Monday, July 06, 2009

Robert Rainford - King of the Grill

*Photos for this post are by my talented colleague Aida*

It’s been raining celebrity chefs in our lovely city and I certainly can’t complain! In just a span of a few short months I have had the pleasure of meeting Bobby Chinn , Emmanuel Stroobant, and now most recently the man with a License to Grill…Robert Rainford...
It is a blistering hot afternoon...not even the large multiple buzzing fans and copious amounts of ice cold water can do anything to cool down the atmosphere and the worst thing is that I have chosen to wear a long sleeved top of all days! The two large grills that are ablaze and warming up for the cooking demo by Robert Rainford do not help...

All this discomfort disappears though the moment he makes his appearance...he is able to distract all of the media from the sweltering heat by joking around and teasing us. Soon enough we're laughing along and interacting with him and before you know it he has cooked up one of his specialty dishes that we get to sample(It was really good...could have done with a bit more spiciness but Robert wasn't sure how spicy everyone would want it...hehe...we are Malaysian after all)...Cajun Shrimp with Love Sauce (Recipe Below).

I'm sure you're wondering why it's called a Love Sauce? And no it's not like a love potion that you can conjure up and serve to someone you have a crush on and *presto* he/she is head over heels in love with's actually called a love sauce because Robert believes that any dish with more than 6 ingredients is a labor of love...
Robert’s energetic and warm unpretentious personality translates from on camera to off. This probably has much to do with his mindset while filming. “When I’m on my show I am talking to my daughters…I am teaching them how to barbecue.” Awww...How can you not love a man who keeps his daughters at the centre of all that he does?
Whilst visiting KL, Robert has thoroughly enjoyed taking trips to Little India and checking out all of the spices. “We can’t get green and black cardamom back home, and over here I’ve been trying out the spices, taking them back to my hotel room and figuring out how I can work with them.” I bet we can look forward to some Asian inspired barbecue dishes on his show!

Oh and I also learned a little something from him...apparently when you marinate any meat with a lemon based marinade be sure not to marinate it for more than 30minutes. The acid in the lemon starts to cook the protein otherwise making the meat rubbery. If you want a lemony hint to your marinade use the zest instead...and then you can use the actual lemon in the basting sauce.

Robert Rainford's Cajun Shrimp with Love Sauce

3 pounds of large shrimp

¼ cup olive oil
Juice from 2 lemons
3 tsp Cajun seasoning

Cajun Love Sauce:
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large chopped celery ribs
6 chopped green onions
4 tbs Dijon mustard
4 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs capers
3 tbs chopped cilantro
2 tsp Tabasco
2 tsp horseradish
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
Salt to taste

1 cup Hickory wood chips soaked in cold water for 30minutes
2 cups dry Hickory wood chips

Peel shrimp, leaving their tails on and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning and let marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Remove shrimp from the marinade and let come to room temperature. Preheat the barbecue to 110C.

Squeeze the water from the wet chips and place them in the centre of a large piece of foil and add the dry chips to it and mix. Fold the foil into a sealed pouch and poke holes into the pouch to allow smoke to escape.

Turn one burner to medium high heat and place the wood chips directly over the flames. Turn the other burners off. Once the grill is smoking, quickly place the shrimp directly over the grills that are off. Smoke shrimp with indirect heat for 10minutes or until pink and slightly caramelised.

Meanwhile add all the ingredients for the Cajun Love Sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the smoked shrimp with the Cajun Love Sauce in a serving dish and chill for up to 2 hours. Serve and enjoy!


Anita said...

Ooooo... that looks like so much fun!!! What a great day out and demonstration :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahh good to know about the lemnon jiuce-after all that's how ceviche is done so it makes sense. And love sauce? What a fabulous name!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, Rainford really sounds and looks like a nice personable guy! And Cajun Shrimp with Love Sauce? Wow, I'm really feeling the love all right!

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Anita - It was a lot of fun! I loved chomping on the shrimp :D

Lorraine - Yeah once he explained made a lot of sense...weird how some recipes call for lemon and overnight marination...

BurpandSlurp - He was a lot of fun to meet! There is definitely love in that sauce :)

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

He sounds entertaining, and it's so sweet that he thinks of his daughters as his audience! I like the love sauce idea too. I guess there are a lot of dishes that are a labour of love, but thinking of them that way makes them seem more special.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Gorgeous! Wish I could have met him. But I reckon no one's gonna invite a measly ol' accountant to such a fancy affair. hehe. I shall live my life through you, Alexandra! :-D

thenomadGourmand said...

A great day out i'm sure! He's so lovable on telly alrei so must be more so in real life yeah??? ;)

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Arwen - He was very entertaining and an overall nice guy.

LL - haha...ah but this measly accountant is also a famous food blogger :D So you do have your place there.

TheNomadGourmand - That is true! Although some people can just put on a TV persona...but this guy is genuine.

Anonymous said...

Watched afc channel on Astro today which featured Robert Rainford's Dinner Extravaganza in KL. I felt so bad for him when the dignitary came 1 1/2 hrs late and spoiled the whole dinner mood and food! Who is the inconsiderate person who doesn't know his social etiquette? Whatv a shame he brought to M'sia!