I’m kind of a Masterchef fangirl – in fact, I love any cookery show on TV – so when Handpicked Media extended an invite to a cookery demo night with last year’s champ Tim Anderson I jumped at it. I loved Tim’s cooking on the show – a modern fusion-y take on Japanese – and was pleased to see the menu for the night was of the same ilk.
The event was sponsored by Oral B, for whom Tim is a new ambassador, and throughout the night they highlighted the kind of damage that everyday foods can do to your teeth – not just the sugary treats you might expect, but acidic foods, from tomatoes to tea, can erode away enamel and leave your teeth sensitive, stained and generally unhappy. But back to the food for a sec…
Tim demonstrated both of the dishes for us, then we had a go recreating them in teams of two. First up, sashimi (or tofu for the veggies) with various seaweeds, a passion fruit foam, and dashi granita. Despite looking super fancy, this dish was really easy to put together – the main ingredient needs no cooking and the foam is simply whizzed with a stick blender to give it texture. The eating was a lovely blend of temperatures and textures, and the sweet foam really lifted the tofu.
The main dish was tea-marinated egg on a crispy leek nest with chana puree – most definitely the kind of thing that’d jump out at me on a restaurant menu. Despite looking exquisite and complex it was again really quite simple and cooked almost in real-time (apart from the egg, which needs 24 hours to soak up the chai tea broth). I’d definitely cook it at home again; the flavours and textures were fantastic. If you’d like to try it too, the recipe’s at the bottom of this blog post!
These crispy leeks would make an awesome accompaniment to loads of dishes, I reckon
While we ate, one of Oral B’s scientists, Adam, told us about their new toothpaste, Pro-expert, which addresses the problems food can cause to your tooth enamel by creating an effective barrier as you brush. I’m generally skeptical of such claims (and I don’t think these ads that smack of pseudo-science do any favours) but Adam really knew his stuff, and I came away quite convinced that it’s worth investing in a good toothpaste. I’ve been using the sample tube we were given and I swear my teeth feel cleaner already. You get a free sample too right here.
One of Tim’s next projects is running a cookery tour holiday to Japan, yours for just £5k. Hey Handpicked, I’d happily go to this too in the name of blog-journalism, k? CALL ME!
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp chai tea
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 thread of saffron
- 2 leeks
- 30g plain flour
- 1 tspn garam masala
- ½ tspn chilli powder
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp chilli powder (or more if you like more heat)
- 200g tinned tomatoes
- 150ml water, tomato juice or stock
- 250g chickpeas (tinned or cooked dried)
- 6g tamarind paste
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1g garam masala
- 50g butter
- 1 tsp peaty whisky
- Boil the eggs for 5 minutes (add the eggs when the water is already boiling and keep at a rapid boil) then submerge in cold water. Steep the tea, soy sauce, and saffron in 240ml hot water. Allow to cool, then shell the eggs and marinate in the liquid for 24 hours.
- Cut the leeks into 2 inch chunks, then slice into a fine julienne. Combine the spices and flour and toss with the leeks, shaking off any excess. Fry in 180ºC oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.
- Chop the onions and garlic and saute in vegetable oil along with the coriander, cumin, and chilli until soft. Add the tomatoes, water/juice/stock, saffron, chickpeas, tamarind paste, other spices and a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid has reduced. Add the butter and whisky and blend with a hand blender to a smooth puree. Pass through a fine sieve.
- Place a dollop of chana puree onto each plate, spreading out artily if you lik. Make the leeks into a little nest in the middle of the plate on top of the chana and place an egg in the centre. Garnish with pea shoots, fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime, if you have them to hand.
Serves 4, recipe adapted from Tim Anderson for Oral B.