Sunday, 30 September 2007

Chai tea creams with sesame praline

These delicate tea scented creams looked lovely and tasted even better. I was going to call them English tea custards, but upon eating decided that they should be renamed chai creams because of the spicy flavour from the anise.

Chai Tea Creams (original recipe by Kiriel)

1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 star anise
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 english breakfast tea bags
1 & 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
3 egg yolks

Put all the ingredients except for the egg yolks in a pot and heat gently, allowing the spices to steep and brown sugar to dissolve.

Whisk the egg yolks until smooth, and then whisk into the cream. Pour into ramekins. Place the ramekins in a deepish baking tray, and fill the dish with water till it reaches 3/4 of the height of the ramekins. Bake at a medium temperature for 45 minutes until creams are just set. Decorate with sesame praline and serve at room temperature. (how to make the sesame praline is in my post of 23 September)

Friday, 28 September 2007

Food humour

Have to share this link with those who don't already hurt themselves laughing at Jim Gaffigan and his food humour.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Salmon with gunpowder green tea

This dish, like all my cooking, was a complete experiment, and I was very nervous as to whether it would work. I thought it might; salmon and gunpowder green tea seemed a potentially great combination, but I was far from sure!

Hmmm... how to do it?

I decided to do a sort of gravlax style marinade, but I didn't want to serve it raw, as you usually do with gravlax. So here is what I came up with, and I was very happy with the results - tasty and attractive, simple and delicious.

Gunpowder green tea salmon (Original recipe by Kiriel)

6 small salmon fillets
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp gunpowder green tea

Grind 2 tablespoons of green tea with a mortar and pestle. Mix in the salt and sugar, and rub into the salmon fillets. Add a splash of hot water to the 1 tablespoon of left over green tea and allow it to absorb the water, adding a little more if necessary. Add to the rub.

Allow to marinate overnight (I popped it into a ziplock bag) in the fridge. Rub off most of the marinade, and pan fry until the flesh has changed colour and edges are golden.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Tea noodles

As regular readers (the vast numbers of you that there are... ha ha) will know that I bought some elegant spoons and have been hanging out for the opportunity to use them. The tea theme dinner party finally gave me the opportunity!

Amuse Bouche: Sesame tea noodles (Original recipe by Kiriel)

100g chinese rice noodles
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp sunflower oil
2 bags of a good strong tea
1 carrot cut into super fine strips
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Put 3 cm of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the tea bags and allow to steep then remove them and add the noodles. Cook the noodles, adding the carrot just before they are done, and drain off the liquid (reserve 3tablespoons of the liquid) and allow to cool.

Mix together the other liquids with the reserved tea and use to dress the noodles. Toast the sesame seeds. Twirl a few noodles around a fork to make a nest and put on a spoon. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

You can prepare and dress the noodles the day before and keep in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Sesame praline

I have always wanted to make praline but never had the temerity to try.

You see it all sounded too deceptively simple to work. Put sugar on a silicone sheet on an oven tray with sesame seeds and bake in the oven till the sugar melts and changes colour. Allow to cool then break up by hand and use. Well, I discovered that it works, and that you really do have to keep an eye on it! While Rosa and I were busy photographing our dishes I forgot to watch the oven, and burnt one lot. But the other lot worked just fine, as you can see from the photos below:

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Mixing it... mayonnaise

I am willing to reveal one of my dishes for the challenge dinner party. Potato salad. Ok, so that doesn't sound very challenging, I admit, but it is, more than it seems at first glance. After all, what does potato salad have to do with tea?

Green tea mayonnaise. So, time for a bit of inventing. What can we do to introduce green tea to mayonnaise? There are actually quite a few opportunities and I tried three, but only two of which I will include in the recipe below, as I concluded that the third wasn't very effective with dried tea. Can you guess what it was?
The ingredients
Green Tea Mayonnaise (Original recipe by Kiriel)

2 egg yolks
1 cup good quality oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 dessertspoon of mustard
2 tablespoons green tea
2 tablespoons hot water

Put the vinegar/lemon juice in a small pot; add 1 tablespoon of green tea and heat to a simmer. Once warm take off the heat and allow the tea to steep in the vinegar until cool then strain.

Put 1 tablespoon of green tea into a cup and pour on the hot water. Allow to steep then strain. Chop finely.

Put the eggs, vinegar and salt in a bowl, and whisk till well blended and the mix lightens. Now add just a tiny bit of oil with one hand while you whisk with the other, until well blended and emulsified. Gradually, just a drip or two at a time, whisk in the oil. Once you have used up about 1/3 of the oil, you can be a little bolder, adding the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly all the time.

Stir in the mustard and the green tea and grind some pepper in.

The final product

This mayonnaise should keep for up to a week in the fridge, and I guess the tea flavour is likely to increase over time.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Some details

A friend of mine sent some photos she had taken at the Thai food night, so here are a few tidbits more for you to enjoy.
and after tomorrow night I should have some excitement to share: tomorrow night I am hosting a challenge dinner party the theme of which is Tea. So watch this space! I won't give away the details of what I am cooking but I will tell you this... one of my dishes is salmon.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Feeling a little guilty

Its been an age since I last posted, AND I spent four days in Madrid and took only one single food related pic. Here tis:

I certainly ate good food, but just kinda, well, failed to photograph it! I visited the Museo de Jambon, from where I got a lovely dish of melon and ham. I ate yummy chorizo cooked in wine at the bar two doors down from my hostel. I do love spain. Good food, lovely people, relaxed life.

I bought these sweets to send home to Australia - I love finding bizarre lollies and sending them home for the family to enjoy. (which reminds me, I must send them a packet of those turkish peppers I got in Finland) I don't know what these are, but they look kinda cool eh?

Since I got back I have been mainly eating my favourite meal: Pancroc (known as cruskits back in Australia; kinda the wheat equivalent of rice cakes), cheese and cherry tomatoes. Not exciting enough to warrant either recipe or photo.

However, I have proposed a date for the next challenge dinner party, so watch this space