My first and one of my favourite dinners with my newest accomplice Danielle!
Danielle and I were in Galway at the Film Fleadh, when we came to the decision that it would be great to do a Japanese meal using Irish Seasonal ingredients. The best suggestion was that it would be great to tempura some courgette flowers. I made a quick phone call to the wonderful McNallys, I was informed they were available...provided I appear on the farm the day I was going to use them and hope it wasn't raining.
I wanted the pickled salad and mackerel to be strong and flavoursome. Mackerel only needs 24hrs to pickle safely. I wanted to intensify the flavour so I left it for 2 nights. The salad is a simple bento recipe on a larger scale.
Find your veg that you want, chop it into strips pour over a mixture of rice vinegar and sugar leave for up to 3 weeks in the fridge. With the mackerel I used a mixture of cider vinegar from Llewellyns and white wine vinegar. Cooked it down with a fennel and orange mix. Covered the fish in onions, fennel and poured over the cooled liquid. I wrapped it well and put a heavy weight on top.
I wanted to do something different with the seaweed salad this time, I decided to use rhubarb, broccoli and wakame seaweed with a soy/lime dressing. I roasted the rhubarb for 15min at a high heat with ginger and soy. Seared the broccoli with chilli. Mixed everything with the rehydrated seaweed. Dressed it all in the soy and lime and it tasted great.
The plan was to make soba noodles and it almost worked. It got to 8:00pm, went to roll them...dust. Not good. It's life I guess I had done a test batch earlier that day, with some success. I had decided to add more white flour to the mixture. It just didn't come together. These things do happen and I plan to return to them soon. Out I ran to F&B and ran home.
The joy of pickling was it was done ahead of time, sadly I am sometimes a little distracted..D appeared just after 8:30 to see me running around like a headless chicken. None of the tempura stuff ready to go. Within the next few minutes she was in chopping like a pro while I complained about noodles and gluten. But we were back on track. We began by cooking the flowers which worked amazingly well! The rest followed and we were ready to go! The noodles chilled, their dipping sauce waiting them. Salad and fish on the table. We all set down with small plates, bowl and chop stick. Hungry and warm*
*I was mainly warm....I had also put my finger in the hot oil at least twice.
Last but not least was the matcha tea ice-cream. I love making ice-cream I've been making lots of it lately and my confidence has risen. I made brittle to go along with it. Cooked down the red beans to a nice consistency and passed them through a sieve.
So this was what we began with this morning and it was the last thing to leave the kitchen this afternoon. I like making ice-cream. I make it a good bit. I also fail at making it a good bit. Some of the reason I fail:
- I have an electric hob.
- I can not control the heat being applied to the base of my pot correctly.
- My fridge sometimes doesn't like to chil items I give it.
- I don't own a thermometer.
- I like failing?
- I like scrabled eggs that taste of vanilla?
Well anyway, I decided it'd be best if we started off with a nice simple one for Michelle sometine she could build from change and tweak for whatever reason she wants. I've been trying over the past few months to instill in Michelle the idea that everything you use in the kitchen as far as ingredients are concerned should be the best. Should be fresh. Should be seasonal and such. From her salt and pepper to the milk we use in the making of the icecream. I wanted a good full fat milk. So what better than the best milk you can buy in the centre of Dublin,so we popped up to Sheridan's on South Anne St and grabbed a 1ltr bottle of Teirnan Family's Raw Milk. We were ready. I was nervous. Michelle wanted a sandwich.
What you'll need:
- 250ml full fat milk
- 250ml double cream
- 2 vanilla pobs
- 5 egg yolks
- 100g sugar
With a sharp knife split the vanilla pods in half and scrape out the seeds. Put the milk, cream and vanilla seeds and pods into a heavy saucepan. Warm gently till just below boiling point, pop it off the heat and leave covered to infuse with the vanilla for about 15-20 minutes. In the mean time whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. Gradually add the warm mixture to the egg/sugar mix till it's all added. Return the saucepan to the hob and cook over a low hat stirring constantly. What you want to happen is the custard coats the back of your spoon. On a low heat and being terrified as I always am making this, it might take a while. I go from points of joy with the smell of vanilla floating around to anger and holding my hand back from uping the heat. Just take your time. Rush it and it over heats you'll have scrambled eggs.
Pour everything into a large bowl and chill.
Today I left this to chill for about 3 hours while we baked the rest of our things. I would normally leave it up to 8 hours. I made sure the mix was shallow so it would chill quickly.
I went and collected my freezer bowl. With the kitchenaid freezer bowls they have to be in a freezer for at least 15 hours prior to using them.
**TIP** Do not pour your mixture into the freezer bowl before starting the mixing. It's cold in there and it'll just freeze and cause a few issues **END OF TIP**
I poured my mix in as the arms were turn and waited. I can see were this tune of "I scream, you scream" comes from. It took about 25min before it started resemble ice-cream. I left my mixer on the slowest speed. After about 35min I was happy wit how it looked. Took it out, tasted. Was happy with how it tasted. If you have any left after making this just pop it in a box and leave it in the freezer.