Salmon with Beetroot Risotto – Chez Boom

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Do any of you have a prejudice against some food? I know of some people who rather than say what they don’t eat can only state what they do! I despise fussy eaters… I’m not so bad as being Chinese, we are known to eat anything but I do have stuff I try to avoid and beetroot is one of those food that I am adverse to. As it is, I don’t have a sweet tooth and the fact that it stain your hands…. yeeee….

Anyway, saw this recipe on the Food Explorer booklet from Westfield London and was seduced by it’s vibrant colours. Thought it will work well when done at Chez Boom’s seeing the lighting at his place washes out all colours. Also curious as to how risotto made with pearl barley will taste like.

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So the ingredients include (clockwise from left), ready to eat beetroot, fennel bulb, an apple, salmon fillet and pearl barley. Not included in the lineup shot are black olives and fish stock. Decided to add some leftover black olives which Boom have hanging around from previous day’s dinner thinking the black will contrast nicely with the red risotto. A copy of the recipe is also available here.

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So you boil the barley in the stock till tender and all the liquid has been absorbed then you added in the pulverised beetroot. The barley took close to an hours to be ready which is a tad long but good as unlike risotto made with arborio rice, you don’t have to stay and stir.

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About 10 mins before the risotto is done, stick the salmon fillet into a preheated oven. Instead of thyme, I topped the salmon with stem of the fennel bulb crushed with some salt and pepper. Waste not want not!

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The fennel and apple salad was straight forward, I pimped it with sesame seeds, sesame oil and chili flakes for an Asian touch. Worked out pretty well, good contrast with the rich risotto.

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Viola! Have to say this was a great success, the pearl barley was smooth and creamy yet still retained a bit of bite. The beetroot gave a slight sweetness and also thickened the risotto. The addition of black olives apart from bringing more colour, also countered the sweetness of the beetroot while the fennel and apple salad gave the dish a refreshing edge.

Will definitely try other risotto versions with pearl barley in future!

Chez Boom
Somewhere in West London
Open 24/7, 365 days a year
Strictly by invitation
Only for the worthy

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Singapore Fried Noodle & Soup – Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Liverpool Street Station

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Thought I do something different today. Got some ready meals from Marks & Spencer Simply Food and heated them up in the office microwave. I used to do this quite often when I was based in Monument as the food options are not as plentiful compared to where I am now. Still remember queuing up to use the office microwave which can be a pain. A few of us even considered creating a Outlook calendar for the microwave so everyone can book a slot to use it. What geeks we are!

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I’m always tempted by deals when I shop and today was no different. The soup was buy one and get another for half price so I got a Chicken Mushroom and Rice Soup and another was the Pulled Pork and Chipotle Chili Soup. For the main, I broke the taboo and got the Singapore Fried Noodles. I did mention in my previous blogs that there is no such thing as Singapore Noodles in Singapore and I’m surprised by the prevalence of it here in the UK and many other countries I have visited. All revolves around thin rice noodles stir fried with a touch of curry powder, wonder who invented the recipe. Seeing I’m having the Singapore Fried Noodles which I think will be spicy, went with the milder Chicken Mushroom and Rice Soup for a contrast. Total cost me £7.96 which is not bad seeing I have a leftover soup for tomorrow.

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After 5 minutes on high in the microwave, the soup is ready. Quite like it, mild and creamy with plenty of mushroom bits, rice, carrots and chicken. Was rather surprised that I find no need to add salt to the soup as M&S food has always been on the bland side for me. I’m curious to see how the Pulled Pork and Chipotle Chili Soup will be like.

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The Singapore Fried Noodles was ok but on the dry side and this is after I have added some water half way through while warming it up in the microwave. The crunchy kale, julienne carrots and bean sprouts help lift the texture seeing the noodles were dry. The seasoned chicken and pork slices did nothing much for me, I would have preferred more prawns.

Marks & Spencer Simply Food
Unit 22 & 23
The Walkway Level
Liverpool St Main Line
London EC2M 7PY
0207 247 2190