Thursday, 16 September 2021

Schezwan Sichuan Schezuan Prawn

 Schezwan Sichuan Schezuan Prawn


As the name suggests these popular type of prawns belong to the Schezwan Sichuan Schezuan regional cuisine of China.

With the Sichuan peppercorn famously added to heighten the spice levels, one should toast the peppercorn before grinding it to get the vibrant flavour. 

1 tablespoon of this peppercorn will equal about 1 teaspoon of the powder.




                                 
Serves 6

2 lb/1 kg clean washed shelled prawns
4 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

Marinate and leave aside for 15 minutes
 
Heat the wok with oil
 
Coat the prawns with 
1/2 cup cornstarch/cornflour- you can use plain flour if preferred
1/4 tsp salt
Cook the shrimp few at a time until just cooked. 3 minutes. 
Remove and drain.

The Sauce
In a pan heat together - cook until fragrant, keep tossing. Add the liquid, bring to heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Keep aside until you are ready to serve. Reheat the sauce and pour over freshly cooked prawns.  

1 tbsp oil
12 finely cut green spring onions - keep some of the greens to decorate with later
8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp of finely chopped ginger in shoestring or 1 tbsp finely chopped
16 dry red long chillies
5 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp shaoxing wine or rice wine or sake or sherry

Toss in the cooked prawns and sprinkle with 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
Remove and serve immediately, sprinkled with the greens of the shallots.

Tips


Add an extra teaspoon of Schezuan pepper if you enjoy the flavour. 

Use only as much sauce as required to pour over.


If you are using green onions an additional 3 sliced/diced shallots adds to the texture of the sauce.

Add an extra teaspoon of schezuan pepper if you enjoy the flavour. 

Serve immediately as it is hard to reheat. 
 


Photo courtesy Fazilah Vajid


My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Crêpes Suzette

Crêpes Suzette

A classic from the 1800's in France its origins are debated. I would like to believe the most romantic story - of the one where chef Henri Charpentier erroneously lit up the liquor while he was about to serve the Prince of Wales. Left with no choice but to serve the dessert he proceeded with confidence to present this "flambéed" dish! later on when he was asked the name of this delicacy he said Crepes Princess. A young girl Suzette seated at the table requested the Prince to rename it after her instead - hence the creation of Crêpes Suzette. The one questionable fact in the story remains unanswered - Henri was 14 years old at this time, was he serving the Prince?

This dish remains a classic. Not much has changed over the years in its ingredients. 

Growing up we had it on special occasions and continue to enjoy it to this day. 






Crepes 10

1 cup sifted flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp melted butter

2 eggs - well beaten to a froth

Beat the eggs first and keep aside.

Mix the rest of the ingredients until smooth and add the eggs to it. Stir and let it rest for 30 minutes to thicken.

Heat a skillet. Pour 1/10th of the batter. Swirl the pan and allow it to cook for 40 seconds. Flip. Wait for 30 seconds and flip it over on a flat plate. Repeat. 

Once all the crepes are done, fold each one into four quarters.  Keep aside.


For the Beurre Suzette - orange sauce

3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

4 oz butter

5 tbsp sugar - or more to taste

pinch of salt

1 orange sliced 

3 tbsp liquor - grand mariner, rum or cognac

In a large skillet melt the sugar and bring to a boil all the ingredients except the liquor. Cook this on a simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens and feels sticky. 

Add the liquor. Place half the crepes into the pan and boil for 3 minutes. 

Serve in plates. Repeat with the rest of the crepes.

Tips

The "sweeter" the butter in nature the tastier this dish is. Salted butter is my personal preference.

The best oranges to use are kinoo, narangi, clementine and mandarin. 

A little tartness helps enhance the flavour of this recipe. 

Traditionally Grand Mariner and Triple Sec or Cointreau  - orange liquors are used.

Flambe` the 3rd tablespoon of liquor if you wish to light up the pan. To do that you will need to heat the metal spoon, pour the liquor into it and light it. quickly pour the liquid over the skillet and it should alight. The already added liquor will catch the flame!

You must be careful while you do the flambe`. 

