Tis the Season of Plums!
Wonderfully delicious, juicy, sweet, tangy, plums are low in calories and high in taste. They have antioxidant properties and are a source of vital vitamins. They help strengthen the immunity system, and regulate the digestive one. They control the heart rate and keep blood pressure in check.
What’s more, apart from just eating them as fruit, they lend themselves beautifully to being cooked! Apart from jams, jellies, pies and desserts, they enhance meats and veggies, too. You can use them in salads, sorbets or even in alcoholic drinks. A plum daiquiri, for example. All this, we had Chef Jaydeep Mukherjee, head honcho of Indigo Delicatessen recreate just for you – the extraordinary reader of UpperCrust.
After having spent years in the hospitality industry, Chef Jaydeep Mukherjee believes his profession enriches the mind, body and soul like no other. This shows forth in the plum specials conceptualised and creatively laid out here by the Executive Chef of Indigo Delicatessen. Enriching and exciting!
Braised Goat Shanks with Plum & Shallot Compote
• 8 goat shanks
• 2 large onions, diced
• 10 plums
• 8 garlic cloves, crushed
• 500 ml red wine (Shiraz)
• 90 ml red wine vinegar
• 1 ltr lamb or chicken stock
• 8 sprigs rosemary
• sea salt to taste
• 2 tbsp crushed pepper corns
• 2 large carrots, diced
• 2 celery stems, diced
• 1 large leek, diced
• 400 g baby potatoes, whole
• 60 g butter
• 60 g oil
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 5 cloves
• 250 g shallots
• 60 g garlic cloves
• 10 mint leaves
Clean the shanks, dab dry, season with sea salt and crushed pepper and refrigerate for a few hours.
Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan, add the butter and the spices, then the onion and sauté for a few minutes till the onion begins to colour lightly.
Add the carrots, celery, leek and garlic and continue to stir on medium heat till the vegetables caramelise lightly.
Dust the goat shanks in seasoned flour and add to the pan. Turn occasionally to caramelise the meat to a dark golden brown.
Add the red wine to the pan and stir well to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
Reduce till most of the alcohol has evaporated. Add enough stock to just cover the meat and the vegetables.Add the baby potatoes and the rosemary sprigs, cover with a lid and continue to cook on a slow simmer. The lamb shanks should be absolutely tender and should leave the bone easily. This should take a little more than an hour.
Once the meat is perfectly cooked, strain the sauce, reserve the potatoes and discard the vegetables. Reduce the sauce if need be till it’s light and syrupy. A few dices of frozen butter could be whisked into the sauce at this stage.
Heat butter in a pan, add the baby potatoes and stir over high heat to colour the skins. Season with sea salt, crushed pepper and sprigs of rosemary.
Serve the lamb shanks in a large platter or wooden board. Place the potatoes and plum compote alongside. Sprinkle more rosemary if need be.
For the Plum & Shallot Compote
Cut wedges off the plums and discard the stones, slice further if too thick.
Heat oil in a pan, add the shallots and garlic cloves and toss over high heat to caramelise to a dark golden brown colour.
Sprinkle brown sugar and toss gently to caramelise the sugar.
Add the plum wedges and toss quickly over high heat to mix well and soften the plums.
Finish with a sprinkling of red wine vinegar.
Toss in a few mint leaves while warm.
Plum & Coconut Sorbets
For Plum Sorbet
300 g plums
100 g sugar
1 cup water
Add water and sugar in a sauce pan and heat it enough just so that the sugar melts, remove from the flame.
Cut the plums into dices and churn in a blender into a fine puree.
Add the plum puree to the sugar syrup and mix well.
Churn in an ice-cream mixer or batch freeze to form a soft smooth sorbet.
For Coconut Sorbet
• 1 ltr coconut cream
• 100 ml cream
• 50 ml water
• 50 g sugar
Add water and sugar in a saucepan and heat it enough just so that the sugar melts, remove from the flame.
Add the coconut cream and cream to the sugar water in the saucepan, mix it well.
Churn in an ice-cream mixer or batch freezer to form a soft smooth sorbet.
Serve a scoop each of both sorbets in frozen martini glasses. The creaminess of the coconut complements the acidity and sweetness of the plums delightfully.
Spiced Plum Daiquiri
• 10 plums
• 60 ml white rum
• 60 ml spiced rum
• 60 ml triple sec
• 40 ml lime juice
• 60 ml sugar syrup
• 4 cups crushed ice
• 4 jalapeno slices
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• 4 tbsp salt
Freeze 4 martini glasses
De-seed the plums and chop into chunks, keep chilled.
