Sir minimalist: the un-surly Susur Lee.
Often we think it's luck and timing, but this svelte-figured man has made it again--and yet again. He is a rare breed of chef, one that actually chose to close the doors of his packed restaurant in Toronto. During that time, Lotus was the place to be. The accolades never ceased until after the final meal was served.
Lee went overseas, lured to Singapore. The Tung Lok Group had conceptualized a restaurant with a clever colonial Shanghai-styled decor and called it Club Chinois. There, Susur made magic once again. At Club Chinois, he wowed a food-savvy audience and even hosted "hotshots" like Jean Georges Vongerichten in his kitchen. As consulting chef, he had a rare benefit-- more time for his family.
Hopscotching back "home" to Canada, this Hong Kong native is literally down the street from his old locale. He is now in a bigger and better mousetrap, aptly called Susur. Toronto is thrilled about his return.
As a chef, to know and discover new ingredients is always thrilling and enlightening--just plain "cool." Using foreign ingredients can be a hit-and-miss proposition resulting in complete serendipity or total disaster. Knowing how to use, but not abuse, these elements is what separates the boys from the men.
Lee is definitely one of the "men." His stint in Singapore gave him a new perspective on some familiar ingredients and has allowed him to go to the next level. Susur has an unsurpassed knowledge and understanding of how a new ingredient can enhance a dish. He is sometimes described as the "artist that uses food as a medium." Simple presentations belie the complex and intense flavors of his fare.
Continually challenging himself, Lee tries to maximize a product and fine tune its taste in order to delight the palates of diners. Using flavors from Asia, combined with European ingredients and techniques, he is re-inventing not only what we eat, but also how we eat. Susur's food is served in small "tasting-sized" portions.
Fusion, or con-fusion, has become the new F-word today. Over saturated and over done... what would be preferable is just over, done, finis! Trendy exaggerations like Franco-Oriental-esque fuel people's preconceptions about Asian food . However, there is no stereotyping the food of Susur Lee. There is one integral component in Lee's food that other boys often miss--umami. Though some might dispute its actual existence, this alleged stepchild of the senses has been accepted Chinese and Japanese doctrine for centuries. Often vaguely defined, umami is essentially the "taste factor," a reaction of the glutamates that naturally occur in food and stimulate the taste buds as well as the entire mouth.
The saturation of "suddenly Asian" has overtaken us by storm. Most feel they will die if served another "raw tuna tartar" or "soy infused whatnot" and often run these days from the Asian flavors. The trend is thankfully fading, but die-hards like Susur Lee who truly understand how to manipulate these ingredients will prevail. With his kind of vision, there are no boundaries.
Smoked Scallops with Ocean Gelee (Serves 12)
For the prosciutto: Pre-heat the oven to 200 dearees. Place the prosciutto on a parchment-lined half sheet pan and place in the oven until almost dry. Remove from the oven, baste with half the honey and place in the oven until dry. Remove from the heat, brush with the remaining honey, and set aside.
For the gelee: In a food processor, puree the onion, carrot, celery, ginger, and fish to form a rough puree. Transfer to a bowl, add the egg whites, and stir well to combine.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the fish puree and fish stock. Simmer, stir ring gently until a raft forms on the surface. Simmer for three hours to clarify. Remove from the heat and using a ladle, carefully strain the liquid through a coffee-filter lined fine mesh sieve. Discard the raft. Season the strained liquid. Dissolve the gelatin and add to the liquid. Spoon some liquid into the soup dishes. Arrange some pieces of red aku nori seaweed and green tosaka seaweed on the bottom of each plate. Chill in the refrigerator until just set.
For the citrus sauce: In a medium saucepan, caramelize the sugar, orange and lemon zest, cardamom, pink peppercorns, and cubeb berries. Add the orange and lemon juice and reduce slightly. Add the vinegar; puree and strain. Season with salt.
