet in a serving dish and arrange the vegetables across the fillet. Spoon the sauce into the bowl around the fillet. Finish with a few drops of chilli oil, if you like.

 

Bourbon and Maple Glazed Pork Ribs with Smoked Corn Salad

20180331_203118This week we continued to draw inspiration from Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully’s Nopi cookbook. As always, we were inspired by the flavours these chefs use, and this recipe contained a new technique for us, smoking the corn. This was surprisingly easy, there was no fancy equipment required. Simply place the corn cobs in a colander or steaming basket (we used a bamboo steaming basket) inside a large pot sealed with a lid. The smoke comes from burning the husks of the corn in the base of the pot. If you struggle to find corn with the husks still attached, you could use rice instead. Just line the base of the pan with aluminium foil and spread 200g of uncooked rice across the base. If you do this, the cooking time will need to be reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. The cooking times for smoking need to be precise: cook for too long and the smoky flavour can become overpowering.

The real star of this dish is the ribs though, be prepared to get messy and enjoy the delicious glaze and tender pork ribs!

Serves six people.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg pork spare ribs, cut into 12 equal small racks of 2 or 3 ribs per rack.
  • 80g coarse sea salt
  • 35g ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 100ml Shaoxing rice wine
  • 100ml rice vinegar

Smoked Corn Salad:

  • 4 large corn cobs, with husks
  • 15g lemon thyme sprigs
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 20g coriander leaves
  • 20g mint leaves
  • 20g parsley leaves
  • 2 spring onions, white part only, thinly sliced

Glaze:

  • 130g shallots, thinly sliced
  • 350ml bourbon
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

 

Method:

  1. Place the ribs in a large bowl with the salt. Rub the ribs all over with the salt and set aside for an hour.
  2. Rinse the salt from the ribs under cold water, then pat dry. Put the ribs into a large saucepan for which you have a lid, and add the ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, cinnamon and peppercorns. Pour over the stock, Shaoxing wine and rice vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for an hour.
  3. Remove the pork and set aside. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids and return to the pan. Place on a high heat and reduce the liquid to 200ml. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Remove the husks from the corn and use them to line the base of a large saucepan or wok which is deep enough to fit a colander or steaming basket inside, and for which you have a lid. Add the sprigs of thyme and place the pan on a high heat. Once the husks begin to smoke, place the the corn cobs inside the colander or steaming basket, and place this inside the pan. Seal the pan with a lid and smoke for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, still covered, for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and set aside to cool.
  5. Stand each corn cob on a cutting board and use a large knife to shave the corn kernels from the cob. Make sure you cut deeply enough that some of the kernels remain in clusters. Set the corn kernels aside and discard the cobs.
  6. About 45 minutes before you are ready to serve, place all of the ingredients for the glaze, along with 100ml of the stock reduction in a large pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-high heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced to 200ml and has the consistency of a syrup, about 20 minutes. Return the pork ribs to the sauce and stir gently so they are coated in the syrup. Cook for about 7 minutes more, until the ribs are warmed through and sticky.
  7. Just before serving, prepare the salad in a large bowl by whisking together the lime juice, maple syrup, olive oil, chilli and salt. Add the corn kernels, herbs and spring onion and mix well.
  8. To serve, on each plate lean two small racks of ribs against each other and serve with the salad alongside. Garnish with a few sprigs of lemon thyme, if you like.

Roasted Pork Rack with Onions and Cherries

20180228_220218

One of the most inspiring restaurants in the world right now is Eleven Madison Park in New York, which last year became the No.1 restaurant on San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. We love the ethos of chef Daniel Humm, who strives to balance modern techniques with classical flavours. One day we hope to travel to New York to dine there, but for now we have to settle for recreating some of the dishes from the cookbook at home. This week we set aside a day to create our first dish from the book, and chose one which doesn’t have too many unfamiliar ingredients or techniques. Although the number of elements in this dish is daunting, there was actually nothing very difficult about the recipes, and we had fun creating our own spin on the incredible plating in the book.

We have to be entirely honest, though – we did simplify a few things here. For instance, rather than spending 6 hours making a chicken jus (which we’re sure would taste amazing!) we cheated by using chicken stock and pimping it up with some tomato paste. We also changed a few ingredients we couldn’t source, such as particular varieties of cherries and cured pork. If you don’t feel like tackling the whole thing, just making the cherry pork sauce to go with your favourite cut of pork would be totally worthwhile. Similarly, the pickled mustard seeds and pickled cherries were delicious and could be used in so many dishes. Let us know if you give it a try!

