Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun
Highly useful kitchen gadget

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Some new Inspirations!!!!!

Some new Inspirations!!!!!

The last week or two I have been watching the semi – finals and the finals of the BBC TV programme Master Chef: The Professionals. The contestants have been
producing some really exciting, innovative and totally inspirational food with some really daring and esoteric flavour combinations.

In the first stage of the finals on Monday, (12th December 2011), the contestants had to produce a starter and a main course using beef and chicken. The Chicken
cam complete with the giblets and offal. Anyway, having watched the show, it got me onto thinking about the dishes that I would have produced if I wad in that
situation. And thee following are my ideas.

As far as the beef is concerned, there was a choice of cuts, including Fillet, Sirloin, Rib, Rump and Bavette (skirt steak). Anyway, I personally would have used the
Bavette for my first.

Oriental Inspired Beef Salad!!!!

For this dish I would cut the Bavette into steaks weighing about 100grams each. I would then season them with Sea salt and cracked black and then seal the steaks in a very hot pan with a little groundnut oil. Once the steaks had been sealed and nicely caramelized on the outside, I would plunge them into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. Before sealing the steaks, they would have to be quite heavily seasoned as the excess salt and pepper would be removed once the steaks are plunged into the iced water. I would then place the steaks into individual vacuum bags along with some Sesame oil, Indonesian soy sauce, mint leaves and Muscavado sugar. The bags would then be sealed and left to marinate for one hour.

To accompany the dish, I would serve the following;

Broccoli Tempura (To give the dish some crunchy texture)
Soy sauce, maple syrup & mint dressing
Butternut Squash (confit and a puree flavoured with orange, lemon and
rice wine vinegar)
Garnish of micro Celery and purple pak Choi.

For my Chicken dish I would do something along the following lines:

Breast......Cooked on Sous vide at 68 centigrade for one hour. The seasoning's for the chicken would include Kaffir lime leaf,
Lemon grass, Szechuan peeper and star anise.

The resulting juices would be reduced with a little coconut milk and cream, finished with butter and seasoned with a touch of soy sauce.

The thighs would be confited and once cooked, the meat would be removed, shredded and mixed with some shredded spring onion, garlic and
ginger and made into a spring roll using filo pastry.

For the drum sticks, I would remove the skin, trim the meat from bone and then form it into a sort of ball shape on the end of the bone. The top part
of the bone would be also be remove so that you are left with something that resembles a Chicken. The meat would then be rolled in a blend of Ricotta and wasabi and roasted. This would be served on a salad of Watercress with an Amontillado sherry, avocado and hazelnut dressing.

Other accompaniments to the dish would include:

Syrup of red beet juice and roasted black mustard seeds.
Almond and pistachio emulsion
Fondant potato
Fricassee of Seasonal vegetables

Anyway, these are just a few thoughts and, when I get the opportunity, I will be doing some experimentation to turn these ideas into

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Roasted Salmon, Carrot – Passion fruit Sauce, Spinach Emulsion, Char grilled Spring Onion!!


4 x 200g Salmon Escalopes
Smoked Sea Salt and Cracked Black pepper (To taste)
30mls Virgin Rapeseed oil
20g Salted butter

Carrot – Passion fruit Sauce!!

200mls Carrot Juice
100mls Fish Stock
1 Star Anise
50 grams Finely diced shallots
Juice of Three Passion Fruit
50 grams Salted Butter
2 tbl spoons Double Cream

Spinach Emulsion!!

200grams Picked & Washed Spinach
2 Egg Yolks
150 mls Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of Xanthana gum

Spinach Powder!!!

100 gram Spinach
½ tsp Smoked Sea Salt
1 tsp Caster Sugar

Char grilled Spring onions!!

1 Bunch spring onions (trimmed of the root and
about a ¼ inch from the top of the green part)
20 mls Virgin Rapeseed oil
NB...Allow five spring onions per person

To Make the Sauce!! Place the Carrot Juice, Fish stock, shallots, Passion fruit juice and star
anise into a sauce pan and place on the heat. Bring to the boil and reduce by half, allowing the flavours of
the star anise and shallot to infuse with the liquids. When reduced by half, strain into a clean pan and bring back to the
boil. Add the cream and whisk in the butter a little at a time to create a rich, shiny sauce.

