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eG Foodblog: nickrey (2011) - Classical/Modernist: It's all Jazz i


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Dinner tonight was somewhat less elaborate. Because I was travelling, the prep time was negligible if we wanted to eat before 9pm.

As I said above, we had triple cooked chips. The first boil led to the photo above. The second cook, which was deep frying at around 140C, is pictured below. This went into the fridge this morning awaiting my return this evening.

second cook.jpg

The fish was flathead. I made up a beer/tempura batter with 1/2 cup Cooper's Sparkling Ale, 1/2 cup flour (about 7/8 plain flour and 1/8 cornflour) and a pinch of salt. Pour the chilled beer over the mixed flour, then stir with a chopstick. If there are flour lumps don't worry about it, they add character to the crust. Dredge the fish through the tempura batter and put it in the deep fryer. Do this by gradually dropping it in such that the batter seals as you do so. There are some great videos on youtube with sushi masters showing how they do it.

The dinner is a bit bereft of colour because I forgot the fresh lemons (although we did have it with lemon juice from some particularly nice lemons, the juice from which I froze into ice cubes and store in the freezer).

fish and chips.jpg

Of course, we had the dish with chicken salt. I should note that no chickens are harmed in the making of this salt, which has no added MSG (whatever that means). The ingredient list includes sea salt, rice flour, wheat glucose, soy, food acid, turmeric, herbs and spices, powdered garlic and onion, and soy powder.

Not sure if it's a South Australian thing or whether it's more widespread.

chicken salt.jpg

On the subject of chips.

I heard that there is a chips joint near one of the beaches (Bondi??) makes the best chips in the world. The sauce is dynamite! Are your chips done the same way?

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Of course, we had the dish with chicken salt. I should note that no chickens are harmed in the making of this salt, which has no added MSG (whatever that means). The ingredient list includes sea salt, rice flour, wheat glucose, soy, food acid, turmeric, herbs and spices, powdered garlic and onion, and soy powder.

The emphasis add to the above quote is mine. It means that while they didn't add any MSG to the chicken salt, MSG can naturally occur in some soy and wheat products during processing. So while they truthfully didn't add any MSG, MSG could still be present in the chicken salt. It's a quasi-CYA thing on their part.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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On the subject of chips.

I heard that there is a chips joint near one of the beaches (Bondi??) makes the best chips in the world. The sauce is dynamite! Are your chips done the same way?

I haven't heard this. Perhaps one of our other Sydney eGulleters can help us out.

This review suggests it may be Fishmongers that you are talking about. I'm not sure how they do their chips. Mine followed Heston Blumenthal's method.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Of course, we had the dish with chicken salt. I should note that no chickens are harmed in the making of this salt, which has no added MSG (whatever that means). The ingredient list includes sea salt, rice flour, wheat glucose, soy, food acid, turmeric, herbs and spices, powdered garlic and onion, and soy powder.

The emphasis add to the above quote is mine. It means that while they didn't add any MSG to the chicken salt, MSG can naturally occur in some soy and wheat products during processing. So while they truthfully didn't add any MSG, MSG could still be present in the chicken salt. It's a quasi-CYA thing on their part.

This makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Back off to Thailand tonight.

Going to do Duck Laab, Phuket style fish soup, and Paneang Curry prawns.

Tomorrow when I've got a bit more time will be more a trip around the world. Haven't finished planning menu yet and it does depend on what's fresh.

Also, because of strong interest will go to fish markets early tomorrow to take photos.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Back off to Thailand tonight.

Going to do Duck Laab, Phuket style fish soup, and Paneang Curry prawns.

Tomorrow when I've got a bit more time will be more a trip around the world. Haven't finished planning menu yet and it does depend on what's fresh.

Also, because of strong interest will go to fish markets early tomorrow to take photos.

You are a good man Nick! Looking forward to the market photos.

The Thai line up sounds great. I first tasted "real" Thai food in 1992 in Sydney from a little place called Thai Noodle Hut in North Willoughy. Those little pea sized eggplants, and whole fried fish with a sauce over top were all new to me. It was a revelation and changed my cooking focus when I returned to the States.

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Is it called Chicken Salt because it's meant for chicken or because it tastes like chicken? Or both? The first (maybe the only) time I saw chicken flavoured chips (crisps) and crackers was in Melbourne.

