Tuesday, June 30, 2009

N'duja Update

So i tried the first bit of N'duja the other day. A little early, but its ready nonetheless. My worries of too much powdered hot chili pepper was correct. I've never tasted the real thing but theres some things i would tweak in the recipe. 
While mixing this batch, i found it incredibly hard to mix everything properly because i had to work in so much powdered hot pepper. In Italy they most likely use some sort of liquid hot pepper paste, but alas we are in Toronto, and authentic products like that are rare to come by, even in little Italy. Round two, i think i would make my own paste with sweet peppers with a little less hot pepper, because although i like the heat and can stand it, the first taste sends you running for water, but then you just cant stop eating it. Today i cooked out some cubed fat in duck fat with hopes that tomorrow i can fold in the n'duja in a kitchen aid mixer to make it a little more spreadable. I'm not sure it will work but i think its going in the right direction to improve its consistency. 
I plan to serve it this week on the menu with some smoked BC spot prawns, crushed cherry tomatoes in a pool of good olive oil with some crusty baguette. 

12 comments:

pinstripeprincess said...

grant, just checking in ;) not sure if you were able to put together anything with the heart as i wasn't sure what kind of state it was in. i do have a raw one sitting in my freezer that will hopefully go under a more thoughtful treatment than the one i did.

the charcuterie platter the other night was a delight, best i've had in the city. but to comment more to this post, while the n'duja was certainly full of heat those smoked prawns were just fantastic. great texture, sweetness and infusion of smoke. i nearly drank the oil off of the plate!

Alexandra Forbes said...

Hi, I'm trying to get in touch with Jen Agg to interview her for a story on cocktails, can you help?
This is for publication in an inflight magazine. thanks!

Ben the Wannabe Butcher said...

I love what you guys are doing. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully I'll get to Toronto sometime soon. Best of luck.

Larbo said...

Most N'duja recipes have the peppers making up 1/3 the total, so I can see how using powdered chilis would make for a very dry mix.

When I made my first stab at replicating this salami, I used canned roasted sweet red peppers for the bulk of it, and then various dried chilis for the heat. If anything, my mix had the opposite problem–a little too soft and wet, and not quite a creamy as the real "red Nutella" I'd had a chance to try.

If you check out the posts on n'duja on my site, Scott claims to have tracked down some large cans of Calabrian pepper paste in Brooklyn for a reasonable price.

I only wish I could be there to sample your take on this lava-like salami!

grant said...

Venessa,

i attempted a few things with the heart, pickling and braising... neither ended up really helping... with smoked products, especially lean pieces like heart, you have to be very careful. i think you should marinate and grill your other heart in the freezer.

Ben,

Thanks! Say hello if you do make it to toronto.

Larbo

Thats next times plan. make pepper paste and add hot pepper powder. I've used many pastes in salami's before, not sure why i wouldn't have thought of it in this recipe.

The Humble Chef said...

Great Blog finnally got time to read it.
Thanks

pinstripeprincess said...

grant,

thanks for the tips with the heart and for trying to work with it. i'll definitely try your suggestion with the one i have left. see you around the charcuterie platter!

v

Jeff Melo said...

Just wanted to leave a comment to say that I was at the BH last weekend and absolutely LOVED the N'Duja w\ smoked Prawn. I've been thinking about it ever since and I really hope I get back into your place before it's removed from the menu.

Cheers!

mia ferrera said...

I lived in Vibo Marina in Calabria for a while and I have been looking for n'duja ever since. Dreamin of it. I am so pleased that people are excited about this too. I can't wait to make my own. Thanks for the update

Kristin said...

we need and update!!

DeeDeeni said...

Grant, awesome blog! i spent the last 2 hours reading the whole thing, and i am amazed.
i'll be in Toronto in November, i will definitely pay a visit, and my respects..!
im already dying to try all thses wonderful things you have prepared (pls save me some bear) ;-)

PS: congratulations, keep it up~

Jhon said...

I love what you guys are doing. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully I'll get to Toronto sometime soon.

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Jhon
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