Sunday, 19 August 2012

HOT – Turn up the heat with some chilli and spice.













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Chilli and lychee martini 
Fire up with this refreshing and spicy cocktail which packs a punch in more ways than one! The ground chilli is optional to garnish, try a light sprinkle or omit it if you would rather something milder. 
Medium
Serves  2 

• 1 x 550g can lychees
• 120ml vodka
• 30ml lychee liqueur
• 6 lychees
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 small red chilli, whole split lengthways
• 1 egg white
• 1 cup ice cubes
• ground chilli, for garnish (optionl)

1. Place martini glasses in the freezer to chill. Drain lychees and set aside 120ml of the syrup.
2. Combine the vodka, lychee liqueur, lychee syrup, lychees and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Muddle well to break up the lychee and dissolve sugar.
3. Add the chilli and egg white, ice cubes and shake vigorously for 1 minute.
4. Strain into chilled martini classes and serve with a tiny dusting of chilli powder.

food dept fact: Left over lychees in the syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week or can be frozen for up to 3 months. Lychees add a delicious sweetness to contrast the chilli in curries, so add them into your dish just before serving.



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Roasted peanuts with shichimi spices and roasted nori 
Our recipe for these nuts was inspired by David's recent visit to Hartsyard restaurant in Newtown. The peanuts he ate had delicious morsels of crispy duck skin. But to make things easier for you at home we have made a few changes and we are sure you’ll love them just as much as he did. Shichimi (seven flavour chilli pepper) is a blend of 7 Japanese flavours and is often served along side soups and rice dishes. We have used a ready made spice mix available at good Asian grocers that specialise in Japanese groceries. We bought this one at Tokyo Mart in Northbrige, NSW. It is a combination of ground chilli, Sichuan pepper, roasted mandarin or orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, ginger, roasted nori and hemp (or poppy) seeds.
Medium
Makes 500g

• ¼cup duck fat
• 500g raw peanuts, in the shell
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon shichimi spice mix
• 1 tablespoon salt flakes
• 1 sheet roasted nori, crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (360˚F).
2. Place duck fat in a small sauce pan over a low heat until melted and hot.
3. Place the peanuts in a large bowl and toss through the duck fat, spread the nuts onto a large roasting pan and roast for 20–25 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and toss through the olive oil, sprinkle over the shichimi spice mix, salt and nori, toss well.
5. Cool and store in an airtight container for up 1 month.

food dept fact: Duck fat can be bought in a good deli or butcher and any leftovers can be used to make very tasty roast potatoes.

http://hartsyard.com.au/


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Chilli jam 
This chilli jam makes an excellent base to tom yum soup, great in stir fries, blend it with coconut milk and cook chicken or seafood, add to salad dressings. Sally loves a spoonful on top of laksa to add an extra kick.
HOT
Makes approximately 2½ cups

• 50g tamarind pulp
• ½ cup boiling water
• 1½ cups vegetable oil
• 2 large Spanish onions, finely chopped
• 1 cup (approximately 18 cloves) garlic cloves, process in a processor until finely chopped
• ¼ cup dried shrimp, pound in a mortar and pestle
• 1 cup dried red chillies (de-seed them if you would like a milder jam)
• 1 cup shaved palm sugar
• ½ cup fish sauce

1. Roughly chop the tamarind and place in a medium bowl, pour over the boiling water and allow to stand for 10 minutes or until the water has cooled enough for you to put your hands in. Knead the tamarind to remove the pulp from the seeds and fibres. Strain well, discard the seeds and fibre and set aside the pulp.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion in 2 batches,  until golden brown, using a slotted spoon lift the onions from the oil and set aside.
3. In the same oil, fry the garlic until golden in colour and ensure it is translucent and cooked through. Strain from the oil and set aside with the onion.
4. Again in the same oil fry the shrimp for around 1 minute and strain, set aside with the other fried ingredients.
5. Finally in the oil fry the chillies for approximately 15 second or until they are a dark  red colour, strain and add to the other fried ingredients. Be careful not to over cook the chillies or they will become bitter.
6. Place all of the fried ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process to form a paste.
7. Drain any remaining oil from the wok and reserve. Return the paste to the wok with the tamarind liquid, palm sugar and fish sauce. Ensure the palm sugar has dissolved and simmer for 1–2 minutes.
8. Place into sterilized jars and cover with a layer of the cooking oil, store for up to 6 months in the refrigerator.



