Who's the Baketard?

Why Baketard? Love to cook, hate to bake. Despite having gone to cooking school and working in some top kitchens, I never learned the baking side of things. I'm building my baking and photography skills, while sharing recipes that rock my world in the mean time.

Entries in Teage Ezard (2)

Friday
Jan202012

Smoked Baby Chicken with Tomato and Eggplant Sambal

Another day of snowbound togetherness.  Another day TRAPPED IN THIS HOUSE TOGETHER.  What do you do with a week of enforced intimacy?  You try not to kill each other during the day and then cook a kick ass dinner, blow off your New Years resolution diet, drink a bottle of wine and then realize, “Hey, I’m not driving anywhere” and suck down another!  Yeah, that was our Thursday.

Earlier this month, I received an email from a very nice woman at Tealeaves.com who had seen the feature in 425 Magazine in the fall, featuring local food bloggers/twitter loudmouths like me. She asked if I would try their teas and let them know what I thought. I was flattered, and surprised to get a huge assortment in the mail. With our stupid New Years diets, I’ve been drinking a lot of tea instead of wine (WTF, right?), and the assortment she sent has been delicious. I'm also a geek for cool packaging, and loved how these arrived. There is a sealed bag inside a sealed tea compartment inside a cool tea tin. It's like a Russian Doll of tealeaves. My favorite tea has always been (and remains) Jasmine, so I used that to smoke the chicken in this recipe.

This recipe is a goldmine. It has the perfect marriage of sweet and spicy, delicious textural combinations between the creamy eggplant and tomato sambal, the seared chicken, and the crunchy fried sambal on top. Like the other Ezard recipes I’ve blogged about, this was delicious and so completely the type of food I like to cook.

Don’t be put off by the steps—it sounds more involved than it really is. It didn’t take more than an hour to throw this all together. And besides, it’s a winter wonderland out there. What ELSE do you have to do today?

Notes on the recipe: I couldn’t find Green Ginger Wine anywhere, and ended up subbing in a lychee rice wine I picked up the Asian market. It was quite nice. Also, I smoked this with Applewood chips. The type called for in this recipe are unique (I think) to Australia. Finally,…baby chickens? While I love the horrific descriptor, this is not something easy to procure here, so we used chicken thighs. Other than this, I promise I didn’t dumb down this recipe. It’s too damned good to modify.

Smoked Baby Chicken with Tomato and Eggplant Sambal

Adapted from the cookbook Gingerboy, by Teage Ezard

SMOKED BABY CHICKEN

85 ml light soy sauce

15g (approximately 3cm) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

3 tablespoons green ginger wine

2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine

2 x 500g baby chickens, butterflied (or 8 boneless chicken thighs, as we did)

100g woodchips (mankua is the best but any from your local barbecue store will work), soaked in water for 20 minutes, then drained

2 tablespoons jasmine tea leaves

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

TOMATO AND EGGPLANT SAMBAL

2 eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthways into 12 wedges

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sea salt

4 roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthways

250 ml(1 cup) pat chun (Chinese sweetened vinegar)

2 red shallots, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red bird’s eye (thai) chile, thinly sliced

2 tablespoopns shaoxing rice wine

2 tablespoons kecap manis

1 large handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves

1 cup crispy fried sambal (recipe below)

CRISPY FRIED SAMBAL

1 tablespoon belacan shrimp paste, roasted

750ml (3 cups) vegetable oil

6 red shallots, thinly sliced

3 long red chiles, thinly sliced on the diagonal

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

30g (approximately 6cm) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

METHOD

Smoked baby chicken

  1. Combine the soy sauce, ginger, green ginger wine and shaoxing rice wine in a large container, add the chickens, skin side down, and rub the marinade into the flesh. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to marinate. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and leave for 10 minutes to come to room temperature.
  2. Place a perforated stainless steel disc insert in a steamer basket, then add the chicken and cover with the lid. (Note from Marc: I just used a regular chinese bamboo steamer for this) Line the base of a wok with foil, sprinkle in half of the soaked woodchips and place over medium heat.
  3. Stir the woodchips around until they start to smoke, then place the steamer on top. Cover and smoke for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and leave for 4 minutes. Remove the steamer from the wok, turn the heat back on, stir the woodchips around, replace the steamer and repeat the smoking process.
  4. Remove the steamer from the wok and then remove the foil and the woodchips. Replace with a fresh sheet of foil and the remaining woodchips and repeat the smoking process. The last time you move the woodchips around, place the wok over medium heat and, once the woodchips start to smoke, sprinkle on the tealeaves. Place the steamer on top, cover and leave to smoke for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.

Tomato and Eggplant Sambal

  1. Preheat the oven to 380 F.
  2. Spread the eggplant in a single layer on a baking tray, drizzle on the oil and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Roast for 25 minutes until golden brown and soft. Set aside to cool.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking tray. Pour the pat chun over the top, season lightly with the remaining salt and cover with foil. Roast for 30 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked but still hold their shape. Leave the tomatoes to cool in the liquid. Once cool, the skin can be easily removed. Strain, reserving 80ml (1/3 cup) of the pat chun liquid.
  4. Heat a wok over medium heat, add the eggplant and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the shallots, garlic, chile and tomatoes and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour in the shaoxing rice wine, cook for 20 seconds, then add the kecap manis and caramelize for a further 30 seconds. Stir in the reserved pat chun liquid, cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Crispy Fried Sambal

  1. Using your fingers, crumble the shrimp paste into a bowl and set aside (Note from Marc: to roast the belacan, just wrap a piece in foil and cook in a 350-375 degree oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes)
  2. Heat the oil in a wok to 350 F (you can test if the oil is the right temperature by dropping in a cube of bread; if the bread browns in 50 seconds, the oil is ready). Fry the shallots until golden brown, remove with a slotte spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with the chile, garlic and ginger.
  3. Add all fried ingredients to the bowl and gently mix with the shrimp paste.
  4. This sambal is best made fresh on the day.

