Crispy Chilli Kale with Roasted garlic, Sweet Soy & White Pepper

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Autumn is an awesome time for produce and there is some seriously tasty stuff around at this time of year. This is a bloody easy recipe which shows off how tasty kale can be, with little to no work. Put it in a soup, stir fry, pickle it, steam it, pan fry it, deep-fry it or as I do in this recipe roast it, hell you can pretty much do anything with it if you like but I wouldn’t eat it raw, unless you’re into that kind of thing? People always say that you must wait until after the first frost to allow kale to sweeten naturally and be at its best. To this I agree, but to waiting, most certainly not! If you buy it in and it’s bitter, stick it in the freezer for a few hours, this helps sweeten and soften the leaves making them delicious to eat and easier to cook, but still don’t eat it raw even when frozen yeah!

Serves 2-3 VE

6 cloves garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons coriander roots, washed and chopped (leave these out if you can’t find them they are just an added bonus)

A small pinch coarse sea salt

100ml light Soy Sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli powder

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

500g, Kale thick stems removed and discarded, then ripped into roughly 4cm by 8cm pieces

60ml olive oil

1 teaspoon white peppercorns, toasted and spice ground to a fine powder

In a pestle and mortar or a food processor add the peeled garlic and the coriander roots and pound to a paste, using a little malden sea salt as an abrasive if needed. Next add all the other ingredients except the Kale and loosely combine. Then toss this through the Kale making sure to coat every single piece.

Meanwhile preheat an oven to 180 degrees centigrade and lay these out on large baking trays trying not to overlap too much to allow for even cooking within the oven. Place in the oven and check every few minutes until it is crisp and ready to eat, it usually takes around 10 minutes, depending on your oven. Do make sure to keep checking it regularly as if it is left for too long it will turn brown and taste bitter. The garlic should begin to cook with the leaves and fill the kitchen with the smell of roast garlic, most definitely one of my favourite smells.

Once crispy drizzle with the remaining soy mix in the bowl, making sure to strain out any raw garlic that did not go into the oven, sprinkle with white pepper and serve immediately.

Cheers for reading,

Sebby Holmes  (Director / Head Chef Farang London Ltd)

Sticky pork belly with salted roast pumpkin and crispy shallots

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Photo taken by Tom Regester from Sebby Holmes, Cook Thai, published by Kyle Books 2017

Ever since I tasted sticky pork for the first time when I started my journey in Thai food at the begging bowl it quickly become one of my favourite things to eat. It’s rich, sweet, salty yet savoury flavours make this dish a perfect one to impress friends. Me and the team at Farang like to smoke the pumpkin over cherry wood, however a salt roast is a little easier to do at home without setting any alarms off or make your house smell like a bonfire. In Thailand this is often eaten with rice and green papaya salad but its great just as it is.

Serves 2-3 people

300g, pork belly, skin removed

150g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into roughly 2cm by 2cm chunks

5g coarse sea salt

2 fresh bay leaves

1-star anise

1 x 4cm long piece of cassia bark (cinnamon sticks will do)

300g palm sugar (dark soft brown sugar can also be used)

100ml oyster sauce

50ml dark soy sauce

100ml fish sauce (depends on pork fat content and taste)

1 pandan leaf, tied in a knot and torn to release flavour (this can be left out if you cannot find one)

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

4 banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

500ml, sunflower oil, for deep frying the shallots

Firstly get the pumpkin and the pork belly ready for cooking. In two separate boiling pots bring some salted water to the boil, once boiling turn down to a simmer and add the whole chunk of pork belly into one pan and the pumpkin to the other. Cook the pumpkin for around 4-5 minutes and then remove and refresh under cold water, it should be softened but still very firm and holding its shape, not mushy, at this stage sprinkle the pumpkin with the coarse sea salt. Carefully cook the pork belly for around 12-15 minutes making sure not to boil the water whilst the pork is in it, the slower it is boiled the more tender it will be, remove once the pork has cooked throughout and all impurities have been cooked out of it, leave aside to cool slightly. Once cool, chop the pork into roughly 2cm by 2cm chunks.