Spinach Emulsion!!! Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the Spinach for one minute and then plunge
into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process and set the colour. Remove the spinach from the iced water and squeeze
out the excess moisture. Place the Spinach into a liquidizer and bled to a smooth purée and then pass through a fine sieve.
After washing out the liquidizer jug, add the sieved spinach purée, egg yolks and Xanthana gum. On a high speed, blend everything
together until well emulsified and then slowly drizzle in the oil to form a Mayonnaise type sauce. Season to taste with Salt and pepper.
Place the emulsion into a squeezee bottle and reserve until needed.

Spinach Powder!!! Finely shred the Spinach and deep fry in hot sunflower oil ( at a temperature 180 c) until crispy but not
too brown. Drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper and toss through the salt and sugar. Place on baking tray and dry in a very
low oven for four hours. Place into a an electric coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.

To Char grill the Spring onions!! Place a griddle pan on the heat and toss the spring onions with the oil. Put the onion on the griddle
pan and grill until nicely browned both sides

To cook the Salmon!!! Season the salmon with the salt and pepper and, in a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil and butter
until the butter is foaming. Place the salmon in the pan, skin side down and cook for three minutes or until the skin is crispy
and golden brown. Turn the salmon over and cook for a further two minutes. Remove from the salmon form the pan and drain
on a clean kitchen towel.

To Serve!!! Into the centre of four warmed serving plates, spoon some of the Carrot – Passion fruit sauce and on top of
the sauce, place an escalope of salmon. Around this, randomly arrange five squirts of the Spinach emulsion. Place a spring onion on top of each of the squirts of Spinach emulsion and sprinkle over the Spinach powder. Serve and enjoy.



500 grams Sage and onion stuffing mix
250 mls Boiling water
500 grams Pork Sausage meat
100 grams Button Mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1 Medium sized onion (finely diced)
100 gram Cranberry Sauce
50 mls Dry Sherry
50 mls Tawny Port
50 mls Brandy
2 Large eggs
20 grams Butter
20 mls Rapeseed oil

Place the sage and onion stuffing mix into a large bowl and pour on the boiling water and mix
thoroughly. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and add the onion and cook until softened
and then add the mushrooms and continue to cook until softened but not browned (also ensure that any
liquid form the mushrooms has evaporated completely). Degalze the pan with the Sherry, Port and Brandy
and reduce until there is almost no liquid left in the pan. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, mix together the
sausage meat, eggs and the sage and onion stuffing. Then add the cooled onion and mushroom mix to bowl and
mix thoroughly. Lay out a double layer of aluminium foil on the work surface (this needs to be at least 18 inches
long), and then place a double layer of cling film on top of the foil. Note that the length of the cling film should be slightly
than that of the foil. Place the stuffing mix onto the foil/ cling film and form into a roll of about 5cms in diameter. Then roll
very tightly in the cling film/ foil. Place in a roasting tin and fill it half full of boiling water and place in an oven that has been
pre – heated to 150 degrees centigrade and cook for one hour. Set aside and leave to cool. When ready to serve, slice the
stuffing into pieces about 1cm thick and place on baking sheet and reheat in a hot oven for three or four minutes.


500 GRAM Brussels Sprouts
100 grams Blue Stilton
50 grams Butter
50 mls Double Cream
2 Cloves garlic (peeled)
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the sprouts. Boil until the sprouts are tender(about
5 minutes) and then drain and plunge the sprouts into iced water. This stops the cooking process and also aids
in keeping them a vibrant green colour. Refill the pan with water and bring back to the boil to reheat the sprouts.
Once reheated, drain the sprouts and place in a food processor with the Stilton, butter and garlic and blend to a smooth paste.
Next add the cream and blend in thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside in a bowl until needed. When ready
to serve, simply reheat the sprouts in a microwave on full power for two minutes.


For this I like to use the small, round Chatanay Carrots for their visual appeal.

500 grams Chatanay Carrots
100mls Lemon Juice
100mls Orange Juice
¼ tsp Dried Thyme
100 grams butter
75 grams Caster Sugar

Slice the tops off the carrots and bring a pan of water to the boil and add the carrots. Boil them for ten minutes and then
drain in a colander. While the carrots are cooking, place the remaining ingredients in to another sauce pan and reduce on
a medium heat to syrupy consistency. Add the carrots to the citrus syrup and and toss to thoroughly glaze the carrots.