Day 93 – Chef Peter’s back!

9 Nov

It was fun having Chef Peter back in the kitchen and also expediting. He has a ton of stories from his time in restaurant kitchens. Not preachy; just life lessons. I like that way of teaching.

Tomorrow I move onto patissier with Tomas – that should be fun. I get to pull some sugar, make some ice cream, make some caramel and make some caramel date souffle-type cakes (pictured, above). Then, the following day, I’ll make a lemon custard tart, almond brittle and candied pineapple (I actually think candied pineapple is disgusting because why would you take a perfectly delightful fruit and heap a mound of sugar on top of it?). I’m excited to be on patissier for 4 days, as desserts and pastries are not my strength, mostly due to the need for precision measurements and/or baking time.

Since I don’t love either the rabbit or the osso buco recipe, I’ll post a recipe that I made for my dad and Maren when I visited several weeks back, which I do love (and so did they!). It was a prawn and lamb kebab, which is an unusual riff on surf and turf that I had a few doubts would work. But, it was delicious! My dad and I love lamb and we love prawns, and this was a dynamite combo. I’ll also post a fried green tomato recipe for the last of the tomatoes that people are picking from their gardens right now. I paired the kebabs and tomatoes with 3 dipping sauces: a smooth chimichurri sauce and a harissa sauce for the kebabs, and a sour cream chipotle sauce for the tomatoes.

Here is a pic of the 3 dipping sauces:

My kebab pictures don’t really do the dish justice, but you’ll get the idea of how they’re suppose to look from the pics. I’d post a really cute picture of my dad and Maren but I’m not sure they want to be plastered on the internet 😉

The first pic is of the raw kebabs after I mixed all ingredients and right before they hit the grill. The second pic is the finished product with a harissa sauce and fried green tomatoes on the plate.

Prawn and lamb kebab: (Credit for the basis of this recipe goes to Bon Appetite magazine and Silvena Rowe, a chef in London at Quince, but of course I changed some things)

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground lamb
1 lb. prawns or large shrimp, chopped into small pieces no more than 1/8-1/4 inch
1 tsp kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
1-2 tsp. dried Aleppo Pepper flakes (you can use other red chili flakes, but I love Aleppo since it has a citrus and light smokey elements to it)
fresh black pepper, to taste
olive oil to rub on outside of kebabs prior to grilling
skewers

Directions:

1) Soak skewers in cold water for about an hour, if using wood or bamboo skewers (skip step if using metal)
2) Gently combine all food ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly mixed.
3) Place about 2 tablespoons of lamb-prawn mixture in your hand and roll into a 2″ long oval (or oval-ish). You want it to hold it’s shape around a skewer.
4) Slide skewer into center of oval and gently press the lamb-prawn mixture to the skewer.
5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all ingredients are on skewers
6) Brush all skewers with olive oil on all sides and grill on medium-high, turning until brown on all sides and meat is just cooked through. The chopped prawns will cook faster, so if you like your lamb med-rare, do a test skewer and see how long it takes.
7) Serve with Harissa sauce (recipe below) and/or Chimichurri sauce.

Harissa sauce (credit for the basis of this recipe goes to Tyler Florence and the Food Network, but I changed a few things, according to my taste):

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
1 garlic clove
1-2 Thai red chilies or other red, spicy chili, seeded
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced

Directions:

Roast the red peppers either over an open flame on underneath the broiler until charred on all sides. Wrap in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and allow to sit for 10 minutes. When they have cooled enough to handle, peel or scrape the charred skin off peppers.

Toast the cumin, coriander and caraway in a small skillet over low heat until fragrant. Then grind to a powder in spice mill or a clean coffee grinder. Put the peppers into a food processor along with the spices, garlic, chiles, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice and pulse to a puree.

Fried Green tomatoes:

Ingredients:

Green tomatoes, cut in slices about 1/8 inch thick
Dry spices: garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper
3 breading bowls, 1 for each ingredient: 1) panko, 2) all purpose flour mixed with the dry spices noted above, 3) 3 eggs, beat.

Directions:
1) In a pan big enough to hold 4 slices of breaded tomatoes without touching each other, add enough vegetable oil (canola is probably best or any oil that has a high smoke point) so that you can “deep fry” the tomatoes. Bring it 350 degrees Fahrenheit (if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you’ll need to guess. On my dad’s electric stove it was at medium-medium high on the gauge. Don’t let the oil smoke- that indicates it’s way too high).
2) Dip the tomato slices first in the flour/dry spice mix and completely cover on all sides.
3) Next dip the floured tomatoes in the eggs and completely cover.
4) For the final dip, cover the floured and egg’d tomatoes in the panko crumbs.
5) Fry until golden brown on each side. You’ll need to flip them after 1-2 minutes. If your tomatoes take longer than that to start to turn golden, your oil is too low. If they immediately start to brown, the oil is too hot. You may need to do a test run with 1 or 2 tomato slices if you don’t have a candy thermometer to tell you the temp of your oil.
6) Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Ours was an olive oil mayo mixed with dried chipotle pepper, dried ancho chili powder, a squeeze of lemon and lemon zest from 1/2 of a lemon.

I won’t post a chimichurri sauce recipe, as it’s different every time I make it and it would be too hard for me to give exact quantities. This one is really all about your taste. But, the basics are: use 3 fresh herbs (I like mint, basil and flat leaf parsley, but you could throw in cilantro as one of them), add in some acid (either red wine vinegar or lemon), add in some red or white onion, salt, pepper, 1 garlic clove, some olive oil, and pulse if you want it chunky or puree if you want it smooth. Go easy on the acid to start with, as you can always add more. It’s sort of like a pesto without the nuts or cheese, which makes this a great vegan condiment.

Enjoy!

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3 Responses to “Day 93 – Chef Peter’s back!”

  1. Emily November 9, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    The fried green tomatoes look super tasty!

  2. frugalfeeding November 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    This food looks very yummy indeed!

  3. al ogdie November 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Maren and I loved the surprise mixture of ground lamb and prawns together. On the grill anything tastes better, but these were exceptionally tasty and flavorful. Each of the sauces had its own different special flavor and I am practicing making them as they will go with so many dishes. As far as posting our pictures….. the kebobs, fried green tomatoes, and sauces are more photogenic that I am. Maren would look just fine. dad

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