EC’s Exotic Christmas Menu
The year 2020, ah what a ride it has been! While we could lament on the downside, we could also look back to the things that kind of defined us as a species, as a community of people, as individuals who were miles apart and yet shared the same thoughts and participated in the same activities. Be it the raging Dalgona Coffee or the numerous banana breads (that may have a fair share of burnt bread) or just families cooking and enjoying the spread together.
The year would be incomplete without the mention of food playing such a pivotal role in the peace and joy that it brought to people. We feel each of the emotions that have been a part of our lives can be represented through a menu that is a rendition of the cultural bond of the people as an appetizer, the holiday spirit as a main course, the year that has been as the dessert and Etisha Collective as a cocktail pairing!
A lot of emerging home chefs gave us a lot of inspiration, but we roped in two experts – Alfredo Pena Seijo and Elisa Settembre for this festive season to create EC’s Exotic Christmas Menu that suits vegeterians and non-vegetarians alike!
About Alfredo Pena Seijo:
Alfredo is a Venezuelan chef with more than 10 years of experience in the kitchen, having spent this time in restaurants run by high-level chefs such as Ferran Adria or Gastón Acurio. Alfredo’s cooking style is more framed in the fusion of Latin American and Asian cuisine, with creations such as a bao of Asado Negro (typical Venezuelan Christmas dish) or an avocado tofu. He has also been lucky enough to explore Mediterranean cuisine and is currently based in Switzerland.
About Elisa Settembre:
Elisa is a closet chef who is constantly influenced by her fiancé Fabio who is a professional, an athlete, a biologist and a proud owner of a Tiramisu company in Berlin! Italian blood runs through her which inherently makes her great at cooking! When not in the kitchen whipping quality desserts, she pursues her diploma in fashion marketing while working for Etisha Collective.
An Appetizer For The People:
BAKED SCALLOPS, LECHE DE TIGRE AND PARMESAN
Just as the year went digital, we were able to peer through the ‘window screens’ and take a look at people’s lives, their families, their pets, their homes and their lives. The little computer screen and zoom calls allowed us to glance through a variety of cultures which we wouldn’t have taken notice of in the past. And in the spirit of this amalgamation, this closeness that has brought us together, here’s a Peruvian Scallops Dish by Alfredo.
- Fresh clean scallops 10U
- Limes 5U
- Cilantro 1 BUNCH
- Fresh Ginger 20G
- Unsalted Butter 120G
- Milk Cream 250GG
- Grated Parmesan Cheese 150G
Clean the scallops and cook them on both sides in a pan with a little olive oil until they are crispy and golden, remove them from the heat and cool them in ice water to later dry them and reserve them.
Squeeze the juice from the limes and infuse it cold with the chopped ginger and coriander for 30 minutes. Strain the juice, it will have all the aromas of coriander and ginger. Melt the butter in a saucepan and mix it with the lime-infused juice.
For the Parmesan cream, in a saucepan place the heavy cream together with the grated Parmesan and salt and cook over medium heat until the ingredients are even.
To finish the dish, arrange the scallop meat in their shells, bathe each scallops with a teaspoon of the hot mixture of butter and lime juice and finish with the Parmesan cream. Gratin in the oven until it turns gratin color and finishes with lime zest.
A Main Course For The Holiday Spirit:
CONFIT CHERRY TOMATOES AND PESTO:
What’s Christmas without the reds and greens and an appetising dish on the table? Alfredo’s Confit Cherry Tomatoes is the ideal main course for an intimate gathering, and for the up and coming home-chefs this could be the ‘cherry’ on the cake as you present to your guests with something delectable, oozing elegance, but with a secret ingredient of simplicity! The Genovese Pesto takes you straight to cruising in the summer along an Italian coastline!
- Cherries Tomatoes 500G
- Olive Oil Extra125 G
Cut the cherries through the upper tape and empty them with a small spoon
Place the cherries in the pot and cover in oil
Cook for 15 minutes on medium low until confited
End with a pinch of salt
- Cherry Confit
- Stracciatella Cheese
- Genovese Pesto
- Fresh Oregano
FILL THE CHERRIES WITH THE STRACCIATELLA, FOLLOWED TO BATHE WITH THE PESTO, SPRINKLE SOME FRESH OREGANO AND FINISH WITH BASIL LEAVES.
A Dessert For The Year That Was
OLD FASHIONED TIRAMISU
As the closing recipe of a Christmas meal, dessert deserves a show of its own. We have decided to put a twist to an Italian classic, Tiramisù, making it both more festive and more intensely aromatic. Tiramisu literally translates to ‘pick me up’ in Italian, and after the year we have had, we all need a little bit of pick me up. Nothing like a plate of good ol’ Italian goodness with a kick of coffee to indulge in. We can all be a bit guilty of not leaving a trace of it in our bowls.
- a packet of lady’s finger biscuits (“savoiardi”)
- 5 eggs
- 100g white sugar
- 90g of cake flour
- 30g potato starch
- 500g mascarpone cheese
- 130g white sugar
- 6 egg yolks, extremely fresh or better pasteurised
- a splash of brandy
- cacao nibs
- cacao powder
Start with the lady’s fingers. These imaginatively-named biscuits play a fundamental role in the game of textures of tiramisu. They can either be baked or bought; in case you opt for the store-bought biscuits, just pay extra attention to the amount of coffee they will be soaked in: since they tend to absorb more coffee and we are using espresso, it is recommended to pour coffee over them, rather than soaking them into the coffee.
Separate the whites and yolks of 10 eggs, adding 150g of sugar to the yolks and 50g to the whites. Start whipping the whites, at medium-high speed, for about 5 minutes.
Proceed with the yolks, whipping them at medium high speed for about 10 minutes. Then, add the flour and potato starch to the yolks, and proceed to fold the two mixtures together with a spatula.
Bake the biscuits, in their traditional elongated shape, for about 9-10 minutes in a ventilated oven at 180’C.
For the mascarpone cream, start mixing the yolks with the sugar in your Kitchen Aid, at medium-high to high speed.
In another bowl, proceed to whip up the mascarpone cheese, starting at low speed, adding the yolks mixture and the brandy, then mixing at medium to high speed. The whole procedure should take no more than 4 minutes: you will notice a change in texture, the mixture becoming more fluffy and soft.
After the cream is ready, assemble the tiramisu. For a special occasion, we recommend individual portions served in a glass or a dessert plate. A layer of biscuit, gently soaked in espresso, is followed by a generous dollop of cream and finished off with a sprinkle of cacao powder and cacao nibs.
A Cocktail For Etisha Collective
HOT BUTTERED RUM
No EC menu or a party would be complete without a cocktail, while we cannot actually clink our glasses together, we thought of adding a recipe that truly defines us. A bit of spice, a bit of sugar, a whole lot of good rum and the spirit of the season! The Hot Buttered Rum co-indecently also reminds us of our Earth Lines Collection, the brown tones and the warmth of the cocktail to enjoy in our softest collection is a match made in Winter Wonderland!
- Hot water 170g
- Brown sugar 17g
- Dark Rum (Carupano Legendario) 2 oz
- Noisette butter* 7g
- Cassia cinnamon stick, 1 small unit (or normal cinnamon regular size stick)
- Jamaican pepper 3 units
In a mug or heat-proof glass, stir 1/4 of the very hot water with the Jamaican pepper and the dark brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the rum. Fill the glass with the remaining hot water.
Float the pat of butter on top and stir it into the drink using the cinnamon stick.
You can also melt the butter with the sugar or make the drink sweeter if you wish.
While you drink it, mix it with the cinnamon.
*For the noisette butter:
- Unsalted butter 100g
Melt the butter, over a very soft direct heat or in a double boiler, until it separates from the serum (the white part that is forming).
With the help of a spoon or even with a cheesecloth, remove this white foam and discard it.
Extend the cooking of the butter, constantly until it acquires a brownish-blond color, similar to the color of hazelnuts.
Stir from time to time to better control the cooking so that it does not overdo it, as it can burn. It is very important to do it over a very soft fire.
Let cool in coin-size molds for better presentation or in any container.
Hope you enjoy this Exotic Menu and share with us your recipes too! Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a great year ahead!