1. Measure the liquor our in a glass. DO NOT pour directly from the bottle.

2. Stand away from the pan. Do not try this with young children in the room.

3. Keep a lid handy to cover the pan in an emergency. 



My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.









Saturday, 24 July 2021

Jap Cake

JaP cake as I like to call it is just a chewy almond and meringue cake that literally squishes in your mouth- either soft like marshmallow or crisp as brittle. This depends on how thin a layer you bake each one. The first being more authentic to the nature of this recipe.

Growing up we sometimes ate a cake that had been bought from a famous bakery in the next city as a treat. It was not something I craved nor recall much about except for the name that has stuck in my mind! And so I decided to go ahead and call this one JaP !!

I hope you enjoy it. Make it often and happily share it with your family, friends and neighbours.

A three layered Jap cake oozing with chocolate goodness


You can layer it in tier form or prepare 3 pans of  8 inch/ 20 cm each

Line the pans with parchment and butter the pans.
Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C


Cakes
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 cup fine sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup ground almonds- unpeeled
8 cream crackers
1/4 tsp salt



Frosting
8 oz dark chocolate
1/2 cup sour cream
2  1/2 tbsp corn syrup
pinch of salt
Optionally add drop of vanilla or any liquor like rum, brandy, tia maria, kalhua or whisky

Whip the egg whites  and baking powder to a meringue,
add the sugar in a slow stream
add the vanilla
With a metal spoon or a spatula gently fold in the almonds and crackers.
Spread evenly in the pans
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes till desired colour and texture
Invert almost immediately,
Cool and layer with the frosting.

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan.
Mix the sour cream, corn syrup and salt. Pour the chocolate into that and mix it gently. Add your choice of flavouring.
Serve at room temperature or chilled. 



Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala


My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.


Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Watermelon Radish Salad

Watermelon Radish and Fresh Fig Salad


A summer salad that is bold, colourful, textured and delicious. 
Perfect for a cold picnic luncheon or to liven up a buffet table. It is simple to put together. Pick a favourite dressing. Creamy or a light vinaigrette - blue cheese or balsamic. Creamy ranch or an avocado oil. Cobnut or olive oil. It dresses well. 


A watermelon radish, avocado and fig salad. Summer perfection!


Serves 10 or more at a buffet table

Toss together with either vinaigrette or creamy dressing


4 cups shredded slaw - cabbage carrot

for the vinaigrette - whisk together
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic, or white wine or apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
squeeze of lime


OR 
creamy dressing -blend together

2 tbsp soft blue cheese 
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 oz orange juice to thin it to the desired consistency
pinch of sugar



12 fresh figs, washed and cut
3 avocados cubed in chunks, lightly salted and dressed with a squeeze of lemon/lime
 
3 mini cucumbers thickly sliced- lightly salted
6 watermelon radish thinly sliced

Drizzle the figs, avocadoes, cucumbers and radish with a dressing of your choice.





Fresh fig, avocado and watermelon radish  salad with a creamy dressed slaw and lightly drizzled vinaigrette.

Tips
Dressing both the slaw and the other ingredients individually helps perfect the presentation and the flavour. While the slaw is bolder with creamy dressing a vinaigrette allows the beautiful flavours of the fruit and vegetable to remain authentic.
Prepare ahead but dress at the time of serving to keep everything crisp.
Lightly dress the salad, serving the remainder on the side.

Photography courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.


Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Yakiniku

Yakiniku

Grilled meat with a delightful sauce - our favourite as a family. We were introduced to it by Chef Mora when we first arrived in Canada and with his family restaurant sold and covid forcing us to eat indoors, I decided to make my own.

Here I share my recreation of this traditional dish which I hope everyone can enjoy.

Yaki means grilled - in a pan, on a bbq or on an indoor grill and niku means meat - beef.

While traditionally this meat is then dipped in the sauce, I prefer to serve it already well coated. The choice is yours.



