Ricotta & pumpkin ravioli

Ricotta dumpling

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2pc Eggs (beaten)
  • 2pc Egg Yolks
  • 1 no Roasted pumpkin – medium size
  • 1 Cup Ricotta cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Chives (chopped)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1pc Egg (beaten)

Method to make the pasta:

  1. Place the flour in a mound on a smooth top work area.
  2. Create a well in the centre of the flour.
  3. Pour the 2 beaten eggs and 2 egg yolks into the well.
  4. Slowly pull the flour into the eggs until it is all incorporated.
  5. Finish kneading by hand, adding more flour if needed for a smooth consistency.
  6. Divide the pasta in half and roll out each half or feed through a pasta roller until thin, use the number 6 setting on the machine.
  7. Roll out as many sheets of pasta as possible with the mixture.

Method to make the pumpkin mousse:

  1. Cut the pumpkin with the skin on, season with olive oil, salt and freshly crushed black pepper, roast in an oven for 15 minutes until soft, remove the skin then using a fork or mashed potato press, puree the pumpkin.
  2. Slowly add the ricotta cheese, chopped chives, and pepper.
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. To assemble the raviolis, prepare a smooth, floured surface.
  5. Lay out the pasta.
  6. Divide the pumpkin mousse into 24 equal-sized portions and place these portions two inches apart on one sheet of pasta.
  7. Brush the beaten egg on the pasta between the mounds of pumpkin mousse.
  8. Cover with the other sheet of pasta.
  9. Cut raviolis apart.
  10. Refrigerate or freeze until they are ready to use.
  11. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a steady simmer, add the raviolis, and cook for about 6 minutes.
  12. Drain well with a colander.
  13. Serve the stuffed raviolis on a warm plate, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Note:

Executive Chef Kasdi has made a lovely dish today that can be served with any grilled meat, but also as a good vegetarian option. He has served his ravioli with simple grilled lamb chops and garnished them with sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Happy Cooking!

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey 2

Gordon recently visited the Eastern & Oriental Hotel and I have to tell you, I prepared myself for the barrage of insults that I perceived would be very soon forth coming. On his arrival he was very tired as he had just landed from a very long journey, but he still found the time to smile and shake my hand as if he really meant it. I offered to carry one of his 2 bags which he refused until I insisted, thereby almost taking it from his hand by force.

He is very down to earth, a simple person who just wants to be treated like everyone else and loves to be low key and private.

During his stay this man has managed to dispel all negative thoughts I may have had previously after watching his television persona, to be quite honest and to put it simply, he is a complete gentleman.

He constantly praised our hotel & my colleagues and on his departure told me that he would have loved to stay far longer if he were able.

As he stood by the door, I asked him “Would it be out of line Gordon if I requested us to take a photo together” , he looked at me confused and replied, “Of course not, don’t be silly, I would have been disappointed if you had not asked.”

Mr. Gordon Ramsay, I take my hat of to you, having you in our hotel was a complete pleasure and I wish everyone could only see what I saw, this wonderful person that you are.

Southern Fried Chicken

 Southern Fried Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1pc Whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • A Lemon
  • 3 Tablespoon Cajun Spices
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 80ml Cooking oil for fry
  • An Egg
  • 2 Onions, sliced
  • 200ml Chicken Stock
  • 100ml Brown stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Flour for dusting

Method

  1. Cut & clean the chicken and mix with the Cajun spices, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and the lemon skin.
  2. Marinade over night in a fridge.
  3. The next day, take out the chicken from the fridge.
  4. Heat the cooking oil.
  5. Crack the egg and mix well, dip the chicken into the egg then dust with flour.
  6. Slowly drop the chicken into the hot oil, fry until golden brown on sides or until its cooked.
  7. Make sure that the oil is not too hot.
  8. Take out the cooked chicken and fry the sliced onions in the same cooking oil.
  9. Fry until golden brown and add around 1 tablespoon of flour.
  10. Cook the flour until golden brown and pour in both the stocks and stir.
  11. Let it simmer until the sauce is thick.
  12. Pour on top of the chicken.
  13. Best served with Mashed Potato and crispy fried onion rings.

Notes

Chef Bob has made some very easy soul comfort food for you to enjoy, however when deep frying there are some very important points to take note of. Please ensure that when you are frying anything in hot oil you are very careful to ensure you fry in a safe environment. The oil should be hot and clean, if not the food will absorb too much oil making it an unhealthy dish. If the oil is too hot, the chicken will brown too quickly on the outside and still be raw in the middle. After the chicken is taken out of the oil it should be placed directly on to a thick paper kitchen towel to absorb any unwanted oil.

