Banana Jam with Peanut & Toasted Coconut Praline, Salted Coconut Cream and Lime

Banana Jam with Peanut & Toasted Coconut Praline, Salted Coconut Cream and LimeFunnily enough I got the inspiration to make this dish when I got chatting to a local Thai chef in Brixton. I was aimlessly walking around ‘Wing Tai’, one of my local oriental supermarkets. I was, as I find myself lots these days, lost in the weird and wonderful labyrinth of Asian produce; this must have been pretty obvious to the outside world as this guy felt the need to take time out of his own day and offer me a hand.

He asked, “What is it you’re looking for, what are you going to make?” to which I swiftly and unhelpfully replied “something that I have never made, seen, or heard of before”. To this I half expected him to instantly assume that I was a bit of a fruit loop and see himself off, however he asked, “Do you like Jam?” – “Yes” I replied (please don’t ask me to come for breakfast!!!). “Do you like bananas?” –umm… Yes” I replied (please, please, please don’t ask me to come for breakfast!!!), “how about banana jam?” – “few… I mean yes that sounds delicious”.

All jokes aside he was an extremely nice man, as he even wrote down a rough guide for me to come home and try (and if you’re reading this I would happily come for breakfast).

Now I have made many Jams in my time, however I have never heard of banana jam, this is why I thought it a perfect recipe to include on Articuleat. I love cooking things for the first time, not only do you learn a new recipe but, especially with Asian cuisine, you gain a wider perspective of certain ingredients. I have now been cooking Thai cuisine professionally for over a year and every day is a school day – exciting stuff. Saying this, I don’t think this dish could strictly be categorized as Asian (it’s more fusion), but it did find its way into my recipe book via a Thai chef and his mother’s recipe, so screw it – lets say it’s Asian.

After making this a few times I have changed the recipe slightly to ‘articuleatise’ it. He recommended using gelatin to set it (no thanks); I have used natural pectin as a setting agent. Pectin is a chemical found in fruits (predominantly apples), that can be used to set jams and jellies. As bananas contain such a small amount of pectin naturally, it is necessary to add a little more to guide it towards setting like a normal jam.

He also recommended serving it with tinned coconut cream, however here at Articuleat that just won’t do. For my recipe I have cracked and pressed my own coconut cream. This is a much lengthier process but the final product is in a league of its own. Any tinned coconut cream always has a certain aftertaste to it – this is all the preservatives that it is packed full of. If you ever find the time I recommend that you try cracking your own coconut cream.

Lastly I grated and toasted the remaining coconut flesh and included it in the peanut praline. This adds a little necessary texture to the dish. Although this is an unusual form to see these ingredients in, they compliment each other perfectly in this dish. The salted coconut cream balances out the softly sweet and sharp banana jam, all topped with a crunchy peanut praline and a squeeze of lime – perfect.

Apologies if any anonymous Thai chefs from around the Brixton area have suffered emotional trauma during the reading of this recipe – please do send me a complaint and I will reply as swiftly as possible.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for today – happy jamming.

Ingredients

(For the coconut cream)

-8 coconuts, cracked with a hammer and peeled to the flesh (if you want, drink the coconut water that is released when cracked – it’s very good for you)

-2litre, water, boiling

(For the praline)

-200g, white sugar

-100g, peanuts, toasted and semi-pounded in a pestle and mortar

-40ml, fresh lime juice

-20g, toasted coconut flesh (use coconut that has been cracked for cream)

(For the banana jam)

-1500g, ripe bananas, chopped into chunks

-60ml, fresh lime juice

-70g, unsalted butter

-1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

-1tbspn, pectin

-1000g, white sugar (light brown also works well)

(For the salted coconut cream)

-200ml, fresh coconut cream

-1tspn, white rice flour

-1 pinch Malden sea salt, crumbled as fine as possible

Method

  1. Firstly let’s make the coconut cream. Start by cracking the coconuts with a hammer and remove and discard of 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 make the peanut praline, this is a real simple one and only takes minutes to achieve.  Place the sugar and lime juice in a pan and melt on a medium heat, stirring constantly to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Once melted turn up the heat and continuously stir, until the mixture begins to darken and caramelise (around 3-4 minutes when boiling). Lastly add the peanuts and toasted coconut and pour onto a tray with parchment paper underneath, with a spoon spread the mixture as thin as possible and then leave in the fridge to set. Once solid, hit it with a rolling pin to break up into portion sized pieces.
  3. Now for the banana jam, you will find it much easier with a sugar/jam thermometer, however not to worry if not you will just have to keep a close eye out. Firstly add the bananas, lime juice, scraped vanilla seeds and the remaining pod and the butter to a non-stick pan. Combine as much as possible using a potato masher, cook out on a medium heat for around 7-8 minutes until the banana begins to break down and cook (keep it moving or it will stick). Next add the pectin to the sugar and combine, then pour this fast into the bananas and keep stirring. Boil to 104-105.5 degrees (jam setting temperature), if not using a thermometer then look for when the bubbles get larger, you can see the change in heat bubbles in the pan. Pour this straight in a sterelised jam jar or molds if you wish. The banana jam is great on toast or in natural yoghurt and keeps for around 5-6 months.
  4. Lastly make the salted coconut cream. Bring the cream to a simmer and then add the rice flour and whisk thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook out the flour for a minute or two, whisking constantly. Once the coconut cream has thickened add the pinch of salt and leave to one side to cool. To plate place the banana jam upon the coconut cream and top with some peanut praline, sprinkle with toasted coconut to finish – then enjoy.

