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

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