Australia GP 2019: Shrimp on the Barbie (Grilled Shrimp and Corn Rolls with Smashed Avocado)

What an exciting start to the 2019 F1 season! I love a good first turn upset and seeing someone other than Lewis win! The start to the season was definitely a tough one with the sudden passing of Charlie Whiting, who was adored by everyone in F1, just before the first race. But as Martin Brundle says, the world keeps turning and the race must go on.

All in all it was a great race, the cars looked crazy fast, and there was more than just strategy calls mixing up the field.

For the Australian Grand Prix this year we made Grilled Shrimp and Corn Rolls with Smashed Avocado spread. They were delicious! Served with a bright little salad and a few bottles of Cooper’s Beer, it was a lovely start to the new season. I couldn’t resist find a recipe for grilled shrimp, just so I could say we were having shrimp on the barbie!

Shrimp on the barbie is one of those things that Americans in particular think all Australians eat and say and indeed that it is a pastime of the ages. According to the internets it actually originated from an Australian Tourism ad campaign with Paul Hoge where he states “there’s plenty of shrimps on the barbie”, I’ve posted the video below for your viewing pleasure. I suppose the world just took it from there! Liam Hemsworth, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert is particularly adamant that this is one of the most annoying things people say to him, perhaps even more than “thats not a knife!”, furthermore, they don’t even call them shrimp! So maybe we will make amends by doing a prawn boil next year and writing an apology letter to Liam Hemsworth and all of Australia for our terrible attempts at Australian accents and for insisting that we all eat more shrimp on the barbie!

Though perhaps I can change his mind by sending him this recipe, because these sandwiches were delicious! It sounded like an odd combination at first, but honestly all the elements work great together and these were super tasty. I highly recommend you heat up the barbie and throw some shrimp on :)

Shrimp and Corn Roll

Grilled Shrimp and Corn Rolls with Smashed Avocado

Adapted from Gourmet Traveller  

2 corn cobs, husk and silk removed
olive oil
24 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and cleaned (approximately 1 pound)
3 limes, halved
2 large avocados, halved
½ small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red chili, finely chopped
½ cup cilantro coarsely chopped
4 large white rolls  or 6 small white rolls
mayonnaise

Spiced salt
1 tsp coriander seeds,
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
zest of 1 lime
1 Tbsp sea salt

 For spiced salt, dry-roast spices in a small sauté pan until fragrant about 1 minute, remove from heat and then grind with a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Combine in a small container with lime zest and sea salt, seal and shake to combine. Set aside

Preheat a grill to high. Drizzle corn with a little oil and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and slightly blackened (15-20 minutes). At the same time, grill the lime halves, cut-side down, until char marks appear and they become juicy (4-5 minutes). Remove both corn and limes from grill and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, thread shrimp onto metal skewers or soaked bamboo skewers, drizzle with a little olive oil and juice of a grilled lime. Season with a few pinches of spiced salt and set aside for flavors to combine (10 minutes).

Scoop avocado into a bowl, add onion, garlic, chili and a little oil, season to taste with spiced salt and coarsely smash the avocado. Squeeze in juice of barbecued lime to taste, stir in cilantro and set aside.

Grill the shrimp, turning once, until they’re just cooked through (3-4 minutes). Meanwhile, cut corn kernels from cobs.
Once cooked, remove shrimp from skewers.

Spread rolls with a little mayo on the bottom, spread smashed avocado on the top and stuff with shrimp and some grilled corn. Serve with lime halves and extra spiced salt to taste.



As promised, the Australian Tourism Ad Campaign


And Liam Hemsworth telling us to cut it out.
(Minute 4:35, if you don’t want to hear about his water buffalo catching father and being stuffed in a dryer by his brother).



Pre-Season Testing - Tapas y Rioja

After week two of testing, I am more excited than ever for the upcoming season. I’m off to a slow start just given how busy life is these days, but I was inspired by a co-worker to get back on the blog bandwagon and get ya’ll some content! Shout out to you Mike!

So here goes… We had a tapas night to celebrate the start of Pre-Season Testing. Rachel Brooks from SkySports signed off night one with “We’re off to go have some tapas and rioja!” and lo and behold, that was what graced our table too! Always nice to know we are in good company.

I delved into two new cookbooks for this tapas menu. Cooking Spanish by John Newton, where I found a quick and simple Clams in White Wine sauce, I also found a recipe for mushroom croquettes which sounds amazing, but not quite as quick or simple. That is something to look forward to for next time! The other two recipes are from Pintxos by Gerad Hirigoyen; White Bean Salad with Apple, Manchego, and Avocado, so bright, more complex than the ingredients appear, and a great foil to the next item on the list: sausage and pepper pintxo (mini skewers). While reading this lovely little volume I discovered the author/chefs have two restaurants in San Francisco! We will definitely be checking them out sometime soon.

This spread came together pretty quickly and hit all the right buttons for a little bit of finger food, a little bit of crusty bread to sop up some saucy stuff, and some veggies strewn throughout. A nice glass of Spanish Rioja topped off the evening perfectly.

With week two of testing done and dusted it is only two more weeks of waiting and then F1 is back!!

Tapas y Rioja

Chili Marinated Olives

Spanish Marinated Olives

Adapted from Cooking Spanish by John Newton
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cured black olives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil

 
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, move to sterile mason jar. Seal and let marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.  

