Chinese-style Stuffed Black Mushroom

Ingredients

12 large dried black mushrooms
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1/2 chicken stock cube
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
8 oz fresh or frozen broccoli

Filling

8 oz raw shrimp
3-1/2 oz fresh or tinned crabmeat
3 water chestnuts
1 tablespoon finely diced pork fat
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Rinse mushrooms in cold water then leave to soak in 2 cups warm water for about 2 hours. Drain. Discard mushroom stems and squeeze mushrooms dry.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and gently fry garlic for about 15 seconds. Raise heat and add mushrooms. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add 1 cup water and stock cube. Simmer very gently for about 1 hour or until mushrooms are tender. Remove mushrooms from cooking liquid and drain.
  3. Thicken cooking liquid with 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with cold water and set this sauce aside.
  4. While mushrooms are simmering, prepare the filling. Peel shrimp, flake crabmeat, and peel the water chestnuts. Put the water chestnuts and pork fat in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds until a rough paste results. Add shrimp, crabmeat, salt and pepper and process for another few seconds.
  5. When the cooked, drained mushrooms have cooled sufficiently to handle, sprinkle the inside of each cap with a little cornstarch. Press on some of the filling, mounding it slightly. If desired, the mushrooms can now be stored in the refrigerator for several hours and the dish finalised just before the meal.
  6. Put the stuffed mushrooms into heat-proof plate and steam for 20 minutes.
  7. Cook the broccoli until it is just tender. Arrange mushrooms in the centre of a serving platter.
  8. Pour any liquid that has accumulated in the steaming plate into the prepared sauce. Re-heat and pour over the mushrooms. Arrange broccoli around the edge of the serving platter. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a little ground white pepper, and serve immediately.

Source: Singapore Food

French-style Braised Chicken Legs with Wine

Ingredients

6 chicken legs
1 cup diced bacon trimmings
6 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine
3-4 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
few thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
5 tbsp brandy
5 tbsp port
splash of sherry vinegar
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups veal stock

Method

  1. Put the chicken legs, bacon, and vegetables into a large bowl and pour over the red wine. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Strain off the wine and reserve it for later use. Set the vegetables and bacon aside. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in large cast-iron casserole. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper and pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from the casserole and set aside.
  3. Add a little more oil to the casserole, if necessary, then add the vegetables and bacon. Sweat for 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soli. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns and fry for a couple more minutes.
  4. Deglaze the casserole with the brandy, port, and sherry vinegar. Let bubble until reduced to a sticky glaze. Pour in the stocks and reserved wine and return the chicken legs. Simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken legs are tender and cooked through, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface from time to time.
  5. Remove the legs to a plate and strain the stock through a fine strainer into a clean, Nvide pan. Boil it vigorously until reduced to a rich and syrupy sauce. Meanwhile, saute the bacon cubes in a dry skillet until crisp.
  6. When ready to serve, return the chicken legs to the reduced sauce. Warm through, then divide the chicken between warm serving plates. Garnish with the thyme sprigs, and wafer-thin slices of white toast if you like. Serve accompanied by vegetables of your choice.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze

Vietnamese-style Braised Pork Belly in Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

2 slices fresh ginger
10 oz slab pork belly
7 fluid oz coconut milk

Marinade

1 tbsp gia vi (a mixture of 2 parts sugar, 1 part sea salt, 1 part ground black pepper, 1 part garlic powder)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chopped shallot

Caramel Sauce

4 tsp sugar

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and throw in the ginger. Add the pork (don’t cut it into chunks at this stage or it will cook too quickly and lose its sweetness) and cook for three to four minutes over a high heat to blanch the meat. Drain.
  2. Mix together the marinade ingredients. Slice the pork belly into 3/4-inch chunks, rub in the marinade, then cover and leave for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan or cast-iron casserole. Place over a medium heat, without stirring, for two to three minutes, then reduce the heat and stir constantly until no sugar grains are visible, for two to three minutes. The sugar will melt and turn golden – pay attention to the colour of the caramel under the bubbles. Add 7 fluid oz hot water and bring to a boil. Don’t worry if the sugar hardens on contact with the water; it will re-melt.
  4. Add the marinated pork to the caramel pan, coating all the meat with the caramel sauce. Stir in the coconut milk, then leave it for a minute. Taste and add more fish sauce or sugar if necessary, depending on whether it’s too sweet or salty.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thickened. Serve hot with white rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Vietnamese Market Cookbook

Italian-style Braised Short Ribs in Red Wine

Ingredients

1 (750 ml) bottle full-bodied dry red wine
4 pounds beef short ribs, cut into individual 4-inch-long ribs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces sliced pancetta, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F, with rack in lower third.
  2. Boil wine in a 2- to 3-quart pot until reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, pat ribs dry; rub with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat oil in pot over high heat until it shimmers and quickly brown ribs on all 3 meaty sides (but not bone side) without crowding, in batches, about 1 minute per side.
  5. Transfer meat to a large plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat and cook pancetta over medium heat, stirring, until browned and fat is rendered. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until pale golden, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add carrots, celery, and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
  8. Stir in tomatoes with their juice and return ribs with any juices to pot, arranging them bone side down.
  9. Add reduced wine and water and bring liquid to a boil, uncovered. Cover pot and transfer to oven, then braise until meat is very tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
  10. Skim off excess fat from surface of sauce and discard herb stems. If a thicker sauce is desired, transfer ribs carefullly to a plate (meat will fall off bones easily) and boil sauce, stirring occasionally, to thicken slightly.
  11. Return short ribs to sauce. Serve with buttered pasta tossed with chopped parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

Classic Flavours of Pizza Meet Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb whole grain fusilli or rotini pasta
1 lb turkey sausage
6 oz bocconcini. roughly chopped
1 pint organic grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced (optional)
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh basil, or to taste
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Method

  1. In large pot of simmering water, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Remove sausage from casing and heat in skillet over medium heat, crumbling sausage as it cooks.
  3. Add sausage to pasta along with bocconcini, tomatoes. olives and basil. Whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano and black pepper. Toss dressing with pasta mixture.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Sage magazine