Happy Cooking!

Celebrity Chef: Emmanuel Stroobant

chefinblack1

We recently had the pleasure to have “Chef in Black” Emmanuel Stroobant visit the Eastern & Oriental Hotel and we had a great time.

He came on behalf of US Potato association where he cooked a few dishes in our ballroom in front of a live audience thereby entertaining them.

I must say that he had all the ladies chasing after him with his good looks & his pleasant manners, not to mention the French accent that left them speechless and gagging for more.

He proved to be a very pleasant man, a great chef and a pleasure to be around.

Well done Chef in Black!

Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb shank

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 200 gm Onions, sliced
  • 150 gm Carrot, sliced
  • 150 gm Celery sliced
  • 5 large Shallots, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 4 no’s Lamb shanks
  • 30gm All purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Dry red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups Beef broth
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2pcs Bay leaves

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy large roasting pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, carrot, celery, shallots and sauté until brown, about 20 minutes. Mix in the 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary and remove from the heat.
  2. Sprinkle the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and coat lamb with flour. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, fry the lamb shanks in a skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 10 minutes per batch.
  3. Using tongs, transfer the lamb shanks to a plate. Add 1 cup dry red wine to same skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Pour into the roasting pan with the onion mixture. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups red wine, beef broth, tomato paste and 2 bay leaves to the roasting pan. Bring to boil, stirring until tomato paste dissolves. Add the lamb shanks, turning to coat with liquid.
  4. Bring mixture to slow simmer, cover, put inside oven and cooked until lamb is tender, turning lamb shanks occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Take out from oven, transfer the lamb into plate and while the liquid continue simmer on a pan till it’s reduced to sauce consistency, about 30 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper. Strain the liquid and serve with the lamb shanks.

Notes:

Chef Bob has yet again delivered a lovely and easy to make dish that will keep you all warm during a chilly spring evening. He has garnished it with mashed potatoes, grilled vegetable s and fresh rosemary.

You can find a step by step method to make fantastic mashed potatoes under the cooking techniques section of our blog.

Happy Cooking!

Celebrity Chef Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Food Odyssey, November 2008

Rick Stein

Rick Stein came to visit us for a few days whilst he was filming one of the episodes from the “Far East Food Odyssey”, he was a kind gentleman for whom I have nothing but praise.

He spoke to people as a well mannered chap who continuously flew the English flag with pride during his entire visit.

We had a couple of nights in the hotel bar listening to live entertainment over a few cold ones and I have to say that I enjoyed his company.

I have nothing but praise for him and truly believe that he is offering an honorable service for others less gifted at preparing meals for their loved ones.

Well done to Mr. Rick Stein who is continuously showing the world how to cook food better.

Are we the “Daddy” our daughter’s deserve?

I received a letter about 6 months ago that brought to my attention a possibility that never occurred to me for a second as something that may be true. The letter made compliments to my autobiography Chef’s Tales, they wrote to tell me how they had enjoyed the book and lamented on how it had made an impact on their life giving them the courage to pursue their dreams. 

 I was feeling rather happy with myself and felt extremely proud that I had managed to make an impact on a persons feelings enough for them to chase their dreams. Then, right at the end of the lovely note, the author of the letter made a statement followed by a simple question, “I think you were very brave to just simply pack up and leave home whilst you were just 18 and travel the world on your own, congratulations to you, however I have one question if I may please. Children living in a normal, loving and caring family would be broken hearted to leave their home and family as you did, how did you cope with this loss at such an early age?” 

Over the years many people have asked me how I was so brave, but until it was brought to my attention, I never reflected for a second why I felt the urge to leave so early in the first place. The standard answer was that I loved travelling, therefore the romance and glamour of being a globe trotter took the better of me and off I went strolling towards a beautiful setting sunset never to be seen again for many years to come. 

A lot of soul searching pursued and I have come to the following conclusion, somehow I must have been unhappy about something or felt a void that needed to be filled. I really believe that I had a lovely child hood; however my father was a very conservative man who constantly told me that whilst I was living in his house, I had to do as I was told until I was 18 years of age. The constant feeling of being controlled and told not to leave the house over the years, especially when I was young may have affected me subconsciously. He went on to teach me that on reaching 18 years of age, I was then old enough to make my own decisions and so I did, not only leaving the house, not only the country but leaving the continent too! 

