After a busy weekend doing a site clean up and moving the last few things that were in the old kitchen to the temporary kitchen in a bedroom, I wanted a nice dinner and as I’m trying to be a bit conscious of healthy eating and maybe even losing some weight (so I can eat up big in Turkey!) I chose a vietnamese style salad. I’ll come back to this after the weekend roundup!
As mentioned, things are getting serious with the exteno and the last items that were in the kitchen have been relocated to the spare bedroom that we will use until the new kitchen is done. This should work well, the only things I haven’t really addressed is how we are going to manage water and dishes. We can now start on stripping the old chimney with no worries about the mess getting into everything. Not sure why I think that matters? There is mess in everything else! It will evolve, I’m not that worried.
A quick wander around the veggie patch and some exciting harvests beginning to come in. Things are a little out of control, but tomorrow I’ll go out with gusto and get stuck into it. You can really tell summer is here!
This weeks bread bake was based in Chad Roberston’s sesame country loaf. I used 20% rye and 80% Callington Mill light flour, 70% hydration. This is a lovely loaf! Smells wonderful and I notice that the sesame flavour has developed well from yesterday until today.
I’m trying to use up as many of the things I have in the freezer and pantry as much as possible. I’d spied some Mirboo Pastured Poultry tenderloins hiding in there and thought they might smoke well.
- 40ml soy sauce
- 40ml Chinese rice wine
- 1 desertspoon extra fine rice flour
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- a few slices of ginger
Leave the chicken in the marinade a couple of hours or overnight.
Lightly sear the chicken, just enough to brown the surface. Tread lightly here as the chicken will continue to cook while smoking. Prepare the vessel you are going to smoke the chicken in. I use a wok for this.
Line the wok with 2 layers of foil, add the ingredients you are going to create the smoke with. I used
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup raw rice
- ¼ cup tea leaves (I used some I wasn’t sure of what it was and that I would never drink, oolong is popular for smoking)
- sliced ginger
- 1 star anise
- about a tablespoon of pink peppercorns
Mix these together so they are evenly distributed. I added the pink peppercorns last minute, after this was taken!
I use a bamboo steamer for smoking, I line it with baking paper with holes cut out so the smoke circulates well. Like cutting out paper dolls and snowflakes when you are little!
Place the chicken into the steamer, light the gas under the wok (low heat) and when smoke starts appearing, put the steamer with lid on into the wok. Make sure there is a bit of a gap between bottom of steamer and the wok. I let smoke for about 15-20 minutes and this mix resulted in the best smoked flavour I’ve done so far. The pink peppercorn taste take came through really well.
- vermicelli noodles (I had soaked these in boiling water while chicken was smoking).
- 1 long red chilli finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped mint
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander
- some peas and beans I harvested yesterday. The larger peas I shelled and left the young ones whole. I zapped them in the microwave for 1 minute.
- Carrot finely cut
- A sauce made from lime juice, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar and a splash of soy.
I discovered my mint pot which had been doing well was moved at some stage during the slab stage and it was beyond saving for tonights meal. Lucky for me we have a great local fresh fruit & vegie supplier where I knew I would not only be able to get fresh mint but I could also get organic carrots grown by the wonderful Thorpdale Organics. Never had to buy mint before and like buying lemons, it just shouldn’t happen! Grabbed some fresh limes too, but sadly they didn’t have bean sprouts. That’s my chilli, didn’t buy that!
Bean sprouts are one of those things that I hate buying because it is hard to get fresh ones and they come in plastic bags. You usually only use a small amount from the bag and the rest gets fed to chooks or composted. Whenever I try to grow our own they work well but I can’t seem to co-ordinate having them ready with when I need them. Maybe Tammy from over at Gippsland Unwrapped has some tips of getting these without plastic packaging. Dandenong Market sells them not packed but that wasn’t an option today.
The end flavour of this meal was great. Succulent, juicy, stunning flavour of the chicken and this went together well with the vietnamese inspired noodle salad with loads of fresh herbs and a tangy sauce. I would definitely give smoking in a wok a try, it is easy and the results are sensational!