Friday, August 5, 2016

Young Ginger Roots Part 2: Main Course and Dessert

I half-jokingly told my friends that I have bought so many young ginger roots at the market that maybe I should prepare the whole dinner using that as the major theme. And come to think of that, it’s not a bad idea at all. So after the appetizer of the tomato stuffed with ponzu jelly and young ginger garnish, here’s the main course dish and dessert.

The idea of this came from a classic Cantonese dish called Ji Loh Gaap Pin (子蘿鴿片), basically a stir-fried dish with young ginger, pineapples and slices of pigeon meat. Here I replaced pigeon with deboned chicken thighs, rolled up and cooked sous vide, then served with a pineapple-ginger salsa. A completely different dish from the original, but it’s just as good during the summer time as a refreshing main course.

Recipe: Chicken Roulade with Pineapple-Ginger Salsa (serves 4)

(Note this recipe requires specific sous vide machine for the best result)

  • 4 pieces of boneless chicken thighs, skin-on
  • One medium-sized onion (can substitute with red onion)
  • 1 cup of diced pineapples (preferably fresh)
  • 50g pickled young ginger (see my previous post for recipe)
  • 3 tablespoon of the pickling liquid
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ cup of loosely-packed fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Dried the chicken thighs with kitchen towel. For each of the pieces, carefully removing the skin, keep them as whole and set aside.
2. Use your hand or a roller, flatten the chicken thigh. Season with salt and pepper on both side.
3. Put a large piece of cling wrap underneath, place the skin on top and then a piece of chicken thigh. Then carefully roll up the skin with the meat until both ends meet. Tightly twist both ends of the cling wrap to keep the chicken roulade in shape. Put in an extra layer of cling wrap if necessary
4. With the cling wrap on, use vacuum machine and bag to seal each of the chicken roulade piece. Prepare the water-bath at 65C and cook sous vide for an hour.
5. While the chicken’s cooking, dice both the onion and the ginger. Mix the onion, ginger, pineapple, pickling liquid and olive oil in a bowl. Chopped the cilantro and add to the mixture. Gently stir to mix and leave in the refrigerator so all the flavors can settle.
6. When the chicken roulade is finished, remove from the water bath and both the bag and the cling wrap, dried slightly with kitchen towel.
7. Brush the skin side of the roulade with vegetable oil, use the kitchen torch to crisp the skin (alternatively can use frying pan in high heat with oil)
8. Remove salsa from the refrigerator. Serve by slicing the chicken roulade and placing in the center of the plate, then spoon salsa around the dish. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro.

Ginger icecream is hardly something original – The Chairman, the local restaurant specializes in Cantonese cuisine, has been serving this as dessert for years. Anyway, this is my own version using the young ginger, and unlike the one at The Chairman, I used the raw ginger instead of the pickled one, giving it a stronger, more straight-forward flavor. It’s sort of like the chilled version of the traditional ginger milk custard, and you will be surprised that even though raw ginger was added, that typical spicy kick from the ginger was almost neutralized.

Recipe: Young Ginger Icecream (yields a pint)

  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup of grated young ginger (pulp and juice)

1. Bring the milk and cream to a gentle boil in a saucepan – remove from heat just as it started bubbling. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl until they were combined.
2. Slowly pour (in a slow stream) the milk mixture into the bowl with sugar and egg yolks, whisk to combine. Add in the grated ginger.
3. Put the custard back to the saucepan and warm under lowest heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand for a further 30 minutes to let the ginger flavor infused into the custard.
4. Strain the custard with a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Leave the bowl in the refrigerator for 4 hours and up to overnight.
5. The custard should curdle quite a bit – do a quick whisk to keep the smooth texture. Churn in an icecream maker according to the machine’s instruction. Transfer the icecream into a container and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving. I served mine with bits of candied pecans that I made earlier.

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