Croatia has one of the best seafood there is. Clean waters, local fishermen. Simple cooking. Seafood – Fish, Shrimps, Mussels, Clams, Herbs, Potatoes & Sea Water. Croatia at it’s Best!
Seeing the Internet Video of the famous Omelette from the famous restaurant made me curious whether i can copy it.
Apparently it’s possible….
Quite Oooozzzyyy and flufffy. Feels like you are eating a cloud.
This really is the fluffiest omelette.. Ever……
The secret to congee is low heat and constant stirring. Low heat and constant stirring. For hours and hours, in this case around 4. There is another trick however that i learned, if you set your rice cooker on warm and bring it to boil every hour it also works with less effort!
Egg Yolk in miso works if you leave it over night. The egg yolk turns jelly like and with a creamy rich consistency. Drop it in the piping hot congee which helps cooks it and eat right away.
- 4 Cups of Rice – Warm on Low in Rice cooker and bring back to boil every hour and stir (Min 4 Hours)
- 4 Fillets of Salmon – I used Organic Raised
- 6 Tablespoons of Miso
- 6 Egg Yolks
- Spring Onion
Salmon – Rub Miso on Fillet and Keep in Fridge over 24 hrs / Draining Water off every few hours
Egg Yolk – Line a small tupperware box with miso – separate the egg yolks and gently add the miso to cover. I left mine over night. Gently remove the egg yolks and drop in hot congee.
Simple and Home Made Goodness!
Everyone craves a good homemade sausage roll once in a while, yet no one who has a job, family and a bunch of dogs should even have to time to act Martha Steward and roll her own puff pastry. Guilt as charged. Buy a roll of ready made puff pastry from the freezer section, in Bangkok we have a great brand that made fresh with no preservatives – hence the short life span. Usually i made a mixture of pork, carrots, potatoes as the mince but after a hectic week i just grabbed a package of Cumberland sausage, a few carrots and potatoes. I thawed my pastry overnight in the fridge. Makes it easier to roll without breaking.
Dice the carrots a bit smaller than the potatoes so you have an equal cooking time, saute them in some olive oil and garlic. Season well with salt, pepper, paprika and a tiny hint of sugar. Just a small touch to offset the saltiness of the pork.
I unwrap the baking paper on the baking sheet and unroll the puff pastry directly on the baking sheet. I mix the sausage mixture into the cooled veggie mixture and mix well gently. I dont season anymore now as sausages tend to be quite salty. Shape into logs on the puff pastry and roll it over. Leave a bit of space before cutting it. No need to be neat. Roll it over again so the edges are on the bottle. Flatten slightly and cut into pieces with a wet knife wiping in between. As you see i cut into different sizes and they bake at the same time.
Rub a bit of beaten egg and throw in oven with fan at 125 degrees. Rotate tray after 15 mins and brush some more egg wash and they are ready to be eaten hot in 10 – 15 mins.
Another rough day at work and wishing for a sumptuous dinner. Sister says want beef the night before. Nice beef tenderloin defrosting whilst at work. Everyone arrives home and demand to be fed.
45 Mins Dinner Challenge:
- 1 Beef Tenderloin – Rubbed with Olive Oil and Smashed garlic with salt into a puree
- Package of Pasta from Italy
- Home Made Tomato Puree (Roasted Tomatoes and crushed)
- Home Grown Basil from Garden
- Salt & Pepper
Heat Pan to HIGH. Use non burning oil, I used Rice bran. Sear Beef on all sides – 3 Mins on each side, lower and cover pan for 5 mins. Reheat to high and sear again on all sides (pouring off juices to make gravy) Cover and set aside.
At the same time I have boiled a medium salted water and threw in the dried pasta. This type takes around 9 mins to cook on the pack. I turned of the heat at 6. And took pot of stove. In another pan, heated the tomato sauce, threw in the beef drippings and flavored with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar to help balance the acid.
Drain pasta and mix with sauce. I find that if you time pasta correctly you can turn it off the heat before cooking time is over but this takes experience and lots of mistakes on my part. I find that you dont need to add any more pasta water as the pasta has water in them.
Slice beef and place on pasta, sprinkle basil to each person’s liking and serve. Usually i serve with thin slices but Sister said she was hungry.
Guaranteed it was soft and tender. Was hoping for leftovers but everyone devoured it. Completely. Happy Tummy, Happy Family.
Working in Luang Prabang a few weeks ago gave me ample time to taste and try the local laotian food native to Luang Prabang. I felt that it was a melting pot of Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese and French Cuisines. I think the Mekhong River helped spread the tradition around this area. My friends told me that Vientiane cuisine is different to that of Luang Prabang, i guess we will have to wait and see. Khao Jii or grilled sticky rice patty with brushed beaten egg and fish sauce is one of my absolute favorites. It’s soft gooey insides with a savory salty crunchy bite coating. The best part is that it’s offered slathered in a chilli paste, now many chilli pastes in Thailand is a sweet concoction which i’m not in favor off. This is torpedo spicy. Served on a banana leaf for 10 baht it was delicious.
At the walking street a cheerful food stall opened for business around 5 pm. It’s the biggest stall at the beginning of the market (You cannot miss it) selling Pho, Khao Soy and Noodles etc. In Thailand Khao Soi is a Thick, creamy curry more islamic influenced with egg noodles and crispy egg noodles on top. In Luang Prabang Khao Soi is a bean paste / tomatoeish / pork rib soup with noodles which is similiar to that of Chiang Mai’s Naam Ngeo which is similiar except we use fresh rice round noodles or flat wide noodles. Usually served with fresh veggies, lime and spicy chilli paste it is one of my absolute favorites. In Thailand we see it boiling in pots, but at this stall as they are serving so many varieties of noodles it seems like they only have 2 pots – one for boiling noodles and veggies and one for the stock. So they have containers of pork ribs with the bean paste / tomato mixture and they mix with the stock.
You choose your noodles, tear your garden herbs and veggies, squeeze some limes and dump crazy amounts of chillis and dig in. It was around 80 baht which i thought was quite expensive for street food, but again this is Luang Prabang.
My fondness for Khao Soi is great as i had 4 bowls of if at different places. This place seemed like a local restaurant – although there is no such thing because locals eat at home. They have Shrimp paste on the table complimentary eaten with fresh vegetables. Thai use it to make a dip but the locals here eat it straight with fresh vegetables. Quite lovely as i’m used to th epungent smell.
Note that they all serve this noodle soup with fresh mint, limes and lettuce. Really hearty and savory from the bean paste which is total different from miso which has a different feeling of saltiness to it. The contrast with the tomatoish broth makes it a fresh sourness to it.
I have always preferred sticky rice over steamed rice i think its got a good texture and just feels more right. The sticky rice at this roadside restaurant (only 4 tables) is nicely steamed. Not tough when cooled. Still soft and chewy.
The pork sausage is much blander than the ones in Northern Thailand but quite crispy casing, and juicy insides. I feel that Laotian cuisine really relies on the tastes of the ingredients and not too much flavoring. It will be considered bland for Thai tastes who which are so used to so much flavoring.
Som Tam or papaya salad is one of my childhood favorites. In Thailand the papaya is shaved in to small strands, in Luang Prabang it’s sliced and wide. I like it because it had a nice texture and mouthfeel to it although the taste of the pradaek – fermented anchovies is not as strong as the ones in Thailand i feel. They also have the addition of kapi – shrimp paste in their papaya salad. I think it’s a taste that everyone can enjoy, a balance of sweet, savory, sour and spicy. A well rounded dish, although i prefer extreme spicy and sour som tam.
This is seriously to die for. My whole team is still drooling for the grilled fermented pork sausage. Hands down. I have never had this good of a Naem before. I usually dislike cooked Naem I prefer it still raw. But this. It’s juicy, slightly sour, very savory and the right balance of the pork rind to provide that teeth resistance when you bite into it. Chew it together with a chilli and pop a hot sticky rice ball in your mouth. It’s worth swiping your card, getting on air asia just for this Naem. It’s been 3 weeks and everyone in the office is still dreaming and talking about this fresh fermented Porky Heaven.
My knowledge of Szechuan Cuisine or Sichuan Food is actually limited to Ma La Hot Pot, the bubbling stock with hot oil, szechuan peppercorns, garlic, five spice ingredients and extreme amount of dried chillies. It is actually my favorite type of hot pot. Going to a szechuan restaurant was interested or so i thought. Would it actually be the same approach? All food just topped with the spicy oil / spices? I was in for a treat.
Organ meat is a very chinese thing, we eat everything. Most likely it’s a waste not mentality. If i’m not istaken this is the stomach from a cow. It’s got a chewy crispyish texture more than any taste actually but the spicy garlicy oil made it a nice appetizer to whet your appetite before the fire starts. I appreciated the green cirpsy and watery thin celery stalk to help add some coolness to my poor tongue.
This was not spicy at all, i think it was great over piping hot rice. I’m not entirely sure how they made that sauce but it was more sesame in taste, i’m sure there’s ginger in there somewhere. I understand it looks oily but it doesn’t feel too oily, it doesn’t coat your tongue like when you chew on a blob of butter or margarine. It seems to melt away leaving this comforting taste. Really good. Too salty to eat alone although i preferred it with some rice.
In Thailand food we usually stir fry cabage with fish sauce, over thre it’s oyster sauce i presume with a few dried chillies thrown in for good measure. Done correctly cabbage shouldn’t soggy but with a nice crisp texture and juicy freshness. This helped balace out all the rich meats so far.
My absolute favorite is the Ma La spices, this arrived smoking hot and you can actually feel the dried chillies sizzling in the hot oil. It’s probably palm oil, with dried chillies, garlic, szechuan peppercorns and other crazy goodness. There is a thick vermicelli noodle which is sticky and chewy in texture and sliced beef. It was a bomb of chillies, numbness and savory saltiness in every bite. The beef was tender and the soup underneath was quite delicious. However you do have to sort your way through the pool of oil. People may cringe at the amount of oil, but i’m actually ok, it’s not like we eat this every single day.
Now this is everyone’s favorite, the MAPO TOFU. You see in japanese restaurants but you dont really find it in every chinese restaurant. Chinese food is quite vast with different regions serving totally different food. This was like bolder MA LA crazy version, it was so spicy, a hint of sweet with a bit of minced prok thrown in for good measure. It was so delicious over piping hot rice. You can’t really eat it on it’s own, it starts to burn after the third bite.
This potato dish arrived and i though it was just short strands of spaghetti stir fried. To my amazement it was round strands of potato, stir fried. Its so hard to explain, it was mushy, but it was al dente but not under cooked. It was salty, savory, not too oily. It was very interesting. It was the highlight of the night, it seemed so normal but the taste and texture was just so interesting and delicious. I must find out how they cooked this dish.
Szechuan cuisine is really more than just the hot pot but i do believe it’s an acquired taste, it’s very different from my day to day chinese food but it’s a great lift to a cold gloomy day washed with some cold beer. Definitely for people who love spice, and dont mind a bit of oiliness. Only warning is for your stomach and it’s a scary addiction.
The abundance of good street food in Thailand has helped many Mothers buy in quick dinners at affordable costs. Noodles, Rice, Congee and other local delights are available in every suburb and neighborhood. 10 Hour working days are more than enough to make any work and homebody cringe. I accepted a challenge to create a quick dinner within 3o mins as a replacement for the usual street eats that we buy in.
