Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Recipes - Chinese and Chocolate Pots

It was our day off in Glasgow yesterday and Nik and I tackled more de-cluttering with some success - after tackling my wardrobe, I now have 5 full bin bags for the charity shop, including all the shoes & boots I got rid of the other day!  Nik managed to clean out a drawer, at least he's started!  :)

We decided we would cook something a bit more interesting than normal since we had the whole day off together so I searched through some of our recipe books (also came up with a few Christmas ideas while I was at it!) and I stuck a few little tabs in some future recipes I would like to make while I was at it.  We decided on Seafood Stir-fry and Chocolate Pots.

Bought for £1 in a botanical garden charity book sale
From Nik's flat - no idea where he got it from though!

I ended up doing the cooking while Nik did the ironing - much preferred my option!  First I made the Chocolate Pots as they take 2-3 hours to set.  The recipe is called Three Pots as they suggest that you do 3 different batches with 3 different chocolates - expecting you to split the 50g sugar (and 1/2 teaspoon of salt!) into 3.  Other than not fancying splitting half a teaspoon of salt accurately into 3, I had already separated my egg yolks and most of them had broken in the bowl so I didn't fancy trying to accurately split them 3 ways either!  Needless to say - I just stuck with one of the chocolates and made my pots all the same.  I chose the Mayan Gold dark chocolate.

Prep time - 30 mins
Chilling time 2-3 hours
Makes 6 servings.

400ml single cream
1 vanilla pod
25g dark chocolate (60% minimum cocoa solids) broken into pieces
25g Maya Gold Chocolate or other good quality dark orange chocolate, broken into pieces
50g white chocolate, broken into pieces (not sure why this is twice the amount, maybe to get a stronger flavour?)
(I used 75g of Maya Gold)
6 large egg yolks
50g sugar (I used golden caster sugar as it's less refined than white)
1/2 level teaspoon salt

Ingredients and espresso cups for serving
Gently heat the cream with the vanilla pod until bubbles begin to form at the edge, but ensuring the cream does not boil.  Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.

Melt the chocolates separately in heatproof bowls suspended over saucepans of barely simmering water, (Keep the saucepans of water as you will need them later on.) Leave the chocolates to cool, then beat 2 of the egg yolks into each of the melted chocolates until the mixtures are smooth.  Stir one third of the sugar and salt into each chocolate mixture until completely dissolved.


Melt the chocolate in heatproof bowl over barely simmering water (keep saucepan of water for later).  Leave to cool, then beat egg yolks into melted chocolate until smooth.  Stir in sugar and salt until completely dissolved.  (I had to put the mixture back over the saucepan on the heat for it to fully dissolve.)

Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and gently stir one third of the cream (or all of the cream) into each chocolate mixture until well blended.  Replace the bowls over the saucepans of simmering water.  Cook until each mixture coats the back of a spoon, stirring all the time.

Pour each chocolate mixture into your chosen containers - e.g. egg cups, espresso cups, shot glasses.  Chill for about 2-3 hours or until the mixture has set.

While they were chilling I made the Seafood Stir-fry, which in the book is called Three Sea Flavours Stir-fry.

Serves 4

4 large scallops, with the corals
225g firm white fish fillet, such as cod or monkfish (I used Pouting which according to the fish counter was similar to cod but more sustainable - it's apprently a LOT more flakey than cod or monkfish as rather than chunks, I ended up with little flakes of fish, not quite so attractive or tasty but it was OK)
115g raw tiger prawns (I used king prawns as they only had 2 tiger prawns left)
300ml fish stock
15ml vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
5cm fresh ginger, thinly sliced
8 spring onions, cut into 4cm pieces
30ml Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
5ml cornflour
15ml cold water
salt and freshly ground pepper
noodles or rice to serve
(I also added some mange tout)

Separate the corals and slice each scallop in half horizontally.  Cut the fish fillet into bite-size chunks.  Peel and de-vein the prawns.

Bring the fish stock to the boil in a pan.  Add the seafood, lower the heat and gently poach the seafood for 1-2 minutes until the fish, scallops and corals are just firm and the prawns have turned pink.  Drain the seafood, reserving about 60ml of the stock for the sauce.

Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok over a high heat until very hot.  Stir-fry the garlic, ginger and spring onions for a few seconds.

Add the seafood and rice wine or sherry.  Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the reserved stock and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.  (Meanwhile steam the mange tout for 2 minute in the microwave.)

Mix the cornflour to a paste with the water.  Add the paste and the mange tout to the pan or wok and cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens.

Season the stir-fry with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at once, with noodles or rice.

I also made my sesame and garlic broccoli as a side...

Steam a few florets of broccoli for 2 minutes in the microwave, heat a wok or frying pan with some oil, add 1 clove of chopped or crushed garlic and a few sesame seeds - fry for a few seconds and add the broccoli, tossing in the seeds and garlic to coat and heat through.  Serve immediately.


Double Yum!

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