Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun
Highly useful kitchen gadget

Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Nights Fish Special...

This is the fish special from last night that I mentioned in yesterdays post.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New dishes at work!!!

Did a really great soup of the day last night and here is the recipe for you all.

Mushroom, Lemon and Garlic soup!!

500 grams mushrooms (roughly chopped)
2 Lemons (Roughly chopped)
1 Leek (Roughly chopped)
1 Onion (Roughly chopped)
5 Clove Garlic (Peeled and roughly Chopped)
1 table spoon plain flour
1 Vegetable stock cube dissolved in 500mls
boiling water
Salt and Cracked Black pepper
250mls Double Cream
20mls Vegetable oil
20grams butter

Heat the oil and the butter in a pan and then add the vegetables and garlic. Cook over a low heat for ten minutes until the leek onion have softened and then add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and the simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes. Whisk in the flour and boil for two minutes and then add the cream and bring back to the boil. Pout the soup into a liquidiser/ food processor and blend until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper and serve with some good quality crusty bread.

Bon apptite!
 As a fish special we had; Poached Salmon, Carrot and Passion fruit sauce, Spinach Emulsion and Char grilled Leeks. The dish was very popular with the guests and was a total sell out.

Tonight, as the fish special, I'm doing Sea bass, Red Cabbage, Spinach powder.
The red cabbage is being served in three different ways.
1) Pickled in a honey and balsamic emulsion
2) Braised with red wine, molasses and chili flakes.
3) Red cabbage juice at the base of butter sauce with garlic an spring onions

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu ideas and concepts!!!!

Spiced Cabbage Soup, Smoked Mushrooms, Slow Cooked Egg, Bacon Powder

Soy Cured Salmon, Wasabi Ice Cream, Japanese inspired red Cabbage, Honey/Lime/Curry Vinaigrette

Peach and Watermelon Gazpacho, Italian Cured Meats, Forest Berries

Seared Scallops, Textures of Passion fruit

Roasted Beetroot, Smoked Sheep's Milk Yoghurt, Crispy Potatoes, Micro Greens

Smoke Mackerel Mousse, Nori, Licorice, Pineapple

Pan fried Red Snapper, Cous Cous, Tomato/Dill/Lemon Broth

Poached Scottish Salmon, Tomato and Ginger Butter, Leeks in Various forms

Slow Cooked Brisket, Red Cabbage, Flavours of Olde England

Breast of Corn Fed Chicken, Pink Grapefruit, Green Tea and Cinnamon

Potato Gnocchi, Yellow pepper broth, Poached Egg

Rack of Lamb, Sweet potato, Goats cheese, Smoked Aubergine

Chocolate and Beetroot Cake, Turmeric Custard, Blackcurrant Sorbet, Gelee of Molasses, Cointreau and Beet juice

Coconut, Lemon grass and Palm Sugar Panna Cotta, Purple Basil Sorbet , White Chocolate/Honey Sauce

Apple and Lancashire Cheese Lasagne, Carrot Sorbet, Banana Foam

Vodka and Cranberry Cake, Tomato, Celery and Tabasco sorbet

Dark Roast Coffee Bavaois, Medium Roast coffee Ice Cream, Walnut Tuille, Maple Syrup

A vegetarian Tasting Menu!!!

Roasted Beetroot, Sheep's Milk Yoghurt and crispy potatoes

Carrot, Tomato, Coconut and Coriander Soup

Potato Gnocchi, Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce, Poached Egg
& Basil Oil

Char grille Polenta, Seasonal vegetables, Truffle &
Spinach purée, Pea Shoots

Selection of Artisan Cheese, Biscuits & Chutneys

Composition of Lemon, Chocolate & Coffee Soil

Delights Of The Sea Menu!!!!!

Lobster Won Tons/ Sweet Chilli & Black Bean Dipping Sauce

Smoke Mackerel Mousse/ Nori / Licorice Mayonnaise/ Hot & Sour Pineapple

Flash Seared Squid/ Citrus Fruits/ Micro Celery/ Walnut Oil

Red Mullet/ Salmon & Basil quenelles/ Ratatouille /Roasted Garlic

Poached Halibut/ Lemon Mash/ Apricot Curry / Citrus Braised Carrots

Gorgonzola Ice Cream / Red Wine Poached Pear

Chilled Coconut Rice Pudding / Passion fruit Sorbet / Mango Coulis
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Some more recipes

Water Melon and Peach Gazpacho!!!!!
( serves four as a substantial lunch or
six as first course or soup course for a tasting
menu or dinner party)!

