If you need some unusual bites for your Halloween menu, Chef Gunjit Singh Chawla has got you covered.
Chef Gunjit, who was an executive chef for the Oberoi group of hotels, has worked in Shimla, New Delhi, Pune, Ranthambore, Pune and Mumbai. In Shimla he founded a restaurant, The Corner Cafe.
Halloween Bites with Chilly Brown Sauce
- 4 tenderloin steaks or 4 large chicken breasts or 4 large fish fillets or 2 packets or 400 gm button mushrooms
- 4-6 tbsp salted or unsalted butter
- 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste, about 1 ½ tsp (any coarse salt will do)
- Freshly ground or pounded black pepper, about 1½ tsp
- 3-4 tbsp herb butter (3-4 tbsp regular butter mixed with ½ tsp dried thyme and 3-4 pods peeled, chopped garlic, optional)
For the chilly brown sauce
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped, optional (sambar onions will work fine too)
- 50 ml port wine
- 50 ml red wine
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 tej patta or bay leaf
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp butter
- 100 gm smoked paprika
- Salt to taste, about ½ tsp
- Roasted or steamed broccoli
- Roasted red or yellow bell pepper or capsicum
- Sauteed onion slices
- Green garnish like pea shoots or sprouts or fresh parsley
- Wash and pat dry the tenderloin steaks or chicken breasts or fish fillets or button mushrooms.
Cut into bite-size pieces and season well with the salt and the pepper; mushrooms should be cut in half lengthwise.
Be generous with the seasoning, especially if using tenderloin — it is thick and needs lots of seasoning.
- Heat the butter, herb butter, olive oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the steak/chicken/fish/mushroom pieces and cook for 2 minutes.
Keep spooning the butter over the pieces while they cook.
Flip the bites and cook for 2 minutes more, spooning butter over them as they sizzle.
Take off heat if it’s pieces of chicken breast, mushroom or fish or if you like your steak medium rare.
Cook the steak pieces for a few minutes more, for them to be well-done.
Take off heat and rest 5 minutes.
For the chilly brown sauce
- Heat the olive oil and the chopped shallots in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Fry the shallots until caramelised.
Add the bay leaf, rosemary sprig, port wine, red wine, herbs and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes or until it reduces by half.
Pour in the stock and continue to cook it until it reduces once again by half.
Take off heat, strain, discarding the shallots and the herbs.
- Transfer the sauce into a fresh frying pan and bring to a boil.
Take off heat and whisk in the butter.
Season with salt.
Add the paprika.
- Toss the steak or chicken or fish or mushroom bites in some sauce.
Place the bites on a plate and pour more sauce over them (please check the pic above).
Add pieces of broccoli and roasted bell pepper and fried onions on the side and garnish with pea shoots or parsley or sprouts.
Editor’s Note: For vegan mushrooms, use only olive oil.
Make the vegetable broth by combining 1 vegetable soup cube or 1 vegetable broth/bouillon cube or 1 tsp vegetable broth/bouillon powder with 2 cups boiling water.
Or make vegetable broth from scratch by boiling 4-5 cups water with 1-2 large roughly chopped carrots, 3 stalks roughly chopped celery with leaves, 2 medium onions chopped in chunks, 5-6 whole black peppercorns, 2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp chopped parsley with stems, 2 laung or cloves, 5 pods garlic, 2 tej patta or bay leaves till vegetables are tender and the water is steeped with the flavour of the vegetables and spices.
Strain and use 200 ml for the recipe.
Meat lovers might like to add 1 whole chicken along with the vegetables and spices while making the broth.
Gunjit Singh Chawla is the corporate chef at the Independence Brewing Co, that has outlets in Mumbai and Pune.
- REDIFF RECIPES
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