I was in a rush between events the other night so couldn’t stay long enough to be able to report properly on the fantastic event that was held by Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste to make us all aware of what certain foods can do to your teeth. They took over The Cookery School in Little Portland Street London an brought in Masterchef winner Tim Anderson for a cookery masterclass, so it was extra-gutting to have to leave, but thankfully the lovely Alan from ShineSquad creative media was there to report back in a post for The Life Edit.
‘Tim had come up with some great, but intimidating sounding dishes for us to cook. From the TV series I remember the unbelievable Mocha steak with miso sauce. I could hear the swish and the sizzle of the opening titles and set up my blue chopping block, sharp knives and prepared to dice.
First up was the sashimi. I think of a bit of sliced raw fish and dab of wasabi. No, this was another winning dish. You’ll be the talk of the oriental supermarket getting all the ingredients – but that’s half the fun. It’s actually very easy to make – (no cooking, remember?) and it tastes divine. Think of a cold Sole Veronique. The beautiful fish anchors the texture in your mouth, dashed with a zing of passion fruit and a cold, nutty squelch of seaweed.
Sashimi With Passion Fruit Foam and Wasabi Tsuyu Granita Serves 3
For the sashimi Ingredients: 300g sashimi grade tuna, mackarel, or other oily fish – yellowtail is recommended as it’s fatty and buttery in winter. Scale and fillet the fish. Try and get it done at the fishmongers. To keep the sheen effect of the fish don’t saw it. Sharp slice through. Trim into a solid rectangle. Cover with cling film and keep cool.
For the seaweed salad Ingredients: 10g dried kaiso (sea vegetable) salad, 10g hijiki (a dark-coloured grassy seaweed which is nutty and chocolatey, savoury but not salty). Soak the seaweeds in warm water for 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and reserve the seaweed water.
For the passion fruit foam The foam doesn’t have any texture or add wetness so it doesn’t intrude on the texture of the dish. Ingredients: 1 passion fruit, 30ml water, 2g lecithin, 0.25g xanthan gum (all natural ingredients!) Mix all the ingredients with a hand blender. Pass through a fine sieve and reserve.
For the wasabi granita Ingredients: 30 ml shoyu, 8g wasabi powder, 5ml rice vinegar, 5ml mirin, 5 dashi no moto powder, some ice. Granita is a fancy slush. Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor into a chunky slush. Keep frozen until ready to plate up.
To serve Slice the fish into 1cm thick strips. Place a mound of seaweed salad in the center of the bowl, and arrange the fish on top. Spoon some granita on top of the fish. Whip the foam mixture with a hand blender until frothy, and add 3-4 small spoonfuls of foam around the plate. Place a small sprig of dill sticking out of each bit of foam.
Here’s the second and spectacular dish we prepared.
Hen’s Nest of Tea-stained Egg, Leek Bhaji Nest and Chana Masala Purée
For the egg Ingredients: 4 eggs, 1tspn chai tea, 240ml water, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 thread of saffron. Cook the eggs in rapidly boiling water for 4 minutes (use the stopwatch on your i-Phone, as Tim did), place in a bowl of iced water. Boil fresh water and combine with the tea, soy sauce and saffron. Marinate the shelled eggs in the liquid for 24 hours (ours came prepared).
For the leek bhaji nest Ingredients: 2 leeks, 30g plain flour, 1 tspn garam masala, 1/2 tspn chilli powder, 1g cumin seeds, small bunches of fresh coriander, cress, pea shoots, salt and a lime. Cut the leeks into 2 inch chunks, then slice into a fine julienne with the grain so that you get blades of grass that will make the shape of the nest. Combine the garam masala, chilli and plain flour into a large bowl and dredge the leeks through, shaking off any excess. Fry the coated leeks in oil (rapeseed is best) at 180C until golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen towel and season with the salt.
For the purée Ingredients: Vegetable oil, 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tspn ground coriander, 1 tspn cumin seeds, 1/2 tspn chilli pwder, 1 thread of saffron, 200g tinned tomatoes in juice, 150ml water, 250g cooked chickpeas, 6g tamarind paste, 1/2 tspn paprika, 1g garam masala, 1/2 tspn salt, 1tspn Tabasco sauce, 50g butter, 1 tspn peaty whisky. Chop the onions and garlic and saute in the vegetable oil along with the coriander, cumin and chilli until soft. Add the tomatoes, water, saffron, chickpeas, tamarind paste and the rest of the spices and cook until the liquid has reduced to a paste. Add the butter and whisky and blend to a smooth paste.
To serve Spoon a dollop of the purée on the plate and with a pastry brush, sweep a diagonal line of purée across to the rim of the plate. Spoon some more purée on the plate in the center, arrange the leek bhaji straws in a nest shape on which to place the half opened tea-stained egg. Garnish with finely chopped coriander. You could also pickle this dish overnight in the fridge to give it some extra bite.Again, it’s so easy to make. Frying the chopped leeks to create the twigs for the nest is pure genius and any old egg in the fridge soaked in tea can look like a fluorescent Fabergé. The bird theme presentation, with a playful splat of purée, is fun.
Not only have we had a smile on our face, it was a brighter one with the Oral-B Pro-Expert All-Around antibacterial and fluoride toothpaste. Get a free sample from their site and follow them on twitter @OralB_UK
Here’s the dental bit: Pro-Expert has taken decades to develop and only just been made available in the UK. It’s‘teflon for teeth’ – it coats the teeth before and helps after staining foods and drinks. The biggest challenge in oral healthcare as we live longer is enamel erosion not cavities. We also have to be careful of plaque, gum problems, sensitivity, caries, staining and tartar. In fact anything too acidic will rot the teeth so cola, for example, has the worst effect on teeth with its pH of only 2.5 (The pH value of battery acid is 1 and water is 7). So if you are going to be eating and drinking damaging foods make sure you rinse with a glass of water immediately after and then brushing later. Even some mouthwash is too strong to use regularly, although it’s a good idea for bad breath, but for regular use the Oral-B Anti-Plaque Alcohol-Free Mouth Rinse is recommended. £3.49 for 75ml from Boots, supermarkets and other retailers.'