To finish the scallops: Line a wok with heavy foil. Place all the ingredients except for the scallops into the center of the foil and suspend a rack to hold the scallops 2-inches above the mixture. Season and place the scallops on the rack in the wok. Put the wok on high heat until it begins to smoke. Covet- with a lid and adjust the heat. Smoke to reach the desired doneness. Remove from the heat and allow the scallops to cool.
To serve: Place a scallop on top of the ocean gelee, set a slice of prosciutto on top, and spoon some citrus sauce around the dish.
Muscadel do Sevre et Main sur Lie,
Grand Cuvee Saint-Hilaire
Chateau du Coing
Loire, France 1993
ingredients For the prosciutto: 6 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half 1/4 cup honey For the ocean gelee: 1 small onion, peeled and chopped 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 rib celery, peeled and chopped 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped 1 pound white-fish fillets, such as flounder, minced 3 egg whites 4 cups fish stock 6 sheets gelatin, softened in cold water 1/4 cup red aku nori seaweed * soaked in cold water 1/4 cup green tosaka seaweed * soaked in cold water Salt and pepper to taste For the citrus sauce: 1 cup granulated sugar Zest from 1 large orange Zest from 1 lemon 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns 1 teaspoon cubeb berries ** 1 cup fresh orange juice 1/2 cup lemon juice 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar Salt to tastc For the scallops: 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup white rice, uncooked 1 cup green tea leaves 2 star anise 1 cinnamon stick, crushed 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns 2 1-inch pieces dried tangerine peel Salt and white pepper 12 large scallops * Available in Asian markets ** Cubeb berries are similar to pepper-corns. Available from Spicehouse International Inc. at (516) 942-7248.
Rouget and Mussels with Spicy Lobster Bisque and Scallion Sauce. (Serves 4)
For the spicy lobster bisque: In a large saucepan, melt the butter; add the lobster bodies and sear. Add the carrots, onion, celery, tomatoes, and cayenne and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the cognac and simmer until reduced by half. Acid the rice and stock, and simmer for two hours.
Remove from the heat and discard the lobster bodies. Puree the bisque until smooth. Strain and return to a saucepan. Add half the cream and simmer for one hour. Add the remaining cream to achieve the desired thickness. Season, set aside one cup separately, and reserve the remaining bisque for the mussels.
For the tomato jam: Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chili pepper with olive oil to form a rough paste. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil, add the garlic and chili paste and saute until the paste begins to brown. Add the tomatoes, mustard seeds, curry leaves, sugar, and vinegar and stir to combine. Simmer until the mix is the consistency of jam and season.
For the scallion sauce: In a food processor, roughly puree the scallions and basil. Gradually add the oil to form a smooth puree; season and strain.
For the rouget: Boil the rouget bone to clean. Drain and cut the bone into 1-inch pieces. While still damp, coat one side with ground lobster roe and the other side with spirulina; allow to dry.
Liberally dust the rouget with flour. Heat some oil in a pan, season, and fry on both sides until desired doneness is reached. Remove from the heat and reserve, keeping warm.
For the mussels: Simmer the reserved bisque. Skewer three mussels onto each lobster antenna. Place the mussels in the bisque until cooked through. Transfer to a sheet pan and sprinkle with lobster roe; season.
To serve: Spoon some lobster bisque onto a plate, set a mound of tomato jam on top, and stand a potato ring in the center, anchoring with the rouget on the base. Place a mussel skewer on top of the rouget, drizzle some scallion sauce and lobster oil around the dish, and set a rouget bone to one side.
