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,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Thai Shallot, Chive, Ginger & smoked Salmon Roti with Peppered Coconut Cream

Thai Shallot, Chive, Ginger & smoked Salmon Roti with Peppered Coconut CreamNow I have one guilty pleasure from when I was traveling around Thailand (and it’s not what you’re thinking!), condensed milk and banana roti. It’s such a simple but addictive dish, with a crispy, buttery roti dough, wrapped around a soft banana and drowned in condensed milk- it’s a fat man’s dream.

Anywhere you travel around Thailand you’re sure to bump into a roti stand. The Thai’s have truly mastered the art of quick, flavoursome and intricate street food. If you’re there and love food, I’m sure you won’t be able to help yourself to try as much as possible. However if you see a roti stand don’t hesitate! Run at it like a seagull that’s nicked your sandwich and grab the first one you can get your hands on. Once you’ve got one don’t stray too far, if you feel like another you may have gained too many pounds to run back.

Recently I have been doing a little research into the origins of the roti dough. Besides seeing it when I was out there, I have only seen it at work. Due to this I had assumed that it was a Thai dish, however (as per usual) I was wrong.

The Roti was first introduced into Thai culture via South Asian immigrants, who borrowed the dish from Indian cuisine. Roti’s were cheap to produce and delicious to eat, so they became common form on the streets. As time passed roti popularity continued to rise, so too did the amount of roti stools. Before you knew it the roti got to where it is today. You can find it on the streets, in malls and in homes, being cooked by everyone, everywhere. Now you understand why I say run if you see one, there will be others behind you. Dommy Gonzalez gives a great insight into how the roti has spread around America in his article from ‘LA Weekly’. This is further evidence of how this gem of a dish is rapidly expanding and occurring in cultures all around the globe.

Now this amazing little dish has not just expanded in terms of popularity. You can now find an endless array of delicious fillings and coatings, both sweet and savoury. From what began as just a simple condensed milk and sugar filling, has now evolved into bananas, strawberry jam, Italian Nutella and apparently you can even get pizza toppings (not that I have seen this with my own eyes). These days anything goes really so I figured I would share a recipe with you guys to have a go yourself.

Right! History lesson over, this now brings us to my dish. I was recently lucky enough to find myself on a long weekend in the Lake District. As soon as I had a free moment I had a sudden urge to make a roti – that’s normal, right? Anyway, so I rattled around in my head and decided that a savoury roti was the way forward. I didn’t think that a condensed milk and sugar roti was going to do me any favours this close to Christmas ( I’ve already told myself, I’m not getting fat until I’m at least 30).

So, savoury it was. I managed to get some smoked salmon fillets, which were bloody awesome so I used them. Whilst writing this I also realised that I haven’t once used smoked salmon on ‘Articuleat’! This just wont do, how have I gone through nearly a year without introducing this amazing product into my repertoire? Well today, this stops, ‘Articuleat’ has found a home for this lovely ingredient, and a pretty tasty one at that.

I decided to poach my smoked salmon fillets in fresh coconut cream and a little fish stock in order to heat the fish and create a delicious sauce.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any flowering chives for this recipe, however if I could I would have used them. The combination of coconut cream, chives and smoked salmon works really well with a crispy, buttery roti dough. You can buy coconut cream in tins, but if you’re feeling adventurous you can make it yourself. Fresh coconut cream is a far superior product to use if you have time, try it – you’ll love it. This is my version of this historical dish I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients

-5, Thai shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

-2, smoked salmon fillets, roughly 400g (if you can’t get your hands on these just use normal fillets with around 100g of sliced smoked salmon)

-2 spring onions, finely sliced

-2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

-3 coriander roots,cleaned, chopped and pounded in a pestle and mortar.

-20g, flowering chives, if you can’t get flowering chives then british chives are fine.

-4 coconuts (follow instructions to make coconut cream) or 400ml coconut cream

-200ml clear fish stock

-1tspn whole white peppercorns, toasted and ground in a pestle and mortar.

-1 large chunk of ginger, peeled and fine julienned

-50g clarified butter (for cooking the roti)

-1 1/2 tbspn thin soy sauce

(For the roti dough)

-250g, all plain flour, sieved

-1 large egg, beaten

-1 heaped tbspn coriander seeds, toasted and lightly bruised in a pestle and mortar)

– 2 tbspn unsalted butter, soft but not boiling

-1 pinch Maldon sea salt, crushed to fine powder

-1tbspn caster sugar

-200ml, warm water

-50ml milk

-olive oil for coating

Method (makes two large roti’s with a little spare dough)

1. Firstly make the roti dough. Dissolve sugar and salt in the water. Add milk, egg and melted butter. Beat the egg lightly. Add all the sieved flour and coriander seeds then Knead for around 10-15 minutes. The dough should be tacky but not sticking to the container or your hand. This dough is quite wet compared to regular bread dough. Once ready, lightly oil a bowl and place the dough upon it (it’s easier to just oil your hands at the stage), this ensures that the dough does not stick to the bowl during the resting process. Lastly cover the dough with cling film, be sure to have the cling film in direct contact with the dough to stop it crusting over, leave to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.