Banana Jam with Peanut & Toasted Coconut Praline, Salted Coconut Cream and LimeThanks 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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

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Crispy Fried Coley Fish and Prawn Green Curry Noodles with Vegetables and Coconut Cream

Crispy Fried Coley Fish and Prawn Green Curry Noodles with Vegetables and Coconut CreamIf you’re anything like me you’re probably thinking ‘Coley! Why the hell is he using that?’ If you’re anything like me a day ago you’re probably thinking, ‘what the hell is a Coley fish?’ To answer both of our questions Coley is a type of Pollock, which is a member of the Cod family, most commonly sourced from the waters of the North Atlantic. With its white, flaky flesh and light, subtle flavour it’s a perfect ingredient for an Articuleat green curry – not to mention its amazing value for money.

For some reason this delicious, cheap fish has escaped my knowledge more than it has the fishing net, as I was led to believe from my local fish monger that it is an extremely popular fish. Well that explains it! I’ve obviously been walking around with my eyes shut for the past 23 years.

Green curry in Thailand is referred to as ‘kaeng khiao wan’, this essentially means sweet green curry (the spelling of this changes with many translations, this is down to the nature of Thai translation, as their words do not always exactly match ours meaning for meaning).

Traditionally a green curry is as hot as, or hotter than a red curry, with a sweet and salty balance. However, here at Articuleat I like to season my green curry using no palm sugar, I then let it out using a mixture of prawn stock and fresh coconut cream to create a naturally sweet and creamy curry consistency. By making a light prawn stock using the heads and shells of the prawns I can add a delicate, fishy sweetness to this curry which, for me, is a great way to eat it.

Now if you have never made a curry paste from scratch before you are in for a treat. Whatever anyone says I stand by the simple fact that a Thai curry paste made at home, in a pestle and mortar is a far superior product – once you get it right you will slap yourself for buying the preserved, old, flat pastes that can be found in major supermarkets. Get yourself to a good oriental supermarket (in London, Chinatown is a great location to shop the ingredients you’ll need) and you will find all the fresh, Asian produce you need to make an authentic curry paste.

If you would like to find out a little more about making your own curry pastes check out what Andy Oliver has to say about it – He has spent many years cooking and developing Thai cuisine and has a worthwhile perspective on making your own curry pastes.

Now making a good curry paste from scratch is no easy task and take my word for it, be careful. A few years ago if I was reading these words I wouldn’t have listened – but let me tell you now, a face full of pounded chillies is not an experience that I would wish upon even my worst enemies.

Making a paste involves a therapeutic process of pounding each ingredient to a smooth paste individually, then pounding them all together again to make the finished product. It’s a simple but lengthy process which adds a quality to the final product that can be tasted. It takes a lot of patience and an attitude to make things correctly and you will be chowing down on you very own fresh Thai green curry in no time. Right anyway, lets get cooking.

(Serves 2, takes 2-2 ½ hours with plenty of spare curry paste)

Ingredients

(For the green curry paste)

In order to make it a simple process to make in the kitchen I have measured the ingredients within the same sized mug. As long as the quantities are the same in comparison it will work fine.

– ½ mug, fresh birds eye chillies, stems removed

– ¼ mug, fresh long green chillies, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced,

– 1 ½ mugs, banana shallots, peeled, roughly chopped (use Thai shallots if possible)

– 1 ¼ mugs, peeled garlic

– 1 mug, peeled lemongrass, topped and tailed, outside shell removed, sliced into small chunks

– ¼ mug, galingale, peeled and cut into small chunks

– ¼ mug coriander roots, cleaned and finely sliced

– 4 chunks, fresh red turmeric, peeled (watch the hands, this stuff stains)

– 4 chunks, gra chi, peeled and roughly chopped

-1 tbsp, roasted gapi paste (fermented shrimp paste)

-1tbsp, whole white peppercorns, lightly toasted in dry pan

– 2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted in dry pan

– 2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted in dry pan

– 2 pieces, mace, lightly roasted in pan

– Malden sea salt

(For the Curry)

