Saturday, 24 October 2015

Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't Prawn and Noodles Soup

Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't Prawn and Noodles Soup

Sa Va Tu'orn ot Prawn and Noodles Soup

I have gone Posh with this recipe.  Posh Pickles based in Cheshire recently sent me a jar of Vietnamese Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't relish to try out.

I enjoy using new ingredients also mixing and matching ingredients from different countries.  This lemongrass and chilli relish had a lot to prove being a Great Taste 2015 award winner plus Silver at the World Hot Sauce Awards.  It definitely did not disappoint with it's delicate lemony essence balanced by the chilli to give it a slight kick.

I am sure this relish would work well in a more robust dish but I wanted to see if it faired as well in a more delicate seafood dish using prawns and noodles.  I have also used a dash of mirin and teriyaki sauce which go well with seafood plus some sugar snap peas and baby sweetcorn.

The combination worked exceptionally well and it was a thumbs up from the family when I made it. I can highly recommend this relish and will definitely be using it again.

Ingredients Serves 4

350g Prawns
250g Noodles
2 tsp Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't
1 tsp Teriyaki sauce
1 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Mirin
75g Sugar snap peas
100g Baby sweetcorn
Sprig of coriander
Lime quartered (optional)
1000ml water

I buy my prawns from our local asian food store as they are much cheaper than the supermarkets.  I have to peel and devein them myself but this does not take long.

Prawns peeled and deveined
Chop up the vegetables ready to be cooked.

Baby sweetcorn and sugar snap peas ready to be chopped
In a large saucepan add the water, Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't relish, teriyaki, Mirin and soy sauce and vegetables.  Bring to the boil then Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't turn down and allow to simmer gentle for a few minutes.  In another saucepan with plenty of water cook the noodles for 5 to 6 minutes.

About 2 minutes before the noodles are ready pop the prawns into the Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't broth.

Once the prawns are ready drain the noodles and serve into 4 separate bowls.  Using a ladle add the prawn and Sa Va Tu'o'ng O't broth to each dish and serve with some chopped coriander and a quarter of lime which can be squeezed onto the dish.
The finished dish ready to be eaten
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Kedgeree with Smoked Haddock

Kedgeree with Smoked Haddock

Kedgeree is thought to have originated with an Indian rice-and bean or rice and lentil dish Khichri, traced back to 1340 or earlier. It is widely believed that the dish was brought to to the UK by returning British colonials who had enjoyed it in India and introduced it to the UK as a breakfast dish in Victorian times, part of the fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine.  It is a firm favorite in our house but more at supper time than breakfast.

Ingredients Serves 2

300g undyed smoked haddock
150g peeled prawns
200ml milk to cover fish
1tsp parsley
2 bay leaves

250g pre cooked rice
1 small onion finely chopped
2 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp English mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt and pepper

2 eggs

Cut the haddock into 3 or 4 pieces and place in a microwavable dish

Add the milk, parsley and bay leaves and cover with cling film.
Pierce the cling film before placing the dish in the microwave and cook for 3 to 4 minutes depending on the power of your microwave.  Remove and set aside leaving the clingfilm on the dish.

In a wok or frying pan placed over a moderate heat, pour in one tablespoon of oil and add the onions, mustard, curry powder and cayenne pepper.  Fry gently until the onions are soft.

Add the rice and the milk you used to cook the haddock.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir gently.  Then add the prawns and haddock removing any skin. The haddock should easily flake away from the skin.

Cover and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

Place the ingredients into a serving dish and add 2 or 3 hard boiled eggs sliced in half.

If you enjoy this dish please feel free to share with others.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Welsh Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

Welsh Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

Those that follow this blog might have seen a bit of a trend recently. Leeks are quintessentially associated with Wales and are used widely in Welsh dishes.

The leek is proudly sported every St. David's day in Wales on March 1st and of course at every international rugby match.  But the history of the leek in Wales goes back much further. In 589 AD as the story goes St. David himself ordered his soldiers to wear the leek on their helmets in a battle against the 'hated' pagan Saxon invaders of Britain. This might be a myth but demonstrates the close association there is between the Welsh and the leek.

