Artisan Charcutier Benito Plasschaert

Since my first visit to the Grand Hyatt Hotel Deli, I’ve been keeping an eye on it since. My first encounter was reading about their Welsh Fruit Loaf and since the country is close to my heart, I decided to track there and take a visit and have since registered for their newsletter updates.

Last month’s newsletter came and with my eagerness I opened it to read and found a whole lot of promotions and specials for the coming months ahead. And being close to Christmas, the promotions were not to be missed. I found myself drawn to their Dim Sum special and their guest Artisan Charcutier who was going to be there for 2 weeks only, serving a wide range and spread of French and Belgian pates, cold cuts, sausages, meatloaves, terrines, rillettes and lots more. I thought I had to try this, having had a taste of Rillettes by Brenner, wondered how it compared! 🙂 So off I trotted…

I was greeted with Christmas fancy galore, oh it brought back the spirit of Christmas, it made me smile..

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Can you tell which one is the real Benito? Oh what a charming man! While I was browsing, I must have had a super confused look, he approached me and we started a conversation. He paid more attention to me because I was the only English speaker there! Such a privilege to talk to him and hear him speak so passionately about his meats! Wow! Such an inspiration! The range was so vast and they all looked so delicious I couldn’t decide so what else could one do but to ask the artisan charcutier himself, what he recommends.

He told me that he chooses his meats according to his mood, so on Mondays and Tuesdays when people are unhappy (having to go back to work that is), he tends to eat the lighter, less fatty meats. During the weekends, he has his hearty meatloaves, rich pate spreads and smoky sausages which he shares at the dining table with his family and friends where the environment is more happier and relaxed. Some meats are only to be eaten with bread, some with salads and others with crisps. It was so much fun listening to him talk about meat, sausages and cold cuts in a way I’ve never thought about. What passion he had for his work!

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So at the end of it all, I walked away with a gorgeous Portuguese meatloaf, a Duck Pork and Beef, Foie Gras Pistachio Chestnut Terrine, a Smoked German Sausage and a bottle of French Pork and Caramelised Onion Spread. He was particularly proud of his Duck Pork Beef and Foie Gras Terrine, which he insisted that I try and the Smoky German Sausage so indeed I did. And so, for dinner that night, we enjoyed them all along with Cyrill’s Rillette! 🙂

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Not long after that, I trotted back again, just before Benito left to purchase more of his deliciousness, while sneaking along some more photos, I couldn’t resist taking them. His passion for meat is so great and I had to take a record of it for my own and really use that to further my dreams.

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And at the end of the day, after another nice chat and more recommendations, I walked away with Dutch Breakfast Sausages, a Provence Meatloaf, 2 Chicken Terrine with Pesto, some gorgeous Lavender smoked ham and 2 different types of pates with Duck, Pork and Beef, one with sundried tomatoes and was steamed, the other was baked. He recommended the steamed one but his wife loved the baked pate, so I got a sliver of them both! Hey, how can you not try them? So, off he goes now to Singapore and then to the Maldives where he’s due to teach a class on making these lovely food. I can’t wait for my next foodie find or my next hotel deli find! 🙂

So last night, I was looking in my fridge and found half of the smoked german sausage just sitting nicely and quietly on the top shelf, I decided to have a play around with it. I’ve been really unmotivated and uninspired lately with my cooking and I thought, right, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to put some effort and energy into coming up with something new and delicious by using foodstuff in my fridge (that needs to be eaten anyway, cos there were things in there going green and fluffy!) haha…So this is my take on the left over Smoked German Sausage..

Stuffed Peppers with Ricotta & Smoked German Sausage with a side of Herbed Baby Potatoes

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So easy and quick to put together, it’s the washing, preparation and baking that takes a while! Not so nice when the tummy’s rumbling!! ;P

Serves 2 people

4 capsicums (halved through the middle)

1 big onion diced

12 baby potatoes (boiled till cooked)

German Smoked Sausages (c/0 Benito)

fresh rosemary and oregano

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

fat free ricotta cheese

salt and pepper

What to Do:

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes, and put to boil till soft when poked with a fork

2. While that’s boiling, clean the capsicum, dice the onions and have a spoonful of ricotta cheese, just to taste that it hasn’t gone off yet! Remember I told you about something green and fluffy? *ahem*

3. ANYWAY, moving past that, place the capsicum halves and stuff with the diced onions and chunks of smoked sausages, then topped with big lumps of ricotta cheese to cover the capsicum whole. Oh and I also poured in some delicious pate sauce that came with the smoked sausages from Benito! It was a brown dipping sauce, sweetish and tangy. Place them all neatly in a baking dish (or individual portion sizes like I did)

4. Meanwhile that’s sitting pretty at the side, I drained out the baby potatoes and dressed them with the herbs, salt and pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Give them a good toss, shake and roll and bake them with the stuffed capsicum for 1 hour. I had some left over sausages so I tore them into smaller chunks and sprinkled them on the potatoes for some crunch.

Oh it was good. We’ve got the rest of the meats to try yet so stay tuned! Wonder which hotel deli I should hit next…

By the way, we tried the Dim Sum special – it wasn’t so great. It was an expensive meal and we still walked away hungry. Not so special after all, so I will just show you the pictures that I took.

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Beef and Bamboo Shoot & Abalone and Water Chestnut Dumplings

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Pork and Shrimp Dumpling topped with Roe

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Beef Dumpling & Siew Mai

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Pot Stickers

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Sweet and Sour & Spicy Cod Stew

The dumplings had a price range starting from USD18 upwards and the last dish was from their menu which was USD37. Suffice to say it wasn’t enough and the price really knocked us down. The cost nowadays to eat at a hotel right? Had to try it out… haven’t had any good authentic Chinese Dim Sum since being here… I miss my DimSums!

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