How to Make the Perfect Mojito

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In my mind, Mojitos are the quintessential summer cocktails as they are both refreshing and easy to drink.  And, as it is summer all year round in Singapore, they are an absolute favorite beverage here.

Recently I sat down with  Capella Singapore’s Bob’s Bar bartender, Brendan, who was happy to share his mojito knowledge with me.

“It is very important to use fresh ingredients in your mojito as compared to artificial flavours because you do not know what is in the artificial flavours,” Brendan shared.

He also explained how the taste and flavour of fresh ingredients are integral to the creation of the perfect cocktail, “Always use a good mint and if possible a freshly squeezed lime.  The acidity in the fresh lime ensures that the drink blends nicely and isn’t too tart.  Here at Bob’s Bar, we also use fresh sugar cane juice which injects an unmistakable blend of natural sweetness to the mojito.”

Created with white rum, Bob’s Fresh Pressed Mojitos are one of the many rum-based cocktails now available at Bob’s Bar.  A Cuban-inspired bar, Bob’s Bar is really the perfect place to enjoy the perfect mojito while watching the sun set into the horizon.

For those interested in re-creating Bob’s Fresh Pressed Mojito at home, here it is!

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Bob’s Fresh Pressed Mojito

Serves 1

Ingredients:

45 ml Plantation 3 Star White Rum
15 ml Fresh-pressed lime juice
60 ml Fresh-pressed sugar cane juice
10 ml Simple syrup
2 sprigs Aquaponic fresh mint leaves

Method:

  1. Build in a Collins glass.
  2. Muddle and fill with crushed ice.
  3. Garnish with grilled sugar cane stick, lime wheel and mint sprig.

 

For those who would prefer to enjoy Bob’s Fresh Pressed Mojito at Bob’s Bar, the mojito and other delicious cocktails and mocktails are available to order from 12 noon to 12 midnight daily.  Reservations can be made by calling +65 6591 5047 or emailing bobsbar.singapore@capellahotels.com.

 

Capella Pedregal’s Red Snapper Veracruz Style

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Easter season is around the corner!  In Mexico, as in many other countries around the world, Good Friday is a day where no meat is eaten.  In honor of the holiday, I have asked Capella Pedregal’s Executive Chef Yvan Mucharraz to share a traditional Mexican recipe perfect for the holiday– or any other day for that matter!  If you are a fish lover you should absolutely try it!

Red Snapper “Veracruz” Style

 Huachinango a la Veracruzana_

Ingredients:

  • 500g Red Snapper cut into 125g Fillets (already in Loin)
  • 100g Cous Cous Israeli with Saffron (see preparation below)
  • 2Tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/3C Toasted Almonds
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Brunoise
  • 250g Red Bell Pepper Juice (reduced to 100gr)
  • 1 Zucchini Brunoise
  • 1/3C White Wine
  • 2Tbsp Green Olives Chopped
  • 15 Green Beans Blanched
  • 3Tbsp Sun-dried Tomato (Chopped)
  • 2Tbsp Capers (Chopped)
  • 5Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 50g Chicken Stock

 

To prepare the Cous Cous:

In a medium size sauce pan, pour the chicken stock and add the cous cous.  Slowly heat the chicken stock until all the stock has been absorbed by the cous cous.  Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the toasted almonds, sun-dried tomato, 2Tbsp olive oil and stir.  Add salt to taste and set aside.

To prepare the sauce:

In a separate saucepan, add the reduced Red Bell Pepper juice, white wine and bring the mixture to a boil.  Remove the simmering pan from the heat and add the green olives, capers and zucchini.  Stir the mixture, and add 2Tbsp olive oil and parsley.  Stir to emulsify the sauce and set aside.

To prepare the Red Snapper:

In a non-stick pan, add a drop of olive oil and heat the pan.  Once the pan is hot, carefully place the red snapper fillet in the pan with the skin side down.  After approximately 5 minutes, turn the fish and continue to cook for approximately 2 minutes.

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To serve, place a large spoonful of the cous cous and Green Beans in the center of the plate, top with the fish. Drizzle the sauce around the edge of the cous cous and on the fish.                .