Ingredients Serves 4
3 medium Welsh Leeks sliced
1 tbs Welsh rapeseed oil
4 180g sweet potatoes diced
pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dry chilli (optional)
2 tbs cream
water to cover 
1 cube of vegetable stock

Pour the oil into a thick based saucepan and place on a medium heat.  
Add the leeks and sweat gently for about 4 to 5 minutes.  
Add the diced potatoes and enough water just to cover all the vegetables.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft to cut.
Once ready, blitz the ingredients and spoon in the cream.
When serving sprinkle a pinch of chillies onto the surface of the soup.

When serving sprinkle a pinch of chillies onto the surface of the soup.

Enjoy with some fresh crusty bread.  If you enjoy this dish please share.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Welsh Luing Beef Casserole

Welsh Luing Beef Casserole

Cooked with Dark Side of the Moose Bitter, Denbigh Plumbs and Welsh Leeks

Welsh Luing Beef Casserole

I don't think you will get a more Welsh dish than this one. I have used Braising Luing Beef Steak from my friends farm which is located high in the Welsh Hills, a dark bitter from the Purple Moose Brewery based in Porthmadog in West Wales, Denbigh Plumbs which is specific to the area where I live and finally some homegrown Welsh Leeks.

I hadn't seen Iwan and Eleanor for a few years until I bumped into them in a local food festival.  We got chatting and they showed me the beef they had for sale which comes from their own herd of Welsh Luing Beef.  I use to work on a farm many moons ago near to where they now live (Hafod y Maidd, Glasfryn near to Corwen) and you have to be a hardy sole to live and work there all year round.  Even in the summer it never really gets warm.  This is why they have opted for rearing Luing cattle on their farm. This breed is a cross between a hardy native breed of Shorthorn cross Highland cow, originally from the Isle of Luing in Scotland.  They explained to me that these home bred animals graze on the mountain heather and grass which results in a delicious, sweet tasting meat with natural marbling. (To contact Iwan and Eleanor Davies you can email them INFO@WELSHLUINGBEEF.CO.UK or visit their website )

I was looking for a good quality braising steak to go into a recipe I was developing and after their explanation I was sold and took a kilo of their finest cut.

The recipe I was looking to develop would incorporates local plumbs which are specific to the area where I live.  Each year, around October time, there is even a festival specifically organised to celebrate the Denbigh Plumb.  This plumb is sweet and juicy and would be ideal to use in a casserole to give it some sweetness to counteract the bitterness of the ale I was using but also give the dish a bit of depth.

The dark bitter used for this dish comes from one of my favorite breweries, Purple Moose, and they have a range of ales from a light ale to a dark bitter.

Ingredients for the casserole
 Ingredients Serves 4

1Kg Diced Luing Beef
500ml Dark Side of the Moose Bitter
3 Denbigh Plumbs diced
2 Carrots diced
1 medium size onion chopped and diced
3 medium size Welsh Leeks diced
1 beef stock cube crumbled
1 tsp pepper corns
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon Anglesey Sea Salt
11/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 tbs flour
2 tbs Welsh Rapeseed Oil (BlodynAur)

Diced Luing Beef

Dice the beef and vegetables.

Diced Carrots and Welsh Leeks

Pour 1tbs of rapeseed oil into a large casserole pan and add the onions.  Fry gently for about 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove the onions and set aside on a plate.
Add the remaining oil and beef in small batches and brown them off in the pan.
Add all the beef and onions back to the pan and add the flour, stir until the flour has disappeared.
Now add all the remaining vegetables.  
Pour in the bitter and it should froth up slightly.
Add the remaining ingredients and a bit of water until the beef and vegetables are covered.
Place a lid on the dish and place in a pre-heated oven at 160C and allow to cook slowly for 3 to 4 hours. Top up with water if required.

As I had time to spare until the dish was ready I took the family up a local mountain called Siabod.

By the time we had been up and down this mountain we were ready for some tasty melt in the mouth beef casserole and this dish did not let us down.  The beef was superb and there was an excellent balance between the slightly bitter sweet taste from the ale and plumbs. This dish would be excellent with either mash or jacket potatoes, enjoy.

Casserole ready to serve