Next make the sauce. In a separate oven proof pan add the sugar, oyster sauce, dark soy, pandan leaf, cassia bark, star anise and 50ml of the fish sauce to start. Heat all of this together gently and once melted add the chopped pork belly and stir well, making sure to coat all of the pork belly. Next place some parchment paper over the top of the pork belly mix and place in an oven at 160 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes. At this stage remove from the oven and add the blanched pumpkin and delicately fold it into the mix making sure not to mas up any pork or pumpkin, then return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes. Check the pork before you remove from the oven it should be slightly caramelised and tender, the pumpkin should be soft and ready to serve at this point, be careful handling it as it will be soft to the touch.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a medium pan on a high heat (roughly 180 degrees centigrade), once this is hot place one piece of shallot into the oil to ensure it is not too hot, the shallot should bubble and fizz in a controlled manner, if it hisses then the oil is too hot so turn it off and allow to cool for a few minutes before going again. Fry the shallots until they are beginning to turn golden brown and then remove and strain on a clean tray with kitchen towel to get rid of all excess oil. Use a fork to pick apart the shallots as they tend to cook together in clumps, as the shallots cool they will crisp up and become perfect for garnish.

Serve the sticky pork and pumpkin straight out of the oven, topped with the sliced spring onions and the crispy shallots. For the best experience eat immediately and as suggested above eat with salad and some Thai sticky rice for mopping up all the rich juices.

Thanks for reading and I hope you like the recipe, please do let me know your comments if you cook it up, (unless you don’t like it of course, ha- you can keep that to yourself). Hopefully I’ll see you in Farang soon for a bite.

Cheers,

@sebbyholmes

(Head chef / Director of  Farang London, Highbury, London N5 2XE)

Smoked Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Sweet Basil, Coconut & Galangal Soup

Poached chicken, coconut & galingal soup (photo by Kaleem Hyder)

Photo from Farang by Kaleem Hyder

I have just spent the weekend in sunny Birmingham at the BBC Good Food Show cooking with the Thai Embassy on the Thai World Stage to help promote Thai produce and cuisine. I’ve never been to Birmingham before, although I have to say it felt like more like Kingston, Jamaica at 34 degrees- it’s been an absolute scorcher!

The show was a good crack actually, apart from it taking place at the NEC in Birmingham which has to be one of the most boring places on the planet- it reminded me of the film ‘The Truman Show’, where you feel you will walk through a door and hit a cardboard cut out of another door if you’re not careful. All the same the show was great and I’ve come back excited to get another recipe up on ‘Articuleat‘.

In this heat I wanted to cook something quick, effortless, light and tasty as fuck so I went for this soup. This soup can be made in many different variations, a few of which can be found in my book ‘Cook Thai‘ if you ever feel like giving them a go. It only takes a few bits and pieces and around 10-15 minutes to make and all of the ingredients can be found easily in most supermarkets these days. If you’re feeling really exotic throw in some king prawns to this soup too- awesome!

Ingredients Serves 2 / Vegetarian option

1 chicken breast, skin and fat removed, sliced into rough 2cm by 2cm pieces, directions for smoking in recipe  (do not use if vegetarian, ha)

1/4 butternut squash, roughly 50g, peeled and sliced into rough 2cm by 2 cm pieces (pumpkin can be used instead)

8 Thai Shallots, peeled and slightly bruised in a pestle

2 green birds eye chillies, bruised in a pestle

2 kaffir lime leaves, torn slightly

2 sticks lemongrass, chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

10g, galangal, peeled and chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

2 coriander roots, cleaned, washed and bruised in a pestle

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (soy sauce if vegetarian)

200ml chicken stock (vegetable stock if vegetarian)

300ml coconut cream

10g, Thai sweet basil (normal basil will do)

50g, assorted wild mushrooms (I use enoki, shittaki and emoji mushrooms)

1 lime, juiced

Method

Before I get started with the recipe I’ll delve a little into explaining how to smoke the chicken. In this recipe I cold smoke my chicken which can be done very easily when you’re at home. This means that I will be adding the smoke flavour from the wood to the meat, without cooking it. All you need is some smoking wood chips, a pan, a colander and some cling film. Place a small handful of wood chips into the pan and heat the pan up until the wood chips set alight within the pan. Once this happens put the flames out with a little water, this will cause the chips to smoke heavily. at this stage place the chicken in the colander and then put the colander upon the smoking pan, then quickly cling film the whole thing so it is air tight with no smoke leaving the cling film. This will leave the chicken inside a smoke vacuum, with minimal oxygen so the wood chips will not be hot but will smoke a lot. If this is left untouched for 20 minutes the smokey flavour would have penetrated the meat, the longer you leave it the smokier the flavour.