Note: Brunoise is a method of cutting vegetables, usually 3mm or less in size.

This delicious Red Snapper Veracruz Style is one of the most requested dishes at Don Manuel’s Restaurant , so even if you aren’t brave enough to attempt the recipe at home, please be sure to try it here at Capella Pedregal!

Huachinango a la Veracruzana

Huachinango a la Veracruzana_

Pascua está a la vuelta de la esquina! Inspirada en la fecha , en México, como en muchos otros países alrededor el mundo, Viernes Santo es un día donde se come no se encuentran. Inspirada en la fecha  , le he pedido al Chef Ejecutivo de Capella Pedregal, Yvan Mucharraz, que nos comparta una receta tradicional mexicana perfecta para – o cualquier otro día ! Si eres  amante de los pescados sin duda deberías probarlo!

Huachinango a la Veracruzana 

Huachinango a la Veracruzana_

  • 500 gr Huachinango cortado en Filetes de 125gr (ya en Lomo)
  • 100gr Cous Cous israelí con azafrán (cocido)
  • 2TBS Perejil fresco picado
  • 1/3 taza de almendras tostadas
  • 1ea Pimiento rojo brunoise
  • 250gr Jugo de Pimiento rojo (reducido a 100gr)
  • 1ea Calabacín brunoise
  • 1/3 taza de vino blanco
  • 2TBS aceitunas verdes Picada
  • 15ea Habas verdes blanqueadas
  • 3 cucharadas de tomate secado al sol (Cortado)
  • 2TBS Alcaparras (Cortadas)
  • 5TBS Aceite de Oliva
  • 50gr Caldo de Pollo

 

Para preparar el Cous Cous:

En una cacerola mediana, vierte el caldo de pollo y añade el cous cous. Lentamente calienta  el caldo de pollo hasta que todo el caldo se haya absorbido por el cous cous. Retira el sartén del fuego y revuelve con las almendras tostadas, tomates secos, 2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva y revuelve. Añadir sal al gusto y déjalo reposar.

Para preparar la salsa:

En una cacerola por separado, agrega el Jugo de Pimiento rojo reducido, vino blanco y lleva la mezcla a hervir. Retire la cacerola del fuego y añade las  aceitunas verdes, alcaparras y el calabacín. Revuelve la mezcla y agrega 2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva y perejil. Revuelve para emulsionar la salsa y déjalo reposar.

Para preparar el huachinango:

En una sartén antiadherente, añade un chorrito de aceite de oliva y calienta el sartén. Una vez que el sartén esté caliente, coloca cuidadosamente el filete de huachinango  en el sartén con la piel hacia abajo. Después de unos 5 minutos, voltea el pescado y continúa la cocción durante unos 2 minutos.

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Para servir, coloca una cucharada grande del cous cous en el centro del plato  y las habas verdes, cubre con el huachinango cocido. Rocía la salsa alrededor del borde del cous cous y encima del pescado.

Nota: Brunoise es un método de corte de verduras, por lo general X 3 mm o menos de tamaño.

Este delicioso Huachinango Veracruzano  es uno de los platos más solicitados en el Restaurante  Don Manuel’s , que incluso si la cocina no es lo tuyo, por favor, no dejes de probarlo aquí en Capella Pedregal.

The Perfect Profiteroles Recipe

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I have a confession to make.  I have a sweet tooth and easily succumb to delicious treats made with milk, butter and most importantly sugar.  Given that, you can only imagine my sheer delight when Capella Singapore’s Pastry Chef Sam called me into his kitchen to share the new profiteroles recipe he is working on for The Knolls.

I was very grateful that Chef Sam took time out of his busy schedule to teach me.  According to Chef Sam, “I always believe to teach is to learn twice. By teaching I get to learn a second time, and also it gives me insights on ideas other people may have, which could eventually become part of my next idea for a new creation.”

Chef Sam’s profiteroles were indeed heavenly and they were surprisingly easy to make.  They were light with a slight bite and with a rich golden brown colour.  The profiteroles were sweet at first bite, but with a mild salty aftertaste perfectly complementing the chocolate sauce we made.

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Profiteroles
Serves six

Ingredients:
50g Milk
50g Water
¼tsp Salt
1Tbsp Sugar
50g Butter
60g All Purpose Flour
2.5g Baking Powder
2 Eggs

Method:
1. Mix the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter into a saucepan.  Bring to boil allowing the butter to melt.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
3. Remove from heat and pour the flour into the boiling liquid and cook until a smooth dough forms and it pulls away easily from the sides of the pot.
4. Put the hot dough into a mixing bowl. Continue mixing while adding in 1 of the eggs to cool it down immediately.
5. Add in the second egg and continue mixing until the dough forms a smooth shiny consistency.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
7. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto a tray lined with baking paper.
8. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until dark golden in colour.
9. Remove from oven and once cooled on a baking rake, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days.
10. Once chilled, poke a hole into each profiterole and pipe in ice-cream and serve with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce
Makes 1 ½ cups sauce

Ingredients:
½C Water
⅓C Sugar
2Tbsp Corn Syrup
¼C Cocoa Powder
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

Method:
1. Bring water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in dark chocolate pieces.
3. Stir until smooth.
4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
5. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
6. Pour generously over profiteroles.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!!

Chef Rurik Salazar’s Tamales Nejos

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February 2nd marked a very popular holiday in Mexico, Candlemas day, or Día de la Candelaria.  At Capella Ixtapa we honored Mexican traditions by serving tamales.  But these weren’t just any tamales!  These were Executive Chef Rurik Salazar’s special Tamales Nejos!

They were absolutely delicious and, while I had never made tamales before, I simply had to learn how.  Chef Rurik agreed to teach me, ensuring me the process was simpler than I thought.  Indeed he was right and now I am sharing the recipe with you:

 tamales nejos

Tamales Nejos Recipe

Masa or Tamal dough

  • 8 Tbsp of Corn Flour
  • 1 Tbsp of Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • N/A Water
  • Ashes of a tortilla

Mix the corn flour with the vegetable shortening, add water slowly and whisk it up until gets spongy, seasoning with the salt and the tortilla ashes.

Duck Tamales Nejos

  • 1 square of a plantain leaf (15 cm x15 cm)
  • 1 Tbsp of shredded duck breast
  • 1 date

Heat up the plantain leaf until it gets soft in a pan on a low flame.  In the middle of the leaf put the tamal dough and stuff it with the shredded duck and the date.  Wrap it like a candy, and steam for 18 minutes.  Garnish with some green mole or any kind of salsa.

 

Buen provecho!

El Chef Rurik Salazar Nos Comparte Su Receta Para Tamales Nejos

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Febrero 2 marca una de las fiestas mexicanas más populares, el Día de la Candelaria. En Capella Ixtapa hicimos honor a esta tradicional fiesta mexicana sirviendo tamales. Pero estos no eran tamales ordinarios! Eran Tamales Nejos, especialidad de nuestro Chef Ejecutivo Rurik Salazar!

Estaban deliciosos, y mientras que nunca he cocinado tamales antes, tenía que aprender como. El Chef Rurik accedió a enseñarme, asegurándome primero, que el proceso era más simple de lo que creía. Y de hecho tuvo razón, por lo cual aquí les comparto la receta a ustedes:

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Receta para preparar Tamales Nejos

Masa para tamales o nixtamal

  • 8 cucharadas soperas de harina de maíz
  • 1 cucharada de manteca vegetal o
  • 1 pizca de sal
  • Agua
  • Cenizas de tortillas

Mezclar el harina con la manteca, añadir agua lentamente y batir hasta que quede una masa esponjosa, sazonar con la sal y las cenizas de tortilla.

Tamales Nejos rellenos de pato

  • 1 cuadrado de hoja de plátano (15 cm x15 cm)
  • 1 cucharada de pechuga de pato deshebrada
  • 1 dátil

Calentar en un sartén a flama baja la hoja de plátano hasta que suavize. Al centro de la hoja poner la masa de tamal y rellenarla con el pato deshebrado y el dátil. Envolverla como si fuera un dulce, y cocinarla al vapor durante 18 minutos. Se puede agregar mole verde o cualquier tipo de salsa como guarnición.

 

Buen provecho!