We have adapted this recipe from Eleven Madison Park – The Cookbook by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara to serve 4 people. You’ll have some extra pickled mustard seeds, onion puree, cherry sauce and brown butter to use another day.

 

Pickled Yellow Mustard Seeds:

  • ¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds. Strain through a fine sieve and refresh with cold running water. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Transfer the mustard seeds to a bowl and pour over the liquid. Cool to room temperature, then cover and leave at room temperature overnight.

Roasted Onion Petals:

  • 1 white onion
  • salt
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Toss the onion with salt and olive oil and wrap in aluminium foil. Roast in the oven for 2 hours, or until the onion is soft but still holds its shape. Cool to room temperature. Quarter the onion, remove the skin and separate the onion into individual petals. Trim the ends and cut each petal into half-inch thick strips. Set aside until ready to serve.

Onion Puree:

  • 3 ½ cups thinly sliced white onions
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 3 white peppercorns
  • 1 ½ Tbsp butter, plus ½ Tbsp cold butter
  • 3 Tbsp white wine

Season the onions with salt and set aside. Tie the peppercorns in a small piece of cheesecloth. Heat a pan over high heat and add the butter, onions and peppercorn parcel. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute, being careful not to let the onions begin to colour. Add the wine and 1 ½ Tbsp water, cover with a cartouche of baking paper, and cook until the onions are tender, adding more water if the onions begin to dry out. Once the onions are cooked, remove the cartouche and reduce any liquid that is left in the pan. Puree in a blender with the ½ Tbsp cold butter. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois and cool over ice. Set aside until ready to assemble the dish.

Brown Butter:

  • 250g butter
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 clove garlic

Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer slowly for about 40 minutes, until the butter is clear and a light caramel colour. Continue to cook, whisking vigorously until the butter becomes a walnut brown colour. Place the thyme and garlic in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Strain the Brown Butter over the thyme and garlic, and set aside until needed. Discard the thyme and garlic.

Pork Rack:

  • ½ pork rack (4 chops when sliced), frenched and skin removed
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed but still intact

Preheat the oven to 150°C and place a roasting pan and rack in the oven to heat. Season the pork with salt. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat and then sear the pork, fat side down, until it is evenly browned (about 2 minutes). Add the butter, thyme and garlic and baste for another 2 minutes. Transfer to the preheated roasting rack and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, basting with butter every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cherry Pork Sauce:

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/8 cup of speck or bacon, diced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 475g cherries, pitted
  • 3 pods star anise
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • salt

In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the speck. Render the fat for 5 minutes, then strain the oil to remove the solids.

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar to a dark caramel. Add the cherries and star anise. Cook until the cherries are soft, then deglaze with the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Stir to dissolve all of the sugar. Reduce to a glaze and then chill over ice.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken stock and tomato paste, and reduce to 1 cup of liquid. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the glaze. Stir in the rendered fat and season with salt to taste.

Pickled Cherries:

  • 5 Cherries
  • 75ml white balsamic vinegar
  • 75ml water
  • 2 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, stir together the vinegar, water and salt, until the salt dissolves. Pit and quarter the cherries, and add to the pickling liquid. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Onions and Cherries:

  • 1 scallion/green onion, white and light green parts only
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • Roasted Onion Petals
  • 4 baby scallions/green onions
  • 8 cherries, pitted
  • ½ Tbsp butter

Shave the scallions into shards with a vegetable peeler, and dress them with the olive oil and salt. Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan over a medium heat. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the onion petals, baby scallions and cherries. Toss to combine and add the butter, tossing to glaze.

To Serve:

  • Pork Rack
  • Brown Butter
  • Sea Salt Flakes
  • Cherry Pork Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp Onion Puree
  • 8 Pickled Cherries
  • 4 tsp Pickled Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 4 slices shaved Prosciutto di Parma
  • 12 mizuna leaves

Slice the pork rack between the bones, giving you 4 pork chops. Brush the sides of the pork with brown butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Place a few spoonfuls of the Cherry Pork Sauce on one side of the plate, and top with a pork chop. Beside the pork chop, place a baby scallion. Warm the onion puree in a small saucepan over low heat and spoon 3 small blobs onto each plate above the pork chop. Top two of the piles of onion puree with glazed cherries, and the other with a pickled cherry quarter. Arrange two more pickled cherry quarters, some onion petals, some shaved scallions and a few strands of prosciutto around the plate to your liking. Scatter some pickled mustard seeds around the plate, and garnish with 3 small mizuna leaves.

