I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Krungthup Crab Cakes with Coconut

Yes, I know it has been a LONG time since I have posted, but I do have my excuses ready.

First of all I have been on a diet, and hence the food has really not been all that blog worthy. It has been worth it though. I have managed to lose around 9 kilos!

What have I learnt while on this diet? I have learnt that you can make a low carb approximation of rice by placing the florets of cauliflower in the Thermomix and processing them on reverse, and low,and behold they kind of look like rice - steam it and use it just like rice, or use them as a topping instead of mashed potato on a shepherd's pie! You can also make a low carb "bread" and I use that term very loosely, from whipped egg whites, and a mixture of the yolks and cream cheese. Bake them, and use them in place of bread?! All I can say is that if you are hungry enough you will eat anything!

More importantly the main reason for my extended absence has been that any spare time I have had has been spent poring over all things Italian in anticipation of my upcoming trip. Yes, we are on the countdown now, only days to go! For those of you that want to follow my adventures I will post the address of my travel blog in the next few days.

So in amongst all that diet food I did make a few little treats along the way to relieve the boredom. For me this meal was a breath of fresh air, vibrant and zingy. For DH, not so impressive. The recipe came from "my partner in crime" and she and her husband couldn't understand why, but each to their own I say!

Krungthup Crab and Coconut Cakes
Recipe from Ainsley Harriot

Serves 4

350g white crab meat, squeezed to remove any excess liquid
150g firm white fish, skinned and boned
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium egg, beaten
25g unsweetened shredded coconut
1 red long , seeded and thinly sliced
4 shallots (spring onions)
3 tbs chopped coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Chiang-Mai Thai Dipping Sauce to serve

Cut the fish into chunks, and check that there are no bones. Place the fish into a food processor with the fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic and a a small amount of salt and pepper. Process for a few seconds, until a rough paste has formed.

Add the crab meat and the egg, and process for a seconds or two, until well blended.

Scrape the mixture into a bowl and mix in the coconut, chilli, shallots, and coriander.

Using oiled egg rings, shape the mixture into patties. Spray the, lightly with cooking spray, and cook in a frypan that has been heated to medium high. Note that these patties will be quite sloppy, but they will firm up as,they cook. Cook the patties for 3-4 minutes each side, or until golden brown, and cooked through.

Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Chiang-Mai Dipping Sauce

6 tbs rice wine vinegar
4 tbs caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic, very finely chopped
2 red Birdseye chillies, thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped coriander
1 shallot, trimmed and very finely sliced

Mix together the vinegar and the sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well.

I did serve these with a small serving of garlic chilli prawns. Yum! Make them and you be the judge!

So now back to diet food. A couple more weeks and a couple more kilos to go!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Miso Glazed Salmon with Asian Vegetables

It was a hung verdict on this meal.  One of us (me) loved it - the other (DH) hated it!  I guess sometimes we just have to agree to disagree!!!

Personally, being on a low carb meal I loved the dish -  but then I am eating so many vegetables at the moment I am worried that I may start and sprout roots soon!! Particularly given this unusually wet weather that we seem to be experiencing here in Sydney!

The only thing I would comment about this meal is that making it the way it was stated in the recipe tended to be a little lack lustre and bland.  So I will give my recommendations of how I think the sauce that accompanies the vegetables should be.

Miso Glazed Salmon with Asian Vegetables
Adapted from Curtis Stone's Recipe found in MasterChef Magazine - March edition

Serves 2

1/2 cup white miso
2 tbs caster sugar
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs mirin * plus extra
1 tbs sake
1 tbs soy sauce * plus extra
2 x tail pieces salmon
5g instant dashi powder
1 clove garlic, bruised
1 tsp sesame oil

1 bunch bok choy, cut into pieces
200g shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, sliced on the diagonal
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolini

Place the miso, sugars, mirin, sake and soy sauce in a large ziploc bag.  Combine well.  Add the salmon, and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours, or longer if possible.

To make the dashi, place 1 cup of water in a sauce pan.  Add the dashi powder, and bruised clove of garlic.  Bring to a simmer.  Simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil, 1 tbs extra mirin, and 2 tsp extra soy sauce.  Keep warm.

Preheat the oven grill to 220 degrees.  Line an oven tray with foil. Drain the salmon from the marinade.  Place skin side down on the oven tray.  Grill for 4 minutes on the top shelf, or until caramelised.  Transfer tray to lower shelf and bake for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile place the  vegetables into a large frypan/wok.  Heat over high heat, add a little water, and water fry the vegetables until they are just cooked.

Place the vegetables in a serving dish.  Spoon over the dashi liquid.  Top with the salmon.

The dashi liquid was way too bland for my liking - the recipe wanted you to make it up with 1/2 tsp of dashi powder and 2 cups of water.  This was so weak in flavour it wasn't worth the effort.  You may have to tweak with the flavours yourself until you get it to your liking.

I loved the sweet caramelised coating the white miso gave to the salmon.  Just be careful you don't over cook the fish - there is nothing worse than dry salmon!!!

For those not on a low carb diet I would suggest you add some steamed rice to the meal.

I'm getting pretty bored with all these vegetables - and a bit de-motivated with the diet!!!  While the first 4 weeks were good, and the weight was dropping off, I seem to have plateaued!  Finding it very hard to keep going!  Can't wait to eat inItaly!!!!