Search This Blog

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Pulled Brisket with Pan BBQ Sauce

This is almost too easy for the insane result. All things told, about an hour in prep, five hours slow cook, twenty minutes shredding, days drooling.
First time I cooked this we did brioche rolls with a little mayo and some basic slaw. I'm quite certain that is how it will continue into the future.
The meat costs about $30 for 3kg but there is easily 20 servings in it and the sauce that comes from the pan juices is killer. Pay the fine, do the time.

N.B. You will need a really big pan.

I needed a bigger pan...
1 piece brisket about 3kg
Paprika
Cumin seeds
Fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
Oil and butter

Brine:
4 liters water
1 cup salt
125g brown sugar
1 stick celery roughly chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
1/2 handful pepper corns
6 bay leaves
Handful of thyme/parsley/rosemary
1/2 a lemon
Got a bigger pan 2nd time around
1 chilli split

Rough chopped:
2 onions
3 stalks celery
2 carrots
6 garlic cloves
6 mushrooms
3 slices bacon
Stems and roots from 1 bunch coriander
Handful parsley
Fist of thyme
Some sage leaves
10cm of rosemary

6 bay leaves
1 satchell tomato paste
500ml chicken stock
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tbs chilli flakes
3 tbs tomato sauce
3 tbs barbecue sauce

To finish:
2 spring onions chopped
1 bunch coriander tops topped
Lime juice

Dissolve the sugar and salt in 1 litre of water on the stove top. Combine with the rest of the water and ingredients, bashing the garlic and squeezing the lemon (include the lemon in the brine too). Place brisket in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prep all of the veg/bacon/herbs/sauce and have ready to go. Remove the brisket from the brine and pat dry with kitchen towel. Sprinkle a generous amount of paprika, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, salt and pepper with some oil all over the brisket and rub in. Heat a large and deep (at least 30cm in diameter) frying pan or roasting dish to medium high and when to temperature throw in some butter and some oil to stop it from burning. Place the brisket in, fatty side down first and fry until you get some decent colour. Turn the brisket over and repeat. Remove from the pan to a clean plate.
Pour in the chopped veg, garlic, ginger, bacon, herbs, chilli into the frying pan and saute. If necessary add some more oil to prevent it from burning. As you are cooking the veg, scrape all the colour off of the bottom of the pan as you go. After 4 or 5 minutes squeeze in the tomato paste and cook off, stirring through. Add the tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and chicken stock.

Return the brisket to the pan or roasting dish, baste it and cover with a lid or foil. Place in a preheated 140C oven for 5 hours. Remove the foil and place back in the oven raising the temperature to 170C for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and check if it is 'fork tender'. Remove the brisket to a large bowl. Remove as much fat un-rendered fat from the meat and set aside as you can, allowing to cool slightly.

Pour the contents of the pan into a medium sized saucepan and blot away the fat with paper toweling until all removed. Remove the bay leaves, add some salt and pepper then blend the sauce with a hand blender until it is a thick and smooth consistency. Set aside.


Return 3tbs of the fat to the bowl with the meat. Shred the fat and meat with two forks until it is all quite stringy. To finish, stir through chopped the spring onion, coriander and a decent squeeze of lime.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Sand Crab Dressed in Coconut on Papadoms

I like picking over crab but if I were short on time I would just buy it. Once you've got the crab meat, it is a ten minute job. Dress the crab, fry the sweet potato chips, cook/puff papadoms, top with tasty stuff and tuck in.

1 or 2 sand crabs picked or 200gms bought meat
2 tbs coconut milk
Juice of half a lime
Splash of teriyaki sauce
Sesame oil
Coriander
Chilli
1 cup of thinly sliced sweet potato
10 or 12 papadoms

Deep fry the sweet potato in batch until coloured and crispy. Carefully fold the crab meat in half of the coconut milk, lime juice, a little teriyaki, a little sesame oil and some chopped coriander. Cook the papadoms in the microwave in batches (usually about 45 seconds or there abouts).
Place the crab on a poppadom, some more coriander, chilli slices and a squeeze of lime.


Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato and Prawn Pasta with Chilli

Wow first recipe of the year.
I have been refining this one for a while, it is basic and quick with few ingredients. I sometimes mix it up by adding some blue cheese when I am warming the sauce through. If I were cooking this for adults only I would fry the chilli when cooking the prawns with some garlic. Using green prawns will produce a better flavour in the sauce but either way it is gooood. It's a crowd pleaser, enjoy.


