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Chinese Style Beef Strogonoff


(serves 3)
This is a fusion version of the Russian classic Beef Stroganoff. The beef is marinated in the Chinese Style using bicarbonate of soda, leaving it extremely tender. You won’t be needing a nicely marbled piece of Wagyu beef for this recipe and more importantly there is no chance to overcook it. When married with the rich taste of sour cream, the end result is a fusion of Eastern and Western (actually East meets Eastern Europe) cuisine.    
 

Ingredients

  1. Beef Fillet (400g)
  2. Brown Mushrooms (150g)
  3. Onion (1)
  4. Sour Cream (1/3 cup)
  5. Oxo Beef Stock Cube (1)
  6. Balsamic Vinegar
  7. Bicarbonate of Soda
  8. Corn Starch
  9. Coriander Seed Powder
  10. Soya Sauce
  11. Brandy
  12. Vegetable Oil

Preparation 

  1. Cut the beef fillet into slices which are as thin as you can manage manually. Cut across the grain where possible. 
  2. Mix the marinate as follows: 1/3 cup water, 1T soya sauce, 2t corn starch, 1t sugar, 1t coriander seed powder, 0.5t bicarbonate of soda, 0.5t salt. Mix the meat in the marinade well and leave it for 2 or more hours. It may appear watery at first but all the liquid will be adsorbed by the meat over time. 
  3. Its now 2 or more hours later. Add 2T or balsamic vinegar to the meet and mix well. You should see some small bubbles as the bicarbonate reacts with the vinegar. This is normal.
  4. Cut your onion into half rings and the mushrooms into thick slices.
  5. Disolve one beef cube in 1/3 cup of hot water in a large bowl.
  6. Pan fry the onions with a dash of oil for about 3 minutes on low heat. Add the mushrooms and continue stir frying till the mushrooms begin to soften. Empty the contents of the pan into the beef stock. 
  7. Put a generous amount of oil into the pan and turn the heat to high. At the same time mix 1T of oil into the marinated meat. When the pan is searing hot, sautée the meat. Make sure both sides of each piece of meat has time on the pan. When no part of the meat’s surface appears uncooked anymore, pour in the stock, onions and mushrooms.
  8. Continue on high heat till the liquid is reduced to 1/3 its original volume, it shouldn’t take long. Add 1/3 cup of sour cream. Simmer on low heat for a further minute before adding 3T of brandy and turning the fire off. Add salt if you fancy, but taste it first. 
  9. Plate with either buttered fettucine or buttered rice, and sprinkle on some black pepper after plating.

Notes

  • If you wish to marinate the meat ahead of time, remember that you can’t leave the meat overnight without first adding the vinegar. After doing so, you can even refreeze the marinated meat.
  • If your knife skills are lacking, there are two ways you can get around this. Either have your beef semi-frozen before you begin slicing, or cut slightly thicker pieces and flatten them with a meat mallet.
  • If you wish to understand more about the effect of bicarbonate of soda on meat, please refer to this post.
  • In some places (like Brazil or Hong Kong) you’ll encounter versions which use heavy cream instead of sour cream. Add 2T of HP sauce to the heavy cream to cook this version.
 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in A Kobi Original, Main Courses, Oriental, Recipe, Red Meat

 

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Foie Gras and Orange Reduction Amuse Bouche


(serves 10)
One day I was having a crepe suzette with ice cream and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be lovely to have some foie gras with this? Somewhere along the way I dropped the crepe and ended up with a superb 3 layer foie gras suzette amuse bouche. The tart but sweet orange reduction provides an interesting contrast to the richness of the foie gras while the shot glass format allows you to control the usual appearance and temperature issues associated with canned foie gras, and to serve portions that are small enough to not overwhelm the stomach or pocket.    
 

Ingredients

  1. Canned ‘Bloc’ Foie Gras (200g)
  2. Oranges (2)
  3. Butter (80g)
  4. Shallots (10)
  5. Vanilla Ice Cream (1 scoop)
  6. Marscapone (1 scoop)
  7. Marmalade
  8. Dark Soya Sauce
  9. Lemon Grass 
  10. Cointreau

Preparation 

  1. First anbd foremost, make sure you have 10 shot glasses (the double shot type).
  2. Squeeze the juice from your oranges after cutting them into halves. Peel and then chop the shallots finely. If you have trouble finding shallots, use a (not 10) red onion instead.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan and stir fry the shallot bits on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the orange juice and place the orange rind, cut side down in the pan and continue cooking for a minute so some of the bitterness bleeds into the juice.
  5. Next, discard the rind, then add 2 heaped t of orange marmalade and 2t lemon grass. Proceed to boil this down till it begins to thicken. It should take a while, don’t use too high a flame after the initial stage. 
  6. When the volume has been reduced to a thin syrup consistency, stir in 0.5t soya sauce. Allow the mixture to cool; it will thicken as it cools.
  7. Divide the foie gras into the 10 shot glasses. Compact and flatten the foie gras with a small spoon by moving the shot glass in a circular fashion. Clean the oil off the top half of the inner surface of the shot glasses with a tissue for better visual impact.
  8. When the orange butter reduction has cooled, spoon it into the shot glasses as  a second layer over the foie gras. See this picture here:
  9. Left tray has foie gras patted down, right tray has orange butter sauce on top of the foie gras