Rhone, France 1999
ingredients For the spicy lobster bisque: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 lobster bodies, cooked and crushed 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 small onion, peeled and chopped 1 rib celery, chopped 3 plum tomatoes, chopped 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 cup cognac 1/2 cup cooked rice 4 cups lobster stock 1/2 cup heavy cream Salt and pepper to taste For the tomato jam: 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 Dutch red chili pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, toasted and ground 1 fresh curry leaf * 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar Salt and sugar to taste For the scallion sauce: 2 bunches scallions, trimmed and balanced 1 bunch Thai basil leaves, stemmed 1 cup vegetable oil Salt to taste For the rouget: 8 filets rouget, cleaned and bones reserved 1 teaspoon lobster roe, cooked and ground 1 teaspoon ground spirulina ** 2 tablespoons vegetable oil All-purpose flour, as needed for dusting Salt and pepper to taste For the mussels: 1 cup reserved lobster bisque 4 lobster antennae, fried 12 mussels, blanched and shelled 1 teaspoon lobster roe, cooked and ground Salt and cayenne pepper to taste For the dish: Fried potato rings Lobster oil * Available in Asian markets. ** Spirulina is a type of sea algae. Available in Asian markets and health food stores.
Lobster with Mankfish Liver. (Serves 6)
For the black truffle vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Season and set aside at room temperature.
For the monkfish liver: Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on a flat work surface. Place a large piece of plastic wrap over the foil and set the liver in the center. Using the plastic wrap and foil as a guide, roll the liver into a 2 x 5-inch cylinder. Seal tightly and poach. Remove from the heat; place the liver on a sheet pan to cool and discard the poaching liquid. Unwrap the liver and set aside. Line a large piece of plastic wrap with shiso leaves in a single layer to form an 8-inch square. Season the liver and place in the center. Roll, wrapping the liver in the shiso leaves. Seal tightly and slice the liver into six pieces, then remove the plastic wrap.
For the lily bulb puree: In a medium saucepan, simmer the lily bulbs in dashi until tender. Drain the bulbs and puree in a food processor to make a rough paste. Add dashi as needed to form a smooth puree. Pass the lily bulb purse through a food mill and season.
For the lobster: Simmer the lobster in court-bouillon to desired doneness. Drain the lobster; toss with the parsley and season.
To serve: Lay a nasturtium leaf in the center of a plate and place a quenelle of lily bulb puree on top. Place a piece of lobster and liver slice in the center, drizzle some black truffle vinaigrette over the dish, and garnish with truffle slices and lily bulb petals.
Pinot Gris, Clos Windsbuhl
Alsace, France 1997
ingredients For the black truffle vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons minced black truffle 1 shallot, peeled and minced 3 tablespoons sherry wine viengar 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 bunch chopped parsley 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red chili pepper Salt and pepper to taste For the monkfish liver: 1 monkfish liver, de-veined 15 shiso leaves, blanched Salt and pepper to taste For the fresh lily bulb puree: 1 pound fresh lily bulbs * 6 cups dashi broth Salt and pepper to taste For the lobster: 3 cups court-bouillon 2 lobster tails, shelled and cut into thirds Salt and pepper to taste For the garnish: Nasturtium leaves ** Black truffle slices Fresh lily bulb petals * * Available in some Asian markets. ** Available through specialty produce markets.
Spicy Crusted Scallops with Thai Glaze and Kung Pao Sauce (Serves 6)
For the kung pao sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns and saute until the onions are golden brown. Add the fresh and dried chili peppers and stir to coat with oil. Add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, whisk in the chicken stock and cornstarch, and return to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, strain and season. Set aside keeping warm.
For the Thai glaze: In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and three minced shallots to a boil. Reduced the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Add the lemon juice and simmer until reduced by one-third. Add the remaining ingredients. Remove from the heat, cover, and steep for four hours. Strain and discard the solids. Adjust flavors with fish sauce.
For the garlic shoots: Pre-heat a deep fryer to 325 degrees. Add the garlic shoots and blanch for 10 seconds. Drain and add the kung pao sauce; season and toss to coat.
For the green mango: Peel and seed the mango. Cut into twelve wedges. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the mango and simmer until tender.
For the scallops: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the ginger powder, licorice powder, sesame seeds, non, cayenne, garlic powder, sugar, and panko bread crumbs in a food processor and pulse to form a fine crumb. Season and flour both sides of the scallops. Coat in the egg whites and clip in the spice and panko mix to coat on one sidle Sear the scallops in hot oil, crust-sidle down, until golden brown. Arrange the scallops, crust-side up, and finish cooking in the oven to the desired doneness.