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Sweet chilli ginger sauce
Sally created this recipe out of necessity whilst living overseas in Massachusetts during the late 90’s. Sweet chilli sauce was not on any supermarket shelf so this sweet chilli ginger sauce recipe was born. The ginger gives it a different twist. 
Medium
Makes approximately 2½ cups

• 200g large red chillies, whole, stalks trimmed
• 2–3 red birds eye chillies, whole, stalks trimmed (add as few or as many of these as you like depending on how hot you would like your sauce)
• 5 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
• 8 cloves garlic, peeled
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 cups white vinegar
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce


1. Combine the 2 different types of chillies, ginger and garlic in the bowl of a small food processor and process until finely chopped.
2. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan over a low heat and stir without boiling until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Add the chilli, garlic and ginger paste to the sugar syrup and simmer for 25-30 minutes until thickened. Add the fish sauce and simmer for a further 1-2 minutes. Pour into sterilized bottles and when cool store in the refrigerator for up 6 months.

food dept fact: See our Preserved lemon recipe in our Slow Post for “how to sterilize jars and bottles”. Serve as a delicious dipping sauce for your favourite yum cha or Vietnamese rolls. You can also drizzle it over chargrilled chicken or prawns, then sprinkle with coriander leaves and squeeze over fresh lime juice – YUM.


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Chilli and black bean blue swimmer crabs 
Serve this finger licking crab with some rice or warm roti to soak up the delicious sauce. This recipe uses our very own delicious Chilli jam but if time doesn’t allow use a good quality one from an Asian grocer. Remember to have a crab picker on hand to crack open the crab and remove every last morsel of crabmeat.
Medium
Serves 4

• 750g ripe tomatoes
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 8 purple shallots, finely sliced
• 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
• 5cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
• 3 small red chillies, sliced
• 1 tablespoon salted black beans, rinsed
• 4 uncooked, blue swimmer crabs
• 2 tablespoons Chilli jam
• 2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• ½ cup good quality fish or crab stock
• 4 shallots, thinly sliced on the diagonal, to garnish
• 1 cup coriander sprigs, to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F). Place the tomatoes on an oven tray and prick the skins. Roast for 20 minutes until the skins blister. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, peel the skins and roughly chop, set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and sauté the shallots, garlic, ginger, chillies and black beans until shallots are transparent. Remove from the heat and set aside the wok.
3. To prepare the crabs, rinse them under cold water. Turn the crabs upside down and lift the flap, pulling away from the crab body to remove the outer shell. Cut the crab in half and remove the gills, cut into quarters and rinse the crab under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Clean and rinse the removed crab shell and cook with the crab pieces for decoration.
4. Return the wok to a high heat and add the crab pieces to the wok with the shallots, garlic, ginger and black beans, toss well.  Cover the wok and cook for 5–7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the crab shells have begun to turn bright orange.
5. Add the tomatoes, Chilli jam, palm sugar, fish sauce, tomato paste and fish stock. Bring to a simmer and cook the crab for another 5–10 minutes or until the crab is cooked through. If you would like the sauce thicker, remove the crab pieces from the wok, cover with foil and keep warm, simmer the sauce until it has thickened then return the crab to the wok, toss through the sauce.
6. Sprinkle with shallots and coriander. Serve immediately with rice or warmed roti. 

food dept fact: We have used blue swimmer crabs in this recipe as they are less daunting for some to handle, rather than a live mud crab. But if you are feeling game, mud crab is just as sensational as the blue swimmer. Talk to your fish monger about storing the mud crab until you are ready to use it, then pop the mud crab into the freezer for 30 minutes to put it to ‘sleep’. Plunge the crab into a large pot of boiling water and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, until the shell has completely changed colour. Clean and prepare the same as the blue swimmer but you will need to give those big claws a crack with a meat mallet before you add them to the sauce, continue to cook as you would the blue swimmers. You could also use large prawns in their shells, lobster tails, scampi, Balmain bugs or a combination of them all.  Salted black beans are available in an Asian grocer.