Clams with White Wine

Clams with White Wine

Adapted from Cooking Spanish by John Newton

 Serves 4

2 lbs clams
2 large tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 teaspoons chopped parsley
a pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup dry white wine

 Country bread, for serving

 

Soak the clams in slated water for 1 hour to release any grit. Rinse under running water and discard any open clams.

 Cut tomatoes in half, de-seed, then chop finely. Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes, Add the parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add 1/3 cup water.

 Add the clams and cook, covered, over low hear untul they open (discard any that do not open). Add the wine and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce thickens, gently moving the pan back and forth a few times, do not stir, so as to keep clams in tact.

 Serve immediately with bread.

Pintxos

Sausage and Pepper Skewers

Adapted from Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition, Gerad Hirigoyen with Lisa Weiss

 Makes 4 skewers

4 pearl onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
4 slices Spanish sausage or 4 cocktail sausages (recommended: cantimpalitos)
4 whole pickled peppers such as pepperoncini (recommended: guindila)
4 small bamboo skewers

Optional:
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 slices baguette, lightly toasted

To prepare onions:
Have ready a small bowl of ice water. Bring a small saucepan filled with water ro a boil over high heat, add onions, and boil for 1 minute. Drain and plunge into the ice water until cool. Cut off the root ends and slip off the skins.

Rinse the saucepan and return the onions to it along with the butter, sugar, and ½ cup water .Place the pan over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Uncover and boil until the water evaporates. The onions will begin to sizzle in the butter remaining in the pan. Continue to cook, turning the onions as needed, for about 5 minutes, until browned all over. Remove from the heat and keep onions warm.

To prepare sausage:
In the same saucepan over medium heat, sauté the sausages for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fully cooked.

To serve:
Thread 1 sausage slice, 1 onion, and 1 pepper onto each skewer.

 Optional:
Spread a little mayonnaise on each slice of baguette and place skewer on baguette slice. Serve warm.

Sausage, Manchego, and Cherry Pepper Skewers

Pintxo pepper and cheese

4 slices Spanish sausage or 4 cocktail sausages (recommended: cantimpalitos)
4 whole sweet pickled cherry peppers
4 cubes manchego cheese
4 small bamboo skewers

To serve:
Thread 1 sausage slice, 1 cube of cheese, and 1 pepper onto each skewer.


White bean salad

White Bean Salad with Manchego, Avocado, Apple, and Meyer Lemon

From Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition, Gerad Hirigoyen with Lisa Weiss

 Serves 4-6 as a side 

1 large avocado, diced
1 large tart apple, diced
1 ½ cups cooked small white beans (canned cannellini beans work well)
3 ounces manchego cheese, diced small
¼ cup basil, chiffonade
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
¼ cup lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemon)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine the avocado, apple, beans, cheese, basil, and pine nuts and toss gently with the beans until combined. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and toss with bean mixture.

Serve within 30 minutes of mixing to prevent apples and avocado from oxidizing.

2019 F1 Race Calendar and Car Launches

2019 is here whether we are ready or not!

Clearly, I am not ready given the fact that we are already a month into 2019 and I am just now acknowledging its presence. But there is nothing like a new livery launch to shake me out of a winter haze and remind me that F1 is coming back! 

I've got the new 2019 Calendar up, and I am busy researching new recipes as we speak. I got a few kitchen gems for the holidays including a new book on Basque cooking, a sweet new Dutch Oven, a pizza peel bigger than I know what to do with, and some very adorable tiny whisks. We have also been experimenting with a new sous vide and I have never had a better steak in my life! In addition to checking out new food and gadgets, we have been keeping an eye on Formula-E this year as well. The short races and quirky commentary has kept us entertained so far! Have you checked it out?

The 2019 Car Launches started this week and span over the next few weeks. I am particularly excited to see Haas and Racing Point to see what new liveries they show off. 

Image from Formula1.com

Image from Formula1.com


As an intro to this season, I wanted to also mention that I am hopeful that I will be able to cook and post and keep this blog active over this coming year, but I am currently taking on a teaching opportunity, landscaping my backyard, working a couple jobs, and trying to get enough sleep to not go crazy. So if I'm a bit delayed or skip a race or two... forgive me? I would love to hear what you are up to and see what you are cooking! Tag me on instagram @f1cookbook or shoot me a message at f1cookbookblog -at- gmail -dot- com. You can also comment here!  

Cheers and Happy Belated New Year!



Basbousa
Basbusa piece

Basbousa is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet cake made with semolina and a rosewater sugar syrup. It is a lovely sweet treat at the end of a large meal.

My dear friend Azwa and her husband Justin generously made this traditional dessert for our Abu Dhabi dinner!

Basbousa

Adapted from Famous Cuisines Channel

Cake
2½ cups semolina
1 cup desiccated (unsweetened) coconut
1 cup sugar
½ cup self-raising flour
¾ cup thick yoghurt
1½ sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup blanched almonds (see below)
 
Syrup
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice                                 
1 tsp rosewater

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Prepare an 11 x 14” baking dish by generously buttering the bottom and sides.
2. In a large bowl mix the semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla.
3. Spread the mixture with your hands into a buttered 11 x 14” baking dish. Let rest for 30 minutes.
4. Cut into diamond shapes, cutting all the way through to the base of the pan.
5. Place an almond in the center of each diamond.
6. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
8. Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and remove from the heat. Leave to cool.
9. Once the cake is finished baking, remove from oven and pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Cool.

