Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chef Jules Birthday

Hello Friends,

Welcome to Chef Jules blog. I had intended to bring you a restaurant review, but it didn't quite work out as planned. On arrival at the Chinese restaurant it was determined that they were serving shark fin. As is Dive Planets' policy I personally do not condone or support the importation, harvesting or sale of shark fin. Once this was conveyed to the owner, we left.

I have no doubt that if the information was widely known concerning the barbaric practice of shark finning, the market for such products would be socially unacceptable and the people dealing in them found to be morally repugnant. I urge you to check out my "Food for Thought" post, and also DivePlanets' Project Shark Fin initiatives.

On a happier note, I have created a delicious recipe of stuffed baby squid tubes. Basically the tubes are stuffed with pureed snapper, scallops, anchovies,capers, shallow fried and served with a saffron, white wine cream reduction.
More details of this recipe will be soon in the cuisine section of Dive Planet.

It's now my birthday, 27 July, and it was a beautiful day in Auckland, New Zealand, as the photo of my local beach shows, not bad for the winter season, 16 degrees Celsius. At night it has been a cool 2 degrees however.

I want to share a really nice, easy recipe with you now. It's great for luncheon, part of an antipasto or as a starter and I often serve it for family gatherings. Here goes;

10 slices of ciabatta bread

200g ricotta cheese

1 table spoon toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped

flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper

20 small vine ripened tomatoes

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

6 fresh basil leaves, torn or rough chopped

40g grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the tomatoes in an oven tray, season and sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and cook for 6 minutes, till soft but still holding their shape.

Turn the oven on to grill, and preheat to 220 degrees. toast the bread on both sides and drizzle with olive oil. Now prepare the topping by mixing the cheeses, seasoning, basil, pine nuts and oil in a bowl.

To assemble, spread the cheese mixture over the bread and top with the tomatoes, 2 per slice and place back in the oven to warm, only 5 minutes, and serve. I enjoyed this with a very pleasant a bottle of Italian Rose, Castel Del Monte(Rivera) 2007.
Ciao for now