-3 small fillets of Coley fish, roughly 300g, 2 fillets left whole, 1 skinned and chopped into chunks

-200g, fresh prawns, heads, shells and shit sack removed (keep heads to one side to make stock with)

– 150g, thick rice noodles, cooked according to instructions on packet then refreshed in cold water

-80g, baby corn, sliced into thin roll-cuts

– 50g, white daikon, peeled and sliced into thin roll-cuts and braised in water until softened (about 5 minutes)

-3, fresh long red chillies, sliced into roll cuts

-3, fresh long green chillies, sliced into roll cuts

-50g, green beans, topped and tailed, cut into 2cm long chunks

-150g, green curry paste

– 300ml, prawn stock (made from prawn heads)

– 150ml, coconut oil (crack)

– 150ml, coconut cream

-3 pieces gra chi, peeled and thinly sliced

-60g, Thai basil, washed and picked

-60g, coriander, washed and picked

– Fish sauce, to taste

– A little cooking oil

– 1 cheek of lime, for garnish

-Malden sea salt

Method

  1. Firstly make the green curry paste. Using a pestle and mortar individually pound up all the fresh ingredients separately until they are combined into one complete paste. For example start with the lemongrass, as it is tough – chop it into small chunks to make it easier on yourself then pound using a pestle and mortar until all is mixed into one paste. Next pound the galangal, as it is also tough, using the same process, then the chillies, garlic etc. Once all are pounded individually, combine them in the pestle until one paste.
  2. Meanwhile toast the spices; however these all toast at different rates so start with the coriander seeds, moving constantly, as soon as they start to smoke a little add the mace and cumin. Keep moving these for one more minute and then add the whole white peppercorns and remove from the heat. The heat from the hot spices is enough to toast the white peppercorns, if they remain on the heat they will pop and explode. Once toasted, spice-grind these spices to a fine powder and pound them into your curry paste. Keep pestle and mortaring away until you are left with a slightly moist, slightly coarse paste, with no identifiable chunks of any ingredients (everything should be equally pounded into a paste – no lumps)
  3. Right now that’s the hard bit done, now onto the curry. Firstly get all the prawn heads that you collected and add them to 320ml of water. Bring this to the boil and then turn down to a simmer, make sure to skim the scum off the surface of the water, simmer for 20 minutes and then strain. Meanwhile heat the coconut oil in a wok, when bubbling, add the green curry paste and keep stirring regularly until paste begins to split like scrambled eggs – you will also notice that the smell of the ingredients changes from raw, to fragrant. At this point add a little fish sauce and allow to cook into the paste for one minute (don’t add too much as it is strong and you can always add, but never take away)
  4. Now it’s time to let the curry out. Add 200ml of the prawn stock and 100ml of the coconut cream, the daikon, green beans and baby corn. Stir to combine and then cover and bring to a simmer, cook out for around five minutes until all vegetables are cooked.
  5. Next drop in the skinless chunks of Coley fish, prawns and the noodles and carefully fold in, at this point the curry would have thickened a little, so finish off the remaining prawn stock and another 50ml of coconut cream. Cook out for two minutes until fish is cooked then add Thai basil, green and red chilli roll-cuts, fish sauce to taste and gra chi, fold these ingredients in carefully as you don’t want to destroy the fish.
  6. Meanwhile in a small frying pan heat a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil, Rub a pinch of Malden salt on either side of both whole Coley fillets, then place them skin side down in the hot pan. Cook for around 3 minutes on the skin side (until golden brown and crispy) and then finish under a grill for roughly 2 minutes, until fish is piping hot throughout with no clear flesh.
  7. Serve the curry in a bowl with the crispy pan-fried fillet on top to garnish (this gives a lovely crunchy texture to go with the otherwise soft green curry noodles). Finish the left over coconut cream by drizzling over the top, then garnish with coriander and a cheek of lime. The curry should be thick enough to coat the noodles, rich, creamy, salty, hot and fishy (the magic is in the balance).

I eat this with chopsticks, however traditionally this would be enjoyed with a fork and a spoon – enjoy it however you like.

Crispy Fried Coley Fish and Prawn Green Curry Noodles with Vegetables and Coconut CreamThanks 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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Tomato, Mascarpone & Chorizo Pureed with Chicken, Herb Potatoes and Butter Beans

Tomato, Mascarpone & Chorizo Pureed with Chicken, Herb Potatoes and Butter BeansFor the last few weeks I have been waking up with chorizo on the mind – Weird! I know, however with the recent heat wave it’s a necessary ingredient to compliment the sunshine (well – for me anyway).

I have had an incredibly busy few weeks at the begging bowl recently, so I apologise for my brief break in content. I sometimes wonder if I am working in a small Thai restaurant in Peckham, or cooking for tourists on the busy streets of Bangkok- where do all the people come from?