Great served with coffee or hot tea.

Blanched Almonds
¼ cup almonds
water

1. Bring a small pot of water to boil
2. Add almonds and boil for no more than 1 minute
3. Drain and rinse with cold water
4. Blot dry, let cool for a few moments
5. Using your fingers, simply squeeze almond out from skin, it should fall off very easily.

We ran out of little blanched almonds so finished off the corners with pistachios!

Basbusa
Fattoush


The dressing and fresh herbs are the real stars of this dish. Simple ingredients are taken to new places with the addition of sumac, pomegranate molasses, and crunchy bits of pita.

You will not regret the trek to your local Middle Eastern market to find the pomegranate molasses. I want it on every salad from now on, and I’m excited to try it with fish, chicken dishes, or even just with a little lemon on some chickpeas or white beans, I’m pretty sure the possibilities will be endless.

Fattoush

Fattoush

Adapted from Bon Apetit

 Dressing
4 teaspoons ground sumac, soaked in 4 teaspoons warm water for 15 minutes
3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (or more) pomegranate molasses
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons (or more) white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Salad
2 8-inch-diameter pita breads, halved, toasted until golden brown, broken into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped, or 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound Persian cucumbers, or one 1-pound English hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Little Gem or baby romaine lettuces, or 1 small head romaine lettuce, trimmed, cut crosswise
into 3/4-inch strips
2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 cups purslane leaves or additional 3/4-inch-strips romaine lettuce
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Ground sumac (optional)

1. Combine sumac with soaking liquid, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses, garlic, 2 tsp. vinegar, and dried mint in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly, until well blended. Season with salt; add more lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and vinegar to taste, if desired.

2. Place pita pieces in a medium bowl; pour oil over and toss to coat. Season pita to taste with salt.

3. Mix tomatoes and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add 3/4 of dressing; toss to coat, adding more dressing by tablespoonfuls as needed. Season with salt. Add pita; toss once. Sprinkle sumac over, if desired.

 

 

Abu Dhabi GP 2018: Koobideh, Shirin Polo, and Fattoush

It is already the end of the season! Hard to believe. It was a great first half with proper competition between Vettel and Hamilton and the Red Bulls putting up a fight. Though Hamilton started to dominate toward the end it was fun to watch the top 6 duke it out on track and lots of drama in the mid field. Congrats to Hulk for winning the F1.5 competition as well!

My three favorite moments from the 2018 season:

  1. Max tearing through the field race after race, particularly his win in Mexico and his excellent drive in Austria.

  2. Kimi’s solid win at the U.S. GP, it didn’t hurt that we saw it LIVE!!

  3. Lewis smashing the track record at the Singapore GP, pure perfection, with the added bonus of the new coined term: “Lewis Lap”.

Three things I am looking forward to for 2019 season:

  1. All the new blood! Looking forward to seeing all thenew F1 rookies: Norris, Giovinazzi, Albon, and Russel! Also super excited to see how LeClerc and Gasly stack up to their more experienced teammates of Vettel and Verstappen.

  2. New regulations might bring the pack together a little more and create more excitement! Especially simplifying the front wing which will likely make for better following and passing opportunities.

  3. Jenson Button commentating for Sky! I’ve missed JB and look forward to seeing how he contributes to the race weekends.

What are you looking forward to?

Of course I’m also excited about continuing to find new dishes and explore more traditional foods, my Christmas wishlist is replete with cookbooks and cooking implements like tagines, maamoul molds, pasta cutters, and the like. I have expanded my spice collection and have learned a lot of new techniques this year. I never thought I would make bagels, let alone croissants. I think I’ll take some time over the winter to work on my pasta making skills!

Our last meal of the season for Abu Dhabi was a nice little feast. We grilled up some koobideh kebabs, made shirin polo, and fattoush, and my friend made a delicious dessert of basbousa.

Abu Dhabi Meal

Koobideh

Adapted from 196 Flavors

 A few saffron threads
¼ cup water
1 lb ground beef
1 onion
½  tablespoon turmeric
½  tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 roma tomatoes

1. Soak saffron in ¼ cup of boiling water, infuse for 10 minutes.

2. Grate entire onion on a box grater or in a food processor with the grater attachment, then using a dish towel or paper towel squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the grated onion.

3. Mix the ground meat with the grated onion, then add the spices, salt and pepper. Stir for 2 minutes or until fully incorporated.

4. Finish with 2 tablespoons of infused saffron water and mix well again.

5. Place in a covered container in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

6. Make 4 koobideh kebabs by pressing the meat well onto wide barbecue skewers. If you do not have traditionally wide koobideh skewers, simply form into a 8-10 inch log shape. (Standard skewers or bamboo skewers will not hold the beef and it will slip around or even slip off easily.) Optional: Pinch the meat with your fingers regularly throughout the log/skewer every inch to give it the characteristic koobideh shape.

7. Grill the skewers on a grill or grill pan over high heat. Turn them regularly to ensure even grilling for approximately 7-10 minutes (depending on the heat of your grill or pan). At the same time, grill the tomatoes until lightly charred in parts and softened.

