Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun
Highly useful kitchen gadget

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The fantastic world of Salt.

Full page article in the paper today titled WHY TOO LITTLE SALT MAY BE AS BAD FOR YOU AS TOO MUCH. The one thing the article fails to mention is that your average, bog standard table salt is laden with Sodium Ferrocynadie and this is what is bad for you. This is why you should go for Maldon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt as they are 100% pure salt without chemical additives.

10 salt types.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Musings of a Chef 2!

Roast cauliflower in a Pave Vacchio DOP, smoked bacon basil and Italian parsley broth. Garnished with a trio of baby tomatoes, breakfast radish, spring onion and mustard oil.

Cooking up a lunch of Penne pasta with a ragout of confit partridge leg, shallots, Chinese rice wine and Worcester sauce. Accompanied with a carrot, duck fat and egg yolk emulsion.

 And the finished dish garnished with braised celery, coriander, basil and Asiago Allevo DOP Italian cheese.

Mussels, black bean and sweet chili!
1 kilo on mussels [ beards removed ]
3 tblspns Fermented black bean paste
3 tblspns Thai sweet chili sauce
50 mls Shaoshing rice wine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 banana shallots ( finely chopped )
3 spring onions, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 tblspn chopped coriander
7 leaves basil, shredded
2 tblspn peanut oil
Heat the oil in a wok and add the shallots. Cook for two minutes then add the garlic, wine, Thai sweet chilli, black bean
and mussels. Stir thoroughly and cover with a lid. Cook until the mussels have opened, add the herbs and spring onions, stir well and

Fillet of Haddock in Asahi beer and fresh anchovy gravy. Served on a bed of buttered curly kale, chestnut mushrooms and spring onions. Garnished with braised celery.

A composition of white crab meat, fresh anchovies, persimmon and chilled carrot mousse. Garnished with cucumber, radish and spring onion marinated in sesame oil, maple syrup and rice vinegar. Seasoned with smoked paprika and Chinese five spice.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Musings of a Chef

As with any kind of bird, be it chicken, turkey or grouse, the legs always take longer to cook then the breast. So here I have the legs of my partridge being slowly poached in duck fat with carrots and garlic.

 Partridge breast ( on the bone ) ready to be roasted with cauliflower, potatoes and shallots.

Roast breat of partridge, roast cauliflower, shallot and potato. Tamrind and muscavado glazed kaki fruit with basil. Black garlic and white truffle butter jus.

 I didn't have all the ingredients to make it 100% authentic ( okra ) but this is my dish in the spirit of a gumbo. Yes, it has the Holy Trinity of celery, onion and green bell pepper, garlic, chili ( I used red chili flakes ). Plus some celery seed, Greek oregano and tarragon. I have some king prawns to add when the rice is nearly. And I made my chocolate coloured roux with rice flour and ghee ( Indain clarified butter ).
And here is my finished gumbo inspired dish served over boiled white rice. It also includes some smoked sausage.

For dinner tonight I am making a ragu of minced pork, smoked bacon, mushrooms, red bell pepper, garlic, greek oregano and tomtoes. This is going to be served with Caserecce ( little scrolls ) pasta and grated peccorino cheese.

 Making a butter, tarragon and garlic roast chicken breast with roast potatoes. Also a dashi and mirin broth with peas and bacon.

The plated butter, tarragon and garlic roast chicken, roast potatoes, dashi/ mirin broth, peas and bacon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More explorations in the art of flavour and ingredient transformation.

A salad of marinated haddock and vegetables ( sweet peppers, red onion, scallions, kale and cucumber ) marinated in olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger and jalapenos. Finished with smoked sea salt and sansho pepper.

Tandoori lamb stew with carrot, swede, leeks and onions. Going to serve it with some buttery mango mashed potato.

Tandoori lamb stew ( finished with sour cream ), buttery mango mash and coriander oil.

So tonight I'm cooking up Steak, chips and mushrooms. But you all know me, it isn't quite that simple. The chips are cooked in duck fat and the steak is seasoned with Maldon smoked sea salt flakes and Japanese sansho pepper. The mushrooms are actually in a mushroom and red onion gravy made with butter and rice flour. Also in the gravy is mustard powder, garlic powder, celery seeds and tarragon.

The finished Steak, chips and mushrooms. Added a little truffle butter to the gravy as a finishing touch.

Hey. What's cookin'? Lamb with Szechuan pepper, birds eye chili, Xaoxing rice wine and maple syrup. Going to be served with a stir fry of sweet peppers, leeks, kale, mushrooms and scallions in a black bean and truffle butter sauce.

And this is the finished Lamb dish. Total experimentation and creativity that resulted in some out of this world flavours.

Cooking up some lunch of spaghetti with a sauce of bacon, peppers, mushrooms, leeks and tomatoes. Although the tomatoes are in the form of my special tomato sauce. I always have a batch of that made up and portioned in the freezer.

And the plated spaghetti finished off with some Parmesan and Monterrey Jack cheese. And a drizzle of Italian extra virgin olive oil.

In the process of creating a cauliflower and mushroom soup with Tandoori spices.

Cauliflower and mushroom soup with tandoori spices, fresh mango, maple syrup and crispy kale.

Cauliflower and mushroom soup variation. This time garnished with mussels and coriander oil.

Cooking up some braised beef with coconut milk, fish sauce peanut butter, star anise and cassia bark. Serving it with roasted vegetables and bacon wrapped confit potatoes.

And so here we have Beef braised with coconut milk and peanut butter, bacon wrapped confit potatoes, roasted veggies ( carrot, swede, onion and leek ), lime and spring onion butter sauce.

A little lunch of soft boiled hens egg with beetroot, orange and crispy kale. One of the elements of the dish is a ' relish ' of grated beetroot, sake, orange zest and juice and rice vinegar.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

New creations and ideas.

Beef braised in coke, soy and Worcester sauce served on bed of kale/ bacon/ mushrooms and Dijon mustard. With roast potatoes and charred onion. Finished with freshly shaved parmesan.

Hi all and hope you are having a superbly satisfyingly sedate Sunday. I'm a really in a creative mood today. Got some beef braising in coke, soy and worcester sauce for dinner. Want to thank Matt Gillan for the inspiration. Made a couple of marinades for some lamb. One being a Tandoori and the other a kind of Szechuan style with birds eye chili, Szechuan peppercorns and Xaoxing rice wine. And also made a Haddock salad with olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, jalepenos, sweet pepper, kale, cucumber, scallions and red onion.

Haddock braised in dashi with sake, mirin, mushrooms, leeks and red onion. 

And to accompany the Haddock, some cumber, kale and celery marinated in maple syrup, lemon juice, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

And this is the finished Haddock. Lovely etheral flavours and a gentle warming sensation from the chili in the Korean red pepper seasoning.


Rice paper rolls with minced pork, fish sauce, lemon, mango and mushrooms. Garnish of sweet peppers, cucmber and scallions dressed with rice vinegar and Korean red pepper.

Pea broth scented with cassia bark, star anise, birds eye chilli, cumin seeds, fenugreek, garlic and ginger. One element of dinner tonight.


Minced pork and chestnut mushroom braised rice with turmeric, Hungarian paprika, black cumin, mustard powder, ajwain seeds and ground coriander.

The finished rice and broth garnished with a plain omelette. Forgot to mention that I also used some curry leaves in the pea broth. I suppose this is a bit like a Biriyani in a way.

Aromatic seafood. King prawns and mussels stir fried with garlic, chili, lemongrass and fish sauce. Served with a salad of avocado, celery and seaweed. Dressed with a black bean, rice vinegar, chipotle chili and lime vinaigrette.

 Teriyaki beef, confit potatoes and leeks, fricassee of mushroom & shallots with sherry and sour cream.

Brunch! Scrambled eggs with truffle butter and sour cream.

New experiments in flavour and ingredient transformation #2. Carrot and roasted red pepper soup with mirin, sake and benito flakes. Garnished with crispy squid. The coating for the squid was made of rice flour, chili flakes, blue poppyseed, paprika and garlic powder.

New experiments in flavour and ingredient transformatiom #1. Grilled pork chop, charred leeks and onion. Avocado and sour cream panna cotta.

Cooking up some sweet and sour ribs using tamarind for the sourness and honey for the sweet. Also have in there, garlic, ginger, birds eye chili, lemongrass, Korean apple vinegar, cassia bark, kaffir lime leaves and star anise.

 The finished sweet & sour ribs. Very pleased withe flavour of these. Sweet, sticky, sour, slightly hot, salty and citrus notes. Then again, that was to be expected considering what went into them.

And while the ribs are slowly cooking, I'm having some fried rice with king prawns, squid, mussels, scallions, leek, celery, shitake mushrooms, eggs and mirin.

And my finished fried rice. So tasty that I'm not ashamed to admit that I had two bowls of it.