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COOKING WITH GINGER RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

Ginger spice rocks the world !

GingerNo, I am not talking pop music this week, but thought with so much interest generated by the garlic articles this last two weeks <click here> I would follow up with articles on other spices starting this week and throughout February. Needless to say it is the regal ginger this week . . . the perfect partner to garlic in many recipes.

A rhizome of such great notoriety, fame, legend and countless uses in the kitchen. Rhizome simply means it is the swollen part of a root. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an exotic, distinctive-tasting spice that has a culinary history dating back millennia. It was also used in Japan by powerful shoguns in their family crests, carried in special little personal pouches and boxes hung from belts or the obi (sashes) from kimonos, in China they continue to be an important part of traditional medicine; it is said to ease nausea and improve circulation. Sailors have used ginger to ward off sea sickness and many people who have to drive on hilly, windy roads take along candied ginger to aid motion sickness.

Ginger is often referred to as green, black or white. The green ginger is the fresh root before it is dried, while black or white depends on whether it is peeled or not before it is dried and / or powdered. It is found in many forms: from the fresh root form to candied / crystallised, powdered, pickled, or as a tea.

A staple in Asian cuisines where it forms part of the ‘magical triangle’; the first three ingredients used to start most dishes: ginger, garlic, onions and chillies. You will find that most Asian dishes start with three of these ingredients. But also used in European cuisine for centuries; who can forget those childhood memories of gingerbread men, ginger beer or brandy snaps?

Ever fancied a cooking holiday? Ever fancied learning
to make bread - www.cookingholidays.co.uk

Purchasing and storing

Fresh / green : look for a fresh ‘hand’ of ginger that is plump and full, not wrinkled; like people it becomes wrinkled with age. The hand should have some weight to it, full of moisture and ginger that distinctive ginger aroma. The skin should have a sheen, I recommend that you only buy what you need or you intend to use right away. Don't be afraid to break off a finger (the knobby area) at the grocery store . . . I do and what you leave behind will surely be the amount the next person needs!

Store it like you would potatoes; in a dark, temperate place, but not in the refrigerator. It will start to grow mould. If you do have too much, then peel it and place in oil, white wine vinegar or dry sherry, this will then take on a gingery flavour and can be used in your cooking or form part of a marinade.

Candied / crystallised: look for ginger that is plump and tender looking. Ginger that appears dried or shriveled will most likely have a bitter, unpleasant after taste. As fresh ginger will sour and curdle milk, crystallised ginger is the perfect for infusing the flavour into ice creams, custards, crème brulée and soufflés etc

Pickled : available in Asian grocery stores and most major supermarkets now, it a must when eating sushi. It is dyed pink and sweetened

Flavour and use

Ginger is pungent in flavour and a ‘warm’ spice that brings depth and flavour to dishes. Like garlic it may be used sparingly for fragrance or in abundance for real flavour.

The fresh root should be peeled and then grated, sliced into coins, cut into matchsticks, sliced across matchsticks for finely chopped or crushed. How it is prepared depends on how it is to be used within the recipe.

I posted a wonderful recipe in December for Ginger encrusted fish. This week lets go for something sweet. This recipe has a triple hit of ginger: it uses three versions of the spice; crystallised, powdered and the fresh, if you know of a more gingered, gingerbread I would love to hear from you!

GINGERBREAD RECIPE

Ingredients for Gingerbread

flour

200

gm

ginger - ground

1

tsp

cinnamon - ground

1

tsp

cardamom - ground

½

tsp

baking soda

1

tsp

salt

½

tsp

crystallised ginger - chopped

6

tbs

unsalted butter

100

gm

brown sugar

100

gm

castor sugar

100

gm

eggs

3

pc

ginger - fresh, grated

3

tbs

buttermilk

150

ml

How to make Gingerbread

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC
  • Brush a loaf tin (20cm x 10cm) with oil and sprinkle with flour
  • Sift the flour, ground spices, baking soda and salt together and mix in half the chopped crystallised ginger
  • Beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy and beat in the eggs 1 at a time
  • Mix in the fresh, grated ginger
  • Stir in dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients
  • Spoon into the loaf tin and sprinkle the remaining crystallised ginger over the batter, press lightly into the batter
  • Bake for approximately about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
  • Turn out onto a cooling rack and allow cool completely

Chef's Tip for Gingerbread

I like to serve this, sliced with a good cheddar and fresh fruits for a dessert that I am sure will impress to all that you serve it to.

Enjoy your Gingerbread and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com