Shirin Polo

Shirin Polo

 Adapted from Food 52 recipe by Fig & Quince

Rice
2 ½ cups Basmati rice
Water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter 
Toppings
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound carrots, julienned
½ cup barberries (soak in cold water for 5-10 minutes, rinse a few times, drain)
2 tablespoons sugar, separated
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon ground saffron, dissolve in 2 tablespoons hot water
¼ cup almonds, slivered or chopped
¼ cup pistachios, chopped

1. Wash rice with cold water, using your hands to swish it around. Repeat several times until the water runs clear. Drain.

2. In a large pot bring 2-3 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Gently add the rinsed rice. Bring to a gentle boil again and boil rice for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally & gently. Drain in a colander. Pour 2 to 3 cups of tepid water over the rice in the colander. Drain again.

3. In a big pot, preferably nonstick, bring 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons oil plus 1 tablespoon of butter to a boil. Then, one spatula of rice at a time, arrange rice in the pot by first covering the bottom of the pot, using a spatula to spread it, then layering the rest of the rice to taper on top in the form of a pyramid or dome. Make several wells in this rice dome with the handle of a wooden spoon. Cover and cook over medium heat until rice steams – usually around 20 minutes.

4. Once steaming, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook for another 30 minutes until rice is fully cooked. When done, turn off heat and let rice rest undisturbed in the pot for 5 minutes. (Your goal here is to both produce fluffy steamed rice and a crusty bottom referred to as tahdig.)

5. Meanwhile prepare the carrots and barberries. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add carrots and sauté over medium heat until slightly soft, around 5 minutes. Season carrots with cumin, coriander, cinnamon  and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir to combine, then cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe skillet with a paper towel, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil till very hot; reduce heat and sauté barberries with 1 tablespoon sugar on low flame, stirring frequently, for no more than a minute. Remove from pan and set aside in a separate bowl.

6. Once rice is ready to be served, place 2 spatulas of rice in a small dish and sprinkle with saffron water, using a fork to fluff the rice grains and color it with saffron water. Lightly mix the colored rice into the pot, not fully integrating so that you will still be able to see it when it is served.

7. You have two options for how to serve the rice: 

Platter inverting method: Using a butter knife run it along the edge of the pot to separate the tahdig (crisp rice) at the bottom corners of the pot. Then, using a large platter, set it over the rice cooking pot and invert the contents of the pot onto the platter in a quick flipping movement. If the tahdig does not comes with the rice just take a moment to release it in as few pieces as possible and layer it on top of the rice pile. Top with prepared carrots and barberries in between or next to the tahdig. Garnish platter with the pistachios and almonds.

 Scooping pyramid method: Alternatively, taking one spatula full of rice at a time, arrange a layer of rice on a platter and then top with a third of the carrots and barberries. Then add another layer of rice, forming a pyramid or dome with each new layer, top it again with another third of the carrots and barberries. Repeat till you've used all the rice, reserving just a little of the carrots and barberries to serve as garnish. You will then reach the tahdig, or crispy bottom. Try to separate this from the pot as gently and as in tact as possible. Top the pile of rice with the tahdig to serve. Garnish everything with remaining barberries and carrots, and the pistachios and almonds.  

Brazilian side dishes: Hearts of Palm Salad, Deep-Fried Polenta, and Shredded Greens
Brazil dinner

This meal had so many flavors, textures, different tasty elements, it was hard to pick a favorite. I think if I was pressed to choose though, it would be the Hearts of Palm Salad, I loved the tangy palm hearts, crunchy onion, fresh tomatoes, bitter watercress, and just a slight drizzle of olive oil. Delicious, particularly as a side to rich steak and fried polenta!

Heart of Palm Salad

Palm Heart Salad

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 can heart of palm stalks, sliced into large diagonal slices
2 ripe tomatoes or 1 cup cherry or plum tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings, use only the middle perfect rings
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ - 1 cup watercress or arugula
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Arrange the tomatoes and hearts of palm in a serving bowl, top with rings of onion and watercress. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Deep-fried Polenta

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

 4 ¼ cups water
3 ¼ cups polenta
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain flour
vegetable oil for deep frying
salt

1. Add water, polenta, stock and oil to a large pot. Slowly bring to a boil, then simmer until it becomes a think puree, about 20 minutes. The mixture is ready when the bottom of the pot begins to show when you stir the polenta. Sprinkle in the plan flour and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Pour mixture into an oiled 11x11in pan, using a spatula spread into an even layer. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until set.

3. Turn the chilled block of polenta out onto an oiled cutting board. Wet the blade of a long knife and cut into approximately 3/4in x 3/4in x 3 ½ in sticks.

4. Half-fill a deep pot with oil, heat to 375° F. Preheat oven to 200° F. Add about 5 pieces at a time and fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper-towel lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt.  Keep warm in a 200° F oven.

5. Fry remaining pieces. Serve right away or keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Fried Polenta
Shredded Greens

Brazilian-style shredded greens

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 bunch collard greens or other dark green
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Clean and trim collard greens, removing the thick part of the stalk. Thinly slice by rolling a stack of leaves and slicing in narrow strips across the width of the leaves.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan, add garlic and let fry for just a moment, then add shredded greens. Cook 3-5 minutes until wilted and softened but still slightly al dente. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.

 I always forget how much greens cook down. I ran out of small bowls, so these greens looked so sad in the big serving bowl. But they made up for their lack of picture-perfectness in punchy flavor. We threw them in the cast-iron after cooking the steak for some extra rich meaty goodness, but if you prefer them vegetarian or don’t want all that au jus in your greens feel free to follow the recipe as is.

Pastel de feira de carne (Brazilian pastel pastries with meat filling)
Pastel

We first had these on a beach in Hawaii from a Brazilian food truck in Haliewa. It is hard to beat that experience, but knowing we can make them in our own kitchen is getting pretty close.

I highly recommend making both these and the Deep-Fried Polenta since you will already have a nice hot pot of oil, may as well make the most of it!

Pastel de feira de carne

(Pastel Pastries with meat filling)

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

Makes 6 large Pastel, or you can size them smaller for more

 Pastry:
2 ¾ cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lard, chilled or extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cachaça or vodka
1 tbsp white vinegar
½ cup warm water
Vegetable oil for deep frying (vegetable or peanut oil)

 Filling:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ onion
10 ounces ground beef
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup green olives, sliced
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp green onions, sliced
ground black pepper

1. Pour the flour and salt in a bowl, mix. Rub in the lard with your fingertips until mixture forms crumbles.

2. Make a well in the center and pour in cachaça, vinegar, and water. Mix the ingredients well.

2. On a clean surface, dust some flour and work the dough vigorously for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, stirring for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic and ground beef, breaking the meat with a wooden spoon. Keep frying for a few minutes until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the olives, parsley and green onions, cook for a further minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge until required.

4. Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll the dough flat until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter cut the pastry into rectangles 4 inches by 8 inches.

5. Pour some water into a small bowl. Place 1 ½ tbsp of the meat mixture on one half of the pastry rectangle. Using a pastry brush or your fingertip, brush the edges of the pastry with a little bit of water. Press the edges of the pastry together and then press down the edges with a fork to ensure it will not open while is being fried. Repeat the process with the remaining pastries.

7. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 375° F. Fry the pastries, one at a time, for 1 minute on each side or until slightly golden and crispy. Place each fried pastel on the a paper towel-lined plate. They can be served hot (in which case you can keep them warm in a 200° F oven) or cold.

Pastel with meat filling

 

 

Batida Cocktail

I love a good creamy cocktail. Coconut milk adds just enough creaminess and tropical flavor to work well with the serious kick of cachaça and lime. Try these! You won’t regret it.

Batida Cocktail

Batida

Adapted from Liquor.com

2 oz silver cachaça
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1/2 oz coconut milk
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Garnish: Pineapple leaf

Add all the ingredients into a blender with 1/2 cup of ice, and blend until smooth.

Pour into a rocks glass over crushed ice.

Garnish with a pineapple leaf.

Brazil GP 2018: Grilled Steak (Picanha Fatiada) with Fresh Salsa

The penultimate race.

Somehow it is here again, the end of the season. At least these final races are great spectacles and keeping us on the edge of our seats! As a solid Max fan I couldn’t believe he got run off the track by a backmarker. What drama! But all is fair in love and racing and it was an awesome race nonetheless. You could tell how proud Lewis was to win it for Mercedes and solidify the championship. This year he really did show he is a real champion. He was fast, focused, and didn’t make any mistakes. Three cheers for Lewis, or hell give him and the team five!

We went all out for a Brazilian feast. All the recipes come from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah. A gift from our tenant and Brazilian friend Luis before he moved back home last year.

We started off with Pastel de feira de carne (Fried pastel pastries) and Batida cocktails. And our dinner featured Pichana Fatiada (Grilled Rump Steak), Fried Polenta, Brazilian-style shredded greens, Palm heart salad, and Fresh Brazilian-style salsa.

Brazilian Steak

Grilled Rump Steak

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 whole cut of beef rump (picanha) about 2 ½ pounds
2 tbsp coarse sea salt

1. Rub the salt all over the beef, massaging it in. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Slice rump steak into 4 inch thick steaks 1½-2 inches each.

3. Pat the steaks dry on both sides and grill them on the barbecue or hot grill pan until medium rare or done to your liking.

4. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

5. Cut each steak into ½ inch slices for serving, pour juices over on serving plate.

Serve with any or all of the following: White Rice, Farofa, Brazilian-style salsa, Deep-fried Polenta

Steak and salsa

Brazilian-style Salsa

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 plum tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 large white or red onion, diced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

1. Place all chopped vegetables in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl, or combine in a mason jar and shake.

3. Pour over vegetables and mix well.

4. Serve immediately or cover to chill and let flavors meld together for no more than an hour.

Mayan Margarita

Our friend brought a new liqueur into our lives this year from her recent visit to Mexico. It is a Mayan honey and anise liqueur called Xtabentun. We immediately began researching cocktail ideas and found a pretty delicious one in the Mayan Margarita. We made a few tweaks and think this version is perfectly sweet, strong, and sour.

Mayan Margarita

Mayan Margarita

1 ½ ounces tequila blanco
½ ounce xtabentun (honey liqueur)
¼ ounce cointreau
½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

Add all ingredients to a shaker over ice, shake until chilled, pour over ice in a rocks glass.

Mayan Margarita -- Salud!
Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme
Pot de Creme

Pictures will not do this dessert justice. Insanely rich, with just a slight kick of cinnamon and spices to mix up the creamy chocolatey richness. This was a perfect end to a spicy dinner or really any evening. Delicioso.

