Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dinner at Elibank

On Thursday, in pursuit food critique, I had a small dinner party - just two people, Jehan and Radhika who thought they might enjoy my cooking, and comment on the new dishes I’ve been working on.

Grilled Prawns

We started with grilled prawns, which I’ve been working on for awhile.
This time, I marinated the prawns in a prawns sauce, that I made with prawn shells and prawns, boiled for 20 mins, then pureed strained, boiled down again, until it halved, then blended, with a little olive oil, quite a lot of chili pieces and Thai fish sauce. I let the prawns sit in the marinate overnight, adding fresh pressed garlic, a tiny bit more oil, and pats of unsalted butter, right before grilling for 6 mins. (1.30 + 4.30, combo1 + grill) I think they were good; I may just declare this dish done!

The main course was pan roasted pork medallions, with a pineapple/wasabi glaze. Now, this is part of my pork roast extravaganza, that has been going on all month and I think just in time for Vesak, it may well have come to an end! Pan roasting the pork, works better in a way that oven roasting the whole cut, even though of course, nicely done dry roast has its own flavor, which is not what pan roasted gets you to. But its so much easier to manage in a way. I marinated the sliced (3/4 inch) pork in salted ( 2 teaspoons to 0.75 l --that's 3 cups) unsweetened pineapple juice over night. Then, I used a cup of the marinade, with a cup of fresh juice, and another of diced pineapples, for the base of the reduction, boiling that down, until the pineapple was soft, then pureeing it, and reducing until thick. That’s 30 odd mins of boring, hot work but this time, I didn’t burn it! Adding wasabi to taste is easy, right at the end, once the pork has been pan roasted in medium heat for about 7 mins., total. Since I use cast iron pans, I just popped it in the oven ( at 5) for about 10 mins also, to giving it that dry roast tinge. May be that worked; but the pork was soft, succulent even, and glaze was done right. My guests suggested that I add a little unmixed wasabi on the side, which I agreed I should have. I should remember next time! The medallions were served over mashed potatoes with pepper, and iceberg lettuce, undressed, scalded spring onion shoots and pineapple slivers. Jehan suggested that the spring onions be slit, some thing Ritu also suggested, some months ago when I made a soup but in the main, both my guests thought the glazed worked well the pork, and was well blended. I had the dish earlier in the day, when I did a trail run, and yes, I was pleased!

For desserts, and yes there was dessert; we had what called a Strawberry Bomb, soon, when its worked out to perfection to be called, Strawberry Orgasm. I’ve been on a strawberry trend for a few weeks now, so no surprises there, I guess. The base of this, is a strawberry vodka jelly, made with sweetened pureed strawberries, reduced to a cup, blended with a 1/3 cup of vodka, and jelled. On top is sweetened whipped cream, Red Man, again, and Strawberries one of which I embedded in the cream, and the others served on a small side dish. This is a dish you have to work on, dipping your strawberries in cream, waiting for zingytangy melt in your mouth vodka jelly below.


16 comments:

CaptainM said...

Grilled prawns r my fav. The pics looks nice. Is that kangkung on the side? I find that putting them on the bbq is the best.

I havent tried pineapple/wasabi as a marinate on my pork. Did you find the acid in the pineapple was too much for the pork when u left it overnight? And yes, definitely u don't wanna overcook it, 'cos it gets all rubbery.

Vodka strawberry jello now that is a good mix. maan ur friends r lucky :)

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

should work more with kankun; but no its spring onions leaves (lunu kolla).

no the enzymes in the pineapple really help the pork soften, i think.

Hey thank for stopping by.

chaarmax said...

I've contemplated this comment for sometime, but finally decided to post it here. IF by any wild chance you'd like to adopt a deserving and truly grateful 26yr old pls let me know. I think I know one, who has suffered many a tummy ache oogling at the pics and just imagining what they might taste like. :0)

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

i am open to the idea of adoption, sure. :) would you and your partner like to come over for dinner some time? let me know through face book, if you don't want to leave your email here.

chaarmax said...

You are not pulling my leg now are you? I am indeed flattered and honoured and now deeply nervous. Kind of like getting to meet the Head of State. (Just not our head of state). Will indeed cash up on this offer.. once I manage to digest this excitement. :)

Gini Appu said...

Pradeep Hamu... Appu needs some advice from you.

Appu remembers a meal some years ago of Garlic Prawns in Singapore (@ one of those East Coast Pkwy joints). These memorable Garlic Prawns were unlike the average (yawnnnn) 88 Chinese Restaurant style Prawns tossed in a garlicy broth. Instead, these Prawns were served on a bed (no a mound) of garlic flavoured oats! Yes, it seemed like the breakfast flakes had been somehow infused with heavy doses of garlic and the whole lot had been deepfried with the Prawns. Heavenly!!!

