Thai style laksa with tofu spring rolls
This dish is absolutely amazing as the flavours and aromas are very deep and satisfying. If you want to simplify things leave out the spring rolls and use a regular vegetable stock instead of the brown stock. Be warned though the flavour will be compromised.
150ml (Ĺ cup) olive oil
1 spanish onions
3 stix celery
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary
few sprigs of thyme
4 bay leaves
400ml (2 cups) red wine
2 litres veg stock
2 dessertspoons vegetable bouillion
500ml (1 pint) of passata
handful of dried porcini mushrooms
For the brown stock Saute the onion, carrot, celery, leeks and garlic in the oilve oil slowly until the vegetables are well browned. Add the herbs and then the red wine. Keep simmering until most of the liquid has been reduced out. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer very slowly for one and a half hours. Pass through a sieve and then it will be ready to use in the laksa sauce recipe.
2 chillies, finely chopped
4 stems lemon grass, finely chopped
2 cm galangal, grated
50ml (2 floz) Sesame oil
6 lime leaves
1 litre (2 pints) brown stock
1 tin coconut milk
half a block of creamed coconut
50ml (2 floz) Light soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
2 dessertspoons of brown sugar or Thai sweet chilli sauce
Saute the chillies, lemon grass and galangal in the sesame oil for a couple of minutes. Add the brown stock, coconut milk, creamed coconut and lime leaves and simmer for about 30 minutes. Season with the soy, lemon juice and sugar and take off the heat. This sauce can be made in advance and frozen down and is an amazing soup in itís own right.
Drain the pumpkin well and place in a large bowl. Heat the butter in a pan or a small wok and fry the onion and the garlic until soft. Add the white wine and reduce out most of the liquid. Add the onion mixture to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, chopping the cheeses to about 1cm dice and mixing the contents thoroughly. This mix you will use to stuff the pies.
The pies can be made individually or as one large pie. As the cheese has the tendency to create a very soft filling when hot use individual tart cases. Line the tart cases with some pastry and fill with some filling. Top with more pastry and prebake the pies in a hot oven for about ten to fifteen minutes. Brush with beaten egg first.
Tofu spring rolls
1 small pack of firm tofu
1 pack spring roll wrappers
Thai sweet chilli sauce
cornflour and water
Drain the tofu, pat dry and cut into small squares. These can be made any size. Place a piece of tofu on one edge of a spring roll wrapper, drizzle a teaspoon of chilli sauce on it, fold over the sides and roll up. Seal with a little cornflour mixed with water. These spring rolls donít keep so well itís best to make them close to when you want to serve them. Just heat up some vegetable oil and deep fry. They can be shallow fried but just be sure to turn them over and not to overload the pan. Alternatively try brushing them with oil and baking them in a hot oven until crispy.
Noodles and vegetables
1 pack of noodles (any variety you fancy)
1 thumb fresh ginger
200g (7 oz) mangetout or sugar snap peas
50ml (2 floz) vegetable oil
100g (4 oz) beansprouts
Ĺ bunch spring onions
light soy sauce
Cook the noodles in boiling water or as instructed on the packet, cool by running cold water over it, drain well and coat lightly with a little sesame or vegetable oil to stop it sticking. Grate the ginger and fine chop the vegetables. In the restaurant we use a gadget called a mandolin; if you are using a knife do your best but they donít have to be ultra fine.
Have the laksa sauce ready and hot in a pan. Deep fry the spring rolls and hold at the bottom of the oven or in a warm place.
Heat the oil in a wok until smoking. Place the carrots, courgettes and peppers in the wok and start to stir fry. Fry for one to two minutes. Add the ginger and stir fry in. Add the mangetout and then the noodles. Immediately add a large dash of light soy sauce as moisture and seasoning and mix everything together thoroughly. Finally fold in the beansprouts and then the stir fry is ready to serve.
Place the noodles, piled high, into bowls. Surround with the laksa sauce and top with the spring rolls. Garnish with the chopped spring onions and a sprig of coriander.