Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
The Loin King
by McGonagirl

Chef Ollie Jimius was a great favorite of the Two Fat Saxon Witches, though they were also fond of scolding him for some of his more extreme techniques and attitudes toward cooking and life in general. One thing they tried to discourage was his "rock and roll" image, but it made him very popular with witches and wizards of all ages. They grumpily admitted he was still a great cook — one of the most talented in their experience, and a chef who cooks from the heart — but did he have to be so flamboyant? Take for instance his latest stunt, where his careless enthusiasm got him into trouble in the first place, then that same wild streak got him out again:

Ollie had been cooking so much fish that some of the British wizards who raised meat animals were a bit miffed with him, accusing him of "going all foreign" and saying things like, "Bet he can't cook a decent joint, anyway." Ollie was hurt by these accusations. He hadn't meant to alienate the farmers, but he'd only gotten excited about cooking fish — there were so many different kinds! Realizing he had been neglecting talking about cooking meat, Ollie wanted to make amends and show the cattle farmers he didn't think any less of them. So he did something a bit crazy and unprecedented, staging a traveling road show complete with domestic cattle, local beauty queens, butchers, and a carnival atmosphere ("Carny for Carnivores," he called it!). Crowds flocked to the roadsides wherever he and his crew apparated and pitched their tents, farmers and fans alike. It was a big "meat promotion" to bring awareness of the farmers' efforts into the fore of the Wizard world. And while there, Ollie would challenge the farmers to give him a cut of meat he couldn't cook, whether from one of their animals or from one of his!

Many farmers brought stewing meat, which they considered tough and stringy, but that was no challenge for the boy wonder of the Wizard's culinary world. Stews and braised dishes are de rigueur as part of a chef's repertoire. So some canny ones would bring delicate loin meat. It was infinitely harder to cook, because though it was tender, it had little flavor of its own and needed to be handled carefully to taste really good. Jimius did some head-scratching for these cuts — there were standard ways to do loin or "fillet steak," but he had to make sure it suited the type of meat. In addition, it's one of the most expensive cuts, so he had to make sure he didn't botch any of it.

But he needn't have worried — the farmers never failed to applaud his efforts at the end of the festival. At the closing ceremony, he would tell the story about how English roast beef had been dubbed "Sir Loin" by Henry VIII at the pinnacle of British cooking innovation and technique. Ollie did so well that he'd completely won the cattle farmers over and would be crowned "The Loin King" — not merely Sir Loin!

When Ollie went back to his mentors and told them he was going to write a meat cookbook with this title bestowed on him, they looked at him in shock. That was really going too far to equate "carnal" with meat! How could he think writing a pornographic cookbook could be a good idea???

Malay Vacation Marinated Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Ollie Jimius grew up in Great Britain, where the food — whether Muggle or Wizard — can be good if prepared thoughtfully, but even at its best it was plain cooking without a lot of spice or variation. When he traveled to the Far East in a fit of wanderlust, he was exposed to a whole new world of flavors and textures. In the enthusiastic manner for which he's known, he jumped headfirst into that exotic world, trying everything, asking questions (using his hands to communicate like a game of multicultural Charades) and learning what he could before he had to go home. He developed this marinade as a "summary" of his lessons in Malaysia, a habit he's continued to cultivate. Instead of vacation photos, he had recipes!

    Malay Vacation Marinade for Chicken
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup nuoc nam or "Chinese fish sauce"
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 to 5 lb / about 2 kg chicken tenderloins OR breastmeat cut into tenderloin sized strips
Combine all ingredients together and place in a bowl or container you can cover or put a lid over it, and put in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or more.

    Peanut Sauce
  • 1 cup scallions or green onions, sliced finely
  • ¾ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 to 4 jalopeño peppers, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1½ cup peanut butter, either smooth or chunky
  • ¼ to ½ cup sesame oil
  • ½ to ¾ cup nuoc nam, nam pla, or any "Chinese fish sauce"
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • about 30 oz / 840 g coconut milk, canned
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
Mix all the ingredients together very well in a large bowl. You can use a food processor if you wish; if so, you do not have to chop the ingredients so finely, as the food processor will do the cutting. If so, add the scallions, cilantro, jalopeños, garlic and ginger first and blend till mixed. Scrape down the sides and add the peanut butter and sesame oil and process till incorporated, then finish with coconut milk, and add joisin sauce and hot sauce to taste. You can also use a mortar and pestle, if you wish. Makes about 3 cups.

Soak a bunch of bamboo skewers in warm water for about an hour before you'll be cooking. Drain the chicken and discard the marinade. Thread the strips the long way onto the skewers, keeping them flat (rather than like rickrack or accordian-pleated). Heat a skillet or griddle or broiler till hot. Do not oil or grease.

Cook the skewered chicken until the meat browns a bit and the chicken is cooked through but still juicy. This will take about 2 minutes per side. Turn the mean to prevent the meat from overcooking or burning -- this happens quickly, so be sure to watch it carefully!

