Sunday, December 06, 2009
Chef Jean Christophe Novelli
You all know I love my reality tv shows. One of my new favourites is Chef Academy. I wasn't sure it was going to be a good show but the first episode surprised me so much within minutes. Chef Novelli has so much charming personality and an incredible set of humourous habit s and fascinating recipes...this show is a blast! There is something about the way he cooks and mashes food and it is so simple...that I am intrigued. I am going to make this recipe tonight, and I am so excited to try it out...check out the ingredients:
6 lb (2.7 kg) Beef or Heirloom tomatoes
4 Star anise
1 Vanilla pod
Sea salt & cracked black pepper to season
2 Sprig fresh thyme
1-2 Bay leaves
28gm bunch fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Place a heavy cast pan to heat up.
Wash the tomatoes and halve roughly.
Place into the hot pan and season with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar.
Add the anise and vanilla.
Allow the tomatoes to start to cook then press them gently with a masher to help them to release their juice.
Reduce the heat down to just simmering and continue for about 1_ -2 hours until a thickened paste. This slow evaporation of the moisture from the tomatoes will produce a deep colour concentrated flavour without any bitterness.
Crack the garlic and add along with the basil which is just halved and throw in.
Combine with the warm paste and finish with a good amount of olive oil to finish the infusion. Allow to cool before storing ready for use.
• If you have added too much sugar to start this can be balanced out with a touch of vinegar.
• Always taste the tomatoes uncooked to determine their natural sweetness before you add the sugar.
• The amount of garlic to infuse with greatly depends on its strength; again make your own judgment.
• Additional seasoning such as cumin, fennel seeds, chili etc can be added this is of course personal taste again.
You can watch Chef Novelli make this recipe here...