Posts from May 2014

Head Spinning Conchas Borrachas, Drunken Scallops from Ceviche by Martin Morales

A number of years ago, a well traveled Ecuadorian told me that in his opinion Peruvian cuisine was the most varied and interesting cuisine in Latin America.

With Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, May 27, 2014), Martin Morales, owner of Ceviche and Andina restaurants in London proves the point.

Let's start with Martin's version of scallops sashimi.


I have always been a huge fan of scallop sashimi. After experimenting with various flavor combinations through trial and error, this scallop dish was born. It’s one of the prettiest, most delicate, and most loved dishes on our menu.


12 large sea scallops, each cut horizontally into 3 thin slices
2 limes, cut in half
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
1 limo chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp pisco (or a good-quality vodka)
4 tbsp Cilantro Oil
A small handful of freshly torn cilantro leaves or micro cilantro
Fine sea salt

CPKT Conchas Borrachas - Drunken Scallops image p 21

Arrange the slices of scallop on individual serving plates. Don’t worry if you have to overlap them slightly.

Sprinkle some salt over them and squeeze half a lime over each plate.

Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and chile and then drizzle over a few drops of pisco and the Cilantro Oil.

Decorate with torn cilantro and serve straightaway.


Rather than serving on a plate, you can serve these scallops on clean scallop shells.


We use this a lot in the Ceviche kitchen. If you love cilantro, it’s worth making a large batch, as it will keep in the fridge for around a month.

Put 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro (leaves and stalks) in a saucepan with a scant 1/2 cup / 100 ml vegetable oil and set over medium heat.

Heat gently for 5 minutes, without boiling, to let the cilantro wilt. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

Transfer the cilantro and oil to a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and decant into a sterilized bottle (see page 227).

Store in a cool, darkplace. Makes a scant 1/2 cup / 100 ml.

(* “Reprinted with permission from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales -Ten Speed Press, © 2014- Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness) 

Fill your Belly Burmese Way, Kaeng Hung Leh Burmese Style Pork Belly Curry from Pok Pok

Back in December, I shared Sweet and Spicy 'Som Tam Phonlamai' Thai Salad from Pok PokFood and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand (Ten Speed Press, Fall 2013) by Andy Ricker of Pok Pok restaurant with J.J. Goode.

Here's a meatier recipe.

Kaeng Hung Leh
Burmese-style pork belly curry

Flavor Profile Rich, complex, sweet, tangy, and slightly salty

Try It With Kaeng Khanun (Northern Thai young jackfruit curry), page 166, or Yam Samun Phrai (Northern Thai–style herbal salad), page 65. Needs Khao Niaw (Sticky rice), page 33.


Up to 1 week in advance: Make the curry paste and the tamarind water
Up to a few days in advance: Make the curry
Up to 2 days in advance: Make the fried shallots


A Thai granite mortar and pestle

Serves 6 to 8 as part of a meal


1 ounce thinly sliced lemongrass (tender parts only), from about 4 stalks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (14-gram) piece peeled fresh or frozen (not defrosted) galangal, thinly sliced against the grain
7 grams stemmed dried Mexican puya chiles (about 4), soaked in hot tap water until fully soft, about 15 minutes
1 1/2 ounces peeled Asian shallots, thinly sliced against the grain
1 1/2 teaspoons Kapi Kung (Homemade shrimp paste), page 274


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ounce peeled Asian shallots, thinly sliced with the grain (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons mild Indian curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 pound skinless pork belly, cut into approximately 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into approximately 11/2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai black soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid from Thai pickled garlic (straight from the jar)
1 1/2 ounces palm sugar, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons Naam Makham (Tamarind water), page 274
2 cups water
1 (1-ounce) piece peeled ginger, cut into long (about 11/2-inch), thin (about 1/8-inch) matchsticks (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 ounces separated and peeled pickled garlic cloves (about 30 small cloves)
4 ounces long beans, trimmed and cut into 11/2-inch lengths (about 2 cups)
6 tablespoons Hom Daeng Jiaw (Fried shallots), page 273

Kaeng Hung Leh (Burmese pork belly curry)


Combine the lemongrass in the mortar with the salt and pound firmly until you have a fairly smooth, slightly fibrous paste, about 2 minutes. Add the galangal and pound until you have a smooth, slightly fibrous paste, about 2 minutes. Drain the chiles well, wrap them in paper towels, and gently squeeze them dry. Add them to the mortar and pound them, then add the shallots, and then the shrimp paste, fully pounding each ingredient before moving on to the next.
You’ll have about 1/2 cup of paste. You can use it right away, or store the paste in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat until it shimmers. Add all of the paste, breaking it up slightly and stirring occasionally, until it’s fragrant and turns a slightly duller shade of red, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the shallots and cook until they soften slightly, about 3 minutes, then add the curry powder and turmeric powder and stir frequently for a minute or so to bring out their fragrance. Add the pork belly and shoulder, stir to coat the pork, and cook for a few minutes, so the pork has a chance to absorb a little of the flavor of the paste. You’re not trying to brown the meat; crowding the pot is fine.