I thawed my frozen pork chops in the fridge before i left for work, these i marinated in a bit of mirrin, salt and pepper the week before. Please cook with thawed chops cooking from frozen makes it hard to ensure even cooking inside the pork chops. Place them a 2-3 mins on each side to get a nice sear, add in 1/3 cup of water and close lid.
I placed a pork chop on a toasted thick toast (Crispy on outside and pillowy soft inside) and place a in a warm oven to wait for other ingredients. Good for allowing the juices to return to the pork chop.
Tam leung or aka ivy gourd is a hand picked vegetable sold in local markets in Thailand and other neighboring SE Asia. The taste and texture is similar to a mild spinach,a good training for kids who are vary of spinach. For those who do not have XO sauce – a died scallop (conpoy), dried shrimp garlic and chilli sauce popular with Hongkong Cuisine just use the tomato puree, salt,pepper and garlic.. I had some in my fridge which i briefly stir fried with some tomato puree. Top on pork chop and return to warm oven.
Top with a free range organic fried egg with runny insides and cheese if preferred. I sprinkled a mix of mozzarella and gouda when the it was resting in the oven which melted when i finished my fried egg.
There you have it a quick home cooked dinner which was quite enjoyed by everyone in the family.
A short trip for work took me to Hamburg and looking around the internet i stumbled upon Haerlin a 2 star Michelin Restaurant which was widely applauded for the smart and creative use of local ingredients which are in season and the interesting fuse with other exotic ingredients. The price was 185 euros for a tasting menu which was roughly my allowance for this trip but eating alone & early got me a small table in the corner.
The restaurant had a nice ambiance, a quiet elegance and decor. It reeks of luxury but in an understated not in your face way. The staff was friendly and seemed to have a genuine attitude to want to serve. There is no snobbery here which ranks high in my book.
While perusing the tasting menu choices i ordered a pre drink as a refreshing drink to wake me up. The 14 hr flight left me quite jet lagged and sleepy.
I already decided to choose the 11 courses but i was surprised that the smaller tasting menu wasn’t like the usual same menus with some items missing. The dishes were completely different aside from the 3 amuse buche that is compliments of the chef and the complimentary “Forest Dessert” I was tempted but i held my ground i wanted to taste the most of this awesome chance!
The Guinea Fowl green ball was a sharp and sour hit of a tangy and sweetness that came from the cranberry cream. It was a very great mouthful and a extraordinary delicate balance of savory, spicy herby feel with a contrasting sweet sour. The “cracker” was actually a thin extremely light, flaky if I can describe it like that was actually the skin. It was a great combination of textures which will follow consistently throughout the meal.
One of the cuter looking waiters wheeled over a chest of drawers which revealed rows and rows of delicious looking bread. I can’t remember all of them but i chose the cumin and the bacon. It came with 2 spreads a creamy greeny herby butter and a sourkraut cream cheese sort of dip. Both were rich, creamy, salty and the cream cheese one was a bit sour. Nice contrast.
This smoked eel pannacotta was a creamy cold and smokey taste it was a soft smooth soft tofu mouthfeel. Delicious. The watercress vinaigrette was a greeny veggie sour contrast. My second spoon was the jerusalem artichoke ice cream with a woody earthy tasting jerusalem artichoke chips which was a cold creamy with a crunchy texture. A strong kick of the capers came through a sharp salty lighty sour cut through the creamy woody earthy flavours. The smoked eel was a firm texture not the usual mushy ones we eat on a sushi. The red thing on top was crispy yet sour and sweet at the same time like an unripe raw cherry. It was such an interesting play on flavours. Really. Heaven!
