Saturday, June 25, 2011

Massaman Curry Paste

I like knowing, whats in the food I'm cooking, right down to the spices and quality of oils, so I prefer to make everything from scratch, including sauces, pasta sauces, dressings and now I'm venturing into curry pastes.
I visited the local Asian supermarket to get some of the ingredients and I could have spent ages in there just browsing, foreign supermarkets are fascinating. whether here or when I'm travelling I love spending a few hours checking out all the different products.

so last week I made a massaman curry paste. I tried to use as many of the whole spices as I could, the pre ground ones just don't produce the same flavour.

Massaman curry paste:

1 tablespoon white peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon of whole cloves
1 tablespoon cardamon seeds

toast in non stick pan over low heat for about a minute, gently shaking regularly. Grind in spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle. set aside.

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
3 cloves of garlic
3 chopped shallots
1 tablespoon of chopped galangal
7-9 dried chillis, soaked for at least 5 hours in water (discard seeds before soaking to lessen the heat)then chop.
1 tablespoon shrimp paste (wrap in tin foil, and place in a pre-heated oven for 3-5 minutes).

put all ingredients into a bullet blender or use a stick blender with the ingredients in a bowl blend until it forms a fine paste. store in a jar or plastic container in the fridge for use.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Basil seared tuna

I bought a nice lookign piece of yellow fin tuna yesterday.  I've only started eating fish again in the last few months.  I can't eat tinned tuna, I'll never eat that stuff again.  But a tuna steak.. if its good.. can be delicious.  This is what I did with it.

Serves 2
350 - 400gm tuna fillet/steak
handful of fresh basil leaves
good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
4 baby roma tomatos - I used kumatos

Cut tuna steak into batons, about 2.5cm square set aside on clean plate
put 4 tablespoons of olive oil into small bowl, half a teaspoon of sea salt, freshly ground pepper, then finely chop half the basil and stir into olive oil mix.  pour mix over batons and pat coating all over.
Heat non stick frypan over high heat.  put batons in for approx. 20seconds on each side (all 4 sides) then remove from pan to rest.
using same small bowl, mix another 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic clove finely chopped, the rest of the basil finely chopped, more salt and pepper and chop up the tomatos then stir it all together.

slice the tuna with a sharp knife and place on plate, drizzle tomato mix over the top and serve with a fresh green salad or steamed greens.

I cooked mine a little longer than I would have liked.. but it still tasted heavenly.