Mix the salt with the chilli powder and lay in an even layer on a small plate.
Add all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend at high speed to form a smooth frozen slush.
Run a wedge of lime on the rims of the frozen glasses and dip them in the spiced salt mix to form light spiced salt rims.
Pour the frozen daiquiri into the glasses and serve immediately.
Smoked Duck & Plum Salad with Celery Hearts, Walnuts & Plum Chutney
• 4 duck breasts with skin
• 12 stalks celery (tender hearts only)
• 8 plums
• 1 cup walnuts, toasted
• 2 cups Rucola
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• sea salt to taste
• a pinch of pepper
• 60 ml olive oil
• 60 ml orange juice
• 1 tsp ginger, grated
For the salad
Dab the duck breasts on a kitchen towel to dry well, score the fatty skin lightly with diagonal shallow cuts.
Sprinkle sea salt and pepper over the breasts
Set up a cold smoker with a smoking mix of teal leaves, spices, herbs and orange skin. Smoke the breasts for an hour, allow to rest in the smoker for an additional 10 minutes. In the absence of a smoker a large stock pot works quite well. Wrap the ‘smoking mix’ in foil and make a flat packet, puncture a few holes in the pack. Lay the pack in the pot and begin to heat gradually till it begins to smoke. Arrange the duck breasts on a wire sieve or colander and place in the pot. Cover with a lid.
Lay the duck breasts – skin side down – in a hot pan, the fat will begin to render immediately, reduce heat and continue to cook the breasts in the fat that renders out, till the skin is golden brown in colour and has turned crispy. Finish cooking in an oven till the breasts are done. Reserve warm.
Add the celery hearts to the leftover duck fat and sauté for a few minutes, add a little vegetable stock and allow the stalks to braise till tender. Remove from the cooking liquid and reserve warm.
Add the orange juice to the same pan and reduce till syrupy.
Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and whisk in the olive oil, season with salt and brown sugar to complete the salad dressing. Strain and keep chilled.
Slice the plums into wedges
Add the Rucola to a large clean salad bowl, add the plum, toasted walnuts and celery hearts.
Sprinkle the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.
Divide the salad into four salad bowls or plates.
Slice the duck along with the crispy skin and place on top of the salad.
Top with a spoonful of plum chutney.
For plum chutney
Halve the plums around the stone, to de-seed. Cut into dices.
Add the diced plums to a hot pan and toss to caramelise lightly.
Reduce the heat and cook over a moderate flame to soften the plums
Sprinkle salt, brown sugar and lemon juice to season well.
Sprinkle the grated ginger, mix well. Cool, then keep chilled.
Toss the salad leaves, celery hearts, walnuts and plums with the salad dressing and place in the centre of salad plates.
Slice the duck breast very thin and on the bias (45° angle). The breast should be pink in the centre.
Top the greens with the sliced duck, sprinkle more dressing over the breasts.
• Top with a dollop of plum chutney.
Mascarpone Plum Pie
• 2 pkts Oreo cookies
• 50 g butter
• 100 ml whipping cream
• 200 g Mascarpone cheese
• 100 ml sour cream
• 10 plums
• a few drops of orange oil • 1 tbsp lime juice • 6 baby mint leaves
For the pie crust
Crush the oreo cookies to coarse crumbs, add 50 gms soft butter and mix well.
Press the crushed cookie mixture down onto the sides of the pie moulds. The layer should be fairly thick and even.
Blind bake the pie shells in an oven for 6 minutes at a 170° C.
Remove the shells, let them cool, then de-mould.
For the Mascarpone mousse
Whip the cream over a bed of ice till soft peaks begin to form.
Fold in the Mascarpone cheese and sour cream.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and the orange oil. In the absence of orange oil – a few fresh orange skins can be squeezed over the mixture to scent with the natural orange oil in the skin.
Pour this mixture into the pie shells and chill.
For the glazed plums
Slice thick wedges off the plums, trim further if too large.
Heat butter in a pan, add the plums and sprinkle the sugar.
Toss over high heat to melt the sugar and glaze the plums.
Sprinkle the lime juice.
Allow to cool, then chill.
Lay wedges of glazed plums over the Mascarpone mixture.
Sprinkle a few leaves of baby mint.