Kaffir Lime Crème Brulee

Kaffir lime creme Brulee

Ingredients:

  • 500ml (18fl oz) double cream
  • 1 no vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 5 pieces of lime leaf
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs

Method:

  1. Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream. Chop the empty pod and kaffir lime leaf into bits, and add these too.  Bring to boiling point, then turn off the heat and put a lid on.  Leave to infuse for five to ten minutes.
  2. Beat the sugar and all the eggs together in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and creamy. Bring the cream back to boiling point, then pour over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened – this indicates that the eggs have begun to cook slightly (you should have a smooth custard the consistency of double cream – a grainy texture means it’s been over-cooked and you’ll have to start all over again).
  3. Strain through a fine sieve into a large jug, and then use this to fill 6 ramekins about two thirds full. 
  4. Place the ramekins in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides. Place on the centre shelf and bake for 40 minutes to one hour at 140°C/275°F, or until the custards are just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.
  5. Remove from the water and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, evenly sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar over the surface of each Crème, then caramelize with a blowtorch. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, and then enjoy!

Notes:

This recipe was again donated by our very own Chef Kasdi and is great for a lazy Sunday afternoon dessert or one to help you shower love and affection on your spouse.

Happy Cooking!

Homemade beef burger with capsicum relish

Beef Burger

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 750g beef mince (topside)
  • 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional), or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
  • 70g (1 cup) breadcrumbs, made from day-old bread
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 6 hamburger buns, halved
  • Any type of leaf salad that you desire

Method for burger patties:

Prepare all your ingredients before you begin. It is important to use mince from a cut of meat that has a little fat. This will not only add flavour, it also ensures a tender burger by preventing the patties from drying out during cooking. However, mince that is too fatty will expel the excess fat during cooking, causing the patties to shrink and toughen considerably. Topside is the recommended mince for making beef burgers as it contains the right amount of fat. Breadcrumbs are not usually included in the traditional burger pattie mixture, but their addition to this recipe helps to give the cooked patties a lighter, more tender texture. The egg acts as a binding ingredient so that the patties can be easily shaped. It also helps them hold together when cooked.

  1. Place the beef mince, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce parsley, breadcrumbs and egg in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until evenly combined.
  2. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions (you can use a 125mls / 1/2 cup measuring cup if you like). Shape each portion with your hands into a patty about: 10cm in diameter and 1.5cm thick.
  3. Place the patties onto a tray lined with- greaseproof paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest. Chilling the patties will help them hold together when cooked. This also allows the flavours in the patties to blend and develop. If you chill the patties for any longer, increase the cooking time slightly.
  4. Heat half the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat and cook half the patties for about 4 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. It is important to cook mince right through because it has a larger ratio of surface area to volume than whole pieces of meat, and is therefore at greater risk of contamination by bacteria in the air. Transfer the patties to a plate, set aside and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and patties.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat grill on high. Place the hamburger buns, cut-side up, under the preheated grill and toast for 1 minute or until golden. Leave the grill on. Place the salad or any accompaniments that you desire. Spread on top of the meat with capsicum relish.

Capsicum Relish

  • 350 gm red, yellow and green capsicum , sliced
  • 1 no large white onion, sliced
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • Olive oil

Method for relish

Put all ingredients into the pot, mix well, cover with aluminum foil, then put in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C. Every 10 minutes, stir it, cook until it becomes soft and slightly brown in color.

Notes:

As usual Chef Kasdi has hit the nail right on the head with this great dish, it started out as a simple burger and since we opened the sales of it in our Kanpei restaurant in Kuala Lumpur have gone through the roof.

Give it a shot and you decide if it’s as good as people say it is.

Happy Cooking!

Crusted Chicken with Sundried Tomato Pasta

Crusted chicken

Crusted Chicken Breast

  • One chicken breast with the wing bone
  • Flour 100gm
  • An egg
  • Cashew nut 40gm
  • Almond 40gm
  • Pine nut 40gm
  • Salt To taste
  • Pepper To taste
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, dust with flour, and then dip in egg.
  2. Mix all the nuts and lightly crush or chop them together.
  3. Then dip the chicken in the mixture of nuts and put it in the chiller.
  4. After 10 minutes take out the chicken and place it inside an oven at 180°C and bake for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Sundried Tomato Pasta

  • Linguini 100gm
  • Onion 20gm
  • Garlic 15gm
  • Sundried Tomato (blend) 50gm
  • Cherry Tomato 4no’s
  • Olive Oil 80ml
  • Salt To taste
  • Pepper To taste
  1. Boil water, add some salt and oil, when the water is boiling, add the linguini pasta and let it cook whilst stirring.
  2. After the pasta is al dente (a little bite) take it out and cool it in a colander.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, fry the onion and garlic until golden brown, then add the sundried tomato blend.
  4. Then add the cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper & pour in the cooked linguini pasta and stir for a few seconds.
  5. Put the pasta on a plate and the crusted chicken by its side.