Can Pradeep Hamu please tell Appu how to make those Garlic Prawns? Appu wants more - has a a bad case of IBF (inda-bari-feeling)!

pepper pot said...

hey i am seriously in the process of recreating this entire meal. ambitious huh! I seem to understand most of what needs to be done except a few imp details..Like. How long did u need to cook the pan roast before it was ready to eat i know u said 7 minutes on your site but i am thinking ( an being an mere amateur i could be wrong) that is staggeringly impossible feat to be able to cook pork in a mere 7 minutes so i have obviously missed out on a key point here and wonder what it is. Secondly when you say puree the strawberries and gel it could u tell me what ingredient u use to gello the puree. Numbre three how many servings does one cup of pureed strawberry make. Number three the bouillabase like sauce in which u cooked the prawns was it made solely with prawn shells or both prawns and prawn shells. If u used only prawn shells did u ground the shells and add to the sauce or remove it once the sauce was made.Finally i have to unashamely ask u the following question; where do u get the following indredients, unsweetened pineapple, unsalted butter, thai fish sauce. How do you buy your roast pork and from where. Lastly, your dessert cups look like improvised water tumblers are they? Phew that is a load of questions i hope you will have the time to set me on the road to good and quick cuisine. Because I suspect that once u master a dish once the repeat performances are relatively easy although I will not hesitate to write all these instructions down pronto.

pepper pot said...

ok i reread the entire blog once again and feel silly you have used prawns and prawn shells both for the making of the sauce so that is one question answered. Second i only saw the 10minutes of microwave cooking that u did on the pork in the second read. so my apologies there again as for the rest of the questions i couldn't get a clear directions even after the second read, extremely sorry and would appreciate if you could take the time to help me out thanks

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

lots of good questions; I will try to get them all -- but if I miss one or two, ask again please:
Yes, pork loin or pork for roasting (available at keels and arpico (keels at arpico)) at Rs. 58/+ for 100g is what I use. You buy it in long sections -- and slice it, in 1/2 rounds, for what are called medallions in fancy cooking. it will cook in 7 mins, 3 mins and 4 on the other side, in a heavy pan on medium heat. I also put it in the oven for 15 mins at about 350F, just to dry it out, but you don't have to. I brine the pork before hand; but that should make a difference in cooking time.

Use gelatin (mothas for Rs 20 or so for a packet, one - 1/2 teaspoon, dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water, for each cup of puree) to jell.

servings will depend on the size of your dessert serving cup, right. you are spot on my tumblers. yes, they are water tumblers. in a later iteration of this dessert, i used nicer shot glasses. there is a pic/ description in the post, strawberry orgasm. if your shot glass is 50 ml or 70 mill then one cup of puree will be okay for 4. a cup is 250 ml, since there is also the liquor or cream to be added.

on the prawns you have the right idea. i have done it with pureed prawn shells with prawns and with out. also try blachan and yes fish sauce. available at keels or arpico. both anchor and elle & vire have unsalted butters that are available in sri lanka. anchor is cheaper, it has a red tab/call out on the lable (unsalted). the regular says salted in blue. available at keels/arpico and gedra yanna gaman.

again for the proper strawberry thing see the other post
(http://www.my-halflife.com/2008/06/strawberry-orgasm.html)

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

PP: are you all set?

Laurie Ashton Farook said...

I see that you use cast iron pans for cooking. Did you get them in Sri Lanka, and if so, where? I'm in Nugegoda, and no one I know here knows what I mean by cast iron - it doesn't translate well. I've been searching for cast iron cookware to no avail... Help, please?

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

you dont get it here, i don't think. i lived in the us for awhile and those pans there.
in sri lanka, there is a thing called cheena chutty -- and its like caste iron, may be. but it may not be safe for cooking.

if you go to singapore you get the stuff you need.

i've read your restaurant reviews by the way -- and have enjoyed them. nice to see you visit

Laurie Ashton Farook said...

Thank you for the very quick response.

Cheena chutty led me to kadai, which looks to me like an iron wok I had back in Canada, which, while iron, is not cast iron. Not as heavy, not as thick, different personality. My husband's heard of cheena chutty, at least, so maybe we can go take a look at one and I'll find out for sure.

Yeah, we've contemplated the Singapore trip to buy my kitchen stuff (and some toys for him, of course), but I was really hoping to not have to go to those lengths, you know?

Thanks for the answers and thanks also for the comment on the restaurant reviews. Glad to hear you enjoyed them. :)

Sachintha said...

Mate, how do you make sweetened pureed strawberries?
Teach!
And while you're at it, how to do sweetened whipped cream? Or od I have to buy it?

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

yes to make sweetened strawberry puree, you wash and cut up the strawberries, and put them in a blender, with sugar to taste. it will depend on how sweet you like things, and how sweet the berries were to begin with. balance is every thing: you don't want to over power the tanginess of the strawberries. once it has gone through the blender, you can strain it, in a large mesh strainer, so that any big pieces that didn't get pureed are strained out.

i was using a sweetened cream. you can get both in supermarkets often. even though in sri lanka, cream comes and goes depending on who is importing it.

Usually if its called whipping cream its sweetened, if its called heavy cream it is not. you can use either one, basically, even though whipping cream has stuff in it to make it easier to make firm, when whipped (beaten with a egg beater)

Sachintha said...

Thanks mate!
This weekend it's gonna be totally your recipe! LOL...
But I live in Japan and don't know if I can buy that cream here. Need to look.
Cheers!

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