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Vietnamese chilli beef and noodle soup
Mmmm, let the aroma of this warming soup fill up your kitchen at dinnertime. Traditionally the base for Vietnamese Pho is home made stock – so we decided to opt for a simpler version by using store bought quality beef stock instead of making our own stock. This spicy soup has all the Asian flavours you desire and is also a meal in itself.
Mild 
Serves 4

• 1 onion, halved, skin on
• 4 cloves garlic, skin on
• 5cm piece ginger, unpeeled
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 4 cloves
• ½ cinnamon stick
• 2 star anise
• 1 dried red chilli
• 1 black cardamom pod (optional)
• 2 litres quality beef stock
• 500g tail piece, beef, eye fillet
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 20g rock sugar or 1 tablespoon sugar
• 375g dried rice noodles
• 2 cups bean sprouts
• 2 birds eye chillies, seeded and julienned
• 1 cup coriander sprigs
• 1 cup Vietnamese mint sprigs
• 2 limes cut into wedges
• Asian chilli sauce (sriracha) and hoisin sauce, to serve (optional)

1. Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 7–10 minutes on each side until charred. Peel the onion garlic and ginger to remove the charred skin, roughly chop and place into a stockpot.
2. Place the spices into the same dry pan and toss for 2–3 minutes to roast the spices. Gently crush the spices in the pan with a pestle while cooking to release the flavours, add to the stockpot.
3. Cover the charred ingredients and spices with the beef stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes to infuse the stock.
4. Place beef fillet into the freezer and allow to partially freeze for 20 minutes, once firm, slice very finely across the grain of the fillet and lay onto a tray until ready to use.
5. Strain the stock and return to the pot, bring to the boil. Season with the fish sauce and sugar.
6. Prepare the rice noodles as per the instruction on the packet. Drain well.
7. Place half of the beef evenly between 4 deep soup bowls and top with noodles. Divide the remaining beef slices between the bowls on top of the noodles.
8. Ladle over the boiling broth and serve alongside a platter of bean sprouts, chillies, herbs, lime wedges and sauces.

food dept fact: We have used black cardamom seeds to infuse the stock with a delicious smoky flavour. They are very different to green cardamom and if you can’t get them at your Asian grocer just leave them out, don’t substitute the green ones.


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Pan-fried pork and chilli dumplings with chilli infused red vinegar
These make great party nibbles. Serve them on a platter with the dipping sauce or serve them individually on ceramic Chinese soupspoons, drizzle each with a little sauce.
Mild
Makes approximately 48

• 500g pork mince
• ½ cup chopped garlic chives
• 2 tablespoons soy
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 2 tablespoons finely julienned ginger
• 1 tablespoon Chilli jam
• 2 small red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon corn flour
• 2 packets round dumpling wrappers
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup Chinese red vinegar
• 1 large red chilli, finely sliced on the diagonal
•     • black sesame seeds, to garnish

1. In a large mixing bowl combine the pork mince, garlic chives, soy, sesame oil, ginger, chilli jam, chopped chilli, and cornflour. Mix well.
2. To make the dumplings place a dumpling wrapper in the palm of one hand and brush around the entire edge lightly with water.
3. Place a teaspoonful of the pork mixture onto the centre of each wrapper and fold the wrapper in half to enclose the pork. Pleat and seal the top layer of the wrapper 3 times towards the centre on each side of the dumpling. Pleating only the top layer of the wrapper will cause the dumpling to get that crescent shape. Press the sides together firmly and place on a lined tray. Lightly cover to prevent the wrappers from drying out and refrigerate until ready to cook. These can be assembled several hours before they are needed.
4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan with a tight fitting lid, over a medium heat. Add the oil and arrange all of the dumplings over the base of the pan. fry for 1-2 minutes or until the wrappers are golden on the base only.
5. Pour over ¾ cup of water or just enough to come 1/3 of the way up the side of the dumpling. Cover tightly with the lid and cook for 6-8 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and cook for another 1–2 minutes to evaporate any remaining water.
7. Combine the Chinese vinegar with the sliced chilli and serve alongside the dumplings. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve immediately.

food dept fact: The raw dumplings can be frozen for up to 1 month. Cook the frozen dumplings while still frozen and allow an extra 5 minutes with the lid on to ensure they dumplings are cooked through.




