Chef's school post #4 - interesting ingredients
Last week was half term. It felt a bit strange having the week off - partly because we've only been going for 5 weeks, but mostly because I haven't had a half term for 12 years or so! But you can rest assured that this school holiday was quite different from my ones as a teenager.
Rather than lie in bed until midday and then be generally unhelpful to my mother, I undertook work experience at a Michelin starred restaurant in London. The hours were long (8:00am to after midnight) and we had lots of work to do. Great to see the food coming out of this sort of kitchen though and what it takes to produce it. Quite an eye opener and definitely an experience.
Anyway, the occurrence of half term means that I can't report on a particular day, technique or recipe from the last week of chef's school. Instead, I thought I'd mention that one of the enjoyable parts of the course is that our chef often gets in some novel ingredients for us to see and use. These range from seasonal foraged items, like wild mushrooms or sea buckthorn, to exotic fruits, like the 'Buddha's hand' in the picture above.
A Buddha's hand originates from North Eastern India and China. It's a citrus fruit, but it doesn't have very much juicy flesh. The inner white pith is not as bitter as that in an orange or lemon, but it's peel is quite fragrant. It's often cut into lengths (along the fingers!) and candied. But we cut it up and stuffed it in a vodka bottle (with vodka, obvs). I look forward to seeing what the vodka tastes like soon!
Till next time
P.S. I also found the time last week to take part in the #BBShortrib competition that Danny the website editor was involved in. Have a look at his blog on this site and then, if you want, check out my blog to see what I made and how I did: http://www.rocketandsquash.com/sherry-b … b-pudding/
Speak with me on Twitter! @rocketandsquash
I have never seen such a strange fruit , I looked at it for a whie before I read the post , trying to work out what it was .
An easier thing t put the f fruits in and ass vodka are those le parfait jars , it must have been a real pain sticking the ieces of the fruit into a bottle !
My father used to have one of those lidded stoneware jars... rometoff or something like that and he would steep fruits in rum or brandy .
I was suprised how much meat was on the short ribs and making a pudding from the ribs was an inspiration .
It wasn't too difficult stuffing the fruit pieces in the vodka bottle - it was a big bottle!
Re the ribs, it's definitely a good use of them. Using 1.5kg of meat, the pudding fed 6 easily, and would probably stretch to 8. The same weight of ribs BBQ'd (seemed to generally be 5 ribs) would be a 2-3 person portion.
very cool.. I was searching when I was in florida for a buddha hand . Apparently I was about a month too early for the season. Although I would have been even more happy to get ahold of finger limes.
Your blog looks good; I will look at it properly, when I have time. Spring aproaches, lots of foraging/little time. That fruit looks interesting. I hope to pick some sea buckthorn, I hope to put it with the mackerel I catch this year.
Ashen - Hi. We've tasted the vodka now. Very nice - quite flora and more subtle than, say, a lemon or orange would be. We've used some of it in a gravadlax salmon cure. Should be checking the results of that on Tuesday. You'll be glad to know our chef also got hold of some finger limes for us, which I thought were brilliant.
Goose - Thanks. Sea Buckthorn is a really interesting flavour. A little pricky to pick, though! Quite tart, so maybe would work with mackerel, though it's also nice with duck. A lot of the Danish chefs use it too. I think this fizz idea looks good, though http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/ … thorn-fizz