Mire Poix, Mixed Spice and beyond

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Archive for May 2009


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I think it sounds more like a drink; it’s an italian flavour base made by sweating onions over medium heat with chosen fat until translucent but not brown.

Italian or otherwise, 99% of recipes now seem to start with “saute onions” and it all becomes as natural as seasoning. the aroma of it gets the whole process off to a great start. garlic, celery and carrots are also usual suspects.

from there, the world is your oyster. well, the world in this case is ragu, risotto, marinara and soup.

like the mire poix, this early ritual seem an equivalent to saying a brief prayer before mass, the dotting of holy water on one’s forehead, chest and shoulders before an onwards journey of discovery, each one infinitely different to the last.


Written by misschoi

May 3, 2009 at 10:31 pm

fish pie

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[angela hartnett’s traditional]

poach fish in seasoned milk that’s been brought slow to boil w/thyme & bay leaf

make white sauce by sieving milk, gradually add to roux (equal amts melted butter & flour) whisking constantly then adding capers, parsley, quartered hard boiled eggs & squeeze lemon. pour over flaked fish & top w/mash. bake until golden brown.


mash roasted sweet potatoes

heat coconut milk until hot, add lemongrass, ginger, garlic, curry paste (red/green/yellow), cook over high 1 min. take mixture off heat, add fish, peas, coriander & soy. top w/mash, cover & bake 15m. fridge til required then bake 25m more.

[Mtuza wa Samaki / Kenyan baked curried fish]

arrange sauteed onions over fish. grind / blend into paste: oil, chilies, garlic, chopped toms, white wine vinegar, grd cardamoms, grd cumin. pour over fish, season & bake 180c 30m or until just flaky.

[bengali fish curry]

marinade fish w/salt & tumeric. fry skin side first, until both sides golden & set aside. blend into paste: crushed mustard seeds, chilies & water.

add bengali 5 spice “panch phoron” (1tsp cumin seed, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nigella seed, mustard seed) in prev frypan 1m, add chili paste & fry 4m. fish back in, season & water if necessary. bring to simmer & cook 10m, or until done. garnish w/coriander & serve.

Written by misschoi

May 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Posted in fish, pie, spices

on being thick-skinned and the british stiff upper lip

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After waiting 45 minutes for 2 pizzas and 2 pastas, we took a final sip of our wines and walked out.

A few of us were more conservative, but I’ve never had any qualms about walking out, should the situation call for it. There’s a fine balance between making such a fuss and ruining your own night, and not getting shat on by the establishments you’re handing over hard-earned money to.

In my case, a combination of being Chinese and eating out all the time meant there were always more pleasant meals to be had, and I never felt inclined to spend half a penny more than I had to.

but here’s always that brief moment of wondering whether I would regret doing this. not because they didn’t deserve it but whether I would ever want to revisit the restaurant again. In most cases, the answer is a lucky no.

In any case, I’ve had better and cheaper pizzas, and the fiancee makes definitively the best pasta. now, if only I could have that chandelier in my living room..

but it remains that you can’t eat scenary, and I am at peace again.

Written by misschoi

May 3, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Posted in italian, restaurant

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