Anyway back to my dish. The chosen flavour combinations are that of a traditional Italian meal, fresh, vibrant and bloody tasty. The key to this dish is simple complexity, think about every cooking stage and ingredient as part of a story, which all result in a deliciously happy ending. Each process adds something to the dish which contributes to the tale.

I decided to use the natural fat from the chorizo to roast my tomatoes as the infusion of flavour acts as nothing but a benefit when pureeing the two with mascarpone. It is also a must to use vine cherry tomatoes as, when roasted the flesh steams within the skin creating a sharp, sweet flavour making them a perfect addition to this smoky, creamy purée. Another little trick to retain the strong flavour of the chorizo is to add it to a sizzling hot tray straight out the oven, this will cause the meat to instantly release its fat (a suspicion of oil can be coated around the chorizo to help it out, however the less olive oil the better – we want to taste the chorizo fat). Then place the tomatoes in, still attached to the vine, vine side down in the chorizo fat then roast. This adds an amazing zingy freshness to the dish which cannot be obtained through only using the tomato. If you have never done it before, (I hadn’t until recently) hold the vine to your nose and sniff – it has an amazing smell which you would not have expected from something so commonly discarded as waste.

This recipe consists of some simple elegant flavours that, to me have to be eaten in the sunshine. If you are not fortunate to find yourself in this position, then shut your eyes and allow the taste to whisk you away to somewhere hot (or just forget about that crap and enjoy your dinner). That’s enough from me for now so read on and I hope you enjoy my recipe, as always I love getting feedback so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or ask any questions.

(Serves 2, takes 30-40 minutes with spare herb oil)

Ingredients

-2 chicken breasts

-200g, chorizo, diced and lightly coated in olive oil

-250g, vine cherry tomatoes, on the vine

-60g, mascarpone cheese

-2 potatoes, diced into 1cm/1cm cubes

-25g, coriander, roughly chopped

-25g, mint, roughly chopped

-25g, basil, roughly chopped

-70g, white butter beans

– 1 garlic clove, peeled

-100ml, olive oil

-1 pinch Maldon sea salt

-1 pinch cracked black peppercorns

-20g, unsalted butter

Method

1. Firstly place a pyrex tray in a hot oven, pre-heated to 200 degrees. When hot, carefully remove from the oven and place the chorizo in the hot tray, then return to the oven for 2 minutes (this will render the fat from the chorizo so less oil can be used Remove from the oven once more and place the tomatoes into the hot fat, vine side down (to infuse the mixture with the freshness of the tomato vine). Lastly place the chicken breasts into the hot fat, cover with tin foil and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Lastly remove one last time, flip the chicken breasts, remove the tin foil and return to the oven for 5 minutes – check the chicken is piping hot throughout before serving.

2. Meanwhile make the herb potatoes. Bring a pan of water with a pinch of salt to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Place the diced potatoes in the water to blanch for 3 minutes, remove from the heat and refresh in cold water to stop the cooking process. Next heat a little oil on a high heat in a large base, non-stick frying pan, when hot add the potatoes and continue to move regularly until they start to turn golden brown (roughly 8-10 minutes). Once they are starting to colour toss with the butter, mint and basil until all potatoes are coated. Remove from heat.

3. For this dish the butter beans are to be cooked in coriander oil as the two flavours infuse in the pan, creating a great contribution to this dish. In a food processor add the salt, pepper, coriander, garlic 100ml olive oil the blitz until combine into a single mixture. Then heat a little of the oil (save some for a garnish) on a medium heat, not high or you will brown the coriander, when hot coat the butter beans in the herb oil in the pan then remove.

4. Lastly, make the puree. Take the tomatoes off the vine and add to a food processor with the chorizo and the mascarpone, then combine to a puree. The result will be a sweet, smoky, salty, creamy puree that is irresistible. Once complete place the puree on a plate with the herb potatoes and butter beans on top. Finish with the chicken breast, a good dollop of herb oil and some fresh herb leaves as a garnish – then enjoy.

Tomato, Mascarpone & Chorizo Pureed with Chicken, Herb Potatoes and Butter BeansThanks 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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Smooth Stir-Fried Chicken, Chilli jam and Green Mango Hot/Cold Salad

Smooth Stir-Fried Chicken, Chilli jam and Green Mango Hot/Cold SaladSo far, a few of my recipes have been inspired by my time at the begging bowl, as I have just reached the end of a seventy hour week in the kitchen, this week is no exception.

Despite being worked like a dog I remained loyal to Articuleat and squeezed in a cheeky recipe at work. This is quite an intricate dish to pull off but well worth the effort. I have always liked the idea of a hot and cold stir-fried salad, so I created this dish with a little inspiration from this thought.