My third compliments of the chef amuse bouche was seemingly a lightly grilled hamachi with seaweed and mini mushrooms scattered around the dish. A note: Hamachi is a fish from the family of the sting mackerel and usually eaten raw in Sashimi or as Sushi. With the first bite the bergamot hits you with with light refreshing fragrance with a creamy ricy crispy texture. The dashi broth was quite strong with a mushroom flavour, not salty but you feel this intense unami feeling. The hamachi was very fresh, seared on thebottom and still raw on top, it was a sweet and clean tasting. I think the pickled cabbage didn’t belong because the dish was already so strong in taste and I thought the spring onion was quite strong. But it was still a 9.5 over 10 kind of dish. Thoughtful and carefully prepared. I’m loving this Chef already!
I love Goose liver. It’s one of my favorite things. Foie Gras. Fat. Heart Attack in a mouthful. At first glance i was overjoyed with so may components on the dish. More Goose Liver for me! It was like some adorable abstract painting with a variety of shapes and colors and textures to the naked eye. I went first for the lolly like one and swirled it around in the ground hazelnuts and in one slow mouthful i savored the gamey rich flavour. The crunch of the hazelnuts and the apple jamy taste help bring out the flavour in each other. The terrine gave me a surprise. I expected the same tasting liver served 3 – 4 ways but it tasted different. The terrine was a softer delicate tasting liver with this time a sharp apple and nutty combination. Apple cabbage apparently is a regional product here. Yum. Yum. Yum. Died and Gone to Liver heaven! The thing was it all tasted different. I really was. A M A Z I N G!
The meringue like foam just melted in my mouth and there was an apple balsamic in the center like a surprise when you chewed on the tartlet it felt like this rich soft alcoholic goodness in one bite. . The Cox orange was a cold sharp refreshment to all the richness which cleansed the palate with it’s smokey flavor and i scooped up the hazelnut cream with the rolled up apple slice. It was great showcase of techniques, texture and flavours. Soooo Good.
Right now the jet lag was hitting me quite hard and i was sleepy sleepy but it was so good i couldn’t stop and i willed myself to stay awake and record all the beautiful yummy goodness. The bread was so good and I had to stop or I would have been too full! I dove instantly into the tartare which was fresh and firm chunks of meat which came with the crispy veggies for crunch and texture. The onion cream and pickled onion was the sourness which is a good change from usual lime or lemon in a tartare. The foamy thing was a concentrated lobster bisque in a bubbly airy mouthful. The lobster tail was fresh and a great texture firm chunks of meat not at all salty and water logged. The weird tamarind blobs helped give an asian feel to the dish i’m not a fan and the veggies were good but the lobster already stole the show. I’m a fan of those dried chippy things if you see in the picture this one was a green horseradish chip. I once read that some people made a puree and dehydrated them in sheets. Too much trouble for me but it was crispy thin and really biting in a mouthful.
The cheese cart looked really decadent with such an array of interesting and wide variety of different cheeses. I think it makes a cheese lover like a kid in a candy store, it didn’t look like your usual boring normal cheeses i liked the many types of mold i see on the cheese etc. Sounds eeky doesn’t it?
In a room rightnext to the dining room was a nice sitting room which doubled as a private smoking lounge probably for cigars and after dinner brandies. So luxurious!
They take their drinks seriously! Cognacs and other strange drinks i’m not very aware off.
This lovely looking dish is Skrei with chestnut cream, celery and peppered quince compote. According to the description is skrei roasted in brown butter, chestnut cream seasoned with hazelnut oil. A celery foam with green celery vegetable with a quince compote with Tasmanian pepper. Garnished with a small chestnut salad and chives oil with black winter truffle strips. OMG. I was full just reading the description.
The fish was firm with a crispy sear on top, the chestnut cream was very rich almost smokey taste. It’s a nice balalnce with the crunchy fish, smokey chestnut and the fresh sour and sweet from the quince and celery. The foamy extra was just an extra interesting component which rounded out the dish. Perfect. Really.
