Monday, October 29, 2012


apologies to a new diner who ordered our meat dish by mistake on friday. this is my fault entirely because for the first time i used the name of the dish without the name of the meat. doro wat is an ethiopian chicken (usually) stew and i should have made that clear. many apologies wayne

tofu or not tofu

this weekend i did a food demo at the cowbridge food festival and the theme for this year was tofu. this is a very versatile ingredient that may not have great flavour but can carry flavours. here are the recipes, fresh tofu bring one litre of soy milk to the boil and add a coagulant. i use one and a half teaspoons of nigari flakes to 150ml of cold water. dissolve and add to the hot milk and let the soy milk turn into curds and whey. you then need to mould the mix. i think that the best moulds would be 2 500g containers of margarine. put some holes into the bottom of one of the containers to let the water run away and line it with some muslin or a clean tea towel, pour the mix in and let the water drain. once the curds are separate, fold the tea towel over and place the second container on top, squeeze and weigh down. place in the fridge overnight, then store in cold water. tofu done simple. cut your tofu into squares and marinate in a mix of tamari or soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. you can leave this for a couple of minutes or a couple of hours and eat it like this or fry in veg oil. cook like a chef burgers break up 200g of tofu and add 100g of mixed ground nuts and breadcrumbs. add a dash of tamari and a tablespoon of tahini then chop up some dill and add. mix together with a fork and taste for balance of flavours. add about 30g of rice flour to help the bind and form into burgers. fry in veg oil until golden brown. thai tofu cakes as above but rather then dill add a tablespoon of red curry paste and some chopped coriander. lebanese tofu cakes as above but add a mix of mint, coariander, parsley, lemon juice, lime juice and ras el hanout. red curry paste. Thai Curry paste 8 chillies. The long dutch ones are the best because they tend to be not too hot. If you like it hotter, use a couple of thai chillies as well. You should probably taste the chillies to decide whether you want to go seeds in or seeds out. Green for a green paste and red for a red paste. A thumb sized piece of ginger. You can also use galangal if you can get it but if you can’t, don’t sweat it. 6 cloves of garlic 1 or 2 shallots, only one if it a good size banana shallot. A small bunch of coriander A few teaspoons of thai basil and kaffir lime leaves. You can buy jars of these in good supermarkets or Asian stores. If you cannot get them throw a few leaves of basil and a few leaves of mint in. The juice and zest of two limes A teaspoon of tamarind extract Half a thumb of palm sugar A tablespoon of ground cumin and ground coriander. Put all of the above into a food processor or blender and blend until a paste forms. You can add oil or water to encourage blending. cheers wayne


