Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tuna Carpaccio by Igor Macchia

It is not long time ago when we talked about tuna, about the freshness and how it is delivered fresh here all the times. I think we have some of the best tuna there is, usually the tuna is caught less than 24 hours before it is delivered with us and there is just no better sashimi then from a really fresh tuna

I am sure that I have mentioned it many times before, but we do not serve blue fin tuna. The blue fin is a highly endangered species and should be avoided at all cost. If there is a restaurant serving blue fin, please boycot it, tell people about it that others can do the same, we really should not accept that there are still restaurants serving blue fin tuna.

The original recipe is made with lobster, but then again, as the lobster is getting very scarce here in Maldives, we at Soneva Fushi have decided not to serve lobster and so far we had actually no complaints as we always can make a plan with something else. The same for Igor, when we talked about the menu he was more than happy to change the carpaccio to a different fish to make sure we can continue our drive for sustainability

We got yellow fin tuna, there is still enough of it, at least for the time being and trust me, it is delicious too. Naoki, our Japanese chef is usually there immediately to get his share of fresh Toro, the tuna belly. The rest of us, we are happy with the Tuna fillet.

Having Igor here as our guest chef has been a lot of fun. We had three great events and I like to share his way of tuna carpaccio. There are hundreds of ways of presenting a carpaccio and I never get tired to see different variations.

So here it is

2 Ea Lemon
250 Ml Water
250 G Sugar

500 G Tomato
20 Ml Olive oil
50 G Shallots, julienne
10 G Thyme
Pepper corn
1 Ea Lemon fresh

320 G Tuna
Lemon confit
Tomato confit
Mixed lettuce
Olive oil
Maldon Salt
Micro Greens
Pepper from the mill

Cut the lemon skin in julienne, boil three times each time shock in cold water each time shock in cold water
Mix water, sugar and lemon zest, simmer and cool

Skin and quarter the tomatoes
Season with pepper, oil, shallot and thyme
Put on a tray and cook in the oven at 160 C for 35 minutes
Keep cool, drained and dry

Cut the tuna very thin
Put the mixed lettuce on the bottom of the plate
Put the carpaccio on top
Season with Maldon salt and pepper
Garnish with micro greens
Drizzle with Olive oil

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Piedmont Cheese Risotto with black truffle and Coffee Powder

You might think now that the chef has gone completely crazy with serving a risotto with coffee powder. So I challenge you: try it out for yourself and find out how delicious it tastes.

The dish is quite complex, all the different cheeses make it extremely creamy. The beef carpaccio on top gives it a different dimension. Of course if you want to do the risotto vegetarian, you can leave the beef away and instead of the chicken stock you take a very good vegetable stock.

Then the fresh black truffle and the coffee powder, just normal coffee powder will do. It does sound strange, but it really goes so well together.

This recipe is actually made by Igor Macchia, he is the guest chef that is with us at Soneva Fushi for a bit more than one week. So far it has been great fun to work with him, I love the type of food he serves, simple, straight forward but with a lovely difference of unusual flavors. He has a one Michelin starred restaurant close to Torino in Italy, here is the website of his restaurant La Credenza. He is the co owner of it and all I can say is go into the gallery and see the amazing food pictures and if you are by any chance in the region, I think it is a must to book a table and try out the amazing food he cooks

But here is the recipe for the risotto

25 G (1 oz) Onion
25 G (1 oz) Castel Magno Cheese
25 G (1 oz) Toma Cheese
15 G (0.5 oz) Parmesan Cheese
250 G (9 oz) Carnaroli Risotto rice
60 Ml (2 oz) White wine
25 G (1 oz) Butter
1.5 (1.5 qrt) Chicken stock

25 G (1 oz) Beef Fillet
25 G (1 oz) Black Truffle
25 Ml (1 oz) Olive oil
Coffee Powder
Truffle jus

Heat olive oil, add chopped onions and rice
Cook for three minutes
Add wine and start cooking with chicken stock
Cook for around 16 minutes
Add all cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper

Cut the beef fillet thinly for the carpaccio
Freeze the carpaccio, then cut out with a round cutter

Powder the bottom of the plate with coffee powder
Top with the risotto
The top with carpaccio and finely sliced truffles
Garnish with a little truffle jus

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Pontet Canet wines @ Soneva Fushi

It was a great day, we had a special wine dinner with wines from Pontet Canet, one of the most prestigious Bordeaux wines. We even have the owner, Melanie Tesseron, of the chateau here so we were in for a real treat.