Chef Bob, our chef de cuisine for E&O restaurants has made a very nice and healthy dish which is as usual very easy to make. He has lightly sauced the noodles and garnished his dish with nice sprigs of fresh herbs.

Well done and thanks to Chef Bob.

Happy cooking!

Cherry tomato and pepper spaghetti with crayfish

Chef Alan Hunting

Ingredients:

  • 15-20 Cherry tomatoes
  • ½ A red pepper
  • 150g-170g Cooked crayfish Tails (you can buy ones in brine)
  • 200gm Spaghetti or Linguine
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon of dried basil
  • 2 Teaspoons of Olive oil
  • 1 Table spoon of Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Pre heat your oven to gas mark 6 or about 200°C
  2. Put on a the stove a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling add a good helping of salt.
  3. Halve your red peppers, remove any of the seeds and white membrane & flatten by just squashing with the palm of your hand.
  4. Place in a microwaveable bag or container with a splash of water and microwave for 2 minutes. (This just softens the pepper and speeds up the cooking process). Remove and drain off any excess water.
  5. Into a roasting dish place the cherry tomatoes and red peppers (when finished) and sprinkle with dried basil, finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar. Season with Salt and black pepper.
  6. Put the tomatoes and peppers into the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes
  7. Now add the Linguine or spaghetti to the boiling water and cook for approx 9-10 minutes if you like it al-dente (a bit of a bite), or about 12 minutes if you like it a bit softer.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss so that all the pasta gets a thin coating of oil.
  9. Remove the tomatoes and peppers from the oven and pour into the pan that you have cooked the pasta in, making sure you get all the juices and herbs.
  10. With a masher, crush the tomatoes and peppers and return to the pan on a medium heat.
  11. Add the Crayfish tails and stir for 1 minute.
  12. Add the pasta to the tomato sauce and mix well.
  13. Serve into warm bowls

Notes:

Ladies and Gentleman, may I please introduce Chef Andy Hunting, our guest chef who has very kindly donated this recipe to Chef’s Tales Blog. Chef Andy has informed me that this wonderful dish goes very well with hot crispy garlic bread, or just a plain and simple dressed green salad is also suitable. We would like to thank Chef Andy for donating this lovely dish and hope that all our readers are equally impressed. Well done Chef Hunting!!

Happy Cooking everyone!

Rosemary-lemon roasted chicken

Roast chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 bird Chicken – whole
  • Butcher string- optional
  • Rosemary-lemon marinade:
  • ½ cup Lemon juice
  • 1 no Lemon slice
  • ½ no Lemon zest
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 2 sprig Fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 3 cloves Fresh garlic
  • Freshly crushed black pepper and salt to taste.

Preparation:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a pestle & mortar or bowl.
  2. Grind & mix well, pour the marinade on top of the chicken, rub it all over the whole chicken inside and outside.
  3. Pre heat an oven at 400°F, place the chicken on a baking tray and in the oven.
  4. Roast the chicken about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the weight of the chicken.

Notes:

Keeping this dish in our normal simple style, Chef Kasdi has served his roasted chicken with fried waffle potatoes and assorted roasted vegetables.

When roasting chickens, we have attached below cooking times depending on the weight on the bird to make it as easy as possible for you to follow:

Happy Roasting!

Below are the basic guide lines of roasting chicken;

  • 1.5 – 2 lbs 400° F. 45 min. – 1 hour
  • 2 – 2.5lbs 400° F. 1 – 1.25hours
  • 2.5- 3 lbs 375° F. 1.25- 1.75hours
  • 3 – 4 lbs 375° F. 1.75- 2.25hours

The REAL Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 Whole Eggs
  • 7pc Egg Whites
  • All purpose flour (Sieved through a fine strainer until very light)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Lea & Perrins Sauce
  • Fresh Milk

Method:

