So I don’t know if I have told you that I am applying for My Kitchen Rules! Well, I am with my partner in crime- Brenden, my housemate and friend. In preparation for the show (because we will definitely get on!), we have been challenging ourselves in the kitchen over the past few weeks. This post features TWO of our three course meals, both created under rather testing conditions due to rather a lot of alcohol consumed the night before on both occasions!
We have decided our speciality will be Asian/French fusion, to celebrate each of our favourite cuisines (well, mine is not really French food per se, but their whole approach and attitude to food and cooking!).
We have taken either a French or Asian technique, then switched around the flavours- rather ingenious wouldn’t you say?!
Entree: Spring rolls (Asian technique), filled with goat’s cheese, thyme and caramelised onion (French flavours), served with an apple and papaya salad (sort of both?).
Main: Duck, duck and . We actually gave ourselves the task of butchering a whole duck! We really did that duck proud, by using every single scrap of it. Fat was rendered and used to confit the legs (confit was flavoured with bay, peppercorns, garlic), breast was rubbed with Asian spices and pan seared, then oven finished, carcass was made into stock and the stock was used as the base for an aromatic broth with Asian flavours (star anise, ginger, soy, oyster sauce)! Beak to tail eating??? We served the duck in a little tower, with the broth as a base, lightly steamed gai larn, forbidden black rice, the shredded confit, the sliced breast and crispy skin, and puffed black rice as a garnish (thanks Josh for the tip!!!). Really proud of this dish :)
Dessert: Coconut creme brûlée, with sesame praline. I bought a blow torch at long last! But I still failed at the creme brûlée… I just cannot get them to not split! I have mastered normal custard now, but this dessert still eludes me (which makes me kinda mad because I fancy myself fairly adept at desserts… but I don’t even like it so not that worried really!). The brûlée part was fabulous though- thanks to Bren! The sesame praline didn’t work either, and was far too sweet to serve with a brûlée. You live and learn!
Entree: Going with our new found love of confit, we decided to cook ocean trout this time. We flavoured the confit with Asian flavours (lemongrass, ginger, galangal, garlic, chilli). It was a success- beautiful way to cook this lovely fish. Served with fried vermicelli nests (made up this technique- blanched the noodles first, made into little nests then deep fried until puffed and crispy), cucumber and a soy, ginger dressing and kewpie mayonnaise. Yum!
Main: Again, super proud of this dish. We (well, I did one and Bren did the other five!) deboned six quails, then made a stuffing containing braised Asian mushrooms and Chinese sausage, lemongrass, ginger, chilli, amongst other things (this dish was largely Bren’s creation, so I don’t really know what exactly was in it!) We stuffed and rolled the quail, and our trusty dinner guests trussed them for us (using dental floss for lack of kitchen twine!). Pan seared and oven finished, they could have done with one minute less but were really special. Served with fondant sweet potato (SO MUCH BUTTER), and a kickass Asian green sauce with lots of wonderful flavours in it. We then deep fried and oven roasted shelled edamame beans for some additional greenery and texture on the plate.
Dessert: A complete hit! My failsafe Stephanie Alexander soft-centered chocolate puddings stole the show again, but this time served with her orange cardamom ice-cream which was OH EM GEE!!!!!! Delicious. And Bren has proven his sugar skills by making the most perfect candied orange zest for garnish. A truly lovely finish to the meal.
So there you go- MKR ready??? Applications have been submitted and now we wait!
Bon appétit xxx