Encouraged by Kim’s fabulous Chinese BBQed pork, I decided to try some more exotic recipes – up till now I’ve been fairly staying around things that are either French, or pretty familiar to a French palate.
Now, since I’m cooking for two Californians, I also decided that Chinese food is not something I should attempt – they’re a bit too familiar with itÂ for me to feel comfortable with something like that. Same thing with Mexican food, I suppose! I’d rather leave that for Kim’s own turn on Wednesdays, or whenever Sean feels like going nuts himself.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other places or traditions to choose from. And while I wait for my online-order whale blubber to arrive so I can try Inuit cuisine (WARNING: this is a joke. Any Lightholders reading this need NOT change the locks to their appartment door and call the Taste Police…), I decided on trying something… islandey. This week I will be making a Cari d’Espadon (that is, if I find swordfish today of course…) straight from Reunion Island – report to be posted in a month or so probably! – but last week I settled for a Polynesian starter.Â
So, we had: Tahitian-style Raw Fish, Turkey with Dried Fruits and Chestnuts, and Coffee and Cardamom cream.
Tahitian-style Raw Fish (4)
- 400g of very fresh tuna
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 5-6 limes
- 3 carrots
- 1 cucumber
- 1 onion
- 2 tomatoes
Start with cleaning the fish thoroughly (or having your fishmonger do it…), removing the black part of the tuna, the skin, and any large piece of fat. Cut it in small bites, put in a large salad dish.
Grate the carrots, dice the other vegetables finely.
Juice the limes and cover the fish with the juice. Mix well, make sure that all the fish is covered. Let it marinate for 5-7 mns.
Add the coconut milk, which will stop the ‘cooking’ of the fish by the lime juice. Mix well, add the other vegetables, add salt to taste, mix again and serve.
Delicious, refreshing, healthy and unusual, I personally loved that one, and wil probably make it again for myself just so I eat fish more regularly. There are other recipes out there for such type of dish, and they include a lot more spices (ginger, peppers, you name it…) but I kinda liked the mild taste of this one. If I want hot food, I’ll order from Kin Khao, thank you!
Two notes: first off, I didn’t find any fresh tuna on a Monday, so I got some salmon instead. Worked very well indeed. Also, you can leave the fish in the lime juice longer to ‘cook’ more, but no more than 20mn apparently – after that, you might as well break out the pan and the butter, really!
Turkey with dried fruits and chestnuts (4)
- 700g of turkey breast
- 2 onions
- 100g diced bacon or pancetta
- 1 teaspoon honey
- AÂ good dash of cinammon
- A dash of balsamic vinegar
- 1 glass stock (vegetable)
- 3 or 4 dates
- 3 or 4 dried apricots
- 2 or 3 dried figs
- A few raisins
- Bay leaves, thyme
- Roast chestnuts (one large tin)
Chop the onions in thin slices, then cut the turkey into large cubes. In aÂ big pot (need I say it again? Le Creuset cast iron! Go get one, dammit!) lightly cook the onions, the bacon or pancetta, then add the turkey and let it get a nicely golden brownÂ colour.
Add the vinegar, the stock, the honey and the cinammon.
Chop the dried fruits (dates, apricots and figs) in small bits and add them to the simmering dish along with the raisins, the bay leaves and the thyme.
Then leave it to cook gently for about an hour, making sure there’s always some liquid in there.
Just before serving, heat up the chestnuts in a pan with some butter; serve together.
While very different from the entree – definitely a Mediterranean feel to this dish, Moroccan maybe, even though the recipe’s comments simply pegged it as ‘medieval’Â - this was quite a tasty dish as well and I’ll file that one for re-making, although it does require a bit more effort than the fish. I can easily picture this as a very nice Holiday dish.
Coffee and Cardamome Cream (4)
- 40 cl liquid cream
- 120g brown sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 10 cl strong coffee
- 2 tablespoon instant coffee
- 5 pods green cardamome
- 1 tea spoon powdered cardamome
First of all, select a dish that will be suitable for ‘bain-marie’ cooking. As I managed to destroy one dish while making this dessert, I have to insist that this step is quite important, more so than you would believe. Or maybe I’m just dumb.
Open the cardamome pods and take out the seeds.
In that carefully selected dishÂ put the cream, the coffees (liquid and powder), the brown sugar, the cardamome seeds and powder; beat the yolks together and then add them to the mix as well. Whip it lightly, then put the dish in the bain-marie.
Let it cook there and stir regularly with a wooden spoon, until the cream is thick enough to stick to the spoon some. Pour into individual cups, then refrigerate for twelve hours.
Quite tasty, even for someone who’s not usually a fan of coffee. I’d recommend, for people like me who aren’t used to caffeine, to avoid eating this before going to bed, it could create problems for your sleep cycle. If you drink coffee regularly though, this is weak enough that you won’t mind.
This was one recipe that almost didn’t happen. First week I tried it I ended up spilling the whole cream on the stove, then this week I cracked a dish – mine, fortunately, not one of Kim’s. Should anyone attempt this one, let me know if I’m just clumsy, or if there is, as I suspect, A HORRIBLE CURSE ON THIS CREAM! EEEEYYAAAARGH!!
Ah. Who said this blog was turning into a boring recipe list, mmh? Who said the insanity had gone out of it?