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As I said above, tonight's dinner takes us back to Thailand.

These are the ingredients for tonight's dinner. More a stack than a mise en place but you get the idea.

ingredients.jpg

The first dish we had was a Phuket style fish soup with fresh turmeric, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves: Pla Tom Kha Mine. Unfortunately, try as I may, I couldn't entice the fish to float rather than sink so you'll have to imagine the goodness sitting further down the bowl.

soup.jpg

The second dish was a Spicy southern style grilled duck salad with aromatic Thai herbs: Laab Ped Yang.

duck.jpg

The final dish was Char grilled prawns in Paneang curry sauce with sweet basil, kaffir lime leaves, and lychees: Ghoong Yang Paneang.

prawns.jpg

As it was getting late, we did not have the duck salad. This is going to be eaten for lunch tomorrow by my kids who are coming up from Canberra and will participate in tomorrow night's dinner.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Nick - if you have the time and inclination, I would love it if you could fill in some of the steps between your "stack en place" and the gorgeous finished Thai meal. Thanks!

I have always loved Penang curry with prawns, even though Penang with beef is a more traditional pairing. And returning to the seafood envy theme, I am quite jealous of your head-on prawns.

Are your kids interested in cooking, or would they rather just enjoy the final product?

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Hi Bruce, nice to see you dropping in.

Lets' work through the recipes.

I'm not good on specifying quantities as I do most things by eye, so you may have to improvise a bit.

First, the soup.

2 cups chicken stock.

2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

2 tbsp sliced lemongrass

around 15 straw mushrooms

Bird's eye chillis to taste (I used two very hot ones), finely sliced

3 tbsp lime juice

4 tsp fish sauce

1 large piece fresh turmeric (put this between paper towels and smash it hard with the side of your knife to break it up)

2 shallots, cut lengthwise against the rings into thin slices

1 Coriander root and part of stem, chopped.

200g fish, cubed

Palm sugar to taste

Bring chicken stock to boil. Add all ingredients except the fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Simmer for a few minutes until fish is starting to look cooked. Add fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Taste and adjust each of these components until the broth is sweet/sour/salty/hot.

To serve, top with coriander leaves.

The duck salad.

One duck breast

Lime juice, Fish Sauce, Chopped Bird's eye Chilli, and Palm Sugar (for dressing in the ratio 3:2:2:1). Taste and adjust to your preference.

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 bunches mint, leaves picked off and washed.

2 shallots, cut lengthwise against the rings into thin slices

3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

a 7 cm/3 inch piece of lemongrass, finely sliced

2 cm/1 inch piece of galangal. Peeled and finely sliced

1 lebanese cucumber, peeled and finely sliced (I use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to do this)

Cherry tomatoes, halved, to serve.

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F Season the duck breast with salt and pepper, place in cold pan skin side down and turn heat to high. Let fat render for a while, turn and cook on other side for a few minutes. Place frypan (make sure it's heat proof) in oven until duck is cooked to your preference.

Mix salad ingredients together in bowl. Place on serving tray. Finely slice duck and place on salad. Serve with dressing in separate jug so people can dress it themselves.

Paneang Prawns

Sufficient prawns for the number of people you are serving (we had four each).

3/4 cup coconut milk

3 tbsp Panaeng curry paste (I had home-made using David Thompson's recipe)

2 kaffir lime leaves cut into chiffonade

handful of basil leaves, coarsely sliced.

2 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts, crushed in mortar and pestle

tbsp fish sauce

8-10 lychees.

Grill the prawns until just done.

Heat the coconut milk until simmering, add curry paste and stir until well combined.

Add all other ingredients except basil and heat through. Add basil leaves just before serving.

Place prawns on serving plate, pour the sauce over. Garnish with additional basil leaves or other greens (I used coriander).

Hope you enjoy them. :smile:

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Are your kids interested in cooking, or would they rather just enjoy the final product?

The interest waxes and wanes. If they do cook something, however, they have very good basic skills and a comfort with cooking that I suspect comes from watching me cook.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Hi Bruce, nice to see you dropping in.

Lets' work through the recipes.

I'm not good on specifying quantities as I do most things by eye, so you may have to improvise a bit.

First, the soup.

2 cups chicken stock.

