World on your plate
If you're still sulking over that cancelled summer holiday, five expat chefs whip up faves from their home countries to cheer you up
Alexis Gielbaum, head chef and co-owner at Slink & Bardot and Soufflé S'il Vous Plaît, grew up in Paris. "In France, crêpes are probably one of the first treats your mother cooks for you. During these hard times, you can accommodate your crêpes with mostly everything, be it sweet or savoury," says
For the base: 125 gm flour (white or buckwheat) 2 eggs 225 gm milk a pinch of salt
Note: For savoury crêpes you can add some herbs in the batter: chop parsley, tarragon, sage or fresh thyme. For sweet crepes, add 5 gm sugar or 50 gm butter.
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk until you have a thick dough. Continue whisking for two to three minutes to develop the gluten. Add milk very slowly to avoid lumps. Keep the batter in the fridge for two hours. In a hot non-stick pan, put a drop of oil or a little butter. With a ladle, pour just enough to cover the pan with a thin layer. Cook for three minutes, until the crepes become golden brown. Flip and cook for two to three more minutes. Savoury toppings can include sautéed onions, mushrooms, parsley, tomatoes, Emmental cheese, chicken, eggs, sautéed peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, chilli or thyme. Sweet crêpes can have Nutella or maple syrup, honey and butter.
Chef Boo Kim, F&B director at Aallia Hospitality and executive chef at Bastian, One Street and Dirty Buns, explains that Bulgogi was a dish he ate at a family gathering or family dinner back home. "We would have a big spread, like dumplings, a stew, different kimchis, rice and lettuce cups served alongside the traditional Korean-style Bulgogi," recalls Kim.
- 800 gm chicken breast, sliced 130 gm onions
- 50 gm scallions 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
For the marinade:
- 6 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 80 gm onions, sliced
- 15 gm garlic 5 gm ginger 2 gm black pepper powder 5 gm toasted sesame oil
For the marinade, add everything (light soy, brown sugar, sliced onion, garlic, ginger, black pepper and toasted sesame oil) into the blender and blend. Take the sliced chicken breast or any protein you wish to use with the scallion and onion and pour the marinade over it. Let it marinate for two hours. In a non-stick sauté pan, add a little oil and cook bulgogi on medium high heat. Garnish with sesame seeds. This can be eaten on its own or with rice and lettuce cups on the side.
Chef Roberto Zorzoli, head chef, Romanos, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, has lived in Mumbai for the past decade. He fondly remembers the Lombardy region in Italy. "I spent time in the kitchen with my dear grandmother. She taught me how to make dumplings. The idea of kneading with flour made me
For home-made gnocchi: 600 gm potatoes 300 gm spinach 120 gm of flour 1 tsp salt
Boil potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes. Peel them and pass them in the potato masher. Boil cleaned spinach with a little water for a few minutes. Drain, squeeze and blend. At this point, in a bowl, put potatoes, gnocchi, flour (start with 100 gm, increasing the quantity up to a maximum of 150 gm based on the dough's consistency) and salt. Mix quickly, add enough flour to obtain a compact and workable dough. Divide the dough into pieces and form cords with a thickness of about a couple of centimetres. Cut the cords with a knife every 3 cm. Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of already boiling salted water and drain with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface. For white bechemel sauce, melt two spoons of butter, add two spoons of flour and stir constantly. Add one cup of milk and boil, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Chef Seefah Ketchaiyo of Bandra eatery Seefah remembers a noodle shop near her home in Bangkok. "I used to visit it as a child and it is my earliest food memory," she says, sharing her recipe for spicy minced basil chicken.
- 150 gm minced chicken
- 20 gm chopped garlic
- 10 gm chopped chilli
- 5 gm big red chillies chopped
- 20 gm basil
- 30 gm oyster sauce
- 10 ml fish sauce
- 5 ml dark soy
- 100 ml oil
- Sugar to taste
Heat oil in the pan on medium flame, add chilli, garlic and stir until 80 per cent cooked. Add all the seasoning, a little water and in the end, a big chilli and basil. Serve together will steamed rice and fried egg.
Soup for the soul
Chef Pablo Naranjo Agular grew up in Colombia's Bogota. "We ate a delicious red bean soup at my grandmother's house. She used to cook the beans with lots of coriander and blend the whole thing together. I used to make a huge mix inside my soup bowl to make it thicker. I added rice, avocado cubes and a sunny side-up."
- 300 gm lentils, soaked Coriander stems Turmeric Black pepper Coriander powder Cumin Mustard seeds 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp mustard paste
- 2 onions
- 5 garlic cloves
- 600 ml water
- 200 ml beer
- Salt to taste
Cook the onions and garlic with a bit of oil. Add the mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric, coriander powder and black pepper corns. Add the coriander stems, mustard, lentils, beer, vinegar and water. Season with salt and cook in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes. Blend the soup and serve with chopped coriander, fried plantain, sunny side-up egg and avocado.
Patata Bravas from Spain
Chef Manuel Olveira Seller of La Loca Maria hails from Toledo, Spain. "I used to look forward to Sunday afternoons as a kid. For aperitifs, my parents would take my two sisters and me to the local bar in Toledo to eat patatas bravas while they enjoyed some Cañas (a local beer)."
- 4 medium potatoes
- 2 cups olive oil, for frying
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup garlic aioli
- ½ cup salsa brava
For the garlic aioli
- 5 cloves of garlic roasted and pureed
- 250 gr mayonnaise
- 5 ml lemon juice
For the salsa brava
- 20 ml olive oil
- 4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and pureed
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the salsa brava, heat olive oil in a pan over a medium-high flame, add the garlic, and fry until golden. Add the tomato puree and cook until thick and reduced. Add the chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper. For the garlic aioli, mix the garlic puree with the mayonnaise and lemon juice to taste. Peel the potatoes, rinse them thoroughly, and cut into wedges. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. Add potatoes and reduce the flame to low. When potatoes are cooked, remove from the oil. Heat oil again on a high flame, and deep fry the potatoes until golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Drizzle salsa brava and garlic aioli on the crispy potatoes. Sprinkle chopped parsley.
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