To serve: Arrange a stack of garlic shoots and sonic mango wedges on the plate. Set a scallop in the green center, spoon Thai glaze and kung pao sauce around the dish and garnish with creme fraiche and salmon roe.
Loire, France 1999
ingredients For the kung pao sauce: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 small onion, peeled and minced 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced 1 star anise 1/4 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and crushed 1 Dutch red chili pepper, minced 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red chili pepper 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 1 cup soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 cup chicken stock 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 tablespoon cold water Salt and sugar to taste For the Thai glaze: 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup water 3 shallots, peeled and minced 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 2 springs mint 2 sprigs Thai basil 2 sprigs coriander 1 shallot, peeled and minced 4-inch piece lemon grass, chopped Zest of 1 kaffir lime Fish sauce to taste For the garlic shoots: 24 2-inch garlic shoots * 1 tablespoon reserved kung pao sauce Salt and pepper to taste For the green mango: 1 large green mango 4 ounces unsalted butter For the scallops: 1 tablespoon ginger powder 1 teaspoon licorice powder ** 1 teaspoon sesame seeds 1 sheet nori, minced 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon of garlic powder 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 6 sea scallops 1 cup all-purpose flour 3 egg whites, beaten Salt and pepper to taste For the garnish: Creme fraiche Salmon roc * Available in Asian markets ** Available through Spicehouse International Inc. at (516) 942-7248.
White Asparagus and Pink Peppercorns with Tianjin Sauce (Serves 6)
For the tianjin sauce: In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add the chicken, duck, and pork bones; sear on all sides. Add the onion and celery, and saute until tender. Add the water and simmer for two hours. Remove from the heat and strain. Add the carrot juice and pulp; simmer until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and puree the stock until smooth. Strain and season.
For the quail eggs: In a food processor; combine the mayonnaise, wasabi paste, quail egg yolks, and mix until smooth. Intensify the green color with blanched spinach if necessary. Season and using a pastry hag fitted with a small round tip, pipe the wasabi mayonnaise into the center of each quail egg white. Spoon some caviar on top.
For the asparagus: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grind the pink peppercorns and cubeb berries until very fine. Add the paprika and pulse to combine. Lightly brush the asparagus with butter and sprinkle with the pepper mix. Season and bake in the oven until golden brown.
To finish the tianjin sauce: Place the sauce over medium heat, Simmer, add the oysters, and poach until desired doneness.
To serve: Arrange some asparagus in the center of a plate, and spoon some oysters and tianjin sauce on top. Place some quail eggs on top and garnish with fleur de sel and daikon sprouts.
Gruner Veltliner Spies
Kamptal, Austria 1999
ingredients For the tianjin sauce: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 pound chicken bones 1 pound duck bones 1 pound pork bones 1 onion, peeled and chopped 3 ribs celery, chopped 2 quarts water Juice and pulp of 6 carrots 24 oysters, shucked Salt and pepper to taste For the quail eggs: 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon wasabi paste, as needed 12 quail eggs, boiled, peeled, halved, yolk and whites reserved separately Spinach juice, as needed Osetra Caviar, as needed Salt to taste For the asparagus: Juice of 1 lemon 24 white asparagus, trimmed and peeled, blanched in lemon water 1/2 cup clarified butter 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, toasted 1/2 tablespoon cubeb berries *, toasted 1/2 tablespoon paprika Salt to taste For the garnish: Fleur de sel Daikon sprouts * Cubeb berries are similar to peppercorns. Available from Spicehouse International Inc. at (516) 942-7248.