  1. Crack the 4 whole eggs into a large bowl.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks of the other 7 eggs; this is accomplished better if the eggs are taken chilled straight from the fridge.
  3. Crack the eggs in to your bare hand and open your fingers ever so slightly allowing the whites to slip through leaving just the yolk in your hand. Place aside the yolk for another purpose and keep the 7 whites.
  4. Add the 7 separate whites to the 4 yolks in the large bowl.
  5. Whip all of the yolks and egg whites until they are all mixed together very well.
  6. After they are nicely whipped together, add bit by bit the finely sieved flour and whisk with a coarse whisk until the mixture becomes very stiff but smooth and until your arm is tired and you are unable to mix it anymore.
  7. Slowly add the fresh milk bit by bit until the mixture becomes loose.
  8. Dip your finger into the mixture, the mixture should run off the finger and not cling, but should be thick enough to coat the finger.
  9. The finger should be coated, however the finger should be easily visible through the mixture and the mixture should run off easily.
  10. Season the mixture with the salt, pepper and Lea & Perrins Sauce.
  11. Let the mixture sit in the bowl and “rest” for at least an hour and then strain to ensure there are no lumps.

The Cooking process:

  1. Whilst the mixture is “resting” take a Yorkshire pudding or muffin tray and fill the compartments full of vegetable or any other low cholesterol oil.
  2. Place the tray with the full compartments into a hot oven 375°C.
  3. When the tray is smoking hot, take the tray out and pour most of the oil out of the tray leaving about ¼ inch of hot oil in each compartment.
  4. Pour the rested mixture into the hot oiled compartments until the compartments are about ¾ full.
  5. Place the hot tray with the mixture back into the hot oven.
  6. The mixture will start to rise after about 10-15 minutes and will shoot up like a soufflé.
  7. After 15 minutes when the mixture starts to shoot up, open the oven ever so gently and turn around the tray so that the front puddings are now at the back. Close the oven as gently & slowly allowing no draft and no heat from the oven to escape.
  8. With this process it will ensure that the puddings are cooked evenly.
  9. When the puddings look golden brown in color and look almost cooked, turn the oven right down and finish cooking slowly to ensure that they are cooked well through to the middle so that they will not sink after taking them out of the oven.

Notes:

  • When cracking and separating the yolks from the whites, if you do not like to use your hand, the egg shell is another container suitable to separate them.
  • It is very important that the muffin tins are VERY HOT before adding the mixture to ensure that they cook instantly and seal around the edges of the tins. This will allow the mixture inside the middle of the tins to rise very quickly without any problems sticking to the outside of the tins as the other mixture has already stuck there.
  • The Egg whites will help the puddings rise very quickly as they are very light and the yolks will serve as the pudding portion of the recipe.
  • When mixing the yolks and the whites together it is very important to whip the eggs as much as you can trapping plenty of air inside the mixture, when the mixture gets hot, the air trapped inside will rise taking the mixture with it.
  • The flour must be sieved very well so that it is very light, offers little resistance and does not stop the mixture from rising.
  • The lighter everything is the quicker and higher the mixture will rise.

Happy Cooking!

Simple BBQ Lamb Chops

Simple BBQ lamb chops

10 pieces of Slice lamb shoulder or lamb rack are needed, please ask your butcher to trim them for you, but keep some fat on them to ensure the meat stays moist during the cooking process

BBQ marinade:

  • ½ cup HP Sauce
  • ½ cup AI Sauce
  • 3 clove Garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup Tomato ketchup
  • ¼ cup Chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp Cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1 cup Brown sauce / veal demi glaze
  • 3 pcs Bay leaf
  • 2 sprig Fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig Fresh rosemary
  • Freshly crushed black pepper and salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pot and mix well, bring it to a simmer for about 30 minutes then take it off the heat and set aside to cool down.
  2. On a tray, place the seasoned lamb, with salt, pepper and oil, then grill the lamb on an intense heat just to sear the meat of the outside, then mix the warm meat with the BBQ sauce and then continue cooking/grilling using a charcoal grill.
  3. Serve with grilled vegetables and a shallot confit.

Notes:

Chef Kasdi has made this dish as simple as humanly possible which we aim to do, we aim to help everyone cook great, easy food at home for their loved ones

Happy Cooking!

Sex in the Bahamas

This musing is true and one that I may or may not share with my grand kids, I have not decided yet, maybe you can help me to come to a suitable conclusion:

The Bahamas really was paradise when I moved there from Canada in the winter of 86, I remember boarding the Air Canada plane in Toronto when it was -30 and then stepping off the same plane about 2 ½ hours later into glorious warm sunshine. I was relocating there for a 2 year contract as Sous Chef, a management position I had never held before and a position which came with the benefit of complimentary staff housing.

