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BN Cuisine with Chef Fregz: The Whites

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A lot of times I get asked this question: “Chef Fregz does the alcohol really burn off when you cook?” So, when I was thinking of the next thing to write I decided to address it.
Booze burning off or not is still one of the most controversial issues in the world. The truth I have found, upon research, is that a lot of it burns off…depending on how long you cook it. However, no matter what is left of the alcohol it isn’t enough to make you drunk or even tipsy.

It can burn off completely after being set ablaze or has been stewed for a long time, like an hour and beyond. For example, braising a leg of lamb or beef short ribs.

In this series, I am going to be higliting my favourite drinks/alcohol to cook with. Today I would be talking about “The Whites”;what I usually pair them with, and of course one recipe to show!

White Wine
Before I go on, people always ask “I should use cheap wine to cook right?” I used to say yes. However, after hearing from my ogas and senior chefs that you should use wine that’s good enough for drinking for cooking who am I now to keep saying you can use cheap wine. Now, this doesn’t mean you should get out your best Sancerre, Chabilis or Chardonnay to cook. Don’t go and use award winning-once-a-year-release-special-edition wine. Use a good tasting wine, not the wine that tastes of the remnant of the grapes that has been flavoured and mixed with water. I usually go for “affordable” wine like the ones highlighted in the picture here.

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Today, I have an updated Creamy Shrimp Linguine Pasta here for you.

I posted this from my dinner a few weeks ago on Instagram. However, I have tweaked the recipe a little and the addition of scallop makes all the difference and takes it from hero to legend!

Here’s what you need {Serves 2-3}

150g-200g Large Tiger Prawns or 200g-250g shrimps
6 scallops
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely crushed/minced
2-3 Pobalno Chillies or whatever semi-hot chillies you have or use 1-2 Habanero/Ata-rodo Chillies
1 teaspoon lemon zest
100g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
500ml stock (I combined boiling hot water, chicken knorr basil and parsley stalks garlic with umami tomato puree. Use whatever chicken or vegetable stock you have.)
1 cup/glass white wine. (We used the Valedsico)
1 cup double/whipping cream
As much Italian Basil as you like or use local scent leaves (careful as it’s a stronger basil flavour)
Handful Falt leaf and/or curly leaf parsley
Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
Salt to taste
Black pepper or mixed peppercorns to taste
Pasta. I recommend you use a really good brand of pasta. I have used De Ceco Pasta. It’s my number one international pasta brand. It cooks fantastically. it has a great colour and its just great do not know how else to describe it. You could also go the Barilla route or even some other away brands.
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If you’re using a Nigerian brand, just stick with Golden Penny. No need to bother with any other brand. I find Dangote way too starchy. I find Golden Penny cooks and holds well.

If you’re using a local brand, make sure you cook it very “al dente” which means to the teeth in Italian.  In Nigerian terms, “cook am but make e never done”. So, yeah undercook the pasta… so when it goes into the stock it has time to just cook to perfection and not turn into mush by the time you’re done.
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How To
Start by putting the water for the pasta on a high heat. Make sure you salt it well.

While that is happening, prep your prawns by cleaning them by running a knife down its spine to remove its digestive tract which if eaten could be poisonous and cause serious food poisoning.

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IMG_9724Then cutting them into inch chunks. season with garlic, salt, black pepper and some fish seasoning. I used some black bay blackening seasoning. Add some chillies to it as well and set to one side.

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By now the water should be boiling. If not wait, till it starts to boil. Add the pasta and get to the sauce.

In a wide fry pan, add the butter and olive oil. Once hot and starts to melt, add the onions, remaining chillies and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes on a medium heat cooking the onions till they turn translucent. Don’t allow the onions burn.

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Add the wine and stir around. Cook for another 5-7 minutes till the wine has reduced by half. Add half of the stock and cook down by half also. After which add the prawns. Stir around and reduce the heat to a low heat. We don’t want to overcook the prawns.

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At this point check the pasta. Whatever brand you’re using, be sure to follow the cooking instructions that come on the pack. I cooked mine till it was just soft enough.

Take your pasta and add to the pan with the stock and wine. Toss around well and add the cream and allow bubble for another 3-5 minutes.IMG_9851
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Add the freshly grated parmesan. I used origianio. You can use the padano version; but whatever you do, do not use the grated stuff that ones in a bottle. Yuck!!!

Add half of the fresh herbs you have finely chopped. Toss everything together.

Allow the cream to reduce and thicken slightly. Take a few strands of the pasta to see if your seasoning is okay. Once you have adjusted the taste, throw in the rest of the herbs.
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In another pan or the same pan (after you have put the pasta in bowls or a serving dish) heat up some oil and butter or just oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Once the pan is searing hot. place the scallops one side down to cook. Do not move the pan around. After about 30 seconds to 40 seconds flip around cook for a further 20 seconds maximum… depending on the size of the scallops. Scallops must not be overcooked!
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Place on top of the dish when you serve.

At this point please go ahead and grate more cheese over it.

Enjoy with a crisp white wine like a pinot gris or a Barton and Guistier white.

For this recipe, you could do with a “cheap” champagne. Any good Brut like an Andre is great.
Please keep your Moet for drinking, but if you can afford it why not? If you’re going to use champagne try and get some lobster. It would be just awesome.

The biggest thanks to my best aburo Joel Adu for coming through against all odds. An even bigger shout out to Toyin Trendz for waiting hours for me to get back so this shoot could take place. So thrilled you guys allowed me to direct you and it was easy as you guys did excellent!

Please make sure you follow them on Instagram @trendzphotography |  @joel_adu
Photo Credit: Joel Adu for Joel Adu Photography | Toyin for Trendz Photography.

Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste. He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more visit www.cheffregz.com. Chef Fregz provides premium private catering services. For bookings and orders email [email protected] – @Chef_Fregz on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the Chef Fregz Page on Facebook as well.

10 Comments

  1. Seyi

    November 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    That looks so tasty!

    more-than-one-love.blogspot.co.uk

  2. D

    November 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Since there is no I like button. I just want to say that I love your recipes.

  3. TA

    November 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks Chef Fregz. I am a big pasta lover so will bookmark this article. 🙂

    Fregene oo,invite me to come and eat. Haba now, been begging you since last year.

  4. Taiwo

    November 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Marry me!!

  5. Scared homosapien

    November 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Call it inferiority complex or whatever, I just don’t like men that can cook this well. You may know how to do the usual daily cooking but not as good as this. I feel so threatened. I learnt my lesson the hard way. #NoWay

  6. @edDREAMZ

    November 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    Dude yu get sister wey i fit marry so that i go become part of the family….
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  7. Tyra

    November 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Good job but am always terrified by that knife you put in your mouth as first look ad. Do better

  8. eze

    November 22, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Looks and would be so tasty.I just love jalapenos.

  9. Greedy Gal

    November 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

    This looks gooooooooood! Do you have a tasting panel? If not, I think you should invite your fans to taste these dishes and give their humble opinions. Then, and only then, will we know whether your food tastes as scrumptious as it looks. Just a thought.

  10. Zee

    November 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Great post, Chef Fregz! Please, where in Lagos can I buy scallops from?

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