Thursday, October 10, 2013


It is always a privilege to be invited for these AFC Events, because ...apart from stating the obvious (which is, you get to eat food prepared by a celebrity chef), one gets to meet the Chefs in real life, which kind of humanizes them, which is nice.  Today's event was no different, as Chef Sean Connolly demonstrated to us three dishes in less than an hour.  The actual event, at night, is actually paired with Glendfiddich Whisky, one of my favourite single malts, and probably one of the most famous ones in Malaysia.

The Asian Food Channel (AFC), part of the Scripps Networks family of lifestyle networks brought Australia-based chef and AFC celebrity, Sean Connolly to Asia for the ‘Sean Connolly GRILLED’ tour, to entice his fans with an array of delicious eats at a series of intimate demonstrations and dinners.His fans also had the chance to get up close and personal with the Chef at Samplings on the Fourteenth, located within internationally known culinary school, BERJAYA University College Hospitality (BERJAYA UCH). On top of starring in his own programmes “On The Grill” and “Under The Grill” which premiered on AFC (Astro Channel 703) earlier this year, Chef Connolly is also one of Australia's and New Zealand's most well respected and recognised chefs.

Our event, however, was the media event, a preview of what was to be served at night to the glitterati of society, which actually gives us an even more up close and personal of the chef, as the paparazzi hovered around the Chef like bees around a sweet flower.

He seems an affable chap, pretty cool and unflustered, despite some hiccups with the induction cooker, (he prefers gas, he says), and proceeds with the demonstration very seamlessly and effortlessly.  Perhaps if everything is already pre-prepared, "MISE EN PLACE", I might be able to also seamlessly cook, like a surgeon who just asks for the scalpel, the suction, the this the that...
 This is what I mean by Mise En Place, everything pre weighed, measured, all the Chef has to do is work his magic. I wish when I cook, everything is laid out for me as above.

His first offering is Grilled Garlic Prawns
Makes 2 servings

150g of prawns, deveined
160g of unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
35ml of Pernod, or in this case, Glenfiddich..

1. In a heated pan over medium heat, add the butter and fry the shallots and garlic.
2. Reduce the heat and cook until the aromatics have softened.
3. Increase the heat of the pan and add the prawns.
4. When the prawns are almost cooked through, add Pernod and flambé the prawns.
5. Once the flame has died down, add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Just before serving, add the fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Although it was remarkably simple, the result was very satisfactory.  But then again, (evil thought), no one actually tried the dish that he demonstrated.  The portions served to us are all prepared by the arsenal of kitchen hands and cooks in the demo kitchen.

He seasons the meat with salt and pepper...

He then prays for a good outcome.... (I'm kidding...I honestly don't know WHY his hands are in that equivalent of hands genuflecting position).

Unfortunately, we haven't reached the technology where we can transmit smells via photographs, but the aroma wafting through the room, as this beauteous piece of meat was being seared, with the hissing sound of the oils doing its browning work, was really lovely.  Makes me feel like having steak for lunch.

Grilled Australian Ribeye with Miso Hollandaise, Fondant Potato and Water Cress
Serves 1

Australian Ribeye
220g of beef ribeye
1g of sea salt
Pepper, to taste
100ml of red wine jus
1 portion of Miso Hollandaise

Fondant Potato
1 large potato
200ml of chicken stock
80g of French butter L’escure

Watercress salad (this wasn't served, so just try to imagine it)
20g of watercress
5ml of Forum Chardonnay Vinegar
10ml of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Red Wine Jus (Makes 10 portions)
20kg of veal neck bones
Olive oil, as required
3 carrots, peeled
3 stalks of celery
3 brown onions, peeled and halved
1 bulb of garlic, skin on and halved
1 tbs of black peppercorns, crushed
1 bunch of thyme
1 bay leaf
150g of tomato paste
1.5L of red wine
Red wine vinegar, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Hollandaise Reduction (Makes 10 portions)
100ml of white wine vinegar
300ml of white wine
100g of shallots, sliced

Miso Hollandaise (Makes 10 portions)
10 egg yolks
2 eggs
166g of miso paste
100ml of Hollandaise reduction
100ml of water
420g of clarified butter

Method (Red Wine Jus):

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
1.On a roasting tray, spread the bones evenly and roast in the oven for 1 hour.
2.In a pot, heat the oil, then add carrots, celery, onions, garlic and peppercorns. Sauté until caramelised.
3.Add thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste into the pot and continue to sauté for 1 minute or until all the moisture is cooked out.
4.Add the red wine and deglaze the pan.
5.Continue to cook until the wine reduces and thickens slightly.
6.Remove pan from the heat and place on one side.
7.When the bones are roasted, placed them in a stock pot and cover with cold water.
8.Place over a moderate heat and bring to a boil, then add the vegetables and reduce the heat.
Simmer for 8 hours, regularly skimming to remove any fat or impurities.
9.When the stock is cooked, pass the stock through a fine chinois into another saucepan.
10.Over medium heat, simmer the sieved stock until the stock thickens.
11.Pass the stock through a muslin cloth and add red wine vinegar to taste.
12.To season, add salt and pepper.

Method (Hollandaise Reduction):
1.In a heavy bottomed saucepan over a moderate heat, add the vinegar, white wine, sliced shallots, peppercorns and bay leaf.
2.Bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer until the liquid has reduced considerably.
3.Remove the saucepan from heat and pass the reduction through a fine sieve, discarding the solids and retaining the liquid reduction.

Method (Miso Hollandaise):
1.In a saucepan over moderate heat, add enough water to cover one-third of the pan and heat until it is gentle simmering, creating a bain marie.
2.Place a mixing bowl on top of the saucepan (without touching the water) and add egg yolks, eggs, miso paste, Hollandaise reduction and 100ml of water and whisk continuously for 10 minutes.
3.When the sauce thickens, add clarified butter slowly and continue whisking.
4.If the mixture is too thick, add a little more warm water so that the Hollandaise sauce is of a pouring consistency.
5.Keep warm.

Method (Fondant Potato):

  1. Slice potato into large rounds and set aside.
  2. In a heavy based saucepan, add butter and place potato rounds into the butter.
  3. Cover the potato rounds with chicken stock.
  4. Place a round piece of baking paper on top and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue to cook until all the stock has reduce and the potatoes start to colour around the edges.
  6. The butter will also start to colour in the bottom of the pan and deglaze the potatoes.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  8. Once cooled, use a steel scraper to remove the potatoes.
Method (Watercress Salad):
  1. In a large bowl, add vinegar.
  2. Using a whisk, slowly pour olive oil into the vinegar and whisk continuously until the mixture has emulsified.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Dress watercress just before serving.
Method (Australian Ribeye):
  1. Allow the steak to come to room temperature.
  2. Add 1g of sea salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat a grill pan or heavy bottom pan on high heat.
  4. When the pan is very hot, add a small amount of oil and grill the steak on each side until desired doneness.
  5. Remove from pan and rest for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Plate steak, fondant potato and watercress salad and serve.

Now, the item  that really stood out in this dish, to me, were the fondant potatoes.

The fondant potatoes....

Just look at the amount of butter the fondant potatoes are swimming in, no wonder they were so deliciously sinfully good.

Ta dah, the completed and plated dish.  For the paparazzi.  The watercress salad in the recipe wasn't included.  However, we were given two swords of asparagus as greens, for our own tasting portions.  And a generous slice of meat too.

And finally, for dessert, Fresh Berries with Elderflower Jelly and Raspberry Lime Sauce, EXCEPT, Elderflower isn't readily available in Malaysia (I could've told you that.  I don't think I even know what it looks like, except for the cordial they sell in IKEA), and since neither elder nor youngerflowers were to be found, he replaced with strawberry jelly.

Fresh Berries with Elderflower Jelly and Raspberry Lime Sauce
Serves 10

Sugar Syrup
100g of caster sugar
100ml of water

Elderflower Jelly
100ml of sugar syrup
10 gelatin sheets
700ml of water
100ml of elderflower cordial
100ml of white wine

Raspberry and Lime Sauce
10 punnets of raspberries, washed and drained
110g of caster sugar
100ml of water
Zest of 3 limes
Juice of 1 lime

Chantilly Cream
500ml of fresh cream
60ml of brandy
80g of icing sugar

Almond Soil
150g of caster sugar
150g of almond meal
75g of plain flour, sieved
5g of salt
65g of butter, melted

Fresh Berries
8 punnets of raspberries, washed and drained
8 punnets of strawberries, washed and drained
8 punnets of blueberries, washed and drained
200g of berry sorbet
Baby basil leaves, as required

Method (Sugar Syrup):

  1. In a saucepan over moderate heat, combine the sugar and water.
  2. Gently warm the mixture until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat.

Method (Elderflower Jelly):

  1. In a saucepan over moderate heat, gentle warm the sugar syrup.
  2. Cover the gelatin sheets in cold water until softened.
  3. Add the 700ml of water to the sugar syrup and allow the mixture to warm gently.
  4. Remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze out any excess water.
  5. Add the gelatin to the sugar syrup mix and stir thoroughly until the gelatin is fully dissolved and thoroughly combined.
  6. Add the elderflower cordial and white wine.
  7. Combine the mixture thoroughly.
  8. Pour the mixture into a contained and place in the refrigerator to set.
  9. When set, turn out the jelly and cut into desired portions and shapes.

Method (Raspberry and Lime Sauce):

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine raspberries and sugar.
  2. Allow the sugar to complete dissolve into the raspberries.
  3. Add the water and bring the mixture to a slow simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the lime juice, stir and remove the pot from heat.
  5. Allow the pot to cool and add lime zest and combine.
  6. Puree the raspberry and lime sauce, then pass through a fine strainer.

Method (Almond Soil):

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Line a baking tray with silicon paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, almond meal, flour and salt.
  4. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the melted butter and stir until it resembles a crumble mixture.
  6. Spread the mix onto the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Method (Chantilly):

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine fresh cream and brandy.
  2. Whisk the mixture until it forms a soft peak.
  3. Slowly add icing sugar into the mixture and continue to whisk until firm peaks form.
  4. Cover bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate until required.

Not something I'd replicate at home, because it actually is rather tedious, AND not to mention those aforementioned fruits cost an arm and a leg, and by and large, most Malaysians do not appreciate the tanginess these beauties have to offer.

Finally, the Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador, aptly kilted, said a few words on the various pairing possibilities. More information about William Grant & Sons can be found at

A lovely way to spend the afternoon, with thanks to AFC and to AGC PR company.

1 comment:

Ciki said...

what a long recipe... groan. I think I'd rather eat :P