Sunday, 26 January 2014

Korean Keema

I’ve mentioned gochujang (Korean spicy red pepper paste) in a couple of previous posts (namely here and here) but I’m honestly extremely surprised that I’ve never posted this recipe before as it is one that falls into my stable , so to speak, of things oft cooked.

This is adapted from Nigella’s Kitchen, not to be confused with the more traditional, although also very good keema found in Feast.

Korean Keema
serves 2

250g turkey mince
3 fat spring onions, finely chopped
125g frozen petis pois
1 tsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp shaoxing wine
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
150g sushi rice
For the sauce

3 tbsps gochujang
1 ½ tbsp honey
1 ½ tbsp shaoxing wine
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, crushed

In a bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients.

Stir in the turkey mince and set aside to marinate while you get on with the rest of the preparation.

Rinse the rice in a colander until the water runs clear then place in a medium saucepan with the same volume of water plus about 10%. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for around 20 minutes on the lowest heat possible (a simmer mat may be handy here although sadly mine doesn’t work too well).

After the rice has been simmering for about 10 minutes, heat a wok over a high heat. While it's heating up pour boiling water over the peas in a colander. When the wok is hot, add the oil and stir in the onions and peas (be aware that it may spit a bit because of the wet peas). Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add the turkey and sauce and stir fry until the mince is coloured and no longer pink. This will take about 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons rice wine with 4 tbsp water to the marinating bowl, swirl around to get all the residue and add to the wok. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes.

Serve the rice in a bowl with the sauce spooned over and top with some chopped coriander.

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Fennel, Goats' Cheese & Pea Risotto

I’ve mentioned before that there tends to be a bit of a lag with my cooking things and then blogging them. This recipe brought to home just how much of a lag as when I cooked this I recall that it was a lovely dish for a late summer evening. And here I am posting it in January. Oh well.

Pernod goes exceptionally well with fennel, as you would imagine as they both have an aniseed edge to their flavour and aroma. Luckily this is not enough to overpower the goat’s cheese (do try and get hold of this Capricorn cheese if you can, it’s from Somerset and it bloody rocks!) and the whole remains light yet comforting. Very, very tasty.

I adapted this recipe from one found here. In retrospect this is *quite* similar at first glance to another fennel risotto that I previously posted which may be one of the reasons I was drawn to it but really it is quite different in taste.

Fennel, Goats Cheese & Pea Risotto
serves 2

1 small onion - finely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb - halved then finely sliced (reserve the fronds)
150g risotto rice
4 tbsp pernod (60ml)
750ml hot vegetable stock
100g frozen peas
100g goats' cheese
½ lemon, juiced
40g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Melt half the butter along with the olive oil in a heavy pan then add the onions and fennel and saute over a low heat until soft but not coloured. This may take up to 20 minutes.

Turn the heat up a little and add the rice, stirring it around so all the grains get coated with the buttery vegetable juices.

Tip in the Pernod and let bubble down until all but evaporated.

Add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring and letting the rice absorb each ladleful of stock before adding the next.

When the rice is nearly ready (remembering that when it is finished you still want it to have a little bite) add the peas & lemon juice.

When you have finished adding the stock and the rice is ready (as per the above), stir in the goats cheese and remaining butter.

Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid and set aside for five minutes.

Divide between 2 bowls and with the reserved fennel fronds.

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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Dan Dan Mian

Dan dan mian or dan dan noodles originates from Sichuan cuisine so as is fairly easy to guess (since I make it pretty clear I’m a bit of a fangirl) I first spotted these in Fuchsia Dunlop’s Sichuan Cookery. They contain many things that I love: noodles (natch), spicy sauce, preserved vegetables, chilli sediment oil, Sichuan pepper and minced pork.

The noodles were originally made by Chengdu street vendors and the name refers to a type of bamboo shoulder-carrying pole (“dan” in Mandarin) that was used by walking street vendors who sold the dish to passers-by: the pole being over the shoulder with a basket at each end containing the noodles and sauce.

I’ve cooked them many times but for the purposes of the blog I did have a look at recipes by other chefs (such as Jamie Oliver and Ching-He Huang). Ultimately, as ever when it comes down to Chinese food for me, I came back to Dunlop: sometimes simple & straightforward really is best - and most authentic.

Dunlop herself publishes 3 versions of the noodles that I know of - I have chosen to go with the original “traditional recipe” from “Sichuan Cookery”. I do make some changes: namely in sauce and pork topping quantities where I also include around 6 tablespoons of noodle cooking water as I like it a little soupier.

Dan dan mian
serves 2

250 g egg noodles
For the sauce

1 tsp groundnut oil
4 tbsp Tianjin preserved vegetable, rinsed & chopped
3 spring onions, green parts only, finely sliced
1 ½ tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp chilli oil, to taste
2 tsp Chinkiang (or chinese black) vinegar
1 tsp ground roasted sichuan peppercorns
For the pork topping
1 tsp groundnut oil
100g minced pork
2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
4 tsp light soy sauce

Heat 1 tsp of groundnut oil in a wok over a high flame, and then stir-fry the Tianjin vegetable until it is dry and fragrant. Set aside.

Heat another teaspoon of groundnut oil in the wok, add the minced pork and stir-fry, splashing in the Shaoxing wine as the meat separates. Add the soy sauce and continue to fry until the meat is browned and a bit crispy but not too dry. Set aside.

Put the preserved vegetable and the rest of the sauce ingredients back into the wok, mix together and set over a low heat.

Meanwhile cook the noodles according to instructions - drain, adding about 6 tablespoons of the cooking water to the sauce ingredients and mix well

Divide the sauce between two bowls, top with noodles and then top the noodles with the cooked pork.

Serve immediately, with the noodles and pork being mixed into the sauce at the table, using chopsticks.

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