2. Next make the sauce, to make you own coconut cream follow my instructions from this previous recipe. Firstly fry the garlic, coriander root and Thai shallots in a little oil until golden brown and fragrant. When ready add the fish stock, half of the coconut cream and half of the ginger, add the white peppercorns, the soy and bring to a gentle simmer. Next place the salmon fillets gently into the simmer (and the sliced smoked salmon if using) for around five minutes, then carefully remove and place to one side. Finish the sauce by adding the rest of the ginger and coconut cream, chives and spring onion. Check seasoning, bare in mind that the smoked salmon adds salt. Bring this back to a simmer, but don’t boil or the coconut cream will split from the stock, a light split is fine.

3. Now for the fun bit, cooking the roti. If you’re feeling lucky then try the traditional method by slapping out the roti dough. Lightly oil a clean surface. Form a small ball by pulling a side of the dough mix and tucking it in the middle. Rotate and repeat the pulling and tucking until the ball is smooth. It should not take more than half a minute per ball. Finally, push the dough from the bottom through the space between your thumb and your index finger. The ball should be smooth and tight and around the size of a golf ball. Tuck the rest in and pinch it together. You’ll have enough spare dough to have a few attempts so don’t worry too much about not getting it right first time.

4. Once you have a portion sized ball place it on the oiled surface. Flatten it into a rough circular shape and then gently lift the closest side to you and drag towards you, lift quickly but delicately and slap back onto the surface (the elasticity and stickiness of the dough means that it doesn’t rip too easily and it stretches bigger as you drag it). Repeat this process until the dough is roughly 2-3mm thick (the thinner the better but don’t make it too hard on yourself to lift into the pan), a few holes are fine. Alternatively you can use a rolling pin. I have watched many chefs attempt this process and none, including myself got it perfect first time, so don’t worry if it all goes a little pear shaped, it will still taste amazing.

5. Meanwhile heat half the clarified butter in a large, flat frying pan to a medium heat (the butter needs to be really hot in order to crisp the dough, but not burned). Delicately lift the dough into the pan, If it sizzles you’re doing it right. Quickly place one of the salmon fillets in the center of the dough and using a holed spoon scoop some of the vegetables out of the sauce and place on top of the salmon (be careful not to put much sauce in the dough as it could make it go soggy). Fold the dough into a rectangle shape and then flip over, adding a little more butter if needed. Fry for roughly three minutes on each side until it is golden brown and crispy on both sides. Repeat this process with the other roti and then serve upon the sauce with a cheek of lemon.

This dough can be used for sweet and savoury roti’s so use it however you like. You can also cook the dough on its own and dip it into curries.

Thai Shallot, Chive, Ginger & smoked Salmon Roti with Peppered 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

Salted Five Spiced Sirloin with Turmeric Potatoes & Thai Shallot Gravy

Salted Five Spiced Sirloin with Turmeric Potatoes & Thai Shallot GravyAhrrr steak, steak, steak!  Aside from winning the lottery I can think of no better way to bring in the New Year. I know that I should probably be on a health spree after the recent Christmas break, but fuck that! I like steak, so I’m eating my way into 2014 in style.

Now it’s important to pick the right cut of meat when putting a dish together. I already know that I want a tender, succulent cut to accompany the rest of the dish. Now if you don’t have much knowledge of an animal you may find this part tricky, although these days the most popular cuts of meat are generally known. However there are so many cuts of beef to choose from, 18 common ones to be precise. Now I’m sure we both don’t have the time, or the patience for me to discuss every cut in this one post, but no worries if you continue to read ‘Articuleat‘, it’ will continue to teach.

For this dish I wanted a cut of beef that I could pan fry and finish in the oven, as my hunger did not allow me the luxury of time. This leaves me three ideal choices of meat to use; fillet, rump and sirloin. Now if I could afford it I would have them all on the same plate for three meals a day, everyday. However since I’m not rich and don’t plan on becoming a fat bastard until I’m at least 30, I need to pick one? The tenderest of all beef cuts is the fillet. Taken from underneath the sirloin section of the backbone, it gets almost no exercise, making it tender and flavoursome. Despite this I have chosen sirloin for this dish, just for personal preference.

The sirloin is a very tender joint located between the fore rib and the rump on the back of the carcass. When sold as a joint it may be either on the bone, or boned and rolled, with, or without the fillet. It can be sliced into steaks which are most commonly known as entrecote, sirloin and T-bone. This is cut across the sirloin and includes the bone and the larger porterhouse, which includes both sirloin and rib. This is a prime cut for roasting or grilling.

