2015 has begun. We were open on Christmas Day and New Year’s day and we were fully booked both days which was an encouraging beginning of the year…
I wish to share with you one of the recipe I used for the menu, and the history of this dish is quite interesting as well. The first time I tasted this combination of flavours was in Canberra, Australia. I was at an event’s conference and we had a free day so I took the time to visit our old parliament which is really a jewel of the 1920’s architecture. The ACT Museum and Gallery was also on the agenda. I dropped in the café at lunch time and this is where I had this dish which I have reproduced many times from memory.
I sat on a deck overlooking an installation as I peruse the menu. An intermittent thick fog activated by a machine hidden amongst tall reeds was blown over a large pond. It felt like anytime Indiana Jones on his horse would appear followed by a bunch of baddies… Dreaming away and letting my imagination go wild, I ordered a pumpkin soup Asian style with scallops grilled in sesame oil.
I was not aware then that it would be the beginning of a love affair between me and THAT DISH! The pumpkin was roasted and then simmered in coconut milk, there was ginger and garlic, fish sauce, fresh coriander… And those beautiful plump scallops we get in Australia… I has lots of attempt at reproducing the dish and I think I have mastered it now! I don’t know who was the chef and I cannot remember which year it was but boy! I still remember that day as if it was yesterday.
So here it is for 4 people
2 gloves of garlic pureed
1 onion finely chopped
1 soupspoon of ginger pureed
1 soupspoon of soya sauce
1 soupspoon of fish sauce
2 cans of coconut milk
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 kg of peeled pumpkin roasted in sesame oil in the oven (I like to use Butternut)
1- In sesame oil, fry the ginger, garlic, onion until transparent then add the roasted pumpkin. Stir and then add the coconut milk, the soya sauce and the fish sauce. Cook for 20 minutes.
2- When the soup is cooked, put it through the blender;
3- Using a frying pan, heat the sesame oil until it smokes and then throw your scallops in and then reduce the heat to cook them. Make sure you do not overcook them
4- In a bowl, pour the soup and then place the scallops on the surface of the soup. Pour a little sesame oil and sprinkle fresh coriander of the top.
On the photo, I have decorated with fried green leek as we have no coriander at this time of the year…
Enjoy and all the best for 2015! Don’t forget our first theme night for 2015, Pot au Feu bio on Friday 16th of January….