500 grams Water Melon
6 Peaches, skinned and stone removed
300 grams Tomatoes
2 Clove Garlic
200grams Stale Bread ( a good Ciabatta
or sour dough is ideal for this recipe)
150 grams Finely Diced white onion
500mls Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and Cracked Black pepper (to

To Garnish!!!

Assortment of Italian meats i.e. Salami, Bressaola,
Parma Ham, mortadella (around 300 grams in total)!

Assortment of Mixed berries (Strawberries, blueberries,
raspberries, blackcurrants. This is dependant on what is
in season)!

Selection of Micro Greens ( i.e. zesty mustard green frills,
Broccoli sprout, Dark Opal Basil. Celery Leaves. Again, this is
dependant on what is available)

Place all the ingredients for the Gazpacho into a bowl (except for the salt and
cracked black pepper), cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for 24
hours. After 24 hours, remove from the fridge and liquidize (preferably using a liquidizer
for a smoother texture but a food processor can be used for this stage). Pass through a
fine sieve into a clean bowl and season to taste with the salt and cracked black pepper.
Store in the refrigerator until required.

To Serve!!!

Divide the Gazpacho between four soup plates and decoratively
and artfully garnish with the meats, berries and micro greens.

Spaghetti Sakura!!!

(Serves Four)!

400grams cooked Spaghetti ( allow 100
grams per person)
500 grams Shitake Mushrooms (stalks
200mls Sake
2 Cans unsweetened Coconut milk
Soy sauce (to taste)
1 red Chilli, very finely chopped
30mls Peanut oil
1 Bunch coriander, finely chopped

Place the Sake in a sauce pan and along with the stalks from the
mushrooms and gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave
to infuse for two or three hours. The reason for this is that the stalks of the Shitake
mushrooms are very tough and inedible. However, they do contain a huge amount
of flavour and this stage of the recipe helps to extract that flavour. After completing this
stage, strain the sake through a sieve and discard the mushroom stalks.

In a wok, heat the peanut oil until it is almost smoking and than add the thinly
caps of the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and then add the
Sake and reduce by ¾ . Then add the chilli and Coconut milk and reduce by half and then
toss the cooked spaghetti through the sauce, ensuring that it is heated thoroughly. Add half the
coriander to the sauce and then divide between four warmed pasta bowls. Sprinkle over the remaining
coriander and serve.

Note!!!.........For an additional flavour boost, I like to use some dried Shitake mushrooms
(available from all good Asian and Oriental food stores) that I have ground to a fine powder.
This is sprinkled over the dish at the last minute, and, as I said, gives the whole thing that extra and
additional boost of flavour. An electric coffee grinder is the ideal solution to this but, failing that. You
can use a food processor but you will have to sieve the resulting powder.

Squid Ink Spaghetti, Seared Tuna Loin, Pink Grapefruit, Spring onions!!!

400 grams cooked Squid ink Spaghetti (allowing 100 grams per person)

4 x 150 gram Tuna Loin Steaks
30 Mls Vegetable or sunflower oil
1 tsp Dried red Chilli Flakes
Salt and Cracked Black pepper to season

For the Sauce!!!

200mls Pink Grapefruit juice
50 mls Dry Sherry
100 mls Double Cream
Finely shredded green of 1/2 bunch spring onions
50 grams Salted butter
200 mls Fish Stock
1 Clove crushed Garlic
1 tsp Fine julienne of ginger

To Garnish!!!

Pink Grapefruit Segments
Finely shredded white and the remaining green part
of the bunch of spring onions

To make the sauce....put the Pink grapefruit juice, dry sherry, garlic, and
ginger into a sauce pan and reduce by ¾. Then add the fish stock and reduce by half
before finally adding the cream and again reducing by half. Whisk in the butter, a little
at a time until it is all incorporated and then add the green part from the spring onions.

Dip the Tuna steaks in the oil and season with the salt, cracked black pepper and chilli flakes
and cook on a pre – heated griddle pan for two or three minutes per side (this is dependant on whether
you like your Tuna medium rare or medium).

To serve.......reheat the spaghetti in the microwave for two minutes (ensuring that it
is hot)! Divide between four pasta bowls and top each mound of spaghetti with a Tuna steak.
Garnish with the pink grapefruit segments and the spring onions.