Stir in the fish sauce, black soy sauce, and pickled garlic liquid, then add the palm sugar. Increase the heat slightly to bring the liquid to a simmer, cook until the palm sugar has more or less completely dissolved, then stir in the tamarind water along with the 2 cups of water. Increase the heat to high, let the liquid come to a strong simmer, then immediately decrease the heat to low and cover (or partially cover, if your lid doesn’t let any steam escape), adjusting the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, stir in the ginger, then remove the lid and cook at a steady simmer until the pork shoulder is very tender but not falling apart and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 45 minutes more. The curry should still be fairly soupy (not gravylike and dry) with a layer of reddish liquid fat near the surface. You want some of this fat, but depending on the pork’s fattiness, you might have too much; use your discretion and spoon off as much as you’d like.

Stir in the pickled garlic cloves, cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the long beans and cook until they’re just tender but still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes more. Let the curry cool to warm (it’ll taste even better after half an hour), then taste it. There should be a balance between sweet, salty, and sour flavors, with sweetness taking the lead. If necessary, season with more palm sugar, tamarind water, and fish sauce.

At this point, the curry will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (it actually tastes better the day after you make it).

Before serving, gently reheat the curry. Just before serving, top with the fried shallots.

(* Reprinted with permission from Pok Pok by Andy Ricker with J.J. Goode, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc, Photography: Austin Bush © 2013)

Curry Leaf Cocktail for Memorial Day, Brut Champagne and Cucumber Spear Required

We follow 'accidental recipe' of Bottoms up Rice from A Mouthful of Stars (Andrews McMeel, May 2014) by Kim Sunee, with a drink recipe for Memorial Day week-end.

Curry Leaf Cocktail

Serves 1

I cook a lot with curry leaves, especially after having spent summers cooking with Indian chef Suvir Saran and his partner, Charlie Burd, at their American Masala Farm in upstate New York. And as I have experimented over the years with ways to infuse simple syrups, I’ve found that curry leaf makes for a super-fragrant and spiced hit of syrup. I like it with a dry sparkling wine or mixed with gin, muddled cucumber, lime juice, and mint.

Curry Leaf Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
About 20 fresh curry leaves
Brut Champagne or sparkling wine, such as prosecco or cava
Cucumber spear, for garnish


1 To make the simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Add a few drops of lemon juice to keep the sugar from crystallizing. Add the curry leaves. Remove from the heat and let steep for about 1 hour. Remove the curry leaves and chill until ready to use. The syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks.

2 For each cocktail, pour 1 to 2 teaspoons simple syrup into each champagne flute; fill the rest of the way with Champagne. Garnish with the spear of cucumber.

(* Recipe from A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels by Kim Sunee -published by Andrews McMeel, May 2014- photographs by Leela Cyd...all rights reserved)

Hop on Gastrocircus Bedford J2 Bus for Small Group Tastings at London Wine Fair 2014

The limited space aboard Gastrocircus Bedford J2 Bus is a blessing in disguise.

It offers whoever books them at London Wine Fair 2014 (June 2-4) an intimate setting that allows a small group of people to taste a small number of wines.


They of course don't limit themselves to wine events and offer other type of vehicles like The Linen Van and The Gastro Cab.

You could book them for a food pop-up and they often grace sport events and music festivals with their presence.

Also a way to limit guests at your wedding or birthday party.

Hop on Gastrocircus Bedford J2 Bus if you have a chance.

Keep it human!

(* Bedford J2 Bus photo from Gastrocircus Twitter page)

Tablespoon 55 Proof Liquor or Brandy, Roasted Duck Noodle Soup from Thailand, the Cookbook

From salad to soup, after Green Papaya Salad from Thailand: The Cookbook (Phaidon Press, May 2014) by Jean-Pierre Gabriel, here's a soup recipe.

Roasted Duck Noodle Soup

Adapted from THAILAND: THE COOKBOOK by Jean-Pierre Gabriel

Origin: Central

Preparation time: 30 – 40 minutes, plus standing time

Cooking time: 2 hours

Serves: 4


For the roasted duck:

 1 x 2¼ - lb./1-kg whole duck, cleaned without giblets
 ¼ cup (2⅔ oz./70 g) salt flakes
 5 slices fresh ginger
 4 cloves garlic, chopped
 3 – 4 cilantro (coriander) roots, chopped
 1 teaspoon five spice powder
 1½ tablespoon black salted soybeans, finely pounded
 1 teaspoon slat
 1 tablespoon 55 proof liquor or brandy
 1 tablespoon sugar
 2 tablespoons honey
 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce

For the soup:

 7½ cups (3 pints/1.75 liters) chicken broth (stock)
 2 star anise
 1 small cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
 2 cloves garlic, coarsely crushed
 2 cilantro (coriander) roots, coarsely crushed
 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
 1 teaspoon salt
 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
To serve:
 11 oz./300 g fresh egg noodles
 1 cups (3½ oz./100 g) bean sprouts
 ¼ cup (¾ oz./20 g) finely sliced scallions (spring onions)
 4 tablespoons Fried Garlic (see p. 64)
 ¼ cup (2 fl oz./50 ml) white vinegar (optional)
 ¼ cup (2 fl oz./50 ml) soy sauce (optional)
 ¼ cup (2 oz./50 g) superfine (caster) sugar (optional)
 2 tablespoons dried chili flakes (optional)

Duck noodle soup

Preheat the oven to 300 °F/150 °C/Gas Mark 2.

