Thursday, 11 September 2014

New York Kitchen Adventures, and announcing...The Last BBQ!

Leftover beef rendang on flat sopes with pickled cucumbers and chillies for brunch the next day

I owe you all an update.

Red Hot Chilli Padi went amazingly. We went all out for it– cycling all around the city to gather ingredients, both for our tests and the actual dinner. My thighs hated the trips over the bridges (oh with such passion I tell you), and I'm still not sure I was fully appeased even after cups of fresh apple cider at the Greenmarket. This farmers' market at Union Square was ridiculous– so huge and with such a massive variety compared to the little one I used to manage here (I still love my little Pimlico market though). Spoilt with choice,  I did what any sane person with limited time to shop for a dinner party of 24 would do– buy and eat 6 different kinds of chillies to test the best for sauce; make tater tots with heritage purple potatoes just to see if it's better to stick to the original plan of sweet potater tots; and test out different batters for courgette fries at midnight.



We even took an hour's ferry ride out to see if we could nick some ingredients from The Homestead at Seven Arrows, a farm run by Mike's friend, Meg Paska. Meg was a Brooklyn homesteader (she's amazing, she has a book and you should buy) who decided 2 years back she wanted to leave the city behind to grow vegetables and raise turkeys, chickens, goats, bees, and rabbits. It is currently a one-woman job, which is completely crazy. That day, we helped her prepare new beds for planting, harvest beans and tomatoes, and can peaches, and in return I had one of the best lunches on the trip– homegrown chard, homemade cheese from her goats, golden eggs from the chickens running around my feet, and the best peach pie ever, straight from the oven. It was simple food but the flavours were stunning, a result of the love I could see her pouring into her (not so) little 20 acre plot of land.


Thursday was madness. In addition to my signature shit-hot sambal, we did a green version of a sweet chilli sauce using green jalapeƱos and mint from Meg, and also some homemade mayonnaise with sriracha stirred in. I'd already knocked his flatmate out with a teaspoon of the chilli sauces, which was a good sign. The rendang had been simmering for 8 hours from the night before, with some fantastic grassfed short ribs from The Meat Hook. Mike had built a castle of 70 or so sweetcorn and bacon mancakes and was now on to building (yes from scratch) the extra table. Killer Kaya cocktails downed, we were ready to go.



And it was brilliant. The place was just swinging! I love the sounds of a busy kitchen– plates clattering, oil sizzling– mixed with the comforting sounds of people laughing and munching. To top it all off, we had (the first ever?) Red Hot Chilli Peppers jazz covers from Kyle and his wonderful jazz band. I met people who had come because they read this lil old blog of mine and it made me swell up with pride and amazement that people from across the world read my ramblings. The night ended with giant coconut icecream & peach waffle sandwiches – in other words, in the best way possible.



And so, I thought I'd do something crazy like this all over again back in London.

I've teamed up with the pair from Barry's Hug to host The Last BBQ before the sun says goodbye. One half is Sean, the forager/ gardener that took me on a wild weed adventure at Hampstead Heath. 3/4 of the year, he also works as a chef (currently at 8 Hoxton Square, and he oversees the grill section so you can rest assured that he knows his barbecues). The remaining 1/4 of the year, he spends all the money he's saved in the first 3/4 eating and gallivanting around Southeast Asia. The other half is Ed– or perhaps if I say Ed Laurie and Straw Dog I might get a few more hits from rock fans on this post. After a pretty intense night of menu testing, we've come up with this:


It's going to be a really fun night: a smokin' hot menu (literally) and rockin' music. There will be no fancy dinner napkins and lots of finger licking. See you there, I hope!




GET YER TICKETS HERE !

Related recipes
Mint sweet chilli sauce (variation using green jalapeƱo chillies)
Shit-hot sambal tumis belachan
Ox cheek and venison rendang (variation with simply beef shin)
Kohl-slaw with sweet tamarind mint dressing

Related reads
Red Hot Chilli Padi menu (we changed it a bit to suit the produce)
Meg, her farm, her book 

Join the mailing list for exclusive recipes like Manly Mike's corn and bacon mancakes :p


32 comments:

  1. Your events sound amazing, I wish they were in SF instead of NYC.

    The photos are lovely :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Jotyti! I'm in SF this december! Though I doubt I'll be doing much there except laze around and eat christmas cookies.

      Delete
  2. The beef rendang on those flatbreads look sooooooooooooo good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were so good! Leftovers always taste better!

      Delete
  3. wow, so busy! and such amazing pics. Just love those carrots :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The carrots are amazing aren't they! I never can resist myself when I visit the markets and see the colourful produce!

      Delete
  4. Beautiful pics!!!
    All looks delicious!
    xox

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. it's great! We spent a crazy night testing all these recipes and the squid was a favourite!

      Delete
  6. I loved reading about your New York adventures. The markets and the food sound amazing and as ever the photos are gorgeous. I'm sure the London event will be just as successful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was really crazy but I had so much fun! Thanks Caz, I'm really worried for this one. It's the day after my birthday (a friday night too) AND I'm going near a fire.............

      Delete
  7. Wow, pretty amazing Shu! I love that you were inspired to bring some of those good feelings back to London to share with your homies! Sounds like it will be a fantastic and very tasty evening!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gene! I do hope so! It always goes a bit mad right before and I regret it, but then I change my mind after :D

      Delete
  8. Travelling, cooking, living new fascinating adventures (food ones, moreover!). How I envy you! I am glad to learn there are such amazing markets in the US (I keep on reading US bloggers complaining they don't have such food markets as we do in Europe...). The event sound so exciting! As always, I'll content myself with your artistic photographs and I'll try to stir my imagination reading the menu... Have I just seen stuffed squid??? I think I'm becoming seriously addicted to squid (before, I was just crazy for it...)? Stuffed version has been on my cooking list for years! So much inspiration in just one post... Thank you and good luck with your future adventures! (Just remember to keep us informed ;-) ).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Sissi! I'm afraid my life is usually not that fascinating. The Internet has made it such that only the most exciting bits of our lives are the ones displayed! In the case of food bloggers, that's the yummiest bits too, we had many failed fries and pancakes ;)

      Yes stuffed squid! Try it Sissi you will love it! I can imagine you coming up with a Japanese variation already, maybe with a teriyaki glaze? This is stuffed with minced pork, but I want to try doing a rice version one day!

      And yes, I'll always keep you guys informed! I fall behind often because I have bad time management but I'll be here ;) xx

      Delete
  9. wow, such a fun event, i really jealous now...
    i hope you made one here in Indonesia!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to visit Indonesia and do something like that one day!!!

      Delete
  10. Shu Han -- I've just booked 2 tickets as a gift for some friends. I put their contact information on the form, but the tickets are actually a surprise. Could you please make sure that nobody contacts them directly? My name's Preeta, and their names are Emily and Alex. I put my contact info. on there as well, but I had to include their e-mail addresses because they are the "guests."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah ;) Got it. Will pass the information on to Edible Experiences. Hope they haven't sent one of those auto-email things yikes! And thanks for booking :) That's so sweet of you!

      Delete
  11. Thanks, Shu Han -- I did actually leave them a note as well on the form, but that's the thing, I don't know if an auto-e-mail confirmation goes out immediately. Argh, I should've just left that field blank, or put in my e-mail address instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah saw Wen's reply.... yikessssssss.

      Delete
  12. You are awesome and the only one able to do a CHILLI TASTING – what?! :) Your NYC adventures sound like lots of fun, and I wish I could shop at one of those markets one more time in my life, too! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heeheehee it was funny. We had lots of water (maybe they were cocktails) on the side just in case. Valeria! Come for the event! It will be fun!!!

      Delete
  13. What an amazing event and experience, here's to the next part!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caroline! It was madness but yes really amazing. Can't wait for next Saturday's. If you're in town it would be wonderful to have you come!

      Delete
  14. Shu Han!! This sounds incredible and I really, really want to come!! I asked my friend "do you want to come to this really cool event?!" and she replied "I'd love but that's the date of my party!!" Argh! I'm trying to do both - do you think there's any way I can come to the dinner and make it to Balham by 10.30!? Ohhh I hate clashes! Please help! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will be music from 8pm onwards, and from 9pm people are free to come for just the music (no food). So I reckon dinner should start 730 and end 9 ish. You might just be able to make it ;) p.s. 1 ticket left for the event as of now!! x

      Delete
    2. Noooo!! I'm so sorry for leaving it so late, I've been trying to find someone to come with me for ages and now only one ticket left!! Ahhh! Is this the sort of event where I can turn up by myself?! Eeek! So sorry! X

      Delete
    3. Haha it's ok Hazel! Yes there are a few single bookings but don't worry about it, if you can find a friend to come with you just pull her along I'm sure we can fit another and she can pay at the door, shh! x

      Delete
    4. Yayyy!! Awesome :) I've bought the last one. Thanks so much! Can't wait! :D xx

      Delete
  15. What a great idea! Left over beef rendang over on flat bread. Must think of ways to make my lunches more interesting. I know this may be an older post, but dropping by to wish you HAPPY NEW YEAR Shu Han. Cheers, Jo

    ReplyDelete