Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chicken pho

Ultra satisfying on a cold fall day, a good bowl of soup can do wonders. So warm up with this recipe.


2 whole chicken legs

2 onions

1 large carrot

1 branch of celery

2 tsp coriander seed

2 tsp whole clove

2 cinnamon stick

4 star anise

2” fresh ginger

3 tbsp fish sauce

6 shitake mushrooms, sliced

6 cremini mushrooms, cut into small cubes

½ cup enoki mushrooms, cut into 1” segments

1 cup Brussel sprouts, outer leaves reserved and cores quartered

½ pkg (250g) medium rice noodles, cooked (we do this by pouring boiling water over the noodles, the letting them sit until still a little toothsome, strain and rinse well under cold water)


1 bunch green onions, sliced

2 cups bean sprouts

Several sprigs Cilantro

Several sprigs Thai Basil

3 limes cut into segments

Hoisin Sauce


First you need to make the base stock and cook your chicken. Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat. Once almost smoking add the chicken legs and cook 3-5 minutes on each side to brown them well. Remove from pan and add 1 onion, the carrot and celery and cook to caramelize. Add 1 tsp each of coriander and cloves and 1 cinnamon stick and cook for 1 minute longer to toast the spices. Add the chicken legs back in and cover with water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook the stock for 1-2 hours or until the chicken is very tender. Strain the stock and reduce by half. Shred the meat from the chicken legs, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Roast the ginger and the remaining onion peel left on, cut in half in a hot oven to caramelize, add to the stock with the star anise, stems from the mushrooms, coriander stems and the other remaining dry spices. Top up with cold water, bring to a simmer and reduce by ¼.

Strain and add the chicken meat and fish sauce. Cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the shitake and cremini mushrooms and the brussel sprout cores and cook 10 minutes longer. Cool slightly and season to taste.

To serve, place a handful of the rice noodles at the bottom of each bowl. Add the enoki mushrooms and brussel sprout leaves over top and ladle the soup over top. Serve the condiments nicely arranged on a large plate in the middle of the table. Dress your soup how you like it and enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pan seared scallops, cauliflower vierge, jamaica gastrique


8 large fresh scallops (previously frozen are more common, but finding fresh, untreated scallops will be worth it!)

8-10 slices of any nice, dry sausage (we used csabai, but chorizo would be equally good)

For Gastrique:

¼ cup jamaica flowers (hibiscus flowers, available at most latin markets)

¼ cup cider vinegar

½ cup sugar

juice and zest of 1 orange (remove large strips of zest with a vegetable peeler)

juice of 3 limes

¼ cup cider vinegar

For Vierge:

½ head purple cauliflower

2 shallots, finely diced

½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 habanero, seeds and ribs removed, diced very finely

3 tbsp chopped parsley

3 tbsp olive oil


For Vegetables:

½ onion, sliced

1 head of fennel, sliced, tender green fronds set aside

8-10 new potatoes cut into thick discs

6 cloves garlic, unpeeled

olive oil

salt and pepper

Clean scallops by removing the small nerve found on the side. Place on plate lined with paper towel in the fridge.

To start the gastrique, bring 1 cup water, jamaica flowers, 2 tbsp of the sugar, and strips of orange zest to a boil then simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid and 2 strips of orange zest and 1-2 jamaica flowers. In a small pan over medium high heat melt remaining sugar and bring to a golden caramel color, deglaze with vinegar, jamaica infusion, and orange and lime juice. Cook mixture over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until mixture has reached a caramel consistency. To check consistency dip a wooden spoon into the mixture and run your finger down the middle, if a trace remains it is ready. Cool and set aside.

For the vierge, blanche cauliflower in boiling, salted water with ¼ cup of vinegar for 1 minute and then refresh in ice water. Cut cauliflower into tiny flowerets and set aside. Cook shallots, vinegar and honey over medium high heat until all liquid has evaporated, season with salt and cool. In a medium bowl combine flowerets with shallots, cherry tomatoes, habanero, parsley, olive oil, fennel fronds, and the reserved zest and jamaica flowers from the gastrique finely diced. Mix well and season to taste. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days in fridge before serving.

For the vegetables, coat potatoes and garlic cloves with olive oil and salt and roast in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and golden. Meanwhile over very high heat, sautee fennel and onions in olive oil until tender and well caramelized. Once everything is cooked, combine and season. Set aside garlic clovces.

To finish, heat a large pan to smoking point. Add canola oil to pan, season scallops and sear in pan for about 4 minutes, or until a nice crust has formed. Add sausage to pan also and turn scallops. Turn down heat to medium, add butter and baste scallops until nicely cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and rest scallops 1 minute longer. Serve scallops and sausage over a small mound of potatoes and fennel. Top with cauliflower vierge and drizzle a small amount of gastrique on each plate. Enjoy!