Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Postcards from Bunny: Victoria Amory

As of late, Bunny has been traveling through Japan while her husband does research into some of the ancient Buddhist temples in Nara, and while there, Bunny's love of brunch has been translated into an adoration for bento boxes.  "They are just so enchanting!" she sighs while describing that particular brand of boxed lunch, where decoration and visual appeal is just as important as the food itself, which often consists of some sort of rice dish, vegetables, fruits, sausages, fried chicken, and several small servings of different salads.  Bunny has spent many hours wandering through the local stores, gazing enviously at all of the cutters, shapers, cups, and other adorable tools that can be used to make one's lunch something really special.

Upon hearing of Bunny's new "bento deco" hobby, Brandy sent her a little care package to aid in her recipe development.  "I understand that the Japanese are very good about using condiments in their bento boxes," Brandy wrote, "So I thought these little wonders might come in handy."  What Brandy had sent her was a set of condiments from Victoria Amory, a Greenwich based chef, author, and hostess extraordinaire who has come out with a line of 9 gourmet condiments, including ketchups, mayonnaise, pasta sauces, and a peppery concoction known as piri piri.  Bunny was simply thrilled to see that Brandy had sent her a container each of the the Champagne Ketchup, the Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise, and the Green Chili Piri Piri to experiment with.

Taking traditional bento box dishes as her inspiration, Bunny quickly whipped up two recipes that would not only be right at home in a bento box, but also on a brunch plate!  The Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise proved to be the perfect base for a simple potato salad with green beans and fresh herbs, turning a humble side dish into a deeply flavored star.  Bunny had also learned the art of making tamago, or a sweetened rolled omelet, which is often served cold with rice, and she thought the sweet and tangy Champagne Ketchup as well as the relish like Piri Piri would be ideal for putting a whole new twist on this traditional favorite.  "Thank you, my dear friend!" Bunny wrote back to Brandy, "Although bento boxes are made to be highly portable, I'm afraid I won't be able to send you back any of the fruits of my labor.  Luckily, I have signed us up for an Instagram account, so I can post pictures of what I've come up with for all to see!"

The writers of this blog were sent product samples free of charge for the purposes of this post.

Japanese Style Rolled Omelet with Ketchup and Piri Piri

4 large eggs
1 tablespoon Victoria Amory Champagne Ketchup
1 tablespoon Victory Amory Piri Piri
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking spray

Crack the eggs into 2 separate bowls (2 eggs per bowl) and season with salt and pepper.  In one bowl, add the Victoria Amory Champagne Ketchup, and in the other bowl add the Victoria Amory Piri Piri.  Gently combine the condiments with each egg until the mixture is smooth, making sure to not incorporate too much air into the eggs as you go.

Heat a 9 inch frying pan over medium heat and spay with cooking spray.  Add in 1/3 of the piri piri egg mixture and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer, in the same manner as making a crepe.  Pop an big bubbles that may start to appear.  When the sides of the egg have cooked through, but the center is still a little soft, use a spatula to begin rolling the omelette over itself so that you have a log shape on one end of the pan.  Spray the pan again with the cooking spray, taking care to spray underneath the egg roll.  Add 1/3 of the ketchup egg mixture and swirl it around the pan, making sure that it reaches underneath the existing egg roll.  Once again, pop any big bubbles as they appear and begin rolling the omelette (rolling the existing omelette into the center of the newer mixture) once the sides and bottom have cooked through, but before the top has completely solidified.  Repeat this process 4 more times until all of the egg mixtures have been used up.  Carefully transfer the omelette to a plate and cut in half or into slices.  This omelette can be served immediately, but also tastes really good cold!

Herbed Potato and Green Bean Salad with Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise

3 lbs. red potatoes
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
1 cup Victoria Amory Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise
1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (such as chives, rosemary, thyme, parsley)
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes and trim off any unsightly spots.  Place them in a stock pot and cover completely with water.  Bring the water to a simmer and maintain for about 20 minutes (depending on size of the potatoes), or until a knife slides easily into the center of one of the potatoes.  Drain water and let cool, then cut the potatoes into 2 inch chunks.

In a medium sauce pan, bring salted water to a simmer and add the green beans.  Cook about 6 minutes, or until the green beans become a vibrant green.  Immediately add the green beans to an ice bath , then drain once they have come to room temperature.

In a large bowl, add the Victoria Amory Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise, the herbs, and the salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Then add the potatoes and green beans and stir until all of the vegetables are coated with the mayonnaise mixture.  Serve at room temperature or let the salad sit over night in the fridge for a deeper flavor.

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