Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bachelor's Banquet - A Cookbook (Advetorial)

I only cook out of necessity (but it doesn't happen often), and I'm definitely not the best cook around (since I hardly ever do it cos the kitchen's so hot and oily and I hate slaving over the stove/oven when I could be vegetating infront of the TV while my maid does the cooking). I think I only cook when I feel very ripped off by restaurants, especially if it's a dish which I really really like and can't bear to pay the over-inflated restaurant price for. I have recently attempted a Lemon Chicken dish (cos it looked the easiest and I have most of the ingredients) from the cookbook Bachelor's Banquet, which was suprisingly very easy.
Lemon Chicken with Corn Relish
2 chicken thighs, deboned
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon garlic, grated
Salt to taste
Olive oil
2 small radishes, thinly sliced
2 heads of fresh corn kernels
2 tablespoons lemon
vinaigrette (page 188)
2 lemon slices, grilled

Lemon vinaigratte
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Large pinch of salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Use immediately.
Lemon chicken
In a small mixing bowl combine lemon juice, sugar, vinegar and salt, mix thoroughly. Lightly salt the chicken thighs and sear, skin side down, in a medium skillet over medium heat. After 1 minute, add the lemon marinade and simmer for another 3 minutes, basting the top of the chicken thighs every few seconds. Flip the chicken thighs and continue to cook and baste with residual liquid for another 3 minutes. Remove and allow to rest.

Corn salad
Blanch corn kernels in boiling water for 1 minute remove and drain thoroughly.
In a mixing bowl combine the corn kernels, radish and lemon vinaigrette, mix gently. To assemble Spoon the corn salad in to a small bowl and place the lemon chicken over the salad.
Garnish with microgreens and a slice of grilled lemon.
I modified their recipe slightly - cos I was missing some ingredients (like the radish, and I used fresh corn instead of frozen corn kernels), I don't like chicken skin (that's why my chicken looks so pasty and white, and I think I slightly undercooked it) and I forgot to grill the lemon slice in the oven, but I think it still looks ok.
The cookbook is written by Nicholas (a Singaporean who was the marketing consultant and photographer for Martha Steward's living magazine) and Max (an Indonesian who was chef de partie at the Michelin 2-star restaurant Gordon Ramsay at the London hotel) when they were living in New York City
It was written for the mordern day bachelor, or at least, all those young people going overseas to study and who can't cook, since all the recipes are easy to prepare. They even have 2 pages with photos dedicated to 'vegetable cuts' so you'll never cut your vegetables wrongly again.
The other dishes from the book - Chicken Satay and Mint Rice Salad, Antipasti over Polenta, Salmon sashimi with Tobiko, and Raw Oysters. I've actually bought ingredients for the Chicken satay, but I'm too busy to cook it. I shall do it after my test this week. Their recipes are very simple, easy to follow, and have really great photographs for every recipe. I'm currently eyeing the Serrano Ham Salad, Panna Cotta, Rosemary Chicken with Potatoes. Can't wait for my copy to arrive so that I can make those dishes.
The book is priced at a very affordable $20 for the hardcover version, and $15 for the softcover. I think this is an ideal sending-off gift for those friends who are flying overseas to study. I am definitely going to get my brother (who has never touched a cooking pot in his life) a copy so that hopefully he won't have to subsist on maggie mee and fried rice everyday.
They are currently offering all readers a 15% discount when you pre order from their website http://www.bachelorsbanquet.com/.
Notice: Pre-ordered books will reach you before Sept 4, the date the books hit the stores.

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