Yakiniku 



Serves 4

 600 gm  - thick rib eye steak, thinly sliced 

3 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp sesame seeds - some of it ground up
The Sauce
3 tbsp mirin 
1/3 cup soya sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar 
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp orange juice

Toss the meat in a teaspoon of sesame oil. Keep aside until ready to cook.
Boil together the ingredients for the sauce. Keep the flame low and allow it to simmer until the sauce is sticky and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
If you have ground sesame, add it to the sauce once cooked.
Remove the garlic before serving. 
Cool until just warm.

Cook steak until medium rare, do not over cook. Coat each piece of meat with the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and serve immediately.  

Tips

Serve this on its own or with sticky rice, plain boiled rice or garlic rice. 

Japanese cuisine uses different varieties of sugar for preparing their foods. Interestingly the rock sugar - saakur is often preferred to prepare their sauces. 
The pure cane sugar is also a part of the series of brown sugars recommended.

To successfully thinly slice the steak the meat must be semi frozen, it is the tiny ice crystals that hold the meat together and allow us to carve it neatly. Alternately ask your butcher to slice it on his meat slicer. 

Japanese cuisine flavours their food with orange rather than lemon that most other cuisines use to add the acid component. Their choice is generally an orange called the Yuzu. 

When  green lime is required they use the sour Sudachi a Japanese variety of locally grown lime. 


Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Wakame` Sunomono - Cucumber salad

 Sunomono Wakame`

We often ate at a family run Japanese restaurant. Shared our milestone birthdays and anniversaries in this warm and homely restaurant. Simple it was bursting with energy, the staff incredibly talented and the owner Chef Mora humble and generous. Alas the home like restaurant has now been sold. But our memories of good food, laughter and joy remains.

Our girls loved the cucumber salad. Over time, I enjoy and relish it too. Here I have recreated this simple salad. Much to the delight of my family!



Serves 4

1 large cucumber - shaved lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or mandolin
1 tsp or more crushed Nori - seaweed
generous pinch of rock salt 
2 tsp Mirin
dash of sake - optional
generous pinch sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of sugar

Just before serving toss together the ingredients. Serve chilled with a slice of lemon.

Tips

The longer you keep it the softer it will turn.

Traditionally it is very very thinly sliced and soft and sludgy but if you prefer a crunch use small cucumbers and slice it thicker. 

Wakame` is the green seaweed that you can find in many stores ready to eat.


Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala


My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Salmon Teriyaki

 Salmon Teriyaki

Teriyaki is simply a glazed piece of fish or meat often served on a bed of sticky rice. 

Teri means glaze or shine and yaki means grill. Using a prepared teriyaki sauce from a reputable company is a good option to start the base. The key to a good meal is using the freshest fish available, the best meat you can get and cooking it to perfection - not overdone.

If not you can make your own from soya, mirin and sugar. This can be boiled down to make it slightly thick.





Serves 4

2 lb or 1 kg of fresh pieces of salmon

Marinade

1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce 
1/4 cup orange juice
4 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp fresh chopped ginger 
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp soya

Mix together. Place the salmon in the dish for 20 to 30 minutes.

Sear on a hot griddle or fry pan.

Remove and keep aside and pour the marinade into the pan to cook through until thick.

Pour over or serve it on the side.

Serve with sticky rice. Broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus make good sides.

Tips

Marinated fish starts cooking ( like ceviche) due to the ingredients. Keep the marinade for the time suggested. It will also make the actual process of cooking hard as it will flake away.

You need those crusty golden bits to finish the sear. 

Japanese cuisine flavours their food with orange rather than lemon that most other cuisines use to add the acid component. Their choice is generally an orange called the Yuzu. 

When  green lime is required they use the sour Sudachi a Japanese variety of locally grown lime. 

Photo courtesy 

Fazilah Vajid and

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Yakitori - chicken skewers

 

Yakitori


Yaki meaning grilled selections of small items, cooked on sticks over coal - chicken in this recipe. Tori is pronounced toh-ree and refers to the bird.

However Yakitori refers to a grilled skewer of small pieces of meat  - generally chicken.







Serves 4

8 small boneless chicken thighs - cut into 4 pcs each
8 green onions
8 bamboo skewers - pre soaked in water.


Tare Sauce - the glaze to baste and marinate the chicken in.