Mexican Chocolate Pot de Crème

From Food & Wine

 1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
6 ounces Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra, finely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus shavings for garnish (optional)
Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional) 

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with the heavy cream and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot milk to temper the eggs, then transfer the mixture to the saucepan.

3. Cook the custard over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Immediately add the finely chopped Mexican and bittersweet chocolate and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup or bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into 6 small bowls and refrigerate until the pots de crème are chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve the pots de crème with optional unsweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Mexican Rice and Roasted Asparagus with Chili and Onions
Mexican Dishes

Admittedly, when I think of Mexican food I immediately think of tacos. And I love tacos. Like, a lot. I also know, however, that there is a very rich culture of Mexican food that does not revolve around tacos. So this year we ventured out and found some delicious non-taco recipes to make. I highly recommend you take the time to make Pollo en Mole Verde. The Mexican rice is pretty standard fare, and makes a good sopping up agent for any saucy dish like the Pollo en Mole Verde. The asparagus is delicious with any meal, on it’s own roasted asparagus is a favorite, with the additional of rich, sweet, and spicy sautéed onions and dried chili it is on another level.

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

Adapted from Saveur

2 cups chicken stock (reserved from cooking chicken if also making Pollo en Mole Verde)
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1⁄2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 cup long grain white rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place stock, tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, and onion in a blender and purée until smooth; set tomato mixture aside.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add remaining garlic and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper, and reduce heat to low.

3. Cook, covered, until rice is tender and has absorbed all liquid, 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Gently fluff the rice with a fork.


Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus with Chili and Onions

Inspired by Rick Bayless

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½  medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 dried pepper, such as pasilla or adobo sliced into thin strips or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 large bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus, cleaned with bottom 1/2 inch removed
Salt

1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for a minute or so, until soft and aromatic.

3. Set cooked onion and garlic aside, add dried pepper to the pan and toast for no more than one minute, add to the onion mixture. Add vinegar to mixture and stir to combine.

4. On a large baking sheet drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil, lay asparagus onto sheet and drizzle with remaining oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in 400˚ oven for 20 minutes or until tender, flipping halfway through.

5. Serve topped with onion mixture.

 

Mexico GP 2018: Pollo en Mole Verde

Sometimes I find, the food is more exciting than the F1 races. At those times I think, maybe this blog should just be food from around the world. A-Z cooking, International Cuisine, something clever to do with how each region makes pot pies… I don’t know. But then, then there are races like Mexico. Can’t tear your eyes away, did Max really just make that pass? what happened to Sainz?? oh, no, that isn’t Checo is it??? This is why we watch Formula 1. It is turning into a cracking end of the season, even with the Driver’s championship tied up and the Constructor’s about to be, there is still some awesome fighting spirit left in all the drivers and teams.

Mexican GP Meal

For the Mexico race we made Chicken with Mole Verde Sauce, Mexican Rice, Asparagus, and for dessert Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme. The Mole Verde sauce was the star of this meal. We all determined that we would eat just about anything if it came in this sauce. Rich, vibrant, creamy, savory, so good.

Chicken with Mole Verde

Chicken with Mole Verde Sauce

Adapted from Saveur

For the Chicken

1 (3–4-lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro stems
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf

For the Mole Verde

8 oz. tomatillos, peeled and chopped
2 jalapeños, stemmed and chopped
1⁄2 cup cilantro leaves
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (8-inch) flour or combination corn and flour tortillas, toasted
1 cup chicken stock or water
3 tbsp. canola oil

1. Place chicken, cilantro, salt, peppercorns, garlic, onion, bay leaf, and enough water to cover the chicken, in a large dutch oven or 6-qt. saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prep sauce ingredients. Heat tomatillos and jalapeños in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and slightly darkened, about 10 minutes.

3. Transfer to a blender with cilantro, salt, garlic, toasted tortillas, and 1 cup water or chicken stock; puree.

4. Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add tomatillo sauce and fry, stirring constantly, until it thickens into a paste, about 5 minutes.

5. Remove chicken from saucepan and strain liquid through a fine strainer; reserve 3 cups, and save remaining liquid for another use (such as Mexican Rice). Set chicken and liquid aside.

6. Whisk in to the cooked tomatillo sauce the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes.

7. Add chicken pieces and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.

 

U.S. GP 2018: On Location!

Our first live race!!

COTA

Over the year we have narrowed our list to 5 top destinations to see F1 races: Canada, Singapore, Belgium, Japan, or the U.S.

Each for their own distinct reasons. Canada because Montreal seems like such a lively and fun city, and the food culture sounds to die for. We would absolutely find our way to Joe Beef and eat so many bagels in and around the city. Singapore because of the absolutely gorgeous track, the beautiful man-made trees in the Botanic Garden and the intersection of so many of my favorite cuisines. Belgium is the home of my husband’s extended family, and his father tells stories of seeing races at Spa as a child before they moved to the United States. It is also home to the best beer in the world which is always worth a trip to experience. Japan would be a great race to attend primarily because of the fans, it seems like so much fun just to be in the presence of so many people supporting F1, and the track also has great history. The U.S. GP of course is in our home country and is located in the fantastically fun city of Austin. The BBQ, craft beer, funky vibes, and live music all seem like great reasons to visit Austin and the Circuit of the Americas track always has great racing, so that is definitely a win-win.

