Quails with Brandy Hosin Glaze & Fondant Baby Potatoes

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Just for kicks, we decided to move away from our usual choice of poultry and use the more atypical quail as the star of our new dish. Lean and delicate, quails are not for the parochial in taste, given that they can come across as gamey and bony. This delicious recipe with an Asian twist will prove to be an exception, with a tangy, umami skin sealing in the juicy, flavourful flesh. I guess we can say that birds of a feather don’t always flock together after all.

(Adapted from Epicure

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Ingredients:

For quail with brandy hosin glaze:

  • 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 Quails
  • 60g of Red Shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 1/2 whole Garlic (peeled & smashed)
  • 1/2 Cup of Brandy
  • 1/4 of White Wine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Hosin Sauce
  • 15g of Aged Dried Orange Peel (thinly sliced)
  • 35g of Rock Sugar (smashed into small pieces with a mortar & pestle)
  • Juice from 1/2 Green Lime


For fondant baby potatoes:

  • 250g of Baby Potatoes (washed)
  • 1 Garlic Clove (smashed)
  • 1 Bay Leave
  • 100ml of White Wine
  • 25g of Butter
  • Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Sprig of Dill Leaves


For blanched carrots:

  • 2 Small Carrots
  • Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Olive Oil

Serves 2

Methods:image

imageimage1. Preheat oven to 180C. Heat frying pan with olive oil till hot. At the first sight of smoke, lightly sear all sides of the quails to a light brown hue. Transfer to a baking dish to cool.imageimage2. Continue using the same pan, fry garlic and shallots till aromatic and golden brown. Deglaze with brandy and white wine. Stir and cook till liquid is slightly reduced, then add in hosin sauce, dried orange peel, rock sugar and lime juice. Mix and cook till sugar is dissolved.imageimage3. Allow the sauce to cool slightly and pour over the quails, rubbing it thoroughly onto them. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes before baking in the oven for 15 to 25 minutes or until the meat is firm to the touch and a skewer passes through the thickest part of the thigh easily.image4. In the meantime, cook the sides. Combine potatoes, garlic, bay leave, wine and butter in a frying pan. Cover and set over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent the base of the potato from charring. Cook till you hear sizzling sounds in the pan, which implies that the white wine has evaporated. Remove the lid and fry the potatoes until completely cooked through, with the skins crisp and golden brown. Season potatoes with salt and black pepper to taste and garnish with dill leaves at the end. For blanched carrots, cook carrots in a pot of salted boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes depending on the size of the carrots and your desired softness. Transfer them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Slice carrots into halves, then season and toss with salt, black pepper and a dash of olive oil.imageimage5. Serve quails with potatoes and carrots. FEAST!




Sick of chicken? Stay tuned for our quail recipe for a comforting dish oozing with irresistible rusticity.  




Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Centres

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Elegant and sophisticated, yet easy enough for the average home cook. These are what we are looking for in a dessert recipe, and the Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Centres tick all the right boxes. Visually stunning and decadently enjoyable, this iconic dessert that finds its way onto the covers of many dessert cookbooks is a definite crowd-pleaser. And with this original recipe, you can relish its resplendent scarlet bliss within the comfort of your own home.

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Ingredients:

For red wine poached pears:

  • 4 to 6 Firm Bosc Pears
  • 3 Cups of Red Wine (we used Merlot)
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 8 Black Peppercorns
  • Peel of 1 Lemon + 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice


For mascarpone filling:

  • 100g of Mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp of Honey
  • 2 to 3 drops of Vanilla Bean Paste
  • Pinch of Cinnamon (to taste)

Serves 4 to 6

Methods:
imageimageimage1. Using a paring knife, carefully slice out the lemon peel, taking as little white pith as possible.image2. Split the vanilla pod into half. Extract the beans by running your knife along the inside of the pod.image3. Combine red wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaf, star anise, black peppercorns, lemon peel, vanilla pod and scrapings in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil.image4. In the meantime, peel and core the pears without removing the stem. Place them in a bowl of cold water with a few slices of lemon to prevent browning.image5. When the red wine mixture is boiling, place the pears in and reduce the heat to a simmer. Poach pears for 25 to 30 minutes till tender.imageimageimage6. Transfer the pears into a large cooking dish, sieve and allow the red wine mixture to cool before pouring it in. Cover with a plastic wrap and soak the pears overnight while occasionally turning the sides to ensure even colour as well as flavour absorption.image7. Transfer pears onto a large plate and allow red wine mixture to reduce over medium heat to a syrup consistency. This will take about 40 to 45 minutes, syrup will be ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. To make mascarpone filling, combine mascarpone, honey, ground cinnamon, vanilla bean paste and mix well. Scoop mascarpone mixture into a piping bag and fill the pear centres, then carefully place them on a serving plate. If mascarpone mixture is too runny, firm it up in a freezer for a few minutes.image8. Pour warm syrup over poached pears and serve! Enjoy!imageimage




Fruit and finesse goes hand-in-hand with our Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Centres. Sit tight.




