Aloft in Thamel regularly introduces new items on their menu. This time around, the Executive Sous Chef, Rajeev Shrestha decided to give something different to his guests by adding a classic touch to contemporary tastes. The hotel’s urban café style restaurant has introduced a salad that includes lots of cucumber, tomatoes and peppers with slightly exotic aroma and taste that goes perfectly well with lunch.

Caponata



Ingredients:
•50 ml olive oil
•120 gm eggplant
•15 gm pine nuts
•50 gm red onion
•20 gm celery
•40 gm pitted green olives
•10 gm capers in brine
•1 tablespoons tomato paste
•20 gm raisins
•1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
•1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
•Salt
•Ground black pepper
•50 gm diced French baguettes roughly cut

Method:
•Add olive oil to a pan and heat until hot, but not smoking.
•Add pine nuts and fry until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the toasted pine nuts to a paper towel lined rack.
•Add eggplant and fry, turning over several times until golden brown. Transfer the eggplant to the paper towel lined rack.
•Add the celery, olives, and capers and sauté until the celery starts turning translucent, but still crunchy. Add the tomato paste and fry until shiny and fragrant.
•Add onions and sauté until they are tender and starting to turn brown.
•Finish the preparation of Caponata by adding the raisins, red wine vinegar and brown sugar. Put back the eggplant and pine nuts into the pan. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and continue to cook until the liquid has all evaporated.
•Let the Caponata cool and then refrigerate overnight. Serve the Caponata at room temperature, sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley and crusty bread.


The second addition to the menu was “Pan Seared Salmon” which was served with lentil stew and seasonal vegetables. The salmon with five-bean casserole is super crispy on the outside, but soft, tender and flakey on the inside, finished with a silky, flavorful buttery sauce. Shailendra Singh, the Executive Chef says, “As Aloft itself is known as a trendy and vibrant hotel, by seeing the plate of colors and the food presentation, one can easily figure out how vibrant the chefs from Aloft Kathmandu are.”

 

French lentil stew

•1 large celery rib, finely diced
•1 medium carrot, peeled, and finely diced
•1 dried bay leaf
•1 large garlic clove, smashed
•20 gm whole green lentils
•20 gm whole yellow lentils
•20 gm whole black lentils
•Salt
•10gm walnuts
•1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
•Zest of 1/2 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
•1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
•1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
•1/2 small red onion, finely diced
•5 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
•1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
•1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

Pan Seared Salmon
Ingredients 

•Salmon fillet with skin 180 gm
•Salt to taste
•Black pepper crushed to taste
•Lemon 1no.
•Dijon mustard 5 gm

Method:

•Marinade salmon fillet in olive oil, mustard paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper brine.
•Dust with little flour to salmon, meanwhile heat the pan with little oil and panfry the salmon skin side down first.
•When flesh becomes a little opaque, flip the salmon and cook further more.
•Prepare the stew for side, sautéing with little garlic, onion, celery and lentil.
•Pour the fish stock or water and cook in medium heat until cooked.
•For assemble, place the cooked lentil stew and top with salmon skin side up for presentation with steamed seasonal vegetables, drizzle with caper butter sauce.

The restaurant also introduced a new dessert which they call, “Dacquoise Peanut Delight”. The Chef makes some puff of almond, layered with whipped cream and a garnish of macaroon allocating the dessert as a mini portion as the world is going towards variety rather than filling the stomach.

Dacquoise biscuit



•Almond powder 125 gm
•Icing sugar 125 gm
•Flour 40 gm
•Egg whites 8 nos
•Granulated sugar 50 gm

Method:
 •Mix together almond powder, icing sugar & flour then sift. Whisk egg whites & sugar to stiff peak. Then fold in the almond mixture. Place in a tray and bake at 180°c for 12 min.

Peanut Butter Cream
•Unsalted butter 100 gm
•Sugar 90 gm
•Egg whites 45 gm
•Water 20 gm
•Peanut butter 50 gm

Method:
•Cook sugar and water to 120°c. Whisk egg whites and pour in the sugar in a thin stream. Continue whisking until the mixture is cool. Then add the butter in a small knob. •Lightly blend in the peanut butter.

 Peanut Sauce
•Peanut butter 125 gm
•Heavy cream 120 gm
•Corn syrup 40 gm
•Brown sugar 50 gm

Method:
•Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved & the sauce is smooth.
•Assembling
•Arrange two layers of Dacquoise biscuit in a triangular shape with a layer of peanut butter cream & top with it. Allow to cool.
Garnishes: Cocoa Powder, Mint leaves, Milk chocolate, Dark chocolate, Whipping cream, Whole peanuts.