Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun
Highly useful kitchen gadget

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Delving further into the world of ingredient and flavour transformation.

Slow cooked ham flavoured with black mustard seeds, ajwain seeds + garlic powder. Then cooked some rice is cooked in the resulting and flavourful broth and pureed. Served with french style peas and caramelized cauliflower. I've reserved some of the cooked rice to do my special fried rice. The remaining ham + rice broth will be used as a soup garnished with broad (fava) beans and smoked sausage. Dinner tonight @ #paulsplayground 

OK.........lets have a quick trip around the ingredients for my special fried rice. We have egg, ham, smoked sausage, king prawns, scallions, red onion, garlic, ginger, orange pepper, peas, egg, rice (of course), dark soy sauce, black pepper and radish. The rice for this was cooked in the stock from the ham and is richly fragrant with ajwain seeds, black mustard seeds and garlic powder.

And for your dining pleasure, the finished fried rice.
Gone for the Asian flavours again this evening for dinner @ #paulsplayground........Wholewheat egg noodles in a rich broth fragrantly scented with star anise, ground coriander and fish sauce. Accompanied with some turkey meatloaf, grilled spring onions, roasted baby yellow pepper, breakfast radish and red chili flakes.

And note the runny egg yolk from the soft boiled egg, which I forgot to mention.

From my perspective, a recipe is not something that should be considered as being set in stone. You should always feel free to get creative and add your own touches wherever the feeling and need arises. I had made some red eye gravy last Saturday and put the leftovers in the freezer (once it had cooled down). So today, I defrosted it and reheated it withe the (tasty) addition of coconut milk. I served this tuna steak in a crust of tandoori spices and some sauteed new potatoes with thinly sliced onions.

Here is some information on Red eye gravy. You can also add a mirepoix of finely diced onion/ carrot and celery. Cook this in the roasting fat from the ham until the celery & onions are softened and then add some garlic, chili powder, Jalapeno chili and cook for a minute or two. Then add the coffee, Worcester sauce and a quantity of chicken equal to the amount of coffee. Let this simmer and reduce on a medium heat until it coats the back of a spoon. From what I've seen of red eye gravy on TripleD, it's one of those things for which everyone has their own recipe and ideas. The key thing to remember are the essentials. Ham, Coffee and Worcester sauce.
 Red eye gravy!

And so I'm back to doing some ingredient and flavour transformation @ #paulsplayground A classic way of cooking pork in the Liguria region of Italy is to braise it in milk. Normally this would be done using a pork shoulder. Here I'm using some diced pork. First I softened some finely diced onion and peppers in olive oil. Then I added fennel seed, celery seed, cumin seed, garlic powder, whole fenugreek, tarragon and Hungarian paprika. This is seasoned with smoked Maldon sea sat flakes and cracked black pepper. Letting it simmer gently for a couple of hours until tender.

And this is the finished pork dish. The reduced and thickened cooking juices are enriched with butter and cream. The garnish is fresh cilantro, puffed rice and chopped dill. The overall flavour of the dish is kind of reminiscent of a korma curry.

I found these in the garden shed. After a good soaking in a strong solution of bleach, a good scrubbing with disinfectant and being rinsed with loads of boiling water, I thought they would be really cool for some food pictures.


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