Sunkist has always been a brand of deep emotional resonance for me. As a child, it meant sunny Sunday mornings, where a cool glass of freshly squeezed orange juice accompanied a languid breakfast of turkey bacon, baked beans and sunny-side-ups.
As a youth, it was a fantastic addition to Absolut Vodka. (it still is, kids!)
Now, in my burgeoning adulthood, Sunkist represents a dietary paradigm shift as they propose giving citruses a more central role in our cuisines. It is a worthy cause – fruits, let alone citruses, have always been sidelined to the peripherals of our meals. Such practices limit the benefits of citruses in our cooking – not only are they rich in Vitamin C, orange and lemon zest lend a fresh, vibrant flavour to your mains, and are perhaps the best-tasting meat tenderizers out there. Leading this culinary revolution is none other than Chef Robert Danhi.
Chef Robert Danhi is the brains behind James Beard-nominated cookbook Southeast Asian Flavours – Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, and is a leading culinary researcher and consultant in R&D centers throughout Malaysia and Los Angeles. He is, however, not Dean Pelton from Community.
On 9th March 2013, Chef Robert Danhi teams up with Sunkist to come up with 3 mouth-watering citrus-based recipes combining Asian flavours with Western sensibilities and techniques. The result is a healthy repertoire of dishes that appeal to a wide variety of palates. The execution of these recipes were demonstrated by Chef Danhi himself to a team of writers and bloggers (including yours truly) at quaint, off-the-beaten-road restaurant, Morsels.
My personal favourite was the Grilled Sunkist Lemon With Spiced Beef Tenderloin, a zesty reinterpretation of a dish that would otherwise be rather mild, and rather limited in its range of tastes. The medium rare slab of brilliant beef was succulent, tender, juicy – the kind that deserves meandering poetry written about it.
The other dishes prepared by Chef Danhi are pictured in the gallery below, and they include an Orange-Ginger Cheesecake with Spiced Coconut Caramel and a Lemon-Coriander Salsa With Seared Scallops. The good Chef was also kind enough to share his recipes with us, which I shall try to recreate. Watch this space! (Mom, we may need to get extra kitchen insurance.)
Chef Robert Danhi’s latest book, Easy Thai Cooking – 75 Family-Style Dishes You Can Prepare at Home in Minutes, is available at selected bookstores. I would strongly recommend for him to read Shorter Titles For Your Book. For more information on Chef Robert Danhi, visit www.chefrobertdanhi.com