TO SERVE

  1. Preheat the oven to 380 F (180 C.)
  2. Season the chicken lightly on the skin side. Place a non-stick frying pan over high heat, add the oil and chicken, skin side down, and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip over, cover and cook for a further 4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Cut each chicken into quarters.
  3. Spoon some sambal into the center of two serving plates, top with the chicken and garnish with the coriander and crispy fried sambal.
Tuesday
Apr122011

Teage Ezard's Osso Buco with Wasabi Potato Dumplings and Sichuan Pepper Sauce

As I mentioned earlier in the Fried Pork Hock recipe, Teage Ezard is one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors. His recipes continually rock my world, and this one (although involved and a little fussy) was a hit at a recent cookbook club we hosted, highlighting his book Lotus: Asian Flavours.

Because the meat is braised, it's very forgiving. There's some time involved in making the dumplings, but everything can be done ahead short of reheating the sauce, steaming the dumplings and a quick stir fry of the lettuce base. This frees you up to throw the meal together in about 10 minutes so you have time to sit down and get drunk with your guests, as you should.

Many thanks to Jackie Baisa for taking gorgeous shots of the food!

Teage Ezard's Osso Buco with Wasabi Potato Dumplings and Sichuan Pepper Sauce

Serves 6 

2 ½ tablespoons olive oil

6 thick slices veal osso buco

6 cups Veal Stock (Recipe Below)

1 tsp Sichuan Pepper Salt Powder (Recipe Below)

1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves 

Sichuan Pepper Sauce 

1 fresh cob corn, kernels removed for another use, cob coarsely chopped

5 cloves garlic, bruised

2 cilantro roots (or double the amount and use stems if you cant get roots), coarsely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns, lightly toasted and ground

3 tablespoons black chinese vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 

Wasabi Potato Dumplings 

14 oz waxy potatoes such as Desiree or Nicola, peeled and diced (I used Yukon Gold)

4 tablespoons butter, diced

2 ½ tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon wasabi paste (I quadrupled this, because wasabi mellows significantly when hit with heat)

12 wonton skins 

Stir Fried Lettuce 

1 1/s tablespoons peanut oil

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

8 green onions (scallions), cut into lengths

½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded

Instructions

  1. Make the Sichuan Pepper Salt Powder and Veal Stock by following the recipes below.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit (160 degrees Celsius). Heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet and brown the osso buco slices. Transfer to a casserole dish. Bring the veal stock to a boil and pour it over the osso buco. Cover the dish with a tight fitting lid or foil and place it in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
  3. Allow the meat to cool completely in the stock, then remove the meat and refrigerate until needed. Reserve the stock for the Sichuan Pepper Sauce. 

Sichuan Pepper Sauce:              

  1. Strain the osso buco stock into a large pot. Bring it to a boil, skimming the surface of any impurities, and reduce the stock by half. Add the corn cob and reduce the stock by another third, then remove the cob. (The corn helps the sauce to thicken naturally). Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 5 minutes then remove from the heat. The sauce should lightly coat the back of a spoon.

Wasabi Potato Dumplings

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and then mash them, preferably with a potato ricer. Add the butter, cream and wasabi paste and mix thoroughly. Season to taste.
  2. Lay six of the wonton skins out onto a clean work surface and place a heaped tablespoon of the potato mixture in the center of each one. Lightly brush around the edges with water. Top with the remaining six wonton skins and press the edges together to seal. Make sure you push out any air. Cut the dumplings into circles with a knife of cookie cutter and refrigerate them, covered in plastic wrap, until needed. 

To Serve

  1. Place the osso buco pieces in a large pan or skillet and strain the Sichuan Pepper sauce into the pan. Gently reheat the meat and sauce.
  2. Meanwhile, place the dumplings in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes.
  3. For the stir fried lettuce, heat the peanut oil in a wok and fry the garlic and green onions until fragrant and beginning to soften. Add the lettuce and stir fry over high heat until slightly charred and wilted. Remove from the heat before the lettuce begins to stew. For the best result, do this in two or three batches.
  4. To serve, divide the Stir-fried Lettuce between serving plates. Ad a piece of osso buco to each one and place a dumpling on top. Drizzle the sauce around the sides and sprinkle with the Sichuan Pepper-salt Powder. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Sichuan Pepper-Salt Powder

2 Tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns

4 Tablespoons Sea salt 

  1. Dry roast the peppercorns and salt in a wok over medium heat until fragrant (1-2 minutes), stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove from the heat and grind to a fine powder with a portar and pestle or spice grinder. Sift the powder and store in an airtight container. Use within a week as the pepper loses its fragrance quickly. 

Veal Stock 

6 lbs (3 kgs) veal bones

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium brown onions, diced

6 cloves garlic, bruised

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped

½ bunch celery, coarsely chopped

1 leek, coarsely chopped

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 cup red wine

12 cups water 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (180 degrees Celsius) degrees. Roast the veal bones for 1 ½ hours or until dark brown.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the onion, celery, garlic, carrots and leek. Add the thyme, bat leaf, peppercorns and wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the roasted veal bones and water and bring to a boil. Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and then gently simmer the stock for 4-6 hours. Top up with fresh water from time to time to keep the liquid at its original level.
  3. Strain the stock into another pot and set aside to cool. Once cool, skim any fat from the surface and return the stock to a boil. Reduce it by a third. Allow to cool, then pour into a container and refrigerate or freeze.

Makes 8 cups (2 liters)

If you're so inclined, here's a link to the book: