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November 2000 Issue
Ginger -- Zingiber officinale
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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Salmon Scampi Ragout with Ginger

  • 450g raw scampi (I used deep frozen scampi. It was easier, although fresh scampi are better.)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 450g salmon filet, skinned
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 pepper mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 450g fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 350g carrots
  • 35g butter
  • 11/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 250ml homemade fish or chicken stock (This tastes better with fish stock.)
  • 175ml crème fraîche
  • Salt and 5 pepper mixture
  • 220g deep frozen garden peas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
Rinse the thawed scampi in water with 1 tablespoon of salt, drain and repeat, then rinse well in clear water, drain and dab dry. Cut the Salmon into 1" sized cubes. Sprinkle the salmon and scampi evenly with the rest of the salt, the 5 pepper mixture and the cayenne pepper. Cut the tomatoes into the same size of cubes as the salmon.

Scrape the carrots and cut them diagonally so that the slices are about 2" long. Blanche them in boiling salted water for 3 minutes then drain.

Heat the butter in a pot, and fry the salmon and scampi for about 3 minutes, remove them and set aside.

Replace the pot on the hot plate, add the ginger and shallots, and stir fry at high heat for about a minute, add the stock and -- at a high temperature -- reduce by half. Add the crème fraîche, the carrots and peas; cook for 2 minutes. Add the salmon, scampi and tomatoes and cook for another minute. Serve on pre-heated plates and dress with the chives. Serve with wild rice and a bottle of Frascatti, a dry Italian white wine.



Steamed Cod with Chili-Salad

For the Cod
  • 450g cod filet, in 4 equal sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 pepper mixture
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • Orange oil
For the Salad
  • 450g romaine lettuce
  • 25g butter
  • 2 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 pepper mixture
  • 1teaspoon sugar
Sprinkle the fish filet evenly with the salt, pepper and paprika, place on an oven resistant deep plate and evenly spread the garlic and ginger over the fish. Pour 5cm of water in a deep pot, place a steamer basket in it, bring the water to the boil. Carefully place the plate with the fish in the steamer basket, reduce the heat and cover the pot. Leave to steam for 8 - 10 minutes at a medium heat, occasionally adding boiling water to the pot.

While the fish is steaming wash and separate the lettuce leaves, cut the tips. Heat the butter in a large pot, add the chili, water, salt, pepper, sugar and the lettuce leaves. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

When the fish is cooked remove the plate from the steaming basket. Remove the lettuce and drain, catching the liquid. Lay the lettuce leaves on pre heated plates and arrange the fish filet on the leaves. Reduce the caught liquid by half then stir in the crème fraîche, pour over the fish filet and sprinkle orange oil over the top, serve straight away.

I served this on a sunny September day in Denmark, (we had just caught the cod ourselves) with fresh baked Ciabatta and a chilled Bardollino (a lovely dry Italian red wine) -- it was absolutely delicious.



Barbecued Spare Ribs

For the Ribs
  • 1 1/2 kg pork ribs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon 5 pepper mixture
For the sauce
  • 5 tablespoons hoi sin sauce (This can be bought in any good Asian shop.)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or a dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili-bean sauce (This dark sauce, more like a paste made from soy beans, chili and other herbs, not to be mistaken with chili oil, can be bought in all Asian shopping centers in Europe.)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1teaspoon Dijon mustard
Preheat your oven to 150°C or 300°F.

Lay the ribs on a tray, sprinkle them both sides evenly with salt and pepper, place them in the oven and bake for an hour. Up to this stage you can do the ribs 4 hours in advance.

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a mixer and mix well.

Fire up the barbecue, when the coals are glowing, brush the mixture on both sides of the spare ribs and grill each side for 10 minutes, serve straight away.

I haven't tried spare ribs this way, but it is planned for the next barbecue, whenever it stops raining!


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