They say there are two great days every week when working in the Bahamas, one is pay day which needs no further explanation and the other is your day off. The most popular pastime during your single day off every week was lazing around the beach, wearing mirror shades girl watching and drinking Becks beer by the bucket due to the immense boredom. Everyone at that time seemed to be having sex in the Bahamas and to be honest, being 26 years old, sitting on the beach and watching the endless parade of topless girls walking back and forth all day was starting to take its toll on me, my hormones were going crazy and I decided that I needed to find a girlfriend of my own.

There was one girl in particular who I had taken a fancy to and who was a croupier at the hotel casino, I decided to ask Susan out and after she agreed we went out for a night on the town. After having my first night dancing and drinking with her, I went back to my room and entered my bed alone and tipsy.

After I had taken care of my later than midnight munchies, I fell asleep with a half eaten bag of potato chips on the floor next to the bed side table. I was woken up with the sound of the paper bag rustling around, I moved across my bed to turn on the side table lamp and when the switch was clicked on I looked down and saw nothing. Thinking the last glass of tequila had taken its toll, I turned over and went back to sleep again only to within seconds of me settling heard the rustling of the bag again.

Feeling rather annoyed, I turned around again, switched on the table side lamp only to see the same blank space on the floor next to the bag of chips. I realized that, the sound of me moving in bed to switch on the light alerted whatever it was to hide and wait for me to turn off the light again before moving in again on my snacks.

Feeling like Sherlock Holmes, I turned off the light, stayed completely still with my hand on the switch and waited for the paper bag to move. On hearing the bag move, I immediately switched on the light and to my horror I saw the biggest, fattest, most well fed and ugliest rat I had ever seen looking up at me with my sour cream & onion chips all over its whiskers and paws.

This bloody stinking rat, no thief I should call it, swaggered ever so slowly with a waddle and its hips swinging back and forth before it disappeared behind the fridge. I walked slowly to look behind the fridge only to see a very large hole in the wall.

The next day I got the engineering to come and put a large wooden plank over the hole and believing that it was all sorted out went to sleep only to find out he had other entrances all mapped out around the apartment.

This went on for weeks, it would come in and I would follow it, find its entrance and plug the hole until I finally got fed up and went to see Rentokil.

They gave me a very large sticky glue tray, which I placed near its latest entrance and went to sleep, the next morning when I checked the tray I saw there was a very large rat arse shape stencil in the middle of the tray where the glue and the rat were supposed to be. There were glue foot prints all over the kitchen where it had obviously been looking around for something else to eat during the night.

On explaining to my Rentokil specialist what had happened, they told me that they had never seen a rat big enough to release itself from a glue tray so they decided to go for broke and gave me a very large tray of poison.

The problem was I had become very attatched to my rat friend and did not want to kill the thing, but I had realized that I could not go on like this and laid the tray of food next to its current entrance. I could not help but think what a disaster and passion killer it would be if I managed to get Susan to enter my room only for the both of us to find the rat waiting for its normal and regular potato chip supper.

The next morning when I woke up the tray was empty, as I looked at the empty tray I felt quite sad and remorse for killing my regular visitor.

A couple of days later I was in the canteen having lunch with a few of my colleagues and Susan was sitting there alone. I went to sit down next to her with two spoons and offered to share the large slice of American cheese cake and 2 huge scoops of vanilla ice cream that I had pinched from the pastry kitchen minutes earlier.

She looked very sad and I asked her what had happened, she told me that “Henry” had passed away and that she was heartbroken. I felt very sorry for her and told her that I was sorry for her loss, I enquired if Henry was her brother, father or another member of her family and she announced, “No it’s my pet rat, I live in the staff housing and I found it dead at my bed side when I woke up this morning”

Soya Glazed Cod on asparagus puree

Soya Glazed Cod

Black Cod fillet, portion to 140gm each, skin on

Marinade:

  • ½ cup Kikoman soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp Honey or maple syrup
  • 30 gm Ginger, crushed
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a cooking pot over a low heat, let it simmer until it is reduced by half and then let it chill.
  2. With a pastry brush, glaze the cod fillet on the fish side (NOT the skin side) with the soya marinate.
  3. Sauté in a non-stick pan, skin side down first, then once the skin is crispy, finish cooking it in the oven.
  4. Keep on brushing the cod with the soya glaze during the cooking process.
  5. Serve with asparagus puree and asparagus tips.

Notes:

Chef Kasdi has seared & pan-fried his cod to perfection and topped it off with deep-fried shredded carrots. To make the asparagus puree a little different he has sprinkled some of the tips arbitrarily around the outside of the presentation receptacle.

Happy Cooking!