Firstly, in a small sauce pan bring a little water to the boil and then submerge the squash into it, then turn down to a simmer, continue to gently cook for around 3-4 minutes until soft but not quite cooked and then remove from the heat and put aside for a few minutes (at this stage you might as well leave it in the hot water as we are to use it straight away).

Next place the chicken stock, 100ml of the coconut cream, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, sea salt, galangal, coriander roots, birds eye chillies, lemongrass, lime leaves, butternut squash and Thai shallots and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the chicken pieces and continue to cook gently for 4-5 minutes until all chicken is cooked and all vegetables have softened with flavours infused.

Finish by adding the rest of the coconut cream and the sweet basil and the dishing out into bowls. Lastly check the seasoning, it should be creamy, salty, a little spicy, aromatic with a fresh hint of lime at the end, adjust if needs be.

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

 

See you next time,

Cheers,

Sebbyholmes

 

Sticky Mango & Condensed Milk Rice with Salted Black Sesame

Mango sticky with condensed milk & salted black sesame seeds #1 (photo by Kaleem Hyder)

Photograph taken by Kaleem Hyder @ka1eem

The first time I ever tried a sticky mango, otherwise known as ‘Khao Niaow Ma Muang’, if your Thai isn’t non-existent like mine, was in my early days working at The Begging Bowl in Peckham.  It’s the type of thing that you put in your mouth and think “where the fuck has this been all my life? More please!”

 

For this reason, when making this dessert for friends be careful as I made it a few times at Brook Green Market and people seem to get addicted to it. At first I kept running out because all the other traders were eating it, then the more I made the more customers brought it, I literally couldn’t make enough. Its, got a naughty, rich sweetness to it from the coconut cream and condensed milk, topped with a seemingly healthy slice of fresh mango it couldn’t be more moreish.

I know a few of you might be trying to eat healthily after Christmas but I assure you won’t regret trying this one. If you are looking for a slightly healthier option just add more mango, that counts, right?

Now before I go any further I have a little late announcement to make for those of you that haven’t heard already. My restaurant concept ‘Farang London’ is now up and running and gearing up for taking residency around the Borough area later this year. In the meantime, we are hosting four course pop-ups at The San Daniele Highbury once a month, the next one is on the 31st January 2016 (book via info@faranglondon.co.uk). For current news, pictures and all that kind of stuff keep your eyes peeled for @farangLDN on Twitter and Instagram.

Find out a little more about it here in Ben Norum’s article from the London Evening Standard:

Now that’s enough about me here is the recipe. I hope to feed you in one way or another soon.

Ingredients

  • 200g, glutinous rice
  • 2 ripe mangoes (soft to the touch but not bruised)
  • 400ml coconut cream (tinned or follow recipe to make yourself on page?)
  • 50ml, condensed milk
  • 150g, caster sugar
  • 5g, toasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 pinch, table salt

Method (serves 4)

  • Wash the rice by putting it in a sieve and running cold water over it for 1 minute. Then soak the rice, submerged in warm water for 20 minutes. In the meantime, set up a rice steamer (a pan half filled with a colander on top can work, once water is boiling cling film the colander to create a steamer), when it is boiling turn down to a medium heat and add the soaked sticky rice and begin cooking. This should take around 20 to 25 minutes to cook throughout, be sure to check that the grains are soft throughout before removing from the steamer. Remember to check that the rice is not blocking all the holes in the steamer before you put the lid on otherwise the steam wont surround the rice and it will not cook.
  • In the meantime, heat the coconut cream, condensed milk and the caster sugar to a medium heat to melt sugar and loosen the coconut cream. At this stage its also delicious to add a bruised stick of lemongrass and allow to infuse. Once warm add the cooked sticky rice, combine using a whisk and cling film the container, the remaining heat in the container from the hot rice will aid the rice in absorbing the sweet coconut liquid. Leave this closed for at least 10 minutes to ensure it has come together, it should be a thick, rice pudding like consistency.
  • In the meantime, warm the black sesame seeds in the oven, not for long, around 2 minutes at 180 degrees, then remove and sprinkle with salt.
  • Lastly, peel the mangoes by firstly removing the skin. Next slice an end off to the stone so you can see the location of the flat sides of the stone with your eyes, imagine the mango has a flat, oval shaped disk in the middle of it, this is what you want to remove. Next carefully run a small knife along the flat sides of the mango, moving the mango with one hand as you gently guide the knife to separate the flesh from the stone with the other. Once you have all 4 halves, slice them into bite-sized chunks.
  • Plate up by placing the sticky rice in the center of the plate with the slice mango prettily place over it,  finish with a pinch of the salted black sesame seeds over the top.
Mango sticky with condensed milk & salted black sesame seeds (photo by Kaleem Hyder)

