Alright, alright I am eating my hat! Why you say? Because I really enjoyed London this time!
Usually I am gripping about the expense for never getting to see anything while I am at the conference. But this year I stole away for an afternoon to see the London everyone raves about for myself. And guess what? I loved it!!! I will be posting my London pictures on our new travel blog www.personaltravel.biz soon. But back to Food Blogger Connect.
I really loved Food Blogger Connect 2012 this year. Attending in my third year I was very excited to see which of the possible improvements I had discussed with Bethany and Joslin Kehdy copiously over the years would be put into effect with the new concept at the new venue. And I must say they did an excellent job!
This year it was all about the food. But let’s not forget the drinks and experts sharing their knowledge, foodies helping each to learn and take away the most pertinent tips on how to improve your blogging, write a book, take scrumptious photographs, improve SEO, watch out for security, use the right tools, write inspiring recipes and much, much more.
A great success despite being a bit chilly. But hey, the sun shone as of Saturday and there was tea, coffee and soup to warm us up.
And all the products, wares, food and drinks from the sponsors and street food vendors were incredible and delicious. Please see the complete and impressive list of sponsors and restaurateurs at the bottom of this post.
All in all an amazing inspirational three days with so much laughter, hugs and praise and good will, which saw me returning home with an unmistakable: outta my way, let me at my kitchen spirit.
Having emptied my multicultural goodie bag I dashed off to the produce market and got cooking.
The first thing I made was Spicy Chicken-Filled Asian Cabbage Rolls in a Coconut Curry Peanut Sauce.
And I am happy to share my Asian take on the classic German cabbage roll with you here.
Note: I used my steamer oven but I am sure you can reach the same results using a bamboo steamer over boiling water. The steaming time should be about the same. You will also need a meat grinder for this recipe, you could use your food processer instead but then you should pulse and not whirl. This has become a very long recipe but it was actually easy to make and the longest part was marinating the chicken filling.
Recipe for Spicy Chicken-Filled Asian Cabbage Rolls in a Coconut Curry Peanut Sauce follows!
Spicy Chicken-Filled Asian Cabbage Rolls in a Coconut Curry Peanut Sauce
- 450 grams skinless chicken breast
- 2 tsp argan oil
- 1-2 tsp harissa
- 1 tsp 5-spice
- 1 tsp ground garam masala
- ½ tsp wasabi sea salt (optional)
- 1 tsp ginger oil
- 1 kaffir leave crumbled
- ¼ cup of chopped peanuts and cashews
- 6 mint leaves chopped
- 1 handful cilantro leaves chopped
- 1 slice of ginger peeled and chopped
- salt & pepper
Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and mix well with the other ingredients. Marinate for 2 hours in the fridge. Shortly before using, grind twice through the meat grinder and return to fridge until ready to fill the cabbage leaves.
For the cabbage leaves:
- 1 head of cabbage – preferably pointy cabbage if you can find it
- 1 large pot of boiling salted water
- 1 long pronged carving fork
Remove 1-3 outer leaves of the cabbage and the core from the stem using a knife and cutting out a cone shape.
Stick the carving fork into the bottom of the cabbage where the core was.
Hold the cabbage head side down into the boiling water (wear an oven mit to protect from the boiling water) and swirl the submerged cabbage 2-3 minutes, this will blanch and loosen the leaves. Remove them 1 by one carefully rolling them off – they are hot and place the gently on a metal tray. Continue to remove leaves by returning the cabbage to the pot when necessary. When you have about 12 leaves for filling, lay the rest of the cabbage aside for later use i.e. chopped as a cabbage salad with a grated carrot.
Putting the cabbage rolls together and steaming:
Remove the chicken filling from the fridge. Lay-out 1 cabbage leaf completely opened. Take 1.5 tablespoons of the filling
and place it in the middle of the top third of the leaf. Fold the top of the leaf over the filling, then fold the sides over and
now roll up the leaf and filling into a nice packet and place it with the open end down into the steamer basket or tray.
Continue until all is used up – you should have 10 or 12 cabbage roll depending on the size of your leaves and the amount of
filling you used in each one.
Steam the cabbage rolls in the steamer oven at 100° degrees Celsius for 16 minutes – if yours are smaller 12 minutes should do. The time should apply to a steamer basket over water boiling at a simmer too.
Keep warm or place directly in the sauce.
For the spicy coconut milk curry and peanut sauce:
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 TBSP of chunky peanut butter – if you only have smooth add some chopped peanuts
- 1 tsp of chicken or veggie broth powder
- 2 slices of ginger cut into quarters
- 1 spring onion chopped
- ½ clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
- ½ tsp of Asian oyster or fish sauce
- 1 tsp dark soya sauce
- 1 tsp (or more if you like it hot) Thai red curry paste – alternative yellow or green
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- 1 tsp of finely chopped lemongrass stalk
- 1 kaffir lime leaf
- 1 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro leaves – added just before serving
- 1 tsp of argan oil
- 1 tsp of peanut oil
- 3 dashes of ginger oil
Pour 2 TBSPs of the coconut milk into a small bowl and add the curry paste mixing well well until smooth, set aside.
In a wide saucepan heat the peanut, argan and ginger oils. Add the spring onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and the kaffir leaf and stir-fry 2 minutes until fragrant, do not burn.
Add the oyster/fish sauce, the soja sauce, the lime juice and zest, stir for 1 minute, then add the coconut milk.
Stir well to combine and reduce the heat to a bare simmer, add the peanut butter and stir until completely melted. Now add the reserved coconut milk with the curry paste and the tsp of broth powder.
Stir to combine and taste to adjust seasoning (salt & pepper).
Simmer very low for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Add the cilantro to the sauce and 1 TBSP of the juice from the steaming cabbage leaves if you have it.
Remove the cabbage rolls from the steamer and serve them whole or sliced into 4 slices in deep bowls with several spoonfuls of sauce on top. You may also serve them over Basmati or jasmine rice for a larger meal.
Yum and More!
Thank you to the FBC Sponsors for making FBC 2012 so tasty and to the FBC Team and volunteers for making the event so special!
Sponsors: Vitamix, Wines of Lebanon, Steenbergs Organic, Moo, Omar Niode Foundation, Al’Fez Authentic, Better Breakfast Week, Donald Russell, Malson Sea Salt, Aganic, Gonzalez Byass, Innis & Gunn, Cawston Press, Boutique Dairy, Whisk, Yeo Valley Family Farm, NuffNangX, Foodity, Nespresso, Square Meal, Champagne Jayne, Peter’s Yard, Vestal, Yahire.com
Restaurateurs: Silmar’s Taste (Portugal), Vitamix, Joe’s Tea Co. Gurmetti, Guasacaca (Venuzuela), Cawston Press (juices), Pasta e Basta, Wines of Lebanon, Moet&Chandon, Lanson Chapagne, The Bell & Brisket, La Tentation, Tongue ‘n Cheek, Pistachio Rose, Taste Arganic, Cook in a Curry, Russian Revels, Toma Mexicana, Vestal Vodka, Vinn Goute (Seychelles), Whisk, Better Breakfast Campaign with Urvashi Roe and Nicola Ducceschi