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Friday september 7, 2012 S AT I S F Y I N G
YO U R
W E E K LY
F O O D
D R I N K
C R AVI N G S
W I T H
Y O U R
C O P Y
BITE INTO A BURGER
The Daily Grind shares mouthwatering burgers from their menu
MANBURGER (4 SERVINGS) beef patty 350g beef rib eye, ground 350g beef knuckle, ground salt and pepper, to taste 70ml unsalted butter, melted and cooled 2 egg whites chili con carne 1 tablespoon olive oil 100g onion, peeled and chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped 1 teaspoon chilli ﬂakes 1 teaspoon ground corIander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 cardamom pods, crushed 500g beef mince 500ml chopped tomatoes 80ml tomato paste 175ml beef stock 1 teaspoon cocoa powder salt and pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon caster sugar 1 can (400g) red kidney beans, drained 4 burger buns, halved, buttered and toasted 1 packet salad leaves, washed and dried 12 pieces turkey bacon, deep-fried till crispy 4 slices Cheddar cheese (optional) 4 eggs, fried sunny-side up
EDITORIAL NOTE by Lee Khang Yi
There is something so magical about burgers that appeals to everyone of all ages. The Daily Grind, shares recipes for two of their burgers. One is the Manburger, a hefty chunk of meat topped with a delicious spicy chili con carne, this month’s special. If you are too lazy, run over to Bangsar to try this month’s special. And since burgers are not limited to just beef, we also have a crispy soft shell crab version with a ﬁnger licking wasabi mayonnaise. More burgers await you at other places and we suggest street burgers to high-class ones topped with foie gras. And look out for our digital edition for a story on three burger geeks over at myBurgerLab which is revolutionizing the way we eat burgers. Eu Hooi Khaw talks about peanuts and discovers home cooked dishes at Wai Kei. And catch AFC’s latest show, 36 ways to live with Emmanuel Stroobant, everyone’s favourite Chef in Black. He also cooks up a delectable panfried foie gras, you can try at home in our digital edition. Email me any feedback you have to email@example.com. Have a good burger time!
ADVERTISING SALES Rajan Gopal Senior Manager, Direct & Classifieds Direct line: 03 74951282 firstname.lastname@example.org
To prepare patty: Place ground beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Combine with egg whites and melted butter. Divide mixture into four, shape into patties and chill at least overnight to set. To prepare chili con carne: In a frying pan, heat oil and fry onions and garlic till golden brown. Add chilli ﬂakes, coriander, cumin, cardamom pods and beef mince. Saute until the meat is brown. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until the mince is tender. Add cocoa, sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the kidney beans. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside. The chili con carne is best cooked a day ahead to allow the ﬂavours to
BB B EEF
develop. This recipe makes a large batch that you can keep and eat for another meal. To assemble: Heat a ﬂat griddle or a chargrill pan over medium heat. Grill the chilled beef patties for 3-4 minutes, on each side for medium and 5 minutes on each side for well done. Remove. Place a cheddar slice on top. Grill to melt cheese. Place one half of the toasted bun on a plate. Top with salad leaves, the cooked beef patty with cheese. Dollop a spoonful of chili con carne. Top with 3 pieces of deep-fried turkey bacon and the fried egg. Finish with the other half of the toasted bun. Repeat with the same with remaining beef patties. Serve immediately with fries and a salad on the side. - Photo by Westlight Photography.
I was surprised at how easy it was to make a juicy and tender burger patty at home. The combination of the slightly hot chili con carne with the burger was delicious even though it was a bit sloppy.” NADIA YAP, Housewife
Eat this scaled down cute burger with one bite and ask for more at the Weekend Tapas Brunch at Dish (Dua Annexe, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Tel:0321641286). It is served together with more than 30 other brunch menu items, tapas and dessert, for RM99++ per person with free ﬂowing non-alcoholic beverages. For bigger appetites, Dish also offers a Black Angus burger topped with foie gras.
This hunk of a burger is available at The Daily Grind for the month of September for RM35++ with fries and salad. This special burger with its spicy chili con carne topping is what The Daily Grind thinks every man would dream of having in a burger. Protein and more protein!
RICE IS NICE
Since Japan’s Mos Burger is no longer in town, Namoo On The Park (Lot 4A, Level G3, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur, Tel:03-64116698) is the closest we can get to a rice burger. You have two choices, one with beef patty with fried egg (RM23.90) or grilled chicken with bibi sauce (RM19.90).
KAW KAW AH?
Revolutionizing street burger o is Kaw Kaw Burger Bakar (stall i of Kawasaki, Jalan 4A/27A, Sect Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur) w in-house made beef patty. How since the beef patties (each wei 180 grams) are prepped ahead t counteract the crowd, their juic taste is compromised and not u to par. A double beef patty is RM15 with a set of drink and tw sausages. You can also add a cri chicken on top of the burger.
Super hot at the moment and completely worth its usual 1-hour wait are the juicy burgers over at newbie, myBurgerLab (14, Jalan 21/22, Seapark, Petaling Jaya) that come with the distinct charcoal black buns. Look for the A++ with its umami-laden ﬂavours like the Parmesan crisp and sautéed shiitake mushrooms.
Get the behind the scenes look at the hottest burger in town by reading our digital version. Click on Crave’s link on www.mmail.com.my
FRIDAY 7, SEPTEMBER 2012
DOWNTOWN TOKYO BURGER
A favourite on The Daily Grind’s menu, this came about because they wanted something different from the ho-hum ﬁsh burger.
soft shell crab 50g plain ﬂour 50g corn ﬂour salt and pepper, to taste 800g soft shell crabs, cleaned, cut into half and patted dry oil for deep-frying wasabi mayonnaise 2 teaspoons wasabi powder 4 teaspoons water 12 tablespoons mayonnaise 4 burger buns, halved, buttered and toasted 1 bunch rocket leaves
To prepare crab: In a bowl, combine the ﬂours and season with salt and pepper. Toss the soft shell crab and mix well. Shake off any excess ﬂour. Heat oil and deep-fry soft shell crab till golden brown. Remove and shake off any excess oil. Leave to cool. To prepare mayonnaise: In a small bowl, mix the wasabi powder with water to form a paste. Let it sit for a minute, then combine with the mayonnaise. Set aside. To assemble: Place half of the toasted bun on a plate. Top with rocket leaves and the deepfried soft shell crab. Drizzle with mayonnaise. Serve immediately with fries and salad on the side. Photo by Westlight Photography.
“I’m so in love with this crispy golden soft shell crab that pairs so well with the spicy wasabi mayonnaise. It was a nice change to have a meatless burger.” NADIA YAP, Housewife
Located at Bangsar Village, The Daily Grind has been ﬁlling our tummies with delicious gourmet burgers since they started in 2008. Each of their burgers is cooked on the spot to keep the patties juicy. The menu boasts of all kinds of burgers using beef, chicken, lamb and ﬁsh. Even vegetarians can chow down on their burgers as they have a Portobello mozza stack that uses the meaty mushroom and a chickpea and tempeh burger called Green with envy. Keeping things healthy, all their sauces and pickles are made in-house and free of preservatives. And don’t leave here without trying their creamy milkshakes and their decadent cakes such as the tower high Red velvet cake or the to-die-for salted caramel chocolate cake. The Daily Grind, LG8, Lower Ground Floor, Bangsar Village, Jalan Telawi 1, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:0322876708. Open daily: 11am to 11pm.
THE MALAY MAIL
In the Kitchen with Eu Hooi Khaw In Malaysia, we get two varieties of peanuts. One variety from Menglembu, Ipoh, has small and round seeds. The other variety comes from Shandong, China and has a distinct plump shell with an elongated shape. Eating a handful of nuts a day is good for the heart as they are a rich source of vitamin E and alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to omega-3 fatty acids. Peanuts are also high in dietary ﬁbre, protein, folic acid, niacin, phosphorous, zinc, manganese and magnesium. Nevertheless, the nuts should be taken in moderation, as they are still full of fats. Try to consume the red skin covering the peanuts as it has been found to contain resveratrol, a phytochemical also found in red wine, raspberries and mulberries that lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer. The potent antioxidant also works in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol. Although it has not been scientiﬁcally proven, the Chinese believe that drinking soup boiled with groundnut roots and pork or chicken can make your child grow taller. The peanut plant is believed to
have originated in South America some 3,500 years ago. Jars ﬁlled with peanuts to feed the dead in the afterlife have been found in ancient Inca graves. Spanish explorers set off for the New World in the 15th century, taking the peanuts from South America to Spain. Subsequently, other traders carried the nuts onwards to Africa and Asia. It’s easy to roast peanuts in the microwave. Just spread them out on a plate and microwave it for three minutes on high. Stir the peanuts and microwave it for another two minutes, keeping a careful eye over it to make sure they don’t get burnt. Peanuts are also great in soups with chicken or pork ribs, cuttleﬁsh and lotus root. You can cook a lovely porridge with peanuts, ikan bilis fried with garlic and dried oysters.
Get your hands down and dirty with the legendary Om Burger (stall in front of 7-11, Lorong Kolam Air Lama, Ampang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur). It is a greasy mess with a Ramly beef patty wrapped in an omelette and smothered in mayonnaise and chilli sauce. For a hefty meal, go for the double special patties (RM5).
PEANUT SAUCE WITH VEGETABLES
offerings in front tion 2, with its wever, ighting to cy up
spice paste 8 shallots, peeled 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 slice fresh ginger, peeled 3 fresh chillies, chopped 4 dried chillies, soaked in boiling water till soft 3 stalks lemon grass, crushed
THE ATAS ONE
Probably the most expensive burger in town at RM128++, the Cibo Burger at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur’s Prime (Tel:0322637434) is best eaten like a dainty lady with your utensils. Shaped like an oblong, the Wagyu beef patty is incredibly juicy and tender. Moist foie gras tops this luxury version even though, shaved trufﬂes seem to be rather lacking.
3 tablespoons oil 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
mixed with 2 tablespoons water and strained 600ml water 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 2 teaspoons sugar 300g peanuts, roasted, skinned and ﬁnely blended 200g long beans, cut into 5cm lengths and blanched 4 mini cucumber, cut into julienne
Blend the spice paste ingredients in a blender. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Saute the spice paste until fragrant. Add the tamarind juice and water. Bring to boil. Simmer for ﬁve minutes. Add salt, sugar and simmer a little while. Remove from the heat. Add the ground peanuts. You can add the peanuts to the portion you want to serve and keep the rest of the sauce. Serve as a dip with the blanched vegetables and cucumber. You can also serve it with deep-fried tofu, hardboiled egg or nasi impit.
FRIDAY 7, september 2012
THE MALAY MAIL
REFRESHING: Honey lime jelly
Sweet and delicious: Chicken in rice wine
ROUGH AND CHUNKY: Yong Tau Foo
The striking platinum blonde Belgian chef will be lighting up our television screens with Asian Food Channel (AFC)’s latest production, 36 Ways to Live (Astro Channel 703, Starts September 12, 9.30pm). The 12-part series charts the Chef in Black (his nickname from the television show previously aired on AFC)’s life and his career, as told in various recipes. Each segment has the Singapore-based chef cooking up three dishes for his guests. In the first episode, he cooks up classic French dishes. How long did production take? About three months from the time we started talking with AFC. They approached me with the concept and the name of the show. How is this show different from Chef in Black? For Chef in Black, it was less hectic, as we did one episode per week. The recipes are also different, as with 36 Ways to Live, it is more about being myself. Were all the scenes shot in Signature Kitchen’s studio in Kuala Lumpur? The cooking part was all shot the kitchen in Kuala Lumpur for 12 days. From a chef’s point of view, it was also easier to work in the same kitchen
as there is continuity with the equipment. Other scenes were shot in my house in Singapore and around Kuala Lumpur. What’s next after this? Television-wise I have no idea as it is not my professional direction. For me, I want to try and understand why we can’t feed children with proper food. I am very concerned with the next generation because I now see a lot of obesity, diseases, and allergies.
food as it is their choice but I am fighting for education and information. I showed my 17year old son, a Youtube video, the McDonald’s Experiment and he stopped eating fasy food. I did not force him but it opened his eyes.
You mentioned that you just started a canteen? I just started running a canteen at the Stamford American International School for 1,100 kids a day. Usually, the canteen is a line concept with mash potato from How are you doing this? powder and canned food. This This June, I did Super Chef, is more about natural a one month cookproducts such as ing camp for 40 E: roast chicken, roast children aged ECIP R S BONUmmanuel res potato and salad. between 6 to E nt sha e a i b o 14 years old. It f o o Str an-fried les Would you like was a surprise, his p with app ital gras in our dig to open more as we were not dish version. canteens? expecting the I would love to conchildren to cook tinue with this kind of dilike professional rection but so far the feedback chefs. Every Friday, we invited has been positive. We are givthe parents and they were ing them stuff we serve in the able to serve 80-100 people. restaurants like roast teriyaki There is something about salmon and the kids love it. children, when it comes to food as there is some form of Is this based on Jamie Oliver? magic. With others, they tend I was very touched and shocked to things for granted. Later on a talk he did about children this year, we will be run the living shorter lives. I am not cooking camp again for 10 linked to him but maybe one weeks. day, we can do something together. Again, it is not about After the camp, would the money but doing something for kids want eat fast food? people. I am not fighting against fast
WHEN the Chicken in rice wine was brought out in the claypot at Wai Kei, it wafted up a delicious gingery, winey aroma. An omelette was soaked in the wine with lots of julienned ginger, and beneath it were chunks of kampong chicken. We loved the hot ginger strips in the wine and the omelette. The naturally sweet wine was just right and there was no hint of sourness as it happens when the wine has not fermented well. The Chicken in rice wine is one of the home-style dishes Wai Kei is known for, another being the Pork trotters in black vinegar. We asked for more old ginger in it, and we got whole pieces of it, together with big chunks of the gelatinous trotter that had a springy bite to it. There was also some lean pork in it. The broth has a light tangy and slightly sweet taste, redolent with ginger. I would have preferred a heavier and sharper tasting stew. Still, it was all happily slurped up. It’s hard to find good Pork trotters in black vinegar these days. We were eating from a set
BY Eu Hooi Khaw
menu for four to five people, at RM59 nett, even though there were only three of us, as it included most of the dishes the restaurant is known for. The Pork trotters in black vinegar, is part of this menu, as well as a choice between Curry fish head or Assam fish (we went for the latter), Yong tau foo and fried vegetables. We had added an extra Chicken in rice wine (RM20). The Assam fish, that came with a garoupa fillet was hot, sour and fragrant enough. It made us eat a lot of rice, as the thick red curry was fragrant and exuded the aromas of lemongrass and torch ginger flower ( bunga kantan). Long beans, tomato and eggplant in it were enough for you not to order an extra plate of vegetables. But our set came with a choice of vegetables. We had ordered the sweet potato leaf shoots but they came back and said they were sold out, so we settled for young Choy sum stalks that came smothered in garlic.
tangy: Pork trotters in black vinegar
Crave pays for all its meals and all its reviews are conducted anonymously.
The Yong tau foo was not up to mark. The fish paste (from ikan tenggiri ) that was stuffed in the bean curd, bean curd puff, eggplant, red chilli, bittergourd and ladies finger, was rough and hard. I would have preferred a smoother, bouncier fish paste. Earlier, we had a refreshing Honey lime jelly or wan tau long (RM2.80) as they call it up north. Served with shaved ice, the jelly was silky and citrusy from calamansi lime juice, with the right balance of sweet and sour. I would come back and try the Pork belly with yam, Steamed chicken with salted fish, Hakka char yoke with black fungus, Braised tofu with siew yoke and possibly Tomato fried rice. Restoran Wai Kei, 87, Jalan 21/37, Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-7731 6186. Open daily: 11.00am10pm. This branch started business in 2010. It is run by the brother of the owner of the original Wai Kei, Shoplot 2, 4 ¼ mile, Jalan Klang Lama (near Scott Square), Kuala Lumpur. Tel:0133918269/016- 2276210.
hot and sour: Assam fish
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Friday september 7, 2012 S P E C IAL
D I G I TAL
E D I T I O N
W I T H
YO U R
C O P Y
myBurgerLabâ€™s + + Aurger b
FRIDAY 7, september 2012
THE MALAY MAIL
THE BURGER GEEKS
Fire up your appetite for a cook-to-order burger from myBurgerLab By 5.30pm, a queue for burger orders had started to build up at myBurgerLab, a mere 30 minutes after it had opened its doors. As time goes, the crowd starts to fill up the small place, as everyone patiently waits for their order number to flash. The wait time moves from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Behind the counter, there is a lively buzz of young college students working
as fast as they can to make the orders. Spot families with young children, college kids cramming some facts from the textbook or even an odd retiree among the customers. By 9pm or even earlier, it’s a wrap as the burgers are sold out. That sums up the latest burger attraction of myBurgerLab, which serves cookto-order burgers since they started this July.
The birth of the concept “It was my secret dream to open a café,” admits Chin Ren Yi, one of the founders of myBurgerLab. The mechanical engineer degree-holder from the University of Nottingham in Malaysia had dabbled in the food and beverage industry, cutting his teeth as a part-timer at Starbucks and restaurants for the extra buck. Seeing the growing trend for cafes here, Chin who is a trained barista was keen to realise his dream. He roped in fellow mechanical engineer course mate, CheahChang Ming, who also loved to cook. From the onset, Chin realised he would have to open a café that served coffee and food, a concept the locals preferred. Chin settled on cook-to-order burgers inspired by his own experiences in the United States of America (USA).
He had enrolled in a work-andtravel program during university, so he worked every summer holiday at Yellowstone National Park. His travels around the USA led him to discover the famous In-N-Out burger joint. “They may look like McDonalds but they’re not since the burgers are cooked fresh and it tastes different,” says Chin. Soon, coffee was put on the back burner, as the duo got more excited about the concept for cook-to-order burgers. “Coffee was good but a lot of people were doing it and it is hard to stand out but no one was doing cook-to-order burgers here so why not be the first,” he says. Once they had the concept, Chin and Chang faced every aspiring entrepreneur’s hurdle: how to kick start their business. Lady luck smiled on
the duo as Chin was asked to join his friend’s café, The Red Beanbag at Publika, Solaris Dutamas. That valuable kitchen experience the duo gained at the café, gave them the insight to develop their menu of burgers. During that time, Teoh Wee Kiat, a business graduate joined them. In March this year, they tested the waters and invited 20-30 friends to taste-test their menu of five to six burgers at The Red Beanbag. This eventually led to a total of 10-15 sessions, with 50 persons per session. “We were practicing the Lean Startup method recommended by Teoh,” says Chin. Their burgers also got to be the talk of the town on Facebook, as people shared pictures and the tasting sessions were opened to invitees only who registered on Facebook.
THE MALAY MAIL
FRIDAY 7, september 2012
The science of cooking The trio approached the business like lab geeks, constantly testing recipes and concepts. “The lab comes in as it is not only about testing the burgers but the whole experience for us since none of us was culinary trained,” says Chin. From the buns they bake, sauces they concoct and the patties they make and grill, everything was tested to get the flavours they wanted. “We will keep testing and fine tuning the recipes to get the right consistency,” Chin says. Luck was on their side as they got what they wanted within five tries. Being different from the usual ho-hum, is what myBurgerlab is all about. The buns were originally regular white buns, but they decided to go for a black charcoal bun to draw people. “We wanted the shock factor. People come for the buns but stay for the taste,” says Chin. They even designed their own sauces like the red sauce, a mild chilli creamy mayonnaise. “When we designed the sauce, we thought if we can get a sauce people are hooked on, who knows but we may even be able to bottle and sell it in the future,” he says. Quality is not compromised here as Chin believes once that
disappears, all you are left with is just hype and the customers will leave. “If you want to run a proper business, the food product has to be good or else it will not be long term,” he says.
The owners insist everything is freshly prepared. Short cuts are not employed so don’t expect sliced fresh tomatoes and onions here. “We take the time to oven roast our tomatoes and slowly caramelise the onions for one hour. People can truly taste the difference,” says Chin. Based on their current kitchen space, the trio had calculated to sell 150 burgers daily. “We would be happy and mak-
ON THE MENU
ing enough monies,” says Chin. Now, they had to double it to 300 with the demand. Original plans to serve the burgers for lunch and dinner were also scrapped as they could not cope with the demand since they are hampered with kitchen space. Chin is not keen to sell beyond 300. “There’s no reason to push it at the moment as quality will definitely be affected,” he says. With no formal culinary training, Chin delved into the world of cooking from a scientific way. He draws his experience from books such as Cooking with Geeks, What Einstein Told His Cook or research on the Internet about molecular gastronomy. Don’t be surprised to hear him spout cooking terminology such as sous vide and even what he calls, the Heston way (inspired by British chef Heston Blumenthal) for brining chicken to keep it moist. Chin adopts the brining method for myBurgerLab’s grilled chicken to keep it moist. Rather than invest in a RM6,000 sous vide machine, he cobbles together ziplock bags and food warmers to create their own “jakun” sous vide machine to brine and cook the chicken breast at a constant temperature of 65C.
Zoom in on the written board on the side of the order counter for the burgers.The menu is compact with six beef burger choices, four grilled chicken varieties, and two vegetarian burgers with mushrooms and cheese. And for regulars or for those who ask for it, there is the secret menu of burgers like the A++, The Seattle and Jamming with Elvis. The patties are made from a mix of grass-fed Australian beef chuck and brisket. Freshly ground beef is shaped and smashed at the grill. According to myBurgerLab, the secret to the juicy patty is the salt crust. Instead of seasoning the beef ahead, the patties are coated with salt and pepper on both sides, just before it goes to the griddle and seared. “This creates a salty crust that keeps the juice from flowing out,” Chin says. myBurgerLab draws inspiration from USA’s In-N-Out Burger that cooks the beef patties “animal-style” with a secret sauce, onions and cheese. At myBurgerLab, they offer a mustard grilled version for tangy taste. Some of their burgers were designed purely on a whim, like the Jamming with Elvis inspired burger with blueberry jam. “The only Elvis part is the peanut butter but it’s based on Ikea’s meatballs dish with the jam on the side,” he says. Their Awesome fries elevate generic fries with an aromatic touch of rosemary, thyme, garlic and salt. The burger prices range from RM11 to RM18. You can add RM6 for French fries and bottomless soda.
LIVELY: myBurgerLab’s Chin Ren Yi, Cheah Chang Ming and Teoh Wee Kiat with their kitchen crew.
The next chapter
“This is not a short term goal to just make as much money,” says Chin. With this in mind, myBurgerLab is working hard to survive the hype, go main stream and maintain the quality. Their business model is based on In-N-Out burger in the USA, where they are slowly expanding around the country and
even Asia. One of the things they need to address is the space and electricity limitations they have at the Seapark. myBurgerlab is working on setting up a central kitchen to cope with the demand. The burger joint is also livening up the neighbourhood that is full of old sundry shops and coffee
shops. The neighbours are also very supportive of them and regular customers for the burgers. They are also looking to expand their drinks and dessert offerings. While the menu is still in its infant stage, it will be revamped every six months to the customers’ requirements. There are also plans to interact
with the public face-toface for creative burger ideas, and through their Facebook page that already boasts 4,000 fans. And for Chin, his greatest compliment was from a New Yorker, the manager of singer Kyle Patrick from the pop group, The Click Five who visited the joint during a video shoot. “She told me
that our burgers could compete with the best in New York,” he says. myBurgerLab, 14, Jalan 21/22, (next to AHan Nonya Kuih) Seapark, Petaling Jaya, www. facebook.com/myBurgerLab, Open: 5pm to 11pm (or till it runs out). Closed on Mondays.
Look for : The A++ burger, an umami-laden burger with a Parmesan cheese crisp, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and caramelised onions. Hit the java with the Seattle, the allin-one breakfast burger, with an umami-spiked espresso mayonnaise, sunny-side egg and cheese.
FRIDAY 7, september 2012
PAN-FRIED FOIE GRAS WITH CARAMELISED APPLES Emmanuel Stroobant shares this signature dish from his restaurants in Singapore. The decadent pan-fried foie gras has a crispy edge with a melting and moist center. It pairs well with the sweet port-laced sauce and the slightly sour apples served on a puff pastry casing.
sauce 50g butter 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil 1 stalk celery, cut into brunoise 1 stalk carrot, peeled and cut into brunoise 1 onion, peeled and cut into brunoise 1 sprig thyme 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar 250ml cognac 50ml port 5 tablespoons red wine 200ml veal stock pastry cases 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted to room temperature and cut into 8cmx5cm rectangles 1 egg, beaten 1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar 1 tablespoon butter 2 green apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices 1 packet flash frozen foie gras 1 tablespoon butter
To prepare sauce: Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan. Once the butter stops sizzling, add celery, carrot, onion and thyme. Cook till they soften. Season with salt. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cook for a further 2 minutes till it caramelises. Deglaze the pan with cognac. Tip the pan towards the flame to flambé off the alcohol. Repeat the deglazing with port and flambé the alcohol. Lastly, deglaze with red wine and flambé. Add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes or until it thickens. Strain the sauce, discarding the solids. Keep the sauce warm. To prepare pastry cases: Top two rectangles together and brush with egg wash. Place on a baking tray. Score cuts across with a sharp knife. Follow the packet instructions and bake in the oven till golden
brown. Set aside. Once cooled, cut the top to form a rectangle case. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the sugar until it turns into a light amber colour. Add butter and apples. Cook for 1 minute, turning them on each side. Remove and set aside. To prepare the foie gras: Leave the frozen foie gras for 1 to 1 ½ hours to reach room temperature. De-vein the foie gras. Remove any blood or any slightly greenish bile areas to avoid any bitterness once cooked. Dip the knife into hot water, dry with a kitchen towel and smoothly slice the foie gras into 2cm thick slices. Lightly dust with tempura flour, shaking off any excess. Heat a frying pan with butter and oil. Once the butter stops sizzling, add the foie gras in the pan. Do this by batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Once you see there is a nice brown edge to the foie gras, flip it over and cook the other side. Remove from the heat and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. To assemble: Place the puff pastry case on a plate and fill with the caramelised apples. Top with a piece of pan-fried foie gras. Bring the sauce to boil. Using a hand blender, blend in the butter to get a foamy consistency. Drizzle the hot sauce over the foie gras and serve immediately. Note: The sauce is a classic French one that uses triple de-glazing with brandy, port and red wine. The alcohol is flambeed to burn it off. If you prefer, balsamic vinegar can be used to replace the brandy, port and red wine.
THE MALAY MAIL