Jul 212014
 

Safari

I love safari! Pete and I are fortunate to have been on several over the last two decades and have particular soft spots for the wildlife parks of Botswana, Kenya and South Africa, to name a few.

tomboy (c) Africa 2008-bbb

There’s something utterly captivating about observing birds and animals in their natural habitats, up close and personal. Of course, there are the poster animals – sleek and powerful lions and leopards, lithe and speedy cheetahs, elegant-necked loping giraffes, portly hippos, grinning hyenas, wild dogs, buffalo, zebras, wildebeest – all of which are a delight to see.

But we find just as much joy in the smaller or lesser known wildlife – a family of silver-backed jackal pups playing in the dawn light under the watchful gaze of their parents, colourful lilac-breasted rollers or malachite kingfishers taking to the wing in a flash of colour, a fighting gaggle of vultures competing fiercely over the remnants of the latest unfortunate, a sniffling porcupine shuffling through the grass with quills-a-quivering, two bat-eared foxes cautiously poking their heads up from the entrance of their den, blinking bush-babies sitting high in a tree watching us watch them, a dung beetle laboriously rolling his ball of dung along the ground, the shimmer of sunlight against the iridescent plume of a glossy starling or ibis, the striking facial patterns and horns of the mighty oryx, the tight grip of a tiny reed frog clinging to a tall stem jutting out of the waters in the Okavango Delta… There is even excitement to be found in the footprints of animals long since departed, imprinted into the earth and now a challenge to our skills of identification – elephants and lions are much easier than the many ungulates!

Someone once declared that if you’d seen one wrinkly grey elephant’s arse you’d seen them all and he couldn’t see the point of going on more than one safari in one’s life. To say that I was flabbergasted is an understatement!

There are many ways to safari, from budget self-drive to remote luxury camps with private guides. We’ve done and loved both – each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Luxury safari camps are places of such beauty – gorgeous full height canvas tents with comfortable furniture, en-suite bathrooms and open air dining rooms where guests and guides come together for delicious meals. Of course, the focus is the wildlife viewing activities but we certainly enjoy the catering and accommodations in between!

Jungle Juice Memories

It was at one such safari camp that I was first offered Jungle Juice, a jolly name for a mixed fruit smoothie. Usually featuring a banana base with a range of additional fruits depending on what was available, this quickly became a favourite for me, especially as I’m not a wine or beer drinker. Indeed, when we later visited camps that didn’t offer anything similar, I was happy to describe Jungle Juice, and they would kindly rustle some up for me. (In the same way, I have introduced more African safari guides to shandy than I care to think about!)

Of course, as Jungle Juice is simply a mixed fruit no-dairy smoothie, it’s a drink many people make and enjoy.

Jungle Juice Sorbet

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Recently, I was sent an Optimum 9400 Blender by Australian brand Froothie. It’s a super powerful blender, with a very sharp blade which means that as well as making quick work of smoothies and sauces, it can also grind nuts and seeds and crush ice. The powerful motor even allows it to knead dough, and because the blade turns at 48,000 rpm it can generate enough heat to make piping hot soups as well. I’m yet to try these functions, and will report back as I do.

What I can tell you is that the motor and blade make quick work of chunks of frozen fruit and the advantage of blending them straight from frozen is that Jungle Juice becomes Jungle Juice Sorbet!

I make Jungle Juice Sorbet with nothing but fruit – no honey or sugar, no dairy, no oats – so it’s a very healthy alternative to dairy ice creams and sugar-laden sorbets.

For the first few moments, I thought the frozen chunks of banana, pineapple and mango I had thrown into the jug were simply too solid for the blade to handle but after a few tens of seconds more, the blade started to reduce the fruit to a thick cold paste. Pete used the tamper tool provided to push the chunks at the top down nearer the blades and a few minutes later, the sorbet was done.

Of course, you’ll want to eat the sorbet the moment it’s ready, so be prepared and have your bowls, spoons and eager diners ready and waiting.

As there is no added sugar or preservatives, this sorbet is best eaten fresh.

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Jungle Juice Sorbet

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1-2 bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen
200-300 grams mixed fruits, peeled and chopped (if necessary) and frozen

Note: So that you can make smoothies and sorbets quickly whenever you feel like it, I recommend you keep chunks of frozen fruit ready to hand in your freezer. Banana is best frozen already peeled and chopped, likewise larger fruit such as pineapple and mango. Berries can simply be washed, hulled and frozen as they are. Make sure they’re fairly dry when you put them into the freezer, so the liquid doesn’t cause them to freeze into a solid block.

Method

  • Place your chosen fruit chunks straight from the freezer into your blender. (You’ll need a really robust blender to handle this. Alternatively, a high quality food processor will also work).
  • Blend until the fruit has been broken down into a thick, creamy puree. Pause once or twice to push solid chunks down closer to the blades if necessary.
  • Serve immediately.