A few days ago I was telling a girl friend of mine about how I whisper every night in my two daughters ears that I love them before they go to sleep. She told me that daughters were very lucky and wished her father had done so with her. She then mentioned that she had made up for the lack of love from her father by finding other men to love her instead. 

She went on to tell me that when she was young, going to school was very unpleasant, as her friends were being hugged at the gate she would already be half way to her class and her father half way down the road in the car before other parents would be willing to break the bear hug on their children. The last heart wrenching sentence to me was that watching her friends enjoying the attention from affectionate and loving parents whilst she was unable to purchase a hug if she had the money to do so would always tear her heart out. 

My conclusion to this lesson in life is that as a daddy, I should continue to hug my daughters every day and tell them I love them, for without this, I fear they may rush all too quickly and find another “daddy” to fill this void and whom may not have the same intentions as I do.

Grilled Flank Steak with Pineapple Salsa

Flank Steak

Ingredients:

  • 1kg or 2 pounds of flank steak, ask your butcher to trim it for you
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Combine the marinade ingredients. Place steak and marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag. Coat the steak well with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl. Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
  2. Preheat the grill with high, direct heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over it and you can only hold it there for about a second. OR you can use non-stick pan.
  3. Take the steak out of the marinade bag and sprinkle generously on all sides with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. The salt and pepper will help form a savory crust on the steak. Place steak on the hot grill. If you are using a gas grill, cover the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. Half way through grilling on each side, turn the steak 90° so that you get more grill marks.
  4. Flank steak is best eaten medium rare; well done will make it too tough. When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat and to keep the steak from drying out, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Make very thin slices, against the grain, and at a slight diagonal so that the slices are wide.

If you want, you can take the excess marinade and bring it to a boil, simmer for several minutes, and serve with the flank steak. Serve with any kind of salsa and grilled vegetable

Pineapple Salsa:

  • ½ Fresh pineapple – cut into small cubes
  • 2 Nos fresh chili – chopped
  • 3 Nos fresh Roma tomato or plum tomato – cube
  • 1 Sprigs of coriander leaf
  • 1 Nos of onion – chopped
  • 3 Tbsp of sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tsp coriander seed
  • Sea salt and sugar
  • Canola oil

Method:

Pre heat the sauce pan, add oil and coriander seed, let it soak in the oil for 3 seconds, then add in onion, sweat it until translucent, then add in chili, tomato and pineapple, stir, then add in the rest of items except coriander leaf. Just before serve mix it with fresh coriander leaf.

Note:

Our resident Executive Chef at Kanpei, Chef Bob has outdone himself again today. We on chefstales set out to make easy and great meals for everyone to be able to cook at home for their loved ones and this dish definitely falls into this category.

Happy Cooking!

Briyani Lamb Shanks

briyani lamb shanks

Ingredients

  • 4 pcs Lamb shanks
  • 3 pcs Tomatoes
  • 200gm Fried shallots
  • 300gm Briyani powder
  • 350gm Yogurt
  • 250ml Milk
  • 150ml Lime juice
  • 30gm Coriander leaves
  • 30gm Mint leaves
  • 250gm Tomato puree
  • 800ml Water
  • 200ml Ghee
  • 150ml Cooking oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Fried items

  • 200gm Onions, sliced
  • 20gm Cardamom seeds
  • 20gm Cloves
  • 20gm Cinnamon sticks
  • 20gm Star anise

Blended Items

  • 100gm Garlic
  • 80gm Ginger
  • 80gm Red Chili
  • 80gm Green Chili
  • 60gm Almond nuts
  • 60gm Cashew nuts

Method

  1. Heat up the cooking oil & ghee then add the items for frying.
  2. Fry these items until they are fragrant without burning.
  3. Pour in the blend items, tomato puree, briyani powder, fried shallots & fry them all together until they are fragrant.
  4. Use this finished blend to coat the lamb.
  5. Add the mint leaf, coriander leaf, tomato and water.
  6. Stir a while then pour in yogurt, milk and salt
  7. Lastly add the lime juice and bring it to a very steady simmer.
  8. Let it simmer until the lamb is nicely cooked until tender.

Notes:

Chef Bob our resident chef at Kanpei Restaurant has managed to put together a nice Asian dish for everyone to try at home. It is very easy to make as it is mostly, after adding all the ingredients, just a slow simmering process. When the lamb is ready you can tell as it should be easily separated using a spoon and will melt in your mouth with little chewing needed.

Well done chef Bob.

Happy Cooking!