Justin North demonstration @ the Organic Food Fair

Sarah says: Oh my! The organic expo is on this weekend. Does anyone want to go?

Sure, why not? This year I’m not on holiday at the time.

I was a bit nonplussed at the demonstrations on offer whilst we were at the fair, but Sarah convinced me to watch the ‘cooking with seasonal vegetables’ one. Why? Because it featured Justin North of Becasse fame.

Justin @ Fair

Two dishes.

Dish one: Thyme roasted Heirloom carrots with octopus

Dish two: Blue swimmer crab with potatoes two ways

Dish one prep:

Firstly you need to slow cook your ocotpus. Place soy sauce, sliced ginger and crushed garlic with 1kg cleaned octopus in two litres of water. This should simmer for 80 deg Celsius for four hours.

Justin used carrots that were purple on the outside, yellow in the inside.
These you could roast like the potatoes, described below. You cn also use the shavings with thyme and garlic to make a stock.
However, for this dish he pan fried purple carrots with olive oil, thyme and salt to caramelise and then roast as per potatoes.

Another good flavour combination is to use the carrots with star anise, coriander seeds or the stalks. Carrot also goes very well with ginger.

Dressing for the carrots is as follows. Start with three heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise. Add a tablespoon of white (sweet) miso. Drop of soy sauce. A squeeze of mandarin juice. I noticed that he sneakily used some kikkoman soy instead of the spiral foods sponsor.

Separately, clean around top of baby carrots with a knife, scraping the dirt away. Panfry these as above, but no need to roast in the oven.

Dressing for baby carrots starts with olive oil. Add in grated cucumber, mandarin zest and lime juice. Finish with grated baby turnip.

Dish Two Prep:

Cook blue swimmer crab in boiling water for 6 min, allow to cool whilst preparing other parts of the dish.

Place potatoes in a roasting tray on a bed of salt, thyme, and crushed garlic. Seal the pan with foil, tucked in around the edges.

Roast for 45 minutes in a 180-200 degree oven.

Once time is up, you will need to scrape off the salt which will embed itself into skin. Scoop out the inner flesh of potato and crush with fork – add olive oil to make mashed potato. Deep fry the leftover potato skin. use a twig of thyme to test if the oil is hot enough.

Pick out the crab meat from the now cool shell.

Dressing for potatoes goes like this. Cook butter in a small frypan for less than three minutes so it just starts to burn. Add minced garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice and a touch of olive oil. Finish with some shredded crab meat and chive snippings.

Now to finish!

Heap a mound of mashed potato onto the plate topped with crab butter, and crunchy potato skins. Top with thyme leaves and pea shoots. This dish is all about contrast.

With the second dish, you can cut out the purple carrots in different shapes. Add the slow cooked octopus. Drizzle the miso dressing around the dish and top with nasturtium flowers. Important! Remove green part of nastusiums because they can have a bitter taste.
Justin North's Food

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