This is my entry for July’s #BSFIC challenge – frozen treats inspired by Holiday Memories.

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Kavey Eats received a review Optimum 9400 from Froothie and the link(s) above are affiliate links.

Jul 192014
 

Oats are one of those ingredients that we seldom give much thought (or praise) to but which are at the core of some truly wonderful recipes.

So it’s lovely to be able to share a giveaway from British oat brand, Mornflake. Mornflake has been milling oats since 1675, making it the longest-established miller of oats and cereal in the UK. The South Cheshire company is still owned and managed by descendants of the original miller, 15 generations down the line. You can read more about the history of Mornflake, here and of course, more about their product range.

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Image of oats from Shutterstock

Oats are a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savoury dishes. Here are some great oat recipes to inspire you!

Savoury

Sweet

Smoothies

 Mornflake Hamper
Image is representative, exact contents of prize are detailed below.

COMPETITION

2 readers will each win a set of the following Mornflake products. The prize includes delivery in the UK.

  • 1 x hamper basket
  • 1 x 800 gram Mornflake Oatbran
  • 2 x 500 gram Mornflake Coarse Oatmeal
  • 2 x 1.5 kilo Mornflake Scottish Jumbo Oats
  • 2 x 750 gram Mornflake Organic Oats
  • 1 x hessian bag

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me your favourite oat recipe (to cook or to eat!)

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win one of 2 @MornflakeCereal hampers from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/EAifpe #KaveyEatsMornflake
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 8th August, 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The 2 winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • Each prize is a hamper of Mornflake products, as listed above, and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • Mornflake reserve the right to adjust the contents of the hamper according to availability.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Mornflake.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You may enter all three ways but do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received samples from Mornflake.

 

I’ve shared three Potato Dauphinoise posts on Kavey Eats over the years – the easy recipe I learned at the Waitrose cookery school, a caramelised onion version and a sweet potato and ham Dauphinoise. The original easy recipe also includes a variation substituting chicken stock for the milk, so I guess that’s actually four versions – yes I really do love potato Dauphinoise!

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To celebrate the launch of Rosie Ramsden’s new book The Recipe Wheel her publishers have sent me one of the book’s recipe wheels to share. As you can see, it includes a number of Rosie’s potato gratin dishes – an exploration of how one can adapt a core dish extensively.

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 I thought it would be helpful for to share all my variation recipes in a single place:

Easy Potato Dauphinoise Recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients
200 ml double cream
200 ml full fat milk
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
Salt and pepper
500-600 grams large waxy potato such as Desiree, peeled and sliced fairly thin, about 3mm

Note: A mandolin makes slicing the potatoes thinly and evenly very easy, but it’s not difficult by hand.

Method

  • In a large sauce pan place the double cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper on a gentle heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 C.
  • Add the potato slices into the hot cream and milk and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potato slices have softened a little.
  • Use a slatted spoon to transfer the potatoes into an oven dish, so that the slices are reasonably flat. You don’t need to worry about being very neat, but it’s best to get an even height to the top layer, so everything bakes evenly.
  • Pour or spoon the remainder of the thickened cream and milk over the potatoes.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • Check if done by inserting a knife into the dish; the potatoes should feel soft all the way through.
  • The dish will stay hot for several minutes before serving, if you need time to finish other elements of the dish.

 

Easy Cream & Chicken Stock Potato Dauphinoise Recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients
200 ml double cream
200 ml chicken stock
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
Salt and pepper
500-600 grams large waxy potato such as Desiree, peeled and sliced fairly thin, about 3mm

Note: A mandolin makes slicing the potatoes thinly and evenly very easy, but it’s not difficult by hand.

Method

  • As above, substituting the chicken stock for the milk.

 

Easy Caramelised Onion & Potato Dauphinoise Recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients
200 ml double cream
200 ml full fat milk
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
Salt and pepper
500-600 grams large waxy potato such as Desiree, peeled and sliced fairly thin, about 3mm
3-4 tablespoons sweet and sticky well-caramelised onions (I use ready made)

Note: A mandolin makes slicing the potatoes thinly and evenly very easy, but it’s not difficult by hand.

Method

  • In a large sauce pan place the double cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper on a gentle heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 C.
  • Add the potato slices into the hot cream and milk and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potato slices have softened a little.
  • Use a slatted spoon to transfer about a third of the potatoes into an oven dish, arranging them so they’re reasonably flat.
  • Spread the caramelised onions evenly across the potatoes.
  • Cover with the remaining slices of potatoes.
  • Pour or spoon the remainder of the thickened cream and milk over the potatoes. You don’t need to worry about being very neat, but it’s best to get an even height to the top layer, so everything bakes evenly.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • Check if done by inserting a knife into the dish; the potatoes should feel soft all the way through.
  • The dish will stay hot for several minutes before serving, if you need time to finish other elements of the dish.

 

Sweet Potato & Ham Dauphinoise Recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients
200 ml double cream
200 ml full fat milk
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
Salt and pepper
350 grams sweet potato, peeled and sliced fairly thin, about 3mm
150-200 grams regular potato, peeled and sliced fairly thin, about 3mm
100-150 grams thick sliced ham, cut into small pieces
Optional: handful of grated cheese

Note: A mandolin makes slicing the potatoes thinly and evenly very easy, but it’s not difficult by hand.

Method

  • In a large sauce pan place the double cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper on a gentle heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 C.
  • Add the potato and sweet potato slices into the hot cream and milk and simmer for 15 minutes, until they have softened a little.
  • Use a slatted spoon to transfer some of the (mixed) potatoes into an oven dish, so that the slices are reasonably flat.
  • Scatter some of the ham pieces across them before adding another layer, and continue till all the potatoes and ham are in the oven dish. You don’t need to worry about being very neat, but it’s best to get an even height to the top layer, so everything bakes evenly.
  • Pour or spoon the remainder of the thickened cream and milk over the potatoes.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • Check if done by inserting a knife into the dish; the potatoes should feel soft all the way through.
  • Serve hot.

 

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Creamy Potato, Bacon & Brie Tartiflette on Greedy Gourmet
‘Nduja Gratin on Fuss Free Flavours

 

Kavey Eats received a copy of The Recipe Wheel from Random House.

 

 

With summer finally arriving in full force, June’s #BSFIC theme was fruit.

As always, you shared a wonderful variety of ideas, all of which I wish I could try! (Sorry for the delay in sharing the round up; I was away in Dubrovnik at the end of the month and straight back to work on my return).

Check out July’s challenge here.

Strawberry and rosewater ice cream

Inspired by a cheesecake he made a few years ago, Michael of Me My Food & I turned something ordinary into something special by creating a Strawberry and Rosewater Ice Cream. He’s added a little grenadine and vanilla for extra complexity of flavour, too.

Sudha

Sudha, who writes Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous, is a great improviser and pulled together her Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Strawberries after checking out a few coconut milk recipes that could be made without an ice cream machine.

ice-cream sandwich copy

Not only did Helen of Family, Friends, Food create a delicious ice cream but she made it into a sandwich too. Check out her Hazelnut Meringue 3 Berry Ice Cream Sandwich. I particularly love the pretty pink colour of her mixed berry ice cream.

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Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen diary has created a fabulous splash of colour by making Home Made Fab Ice Lollies. Inspired by a recipe in Aimee Ryan’s Coconut Milk Ice Cream book, these look way better than the shop-bought version!

It’s obvious that Laura knows How To Cook Food. Just look at her Raspberry Cranachan Ice Cream, taking a classic Scottish dessert and making an ice cream version. What a clever idea!

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Janet, over at The Taste Space, used coconut to create her Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream, a refreshing cooler from the humid summer heat in Houston. Several long hours of stirring the freezing mixture every half an hour didn’t produce the texture Janet hoped for so she recommends using an ice cream machine for this recipe.

bsfic paech melba bombe 2

I’m always excited to see what Foodycat Alicia comes up with and was as impressed as usual with her beautiful Peach Melba Bombe. She used a version of MiMi’s cream cheese ice cream base, plus raspberries macerated in Chambord, peach puree and two freezer-proof bowls!

FrozenYoghurt

Julia, who writes Something Missing, has tantalised my taste buds with herTarte au Citron Frozen Yoghurt, in which she adds chopped up pieces of actual lemon tart to her yoghurt and lemon curds base. I really like the idea of chunks of pastry and curd providing texture.

Redcurrant Ice-cream

Choclette, the writer behind the wonderful Chocolate Log Blog, created a very pretty Redcurrant Ripple Ice Cream. She’s balanced the redcurrants with sweet white chocolate and a little vanilla. I keep meaning to do a ripple ice cream, and this gorgeous ice cream inspires me to go for it.

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For my own entry, I created a creamy Quick & Easy Yuzu Ice Cream using Korean Yuzu Tea and a no churn base. Although this uses just three ingredients, Korean Yuzu Tea, condensed milk and double cream, it’s one of the tastiest ice creams I’ve made.

Banana and Almond Ice Cream

Not only was he the first to enter the challenge (once again), Michael made a second #BSFIC entry with this delicious Banana & Almond Ice Cream inspired by cinema ice cream!

photo

It’s no secret that I adore mangoes so I was always going to be a fan of these Yoghurt Mango Ice Lollies by Lisa from United Cakedom. They look so refreshing!

No-churn-dairy-free-raspberry-ice-cream-recipe-1-imp

Sarah from Maison Cupcake has discovered the joys of blending frozen fruit in a blender for an instant frozen treat, such as this No Churn Diary Free Vegan Raspberry Ice Cream. I’ve just taken delivery of a super powerful blender myself and have been planning a few frozen fruit sorbets and ice creams for the rest of summer too!