Photograph take by Kaleem Hyder @ka1eem

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

 

See you next time,

Cheers,

Sebbyholmes

 

Smokey, Spiced Red Curry Sausage, Lime Leaf & Wild Ginger with Gola Curry Dip

photograph taken by Zeren Wilson @bittenandwritten

photograph taken by Zeren Wilson @bittenandwritten

Did you know that every time a human being is born onto this planet, statistically three sausages are made! Scientists have coined it the ‘three baby sausage ratio’. Now that, is in absolutely no way true (well, I don’t think it is?), but at least I’ve caught your attention now.

This is an absolute banger of a dish, smokey, salty, spicy, sweet and sour, everything a person with a taste for Thai would expect in a meal. Now it’s a pretty lengthy dish to create given that two curry pastes need to be made in order to make the red curry for the sausage and the gola curry for a dip. However I have three reasons that may persuade you to go through the efforts to complete the whole recipe. Firstly, it tastes bloody great, secondly both the red and the gola paste can be kept in the fridge for use in an endless array of other delicious recipes, and lastly if you really can’t be arsed to cook the whole thing but Zeren’s lovely picture is making you want to eat it, just make the sausage and serve with some sweet chilli sauce and herbs, I guarantee you’ll still love it.

There are a couple more optional extras in this dish which you can avoid if you’d like to, as there are simple short cuts (although as you know if you read my blog, I always urge you to try the long way at least once, you can taste the difference). Firstly, I made my own coconut cream to use within the gola curry whilst cooking it out. This obviously takes a little longer than opening a tin, however the difference in taste is phenomenal, if you’ve never tried fresh coconut cream before, think about the difference in taste between a fresh pint of milk and those little sachets you get free in hotel rooms – you get the idea. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t all have the time to make our own coconut cream all the time, but it’s definitely worth having a mess around with.

Just bare in mind that in order to complete this recipe with success its important for you to purchase a heavy, granite pestle and mortar. When making any curry paste, the objective is to combine flavours with brute force. Therefore a heavy weighted pestle and mortar is the fastest way to victory. Trust me, I first brought a wooden one for use at home and I spent entire evenings bashing coriander root until my hands hurt and I swear it just got bigger. Right then lets get started.

Ingredients

(serves around 3/4 people, makes 12-15 sausages)

When weighing ingredients for these curry pastes I use a small cup (this holds roughly 300ml’s of liquid), this makes more than enough paste for this recipe, however its worth making a little more if you’re going to put in the effort to make it properly.

(for the red curry paste)

-5 cups, large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded

-6 cups, peeled garlic cloves

-6 cups, peeled banana shallots

-5 cups lemongrass, outer sheath’s remove, topped and tailed

-3 cups, peeled galangal

-2 cups, coriander root, cleaned

-1 cup, roasted gapi paste (fermented shrimp)

-45g, white pepper, toasted and spice ground to powder

-45g, coriander seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder

-45g, cumin seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder

-large pinch of coarse salt

(for the gola paste)

-1.5 cups,  large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded

-1/2 cup, cleaned coriander roots

-2.5 cups, peeled banana shallots

-2.5 cups, peeled garlic

-2.5 cups, peeled ginger

-2.5 cups, desiccated coconut

-1 cups, roasted peanuts

-large pinch of coarse salt

(for everything else)

-1kg, smoked pork belly mince, ask a butcher to make it roughly 20% fat, to 80% meat. If you cant get hold of smoked pork belly then just cold smoke it yourself in a closed barbecue. I will make sure to pu up a post explaining a few simple ways to do this over the next few weeks)