Foie Gras Three Ways (Serves 6)
For the cinnamon bread: Prepare a hot steamer and pre-heat a deep fryer to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk the yeast, one teaspoon of sugar, salt, and water together to dissolve. In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, oil, and yeast mix on low speed until a smooth dough is formed, adding water as needed. Place the dough in an greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Punch down the dough and knead until smooth. Roll the dough to make a small rectangle, 1/4-inch thick, and sprinkle with some of the cinnamon-sugar mix and mango. Roll tightly to form a long cylindrical shape, sealing the ends. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Remove the plastic wrap and steam the bread until cooked. Remove and fry until golden brown. Coat the bread in the cinnamon-sugar mix. When cool, cut into six slices and reserve.
For the beef tongue and foie gras roulade: In a large saucepan, simmer the tongue and peppercorns in court-bouillon for three hours. Discard the cooking liquid and cool the tongue. Cut the tongue into 1/8-inch thin slices and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the duck fat; add the foie gras and poach for 15 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Drain the foie gras of any excess fat.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat work surface and lay the beef tongue slices in a single layer. Set the foie gras in the center, season, and using the parchment paper as a guide, roll to enclose the foie gras in the beef tongue. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Cut the picked beef tongue and foie gras into six slices and reserve.
For the red and white onion marmalade: In two small saucepans, divide and melt the butter. Add one onion, two tablespoons of sugar, and one bay leaf to each pan, and stir to coat. Add the balsamic vinegar and red wine to one pan and stir to combine. Simmer until the onions are tender and jam-like in consistency, about three hours. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Season and reserve at room temperature.
For the grape terrine: Line a 5 1/2 x 1 1/2 x l 1/2 inch u-shaped terrine mold with plastic wrap. Bring the grape juice to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the gelatin and dissolve; cool to room temperature. Arrange the grapes into the prepared mold and pour the grape juice on top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until set. Un-mold and cut into six slices and reserve, keeping chilled.
For the foie gras mousse: In a saucepan, melt the duck fat; add the foie gras and poach for 15 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Drain the foie gras of any excess fat.
Bring the brandy, rice wine, and Marsala to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin, and dissolve. In a food processor, combine the foie gras, dissolved gelatin mixture, and egg yolks; pulse to form a rough paste. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the egg whites and then the whipped cream. Season and chill in the refrigerator until slightly firm.
For the spicy nougat: Lightly butter a half sheet pan. Cook the sugar and water to a caramel color. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add the honey, butter, and pistachios and stir until well combined. Season and carefully turn onto the prepared sheet pan to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, shape the caramel into marble-size pieces.
To serve: Arrange on a long platter from right to left: spicy nougat with miso mustard; a slice of cinnamon mango bread with seared foie gras; spicy nougat with raspberry puree; some red and white onion confit topped with a quenelle of foie gras mousse and beet sprouts; a slice of grape terrine; and a slice of beef tongue and foie gras roulade.
Veneto, Italy 1996
Amarone della Valpolicella
ingredients For the cinnamon bread and foie gras: 1/2 ounce fresh yeast 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar Pinch of salt 1/3 cup warm water, as needed 8 ounces all-purpose flour, sifted 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup diced mango 6 1 1/2-ounce pieces of foie gras, seared For the beef tongue and foie gras roulade: 1 pound pickled beef tongue, rinsed well 1 tablespoon black papercorns 4 cups court-bouillon 2 cups duck fat 6 ounces of foie gras Salt and pepper to taste For the white and red onion marmalade: 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 white onions, peeled and minced 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 bay leaves 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup red wine Sugar to taste For the grape terrine: 2 cups fresh Concord grape juice 4 sheets gelatin, softened in cold water 1 cup green seedless grapes, peeled For the foie gras mousse: 2 cups duck fat 8 ounces of foie gras 1 tablespoon brandy 1 tablespoon sweet rice wine 1 tablespoon Marsala wine 1 sheet gelatin, softened in cold water 2 eggs yolks 2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks 1 tablespoon whipped cream Salt to taste For the spiced nougat: Softened unsalted butter, as needed 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup water 1 tablespoon honey 3 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped Salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, and ground cubeb berries * to taste For the garnish: Micro beet sprouts Raspberry puree Miso mustard ** * Cubeb berries are similar to pepper-corns. Available form Spicehouse International Inc. at (516) 942-7248. ** Available in Japanese markets. Note: The pickled tongue recipe is for a whole tongue, which will provide more tongue than required for the recipe.
Wuxi Pork and Chestnut Meringue Tart. (Serves 8)
For the wuxi pork: In a large sauce pan, bring the pork belly and sparkling water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat; strain an(l transfer the pork to a cutting board. Cut the pork into 1 inch pieces; transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
In a wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions, and saute until golden brown. Remove from the heat and add to the pork. Add the rice wine, three tablespoons red rice wine, star anise, chili pepper, cloves, tangerine peel, and soy sauce, and toss well to coat the pork mixture. Prepare a hot steamer basket and steam the pork until tender, about three hours. Remove from the heat; strain the juices through a coffee filter lined ['me mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half, skimming off any excess fat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sweet, red rice wine and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk into the hot liquid and simmer, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from the heat and add the capers; stir to combine and season.
For the chestnut tart: Arrange eight 2-ounce non-stick tart molds on a sheet pan and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour, butter, sugar, egg and rosemary and mix until just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for two hours.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll to 1/8-inch thick. Line the dough inside the tart molds. Trim the edges of any excess dough and set aside.
In a food processor, mix together the chestnuts, cinnamon and stock until smooth. Fold in the currants. Fill each tart shell half way with chestnut puree; bake in the oven until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, sugar and cornstarch on high speed to form stiff, glossy peaks. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip and pipe the meringue onto each tart. Bake until the meringue begins to brown. Remove from the heat and cool.
To serve: Place a slice of wuxi pork in the center of a plate, spoon some sauce and chestnuts around the dish, and set a chestnut tart to one side.
Ilthone, France 1988
ingredients For the wuxi pork: 2 pounds fresh pork belly with skin and bones 2 quarts sparkling water 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and quartered 3 scallions, trimmed and halved 2 cups Chinese rice wine 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup Chinese sweet, red rice wine * 3 whole star anise 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes 2 cloves 2 inch piece dried tangerine peel * 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon drained capers Salt to taste For the chestnut tart: 9 ounces all-purpose flour, sifted 7 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and diced 2 ounces granulated sugar 1 large egg at room temperature 1 sprig rosemary, stemmed and minced 10 ounces roasted chestnuts Pinch of ground cinnamon 1/2 cup veal stock 1/2 cup currants For the meringue: 3 egg whites 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, sifted For the garnish: Roasted and peeled chestnuts * Available in Asian markets.
Steamed Scallops in a Mussel Broth with Spicy Black Bean Sauce. (Serves 6)
For the black bean sauce: In a food processor, mix all the ingredients together and pulse to form a rough paste. Adjust the flavor with sugar.
For the scallops: Prepare a hot steamer. Mix the potato starch, soy sauce, and onion oil together. Season and coat the scallops with this mix. Place the nasturtium leaves in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan and overlap five scallop slices on each leaf, like a pinwheel. Top each one with a red bell pepper round. Spoon some black bean sauce on top of the prepared scallops, and steam until just clone.
To serve: Spoon some mussel broth into a soup bowl; set a nasturtium leaf with scallops in the center and sprinkle some scallions, cilantro, Thai red chili, and ginger on top.
Riesling Cave Springs
Ontorio, Canada 1999
ingredients For the black bean sauce: 1/4 cup fermented black beans, rinsed 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced 1 shallot, peeled and minced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 Thai red chili, minced 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine 2 tablespoon soy sauce Sugar to taste For the scallops: 3 cups of mussel broth 6 sea scallops, cut horizontally into five slices each 1 tablespoon patato starch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon onion-infused oil 6 nasturtium leaves 3 red bell peppers, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch rounds Salt to taste For the garnish: Scallions, julienned Cilantro leaves Minced Thai red chili Ginger, peeled and julienned
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