Chinese-style Eight-treasure Soup

Ingredients

4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tblespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion
2 oz Chinese bacon or ham, cut into thin strips
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
8 oz chicken breast fillet
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
12 small raw prawns, peeled and deveined
6-1/2 oz firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1-3/4 oz sliced bamboo shoots
3-1/2 oz spinach, chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Discard the woody stalks and cut the caps into quarters.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oils and swirl to coat the side of the wok, then add the ginger, spring onion and bacon. Cook for about 10 seconds before adding the stock, soy sauce, rice wine, mushroom liquid and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the chicken. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and poach the chicken for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock and, when cool enough to handle, shred the meat.
  5. Return the stock to the boil, add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns, tofu, bamboo shoots, spinach and chicken meat to the wok and cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with the extra spring onion.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Chinese bacon has a dryish flesh with a strong flavour very much like prosciutto. You can substitute prosciutto.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

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Steamed Mussels with Creamy Fennel Sauce

Ingredients

4 lb mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
1 small carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 small fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2-1/2 cups fish stock

Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp fresh mixed herbs, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Clean the mussels, removing the beards, and discarding any shells that open when tapped. Place the mussels in the base of the steamer with the carrot strips.
  2. Finely shred half of the fennel and add to the pan with the garlic and stock. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 5 minutes.
  3. Discard any unopened mussels and remove all the mussels and vegetables from the stock with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
  4. Measure up 3/4 cup of the stock and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the wine, herbs, black pepper and cream. Pour in the 3/4 cup of fish stock.
  7. Finely chop the remaining fennel and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Spoon the mussels into warmed serving dishes and top with the vegetables. Serve with the wine and cream sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Steam Cuisine

Shrimp Barley Risotto with Chili Gremolata

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium brown onion (150 g), chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups (300 g) pearl barley
4 cups vegetable stock
500 g peeled uncooked medium shrimp
45 g baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
160 g labne cheese

Chili Gremolata

1 Tbsp finely grated lemon rind
1 fresh long red chili, seeded, chopped finely
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. To make chili gremolata, combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens.
  3. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until coated.
  4. Add stock, bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until barley is almost tender.
  5. Add shrimp. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  6. Add Parmesan and arugula. Stir to combine.
  7. Serve risotto topped with labne cheese and chili gremolata.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Everyday Power Foods

Salmon with Whisky and Brown Shrimp Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 lemon
4 x 125 g skinless and boneless salmon fillets
4 large slices smoked salmon
generous knob of butter, softened
salt and pepper

Sauce

2 tsp butter
3 tsp plain flour
4 tbsp whisky
200 ml creme fraiche
2 tsp horseradish sauce
a generous squeeze of lemon juice
100 g peeled raw small shrimp
few dill sprigs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cut three slices from the lemon and then cut each slice into quarters. Lightly season each salmon fillet and wrap with a slice of smoked salmon.
  3. Dot three dots of butter over the top of each fillet and place a quarter slice of lemon on each. Place each salmon fillet on a square of greaseproof paper and wrap loosely, scrunching up the ends so that it is in its own wee parcel.
  4. Place on an oven tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. To make the sauce melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add the whisky and keep stirring over a very low heat so no lumps form.
  6. Add the creme fraiche, horseradish and lemon juice (to taste) and stir well until you have a smooth sauce.
  7. Add the shrimp and cook until done. Season the sauce to taste and if it needs thinning, add a little more wonderful warming whisky.
  8. Just before serving, stir a few dill sprigs into the sauce. Unwrap the salmon parcels and serve with the sauce spooned over.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: My Family Kitchen

Pan-fried Lobster and Scallop Ravioli

Ingredients

Pasta Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup free-range egg whites
3 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt

Filling

8 large scallops (white meat only)
1 lb cooked lobster
olive oil
salt
black pepper

Sauce

2 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs of marjoram
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 dry sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), chopped
2 cups lobster stock
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
salt
black pepper

Garnish

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
marjoram leaves

Method

  1. First make the pasta dough. Put the flour in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and knead to make an elastic, but not sticky, dough. Leave the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, then roll it out on the ‘o’ setting on a pasta machine.
  2. Chop the scallops into 1/8-inch dice. Break up the lobster, cutting the tail into quarters for the garnish. Extract all the rest of the lobster meat and cut into 1/4-inch dice, then mix with the diced scallops and season with salt and a generous amount of pepper.
  3. The shape of the ravioli is up to you, but the simplest method is to cut the pasta dough into 24 rounds about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
  4. Divide the scallop and lobster filling among 12 of the rounds. Brush the borders with water to moisten, then top with the remaining rounds and press down well around the edges to seal.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the ravioli, and cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Remove the ravioli and plunge them into iced water to stop the cooking, then carefully drain and dry on a cloth and lightly drizzle them with olive oil. Keep the ravioli refrigerated until needed.
  7. For the sauce, put the shallots, garlic, and marjoram in a pan with the white wine and boil until the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and lobster stock, then bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve, then pour it back into the pan, season, and finish with the cold butter to thicken and shine. Keep The sauce warm while you finish the ravioli.
  9. Pan-fry the ravioli in a hot nonstick pan until golden on both sides and hot inside. Serve in warm bowls with the piping hot sauce and garnish with diced tomatoes and lobster claws and a few marjoram leaves.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen