Ravioli and Lamb

Its good to get back to normality. :biggrin:

As a child I always enjoyed a nice “Dtom Khem”. The recipe is made by braising pork (or sometimes chicken) and spices with soy sauce and sugar, the resulting dish has a lovely dark caramel colour and a sweet and savoury taste. The best bit has to be the hard boiled eggs that are added to the pot that take on the wonderful colour of the sauce.

I could just eat the sauce over steamed rice and that would be a fine dinner.

We have toyed around with Dtom Khem in the past, sometimes changing the hens eggs for quail eggs, or swapping pork for beef. However, its return to our kitchen this time sees it served in pasta.

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Notice that there is no sauce accompanying the dish. You´ll notice that I said it is served “in” the pasta, and not “with” pasta. :wink:

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Back soon!

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Sorry that it has been a while since the last update. This past month or so has seen the entire hotel exclusively booked by a major car group for their launch of two new models. During this time the restaurant has been serving various dishes for international motor journalist, and the restaurant has been closed to the public.

During the past month I haven´t been able to update, maintain or reply to posts on the site, once again I apologise.

Now that the event is over, its back to “business as usual” as well as work on a new menu.

Expect some new posts soon! :biggrin:

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Pork Threads

I know them as “Moo Foy“.

These lovely soft threads of seasoned pork are so versatile. I was first introduced to them when I was young and they were sprinkled on top of a hot bowl of “Khao Piek” (rice soup), yummy!.

Since then I have seen them used in sandwiches and other snacks (best of all, wrapped up in sticky rice!). There are different types available, crunchy and crispy or soft and fluffy. The latter is probrably its most popular form, and due to its appearance is sometimes referred to as Pork Floss.

Seeing as we live and work “out in the sticks“, there are no Asiatic stores nearby and we only ever get Moo Foy when someone visits from abroad (the visitor is always given a shopping list prior to arrival….. :lol: ), so in “Good ole Laocook fashion”, we decided to make our own. :biggrin:

Questions were thrown about in the kitchens on how to achieve the end result. Theories mentioned included roasting stewed pork, shredding it then allowing it to dry in a low temperature oven. This seemed okay, but how would we get the “fluffiness”? It was clear that the meat had to be moved around whilst cooking. Also, the oven technique wouldn’t allow us to get the “crunchiness”. Deep frying the shredded meat would give us a result that was too crunchy.

We knew that fluffiness could be achieved by cooking the shredded meat in a bowl placed over simmering water, we have used this technique before with fish when making our sushi ingredients.

In the end, we decided to make three batches of Moy Foy using different finishing methods.

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Pork shoulder is slowly cooked then shredded whilst still warm. Shredding any meat is much easier when it is warm.

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Over a low flame the pork is then seasoned with soy sauce, salt, sugar and slowly cooked and stirred. This method would result in our crunchy(ish) Moy Foy. As the sugar melts in the pan it takes on a lovely caramel colour and provides a slight crispiness to the pork. Vigilance is important here, lack of attention could end up with a burnt and bitter tasting result.

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With the second method, the pork was finished in a bowl over simmering water. This method was the hardest, and most time consuming, but would yield the fluffiest result. Constant stirring is needed here so that the pork dries out evenly and air is incorporated.

Half way through this technique when some of the meats moisture had been removed, half of the pork was transferred to a large baking tray and placed in an oven at 90ºc for just over an hour.

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Meanwhile, there were other tasks that needed attending to.

More pork was being cooked, this time our version of “Char Sui” or Chinese Style Roasted Pork. However, our cooking process started the night before. :cool:

Our pieces of pork are cooked “Sous Vide” for 12 hours.

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This results in a very tender and juicy piece of meat. The meat is browned in a hot pan just before serving.

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Roasted Bone Marrow Laocook

Meat and Bones

Firstly, let me wish everyone a very happy 2010!

Now that all the hotel Gala Dinners throughout the festive season are finally over, I can spend a week or so relaxing! :biggrin:

This past month has been busy, however with careful planning ahead, it was relatively easy. Once all the Gala Dinner menus were confirmed, it was all a case of getting things ready on time. The only obstacle that we faced were the deliveries of the ingredients. The working week is cut short when Christmas and New Years Eve fall on weekdays.

Talking about “planning ahead”, I have been making lots of Cured beef..

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Testing Dinner for New Years Eve

I have been busy lately and must apologise for not updating the site. :pinch:

Though the build up to the festive season means that the restaurant is less busy, the team and I have been hard at work behind the scenes getting the menus and dishes ready for Christmas and the New Year.

One of the items on our New Year Gala Dinner menu is our new dish of “Beef Carpaccio”. Like any dish that is featured on our “a la carte” or “Tasting Menus”, this has had its trials and been tested on members of staff as well as restaurant guests to get their impressions.

“Carpaccio” is typically a dish that uses thin slices of dressed beef, however, nowadays you can find Tuna, Salmon, and even Pork Carpaccio´s on restaurant menus. You can even find Vegetable versions or Dessert ones too! :ermm:

In fact, any dish that uses wafer thin slices of a main ingredient can be called a Carpaccio!

For my version I had to add an Asiatic accent to it, and that came in the guise of Sesame Oil. This oil when used alone can be quite overpowering and strong, but when mixed with other oils, it becomes a “dance partner” of sorts.

I also wanted to add a touch of “luxury” to what is in essence a simple dish (originally the recipe called for thin slices of beef dressed with olive oil and lemon juice and topped with Parmesan shavings and Rocket), and what better luxury ingredient to use than Truflles!

Black Truffle shavings would be way too expensive for this dish, therefore I made a sauce from them. The slices of beef are drizzled with the sauce and then topped with some fresh salad and herb leaves. Olive Oil is blended with Sesame Oil and perked up with some citrus flavours and soy sauce for saltiness.

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December (4)

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One of our cooks adds the finishing touches to the dish for our “Gala Dinner Rehearsal”.

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December (3)

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“Beef Carpaccio with Black Truffle and Citrus, Soy and Sesame Dressing.”

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Tasting Menu October 2009

Now that October has finished, November allows us to take a break before the busy festive season begins. Shortly I will be off to London to join up with the rest of my family to await the arrival of my new nephew!

The past month also saw us releasing our first supplement menu.

Our Tasting Menu, or “Menu Degustacion” is served from 21.30hrs and cost 90€ per person. This type of menu is for “foodies” (and mostly cooks from other restaurants! :cool: ) and takes about 2½ hours to complete and is served to the entire table.

The menu went through some subtle changes throughout the month, depending on what is best in the markets. The next Tasting Menu will start in December, just after my return from the UK.

We have some photos from over the weekend, though sadly none were taken of the three desserts (doh! :pinch: )

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We start of with…

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Tasting Menu Oct 2009

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A Contrast of Tomato and Basil Soup. Two soups that look very different but taste almost identical. This appetizer features our Clear Tomato Soup and the recipe can be found here.

The meal continues with…

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Tasting Menu Oct 2009 (1)

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New Style Goong Che Nam Pa. These thin “sheets” of King Prawns are one of our most ordered dishes and the recipe can be found here.

We continue with…

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Tasting Menu Oct 2009 (2)

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Carpaccio of Beef, Foie Gras and Mackerel. This unconventional carpaccio is served in tins. The fish is marinated in salt and vinegar for only 30 minutes in total (15 minutes in the salt, and 15 minutes in rice vinegar), this provides us with a cured fillet that is not soured or discoloured by the vinegar.

We continue with…

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Tasting Menu Oct 2009 (3)

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Seabass in Citrus Soy and Sesame Dressing. Wafer thin slices of fish are drizzled with a tangy and nutty dressing.

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Tasting Menu Oct 2009 (4)

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A splash of hot Hazelnut, Olive and Sesame Oils adds another dimension.

To continue we have…

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All Aboard

After endless long shifts, its good to take some time to relax.

What´s better than spending a day on the beach?

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Boat9

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Sailing, thats what!

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Boat1

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Kuchi keeps a look out for fishes…. and Icebergs….

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Boat2

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Its not long before the conversation turns to new menu ideas.

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Boat3

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Boat4

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“What????? You  want to serve the beef “well done””?

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Boat6

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“Okay, where is the Wasabi and Soy Sauce?”

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Boat7

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“Let me show you “how its done””.

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Boat8

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“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, he´ll sit and drink beer the whole day….”.

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:biggrin:

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Cans and Eggs

Canned foods are very versatile and have very long shelf lives.

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TIN1

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But what is in our can?

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TIN5

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We decided to can our Squid, Seaweed and Mackerel Salad. :cool:

Don´t worry, I was only joking! :biggrin:

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TIN2

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These cans are actually used as a presentation device. (Who says that there is no humour in the kitchens…? :cheerful: )

The fish is briefly marinated in salt then vinegar for about 30 minutes, any longer then the texture and taste changes.

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Banana Blossoms

Banana Blossoms are also known as Banana Hearts, Banana Flowers and a host of other names.

I am lucky enough to have a huge banana plant growing in my front garden, and better still, we all get to eat the blossoms once the fruits have emerged. Removing the blossom from under the cluster (the fruits) also helps the bananas grow faster as the blossom is no longer there to take the water, hence allowing the fruits to absorb more.

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BB1

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Underneath the outer crimson layer are the softer leaves.

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BB2

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Under the softer layer (bracts) you can find the male flower stems.

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BB3

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New Style Goong Che Nam Pa

New Style Goong Che Nam Pa (or Laotian Prawn Carpaccio)

I would like to share with you the recipe for one of my Signature Dishes. :cheerful:

.This dish has been on my menu since the beginning of my culinary adventure in Spain, and remains our most ordered Starter.

The translation of “Goong Che Nam Pa” would be “Fish Sauce Soaked Prawns”, which doesn’t sound so inviting to the palate! In fact the prawns are not marinated in purely Fish Sauce!, that would be far too salty, instead they are soused in a special salty-sweet-sour dressing.

The traditional version of this dish has the prawns butterflied, briefly marinated and served with various condiments. To make it more adaptable to our diners palates I decided to have the prawns served paper thin, similar to a Carpaccio and added new condiments that would complement the interesting and natural sweetness of the prawns.

There are various stages of preparation and method required for this dish, but do not be put off by the long list of ingredients and instructions. Once everything has been made, it only takes a few minutes to get the dish ready for serving. Every component can be made in advance and kept frozen or chilled until needed.

The recipe is for five servings, though the recipes for the Dressing and Crystal Shallots will produce far more than what is needed, however these can be stored in the fridge, the Sauce for ten days and the Crystal Shallots for up to three weeks.

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