I made a menu that matches the wonderful wines from the Chateaux, all red wines so there challenge was on. Especially for the dessert as it is really difficult to match a red Bordeaux with dessert. So I decided to go with Valrhona Fair trade chocolate. The chocolate comes in three ways, one flavored with rosemary, then one with orange and the last with pink pepper corns.
But let me start at the beginning of the dinner, some Champagne and home cured salmon, a dish that goes so well with Champagne. We did a little duo, one cured with citrus and the other with beetroot. Just a little salmon roe on top, and it was finish.

cured sustainable ocean trout
beetroot, orange, salmon roe, endive
peas, mushrooms, butternut, olive oil, truffle
Grain-fed Bresse chicken
snails, sun-dried tomato, celeriac, herbs
potatoes, mushrooms, shallot, spinach, truffle jus
goats cheese
smoked tomato, cream
Valrhona fair-trade grand cru chocolate

rosemary, orange, pink peppercorn

Then we had tortellini, three kind all filled with a different filling, one with peas, one with mushroom and one with butternut. I love pasta and feel that even with a classical French menu we can sere a little pasta course. It is a very playful dish, quite labor intensive but beautiful to look at
Then we had the duo of Bresse chicken and snails. The chicken comes from the Bresse region, they are absolutely fantastic tasting chickens, slightly yellow in color from the feed which is corn. The breast is filled with sun-dried tomatoes and then rolled, the skin still on, then poached, cooled and pan fried just before serving. It goes beautifully well with the herbed snails and the red wine
Then the main course is a very traditional one, basically one could call it beef parmentier which means beef and potatoes.....just of course shooshed up a little.
The cheese course is a very important course on this menu, I decided to go for a twice cooked goats cheese souffle, even so it doesn't say on the menu, I like to keep some surprises up my sleeve. This is served with a slightly smoked tomato sauce and pesto, just a couple of drops as otherwise it will be too overpowering
The wines of course were out of this world. Pontet Canet is not just a Grand Crus Classe 1855, but it is the first and only bio-dynamic Grand Cru Classe in Bordeaux. I am not telling you how much one bottle costs, that you can find out for yourselves, but just to let you know the 2010 was awarded 100 Points by Parker, which means it is basically a perfect wine.

We had 6 different vintages, I mean to have one vintage is already a treat, but to be able to taste 6 different years, to see how different the wines are each year, knowing that they come from the same simply amazing. It is all depending on the weather, just amazing

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Watalappan (Jagery coconut caramel pudding)

We have buffet night again, this time it is an Indian and Sri-Lankan buffet and the food is as usual absolutely delicious. Of course I have to say it is delicious as I am the chef here, but honestly, the food was really amazing again, so I want to share some lovely recipes with you

The attention tonight is on one of the desserts, the Watalappan, a pudding from Sri-Lanka. Our Pastry Chef, Shanta is from Sri-Lanka, so this dessert is about as authentic as it goes. It is actually very similar to the traditional Creme Caramel, just a little sweeter and richer. The mixed spices that go in give it a lovely flavor that makes it very different in taste, so the making of it is simple. To get the right ingredients might be a little more complicated and you will have to go in an Indian specialty shop. Just some explanations:

Jagery is actually just simply palm sugar, so this ingredient is easy to get as it is available in most Asian shops

Kithul Treacle might be a bit more of a challenge, but I know everybody likes a bit of a challenge. The English word for it is actually Palm Molasses. But if you can't find the Palm Molasses, you can substitute it for brown sugar.

As for the spices, I use Cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and a little cloves. The go in my spice grinder to make a powder of t. If you don't have a grinder or a very good blender you can just buy the spices in powder form. Just be careful with the cloves, they can be very overpowering

Just a little tip: Leave your pudding in the fridge for 2 days, the spices will develop a much better aroma

250 g sugar

1 l  Coconut milk (fresh)
600 g Jagery (palm sugar)
100 ml Kithul Treacle (can use brown sugar)
25 g mixed spices
15 ea Eggs

Take the 250 g sugar and caramelise till light brown
Pour in a creme caramel mold.
Mix all the other ingredients well together
Pour carefully over the hard caramel
Poach in the oven in a bain marie at 125C for about 30 to 45 minutes
Cool down completely
Take it out the form
Garnish with toasted Pecan nuts
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