Showing posts with label tamarind. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tamarind. Show all posts

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet

Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet
Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet

Lance doesn’t like sorbet. In fact, when he saw me pouring this mango mix into the ice cream maker, we had a conversation a bit like this:

“Ooh, you’re making me ice cream! What flavour are you making?”

“Not ice cream, something different”

“What? Hang on, are you WASTING our mangoes making sorbet? You don’t love me!”

And yet, there I was, making sorbet for us as part of our date night dinner. Now, I see what you’re thinking  - maybe he’s right. Maybe if I know he doesn’t like sorbet but I’m still specifically making it for an important meal – then maybe I don’t love him. First, how dare you question my love! Secondly, remember the pie incident?
Yeah. And remember our Wills Domain Degustation? Lance loved the herby sorbet palate cleanser.

I would never serve Lance a sorbet for dessert. Nor would I serve him a nut milk ice cream, or coconut milk ice cream for dessert. This sorbet? Not a dessert. This sorbet is an entrĂ©e (or appetizer, for my American readers! Hi!) Riffing on the herby sorbet we both loved, I decided to make a more ‘savoury’ sorbet that would in essence be the sauce for a fun spicy and fruity prawn cocktail. Using some of our homegrown mangoes and jalapeno, I added some tamarind for a tart hit. Served with some cold prawns that are dusted with some smokey hot paprika and the traditional iceberg lettuce bed, it was quite the cute little dish. And a perfect date night/dinner party appetizer as everything can be made in advance. Just churn the sorbet right before you want to serve it.

Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet

Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet
Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet

Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet

2 cups water
5 tsp tamarind puree
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
2 jalapenos
3 mangoes, flesh removed
1 egg white
cooked, cooled prawns (6 or so per person)
iceberg lettuce, shredded to serve
hot smoked paprika, to serve

Finely mince the jalapenos and add the mangoes, water, tamarind puree, salt, pepper, jalapenos and egg white and blend until fully homogenised. Leave for 5 minutes to allow some of the air to leave the mixture, and then give one quick stir before pouring into your ice cream maker. Churn for 30-45 minutes, depending on your machine's instructions.

Place lettuce on your serving plate/bowl. Scoop a ball of sorbet on top of the lettuce, arrange the prawns artfully and dust with smoked paprika. Serve immediately.

Leftover sorbet can be tightly wrapped in the freezer for a week. Soften in fridge 30 minutes before serving like this again. Alternatively, blend up with a little tequila for a killer cocktail!

Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet
Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet
Feels Like Summer - Mango Tamarind Prawn Cocktail Sorbet

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spring Salads - Quinoa salad with Tamarind Dressing

The days are (occasionally) getting warmer and brighter and the need for raw veges is slowly creeping in. My body craves crunchy, fresh produce and as I unpack my box of groceries, I can't help but pick at bits. A broccoli floret might have 'accidentally' ripped off into my mouth. A snow pea 'fell-out' of the bag on to the counter so I might as well eat it. Then Lance points out that it's lunch time.

There's some cooked quinoa in the fridge (ready for these biscuits), a few slices of chilli pancetta and a tiny bit of sheep milk fetta leftover in the fridge. Add some fresh vegetables, some parsley and mint from the garden and the tamarind dressing I'm currently in love with and you have the perfect weekend lunch. Make enough for lunch the next day, too. All of the vegetables are interchangeable for what you have or what you like. My aim was for pretty colours and a range of textures.

Spring Salads - Quinoa salad with Tamarind Dressing

Quinoa Salad with Tamarind Dressing

(serves 3-4)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 small carrot
4 large cauliflower florets
½ capsicum
1 tomato
1 dill pickle
2 kale leaves, inner rib removed and shredded
3 slices pancetta
Sheep fetta
1 tbsp toasted pepitas
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
½ tbsp. cacao nibs
¼ cup shredded flat leaf parsley
¼ cup shredded mint
3 tbsps Tamarind dressing (recipe here)

Chop all the vegetables into similar size pieces, I went for a very small dice. Slice the dill pickle smaller still. Shred the pancetta into small pieces.
Toss all ingredients together, apart from the fetta and dressing. Slowly add the dressing, using just enough to coat, rather than drown it. Crumble fetta over the top and serve!
 Spring Salads - Quinoa salad with Tamarind Dressing
Spring Salads - Quinoa salad with Tamarind Dressing
Spring Salads - Quinoa salad with Tamarind Dressing
Spring Salads - Quinoa salad with Tamarind Dressing

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Recreating Deliciousness - Coppelia Calamari with Tamarind Dressing

On my recent holiday, I ate a lot of Cuban. A lot. It started at Bar Pulpo at the Melbourne Airport. And it was good. So rare to get good food at an airport! But I was really impressed. It made the 5 hour plane delay bearable! Then in the states, I went to a restaurant in New York that was recommended to me - Coppelia. And even though it's been two or so months since I've been there, I still consider it one of my favourite restaurants. It's a funky Latin diner style restaurant with ridiculously good, well-priced food. We went to another 4 Cuban restaurants in our trip and loved every single dish. So I came back and wishlisted a few Cuban cooking books on bookdepository (but if you have any recommendations for other good Latin and Cuban cookbooks to add to the list, I'd love to hear). So you can look forward to Skamp's versions of other Latin dishes!
Lance and I both fell in love with Coppelia's blue cornmeal crusted calamari with tamarind vinaigrette. We are haunted by it, so I am trying to create an "at-home" version. We don't get plantains in WA (or if you know of a place they're available, please, please, please let me know!!!) so I substituted bananas. Here's a photo of their version:

I couldn't find blue cornmeal, but I already had some blue corn flour (blue masa), which I used for the flour for the dusting as well as in the coating cornmeal. I get mine from one of my favourite shops in Perth - Kakulas. Using masa for the whole dish makes it naturally gluten free, if that's an issue for you.
To make the tamarind dressing, firstly you have to make tamarind syrup. There's a recipe here on my Kale Tamarind Salad recipe. You'll see in the pictures of my version, that it wasn't nearly saucy enough compared to theirs. When I heated the sauce, it reduced right down, so this recipe is double.

My verdict on it's similarity? Well, it's not quite the same, but it's still delicious. But my memory might also be failing me. I think the best thing to do would be to go back to New York to re-acquaint myself with the original!
200g squid rings
1 cup rice bran oil for frying
2 firm but ripe bananas, cut into 3cm chunks

Flour mix
1/4 cup blue corn flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

2 beaten eggs

Cornmeal mix
1/4 cup blue corn flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp ancho chilli powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder

Tamarind Dressing
16 tbsp tamarind syrup
8 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp cachaca
salt & pepper to taste

Have the flour mix, egg wash and cornmeal mix in three separate bowls, ready to go. Then an empty plate for the coated ring.

Dip each calamari ring in flour mix, shake to remove excess. Then the egg wash, shake to remove excess. Lastly coat with the cornmeal mix. Then coat the banana pieces in the same way.

Heat the rice bran oil in a wok or frypan - enough to create a shallow layer. Carefully splash a drop of water into the hot oil. If it sizzles, it's hot enough. Without crowding the pan, fry the calamari rings a few at a time, allowing to crispen and darken before turning over. It'll take a few minutes per side.

Place on paper towel lined plate and keep warm. Repeat with all rings until they're all cooked, then do the banana pieces, cooking each side until crispy.

In a separate pan, add all of the dressing ingredients and heat the pan to medium. Stir as it cooks for a minute or two until it reduces into a sticky sauce. carefully put the calamari and bananas in the sauce and stir to coat. Plate up, the drizzle the remaining sauce over the top.

Served here with a bean sprout, coriander, ginger and peanut salad.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Kale "Salad" with tamarind dressing

I hesitate to call this a salad as really, it's just dressed leaves. But I don't know what else to call dressed leaves. I guess I only really hesitate now because of a conversation on the weekend in which salads of just leaves were accused of not really being salads. Which leads to a huge semantic discussion of what a salad "is", that I don't really care about. I am happy just to eat! I made this dressing and put it on the kale leaves in my fridge and some parsley from my pot plant and served it with sweet potato hash, Puerco pibil and an egg. It went perfectly together. I then made it with just the leaves and some toasted black sesame seeds with my red-sotto. Also a brilliant match. So salad or not, it makes a great side dish.

I guess the real "recipe" here is the dressing. You can make a much bigger, ingredient filled salad with this dressing. When the weather warmed up (for what felt like all of 2 days), I made  wonderful quinoa salads full of crunchy nuts and seeds and this dressing for a fun weekend lunch. Stay tuned for that.

I mainly used tamari in this dressing because tamari and tamarind are so similar in name. It amuses me. You can use soy sauce if that's what you've got. In my experience, soy sauce tends to be a tad saltier, so maybe start with less. And the tamarind syrup is sweet and sour at the same time, so you don't strictly need extra acidity, but a splash of lime as a kicker over the top would also be good. I have heard you can buy tamarind syrup, but I haven't seen any myself, so I included the simple version I made below. I made it initially in an attempt to replicate a different dish I ate in New York. It blew my mind! Stay tuned for that one, too! Tamarind is often available in the "Asian aisle" of supermarkets, or failing that, at Asian grocers.

Add the dressing a little at a time, it'll probably make more than it needs.


Tamarind Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
100g tamarind
1 jalapeno, roughly chopped

Bring everything to the boil in a small pot, simmer for 10 minutes or so until the tamarind paste "dissolves". Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove pits, tough bits of tamarind skin and the chilli. Leave aside to cool. Stir well before using.

Kale Tamarind Salad
serves 4 as a side
3-4 kale leaves, removed from the stem
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tamarind syrup
2 tsp tamari
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
toasted sesame seeds to serve

Pour the olive oile, tamarind syrup, tamari and pepper into a small jar with a lid and shake vigourously to blend. Pour over the kale leaves and use your fingers to massage in, to help soften and make all the leaves glossy. Toss through the parsley leaves. Garnish with sesame seeds.