Marinade

4 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp tamari soya sauce
Boil for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

In a bowl make pieces of chicken. Cut the green onions into chunks.
Toss the marinade over it all. Keep aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
Thread 8 skewers of bamboo that have been soaked in water - this avoids them from burning on the fire.

Grill or place in the oven. Cook until cooked through. 

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

second photo by Fazilah Vajid

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Garlic Fried Rice

 Garlic Fried Rice





Serves 4

2 cups rice - cooked in well salted water, rinsed and cooled

In a large wok heat a nob of butter and oil. Fry until lightly golden - a pod of garlic thinly sliced or hand chopped.

Immediately add 1/3 cup of mirin and a dash of sesame oil. Add half the rice and keep tossing, add more and keep tossing. Remove in 4 bowls.

In the same hot pan heat a dash of butter and oil. Now add a well beaten egg, with a teaspoon of cold water and a dash of salt. Keep moving the pan to ensure the omelette is as thin as possible.

Flip it over on a large platter. Roll the egg lightly and cut in ribbons. Divide into 4 and sprinkle the bowls of rice with the egg. Serve.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.




Monday, 3 May 2021

Steak and sides

 Steak Dinner

For years we have held on to a tradition of a visit to the same steak house for a family steak dinner. This was not possible through covid and so we decided it was time to prepare one at home. The sides have always been a feature at our dinner and I am sharing my favourites. 

Cut of meat is your choice, tenderloin or rib eye? I like mine as we serve it sliced to share covered with a caramelised onion and mushroom sauce. 

It is best to prepare one thing at a time in the same skillet, keep them warm in a low oven while the steak is being cooked to perfection.



                                                This portion will serve 2 generously. 


Steak

400 gm  ribeye steak - bone in

Sear the steak on a screaming hot skillet, griddle, or bbq. 5 minutes first. Do not move it around, this allows for a crust to form. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes.

Prepare a cutting board with salt, pepper and garlic butter, place the steak on this and repeat the same over the top of the steak with more salt pepper and garlic butter. Working very quickly, cover the steak with a domed lid. 10 minutes for red medium rare, 12 minutes for pink medium rare.

Slice the steak against the grain and toss it in or serve with the sauce prepared with the caramelised onion and mushrooms.

Caramelised onion

1 large onion, sliced

In a skillet heat a tsp of oil and butter, add the onions and allow it to soften. Add a pinch of salt and sugar to help it cook to a beautiful golden brown.

Remove and keep aside.

Mushrooms

Slice 350 gm mushroom.  In a hot skillet add a tbsp of olive oil and a nob of butter, add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and add a woody herb like thyme, oregano or rosemary. 

Cook for 5 minutes and add a splash of cognac, brandy, whisky or rum.

Add the caramlised onions and make it into the 'sauce' to top over the steak. 

Sauce

Add 1/4 cup of liquid to thin down the sauce if you wish. Bring it to a bubble before using it.  Pick from stock, broth or orange juice.


Corn

Fresh is best. Roast 2 corn on the cobs on an open flame or grill. Alternately you can boil them. Strip them down to the kernels. In a pan with a touch of butter, sprinkle of salt, 1/4 tsp Ancho chillie powder, zest of lime and a squeeze of lime toss the corn. 

Serve warm.

Potatoes

Wash and slice 2 small potatoes. slice them round or in wedges. In a hot skillet add a touch of oil and place each slice of potatoes at the bottom of the large skillet. Allow it to caramelise. Sprinkle them with salt. Turn each piece, add whole milk just enough to barely cover the potatoes and allow it to boil, cover and lower the heat, steam cook for 10 minutes. The milk will turn creamy. Remove and keep aside.

Alternately sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

Serve warm.

Creamed spinach

1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped. 

In the skillet add a dash of olive oil, a grated clove of garlic- I prefer a roasted garlic preserved in olive oil. 

Add the spinach, sprinkle it with salt and nutmeg, cover the lid and allow it to cook for 5 minutes. Open the lid, let all the liquid evaporate and add a glug of cream. Toss and remove to a bowl.

Serve warm. 


Tips 

Prepare a butter mixed with garlic.

Prepare a butter with ancho chilli, lime zest and lime juice.


Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.