Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Ad Hoc and Movida

I got a little adventurous recently and actually opened a couple of cook books. Since Georgia came along I've been doing a fair bit of the cooking and I have got really good at cooking stews. But even I can get tired of stew so I cracked open Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home and Frank Camorra's Movida Cookbook.

Thomas Keller owns the legendary French Laundry restaurant in California. There's little chance I'd attempt one of his recipes from the French Laundry but Ad Hoc At Home is as it says. A cookbook for the home. Lots of basic but tasty recipes. I've tried his fried chicken recipe and it is sensational. This time though I made his Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Butter Braised Brussel Sprouts, Radishes and Kohlrabi. Before I attempted this I'd never even heard of Kohlrabi. Click here to read up on it. Thankfully are local green grocer, Fratelli Fresh, had it.

The duck breast was fairly easy to prepare. Simply marinated in various herbs then fried and finished off in the oven. The vegies took a little more preparation including cooking the radishes in emulsified butter. Butter emulsification? Hadn't done that before either. Anyway, it all came together reasonably successfully I think. The reason I chose duck is because Michelle loves the duck. Really. Loves the duck. She was even impressed with mine.

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Butter Braised Brussel Sprouts, Radishes and Kohlrabi

Frank Camorra runs Movida in Melbourne. Movida is a Spanish restaurant cum tapas bar and serves extraordinary tapas and raciones. Best we've had outside of Spain so I was keen to try his pork recipe from the Movida Cookbook.

The pork had to be marinated is all sorts of herbs and liquids including sherry vinegar, white wine and sherry and then cooked in the oven. For something that isn't cooked for very long it comes out soft and succulent. I also felt like patatas bravas - potatoes in a mayonnaise base sauce. And yes, I hand made the mayonnaise. I over did it on the sauce when I mixed it in with the fried potatoes though. Still, it was pretty good. Patatas Bravas recipe here.

Marinated and braised pork with patatas bravas and broccoli

Two fairly involved and complicated, for me, meals in two days. I don't know what I'll try next.


  1. Well done Shane!!

    (are those Copernicus' little paws I see in your pan roasted duck breast photo?)

  2. Thanks.
    I hadn't noticed Pern's paws. But yes they are.

    Tonight I made something from Jacques Reymond's Cuisine du Temps. Very nice too. About halfway through I realised that I should have taken a photo.