In Thailand there are two types of chilli jam that are commonly eaten; grilled or deep-fried. For this dish I have chosen the latter, as it works as a rich base for this amazing salad.

Deep-fried chilli jam is an amazing product, it can be let down with stock or coconut cream to create rich salad dressings, glazes and sauces – however, it is not the easiest thing to make. It involves a lengthy, yet simple process of slicing, frying, drying and then combining with palm sugar, tamarind and fish sauce. To get the best results you need to cook the deep-fries individually as each vegetable cooks at a different rate.

The key to making an excellent deep-fried chilli jam comes in the consistency of the deep-fried ingredients. Every ingredient needs to be sliced wafer thin in order for them to cook at an even rate. A light golden crisp on the garlic, shallots, ginger, chillies and prawns comes together to create a rich, smoky, spicy base for the chilli jam. It is incredibly important to have a sharp knife in order to slice these ingredients thin enough. Slicing and cooking deep fries is a difficult game to get right as each stage takes a long time. Bear in mind that it can also go epically wrong at any moment if the oil gets too hot. – The last thing that you want is to burn your deep-fries (or fry your hands).

Although it takes a little effort to get the chilli jam made, you will certainly be pleased to have it in the kitchen. The palm sugar and oil act as a preservative, giving the jam a longer shelf life.

Many of the strange ingredients that are included in this recipe can be sourced from oriental supermarkets. The majority can also be found in most large supermarkets. Here at Articuleat I like to keep you on your toes, trust me once you have tried this dish you will run a marathon to have it on your plate again.

Anyway that’s enough from me for today and I hope you enjoy the recipe.

(Serves 2, takes 1 ½ hours, with plenty of spare jam)

Ingredients

(For the chilli jam)

-200g banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

-200g garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

-1 knob of ginger, peeled and julienned

-100g dried long red chillies

-50g, dried prawns

-2 tspn gapi paste (fermented shrimp paste), roasted in tin foil on low heat until smelly

-60g palm sugar, roughly chopped

-100ml fish sauce

-100ml tamarind water (buy in packs and soak yourself)

-1 litre cooking oil

(For the stir-fry salad)

-2 chicken breasts, roughly chopped

-40g green beans, topped & tailed, halfed

-40g basil, washed and picked

-40g green mango, peeled and julienned

-40g ong choi (morning glory), roughly chopped

-2 pinch deep-fried garlic

-2 pinch deep-fried shallot

-20g coriander, washed and picked

-200ml chicken stock

-1 fresh long red chilli, thinly sliced into chilli’os

-1 pinch caster sugar

-1 pinch ground white peppercorns

Method

  1. Begin by deep-frying your chilli jam ingredients. Begin with the shallots as these have the highest moister content and therefore take the longest to complete. To do this, heat the oil to a high heat in a large wok (to test that the oil is hot enough for frying drop a few shallots into the oil – if they float and bubble it is ready). Using a fork stir the shallots in the oil making sure they cook evenly. When they are golden brown remove from the hot oil and drain on kitchen paper. To ensure no deep-fries are stuck together, pick them apart using two forks. Repeat this process with the garlic, ginger, dried prawns and the dried red chillies (bare in mind that the red chillies and prawns take less time as they have a low moister content).
  2. Once all the deep-fries are cooked take a pinch of crispy garlic and shallots and put them to one side for a garnish later. Using a food processor combine all the deep-fried ingredients with half the oil that was used for cooking (be sure to let the oil cool before using). Once combined place on a low heat and add the palm sugar and fish sauce. Keep stirring until the sugar caramelises, causing the jam to thicken and clump together. Lastly remove and add the tamarind water – the mixture should be sweet, salty, sour and hot, the magic is in the balance.
  3. Now that the chilli jam is made its time for the easy bit, making the stir-fry. In a hot wok heat a little of the excess oil from deep-frying (this can be kept as fragrant oil to cook with in the future). Throw in the chicken and wok until browned and hot throughout. Next throw in the green beans and morning glory and toss in the juices, then add the chicken stock. Once hot, add a heaped tablespoon of the fried chilli jam and toss – once combined, this will create a thick, flavoursome sauce that coats the stir-fry. Finish by adding the caster sugar and white pepper, then remove from the heat.
  4. Now for the cold ingredients. Toss through the basil, coriander and fresh red chilli and place on a plate. Finally garnish with the green mango, a little deep-fried shallot and garlic, then enjoy.

Smooth Stir-Fried Chicken, Chilli jam and Green Mango Hot/Cold SaladThanks 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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & Coriander

Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & CorianderIf I was told that the world will end tomorrow I would have one thing on my mind, “shit! What am I going to eat for dinner?” One of the ingredients racing through my mind that had to be eaten one more time would be sticky pork ribs. Pork being the most widely eaten meat in the world, I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking this recipe is worthy of a last supper.

