We’re continuing with the tradition of guest chefs and have renewed the Spicery subscription going forward. The last recipe of the original subscription was for a Szechuan hot pot followed by lemon and rosemary posset with green peppercorn shortbread. Guest chef duties were shared by Steve’s mum Lyn and sister Ruth, neither of whom are kitchen slouches. Working with people who are confident in the kitchen is fantastic, and when they happen to be family, all the better.
Szechuan hotpot recipe:
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
100ml dark soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
3-4 slices ginger (no need to peel it)
300g/2-3 slices pork belly
2 skinless chicken thighs
200g mushrooms (thickly sliced)
Bunch of green beans
Bunch of spring onions
300g bean sprouts
Rice for 4
In a large pan mix 1.5 litres water, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, garlic, ginger and the hotpot spices (birds eye chilli, star anise, root ginger, cassia quills, fennel seeds, Szechuan pepper, black pepper corns, mandarin peel, cut liquorice, cloves). Bring to the boil, then add the belly pork and simmer for 45 mins.
In a small pan, heat 2 tbsp oil with the chilli oil spices (chilli flakes, chilli powder, toasted ground Szechuan, garlic powder) until sizzling and the chilli flakes start to darken.
Add the chicken to the stock and simmer for a further 30 mins.
Cook the rice.
Remove the meat from the stock and strain out the spices. Cut the chicken and the pork, discarding the bones and return the meat to the stock. Bring back to the boil and add all the veg. Cook for 5 mins.
Serve bowls of rice topped with the hotpot and season with soy sauce and the chilli oil.
Lemon and rosemary posset with green peppercorn shortbread recipe:
350ml good quality double cream
165g caster sugar
120g plain flour
100g butter (at room temperature)
Put the cream, 120g sugar, zest of 2 lemons and the posset spices (rosemary, whole green peppercorns) in a small pan. Bring to the boil and immediately turn the heat right down and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the juice from all the lemons (approx 120ml). Bring back to the boil and then as it starts to bubble up, remove from the heat. Strain the liquid into 4 large ramekins or wide rimmed wine glasses. Refrigerate for several hours (or overnight) to set.
For the shortbread, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
Dice the butter and beat with 45g sugar and most of the shortbread spices (crushed green peppercorns). Mix the flour in thoroughly. Roll the mixture carefully to resemble a large sausage and then slice into 1cm rounds. Arrange them on a greased baking tray, sprinkle with the remaining shortbread spices and bake for 10 minutes until golden on top. Sprinkle the shortbreads with a little sugar while they are still hot.
Serve the posset straight from the fridge with the biscuits on the side.
Optional kitchen porn: