08 August 2012

Pop Up!!

A pop up?!?
What is that I hear you say

Well check this out and you'll get an idea

This challenge was one of my most favourite challenges on the show...
That's a huge call when you consider some of the chefs we met 
(ahem Jamie & Heston).
I loved this challenge so much because we, the contestants, where in the driving seat the whole way along. 
It was our concept, vision and food that we could deliver to our own happy customers...

Now that the show is over, we thought, hey why not try a few pop ups without the cameras :)

So welcome everyone to the very first post MasterChef 2012 pop up at...

.....Bar H
in Surry Hills, Sydney.

This is a great little place run by Hamish, the head chef and owner, and his wife Rebecca.
(That's a picture of them and there gorgeous kids above!)
Their concept...
"We believe in preparing dishes to highlight the integrity of seasonally available produce. We love a star ingredient on the plate with a balanced supporting cast. We like our vegetables just-picked, our smooth to go with sweet and our sour spice to go with a wink and a smile."
...is something I just love!

Mindy, Audra and I felt very honoured to be allowed to borrow Bar H for the night to try our hand at our own pop up restaurant.

The night started with a line out side!!! 

And once everyone was in and seated we got started on the food!

First up:
Crispy three peppered chicken ribs with home made sweet chilli sauce...
Served in brown paper bags, designed to be torn open and shared 
I tell you what, I snuck a few 'chef snacks' and these are amazing!!
Not to spicy but oh so tastey!
The three peppers we used where white, black and szechwan.

Next up was the mains!!
Again designed to be shared because that's always more fun, 
and that's was food is about, sharing a meal...
...sharing memories!

The dishes where a slow braised Szechwan beef
Mapo tempura tofu

Served with sides of Gai Lan and steam Jasmine rice.


The beef was incredibly tender and the tofu, had so much flavour from the pork sauce...
I was nicking some 'chef snacks' again :)

Then finally dessert....

My little baby of the night!

Lychee granita, Black sesame ice cream, 
coconut and lime pearls, blistered ginger cream and 
crispy wontons.

Something a little different, but I really enjoyed it.
And lots of empty plated returned which is always a good sign :)

Black Sesame Ice Cream:

300mL Milk
225mL Thickened Cream
100g Caster Sugar
60g Egg Yolk
300g Black Sesame Paste
Black Sesame Seeds to garnish

Pop the milk and cream in a pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
While that is heating, pop the yolks and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until pale and thick.
Strain a little of the hot cream liquid into the yolk and sugar mix, whisking constantly.
Continue to add the liquid in, bit by bit, while still whisking., then add in the black sesame paste- and whisk until fully incorporated.

Por the mixture back into the pot you used to heat up the milk and cream, and stir over a low heat with a wooden spoon until thick. When you lift the wooden spoon out of the mixture, you should be able to draw a line down the back of it. Or if you have a thermometer, it mixture should reach 80 degrees Celsius.

Strain the mixture into a bowl and place it over a larger bowl that is filled with iced water. This stops the cooking. Stir the mixture until it is completely cooled, cover with cling wrap, pushing the cling wrap down onto the surface of the mixture- this stops a skin forming. Then pop into the fridge until completely cold or ready to churn.

Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufactures instructions, 
then eat :) or store in the freezer...

Lychee Granita
500g Tinned Lychees in juice
Juice 1 lime

Blend the lychees, plus juice from the tin in a blender. Strain through a fin sieve and push all the liquid out of the pulp using a spatula. Add in the lime juice, pop into a shallow tray and straight into the freezer to set.

Once it is rock hard, scrape the ice with a fork to flake it up. Then serve!
An adult version of this would be great- in a shot glass with some gin or vodka ...
Very refreshing!

Enjoy! xx

Back to the night.........

And to finish off the night we though we would treat our guests with a few 
'Asian inspired' petite fours...

House made fortune cookies and dark chocolate truffles with a Szechwan sugar salt.

This was a great night!
The three of us enjoyed being back in a kitchen,
pumping out good food to great customers...

A massive thankyou to Hamish & Rebecca for lending Bar H to us,
to Renee, Cam & Alison for your help on the floor
To Mindy and Audra for making the night a success and so much fun!

Can't wait for the next one!

Watch out Tassie ;)

These photos where taken on my  Nikon J1