We looked into each race, and weighed the pros and cons of travel, cost, language, etc. deciding that the U.S. GP would be a great place to start. Turned out we were right. The race was so exciting, the atmosphere was fun, the food was great, Austin was a kick, and we got to see Kimi win it!

COTA is a well designed circuit with plenty of overtaking opportunities, a super exciting up hill start, plenty of esses and curves to keep things interesting, and always results in a great race. This year did not disappoint. We went for General Admission tickets, which was a great option, they provided flexibility in being able to explore the track, get multiple vantage points, and wander around to find the best food and views.

Exploring Austin was also a ton of fun. BBQ food trucks, a visit to the capitol, killer taco places, bats under Congress bridge, hunting for street art, and pizza on our way to live music rounded out the Austin experience. We even found some places which immediately felt like home. Cosmic Coffee was a favorite, they had beer, cocktails, coffee, and food trucks all in one spot with a great atmosphere. Surprising to us was the breakfast taco spot we found on our last day in Austin: Tacodeli. They were so good we ordered seconds and have been dreaming about them ever since.

This was a dangerous experiment because the moment we heard the F1 cars careen around the track we were hooked. I officially want to go to a race every year now. Forget our top 5, I want to go to ALL of them. I want to experience the race, explore the cities, eat all the food, drink all the beer, and soak in the fandom, the atmosphere, and the excitement of an F1 weekend. We’re hooked.

Japan GP 2018: Sushi, Ramen, and Udon Galore

I can’t say enough good things about our trip to Japan. Except for one glaring error, we did not make it to the race. Our trip was planned with 8 people and there was no way to see what we wanted to see, work with everyone’s schedules, and go to see the race.

So, I treated it like a research mission and ate everything I could fit in. Supposedly so that I could learn about Japanese cuisine and make this deliciousness for future races... in reality because everything was so so so delicious and I just couldn’t help myself.

Some of our favorites included Yakitori Alley and all its grilled goodness, Shin Udon in Tokyo where you can watch the chefs hand make the udon noodles which are silky and rich and the broth is bright and beautiful, Afuri Ramen’s yuzu broth and grilled chashu which was to die for, and of course fresh perfectly prepared sushi.

We also partook in our fair share of sweets. Desserts in restaurants are not all that common, but desserts in street stalls, for breakfast, in train stations, at 7/11, and anywhere else you might find yourself are ubiquitous. We tried soft serve in a multitude of flavors such as matcha, black sesame, yuzu, pear, and crystallized sweet potato. We had the fluffiest pancakes known to mankind… twice. Our travel companion was on a mission to try every possible egg tart in the Tokyo/ Kyoto/ Osaka area, hunting down Pablo and Bake at every train station and town we visited. (Bake was the resounding winner.) Coffee culture also has a strong foothold in the big cities and we had some stellar lattes. Our favorite being Turret Coffee.

As usual, being in new cities, we also set out on a mission to try every craft beer we could find. We thought this would be pretty limited given Japan’s propensity for lagers, but we were delightfully surprised by the burgeoning craft beer scene.

Bright Lights of Shinjuku, Tokyo

Bright Lights of Shinjuku, Tokyo

Benzaiten Shrine in Inokashira Park

Benzaiten Shrine in Inokashira Park

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Philosopher’s Walk, Kyoto

Philosopher’s Walk, Kyoto

View of Osaka from Umeda Sky Tower

View of Osaka from Umeda Sky Tower

JapanMaria DawsonFunComment
Russian Black Bread
Russian Black Bread

“If you’d like to be like the Russkies, you’d slather this with butter, top it with caviar, throw it back with some ice cold vodka and then head to work on a Monday morning.” Deb Perelman

Russian Black Bread
From Smitten Kitchen

Makes 2 loaves

2 packages (1 1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 cups water
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3 cups medium rye flour
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup bran
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon minced shallots

topping (optional)

1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and sugar with warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Heat two cups water, molasses, vinegar, butter and chocolate until the butter and chocolate are melted. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm.

3. Combine flours in a large bowl. Set aside.

Note for the next step: If you don’t like whole seeds in your bread, grinding them in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle allows their flavor to come through without the texture. I always make my black bread this way.

4. In bowl of a heavy mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine two cups mixed flours, bran, 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, fennel seeds, salt, espresso, and shallots. At low speed, add yeast and chocolate mixtures. Mix until smooth and beat at medium speed for three minutes.

5. At low speed, add half cup of remaining mixed flours at a time, until dough clears sides of bowl and begins to work its way up paddle. You might not use all of the flour mixture. It will be very sticky but firm.

6. Scrape dough off paddle, flour counter well, and knead to make a springy yet dense dough.

7. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Combine cornmeal, flour and remaining caraway seeds, if using, and set aside.

8. Gently deflate dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two portions and form into two rounds or loaves. Loaves should be placed in a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray, while rounds should be placed seam down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle loaves with cornmeal mixture, if using. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled and puffy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Slash an X into the top of a round before baking it; no such slashing is needed for bread in a loaf pan.

9. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until loaves are well-browned, or register an internal temperature of 200 to 210°F on an instant-read thermometer. Baking time in your oven may vary — check on the bread when it is 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through. Remove from baking sheet to cool completely on a rack.

