New Food Column:Wild Thyme by Xusan Teo
i-Marbella offers a new food column - Wild Thyme dishes created by Xusan Teo!
Welcome to Food Talk!
Since this is the first column, let me quickly introduce myself. Being brought up and spending my first 20 years in a food heaven country Singapore, I was spoilt by the huge varieties of cuisines. All the herbs and spices, taste and flavouring never left me since.
During the 18 years of my first marriage, my Dutch husband decided to take our 2 sons with us (since they were 2 months old) to all business trips around the world. Therefore we spent up to 3-4 months per year in 5 star hotels and dined at 5 stars restaurants for at least a decade. We did as well enjoy the simplest and tastiest local dishes of every country we visited. Having a husband who is a connoisseur taught me a lot about the correct combination of food and wines.
With my growing passion for food and having the experienced of savoring the authentic food in every places we visited, I started to get some private lessons from our dear friend, who is a chef Robert Hollauf. At that time he owned a well-known French restaurant in Amsterdam that he had been running for 15 years. He taught me all the basic of cooking including how to make proper fond; with that he taught me also how to create sauces. Through Robert, I also had some lessons from the executive chef of Michelin star Yamazato restaurant in Hotel Okura Amsterdam, Mr. Akira Oshima. I had a lot of fun learning the best of Japanese cuisine from him. With the experiences through professional cooks and travelling, I started to create Wild Thyme, my own cuisine, where the East meets the West cuisine.
I was asked to publish my own cook book by an Australian company before and to create menus for restaurants but I declined these offers. I guess I am quite ready now and will publish my Wild Thyme Cookbook hopefully soon with recipes and guidelines. But for now in this new Food Talk column. Each time I shall pick a dish, either from my Wild Thyme collection or find an interesting dish from a restaurant I visited or a dish I came across with. I shall give you ideas with alternatives and suggestions.
If you love cooking I think you will enjoy my column and it would be good if you know the basics in cooking. Cooking is an art in another form; you use food instead of paint to show off your creation. When cooking, you need to have feeling it - for food, tastes and skills. I can give one recipe to 10 people and I am sure all the 10 dishes will actually taste totally different. Besides knowing how to cook a good dish, I find it very important that the dish should also look appetizing; I like to garnish each dish with fresh herbs, or colourful baby leaves and cherry tomatoes just to bring an example.
Today, I shall start with my own Wild Thyme Prawn Cocktail with Grapefruit - an easy and attractive looking dish - enjoy!
Wild Thyme Prawn Cocktail with Grapefruit Prawn Cocktail with Grapefruit:
1) Get some big grapefruits and cut 1/3 off the top, dig out the centre part and cut it into smaller cubes and put it aside
2) Peel some cooked prawns
3) Make a cocktail sauce and mix in the grapefruit cubes, a few prawns and
4) When ready, stuff the salad into the grapefruit and decorate with some more peeled
prawns around the grapefruit as seen in the pictures.
• You can always replace the grapefruits with big oranges and crab-meat instead of prawns
• You can also make a vinaigrette dressing instead of cocktail dressing, try some sesame oil instead of olive oil, that gives a slight oriental twist and is also very delicious
• You can add avocado if you don’t like grapefruit or orange
By: Tene Sommer
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