  10. In a bowl, mix one ice cream scoop of vanilla ice cream, 1 scoop of marscapone and 1T of cointreau. Its ok if the ice cream melts. Spoon the mixture carefully into the shot glasses as the final layer. Add a few needles of lemongrass as a ganish.
  11. Keep the shots refrigerated chill in the freezer for 5 min to bring the temperature down further before serving. Serve with a small spoon, instructing your guests to eat all 3 layers together.

Notes

  • Use the type of canned foie gras that is labeled ‘bloc’. Just use it straight out of the can, its 98% pure foie gras and fully cooked. Do not use fresh foie gras since it is raw. Don’t use foie gras pate or mousse since you are only using a small amount per amuse bouche and you want maximum impact. 
  • Soya sauce is the secret ingredient, don’t skip it. It adds just the right amount of saltiness and darkens the orange reduction to the right colour. Use the dark soya sauce if you can, it is thicker.
  • The marscapone reduces the sweetness from the ice cream and allows for a stiffer consistency at room temperature. Don’t skip it.
  • I do not recommend this but if you are cheating by using store bought orange juice, it is essential you get the type with pulp.
  • You can use Grande Marnier instead of Cointreau. If you absolutely hate alcohol, add the cointreau to the orange juice so the alcohol boils off. However, the top creamy layer will lose all of its orange aroma and undertone.

The Apple Version

this version is made in almost the same way as the orange version. Simply make the following changes to the ingredients: 

  • replace onion with one apple cut to 1/4 inch cubes, without skin
  • replace lemongrasss with 0.5t nutmeg and 0.5t cinnamon
  • replace orange juice with 1/2 cup white wine
  • replace marmalade with 1T sugar
  • replace cointreau with sherry
 
 

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Steamed Snapper in Soya Sauce


(serves 2)
Steamed fish is a relatively healthy way of cooking fish, and when done in the ‘Cantonese’ style is much more tastey then you might imagine. My technique is a fusion method which incorporates the ease of Western cooking, and you won’t even need a steamer or any form of steaming cookware. You also won’t have to worry about over or under cooking your fish.  
 
Ingredients
  1. Snapper Fillet (2 x 160g)
  2. Chives (6 stalks)
  3. Corriander (2 bunches)
  4. Garlic (6 cloves = 1/2 bulb)
  5. Light Soya Sauce
  6. Sesame Oil
  7. Chinese Wine

Preparation

  1. The type and quality of fish is important when steaming. You can use fish which has been chilled but never fish that has been frozen. Besides Snapper, other species of fish with meat of the same smooth crisp texture and consistency, such as Garoupa, are also suitable. Start by bringing your fish fillets to room temperature by soaking them in luke-warm water.
  2. Julienne the chives (also called spring onion in some places) into 1/4 inch bits keeping the solid/white bits seperate from the leafy/green bits. Cut the root portion off the corriander but otherwise leave the sprigs as they are. When you are done you should have something like what is shown in the picture.
  3. Peel and put through a garlic press 6 cloves of garlic.
  4. Mix 3T of light soya sauce, 2T of Chinese Wine, 1T sesame oil, 1t sugar and 1/4 cup water in a bowl .
  5. Fry the white portion of chives with a spot of oil in a frying pan till they begin to brown. Make sure you use a pan which has a cover.
  6. When your chives are ready, let the pan cool a bit and then pour the soya mixture into the pan with the green portion of the chives. Set the heat to produce a low simmer and when the soya mixture begins to boil, place your fish fillets in. If your fish still has the skin attached, put it in skin-down so the skin has a chance to interact with the wine before it boils off.
  7. After one minute, flip the fish pieces over and place the corriander on top of the fish (see picture below). Cover and continue to simmer for one minute. After the minute is up, turn the heat off and allow the fish to ‘steam’ for a further 15 minutes with the cover on.
  8. In the meanwhile, fry the garlic in a spot of oil in a seperate pan. When the garlic begins to get darker, turn off the heat and let the residual heat of the pan continue to darken the garlic till it reaches a gloden brown.
  9. When the fish has finished ‘steaming’, put aside the corriander. Plate the fish and spoon the soya liquid over it. Next spoon the garlic together with its oil on the fish and finally garnish with the corriander.

Notes

  • This type of steamed fish is of the ‘Cantonese’ style and is best served with rice. You can of course use staples such as (unsalted) mashed potatoes or polenta instead.
  • If your fish fillets are thin, you can reduce the 2 boiling phases to 30 seconds each to prevent over cooking.
  • There are two main types of soya sauce, make sure you use the Light soya sauce (as opposed to Dark or Aged soya sauce).
 
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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Main Courses, Recipe, Seafood

 

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