Saturday, 9 November 2013

' mauritian TABLE HORS D'OEUVRES .'

Mauritian Hors d'oeuvres of Pate de foie poulet, Achard de legumineuses sur une baguette and Mazavaroo avec riz cuit a' la vapeur. ( Translates :- Mauritian hors d'oeuvres of Chicken liver pate, Pickled vegetables on a baguette and Chilli prawn paste with steamed rice. )

                     Where do I begin with this one, this is my roots, my food history, the culture passed on from generations. My mother being Mauritian born from a rather large family that migrated to Australia in the 60's and this Mozzie ( Mauritian-Ozzie ) family filled with culture, language and food was my up bringing as a child. As I spent portions of my early childhood being looked after during school hours by my grandparents, it wasn't 'close the door' it was 'fermer la port', or 'eat' it was 'manger', most lunches had achard in it and a jar would go home with me for mum. Granddad  was the cook and for the big family do's, the lunch table always had mazavaroo and achard. The main reason for my passion for food and cooking is my Mum, she was my one and only influence and drive. My admiration for her self taught repertoire of recipes, her want for knowledge and her ability to cook any style. I've seen Mum make the most divine of profiteroles to the most freshest of thai dishes. My my is a food lover at its best and has traveled for food in the past, on her last trip she brought me back a jar of Tartufella from a town called Assisi in Italy. Tartufella is a mix of minced mushrooms, truffle, truffle oil and olive oil. This dish of table hors d'oeuvres, called this as you sit down to eat them, as appeased to being 'butlered', is my take on the families cultural food heritage in honour of Mum.                                                                    
                        All three of these preparations have been made in advance and as for the achard (pickle) this was made around july-august some time. This like sauerkraut are fantastic preserving methods of the winter harvest that have been passed to me from both my paternal and maternal blood lines.                  
     Achard de legumes- to make this I prepped the vegetables first, thinly slicing cabbage, julienne of carrot, french beans were sliced lengthwise and I broke up cauliflower into tiny florets. Then I blanched the vegetables in salted boiling water, drained and set aside. In a bowl I blended together mustard seeds,  turmeric powder with crushed garlic and a little water to form a paste. I then heated some mustard oil frying finely diced onions until transparent, to which I added the paste and some salt, stir frying for a minute before adding the vegetables, small whole green chillies and mixing until well coated. I then removed this from the heat, allowed it to cool added a little vinegar before I spooned the mix into sterilised jars and sealed placing in the fridge to mature for at least three weeks.  
      Mazavaroo- this traditional mauritian condiment served with rice was made by de-stemming and roughly chopping some red chillies and onion. I then soaked dried prawns (chevrettes) in hot water until soft, draining all the water and discarded any shells. In a blender I added the prawns, chillies, onion, some crushed ginger, lemon juice and a little white wine vinegar and mixed to form a paste. In a pan I heated some oil and stir fried the paste, allowing all the moisture to evaporate then cooking for a further minute, stirring constantly so it didn't burn the paste. This was then allowed to cool before storing in the fridge in sealed jars.            
       Pate- this chicken liver pate is delicious and fairly cheap, picking up livers for about $2. First I washed and trimmed the livers of any fat as this is where the animal stores toxins, in the fat cells and I also removed any discolouration. These were then pat dried and sautéed in butter and minced garlic until brown and caramelised on the outside but slightly pinkish in the centre. Allowed to cool, the livers and all its buttery cooking juices were placed into a blender and mixed to a paste. With the motor still running I poured in some cream and then some champagne, and blended to incorporate. I then seasoned with sugar, salt and pepper before pouring into moulds, covering with clear film and placed in the fridge to chill and set. I then melted some butter and poured this over the pate to seal placing back into the fridge overnight to fully set.
                    To serve I sliced some baguette and with some I simply buttered to go with the achard, and with the rest I toasted with olive oil drizzled on top and a little persian blue salt, this went with the pate.  To accompany the mazavaroo paste I steamed some white rice, and added some little green chillies, fresh thyme and pink salt to garnish and finish the dish.



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