Rinse the duck thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the whole duck with the salt flakes and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt and pat dry with paper towels, then set aside.

Pound the ginger, garlic and cilantro (coriander) roots in a mortar with a pestle until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and add the five spice powder, salted soybeans, salt, liquor or brandy, and sugar and mix until combined. Put the mixture inside the duck, then place the duck on a roasting tray and set aside.

To make the honey sauce, mix the honey, thick soy sauce, and ⅓ cup (2½ fl oz./75 ml) water in a bowl.

Brush the duck all over 2-3 times with this mixture, then roast the duck in the oven for about 1½ hours or until cooked. During roasting, brush the duck with some of the honey sauce every 30 minutes. When
cooked, remove the duck from the oven, cover with kitchen foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Remove the duck drumsticks and set aside, then carve the meat, slice into strips, and set aside.

To make the soup, heat the broth (stock) in a pan over medium heat. Put the star anise, cinnamon, garlic, cilantro (coriander) roots, and black pepper into a spice bag and add to the pan. Let the broth boil for 5 minutes, Season with soy sauce, salt, sugar, and dark soy sauce then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Divide the noodles, been sprouts, scallion (spring onion), and fried garlic among serving bowls. Season with the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and chili flakes, if using, and serve.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Thailand: the Cookbook by Jean-Pierre Gabriel- published by Phaidon Press, May 2014)

Add Splash of Magic to Baked Desserts with A Glass of Coteaux du Layon, Loire Wine

In pairing notes for their Umami Apple Pie recipe, Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol, authors of The Flavour Principle (Harper, May 2014) suggest one can "add a splash of magic to baked desserts" with a glass of Coteaux du Layon, a sweet Loire Valley wine made with Chenin Blanc grapes.


I happened to taste Coteaux du Layon Clos de la Motte (2007) from Domaine des Deux Vallees last Thursday at Spring to Loire tasting in NYC.

Winemaker calls this wine 'blanc moelleux' (onctuous) and suggests it as an aperitif or with Foie Gras.

Craft Beer Vinegar, Racing Mid-Ohio Speedway, Pistacia Vera Rye Croissant, Columbus 10 Do's and Don'ts

After Nashville, we stay in the U.S with this new installment of 10 do's and don'ts.

Jeni Britton Bauer, author of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts and founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams gives an honest take on her hometown, Columbus, Ohio. 


  •         Go to The Flatiron. Szechuan Wings and Sweet & Hot Fries. Rose. Patio. Trust. Me. It’s my hideout (no more).



  •         Have a beer and food truck offering at Seventh Son Brewing Co. mostly because everyone is there - every night.
  •         Catch a Crew game -- you can get brats for $1 and a cup of Jeni’s for $7!
  •         Go to our Library because it’s enormous, award-winning, beautiful, and grounds you.
  •         Indulge in the Radicchio salad and grilled artichokes at Third & Hollywood
  •         Beer at Bob's, the cultural hub of the midwest, you gotta.

Bob on draft

  •         Grab lunch at the North Market or check out the old farmer’s markets on Saturday mornings


  •         Get your car out to Mid-Ohio Speedway to learn how to drive well, and fast.
  •         Mya's fried chix.



·        Go to Pistacia Vera without eating a rye croissant with their marmalade—in a quiet corner.

Pistacia vera

·        Get too tipsy without calling German Village Taxi to take you home

·        Miss a Nina West show. Do. NOT.

·        Miss the historic Wexner collection on view this fall - rare works that will enrapture the global art scene.

·        Bitch about public transportation. Just bike everywhere (it's flat here). Or take the bus up and down High street - it’s all you need, comes every ten minutes, and some of them are free.


·        Come to Columbus and stay at the airport (no offense airport); stay downtown.

·        Even wake up without a beer in your hand or you'll never get through all the brew options we have here.

·        Think you can't sip vodka... just go to Middle West Spirits. Their internationally recognized vodka is made for it.


·        Leave town without a Stinger Cocktail (Cognac & White Creme de menth) from Chef Hubert Siefert

·        Let your organization have another conference in a boring city again. Insist on the finest: only Cbus.

Thanks Jeni for giving us your taste of Columbus.

ALTERNATE HEADSHOT Jeni Britton Bauer. Credit Kelsey McClellan (2)

(* Photo credits, top to bottom: Flatiron from Flatiron Facebook page, some of 200 plus beers served at Bob's Bar from Bob's Bar Facebook page, Tigertree image from Tigertree Facebook page, Mid-Ohio speedway from Mid-Ohio Twitter page, Pistacia Vera from Pistacia Vera Facebook page, CoGo bike share from CoGo Facebook page, Craft Beer Vinegar from Middle West Spirits Facebook page, Jeni Britton Bauer by Kelsey McClellan)