It's a Saturday night and I'm having a quiet night in... A luxury I must admit I haven't had in a while and have thoroughly missed.
Today is the 3rd day of Chinese New Year and it seems like the festive mood is only just beginning. Today, I spent the whole day running errands as I will be cooking for all my relatives tomorrow night. Tomorrow will be a full day in the kitchen so I am making the most of this rest while I can. Cannot wait for the family to come over.
Anyway, I'm not sure if I've mentioned this previously but besides running this blog, I spent some time collaborating with David on a website he was starting, called Foodstarz (www.foodstarz.com). This may sound very 21st century, but I actually met David through Instagram (@daves_kitchen), where we quickly became fan of each other's work. David is an amazing home cook from Cologne, Germany and his creations, food styling and photography never ceases to inspire me. Instead of starting a food blog, he wanted to begin a website where other homecooks and chefs are able to share their recipes too. The great thing is that anyone can apply to be a Foodstar (or contributor to the website)! The other intersting thing is that a majority of our members now are actually professional chefs and it's so good to be able to get access to their amazing recipes.
We spent a fair bit of time bouncing ideas back and forth to help get the website off the ground. That said, I must make it clear that this entire website is completely David's idea and he is the creator and driving force of it all. I was just there to assist him where I could. David was very mindful about maintaining the level of integrity and quality of the entire website. To do this, he introduced a panel of Jury which includes him, a chef from the US called Albert and myself, where we would review all Foodstarz applications. It's been a lot of fun and it just amazes me how 2 people who has never met, from completely different parts of the worlds and backgrounds, collaborate on such a fun project like this. David has since become quite a dear friend and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him.
Ever since the launch of Foodstarz.com about 6 months ago, I am so happy to see how well Foodstarz is doing right now... The amount of applications we receive and followers on the social media platform seems to be growing each day... All thanks to David's blood, sweat and tears to this project that he is ever so passionate about. The website is such a great resource for amazing food by homecooks like me or professional chefs from all around the world.
Oh, and this recipe here is adapted from one that David shared on the website a while ago and is also a snippet of the kind of food you'll find on the website. It's the kind of recipe that inspires people like me (who are always running out of fresh ideas) to cook something new in the kitchen now and then. It was actually the first time I've poached fish, made latkes or whipped ricotta but won't be my last! The final product is so delicious and I am so glad I made this dish. Do check out the website too, when you get the chance!
Poached Salmon, Kale Latkes & Whipped Sun Dried Tomatoes Ricotta(adapted from this recipe from Foodstarz.com, serves 3 to 4)
Click here to print the recipe
2 cups white wine
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 stalk celery (diced)
*Note: Poached salmon may be substituted with smoked salmon
300g potato (grated and squeezed to remove excess liquid)
1 red onion (grated)
2 large red chillies (minced finely)
1 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp plain flour
Cracked salt and pepper
5 tbsp of oil
300g ricotta (low fat)
1/2 cup plain yoghurt (or more)
100g sun dried tomatoes (sliced thinly)
6 tbsp oil from sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
Cracked salt to taste
Chopped chives (to garnish)
Lemon wedges (to serve)
1. For the poached salmon, place all the ingredients (except for the salmon) in a pot and boil for 15 minutes. Add the salmon to the pot and simmer for 7 minutes or until the meat breaks apart easily with a fork. Remove salmon from the pot and flake the flesh apart with a fork or your fingers. Set aside until ready for use.
2. For the kale latkes, mix all the ingredients in a large bowl (except for the oil). Heat up a pan and once hot, add in the oil followed by a scoop of the latkes mixture. Fry the latkes in batches until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
3. For the whipped ricotta, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more yoghurt if prefer a thinner consistency.
4. To serve, stack the kale latkes on a plate and top with poached salmon and whipped ricotta. Garnish with chives and serve with lemon wedges on the side.