Octopus and Stir-fried kale with black olive and golden raisin salsa.

oct1

Two of our main reasons for starting this blog were to find ways to challenge ourselves, and to cook with ingredients we haven’t used before. This week’s recipe certainly achieved those two goals! We were both a little scared of cooking octopus, but it turned out to be not very difficult and the results were delicious. This would be a great dinner party dish as you can do almost all of the work in advance and leave the octopus to marinate in the fridge overnight. This recipe is adapted from Ottolenghi and Scully’s Nopi cookbook, and like all of Ottolenghi’s recipes, the flavours of each component is perfect. We’ve never found kale particularly tasty, but this stir-fried kale is delicious and would work well as a side dish to any of your favourite mains. If the octopus challenge is too much for you, the salsa and kale would also work well with some fried fish fillets.

We took Ottolenghi’s advice and bought a frozen octopus, which we de-frosted before cooking. This helps to tenderise the meat and prevent it becoming chewy. If you buy a fresh octopus you could tenderise it by bashing it with a rolling pin, or by blanching the tentacles a few times in boiling water. We watched some helpful youtube videos on preparing the octopus (we recommend the videos from Sydney Fish Market for any kind of seafood preparation), as we were unsure if ours had been prepared or not. In the end all we had to do was cut out the eyes and we were ready to start cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen octopus, with head and tentacles (about 1.5kg)
  • 1 small celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 1 small fennel, trimmed and stalk removed, roughly chopped. Reserve the fronds for garnishing.
  • 1 small leek, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 500ml white wine
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp harissa
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt

Salsa:

  • 50g golden raisins
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced (110g)
  • 100g pitted kalamata olives, finely sliced into circles
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10g mint leaves

Kale:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 300g kale, stalks removed and discarded, roughly chopped
  • 80ml vegetable stock
  • 80ml white wine

Method:

  1. If you need to clean the octopus, cut the head from the body just below the eyes and discard the head. Remove the beak from the top of the tentacles by turning the tentacles inside out and pushing the beak through. Peel and discard any excess skin, leaving the tentacles intact and still held together at the top.
  2. Put the celery, fennel, leeks, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, white wine and 1 teaspoon of salt into a large deep pot. Add 1.2 litres of water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium low heat. Using a pair of tongs, plunge the whole octopus into the hot water for about 5 seconds. Lift out, then repeat this process twice more. You will see the tentacles beginning to curl up with each plunge. This will also prevent the skin from peeling during cooking. Return the octopus to the water and submerge completely. Cover with a cartouche (a round of baking paper the same size as the pot) and cover with a large plate to ensure the octopus remains submerged. Simmer over a medium heat for 40 to 50 minutes, until the octopus is cooked through. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the octopus, you will know it is cooked when the flesh is tender but retains a little bite.oct2
  3. Remove the octopus from the pot. Set it aside to cool and then transfer to the fridge for an hour or so, until chilled. You should now have about 650g of cooked octopus. Discard the stock and vegetables.
  4. Slice the octopus, leaving the tentacles untouched and cutting into the body to make 2cm thick slices. Place the octopus in a bowl with the olive oil, harissa and rose water. Stir to coat everything well, then refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. To make the salsa: place the raisins in a saucepan with 80ml of water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside for 1 hour. Drain any remaining liquid and place the raisins in a bowl with the rest of the salsa ingredients, except the mint. Add a grind of black pepper, mix well and set aside until ready to serve.
  6. To cook the kale: add the olive oil and butter to a frypan and place on a medium high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and cook until just brown, stirring constantly. Add the kale and keep stirring while you add the stock and wine. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and some black pepper to taste. Cooke for 3-4 minutes, until the kale has wilted. Drain the kale, shaking it in a colander to dry. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. Just before serving, place a griddle or frying pan over a high heat. Toss the octopus in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the griddle is smoking hot, add the octopus and grill for 1-2 minutes, turning it over halfway through. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan by working in batches if necessary. Once the octopus is charred and warmed through, transfer to a bowl and toss immediately in the lemon juice.
  8. Shred the mint and stir it through the salsa.
  9. To plate: place some of the kale in a small circle on each plate. Add two small circles of the salsa to each plate. Gently place a piece of octopus over each of the little piles of kale and salsa you have created. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds and some halved Kalamata olives (optional).