Serve on a platter, sticks on the outside so that people can take them off the platter easily. Drizzle over with the peanut sauce and/or place a bowl in the center for dipping. Serve warm. Serves about 20 people as a meal, and up to 100 as an appetizer.

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Tournedos Camelot: Beef Fillet en croûte with Pâté and Duxelles
When a young lady came to Chef Jimius's tent, his heart went aflutter — she was beautiful, smart, and knew her way around a steer! She told him she owned a small organic cattle farm and she shyly asked if he could mention her meat products in his demos; she'd be very grateful as she needed a boost in business or she'd lose her farm! Smitten, he promised he would, AND he'd make a special dish with the meat she'd brought to challenge him. She handed him a paper-wrapped packet of beef tenderloin filet cut into "tournedos" — little steaks about 1-inch thick and 2-inches wide. He was inspired by the very romantic, very beautiful dish made popular by a certain American president and his beautiful wife in the 1960's, the one who was said to be from "Camelot" — the same name as her farm! He named this version of Beef Wellington for her, calling it "Tournedos Camelot," and hoped to win her heart with this romantic recipe for two. He told her to market this expensive cut of beef with this petit, romantic, affordable alternative — a small high-quality steak seasoned and prepared with a lot of love! She was delighted, and made the recipe for her husband the following evening. (So much for Ollie being a "loin king" of a different sort ...)

  • ¼ lb / 100 g white button mushrooms, chopped very fine
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small shallot, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry or marsala wine
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
NOTE: The mushrooms to make duxelles are typically "on sale" — meaning they can be older and discolored, and include stems as well as caps. They should not be slimy or moldy, and you can use a food processor to chop these and the other ingredients up. Make up a huge batch when the mushrooms are cheap, and keep them in your freezer — good for omelettes, Beef Wellington, pasta sauce, etc.

When you've chopped the mushrooms, toss with lemon juice to prevent the mushrooms from browning further. Heat a skillet and melt the butter in the pan with the oil. When the butter foams and subsides, add the shallows and mushrooms in lemon juice and cook till the liquid exuded from the mushrooms dries out. Add the parsely and sherry, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in the refrigerator or freezer, tightly covered.

  • ½ sheet of puff pastry, about 4 oz / 110 g total, defrosted but still cold
  • 2 tournedos of beef filet mignon, cut 1-inch / 2½ cm thick by about 2-inches / 5 cm in diameter
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Duxelles
  • 4 ounces / 120 g Duck Liver Pâté or Chicken Liver Pâté, or store-bought "mousse pâté", chilled
  • eggwash, made by beating 1 egg with 1 tablespoon cold water
Heat the oven to 425°F / 220°C. Halve the rectangle of puff pastry into smaller rectangles. Flour a work surface and roll out each rectangle to 10-inch x 6-inch (25 cm x 15 cm). In the center of each piece of pastry, place a tablespoon of duxelles. Slice pâté horizontally to make a slab and place it over the duxelles. Top this with a tournedo each. Salt and pepper to your preference.

Wrap each meat parcel by bringing up the corners, trimming as needed so that the parcel doesn't get thicker than two layers of dough at any point — having too much dough on the seams will cause them to be uncooked and gummy; or if you cook the thick dough adequately, the meat within will be overcooked. Seal the seams with eggwash.

Turn the pastry-wrapped parcels over and place on a parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet. If you wish, use the trimmings to form decorations — Ollie rolled the trimmings into a long string and used it to coil curly heart shapes onto the pastry. Attach the decorative dough to the parcel with eggwash. Cover the whole surface of the pastry with eggwash so it'll brown nicely.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and a bit puffy. Remove from the oven and let the parcels stand for about 5 minutes before cutting into them. Serves two very romantically!

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Turkey Loin Prepared in a Manner Like Peruvian Chicken, with Racaito Sauce
On a trip to South America, Ollie was struck by the smells in Lima, Peru. As stated, he was following his fascination with fish preparations and recipes at the time — Peru is known for "ceviche," the fresh fish dish "cooked" with citrus juice without heat. But despite his obsession, he best remembered the smells of the roadways, where "chicken shacks" would be set up. The chicken was marinated in a garlicky brine for an extended period of time, then grilled over coals slowly for a juicy, tasty, fall-apart viand experience. Ollie remembered this when he was presented with enormous turkey tenderloins — that piece of meat on the underside of the breast, right up against the ribcage. On a chicken, these are called "tenders" or "chicken fingers," but on a turkey they are much bigger and could easily feed one per diner or two. He thought that since turkeys had very low-fat meat, brining would keep the meat moist, and he could cook it faster than they did on the Peruvian roadsides. And the Puerto Rican sauce — called Racaito — is simply "pucka!" — perfectly delicious — on anything, the refreshing "greenness" a good contrast to the vinegary, salty, garlicky flavor of the meat. It was a big hit, and he explained the whole turkey or breast could be cooked this way, too, but more slowly to ensure the whole chunk of meat cooked through.

