Levain’s pan-seared trout with spiced lentils, herb crème fraîche, and fig and apple chutney
Levain bistro in Vršovice is currently closed due to the government restrictions but chef Jason le Gear has shared a Levain favorite, complete with a side and condiments, that you can make at home. He says it’s surprisingly easy to make. Follow Levain on Facebook for news about their reopening as well as additional recipes to try at home.
Step one: Spiced lentils
- 100 g lentils
- 1 pinch of ground cumin
- 40g red onion, diced
- 250 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 20 g pickled ginger
- 25 ml soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp coriander
- juice from 1 lemon
1. Blanche the lentils in salted water; chill.
2. Heat cumin in a hot pan until brown and fragrant.
3. Add onion, balsamic vinegar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and lentils to the pan; bring to a boil.
4. Remove from heat, add ketchup, sweet chili sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, and coriander. Mix well to combine.
Step 2: Fig and apple chutney
- 1 cooking apple, cored and peeled
- 20 g white onion
- 50 g dried figs
- 25 ml white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 50 g sultanas
- 2 tsp caster sugar
Sweat all of the ingredients together in a pot for 1 hour.
Step 3: Herb crème fraiche
- 500 g creme fraiche
- 150 g parsley
- 150 g chives
- 1 squeeze of lemon juice
- salt to taste
Blitz all of the ingredients in a food processor and strain before serving.
To finish the dish: Pan sear the trout in olive oil (and, if preferred, a knob of butter near the end) to a core temp of 40°C, resting to 55°C. Place the lentils on the plate and top with the trout. Kernel the chutney on top, spooning the crème fraiche around and finish with micro coriander to garnish.
Salt ‘n’ Pepa Kitchen’s chicken “Corona”
This take on beer-can chicken was provided by Radovan Tlstovic, owner of Salt ‘n’ Pepa Kitchen in Letná. He says that you can “obviously use a different beer or even beer in a can, but Corona is not only topical (and a little bit funny) but a light beer whose flavor will enhance the chicken.” He adds to make sure your oven is tall enough before trying this out. To order food from Salt ‘n’ Pepa visit their website.
- 1 whole organic chicken
- 1 bottle of Corona beer
- A few sprigs of thyme, chopped
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp butter
- A few limes, quartered
- Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. In a saucepan or skillet, melt butter, chopped thyme, minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Rub the mixture all over the chicken.
4. Open the Corona beer and stick it up inside the chicken, so the chicken is sitting up on it. Push it through until the top of the bottle is sticking out of the chicken’s neck. Be careful not to spill the beer! The whole point is to get it boiling inside the bottle, so it becomes steam, moistening and flavoring the chicken from the inside.
5. Place the chicken in a deep baking tray; scatter the limes in the tray around the standing chicken. Bake on the bottom rack at 170°C for one hour, then reduce heat to 130°C and bake for another 45 minutes.
6. Carefully remove the chicken from the beer bottle (which will be very hot) and carve, or simply carve it while it’s standing up.
Tip: Instead of baking the chicken in the oven, you could use an outdoor grill that has enough space for a whole standing chicken. However, oven roasting guarantees the chicken will remain nice and moist.
U Kurelů’s homemade ginger syrup
You may have enjoyed the Žižkov Mulke served at U Kurelů and wondered how they get that fantastic ginger flavor. The secret, owners Lori Wyant and Dean Selby tell us, is in the syrup which can also be used for teas. For delivery details visit the U Kurelů website to follow them on Facebook.
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1 cup fresh ginger, sliced
1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Let it sit until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the ginger, continue to heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture boils.
3. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool and steep in the pan for around an hour.
5. Strain out the ginger.
Tip: You can use this simple method to make any number of flavored syrups — just replace the ginger with something else.
Derek’s self-frosting chocolate crazy cake
Expats.cz contributor Derek DeWitt may not own a restaurant but he sure has spoken with enough of them during the coronavirus outbreak (see his articles here and here). He shares a family recipe for a quick-and-easy chocolate cake that you can mix up with what you have on hand — no milk, eggs, butter, baking powder, mixer or bowls required. As a bonus it’s vegan-friendly.
He writes: “Also called Wacky Cake, this Depression-era cake was a staple in my family growing up, brought by my great-grandmother when she migrated from Dust Bowl Kansas to Northern California in the 1930s. As a kid, I usually preferred this as my birthday cake.”
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 cup water
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Grease an 8-inch baking pan (around 20 cm).
3. Pour all the dry ingredients into the pan; mix thoroughly.
4. Make one large depression in the ingredients and two smaller ones, evenly spaced apart. Pour the oil in the big depression, the vinegar on one of the small ones and the vanilla in the other small well.
5. Pour the water over everything and mix until smooth.
6. Bake on the middle rack for 35 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean (be careful not to overbake). Cool before slicing and serving.
Tip: When it comes out of the oven, it will have a sort of crust on top. Once you have cut into it, cover it with plastic wrap, and the crust will relax into a sort of frosting. You can add a proper frosting as well but it honestly doesn’t need it.
Which dish from a Prague restaurant would you like to make at home?