Archive for January, 2015

Bamboo Steamer

Posted: January 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

I must have been a good boy this year as Santa left me lots of toys, admittedly, he didn’t leave them under my tree but in the kitchen.  Not only did I get the Rolls Royce of pizza stones which I have to say is fantastic but I also got a proper bamboo steamer.  I can’t wait to steam fresh scallops in it but right now it’s calling to be used for dim sum.

01a002ce8520c059f1f5de78886ae0fa885b2c0f7eRamsons-bound to buy wonton wrappers (genius) it was clear I was going to be filling these with pork and prawn mixture as previously blogged in https://gastrorob.com/tag/dim-sum/   as it is quite an authentic tasting mixture.  However this time these were to be one of several dim sum dishes.
On this Asian inspired menu there was:

Prawn and pork dim sum

Prawn and pork potstickers (Japanese Gyoza)

Sushi

Cha siu bao

Cha siu bao

Cha siu bao are steamed barbeque pork-stuffed buns.  They are delicious and work on a counterpoint of sweet/savoury.  The buns are made with plain flour, yeast and sweetened milk.  As you create this dough it feels hard – almost as if it is never going to rise and steam into light, fluffy buns – however treat is as you would normal bread dough; knead it, let it prove and then knock it back before stuffing.

The filling was made by slow cooking a loin of pork that had been doused in asian flavours (soy sauce and ginger.) Once cooled it was then shredded with a couple of forks and mixed into BBQ sauce and vinegar.  The hardest part was refraining from picking at the pork whilst the dough proved!

As with all dim sum, there is an art to creating the perfect bun, the perfect parcel but this takes practise; unfortunately my hunger and impatience refused to let me create perfectly uniform shaped mouthfuls.  However, the fragrant taste immediately transported me back to that dim sum restaurant in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong in 2005 where I ate yum-cha (dim sum) for the first time.

YUM-CHA

After spending the past two weeks catering for a large family, parties and feasting on rich food – suddenly the thought of having to return to a food-routine and creating simple suppers for one is quite daunting.

Since mid December, my diet has generally been three courses (both at lunch and dinner) decadent and full of festive indulgence, or should I say indigestion!  And even now as I sit here contemplating how much I’ve eaten I am still trying to organise another festive offering of food and wine – literally squeezing the Christmas out of the final days of the holidays.

My festive kitchen has had me busy creating the now traditional foodie gifts my friends and family so look forward to, such as chilli jam, cookies in a jar, biscotti and limoncello.  This year saw a few new ideas in the form of gingerbread men mix in a jar, fig and olive chutney, chocolate puddini bon bons and sweet potato and pine nut delights (piezecitas) which I made with friends at what has now become our traditional Christmas cookathon.

An absolute joy to prepare and eat was the smoked salmon terrine that we ate as our Christmas Eve starter and finished off on Christmas Day!  My only comment about this is that it is imperative that your knife is razor sharp as otherwise you won’t be able to make clean slices through the terrine.  A beautiful beef carpaccio, my crème brûlée, plum crumble and deconstructed seafood cocktail were also stars at our Christmas table.

So once the tree comes down and the Wise Men return East I wonder what January will hold for me in my kitchen?

Happy New Year!