July 10, 2008

Cooking Club II - Spicy Food

This month's meeting was a bit disorganised, we met a little late, we had to cancel and reschedule and - dumbo me - I forgot what the theme was.

Here are our "spicy" recipes - except mine of course.

Who knew I'd enjoy all these soy products? One of the best peanut sauces I've tasted.
Lychee Cocktail
Sweet Ginger Margarita
Ginger Tea (Teh Halia)
* see recipes below
Not on the theme whatsoever, not bad, should have grilled the fennel longer. Used arugula instead of watercress
Suzanne - Jambalaya
Enjoyed the boiled chicken, would be great as a soup as well.
Lisa - Chili Grilled Salmon with Cucumber and Mango Salsa
*see recipe below
Salsa was lovely and a good spice diffuser. Fish was less spicy than I expected.
Jordana - Spicy Potatoes
Holy moley spicy!
Jillian - Spicy Baked Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream
*see recipe below
Yummy! Best dish of the evening - in my opinion.

Lychee Cocktail

The lychee cocktail recipe was created based on my favorite drink at home, which does not contain SOHO lychee liquer (can be found at LCBO).

4 oz canned lychee syrup
2 oz simple syrup
1 oz SOHO lychee liquer

Top with 2 oz of evaporated milk (more if you like it)
Garnish with canned lychees, a sprig of mint

Sweet Ginger Margarita

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup
- 2 oz white tequila
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
- splash of lemon juice
- Garnish: candied ginger (optional)

Heat the fresh ginger slices with the simple syrup in a pan over low heat for about 5 minutes. The syrup should thicken significantly. Combine the ginger syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for a good 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with candied ginger, if desired.

Teh (tea) Halia (ginger)

This is a very popular drink in Malaysia and Indonesia when we eat spicy food, which aids indigestion problems i.e. stomach upsets.

6 cups water
1 cup brown sugar, packed (I prefer to use palm sugar for authenticity)
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cracked

Combine the water, sugar, and ginger in a pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
Cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes.

Chili Grilled Salmon with Mango Cucumber Salsa


1 lb salmon , skinned
3 T vegetable oil
2T chili powder
2t oregano

Season fish with S & P and then rub all over with the oil. Mix chili and oregano and then rub all over fish to coat evenly. Let stand for up to 6 hours in the fridge. Cook the salmon over high heat in a skillet for 4-5 min on each side or until medium or medium-rare.


2 mangoes, finely diced
1/2 cucumber, finely diced
juice of one orange and lime
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve salsa with the fish.

Roasted Spicy Pineapple
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (or more) water
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1/4 cup dark rum
1 large banana
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 dried chiles de árbol*
1 large (4 1/2-pound) pineapple, trimmed, peeled, sliced and cored

Mix sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla beans. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Increase heat; boil until syrup is deep amber color, swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add 1 cup water (syrup will bubble vigorously), then rum. Stir over very low heat until caramel bits dissolve. Simmer 2 minutes. Cool syrup 15 minutes. Pour into blender. Add banana, ginger, and chiles de árbol; puree until sauce is smooth.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pineapple in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour sauce over; turn pineapple to coat. Roast until tender, basting often with sauce and adding more water by tablespoonfuls if sauce becomes thick, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled.)

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream (from the Ice Cream Bible)

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups milk
2 cups whipping cream

1. in a bowl whisk egg yolks with sugar until thickend and pale yellow

2. Slit vanilla bean lenghtwise and scraped seeds into medium saucepan. Add vanilla pod, mild and cream. Bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes for vanilla to infuse

3. Discard pod. Bring mixture to a simmer over low heat. simmer for 5 min. Gradually whisk in egg mixture.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. (don't let it boil). Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold.

5. Stir cream mixture. Transfer to ice cream maker and make according to manufacturer's instructions.

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