I happened to have a little spare kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy) leftover from a previous recipe, so I used it as a base for my rib marinade. Lemongrass, fresh chillies, white peppercorns and kaffir lime leaf all come together to make this marinade a Thai sensation.  The inclusion of all these typically Thai ingredients gives the rib meat a flavour balance consisting of sweet, salty and hot that is to die for – if you are anything like me and my flat mate you will keep eating until it hurts.

Now first things first, what are all the different cuts of meat that come from a pork rib? If you are anything like me you probably assume that a pork rib is a pork rib, which change in size as they follow the spine. However this is just a milestone in the labyrinth that is pork rib cuts. So let me squeeze it into a nutshell for you so we all have a clearer understanding for the future.

Right, so pigs have fourteen rib bones attached to their spine, which most popularly are split into four cuts of meat; baby-back ribs, spare ribs, St Louis cut ribs (spare baby-back ribs) and rib tips.

Starting from the top are the baby-backs, closest to the back bone. These are distinguishable by their curved shape and small bone. The meat found at the top of these ribs is said to be the most tender. As you move further down the spine the ribs become larger, flatter and wider with more meat between each rib – these are known as the spare ribs. There are endless ways to order this cut of meat e.g. 3 & up, 4 & over, this is just butcher slang for the weight of a cut of spare ribs (you still with me?).

We then come to the spare baby-back ribs. These are not the same as baby back ribs, nor do they necessarily come from young tender pigs. These are spare ribs made smaller by removing the rib tips (which can be eaten as small, roughly three centimeter long bones). These are more commonly known as St. Louis cut ribs, nonetheless some butchers call them baby spareribs to capitalise on the popularity of baby back ribs. Anyway lecture over and hopefully, as I did, we have all learned something new about pork ribs.

For this dish I used a whole rack of pork ribs straight from the abattoir for me and my flat mate to pig out on (excuse the pun). Now the meat from a rib is subject to lots of movement during life, as a result of the animal breathing. For this reason if you throw them straight onto a barbecue, eating them will resemble chewing the grip off of a tennis racket. Unless this is your thing? We will try and avoid this by cooking the ribs low and slow until they are tender enough to melt in your mouth.

That’s enough from me for today so get stuck in and enjoy your dinner.

(Serves 2-3 people, takes 3 hours with minimal effort)

Ingredients

-1 rack, pork ribs

-300ml, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy) found in most oriental supermarkets and large supermarkets).

-1 stick, lemongrass, sliced wafer thin

-2 fresh, long red chillies, thinly sliced

-2 fresh long green chillies, thinly sliced

– 1 fresh birds eye chilli, thinly sliced

-2 kaffir lime leaf, thinly sliced, stems removed

– 2 tbsp, white peppercorns, spice grinded or pestle and mortared to a powder

-2tbsp, cumin seeds, spice grinded or pestle and mortared to a powder

-1 fresh lime

-1 handful (roughly 75g) coriander, washed and picked

Method

  1. This is the beauty of cooking ribs in this way, it takes minutes to throw together so all you have to do is wait for the magic to happen.  Firstly pre heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats, make the marinade by combining the kecap manis, lemongrass, kaffir lime, chillies, cumin and white peppercorns into one mixture.
  2. Next coat the ribs in the marinade, using your hands to rub all the meat with the mixture. Now at this stage if you are prepared the meat can be left in the fridge (ideally for 6 hours) to marinate. However if you are hungry, cover them in tin foil and put them straight in the oven, cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  3. If you are barbecuing, the ribs can be taken straight out of the oven and placed on the barbecue grill to colour, basting regularly with the leftover marinade. If not, place the ribs on a plate and garnish with lime wedges and coriander. These ribs are great served with some steamed jasmine rice.

Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & CorianderThanks 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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Barbecue is one of the most commonly eaten sauces on the planet! This is in no way true but hopefully it got your attention. Since my childhood I have always had an insatiable thirst for barbecue sauce; so I figured it’s time for it’s debut appearance within Articuleat’ s early posts, so this one’s  for those of you that share my love for this fabulous condiment.

There are as many ways to make barbecue sauce as there are recipes to cook using it, however after much (and much, much more) experimentation this is my favourite so far. I found that lots of people use tomato ketchup as a base for there sauce to give it the correct flavour balance and consistency. However, here at Articuleat that just won’t do – I created this recipe using Indonesian sweet soy sauce (known as kecap manis) as the base for my sauce. Kecap manis can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets.

For this recipe I have kept the barbeque sauce mild to not add any extra spice to the chestnut mushrooms. If you are into your heat however, do not be afraid to add a little chilli powder, or extra peppercorns to my recipe. The key to this sauce is in the balance; sweet, salty, sour and hot all play elements in making this sauce one to write home about.

