Saturday, 8 September 2012

Stocafi and Barbajuans - Olympic Food Challenge : Monaco

This is it, the last ever Olympic Food Challenge entry, I promise.  Now the challenge is over, the Olympics and Paralympics are over and done with, I can give up thinking about sport until Brazil 2016!  But not cooking...

Monaco!  The name conjures up images of glamour and riches - Grace Kelly playing contract bridge with Oman Sharif on a yacht whilst a Grand Prix happens in the background.  

When researching the dishes for this entry, I came across a website that had descriptions of Monaco's cuisine  and found this brilliant entry...

  "CHAMPAGNE:- This is the national drink enjoyed by the people of Monaco."
If that doesn't sum up Monaco, then I don't know what does!  Anyway, we present two dishes today to go with your champagne.  The first is Stocafi, which I apologise in advance for as I couldn't find an actual recipe, just a description, so I based the dish a little bit on Stoccaffiso and Bacalau.  I'm using Salt Cod for this recipe, not Stockfish, which is much more dessicated and needs quite a bit more cooking than the Salt Cod.  Bare that in mind if you attempt this dish at home...

Also tonight, we made Babajuans, lovely little deep fried canapes that we washed down with champagne (erm, well cheap cava anyway, but I did pretend I was chatting to Donald Trump about off-shore investments as I ate them, instead of watching Doctor Who...)

Also, Monaco set 6 competitors to London 2012, but they failed to win any medals - presumably because they were all having affairs with models on yachts whilst drinking fancy cocktails.  Also, has anybody ever been to Monaco and can they confirm if my vision of it as a sybaritic paradise?)


Stockfish / Salt Cod
6 Large Tomatoes
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp Capers
1 tbsp Black Olives
1 Red Chili
1 Bay Leaf
120ml White Wine 

 1. Place the stockfish in a bowl and cover with cold water.  Leave to soak for 24 hours.
2.  Remove the stockfish from the water, give it a rinse and pat dry with kitchen towel, then cut the fish into 5cm squares

3.  Fill a pan with water, bring to the boil and then blanche the tomatoes for 1 minute.  Then skin, de-seed and chop the tomatoes

4. Pot some olive into a pan and then add the chopped garlic cloves and chili, let cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, wine and bay leaf.  Let this cook for 10 minutes, until the tomato starts to break down and make a nice rich sauce.  

5.  Add the black olives, capers and fish and cook for 7-10 minutes more, checking the seasoning and adding a bit more salt and pepper as you see fit.  

6.  Once the fish is cooked through, it is ready to serve.  Boiled potatoes with a bit of butter and some freshly chopped chives make a good accompaniment.  Enjoy!

2 Tbsp onion (chopped finely)
2 Tbsp leek (chopped finely)
Tbsp olive oil
Handful spinach (finely shredded)
A couple of leaves swiss chard/cabbage (we had Cavolo Nero,finely shredded)
2 1/2 Tbsp ricotta
1 Tbsp parmesan (grated)
1 egg white, beaten to soft peaks
salt and pepper to season
wonton/dumpling wrappers (I know it's a cheat, but we had some in the freezer that needed using!)

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the onion, leek then gently sweat for 5 minutes or so, until everything is nice and soft, then add the spinach and chard and cook for another 3 minutes

2.  Put the vegetables into a bowl and add the ricotta, parmesan and beaten egg white, then mix all together, season to taste and leave to cool for a bit.
3.  Put  a teaspoon full in the middle of each dumpling wrapper (or make some dough and cut out 6cm rounds instead) and then fold over to make semi-circles and press down the edges.
4.  Heat some cooking oil in a pan and then deep fry the barbajuans in batches of 4 or 5 so they don't stick together in the pan.  This should take 3-5 minutes, until they are golden brown
5.  Serve hot or cold, preferably with Champagne.  Enjoy!

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