Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Momofuku adventures: pork buns and crack pie


I purchased David Chang's book Momofuku a year ago after reading all sorts of fabulous things about his recipes across a whole heap of food blogs. So far I've only made two dishes (they tend to be fairly involved!), but definitely plan to do more soon.

Pork buns
The recipe for these delicious morsels can also be seen online here. In the book, Chang recommends buying pre-made steamed buns but I thought they were a lot of fun to make and definitely worth the effort. I followed the recipes for the buns and pickled cucumber to the letter (although I found that just folding the rolled-out bun dough in half was easier than using a chopstick). Instead of pork belly I slow-cooked a pork shoulder and sliced that up.

Here's the bun dough after the second rise, ready for steaming:


Post-steaming and splitting:


Assembled, with hoisin sauce, pork, pickled cucumber and spring onions:



I did re-steam the leftover buns after keeping them in the fridge overnight, and wasn't as happy about how they turned out - they were a bit sticky rather than soft and pillowy. Chang recommends freezing them (and steaming from frozen) - perhaps I should have frozen them instead of refrigerating?

Crack pie:
This has got to be the unhealthiest dessert EVER! Check out the recipe - it's basically just a whole lot of sugar, butter and egg yolks, with some heavy cream thrown in for good measure. You make a giant cookie, crumble it up to make two pie bases, and then fill them with a crazy mixture. This recipe was actually the main reason that I bought the book - but it's not in it! Instead Momofuku Milk Bar will have the sweets recipes, including crack pie and all sorts of other goodies. I'll definitely be adding this to my cookbook collection when it's released later this year.

Here's one pie prior to baking:

And the result - it doesn't look like much but it has to be tasted to be believed. Dust the top with some icing sugar and serve it up to sweet-toothed friends!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A pretty amazing dal

I love dal and have been experimenting with a few different recipes lately. This particular one is my favourite so far, and is adapted from a recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible. It's a South Indian style, and the finishing touch of adding the curry leaves and mustard seeds in ghee is what sets it apart - it wouldn't be the same without this step!

Fresh curry leaves can be hard to find in Hobart, but Spice World in the Bank Arcade usually have them. They have an amazing, nutty aroma that I can't get enough of. They can be frozen, and this is nearly as good as fresh. I don't think that dried curry leaves are worth using though, as the flavour is just not there.

This recipe is great with rice, or creamy polenta.

90g mung dal (red lentils)
90g toovar dal (split pigeon peas)
pinch asafetida (optional)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 shallot, very finely diced
1 green chilli, finely diced
1 tsp salt
Silverbeet or spinach (optional)
2 tbs ghee (or olive oil)
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
3 tbs coriander leaves, chopped

Wash the dal well, then drain.
Add the dal plus 1 litre of water to a large saucepan and bring to the boil without boiling over.
Skim off any scum that rises.
Add the asafetida, cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginger, garlic, shallots, green chilli and salt.
Stir well then reduce the heat so that it's lightly simmering.
Cover partially with a lid and stir occasionally until the dal is tender (up to an hour), then turn off the heat.
If you include silverbeet, roughly chop it and mix it in after 45 minutes. If using spinach, add it when you turn off the heat.
Add the ghee to a frypan and heat.
Add the mustard seeds and chilli flakes and stir quickly.
Crush the curry leaves in your hand and add to the frypan.
Stir very briefly then quickly tip the contents of the frypan into the dal.
Mix together, then immediately cover with a lid and let it sit for several minutes.
Add the coriander and then stir briefly before serving.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Sapa Rose, Hobart CBD

Sapa Rose is a relatively new Vietnamese restaurant in the city. We don't have much in the way of Vietnamese here, so it's a great addition to the Hobart dining scene.

J and I shared two entrees and two mains. We started with the crispy duck skin with prawn. Fried duck skin - things don't get much tastier than that! The dipping sauce was lovely, too.


We also had the beef la lop - beef wrapped in betel leaves and grilled. Again, this was brilliant. The beef mix had a lovely and strong flavour of kaffir lime leaves.


For mains, we had the traditional curry chicken. It was wonderfully comforting on a cold, rainy night.


We also had the claypot rice which was topped with various meats, vegetables and a gooey fried egg.


I really enjoyed this meal - beautiful flavours and it was great value (the above plus steamed rice came to around $50). The service was a bit patchy, and mains took quite a long time to come, but it was worth it. I'll be back to try more of their dishes, including the phở which is only available at lunchtime.

Sapa Rose on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 5, 2011

Annapurna, Salamanca

Annapurna Indian Cuisine has two restaurants in Hobart, one in North Hobart and the other at Salamanca. I *love* Indian food and seem to end up at Indian restaurants pretty often (though this seems to be the first time that I've blogged about one!).

One of my favourite things to order that a couple of Hobart's Indian restaurants offer is the Thali plate. Annapurna's menu describes this as "An Indian style combination plate served on a big tray with an assortment of individual dishes with steamed rice and Indian bread."

There are three type of thali available here - I chose the special thali ($22.90) which came with a piece of tandoori chicken, butter chicken, lamb rogan josh, a vegetable curry, raita, naan bread, a papadum and rice. There is also a vegetarian thali and another that has seafood.


It was great, as usual. It's a huge amount of food - only order it if you are hungry! I once made the mistake of ordering a thali and mango lassi - all that food topped off with the thick, yoghurty drink left me in a bit of a food coma.

Annapurna's website.

Annapurna on Urbanspoon