Ice-Cream-Terrine-348x450

Nazima, who writes the Franglais Kitchen blog, has created a very pretty Blueberry, Vanilla and Mascarpone Ice Cream Terrine in which she layers rich vanilla mascarpone with a centre of crunchy fruit and almond milk sherbet.

cherryalmond

Kate, the Gluten Free Alchemist, has achieved the most glorious rich purple colour in her Cherry-Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream. She’s adapted a recipe from Aimee Ryan’s book, Coconut Milk Ice Cream, and it looks beautiful!

IceCreamChallenge

Please get your thinking caps on for July’s #BSFIC challenge, which has a theme of Holiday Memories.

 

It’s rare for us to make cakes the traditional way any more; creaming together butter and sugar, beating in the eggs and folding in the dry ingredients by hand is not only time-consuming but tiring on the arms too. Instead, for the last several years we’ve mixed most cake batters directly in our food processor, which has a permanent home on the kitchen work surface.

Brazilian-Orange-Lime-Cakes-KaveyEats-KFavelle-6090-text1000 Magimix 4200xl satin

The ingredients are tipped into the bowl, sometimes all together as in my favourite banana cake recipe, sometimes in two or three batches. The blade is very sharp so a few seconds blending is usually all it takes to bring everything together into a batter. Sometimes we need to remove the lid and scrape the sides down once, before a final quick pulse to finish.

The batter is then poured or spooned straight into the cake tin(s) and baked.

Easy peasy and very quick!

Challenged to create a few Brazilian recipes that make good use of my new Magimix 4200 XL, Pete and I made these tasty individual orange and lime cakes, more commonly made as a single larger cake. My previous post was an equally easy recipe for Brazilian Brigadeiro Chocolate Bonbons. For the basic cake batter recipe, we used a recipe by Marian Blazes, an American who has lived and travelled extensively in South America. As it was such a success for the Marzipan Cakes we made over Easter, we made individual cakes rather than one big one, and skipped the glaze altogether.

These are delightful little cakes with a refreshing and vibrant hit of citrus and, as Marian has found, very versatile – you could serve them for breakfast, elevenses, as a packed lunch treat or for afternoon tea.

Usually known as bolo de laranja, orange cake is apparently a popular cake in Brazil. I really like Marian’s combination of orange and lime, and wanted to reflect the use of two citrus fruits in the name. My friend Rosana helped me with translations.

 

Little Orange & Lime Cakes from Brazil | Bolinhos de Laranja e Limão

Makes 10 to 15 individual cakes, depending on size

Ingredients
2 oranges
1 lime
3 eggs (we used large eggs)
60 ml vegetable oil
125 grams butter, melted
300 grams plain white flour
100 grams ground almonds
350 grams sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
0.5 teaspoon salt

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C (fan).
  • Liberally butter your muffin tins and then sprinkle a little flour over the buttered surfaces.
  • Zest the lime and the oranges.
  • Peel and section the orange, discarding the skin, pitch and membranes between segments. (You could candy the peel if you wish).
  • Juice the lime.
  • Place zest, orange flesh and lime juice into the food processor bowl and blend briefly until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, vegetable oil and melted butter to the processor and blend again until well mixed.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ground almonds to the processor and blend until the batter is smooth. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again briefly, if necessary.

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  • Spoon or pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your muffin tins. The smaller cakes took 25 minutes, the larger ones needed another 5 minutes.
  • Test using a skewer (it should come out clean) or press the surface lightly (it should spring back).

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  • When nicely risen, golden brown on top and cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool for several minutes in the tins.

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  • Remove from the tins and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.

Whatever time of day you choose to eat these bright little cakes, I hope you enjoy them!

Our new Magimix 4200 XL is very similar to our older 5200 – the key differences for us are the XL, which denotes the extra wide feed tube, and a slightly smaller footprint. The 4200 XL also comes with a BlenderMix attachment for smoothies and batters, which we’ve yet to try. Like the 5200, it comes with large, medium and mini bowls, a very sharp blade, an egg whisk attachment, a dough hook attachment and a couple of slicing and grating discs.

Other Brazilian recipes which make use of a food processor:

Pão o de Queijo (cheese bread) and Churrasco steak with salsa and rice
Cucumber Caipirinha Cocktail

Kavey Eats received a Magimix 4200 XL from Magimix.

 

I recently started a new job in Victoria, an area jam-packed with mediocre chain restaurants and coffee shops. When I asked food friends for recommendations, Uni was a name that popped up more than once, with its salmon tacos singled out for particular praise. Taco shells filled with salmon tartare isn’t a dish I’ve ever come across before, so of course, I was intrigued.

