1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
4 green (spring) onions, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper
1kg chicken wings, tips removed and cut at the joint
1 tbsp finely shredded fresh ginger
To make the sauce, place the sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and cook, swirling the pan constantly, until golden brown; don't stir it. Remove from the heat immediately and stir the fish sauce into the caramel, being careful as it can splatter. Return the mixture to a low heat and boil gently for about 3 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the onions and pepper and stir to combine.
Place the caramel sauce in a saucepan with a lid (it should be large enough to take the chicken comfortably). Add the chicken and ginger to the sauce, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring from time to time, until the chicken is tender. Skim off any excess fat.
Transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving dish and sprinkle with pepper.
1/2 cup coconut cream (I like the Kara brand)
1 cup pure cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
4g leaf titanium-strength gelatine
1/2 cup double cream
1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and
2 tbsp desiccated coconut, toasted until golden brown
Place the coconut cream, pure cream and half the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring, and simmer gently for 1 minute. Soften the gelatine leaves in a little cold water, then squeeze out. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining sugar and softened gelatine so both are dissolved.
Strain the mixture into a bowl and chill over ice. It will start to set around the edges so keep stirring as it chills, making sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl. When the mixture reaches a gelatinous appearance (similar to the thickness of thick cream), remove the bowl from the ice.
Stir some mixture into the double cream to break it down, then add it back into the remaining mixture. Strain again and pour into 4 x 1/2-cup plastic dariole moulds. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until set.
Divide the pineapple among 4 bowls and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
To release the panna cotta, pour boiling water into a bowl and submerge the moulds halfway for about 10 seconds. Gently place a small knife down the inside edge of each mould to create an air pocket. Turn the panna cottas out onto the bowls with pineapple and coconut.
• I love Vietnamese caramel sauce. Feel free to replace the chicken with cubed pork shoulder or belly; the cooking time will be longer if you do, so you might need to add water during cooking. The sweetness of the caramel and aromatic pepper are a match made in heaven.
• Serve the wings with rice, stir-fried greens or Asian-style salad. For a banquet, add a steamed fish.
• The dessert is a perfect finish to a flavourful lunch. If you want to get grown up about it, drizzle the pineapple with quality dark rum - you are almost on your way to a piña colada.
SOMETHING TO DRINK
Coming from Margaret River, one of Australia's most famous wine regions, the sweet 2008 Vasse Felix Cane Cut Semillon ($24 for 375ml) has aromas of lemon and nectarines with a lovely viscous and silky mouthfeel to go with the creamy panna cotta.
Source: Good Weekend
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