Saturday, September 28, 2013

Capsicum Soup

This time I like to share an old recipe of mine, something we did when I was still Executive Chef on "The World" There in the fine dining restaurant we had every week a different menu, just for 3 to four days in the evening. It was a lot of fun creating these menus, all the time with local products, freshly bought on the market.

Over time you will get a lot more of these recipes, it is because I found my old photos from the nearly 2 and a half years on this wonderful ship and I like to share with you a bit about the travels, the exotic destinations we went and of course about the food

This soup we made because I found these most amazing little mini Capsicums, or mini Red Peppers on the market. There were so wonderfully sweet and tasty. We simply roasted them with a little salt, pepper and olive oil in the oven, then opened them in the bottom carefully to get the pips out, then we peeled them and used them as a garnish for the soup, together with a roasted Prawn Tail and some grilled Zucchini.

To prepare the soup is really, really easy. I don't even roast them in the oven, I simply take out the pips, cut the green stalk away and then cook them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper till very soft. Then the whole thing gets blended and strained to make sure there is no skin. Like this you will preserve the beautiful red color of the Capsicum

1 kg (2 lbs) Capsicum, red
250 g (10 oz) Onions
50 ml (2 oz) Olive oil
10 g (0.3 oz) Salt
100 g (3.3 oz) Butter

10 each Mini Red Capsicum (if you can find them on a farmers market)
50 ml (2 oz) Olive oil

250 g (9 oz) Baby Zucchini or Baby Marrows
30 ml (1 oz) Olive oil

10 each Prawn Tails, peeled
Olive Oil

Clean and cut the Red Capsicum
Cut the onions in small dices
Saute both in a little Olive Oil, without color
Add water that it is just covered
Season with Pepper and Salt
Simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes
Blend and strain
Season to taste
Just before serving add ice cold Butter and mix the soup up

Mix the Baby Capsicum with Olive Oil and Seasoning
Roast in the oven till soft
Carefully peel and de-pip them

Heat the olive oil, saute the Prawn Tails, season to taste

Cut the Baby Zucchini in fine slices with a truffle cutter or similar, they should look a bit like noodles
Heat the Olive Oils and briefly fry the Zucchini in the oil
Season to taste

For the plating, garnish everything in the soup plate, then serve the soup separate

This should be enough for 10 Friends

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Restaurant Review, Pepper Lunch in Aura Mall, Manila

This is the first time we went to the brand new SM Aura Mall in Manila......and wow, how fancy it all is. A total contrast to Market Market which is less than 5 minutes walk, basically opposite Aura Mall. The Mall is not yet fully opened, there are quite a few shops still not ready, but overall it is a very nice Mall, loads of space, everything is still shiny and polished, so definitely worth a try

There is a food court on the top level, next to the movies and there is a nice choice of food stalls, this time we wanted to try out Pepper Lunch, simply because the line in front of the restaurant was the longest one of all food outlet and I always like to go there where all the people go, it must be good. And good it was indeed. I was amazed at the simplicity of the concept, you choose your dish and then the chef just prepares it quickly on a sizzling hot metal plate, WOW.

The restaurant is a fairly new chain restaurant and there are branches popping up everywhere in Manila, but this is special, you see what they do on the plate. The choice in Aura Mall is a bit small, if you want to have a wider variety you need to go to Rockwell, but beware, the prices there are quite a bit higher.....location and rent I guess.

We had the Pepper Beef and the Teriyaki Beef, both were extremely nice and hot, yes of course, it is a sizzling plate and the food is piping hot. Be careful when you eat it or when you get it from the till as I was full of little sauce splatters over my shirt as I did not think about the food sizzling right in front of me, so to take precautions, even if a little late I used the serviette to protect me, hehehe, still plenty off little spots!

The idea is actually that you mix everything together, there is a pepper butter in the rice, so with mixing it it melts beautifully and flavors the rice. As the restaurant name gives it already away, it is peppery, so if you don't like black pepper, than this restaurant is nothing for you....we loved it.

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