It turns out that although Uni takes its name from the Japanese for sea urchin, it’s not a straight Japanese restaurant. Rather, it describes itself as offering Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian food. Japanese food is enormously popular in parts of South America; indeed Brazil is home to the largest population of people of Japanese descent outside of Japan and Peru the second largest. My only reference for the term Nikkei was the Tokyo stock index but I’ve now learned that it’s also a term for American Japanese.

In the main part, the menu is more Japanese than Peruvian, which is not a big surprise when you learn that head chef Rolando Ongcoy once worked at Nobu. The advantage of Ongcoy’s fusion background is an openness to innovate, resulting in some welcome twists on Japanese classics.

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Images courtesy of Uni restaurant

Located on a quiet residential street steps away from Victoria station, Uni is a strange place. The front door opens onto a mid-floor landing part way up a terrifyingly transparent staircase; up leads to white leather stools around a marble counter which comes across like an over-monied art student’s wet dream – I can’t say I’m a fan; downstairs is thankfully much more understated, with soft brown fabrics and no lurid art. There are a lot of covers squeezed into a very tiny space – our corner table was tucked beneath the staircase itself, though I’ll admit it didn’t feel particularly claustrophobic.

The downside downstairs is the tight size of the tables – with small personal plates, water and a drink each on the table, it was a struggle to find space for one dish let alone two or three.

Uni-Restaurant-London-KaveyEats-KFavelle-6677 Uni-Restaurant-London-KaveyEats-KFavelle-6680

The drinks list has more of a Peruvian influence with Pisco Sours available, as well as a coconut-based Chilli Mojito. As someone who genuinely adores Midori (melon liqueur) I couldn’t resist the Midoroska (£9.50) which was a simple but delicious and refreshing combination of vodka, midori, sugar & lime. Pete had a Sapporo beer (£4.50).

As well as the cocktails list (alcoholic and non-) there is a small range of sake (including a sweeter sparkling option) and red, white, rosé and sparkling wine. For beer drinkers, there are just two – Asahi Super Dry and Sapporo. The whisky list reveals a big missed opportunity – not a single Japanese whisky is listed!

As we read the rest of the menu, we had some edamame (£4) with sea salt flakes to start.

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Of course, we ordered the salmon tacos (£6) as one of our selection of starters. Described as salmon tartare, cucumber, tomato, masago and creamy miso, I understood on first bite why these garnered such praise from fellow visitors – the crunch of the delicate taco shell is an excellent textural balance to the soft fish inside. I don’t think I’d had masago (caplin fish roe) before but, as part of a mixed mouthful, I didn’t detect a difference from ikura (salmon roe).

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Although I knew the Japanese words of a number of individual seaweeds such as kombu, wakame, arame and hijiki I wasn’t familiar with kaiso, which is the word for seaweed.

I don’t know which types this kaiso seaweed salad with goma dressing (£6) contained but, once again, the balance of tastes and textures was spot on. I love Japanese sesame dressings and could eat this salad every day.

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Peruvian tiraditos are somewhat like (seafood) carpaccio, ceviche and sashimi but not the same as any of them. I’d say the cut of the fish is a little thicker than carpaccio, a little thinner than sashimi and the spicy dressing is not the same as that used to cure ceviche (for which the fish is more commonly chopped rather than sliced too).

We chose the yellowtail tiraditos (£15.50) and found the small plate of fish superbly fresh and beautifully dressed (with kizami wasabi, yuzu & fresh mint). But at over £2.50 per slice of fish, it was steeply priced.

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I really enjoyed the tempura rock shrimp (£15) that our waiter Nachos encouraged us to try, particularly dipped into the creamy spicy sauce. Again, pricy but a decent portion and very sweet, tasty shrimp.

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I’m more of a fan of sashimi (3 pieces per order) than sushi (2 pieces per order) but I like that all the toppings are available either way.

We decided on an order of ibodai (butterfish £6) and toro (fatty tuna £9.50), as these are always part of my sashimi tray when I buy freshly cut sashimi to eat at home from my local Atari-ya shop. Again, the superb quality of fish was impressive.

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The highlight of the meal for me was uni in the shell (£9); I’ve never encountered such fresh, sweet uni in London! The beautiful presentation was just icing on the cake (or should I say ice in the bowl?) against the smooth, creamy treat of the sea urchin roe.

If you’re a fan of uni, you should visit for this one dish, let alone the rest.

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Unagi (eel) is another Japanese classic I love, not least for the traditional sticky sweet sauce it’s commonly glazed with. The unagi maki (£6) with nori and cucumber was excellent.

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Although friends raved about Uni’s wagyu steak, the wagyu tataki (£23) was the most disappointing dish of the meal for me. Served with ponzu, truffle oil & crispy garlic, I felt that the citrus notes in the ponzu sauce completely overpowered the flavours of the beef as well as the truffle oil, which I was unable to detect. Texture-wise, the beef wasn’t remotely as marbled as the (low and medium) grade wagyu I had in Japan; that beef was so rich with fat that it melted on the tongue just like fatty tuna. The garlic crisps were delightful but overall, I wouldn’t recommend this dish.

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For dessert, we shared the mochi moriawase (£6), an attractively presented plate of 4 different mochi – black sesame, yuzu, strawberry cheesecake and chocolate. All were delicious, and we couldn’t agree on a favourite.

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I finished with a pot of genmaicha (£3.50), served in beautiful tea pot and cup.

This was a wonderful meal, no doubt about it. We enjoyed nearly everything and really loved several of the dishes.

Certainly Uni is a little pricy, but the uncompromisingly excellent quality ingredients go a fair way to justifying that. We were greedy – not to mention keen to sample all the sections of the menu – and you certainly don’t need to order quite as much as we did, but if you do, the food above comes to £53 per person, with drinks and service on top of that. Take out just a couple of items, such as the traditos and the edamame and it’s already down to £43 a head (food bill) and still a generous feast.

Work is always busy but I’m keen to slip out one lunch time and try Uni’s bento box offering and of course, I doubt I’ll be able to resist a return visit for that uni soon!

 

Kavey Eats dined as a guest of Uni restaurant.

Square Meal

 

Thus far, all the Brazilians I’ve met are warm, friendly, simple (by which I mean uncomplicated and genuine, not lacking in intelligence) and full of laughter.

Brigadeiro, a chocolate bon bon made with a few simple ingredients and decorated in a bold – perhaps even gaudy – style, is a wonderful representation of Brazil and its people – easy to make, looks and tastes fabulous and can’t fail to put a smile on your face.

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In a celebration of summer, Magimix are taking a look at Brazilian culture and cuisine and invited me to join in by sharing some Brazilian recipes on Kavey Eats.

We bought our first Magimix food processor a few years ago, and were enormously impressed with its multi-functionality. We used it a lot, more than we expected actually, by leaving it permanently out on the work surface. We fell a little out of love with it when the motor and blade malfunctioned (just months after the warranty expired) but were able to get it fixed and it’s been ok again ever since. The only downsides for us are the large footprint, given our limited work surface, and the small size of the feed tube on our 5200 model. The 4200 XL Magimix have just sent me has a (slightly) smaller footprint and a much larger feed tube. Every little helps!

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For this recipe, I used the main blade in the largest bowl to finely chop some 85% dark chocolate – I find that the grating attachment doesn’t cope well with pieces of chocolate as these tend to fly off the side of the disc before they’ve been pushed through the grater. The main blade is super sharp and breaks down the solid chocolate quickly.

Brazilian Brigadeiro Chocolate Bonbons

Makes 15-20 bon bons

Ingredients
200 ml condensed milk
30-40 grams grated dark chocolate or good quality unsweetened cocoa
1 heaped teaspoon butter
extra butter or vegetable oil for greasing your hands
Granulated decorations such as chocolate granules, hundreds and thousands, coloured crystallised sugar or similar

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Note: I used bronzed sugar crystals from the Waitrose Cooks’ range, hundreds and thousands and some extra grated chocolate.

Method

  • Combine condensed milk, grated chocolate and butter in a non-stick pan and heat gently, stirring continuously.

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  • Once all the ingredients have melted and are well mixed, continue to cook until the mixture thickens considerably, stirring continuously. When the mixture is ready, pulling the spoon or spatula through it should cause it to pull away cleanly from the base of the pan, almost like a choux dough when it begins to ball up.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool until the mixture is cool enough to handle.
  • Spoon a few drops of vegetable oil or butter into your hands and rub both hands together to coat well.
  • Use a teaspoon to scoop a spoonful of the mixture, roll between your palms to form a ball and roll gently into your granulated decoration. (If you find the mixture too sticky to handle, even once cool, it hasn’t been cooked it for long enough – just return to the heat, cook a little more, then leave to cool and try again).
  • Once coated, place into individual bon bon paper cups or onto baking paper.
  • Serve immediately or store in the fridge until needed.

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Kavey Eats received a Magimix 4200XL food processor from Magimix.

 

Spanish chefs Omar Allibhoy and Jose Pizarro know their olives. I’m a huge fan of the cooking of both, and they are both warm and charming gentlemen to boot.

So it’s with pleasure that I accepted the offer of 25, yes that’s right, 25 prizes of a recipe book featuring their recipes and some delicious olives with which to make them.

Olive it! recipe book - front cover 

The Olive It! book offers a collection of over 40 recipes for marinades, tapenades and tapas that are suitable for all seasons. There are classic traditional recipes passed down through generations and recipes given a contemporary twist. Try green olives with figs, orange and bay or black olives with wasabi, ginger and smoked salmon, just two of the appealing combinations suggested.

The book also includes information about different types of olive available, the history of the fruit and health benefits associated with olives.

Find out more by visiting the Olive it! campaign website www.oliveit.eu, follow them on Twitter @Oliveit_UK or like on Facebook.

COMPETITION

25 readers will each win a copy of the Olive It! recipe book plus a tin of pitted black olives, a tin of pitted green olives and a tin of green olives stuffed with anchovies.

OliveItPrize

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your favourite way to enjoy olives.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win one of 25 @OliveIt_UK recipe book and olive prizes from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/rRjmmY #KaveyEatsOliveIt
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS
  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Thursday 31st July, 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The 25 winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is an Olive It recipe book plus the three tins of olive products detailed above and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Olive It.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You may enter all three ways but do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received samples from the EU Olive It campaign.

Jul 012014
 

June’s fruity #BSFIC round up will be a little late, as I’m currently away on holiday. As soon as I’m back, I’ll get the round up finished and posted.

In the mean time, I’m throwing this month’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream challenge wide open by asking you to create an ice cream inspired by a holiday memory.

Do you remember your first trip abroad and the unfamiliar thrill of each new ingredient or dish? Where did you go on your last holiday and what tastes have stuck in your mind? Or are you more of a home body, enjoying your leisure time nearer to home? Whether you think back to those long summer breaks from school as a child or what you did during your most break at home or away, it’s the flavour memories of your holiday that I’m most interested in.

Please don’t feel constrained to recreate a specific ice cream treat – the holiday memory theme is merely a trigger for your imagination.

Downed more than your fair share of Caipirinhas in Brazil, Kir Royales in France, Mojitos in Cuba, Negronis in Italy, Pisco Sours in Peru, Sangrias in Spain? Maybe the flavours would work for a grown up ice lolly or granita?

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Images of cocktails from Shutterstock

Intrigued by an exotic ingredient such as Chinese glutinous black rice, red bean paste or Sichuan peppercorns (check out this ice cream I made last year), Indian cardamom, cassia bark or jackfruit, Japanese miso, matcha or sakura (cherry blossoms), Lebanese carob molasses, Mexican chillies including ancho, guajillo and poblano, Northern European juniper berries, lingonberries, sea buckthorn or cloudberries, Persian sumac or saffron, Peruvian purple potatoes, Syrian verjuice, Thai galangal or West African melegueta pepper aka grains of paradise? How might you incorporate it into a frozen dessert?

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Images of ingredients from Shutterstock

Perhaps you still can’t stop thinking about an indulgent dessert that could translate well into a frozen version?

And of course, you are always welcome to recreate an actual ice cream, gelato, sorbet, granita, shaved ice, slushy or other icy treat that reminds you of a cherished holiday – there’s no obligation to create something exotic or unusual!

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Images of frozen treats from Shutterstock

How To Take Part In BSFIC

  • Create and blog a recipe that fits the challenge by the 28th of this month.
  • In your post, mention and link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • Include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge (below).
  • Email me (by the 28th of the month) with your first name or nickname (as you prefer), the link to your post and an image for my roundup, sized to no larger than 500 pixels on the longest side.

You are welcome to submit your post to as many blogger challenge events as you like.

If the recipe is not your own, please be aware of copyright issues. Email me if you would like to discuss this.

If you like, tweet about your post using the hashtag #BSFIC. I’ll retweet any I see. You are also welcome to share the links to your posts on the Kavey Eats Facebook page.

I’ll post a round up of all the entries at the end of the month.

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For more ideas, check out my my Pinterest ice cream board and past BSFIC Entries board.

 

Traditionally, the key ingredients in the Japanese dish shira-ae are white – white tofu, white miso and white sesame seeds; shiro means white in Japanese and the ae suffix denotes a vegetable dish with dressing. What’s unusual from my European perspective is the low amount of liquid ingredients in the dressing; the silken tofu provides both additional moisture and the body of the sauce.

This can be also used with other greens such as spinach or seaweed, or your own selection of vegetables.

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Here’s the recipe. To learn more about the ingredients, keep reading.

Saya Ingen Shira-ae | Green Beans with a Tofu, Miso & Sesame Dressing

Serves 2-3 as a side dish

Ingredients
300 grams green beans (French beans)
100 grams silken tofu (pressed tofu is not suitable for this recipe)
50 grams lightly toasted white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons miso paste *
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons mirin (rice wine)

* Shira-ae traditionally uses white miso paste, the mildest and sweetest miso. I prefer the saltier and more pungent flavour of red miso, so it’s the type I most commonly have in the fridge. Red miso gives my shira-ae dressing a darker colour than it would have if I used white miso.

Note: I have used Clearspring organic tofu, a long life firm silken tofu made with organic soy beans, spring water from Mount Fuji and nigari, a naturally occurring mineral rich coagulant derived from sea water. See below for my tofu lowdown.

Method

  • Prepare and cook the green beans as you like them. My preference is that they have a little crunch left in them.
  • Once cooked, drain and tip into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking further.
  • In the meantime, grind the sesame seeds using a mortar and pestle, food processor or spice grinder.

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  • Mix the ground sesame seeds with the miso paste, sugar, mirin and tofu. Silken tofu is so soft and moist it will easily break up and combine with the other ingredients.

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  • Drain the beans well and mix with the dressing.

Tofu, Miso and Sesame Seeds

Tofu

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Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk (itself made by soaking, grinding and heating soy beans and water) and straining the resulting curd. Originating in China about 2000 years ago, the technique spread to Korea and then Japan in the 8th century, coinciding with the spread of Buddhism – tofu is an important source of protein in a Buddhist vegetarian diet.

Incidentally, if you ever wondered about the English-language name, it’s taken directly from the Japanese, which is itself taken from the Chinese dòufu. Dòufu translates as “bean” “curdled”, giving us the name that is more prevalent in the United States – bean curd.

The variety of tofu available in East Asia is amazing!

Broadly speaking, tofu products divide into fresh and processed.

Fresh tofu comes in many different textures, the result of a range of different coagulants used to make it as well as differing production techniques.

Silken tofu is the softest kind and, because it’s not curdled, strained or pressed after coagulation, it has a really high moisture content. You can find both soft and firm silken tofu, but both are far softer and wetter than pressed tofu.

Firm tofu does retain a fair amount of moisture, but not as much as silken tofu. Its surface often retains the pattern of the muslin or mould used to strain and press it. The firmest tofu is pressed rigorously and has an almost rubbery texture, a little like paneer or halloumi.

There are also a number of processed tofu products included fermented, pickled and dried tofu. These include stinky tofu, which smells much like a very ripe soft European cheese. Just like cheese, it tastes far better than it smells!

Dried tofu is very light, does not need to be refrigerated and is usually rehydrated before use. There are many shapes and textures available.

Another type is frozen tofu. Large ice crystals, which form on freezing, leave cavities when the tofu is defrosted, creating a spongy texture. This type of tofu is often sold cubed and freeze dried.

Tofu can also be deep fried, usually after being cut into cubes or triangles, or into thinner pieces to create pouches for inari-zushi. Obviously, the firmer and drier types of tofu are better for frying.

These days, tofu is readily available in the UK, though you won’t find the sheer variety available in Asia!

It is often associated in the West with a vegetarian or vegan diet, with detractors dismissing it as bland and unappetising. Personally, I love the stuff. Yes, the flavour is subtle but it’s a very versatile ingredient. It’s also very healthy as it’s high in protein but relatively low in calories and fat. Depending on the coagulating agent used, it can also be high in calcium and magnesium.

Miso

Miso is made by fermenting soybeans, and sometimes additional grains such as rice or barley, with a fungus known in Japanese as kōjikin. The resulting paste is used as a seasoning throughout Japanese cooking. There are many, many different varieties available in Japan, often broadly divided by their colour. White is the mildest and sweetest. Red, aged for longer, is stronger and saltier and darkens with age through red into brown.

Sesame seeds

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Sesame seed is oldest known oilseed crop, with archeological evidence suggesting it was already being cultivated 3500 years ago. Sesame seeds have a very high oil content and the oil itself is very stable with a long shelf life, making it easy to store in hot climates. Once the oil has been extracted from the seeds, the protein-rich remaining meal can be used as animal feed.

Most wild species are native to sub-Saharan Africa, where the genus originated, but the cultivated type, Sesame Indicum, originated in India. A hardy, drought-tolerant crop, sesame is now grown in tropical regions around the world with Burma, India and China the biggest producers (in 2010).

Of course, the seeds are popular in seed form too; they feature in many cuisines around the world, far too many dishes to list here.

Pale straw-coloured “white” seeds are the most common, but black varieties can be very striking, especially when combined with the white. I loved the jin doy spheres I enjoyed at A Wong a few months ago.

I love this tidbit from Wiki’s page on sesame seeds: “Upon ripening, sesame fruit capsules split, releasing the seeds with a pop. It has been suggested that this is root of the phrase “Open Sesame” in the historic fable of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in One Thousand and One Nights. The opening of the capsule releases the treasure of sesame seeds.”

Suribachi & Surikogi

One of my favourite purchases from our last visit to Japan was a beautiful suribachi (grinding bowl) and surikogi (wooden grinder). This very Japanese mortar and pestle is perfect for grinding sesame seeds, which are quickly pulverised against the ridged inner surface of the bowl.

Did you know that Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi was named for this humble kitchen tool?

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This dish is such a quick and easy one to make and is both healthy and utterly delicious. I hope you enjoy it and do please leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

Kavey Eats received product samples courtesy of Clearspring.

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