So anyway that’s your butchery lesson for the day, on to the rest of the dish. I love making five spice, although I use a few extra spices in my recipe, I suppose I should probably call it seven spice really? Oh well, math’s never was never my stronghold.

It’s a great product to make as it can either be toasted and spice ground to a powder, ideal for seasonings and sauces. Or the spices can be placed whole into sauces, gravies and soups. This delicate blend of spices is a perfect accompaniment to a sirloin steak. It has a light aromatic flavour when infused into the gravy; this contributes to the flavour of the steak, rather than overpowering it. A few of my spices are a little hard to get hold of in normal supermarkets so don’t worry too much; If you can’t find them all, I’m sure it will still taste great no matter what. If you are committed enough to find the spices most good oriental supermarkets, or spice shops will have them, or something similar- happy hunting. For this recipe I have ground some of the spices to coat the meat and the rest are infused into the gravy. Along with the natural sweetness of the Thai shallots the gravy is light and thin, more of an aromatic broth than a gravy.

Now for the potatoes I have a few things going on. Firstly I’ve made a paste using coriander root, garlic, Thai shallots and fresh red turmeric (any excuse to get the pestle and mortar out). This is then all pounded to a paste and fried until fragrant with the potatoes after they have been cooked (otherwise the paste will burn before the potatoes have been sautéed enough). The inclusion of red turmeric is for colour, rather than taste, although it does have a slight musky, bitter flavour. Fresh turmeric, like ginger is known as a rhizome (a thick underground stem, or root). Be careful when using as it stains your hands a yellow/orange colour. I’ve made this mistake a few times and ended up having to go out in public looking like some kind of umpa-lumpa, funny but not cool.

Anyway I wish you all a great new year and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 has to offer. This dish was a hell of a start so onwards and upwards. Thanks for giving me a read and I’ll see you soon.

Ingredients

– 100g, whole Thai shallots, peeled

-450g, beef sirloin, fat & skin removed and rolled into large sausage shape using cling film)

-1 1/2 tbspn, whole white peppercorns, toasted & 1/2 tbspn spice ground coarsely.

– A good glug of Kecap Manis, Indonesian sweet soy

– Olive oil, for frying

– 2 potatoes, peeled and evenly diced into 1cm by 1cm cubes (I prefer Maris piper for frying)

-2 Pik Kwan (Thai peppercorn), toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

-2tspn coriander seeds, toasted & bruised

-1/2 tspn cumin, toasted, 1/4 tspn spice ground to powder

– 2 star anise, toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

– 2 bay leaves, toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

-2 pieces, cassia bark, toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

-2, bird’s eye chillies

-2tbspn, red turmeric, peeled

-3 cloves garlic, peeled

-2tspn coriander roots, roughly chopped

-30g coriander leaves, washed and picked

-Malden sea salt

-20g, unsalted butter

-400ml, beef stock

-1tbspn, sesame oil

-2tbspn, oyster sauce

Method (serves 2 with spare five/seven spice)

1. Firstly combine the powdered star anise, cassia bark, bay leaves, Pik Kwan, white peppercorns and 1tbspn of the bruised coriander seeds. The rest of the whole toasted spices can be tied in some muslin to be used later in the gravy as a kind of bouquet garni.

2.  Next take the sirloin out of the fridge and coat in a little oil, Kecap Manis and a good pinch of Malden sea salt, set aside for a few minutes and allow to reach room temperature (this relaxes the meat in preparation for frying). Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade (150 for fan oven) Seal the meat in a pan briefly (1-2 minutes) to colour and hold in juices. When coloured, dust with the powdered five spice and then place in the oven. For this sized meat you’re looking at 12-15 minutes for rare, 15-18 for medium-rare and 20-25 for well done, allow to rest for 6-8 minutes once removed from oven.

3. Whilst the steak cooks add a little more oil to the steak pan and bring to a medium heat, fry all but 4 of the whole Thai shallots in the oil until caramelised and fragrant, then de-glaze the pan with the beef stock. Add the bouquet garni, sesame oil, oyster sauce and a pinch of salt then bring to the boil, when boiling turn down to a simmer.

4. Lastly make your turmeric potatoes. Firstly pound the coriander root, 4 Thai shallots, red turmeric, bird’s eye chillies and garlic to a coarse paste, use salt as an abrasive if necessary.  Blanch the potatoes in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, then refresh in cold water (this is just to soften them a little, not too cook them through). In a large, flat, non-stick frying pan heat a little olive oil. Fry the potatoes on a high heat, tossing regularly to get even colour on all sides of the diced potatoes. When nearly cooked throughout (around 6-8 minutes) add the butter and the paste and cook until fragrant and golden brown (around 2 minutes). When cooked remove from the heat and toss through a pinch of salt and the coriander leaves. Lastly discard the bouquet garni from the gravy then congratulations- you can eat.

Salted Five Spiced Sirloin with Turmeric Potatoes & Thai Shallot GravyThanks 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