Boeuf Bourguignon

20180110_190602To start our journey, we wanted to cook some classic French cuisine, and decided to begin with possibly the most famous dish of all, Boeuf Bourguignon. We have adapted this recipe from the classic book Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisetta Bertholle and Simone Beck.

In keeping with our goal of using local produce, we have used wine sourced from our favourite winery, Tamburlaine. Their organic wine is produced in the Orange region, not far from Sydney. The recipe in Child/Bertholle/Beck suggests using a full-bodied, young red wine, and we thought that the full-bodied flavor of Tamburlaine’s 2016 Reserve Malbec would work well in this dish.

20180109_185030

Ingredients:

  • 180g speck (or bacon)
  • 35ml olive oil
  • 1.5kg stewing beef, cut into 5cm cubes (we used Rump Cap)
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium brown onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsp plain flour
  • 650ml Red Wine (see note above)
  • 2 to 3 cups Beef Stock
  • 15g tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

For the onions:

  • 20 small white onions (pickling onions), peeled and trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml Red Wine
  • Bouquet garni (4 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of thyme tied in cheesecloth)

For the mushrooms:

  • 500g button mushrooms, quartered.
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter
  • 3 tsp olive oil

To serve (optional):

  • Roasted dutch carrots, trimmed to retain 1cm of stalk.
  • Roasted baby potatoes, served with butter and parsley.
  • green beans, blanched.

 

Method:

  1. Remove the rind from the bacon and cut into lardons roughly 3.5cm x 0.5cm x 0.5cm20180110_130015
  2. Simmer the rind and the bacon for 10 minutes in 1.8 liters of water, then drain and dry.
  3. Dry the beef with paper towel (this will help it brown properly)
  4. Preheat oven to 230°C
  5. Using a cast-iron casserole (ours is 22cm x 28cm, 10cm deep), heat the oil over moderate heat and sauté the bacon until lightly brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  6. Heat the casserole until the fat is almost smoking, then sauté the beef in batches so as not to crowd the pan, until all the beef is browned on all sides. Remove the beef as each batch is browned and set aside with the bacon.
  7. In the same pan and fat, sauté the vegetables.
  8. Drain the fat and return the bacon and beef to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the flour over the ingredients, and toss to combine.
  9. Set the uncovered casserole in the preheated oven for 4 minutes, then remove and stir. Return to the oven and cook for another 4 minutes. This cooks the flour and gives the beef a crusty coat.
  10. Remove the casserole and reduce heat to 160°C
  11. Add 650ml of red wine and enough beef stock to just cover the beef, then add tomato paste ,garlic, herbs and the bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, then cover and set in the oven. Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours, making sure the liquid simmers very slowly. The meat is done when it can be pierced easily with a fork.
  12. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. For the onions, bring the butter and oil to a bubble in a small pan, then sauté the onions over a medium heat, stirring so that the onions will brown evenly. Be careful to keep the onions intact.20180110_160326
  13. Add 100ml of red wine, the bouquet garni and season to taste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender with an intact shape. Remove the bouquet garni and set aside.
  14. For the mushrooms, add the butter and oil to a pan over high heat. After the butter has foamed and begun to subside, add the mushrooms and stir for 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms have browned lightly, remove from the heat and set aside.
  15. When the beef is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Add the cooked onions and mushrooms to the casserole.
  16. Skim fat off the sauce, and simmer lightly. You should have a sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thick, add some extra stock, and if too thin, continue to reduce the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
  17. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, carefully stirring occasionally to cover the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

To serve:

  1. Slice the onions in half, and take apart the layers of onion.
  2. Place three pieces of beef on each plate, top with several mushrooms and a good ladle full of sauce.
  3. Scatter over a few slices of onion and roasted dutch carrots (optional).
  4. Serve with roasted baby potatoes and blanched green beans on the side (optional).