The sticky and rich consistency is a perfect partner to some chestnut mushrooms lightly fried in herb oil. Despite this the BBQ season is upon us so why listen to me – why not marinate some meat in this sauce and throw it on the barbeque?

(serves 2, takes 1 hour)

Ingredients

(for the barbeque sauce)

-100ml, kecap manis, sweet soy (can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets)

-20ml, balsamic vinegar

-20ml, Worcestershire sauce

-60ml, light chicken stock

-1tsp, cumin seeds

1tsp, pink peppercorns

-1tsp, Chinese five spice

-1tsp, fennel seeds

-2 heaped tbsp, palm sugar, crushed (soft brown sugar will do)

-1 white onion, finely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

-1 whole red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

(for the herb spiced mushrooms)

-2, whole chicken breasts, boneless

-100g, chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced

-1 handful (roughly 70g), parsley, finely chopped

-100ml, olive oil

-1 whole red chilli, finely sliced

-1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  1. Firstly pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats lets get the barbeque sauce ready – begin by toasting the pink peppercorns, cumin and fennel seeds together in a dry pan. Keep these moving in a hot pan until you see a little smoke, then remove from the hot pan and spice grind to one powder (or use a pestle and mortar).
  2. Next fry the garlic, onion and red chilli in a pan with a little oil until golden brown and crispy (not burned or it will taste bitter). Once ready add the kecap manis, light chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and palm sugar (soft brown sugar) and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the spice grinded dried spices along with the Chinese five spice and whisk to combine, simmer to infuse for 2-3 minutes then remove and cool. Finish the sauce by combining to one smooth mixture in a food processor (should be a dark, smooth, rich pourable consistency)
  3. Now that the magic is ready get the hunters chicken in the oven. Using tin foil, individually coat each chicken breast in barbeque sauce and wrap tightly within the foil (if you have time marinate the meat in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight), then place on a tray and put on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Ensure that chicken is piping hot throughout before serving, to check poke the end of a spoon into the middle and leave for a few seconds, remove and place the spoon on your lip – if it hurts it’s ready (obviously be carful).
  4. Lastly let’s make the herb spiced mushrooms. Bring a little pan of water to the boil and drop in the chopped parsley for 20 seconds, remove and refresh under cold water. Dry using a tea towel then combine the oil, parsley, garlic and chilli in a food processor until mixture is combined (should be bright green). Once combined heat this herb oil on a medium heat until hot, then add the chestnut mushrooms making sure to coat all of them in the hot oil. Stir these regularly for 6-8 minutes until softened
    and cooked.
  5. Serve the hunters chicken upon the chestnut mushrooms and garnish with a little parsley if you’re looking to impress.

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut MushroomsThanks 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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Fresh Strawberry and Mint Summer Creams

Fresh Strawberry and Mint Summer Creams

Hi everyone and welcome to my second Articuleat blog post. After the recent spell of sunshine; accompanied hand in hand by some incredibly busy days in the begging bowl kitchen, I thought the moment called to make something homely to eat.

Mint – strawberries – cream, now that’s a British flavour combination for the gods. It’s a great time to be using fresh mint as, although available all year round, it’s fuller in flavour during the warmer months. Some also say that the herb’s antibacterial qualities are heightened during the summer season (that’s enough to win me) so get stuck in.

Since we are getting all scientific it’s also worth mentioning that strawberries are currently in season and rich in nitrate, this can increase the blood flow, giving your body a head start when you exercise.

So anyway that’s enough from me and hopefully I have succeeded in making you feel less guilty when divulging in this smooth, sweet, creamy dessert. Now you are aware of the health benefits of a few of the ingredients, you can forget about the cream, sugar and eggs? After all the summer is here for a good time, not a long time.

(serves 4, takes 1 – 1 ½ hours)

Ingredients

-450ml, double cream

-5 free-range eggs, yolks only

-75g, caster sugar

-400g, strawberries, roughly chopped

-20g, mint, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Firstly pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees. Place small dishes into a deep baking tray and pour hot water into the tray, until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the dishes (this is called a bain-marie). Place the bain-marie into the oven to pre-heat.
  2. Meanwhile place the sugar and the strawberries in a pan with a dash of water (1tbspn) and place onto a high heat. Continue to stir this regularly until the strawberries and sugar have combined to make one mixture (essentially a coolè). Once combined put aside to cool until room temperature.
  3. Once cool beat this with the egg yolks until all is combined in a large mixing bowl. Next pour the cream into a heavy bottomed pan and bring to a simmer on a medium heat (be sure not to boil it). Once simmering, remove from the heat and slowly whisk into the cold strawberry and sugar mixture (it is important to make sure the strawberry mixture is cold or it will scramble the eggs – unless strawberry scrambled eggs is your thing?).
  4. Next fold in the chopped mint and pour the summer creams into the small dishes (bain-marie) for about 30-35 minutes, until set firm but still with a slight wobble. Once ready remove from the oven and either serve immediately or place in the fridge to be enjoyed another time.
  5. Lovely served as a dessert or accompanied by some fresh mint tea. Garnish with more fresh strawberries and a few mint sprigs and enjoy.