The crispy pork belly was so delicious and perfectly cooked, the light and thin crispy belly paired very well with the burnt pear and after the initial top you can squich the pork belly with your tong, that was how soft it was. My absolute favorite was the ridge part, i think it’s a thicker part of the skin which made it soo soo hard and crispy and with the gridlines scoring made it very delicious. You can hear it smash between your teeth. I liked the wine sauce which wasn’t so evident but it provided a background for all the flavours to mesh together, the button mushroom foam and chip was just som eof the playful elements i see in the dish. I was actually too full and sleepy to finish my lentils which had a good taste and texture.
A very pretty dish to look at, perfectly cooked lamb ridge with a crispy fat strip. Soft not chewy or any lamby gamey smell at all. The red shallots and wime compote added a sharp flavour to the dish. The braised lamb belly was so so soft which the light cumin background with the indian cous cous helped with both the texture and flavours. It was a perfect balalnce of europe and indian flavours. The argan oil buttery hollandaise had a soft flowery depth to it with strangely meshed well with everything in the dish.
Finally to reach dessert was almost a relief. Although this is one of the best meals of my life i was too sleepy now to want to stay much longer. And when the dessert was called Forest I had strange pictures in my mind.
Honestly the description sounded gross to me, buckwheat cream with carmelised buckwheat and apple jelly. Douglas fir cream and spruces oil forest caramel chip and yarrow with apple granite. First it looked like a mini terrarium which was very impresive but should taste good from any angle. It smelt green like a swamp or forest or fresh rain on grass but somehow the buckwheat cream has a light chocolatey flavour meshed with a nutty taste. The apple granita was shape and sour and cold but it went so well together. It’s so so strange. The root like thing on top was crispy and chewy at the same time. There were little crispy pearls of something not sure what it was, and again perfectly demonstrated was the balance of cold, creamy, nutty, sour soft and light.
Again weird weird combination, the candied shiso leaves which was a licoricey taste and white chocolate worked extremely well. It somehow complemented each other, the weird rocks or stones elements which is a sesame nutty flavour and the rich creamy sweet white chocolate was a beautiful balance of textures and flavours.It was just so surprising that all the elements balanced each other so perfectly and so well. Not to mention it’s such a beautiful dish.
This two small piping hot churro lookalike arrived before my bill. It’s got like a lime rind and sugar coating. It was light, fluffy delicate hot and crispy. It was the best churro if you can call it that in my life!!!
I’m not surprised Executive Chef Christoph Rüffe got his stars plus a whole bunch of other awards and one of the best chefs and best restaurants in Hamburg. He combined ingredients that other people did not do, executed a balance of texture and mouthfeel made you gasp with wonder with the mix of flavours perfectly.
He really is one of the best chefs of this generation. PERIOD. A total of 230 Euros including tip is the best money i spent on a meal. Seriously.
Looking through the fridge there was an assortment of leftovers bits of this and bits of that. Some udon, pumpkin, roasted eggplant and bacon. Dinner time in 30 mins let’s create a semi healthy stir fry.
Started with the bacon, I tried to remove as much fat as possible and then added in the pumpkin which i cut into small pieces to mesh into a thick gooey sauce to coat the noodles. A quick spin of Kampot pepper, salt and olive oil and the piping hot udon which i boiled for 5 mins was added in. It still had some water in the noodles so i it helped make the sauce more light, quick chopsticks and wrist action to coat the noodles. Last sprinkling of pepper, chilli flakes, and a quick snip of spring onions from my pot and ready to go.
I think quick meals are possible, incorporating vegetables into our diet is also quite important, I can’t claim to be miss healthy but I think baby steps!
The udon was firm and chewy, the pumpkin added a nice sweetness to the dish while the bacon helped with the savory and salty. The eggplant was just another texture, spongy mushroom like. The spring onion was the bit of green, i didn’t use any garlic or onions as i wanted each of the flavours in the pot to shine, garlic and onion usually dominates in simple dishes and i wanted only flavours of the 5 ingredients to really have their own part. Everyone liked the colors and balance of flavours. Leftovers done, let’s see next week!