2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

2 tbsp sliced lemongrass

around 15 straw mushrooms

Bird's eye chillis to taste (I used two very hot ones), finely sliced

3 tbsp lime juice

4 tsp fish sauce

1 large piece fresh turmeric (put this between paper towels and smash it hard with the side of your knife to break it up)

2 shallots, cut lengthwise against the rings into thin slices

1 Coriander root and part of stem, chopped.

200g fish, cubed

Palm sugar to taste

Bring chicken stock to boil. Add all ingredients except the fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Simmer for a few minutes until fish is starting to look cooked. Add fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Taste and adjust each of these components until the broth is sweet/sour/salty/hot.

To serve, top with coriander leaves.

The duck salad.

One duck breast

Lime juice, Fish Sauce, Chopped Bird's eye Chilli, and Palm Sugar (for dressing in the ratio 3:2:2:1). Taste and adjust to your preference.

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 bunches mint, leaves picked off and washed.

2 shallots, cut lengthwise against the rings into thin slices

3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

a 7 cm/3 inch piece of lemongrass, finely sliced

2 cm/1 inch piece of galangal. Peeled and finely sliced

1 lebanese cucumber, peeled and finely sliced (I use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to do this)

Cherry tomatoes, halved, to serve.

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F Season the duck breast with salt and pepper, place in cold pan skin side down and turn heat to high. Let fat render for a while, turn and cook on other side for a few minutes. Place frypan (make sure it's heat proof) in oven until duck is cooked to your preference.

Mix salad ingredients together in bowl. Place on serving tray. Finely slice duck and place on salad. Serve with dressing in separate jug so people can dress it themselves.

Paneang Prawns

Sufficient prawns for the number of people you are serving (we had four each).

3/4 cup coconut milk

3 tbsp Panaeng curry paste (I had home-made using David Thompson's recipe)

2 kaffir lime leaves cut into chiffonade

handful of basil leaves, coarsely sliced.

2 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts, crushed in mortar and pestle

tbsp fish sauce

8-10 lychees.

Grill the prawns until just done.

Heat the coconut milk until simmering, add curry paste and stir until well combined.

Add all other ingredients except basil and heat through. Add basil leaves just before serving.

Place prawns on serving plate, pour the sauce over. Garnish with additional basil leaves or other greens (I used coriander).

Hope you enjoy them. :smile:

Your prawns are something we can never get over here.

Do you save the shell and heads for the making the curry sauce?

About the pre-made Thompson's curry sauce, you must have used the shrimp paste in the curry paste recipe. Can you tell us the shrimp paste's(kapi)brand?

I always use the Malaysian belacan and never can locate a good kapi in Canada.

Great Thai dishes!

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Back from fish markets and I've got a lot of photos. Need to process them before posting.

Here's a teaser.

Fresh marinara mix.

teaser.jpg

More later.

I'm just coming out of lurkdom to say: that's beautiful! I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures, as well as whatever meal you end up making.

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Still working through the Fish market pictures.

In the meantime, I cooked some bacon that has been curing in preparation for the weekend.

Here is the bacon cured, pre cooking. It was cured as savoury bacon with salt, sugar, pink salt, cracked peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves.

uncooked bacon.jpg

Here it is fresh out of the Weber BBQ Kettle where I cook and smoke it. The picture was taken prior to the skin being removed.

cooked bacon.jpg

And here it is on mine and my wife's BLTs. My kids had the Duck Laab that I made last night.

BLT.jpg

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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OK now for the fish markets. I've got a lot of photos but was able to batch process them.

Let's just get our bearings. This is a series of shots of the markets from outside and inside.

IMGP2019.JPG

IMGP2020.JPG

Take note of the blue shop second from the right. That is where we will be looking at the seafood in detail.

IMGP2021.JPG

IMGP2023.JPG

And here is inside the market.

IMGP2123.JPG

IMGP2124.JPG

IMGP2126.JPG

IMGP2127.JPG

I'm showing you this to give you a sense of perspective of the magnitude of the markets and the comparative size of the one store whose seafood you are going to see.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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....

And here it is on mine and my wife's BLTs. My kids had the Duck Laab that I made last night.

BLT.jpg

Oh, now that's just pretty. Cruel, because I don't have one, but pretty. Very, very pretty.

ETA---why, oh why won't pictures come along with me when I reply...?

Edited by Pierogi (log)

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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