-Kaffir lime leaf, jullienned, finely chopped

-200ml, coconut cream

-50ml, vegetable stock

-150g, palm sugar (soft brown sugar will do)

-200ml, fish sauce

-100g, kra chi, wild ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

-a little cooking oil

-a few thai shallots, peeled and thinly sliced for garnish

-a few picked and washed coriander leaves for garnish

-a few semi chopped nuts for garnish

Method

  1. Firstly let’s make the coconut cream. Start by cracking the coconuts with a hammer and remove and discard the outer shell. This leaves you with the inner flesh of the coconut which has an inedible skin attached to it. Using a peeler remove this skin to leave you with only the fresh, white coconut flesh. Next put this flesh through a mincer, or grate it and add to the boiling water, combine thoroughly using a stick blender for around 5 minutes. Once combined filter the liquid from the flesh by ringing it out in some muslin, or a cloth. Once separated place the liquid in the fridge and leave to cool. As it cools the cream will separate from the water, the white cream on the top is what you want. Keep the coconut water as it can be used to let out curries and soups. Any leftover coconut cream can be boiled down until it splits (cracks); this can then be used as coconut oil (coconut crack) which we will talk about another time. Once finished take some of the grated coconut left behind and toast on a medium heat in the oven, until golden brown and crunchy.
  2. Secondly, lets get those curry pastes made. As i say the important thing is to have a heavy pestle and mortar. When making a curry paste, begin by pounding each ingredient individually, starting from the toughest, then remove from the pestle to clear way for the next ingredient. After they have all been individually pounded, add them all back into the pestle and pound until it resembles one paste, you may have to do this in a couple of batches so it fits easily into the pestle. pound in the order of dried chilli, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, shallot, garlic, coriander root, peanuts, coconut, gapi paste, using the salt as an abrasive throughout. This list includes ingredients from both pastes, but do remember to first complete the red paste, then put aside. Then complete the gola paste separately as they are two separate pastes.
  3. right so now we have our cream and pastes, the hard bit is complete, lets make the sausages. In a pan, gently melt 150ml of the fish sauce with 150g of the palm sugar, then put aside to cool. Next In a mixing bowl add the pork mince, fish sauce and palm sugar mix, 400g red curry paste, all the sliced wild ginger (kra chi) and mix well. Once mixed roll into sausage shapes using cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set shape (these can be as thin or fat as you like, its your dinner). once set in shape, poach the sausages in simmering water to a core temperature of around 64 degrees (medium rare), if you don’t like pink pork take it as far as you like, depends how much you trust the quality of the meat. Once these are poached either put them straight on a barbecue or grill and cook the outside until the whole sausage has gone a lovely golden brown colour with some char, or place them in an ice bath to cool quickly, then leave in the fridge for cooking at a later date (they also freeze well).
  4. In the meantime, cook out the gola dipping sauce. This curry is best cooked slow, over around 45 minutes, this way you can add depth and richness to the curry. To begin, pour roughly around 100ml cooking oil into a pan and heat to a medium/high temperature. Once hot add 300g of the gola paste to this oil, this should make a sizzling sounds as it touches the pan as we want to fry the paste. Keep the paste moving with a metal kitchen spoon, being sure to scrape anything that sticks to the bottom off quickly before it goes black. It is correct for this paste to stick a little more that usual as its packed full of peanuts and they are a bit of a bastard to fry. However, if you keep a watchful eye, and regular movement, you will be fine. After around 20 minutes the paste will begin to go a little darker, this is a sign that its ready to add palm sugar. Add the sugar and turn down the heat, keep stirring for around 5 minutes until the sugar is melted and beginning to caramalise, which will make the paste a little darker. Once melted add the remaining fish sauce to the, followed by all the coconut cream and stock, keep the paste simmering on a medium heat for another ten minutes and re-season if you feel it necessary, the gola should taste sweet, salty and mildly hot.
  5. To serve, place the gola in a bowl and top with semi chopped/pounded peanuts, sliced Thai shallots and coriander leaves. Pile sausages up next to sauce (with wooded skewers in if you want to make it finger food) and then eat.

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Cheers,

Sebbyholmes