Lemongrass preparation Tips

from Chef Duncan

Today we are going to talk about lemongrass. Customers have asked me how else they can use lemongrass so hopefully you find these tips useful in your kitchen. Lemon grass has a fantastic flavor. It does however need a little help to bring out its full potential. The best way to do this is to give the lemon grass a good whack! Bruising, crushing or cutting lemon grass will help release its amazing floral aroma. A couple of uses for lemongrass Curry – Make sure you give the lemongrass enough time in the curry to release its flavor. Lemon grass is a great combination with any of the following: Kaffir lime, ginger, basil, chili, star anise galangal, garlic, coconut, cinnamon and so on. Tea – Used for fever, aching joints, stomachaches and aiding digestion to name a few. Just bruise the stem and add to boiling water with a tea bag, lemon, honey, ginger or which ever flavor combination works for you. Dessert – Lemongrass dessert bring a great twist to the classics such as panna cotta, lemon tart, crème brullee. Infusing the cream with bruised lemon grass is the easiest way to do this. Sambal Matah – if you haven’t made sambal matah before it’s going to change your life! Simply thinly slice shallots, lemon grass, deseeded chili add to lime juice, shrimp paste and palm sugar. Pour over hot coconut oil to release the flavors. Used on seafood dishes this gem can go onto scrambled eggs, fried chicken, anywhere you want to add some kick! Infused Vodka – very very simply add some bruised lemongrass stems to a bottle of vodka and let stand for 1 month. Don’t forget you can freeze and use the stems in curries. If you have anymore question shoot me a Whatsapp Enjoy Chef Duncan & The Frank food team

Kale and Chickpea Soup

from Chef Duncan

Kale and Chickpea Soup Ingredients 500g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained and rinsed 400g kale, roughly chopped 80g pancetta/bacon, diced (black fungus is a great vegetarian substitute) 5 shallots, finely chopped 2 celery stalks, brunoise (fine dice) 6 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped 100g french beans top and tailed, cut into 3cm pieces 1L chicken or vegetable stock 2 fresh parsley sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped 6cm white radish, cut brunoise (fine dice) 1 fresh chilli, deseeded (optional) 200ml extra-virgin olive oil Grated parmesan, and baguette from Bread Envoye to serve Method Put the chickpeas in a large pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside in the saucepan. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the pancetta/bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. If you are using the black fungus, boil for 5 mins, slice then fry and add to the soup in step 5. Add the shallots and celery to the pan and fry gently for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Put the fried onion, celery and garlic along with the pancetta/ bacon in the pan containing the chickpeas. Pour over the stock and add the parsley, beans and chilli. Season well and bring to a simmer, then add the kale and cook gently for 10-12 minutes. Just before serving add the diced white radish. Serve bowlfuls of the chunky soup with grated parmesan sprinkled over, and baguette. Note: Black fungus is a type of mushroom, if you can’t find them enoki or oyster mushrooms can be used. If you have rosemary, thyme or oregano they are great additions to this soup.


from Chef Duncan

Tabbouleh Ingredients 250g couscous 4 vine-ripened tomatoes half a cucumber 1 bunch spring onions sliced 40g fresh parsley 1 x lemon, zest 6 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 crushed garlic clove Method Put the couscous into a large bowl. Pour over the boiling water or stock and stir. Cover with a plate or cling film and leave to stand for 5 mins until all the liquid has been absorbed. Separate the grains by roughing them up with a fork. Finely dice the tomatoes and the cucumber. Slice the spring onions and finely chop the parsley, then add everything to the couscous with the grated zest of a lemon. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and the garlic with plenty of seasoning and drizzle over the couscous. Toss well and serve. Serving suggestion Tabbouleh is a great accompaniment, starter or main component to many dishes. This simple salad packs some full flavor so don’t be shy with you marinates for chicken, fish or red meats.