Jap Chae

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It’s a great day for a picnic, and we are ditching the usual picnic fare for some lip-smacking Jap Chae. If you have been to a Korean restaurant, chances are you would’ve come across these pellucid strings of chewy sweet potato noodles. This traditional stir-fry may be a breeze to whip up, but it sure leaves a pleasant, lasting impression. With it also scoring points for being satisfyingly light and deliciously healthy, a tub of jap chae is the best companion you can have for a trip to the great outdoors.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g of Sweet Potato Noodles
  • 1 Carrot (cut into matchstick strips)
  • 4 Brunch of Green Onion (cut into 5 cm sections)
  • 150g of Spinach (washed & cut into 5 cm sections)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 100g of Fresh Shiitake Mushroom (sliced)
  • 1 Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 150g of Thinly Sliced Pork Belly (those used in Shabu Shabu)
  • Soy Sauce (to taste)
  • Sesame Oil (to taste)
  • Caster Sugar (to taste)
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds (for garnishing)


Serves 4

Methods:image1. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Noodles should be soft yet chewy in texture. Using tongs, transfer noodles onto a sieve and rinse them under cold water. Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Season with a tablespoon of soy sauce with a tablespoon of sesame oil, Mix and set aside.

2. While cooking the noodles, fry carrots with a little olive oil till semi-soft, which takes about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Likewise, fry green onion for a minute till soft.image3. Reuse leftover boiling water to blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze well to get rid of excess liquid. Season with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and half teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix and set aside.

4. To cook mushrooms, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Stir in mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of sesame oil, half of the minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to taste. Stir well and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. 

5. For stir-fried pork belly, fry onions with a little olive oil till soft and translucent. Add in pork belly slices, followed by rest of the minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, half a tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of sugar, a pinch of cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste. Stir fry until the pork belly is cooked. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
imageimageimage6. In a large mixing bowl, combine noodles, carrots, green onions, mushrooms and stir-fried pork belly. Season with 3 to 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 to 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar and a generous pinch of black pepper to taste. You can season to your preference. Mix well. image7. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!




Who loves Korean? We have some home cooked Jap Chae coming your way!




Eggs en Cocotte with Smoked Salmon, Roe & Katsuobushi

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Who says we can’t put all our eggs in one basket? The timeless Eggs en Cocotte is one breakfast grub that allows you to do so. And we are putting more than just eggs with our Japanese spin. The tobiko adds a delightful crunch to the dish while setting off nanoscopic savory explosions in your mouth with each spoonful of creamy egg. A shower of katsuobushi ribbons supplies a smoky note and hints of the sea. Cookism’s Eggs en Cocotte breaks all the rules, but this is a rebellion against ordinariness.  

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp of Softened Butter (for greasing ramekins)
  • 4 heaping tbsp of Crème Fraîche
  • Pinch of Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
  • 60g of Smoked Salmon (cut into strips)
  • 1 sprig of Dill Leaves
  • 4 tsp of Tobiko
  • Handful of Katsuobushi
  • Bread of your choice (to serve)


Serves 2 to 4

Methods:imageimage1. Preheat oven to 180C. Butter four 3” ramekins and add a heaping tablespoon of crème fraîche to each of them. Using the back of a spoon, roughly spread crème fraîche out to coat the bottom of the ramekins.imageimageimage2. Season each with a pinch of salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste, followed by smoked salmon strips with some reserved for garnishing.image3. Carefully crack an egg into each ramekin and a sprinkle of dill leaves. Place ramekins in a deep baking dish filled with hot water halfway up them and bake for 15 minutes for runny yolks. The whites should be almost set while the yolks remain runny.imageimage4. Garnish each eggs en cocotte with black pepper, diced smoked salmon, a teaspoon of tobiko and Katsuobushi. Serve with nicely toasted bread of your choice and you are done!image




Put on some Edith Piaf and try making our Eggs en Cocotte with Smoked Salmon, Roe & Katsuobushi for a one-of-a-kind breakfast.




Bucatini all’ Amatriciana

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Bucatini is like hollowed-out spaghetti (they get their name from the Italian word “buco” or hole). These holes allow water to enter when boiling, allowing for shorter cooking times. They also slurp up any sauce they are mixed with, making them ideal sauce tunnels. Needless to say, our first experience with bucatini was a pleasurable one. Tossed in a classic tangy Amatriciana sauce and finished off with a dash of pecorino, this is pasta at its finest slurp.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g of Bucatini Pasta
  • 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • Half Medium-sized Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 tbsp of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 100g of Pancetta (cut into quarter inch strips)
  • 50ml of White Wine
  • 1 (14oz) can of Italian Diced Tomatoes
  • Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Grated Pecorino (to serve)

Serves 2

Methods:imageimageimage1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add in the onions and fry till soft and translucent. Stir in red pepper flakes as well as pancetta and cook for a few minutes till brown. Pour over wine and allow to reduce, then add in tomatoes. Stir well and bring sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.image2. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and season it with salt (For every liter of water, add 1 tsp of salt). Cook the pasta till al dente and drain, reserving a cup of pasta water.image3. Add pasta into the pan, then toss, stir and coat the pasta with the sauce. If sauce is too dry, add a little pasta water to loosen it. Season with salt and pepper to taste.image4. Serve with grated pecorino cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!




The true pastafarian’s dream— Bucatini all’ Amatriciana 




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