 

Russia GP 2018: Lamb and Barley Stew (Tyshyonaya Baraninaz Gribami I Yachmenyom)
Russian stew

The most exciting thing about this race was… this stew. Not a phrase I would usually say, but the Russian track is indeed boring, and this stew is indeed delicious.

Although this recipe takes a good amount of time, it is not a whole lot of work, for what turns out to be a great flavor and a hearty meal. We served it with Russian Black Bread and enjoyed it all week.

Stew and Black Bread

Lamb and Mushroom Stew

Adapted from Russian Regional Recipes by Susan Ward

2 ½ pounds of lamb shank or neck of lamb, cut into large pieces
7 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 long red medium hot peppers, seeded and chopped
½ pound white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped in half, or whole if small
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
2 ½ cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4-6 ounces pearl barley
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole cloves
salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces sour cream or yoghurt
handful flat leaf parsley finely chopped (optional)

1. In a dutch oven or heavy pan over medium heat brown the lamb pieces in 3 ½ tablespoons of the oil. Remove and set aside. Add the onion to the pan, and cook until it is soft, about 6 minutes.

2. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside with the lamb. Add the rest of the oil and sauté the red peppers and mushrooms for about 5 minutes until softened. Remove and set aside in a separate bowl.

3. Preheat oven to 325 F. Stir the onions and lamb back into the pan along with the mustard, chicken stock, and white wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours until the lamb is very tender and falling off the bone.

4. Remove the lamb from the pan and using tongs or your hands pull the meat off the bones and shred or chop into smaller pieces. Return to the pan and stir into the stock along with the barley, cumin seeds, cloves, and seasoning to taste. Simmer for about an hour until the barley is tender and the stock has been absorbed.

5. Stir the red pepper and mushrooms into the stew, along with the sour cream or yoghurt. If you want more of a stew, add additional chicken stock (up to 4 cups). Heat through for 10-12 minutes, take off the heat, stir in the chopped parsley (optional).

Rojak (Jicama and Pineapple Salad)

I think of this as a savory fruit salad. Something completely different and a great foil to heavier foods or a boring Sunday afternoon.

Rojak

Rojak (Jicama and Pineapple Salad)

Adapted from Cradle of Flavor by James Oseland

For the Dressing
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
¼ cup tamarind water (combine 1/4 cup hot water with 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, let rest for at least 10 minutes, squeeze pulp and strain)
2 fresh their chiles coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons palm sugar, thinly sliced (or dark brown sugar)
3 tablespoons Indonesian sweet soy sauce

For the Salad
1 small jicama, peeled
½ medium-sized green mango
¼ small unripe papaya
1/3 pineapple
2 small Kirby cucumbers
1 unripe guava (optional)

 For the Topping
½ cup unsalted skinned roasted peanuts

1. Place all dressing ingredients in small food processor and blend into a smooth paste/ dressing. Add additional water a little at a time to make a smoother consistency if needed.  
2. Cut jicama, mango, papaya, pineapple,  and cucumber in small spears or but size pieces.
3. Add all fruits and veggies to a large bowl and mix to distribute. Add ¾ of the dressing, mix and taste. Add additional dressing and salt as needed.
4. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle peanuts on top. Serve right away.

Singapore GP 2018: Chili Braised Prawns, Coconut Rice, and Stir Fried Greens

Hamilton continues to pull away in the championship and races continue to be textbook.

Want something less than textbook? How about Char Kway Teow that comes together crazy quick and some yummy Singaporean side dishes to spice up your kitchen?

Char Kway Teow
Prawns

Red Chili Braised Prawns

Adapted from Martin Yan’s Asia: Favorite Recipes from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Japan

Spice Paste
1 stalk lemongrass, use bottom 6 inches, thinly sliced
2 fresh red jalapeños, seeded
1 small shallot
3 slices ginger, quarter sized
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ inch piece of galangal, sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water

 ¾ pound large prawns, shelled and deveined, tails in tact
2 green onions, cut into 2 inch lengths
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ cup diced fresh pineapple
1 ½ cups seafood broth
2 teaspoons tamarind water (combine ½ cup hot water with 2 ½ tablespoons tamarind pulp)
Soy sauce

1. Combine all spice paste ingredients in food processor or blender.

2. Place wok over medium-low heat until hot. Add shrimp and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add green onions and pineapple; mix well. Add seafood broth and tamarind water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until shrimp are cooked, 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with soy sauce.

3. Place in a deep serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

2 cups Jasmine or Basmati rice
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 inch piece of ginger
2 inch piece of lemon grass, lightly crushed

1. Rinse rice well in strainer.
2. Add to rice cooker. Add coconut milk, water, and salt and stir. Top with ginger and lemongrass.
3. Cook, using rice cooker instructions.

Asian greens

 Stir-fried Asian Greens

Adapted from Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia by James Oseland

1 medium bunch Asian greens such as bok choy, water spinach, or choy sum
3 tablespoons peanut oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled slightly crushed, chopped into chunks
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 red thai chiles

 1. Clean greens and dry completely
2.  Chop greens into 2 ½ to 3 inch pieces as needed
3.  Heat the oil in a large wok or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the garlic, salt, and chiles. Sti fry 1 minute. Don’t let the garlic brown.
4.  Add the greens. Raise heat slightly and immediately begin stir-frying greens vigorously around the pan. Stir0fry until greens are limp but still bright green. Taste for salt and only add a little if needed.
5.  Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.