Notes......When whisking the butter into the sauce, it must be done over a low
heat so that the sauce does not boil, otherwise, it will split.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


The other day, one of my Chef friends Norman Van Aken, at Facebook posted this status update.........I am looking for a Pastry Chef who wants to rock Miami's mind. Come see us. Ask for Jeffrey or Travis. 415 NE 2nd Ave. Tuyo (Restaurant).

In response, I commented that if he would organise the work permit, visa, plane ticket and accommodation, then I would take the job.Anyway, the following of the dessert are t ideas that I mentioned in my response.




And an idea that is currently under development......VODKA AND CRANBERRY CAKE, TOMATO, TABASCO AND CELERY SORBET.

This last one is inspired by  a dessert that they are doing at the vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 in Mnchester UK. Their dish is a Gin and Tonic cake with a cucmber and black pepper granita. The thinking behind my idea is my love of the combination of Vodka and Cranberry juice. As far as the sorbet is concerned, Tomato juice, Tabasco and celery are all elements of a Bloody Mary, so why not turn them into sorbet?

Another concept that I was thinking about recently is a dessert called Sweetcorn and Popcorn. This wouls cocsist of the following elements:

Sweetcorn Sorbet

A sweetcron and corn and corn syrup sabayon

A butter and maple syrup powder (made with Tapioca maltodextrin)

Popcorn, seasoned with a little smoked salt for a true contrast of falvour.

The wer some other elements that I was thinking about but I can't remember them at the moment.

Anyway, I think these dessert would be enough to rock anybodies mind, let alone the people of Miami. And, hopefully, they would be described as other worldy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flavour combinations.

A few days ago on Facebook, I posted as my status that I was researching new flavour combination ideas. If you take the time and trouble there is a huge wealth of inspiration to be found out there.

Anyway, still on the subject of Facebook, one of my musician friends on there mentioned last night that she was drinking a steaming mug of Maple and Walnut coffee and this kind of started giving me ideas about possibilities for using these flavours in a dessert.

On this I was thinking along the lines of doing two things with the coffee, using bean that are roasted to different degrees ( i.e...Medium and Dark) to offer some flavour contrasts. Maybe a Panna Cotta with the Dark roast and an ice cream with the medium roast. Then, for some crunchy texture, maybe a Tuille biscuit featuring the walnuts and some kind of foam or gelee with the maple syrup. These are just a few ideas that I've had. I'm still formulating and making notes on the potential possibilities for this one!

A few days ago I also someone drinking a Carrot, Apple and Banana smoothie. With this I was thinking about my Apple and Lancashire Cheese Lasagna, still featuring the cider sabayon but also with the addition of a Carrot sorbet and some roasted Banana with a rum and orange syrup.

Another friend that I have recently added at Facebook is a Tunisian based pastry chef by the name of ...Miao Yi Francois Seurin. He is doing some great dessert featuring amazing combintions of flavours that would really excite and tantalise the taste bud. A few ideas from him are:

Port, Figs, Orange, Cinnamon, Gorgonzola, Walnuts.

In the dessert that he does with those ingredients, he actuaally uses the Gorgonzola to make an ice cream. A great idea and something that could be served as a transition form the main course to the dessert course.

Another one features;

Pineapple, coconut, cucmber, mint and passionfruit.

Or how about something combining;

Vanilla, kiwi, pineapple, sage, sticky rice and Japanese Adzuki Beans?

I also had a great marketinf idea/concept the other day. Many of the dishes thaat I have propsed for the new menu where I work feature fruit and here are some examples.......

Peach and Water melon gazpacho, Italian meats and assorted berrie

Squid ink Spaghetti, Seared Tuna, Pink grapefruit and spring onions

There a few others, but I don't have my note book with me and can't remember them off the top of my head. But anyway, my marketing concept would be called.....FRUIT THE NEW VEGETABLES. Personally, I think that it's a pure stroke of genius.

Anothe way in which I get inspirations for falvour combintions is from reading restaurant revies in magazines and I read a really good one in one of the Sunday supplements for a restaurant in London called GALOUPET. I paid a visit to their web site and dwonloaded the menu. The restauran is doing a very interesting blend of Mediteranean/ Asian cuisine and it has offered a great wealth of new ideas and possibilities.

Anyway, a mjor part of my culinary vision is to find a way to be able to bring all of these ideas to fruition in some form. I will keep you posted on all developments with regards to this.