Dear all I’ve decided to change the menu after three weeks because we ran out of the boar chorizo. We source this from a supplier in the east of England so for one week it didn’t seem worthwhile. This means that the next menu will last for 5 weeks and will be one of our infrequent ‘specials’ menu. Each week some of the dishes will be changed, some may remain for the menu, some may appear just once. This gives me a chance to rid our freezer and store cupboard of ingredients that we bought/stored for previous menus but did not use. In the freezer at present, we have a box of wild garlic that was picked in the spring for the soup and pesto, so we may use this to make some malfatti. I’ve also got a portion or twenty of the filling that we used for our rice tamales and i’ve been wanting to do some thai style wontons in a coconut broth for some time; two birds etc etc. I could continue but i’ve got some more digging to do. For dessert, i’ve been fancying poached apples since we started poaching them for the crumble. We’ve poached pears plenty of times and we’ve baked apples but not poached and maybe there is a reason for this but we’ll give it a go, use my preserved plums for a sorbet and maybe find something to stuff in the middle. The other dishes, at least to start with, will be a treacle tart and the sticky toffee pudding. (since trying to send this the first time, i came across some Sharon fruit so we’ll be poaching these and serving with sorbet and a thuile) I hope that those of you who ate with us on the last menu enjoyed the food, it was quite popular with the workers. I made three sorbets, plum (beautiful), peach (apparently tasteless) and pear (my favourite), for the crumble and about ten different varieties of crumble. As always it was impossible to plan; different days meant different orders and having had two quiet days on the crumble at the start of the menu, i decided to not bother making any new crumble topping for the first Saturday. The time inconsistency of that plan became apparent when all of the prepped mix went in the first three or four orders. We were then frantically making crumble at 8:45, crushing up some biscuits that had been ordered for Christmas and generally panicking as the crumble refused to brown. Ten minutes later, panic over and from then on plenty of crumble mix wasted at the end of the weekend. The girls were very scathing about my attempts to make peshwari rotis and as these do not exist outside our restaurant, it was a recipe that changed quite alot over the menu. This is how it finished. Place 50g of dessicated coconut and 100g of raisins/sultanas into a small blender and blend until the raisins are finely chopped. Add some kalonji/black onion seeds/nigella and some black cumin, 20g sugar and 50g of ground almonds and blend together. This makes a very nice chutney as well as roti mix. Add a little coriander and chilli and serve it with a thai curry. To make the roti place 300g of flour into a bowl, add 100g of you coconut mix and a tablespoon of oil. Mix together then slowly add water to form a soft bread dough. Cover and place into the fridge for a couple of hours. (if you prefer a more naan-type bread, use a little yoghurt instead of some of the water and add a sachet of fast action yeast). To cook, break off some of your dough and roll out on a floured surface. Heat up a heavy bottom, non-stick frying pan and throw the roti on. Cook until well browned on both sides. Serve with a curry of your choice. The other dish that took a few turns was the chocolate and hazelnut tart. Initially i put the hazelnuts through the sweet pastry mix like so. Place an egg, 40g of caster sugar and 100g of soft butter into a food processor and blend together. Add 100g of ground hazelnuts and blend. Now add plain flour and pulse until a dough forms, up to 200g. The nice thing about this method is that, without the hazelnuts, the dough can be rolled immediately or can be placed in the fridge and rolled later. To bake, roll out the pastry and place into a loose bottomed pan. Because the hazelnuts affect the consistency of the pastry you may have to mould it around the edges to form the crust. You can freeze the pastry and grate it in to the pan. Place a sheet of baking paper in the pastry shell and fill with baking beans. Cook at 180C for ten minutes then take the beans out, turn the oven down to 160C and bake for a further ten minutes to dry out the base. Filling: Heat up 200ml of double cream with 80g of caster sugar, dissolving the sugar. Whilst hot add 7-8 oz of 70% chocolate and whisk to melt. Now add two medium eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 250g of crème fraiche. Blend with the chocolate mix. Pour into the cooled base and cook in a 140C oven for 40 minutes. Allow to cool and serve. The pastry made with the hazelnuts was a little too biscuity and the edges tended to take a little bit of eating because they were a little thicker than usual so version two changed it up a bit. Now make the sweet pastry without the hazelnuts, this can be rolled out more thinly and will be a lot crisper. Place the hazelnuts in the chocolate mix and proceed as above. This weekend i shall be doing a food demo at the cowbridge food festival and i’m still a little unsure about what to do. I may do a tofu demo, starting with making from soy milk, through to all of the different ways that we use it in the restaurant. We’ll see. This is the new menu, starters and mains are not fully decided yet. Imam bayeldi purse with white bean hummous and green sauce “Chicken” skewers with satay sauce Panelle fries with red pepper ketchup Mushroom wontons with curried onion broth Thai-style wontons in coconut broth Wild garlic malfatti in cheese broth Quesadilla/fajita with slasa, guacamole and sour cream Doro wat with injera Chakalaka Herb gougeres with lemon and parsley ricotta and tomato sauce Thali plate Poached apple with plum sorbet Treacle tart with ice cream Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and ice cream Nick and the muso medics haven’t got back to me with anything for this newsletter so the choices are all mine and all heaven 17. If it’s not to your taste, do something about it and let me have some choices. my favourite and this seems to be shadowed in the previous song and i’d forgotten this all that remains is to say that the 2-4-1 winner is elin. Love and light wayne