Friday, February 28, 2014

Fresh Tuna

Today is no recipe, but a little story that just happened a little while ago.

We are trying to buy as much local as possible, but sometimes it is not easy. The fishermen don't always have the fish we want and this time we were really running around. We had an arrival who wanted to buy an entire tuna, he then wanted to see it and after that we would have to cut out bit by bit and cook it for him in different ways and methods. Generally no problem except.....our fishermen are not lucky with yellow fin tuna at the moment.

So we took it in our hands, went off and took the speed boat to see a close-by island that has a tuna canning factory on it. We thought they must have fresh tuna and would part with one or two of them. We were all in a great mood and off we went.
On the way we saw a fishing boat with tuna, so we made a little detour and checked it out. There are about 8 men living on board the vessel, there was a tiny little kitchen, nothing I want to photograph and put on my blog, trust me, it was really terrible. But we did not come to see their kitchen, but the tuna.

They had quite a bit, all stored in big containers filled with ice water. The tuna was nice, just the price they wanted was more than double than our normal fisherman is charging us. Maybe they could feel that we were sort of desperate for fresh fish. Anyway, we thanked them and off we went to get to the island we originally wanted to see, being convinced that the price will be less.
our bill for the tuna of the engines gave up, caramba, we really did not need that. In the middle of the sea, the gears just fell out and the boat would not go any further. So we had to turn around, without our priced tuna, to get back to our island, which now of course would take about 2 hours instead of 20 minutes.

We had no choice, but go back to the other fishing vessel, schmooze them a bit and buy a tuna or two. They were still happy to sell tuna, of course there was absolutely no bartering at all, we had to pay the given price. I was naturally a bit picky about the tuna, but after checking out a couple of fishes we found some really fresh and lovely tuna.
We put it on the boat, covered it with a towel and prayed it with water, we still had quite a bit to go till we were home. So as it took such a long time we knew that we miss lunch, so what would be close than just stopping on one of the slands and have some lunch. Our boat crew knew about a restaurant and called them up....yes, these islands are so small, they don't just have food for 5 people, hehehe, so we pre-ordered our food, the choice was fried chicken noodles or chicken noodle soup!
Enjoying lunch
The food was actually really nice, we had some starters and then some tea as well, sweet and sticky but very welcome. Then the bill was presented, or whatever you call this tiny little piece of paper whit the number 237 on it. that was the amount in Maldivian Rufiyaa and translates to a little more than 15 USD. Yes for that we could feed 5 grown men and we nearly had some food left over too.
We then went back on our "speed" boat and arrived back at Soneva Fushi literally 2 minutes before the guest arrived. On arrival we chowed him the fish and he could see that we just came back with his fish, so he was absolutely happy about it and chose the bigger fish which we then served in all sorts of ways.
The food bill
It is not every day that we get out like this, but with all the miss hap we had on this trip, timing was at the end absolutely perfect and we had another happy guest.....and we had a great time after all too.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mango Gazpacho

Everybody knows Gazpacho, the traditional Spanish soup that is usually absolutely delicious. Sometimes one can find as well Green Gazpachos or Almond Gazpachos, but have you ever heard of a Mango Gazpacho?

OK, now you have and let me tell you, it is absolutely delicious. It is the latest addition to our Restaurant 9 A la carte menu. I am looking at the menu every month and dishes which are not performing.....better said are not selling that well, will come off the menu and something new comes. his soup is an absolute runner, it is just flies out like hot cakes. It is made like a Gazpacho, but the tomatoes are replaced by mangoes.....yes that is all, it is not a huge thing to do this soup, you can basically take your normal gazpacho recipe and just replace peppers and tomatoes with the mangoes, but just to make sure, here is the recipe

I like to serve some mangoes, almonds, croutons and cut spring onions on the side, so everybody can add as much as they like. It gives something to the dish that everybody enjoys, it is not just a plain soup, but it is something one can talk about and be individual on how much extra goods one like to have in the soup

1 Kg (2.2 lb) Mango, ripe
2 ea Tomatoes, ripe
3 ea Bell Peppers, yellow
1 ea Cucumbers
100 g (3 oz) Bread, white (toast)
150 ml (5 oz) Olive oil
1 Tblsp Sherry Vinegar
Salt, Pepper

Peel Mangoes and cut meat off the pip
Clean peppers from their seeds, cut tomatoes in quarters
Cut cucumber in pieces
Make sure there is no crust on the white bread

Add all ingredients except olive oil in a blender and blend till fine
Then add the olive oil while blending some more
Season to taste