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Cajun fried chicken with a green chilli and coriander dressing 
Fried chicken is a marvelous thing to pack in a picnic basket or try this recipe with wings for great finger food.
Medium
Serves 4–6

• 1 x 1.8 kg chicken
• 1 tablespoon Cajun chilli spice mix
• 1½ cups buttermilk
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2½ cups plain flour
• extra, 1 tablespoon Cajun chilli spice mix
• vegetable oil, for deep-frying
• 1 quantity Green chilli and coriander dressing
• extra, Cajun chilli spice mix, for serving

1. Rinse and dry the chicken with paper towel. Cut up the chicken, begin by cutting it into quarters. Cut the drumstick from the thigh and cut the thighs in half. Remove the wing from the breast, trim off the wing tip and discard (or save for chicken stock). Cut across the chicken breast into three pieces.
2. Place the chicken pieces with the spice mix in a large bowl and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
3. Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs in a large flat bowl.
4. Combine the flour with the extra spice mix on a large tray. Toss the chicken in the flour and spice mix; dip into the egg and buttermilk mixture then again in the flour and spices. Shake off excess flour and place onto a tray.
5. Deep-fry the chicken pieces in hot oil for 10–12 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces.  Drain on paper towel and serve with the Green chilli and coriander dressing and an extra sprinkle of Cajun chilli spice mix.

food dept fact: We have explained how to trim the chicken for this recipe but if you have a good butcher get him to do all the hard work for you. Otherwise this recipe would work really well with just using chicken wings, discard the wing tips and cut the wing into 2 pieces. As the pieces are smaller when using the wings you will need to cut down the cooking time to approximately 8–10 minutes depending on the size of the wings.


Cajun chilli spice mix 
Makes approximately ⅔ cup

• 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
• 1 tablepoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons onion powder
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 2 teaspoons dried thyme
• 2 tablepsoons salt flakes

1. Combine all ingredients in a jar and store in a cool, dry place for up 6 months.

Green chilli and coriander dressing
Makes 1½ cups

• ½ small Spanish onion peeled
• 1 clove garlic, peeled
• 1 large green chilli, stem removed (remove the seeds if you would like it milder)
• 1 cup coriander leaves and stems
• 1 cup continental parsley leaves and stems
• finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
• ¼ cup olive oil
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• sea salt flakes, to taste
• ½ cup buttermilk

1. Place the onion, garlic and chilli in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add the herbs, lemon zest and juice to the processor and process until smooth.
2. Add the oil and season to taste.
3. Remove from the processor and stir through the buttermilk. Use as required.




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Mayan chocolate tart
Delicious spiced chocolate flavour that finishes with a mild chilli hit. Why did we call it Mayan chocolate tart? Well! The first record of chocolate being consumed was when the Ancient Mayans ground cocoa beans and blended them with spices, chilli and water to make a bitter drink. We have taken the idea of blending chocolate with spices and chilli to create this deccadent dessert.
Mild
Makes 1 x 23cm flan

• 1 x 300g packet frozen dark chocolate short crust pastry
• 1½ cups cream
• 2 small red chillies, split
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 vanilla bean split, seeds scrapped
• 450g dark chocolate, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (360˚F). Allow pastry to defrost but not get warm.
2. Grease a 23cm flan pan and place onto a lined baking tray. Line the flan pan with pastry and prick the base with a fork. Line with baking paper and pie weights.
3. Place into the freezer and allow to rest for a further 30 minutes.
4. Bake for 8–10 minutes, remove the baking paper and pie weights and return to the oven for another 5–7 minutes or until the pastry is cooked.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cake cooler.
6. Combine the cream with the chillies, cinnamon, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds in a medium saucepan. Gently whisk over a medium heat until the cream comes to the simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutess to infuse the spice flavours into the cream.
7. Place the chocolate into a large mixing bowl and strain over the hot cream. Whisk gently until the cream has melted the chocolate. Pour into the pastry shell, swirl the top of the tart with the back of a spoon and allow to set at room temperature.
8. Slice and serve at room temperature with cream.







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