Fresh Strawberry and Mint Summer Creams

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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Chilli & Lime Salmon, Sour Fruit & herb Salad topped with Soy Tempura battered Watercress

Chilli & Lime Salmon, Sour Fruit & herb Salad topped with Soy Tempura battered Watercress This fresh, zingy salad is a perfect dish to compliment the sun (if you are lucky enough to find yourself near any? Britain it seems, is not far off hosting a double – winter this year). By coating the watercress in a soy tempura batter and shallow frying in olive oil it adds a crispy texture to this great dish. The salad demonstrates a delicious balance of flavour and texture – a must try for any food lover.

The strong flavour of the dressing also compliments rice if you are looking to bulk the meal out a little. Try accompanied with some steamed Jasmine rice for more of a fill.

(Serves 2, takes 15 – 20 minutes)

Ingredients

(For salad)

-Watercress (this dish was designed for the watercress recipe club competition –take a look)

-25g picked mint leaves.

-100g sweet corn.

-25g picked curly leaf parsley.

-1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced.

-1 green mango, stone out, peeled, chiffonaded.

-1 mandarin (clementine will do), peeled and split into segments.

-2 fillets (roughly 400g) Salmon, Skinned but keep skin for garnish, chopped into 2x2cm chunks.

2 tbs fish sauce (to marinate the salmon skin).

-1 liter olive oil (for shallow frying).

(For tempura batter)

-1 egg.

– 100g plain flour, sifted.

-30g tapioca flour (rice flour or corn flour will do).

-240ml icy cold water.

-1 tablespoon soy sauce.

(For dressing)

-5 large red chillies, de-seeded & thinly sliced.

-2 limes, juiced.

-2 mandarins, juiced.

-2 tbs fish sauce.

-1 small pinch salt .

-3 pinches caster sugar.

Chilli & Lime Salmon, Sour Fruit & herb Salad topped with Soy Tempura battered Watercress

Method

  1. Firstly make the tempura watercress;

Beat the egg and add the cold water, beating until the mixture is light then add the soy. Mix the flour and the tapioca flour together then sift the flours into the egg mixture. Stir it all together but do not over mix.

Next place the oil in a deep wok or pan on a high heat. Individually dip the watercress into the batter and fry for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown (or they will stick together, turn the pieces once as they fry. When ready remove from hot oil using tongs and drain on paper towels.

2.Next cook the salmon;

Firstly soak the salmon skin in fish sauce then drop into the hot oil and fry for around 30 seconds, remove using tongs and drain on towels. Lastly carefully drop the salmon chunks into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes, until they are golden brown on the outside and moist inside. When ready remove and drain on paper towels.

Chilli & Lime Salmon, Sour Fruit & herb Salad topped with Soy Tempura battered Watercress

3. Now for the tricky bit – the dressing;

Using a pestle and mortar, pound the sliced chillies with a small pinch of salt into a smooth paste (the salt acts as an abrasive, it is not for flavour). Next add the sugar and continue to pestle until combined to a smooth paste. Once achieved add the lime juice, mandarin juice and the fish sauce (the key to this dressing is in the balance. You may need to adjust these measurements slightly as strength and size of ingredients vary).

The dressing should be sweet (from the sugar and mandarin juice), salty (from the fish sauce), sour (from the lime juice) and a little hot from the chillies. The consistency should be thick enough to cling to the salad when coated.

4. Lastly, assemble the salad;

In a mixing bowl place the watercress, mint leaves, curly leaf parsley, red onion, sweet corn, green mango and mandarin segments. Place a fillet’s worth of salmon chunks into the bowl with this then poor a very generous amount of the dressing over the top. To complete, delicately fold the dressing into the ingredients making sure to not leave anything untouched, be sure to keep the salmon chunks in one piece.

5. All ready to plate up;

Carefully place a portion of the salmon salad in the center of a plate. Drizzle the excess dressing around the edge of the salad to emphasize that it is oozing with the fresh, flavorful dressing (make sure not to hide the salmon within the salad, show it off). Top with some large pieces of the tempura battered watercress and some of the crispy salmon skin.

Chilli & Lime Salmon, Sour Fruit & herb Salad topped with Soy Tempura battered Watercress

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.

Also if you enjoy this recipe it has been entered into the ‘Watercress’ recipe club competition. I would really appreciate if you had a look and gave it a like or a comment.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes