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Fantastic Feasts – and how to cook them
FORGET about running around all over town to shop for Christmas dinner ingredients, and cracking your head for recipes. With the help of chef Drew Nocente and groceries that you can pick up from any Cold Storage supermarket, you'll have an impressive homemade Christmas dinner that you won't break a sweat over. That's because the chef-owner of Salted and Hung restaurant has devised the perfect menu for the time-strapped home chef, with tips to ensure the best results.
First, if you want turkey, don't waste time roasting it yourself and just order one of Cold Storage's ready-baked birds done in a myriad ways. There are other ways to show your cooking prowess, namely with a hefty Grass-Fed Black Angus Tomahawk. Just follow Chef Nocente's advice to bring it completely to room temperature before cooking it in a searing hot cast iron pan, and let it rest completely before serving.
For this Christmas menu, "I wanted to showcase the amazing produce that we get at this time of year," says the chef. "And to show how simple techniques can amp up the flavours."
For appetisers, he cures Tasmanian salmon fillet and sears extra jumbo tiger prawns with chilli oil and serves it with seaweed mayo. The salmon, prawns and tomahawk are easily available from Cold Storage's Christmas catalogue, which features premium ingredients such as red king crab legs, Hokkaido scallops and wild Patagonian red prawns. Jazz up the meal with sides like asparagus and brussels sprouts, or other vegetables and condiments from the MEADOWS range of products. And don't forget the wine, namely one that's rich and full-bodied like The Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz which will perfectly match your tomahawk steak.
And more importantly, don't stress. "Cook what you like, with ingredients that are good quality and versatile," says Chef Nocente. And with his easy to follow recipes, you'll be a culinary hero at Christmas as well.
All ingredients in these recipes are available at Cold Storage supermarkets. To order, go to coldstorage.com.sg
FOOD STYLING & PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN HENG, DAPHOTOGRAPHER FLORAL & SET DESIGN: JOHN LIM, THE HUMID HOUSE
ASPARAGUS, MUSHROOM SOIL, CONFIT EGG YOLK, MACADAMIA NUTS
1 bunch asparagus
1 per portion egg yolk
5 roasted macadamia nuts
100ml olive oil
40g melted butter
18g mushroom powder
(blended dried mushroom)
8g icing sugar
For mushroom soil:
In a kitchen mixer, mix all ingredients and combine with the paddle attachment.
Once fully combined, place the mixture on cling film and roll into a cylinder and freeze.
The next day, grate the cylinder onto parchment paper and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15min. Use a fork to break up the mushroom soil and allow to cool at room temperature.
Heat the olive oil to 50 degrees Celsius and remove from heat. Place egg yolk in the 50 degrees Celsius oil and allow it to confit (away from heat). This will take about 20 minutes. Bring a pot of water to boil, seasoned with sea salt.
Prepare a big bowl of ice water. Blanch the asparagus for 2 mins in boiling water and then refresh in the ice water.
In a hot frying pan, heat up the oil and fry the asparagus briefly. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
Create a small mound of mushroom soil on the plate with a little well for egg yolk to sit in. Stack the asparagus on the side.
With a fine grater, grate the roasted macadamia over the asparagus.
CURED SALMON, PICKLES & HORSERADISH
1 fillet of Tasmanian salmon
40g fine salt
1.5g green peppercorns
1.5g black peppercorns
1.5g coriander seeds
½ an orange, zested
For the salmon:
Blend all dry ingredients in a blender until fine.
Mix in the orange zest. Gently rub the cure over the salmon, place the salmon in a covered tray and keep in the fridge overnight, best for 24 to 48 hours.
The next day, gently wash off the cure and the salmon is now ready to be sliced. Keep whole until ready to serve.
For pickle liquid:
40ml apple cider vinegar
2g mustard seeds
1pc cinnamon stick
1pc star anise/2 pcs cloves
Combine all and bring to boil. Allow to cool then strain pickling liquid.
1 banana shallot
1 Japanese cucumber
1 baby red radish
Thinly slice all vegetables and place in separate containers.
Heat pickle liquid to 80 degrees Celsius and pour over vegetables.
Let the vegetables soak in liquid for at least 1 hour.
For horseradish cream:
25g horseradish cream
50g double cream
Fold the horseradish into the double
cream and season to taste.
Thinly slice salmon and layer on a plate, slightly overlapping. On top of the salmon, place 10 small dots of the horseradish cream. Arrange pickles on top and garnish with fresh dill and red oxalis.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS, SHERRY VINEGAR, FETA & PANCETTA
200g brussels sprouts
20ml sherry vinegar
5 slices of pancetta
Bring a pot of water to boil, seasoned with sea salt.
Prepare a bowl of ice water to cool the sprouts.
Cut the sprouts in half. Blanch the sprouts in boiling water for 2 min and refresh in the ice water.
In a hot frying pan, heat up oil and pan fry the sprouts cut side down. Cook until golden brown.
While the sprouts are cooking, pan fry the pancetta till crispy.
Once all the sprouts are golden brown put into a large bowl and toss with crispy pancetta, sherry vinegar & sea salt.
Place sprouts on a serving plate. Crumble the feta over the top & serve.
TOMAHAWK WITH WHOLE ROASTED GARLIC
6 whole garlic
1 Black Angus Grass-Fed Tomahawk Steak
1 pkt fresh rosemary
1 pkt bay leaf
1 pkt thyme
Thaw the beef at room temperature for at least 30 to 45 minutes.
For the garlic:
Slice off the top of the garlic. Heat a frying pan on the stove and add a small amount of oil.
Sear garlic cut-side down until golden brown. Place garlic in a tray seared-side up and sprinkle a little salt and sugar.
Add 0.7cm of water into the tray.
Cover with cling film & cooking foil. Bake for 1.5 hours at 130 degrees Celsius. Allow to cool.
For the tomahawk:
Heat a cast iron skillet until smoking hot. Oil the room temperature beef and gently place onto skillet. Turn the steak frequently to get even color and char.
Once the steak’s internal temperature reaches 50 degrees Celsius, remove from pan and allow to rest in a warm spot. Rest steak before slicing.
Tie fresh herbs into a loose bunch. Heat a pan with some butter and gently cook the herbs in the butter.
Slice the beef evenly away from the bone and place on serving plate.
Gently layer the beef on plate and season with flaked sea salt.
In a moderate oven, heat up garlic and serve with beef.
CHILLI PRAWNS & SEAWEED MAYO
50g dried chilli
100g olive oil
3 sheets nori
50g olive oil
12 tiger prawns
50g kewpie mayonnaise
In a kitchen blender, place the chilli & oil and blend on high speed for 5 min.
Strain and keep the flavoured oil. Do the same for the nori but retain the nori pieces after straining. Take the nori pieces and fold them into the kewpie mayonnaise.
For the prawns:
Peel the prawns and leave the head and tail on.
Remove the veins. Lightly brush a hot skillet with oil, and cook the prawns 1-2 minutes on each side until they are just cooked.
Lay the prawns on the plate and season with flaked sea salt.
Dress the prawns with the chilli & nori oil. Serve with a dollop of nori mayonnaise.
CHERRY & MIXED BERRY TRIFLE
1x Pound cake
120g Whipping cream
15g icing sugar (extra for dusting)
1 punnet strawberries
1 punnet raspberries
1 punnet blueberries
2pkt Kit kat bites
50ml Baileys (optional)
1pkt Raspberry jelly
(follow instructions on box)
All fresh fruit should be washed before use.
Whip cream and icing sugar till firm peaks. Keep in fridge until ready to make the trifle.
Roughly cut the pound cake and lightly brush with Baileys (optional).
Thinly slice the strawberries.
Construct The Trifle
Place a small amount of cream on the base of the trifle dish.
Layer the cake.
Place the cut strawberries on top of the cake, and on the sides of the serving dish.
Add a layer of cream, followed by the jelly.
Then a layer of blueberries, raspberries & Kit Kat bites. Repeat this until the trifle dish is 90% full.
At the top of the trifle, stack up the cherries, then dust with the extra icing sugar.