  • ¾ cup garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
  • 1 tablespoons ground cumin
  • ¾ cup paprika
  • ½ cup ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 5 to 6 lb / 2¼ to 2¾ kg turkey tenderloins or turkey meat sliced into individual "steaks" from the breast meat
In a large bowl or lidded bucket, mix the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, pepper, salt, then add the hot water and stir to dissolve the salt. Pour in the vinegar, white wine and oil into the warm mixture. Add the cold water to reduce the temperature and bring the volume up to nearly 3 quarts. Put the chicken into the brine, cover and leave in a cool place, like the refrigerator or in a cool room. Marinate for at least 2 hours, but the longer, the better — 24 hours is preferable.

Heat a grill or broiler on high. Cook till seared on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Let the meat sit covered in foil for 3 minutes after removing from the heat before serving. Serve with Racaito. Makes 20 servings.

    Racaito Sauce
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
Blend all the ingredients by chopping everything very fine, or crush in a mortar and pestle, or use a food processor. Yields about 1 cup. Use as a soup or stew base as well as a "salsa."

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Piratey Pork Loin Steaks
A pork roast with crackling is a wondrous thing, but it is a classic that has been done many times, and Ollie needed to "wow" some pig farmers. By the time he'd been given a beautiful pork loin, Ollie had had success by creating "steaks" for other meats, or one-person servings. This was something that has been done with pork, of course, but he reckoned that the farmers normally only pan-cooked it or broiled it and ate it with applesauce. Classic, but time for a change! Ollie remembered being in China and was intrigued by "sweet and sour pork" — a dish that was cooked twice, then served tossed in a glutinous, red, tangy sauce mixed with pineapple chunks and green peppers. Also in his memory was a Muggle movie about pirates in the Caribbean; he'd combined the two ideas and created a spicier version of the Chinese sauce, but using the pan-cooked method the conservative farmers knew, then finished the cooking by a baking in a red, fruity sauce. If there was anything he'd learned as a chef, it was not to produce a dish with too many new things at once — keep at least one thing familiar, so the diners could feel confident that they knew what this dish was about. Then surprise them with the new elements! Like a pirate, you lead them in, then steal their doubt away!
  • 4 pork chops about ¼ lb / 110 g each
  • 9 ounces / 250 g pineapple chunks, canned in very light syrup, drained (reserve both the liquid and the fruit)
  • ½ cup breakfast syrup (like for pancakes — maple syrup or golden syrup or even molasses if you like it)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup raisins or chopped apricots
Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C, then heat a skillet and brown the pork chops on both sides over medium-high heat. Remove the pork chops to an oven-safe baking dish with high sides, like a lasagne pan. Keeping the heat on under the skillet, add the pineapple liquid, syrup, ketchup, curry powder, ground ginger and blend together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the pork chops in the oven pan. Bake till tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the pineapple chunks and raisins or apricots, and leave for a few minutes to rest and to let the fruit heat through. Serve accompanied by white rice. Serves 4.

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Mutton Stirfry with Thickened Chili Sauce
Ollie was given mutton by many sheep farmers. They all reckoned the famous chef would have trouble cooking the very strong-tasting, often tough meat of an old ewe. But he had no problems, being that his grandad had been a sheep farmer; but he simply could not make himself produce the stodgy, overcooked, gamey roasts his grandmother had created, nor her stringy, pressure-cooked stews. They were homey and good in their way, but to Ollie, they represented the worst of repetitive, boring meat cookery. So he created something new and unexpected for the farmers — first, he realized that mutton is a strong tasting meat and he'd use that character to advantage, offsetting it with the strong piquancy of chili peppers, and cook it quickly so it doesn't develop that rather musty flavor and leathery texture it can sometimes get. Then serve it in an unexpected manner — with broccoli and scallions as a stirfry, over rice! It certainly surprised everyone, and it can feed a crowd if you add more vegetables, too. The farmers had to let go of their doubts and resentment, and declare Ollie Jimius "a good bloke," after all!

    Asian Cornstarch Marinade
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1½ tablespoon ginger, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sherry
  • 1 lb / 450 g mutton or lamb, sliced thinly and into strips
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar into the soy sauce and sherry. Add the ginger and cornstarch and mix well to form a slurry. Add the sliced mutton and toss to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

    Thickened Chili Sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons Chinese chili sauce (Saracha or similar)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sherry
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, whisking to distribute the cornstarch uniformly. Before adding to the hot pan, be sure to whisk again.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok and stir-fry the mutton over high heat. Add the scallions and broccoli and stir fry till the scallions are slightly wilted and the broccoli is done crisp-tender. Pour the thickened chili sauce over the ingredients in the hot pan and toss till the sauce is thickened and clear. If desired, garnish with sliced chili peppers and serve with white rice. Serves 4.

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