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fig. Pear and Witlof Salad with sustainable Foie Gras

It is Valentines again and we are cooking away a storm. Valentines here on our romantic island is something special. The couples are going first to the sandbank for a glass of Rose Champagne and some Canapes before going to Turtle beach, our most romantic beach on the island.. There they are served a 3 course menu which we cook straight at the beach. A short stroll later they are at Cinema Paradiso, our outdoor cinema for a romantic movie and a chocolate themed dessert buffet. Could it get more romantic than watching a movie under the stars? No, I don't think so, but then again, I live here on the island and love the island every moment of the day

So what are we cooking tonight? I will of course share all the recipes, but want to start with the one starter, a combination of organic lettuces, fruit and meat. We got some sustainable foie gras and made a terrine out of it, then we rolled the terrine and coated it in pistachios. We have received some amazing cured ham from Bayonne in France, it is so subtle in taste, just gorgeous. Of course we take some local lettuces and then some fresh figs, the fruit of love.
The Bayonne ham is a lovely and subtle ham from the French Atlantic coast, very close to Spain. The pigs have to be from the region, the spices, the salt, all is from the region. It has a very mild flavor which I love, it is not so overpowering and salty and combines very well with the other ingredients

Everything gets carefully arranged on a glass plate, it has to be a work of art. We made a balsamic and honey reduction and took some really amazing extra virgin olive oil, we tossed the leaves in it, ah, the combination of the freshness with the richness of the foie gras and the slight saltiness of the ham are just going so well when combined and enjoyed

We take great care of getting certified sustainable foie, again I am not going into the discussion about foie gras, but trust me, we go through great length to make sure we get the best product which is as friendly to teh geese as possible. I am not giving you the recipe for the foie gras terrine again as it is already in my blog.

The bread is more there to give the dish some extra texture, it is a thinly cut toast bread which is baked in the oven till dry, crisp and golden in color

The recipe is enough for 4 friends

100 g (3oz) Bayonne Ham
4 each Figs
2 each Pears
60 g (2 oz) Assorted lettuces
100 g (3 oz) Foie gras terrine
30 g (1 oz) Pistachios
50 ml (2 oz) Olive oil
60 ml (2 oz) Balsamic Vinegar
10 g (0.5 oz) Honey

Firstly reduce the Balsamic till only one third left, add the honey then cool down
Cut the ham is thin slices
Mush the terrine up a bit, then roll in a plastic wrap to a long sausage, cool in the fridge
Chop the pistachios, then roll the terrine in them, after that cut the rolled terrine in 1 cm thick slices
Arrange the ham on the bottom of the plate, then top with the pears
Mix the lettuce with a bit balsamic and olive oil, dress nicely on top of the pears
Garnish with the figs and top with a bread wafer

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Organic Rocket

Today I like to share a special recipe with you. It is based on our homegrown rocket, something that our guests are talking about all the times. We grow very successfully rocket since many years, it is just plain big rocket, not the fancy baby one but the flavor is just incredible, it is spicy and slightly bitter, but if combines with a great olive oil and balsamic vinegar it is a delicacy.

The other recipe is a cold soup, just simply with blended rocket, without cooking it. As soon as you cook the rocket it will lose a lot of its vitamins and the spiciness of the fresh rocket. To mellow the flavor a bit I am serving the soup with a sorbet, it will just help with the overall look and of course taste

The secret to get it a little thick is one of my fancy powders, when blended it acts like a gelatin, but does not have to be heated, it just thickens the soup gently. One only needs a little bit of it. Of course one can take normal gelatin as well, just soak it in cold water and then press it out gently. Take a little bit of the soup and melt the gelatin over low fire. Then mix it with the rest of the soup. Just before serving stir it up again as otherwise the sou will be more like a soft pudding.

The I make a sorbet with it, this time it is a green apple sorbet, just to give it a different flavor, otherwise the soup will be a bit boring, the apple will give a pleasant sweetness to it

Last but not least, some almonds and olive oil, this just rounds the soup up and as all the rest of the ingredients is extremely healthy 

The recipe is for 4 friends

500 g (1 lb) Rocket
500 ml (0.5 pint) Vegetable stock
4 leaves Gelatin
4 scoops Apple sorbet
20 ml Olive oil
36 Each Almonds, peeled

Wash the rocket well, then blend together with the vegetable stock. Use a high speed or thermo blender to get the best result.
Season to taste
Soak and then melt the gelatin, add to the soup and mix well
Just when serving garnish with the apple sorbet and the almonds
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