400gms prawns, shelled - heads reserved
1 1/2 punnets cherry tomatoes quartered
1 onion sliced and  broken up
2 tsp sugar
6 cloves garlic sliced
Handful of parsely leaves
A handful of basil leaves
One bay leaf
A splash of white wine
Lemon wedges for serving
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pasta water reserved for the sauce
I packet of pasta
Grilled prosciutto
Sliced chilli
Parmessan
Salt and pepper

Combine the prawns heads with the sliced onion, 4 cloves worth of sliced garlic, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, the sugar, half of the parsely, the bay leaf and enough extra virgin to coat. Roast at 180C for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Roast it until some of the onions and tomatoes have a little char. Discard the prawn heads and bay leaf and blend tomato mixture in a food processor with half of the basil, a squeeze of lemon and a good hit of extra virgin. Refrigerate until ready.
Cook the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, fry the remaining garlic in some more extra virgin until fragrant then toss through the prawns. Remove the prawns and set aside, deglaze the pan with the white wine then pour in your prepared tomato sauce to the frying pan. While warming, thinly slice the remaining basil then incorporate into the sauce. When ready, reduce the heat to low and wait for the pasta to finish cooking. When the pasta is done pour a cup of pasta water into your tomato sauce and stir to combine.
Toss the pasta through the sauce, bung into bowls, place prawns on top, sprinkle over some freshly grated Parmessan, crispy prosciutto, parsley, a little lemon, salt and pepper, chilli and a little more extra virgin.
Serve with crusty bread.









Monday, 29 June 2015

Pork Belly Porchetta

I lost my mind. The kids lost their minds. Had so much fun cooking this. Steep learning curve though.
To get the briquettes hot enough (I'm an amateur at this) it took the best part of an hour and considerable fanning and rearranging. The cook time was way longer than I anticipated too. I was expecting an hour and a half but it was closer to three hours. If you're going to try this (and you should), give yourself plenty of time and, don't rush to lower the meat down closer to the heat until much toward the end. Otherwise you will burn the outside and it will be raw in the middle and that would suck. As to why it tasted sooooo good? Well apart from the smokiness and rad crackle I think it was the combination of fennel, caraway and lemon rind. You can prep  this well in advance and it probably helps to develop the flavours too.


1 charcoal spit roaster
4kg bag charcoal briquettes
Fire starters
1 piece of pork belly long enough to roll
Kitchen sting
3 cloves garlic
1 handful parsley
1 sprig rosemary
5 or 6 sprigs thyme
1/2 handful of sage leaves
Rind of half a lemon (or so)
Salt and pepper
Caraway seeds
Fennel seeds
Extra virgin olive oil

Mince the herbs, lemon rind and garlic and mix through a little extra virgin to bind. Pat dry your piece of pork belly - make sure it is well scored on the skin side. Lay the pork skin side down, season the meat with salt and pepper then distribute the herb mixture. Sprinkle through a couple of teaspoons each of caraway and fennel seed. Roll the pork and truss with kitchen sting. Watch this video to see how. Drizzle some extra virgin over the rolled meat, season heavily with sea salt and sprinkle over some fennel and caraway seeds. Refrigerate. When needed, spike with the rotisserie spike.
Get the charcoal started. When the charcoal is white and the flames have dropped away place your meat on. Adjust the height of your spit roaster to where about your hand can just handle the heat for for or five seconds. From this point forward, just sit their and drink wine. Its mesmerizing.  After about 2 hours it should start to look like the visible meat has good colour and some crackle  is forming. Drop the height down every ten minutes or so until you reach salty, crackly perfection. Serve it with something - dunno, couldn't remember the veg...








Friday, 26 June 2015

Spaghetti Bolognaise with Mushroom and Kale

I think I have an addiction to kale. This is one of my go to recipes, I love, the kids smash it, its mostly veg. Win - win. One of the most beautiful things about this dish is, you can make it on the go. Once the onion and celery are minced and have begun sauteing, you can bgein chopping the next bit. If you have never used pork and veal mince for spag bol, you should. Two tips, 1) generally it is how you finish a dish that makes it rule - some great parmesan and great extra virgin can lift any dish from good to wow; 2) learn to love chilli - it is the business.

1 onion in small dice
1 stick celery in small dice
2 tsp minced rosemary
2 tsp minced thyme
1 handful minced parsley
1 handful basil leaves
3 cloves garlic minced
2 rashers bacon in small dice
2 handfuls mushroom minced
A few porcini mushrooms ripped (optional)
500 gms pork and veal mince
3 leaves kale, finely chopped
1 bottle of passata
1 packet of pasta
1 or 2 tbs sugar
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Chilli - fresh or dried

Get your pasta water hot. Sauté the onion and celery over a medium high temperature in some extra virgin with the 1/2 of the garlic, rosemary and thyme. When soft throw in the bacon and fry for a few minutes. When fragrant add in the mushrooms - you may need more extra virgin. When the mushrooms are cooked add in the minced pork and veal. Cook the concoction until the moisture has mostly evaporated then mix through the kale, salt and pepper. When fragrant and beginning to soften, stir through 3/4 of the tomato passata. Add in the sugar, balsamic and remaining garlic and 1/2 of the parsley. Start cooking the pasta in salted water. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce until the pasta cooks. If your sauce is too dry add some of the pasta cooking water into the sauce. Chop the basil and stir through, check for seasoning, adding more salt/pepper/sugar/balsamic as necessary. Combine the sauce and pasta. Spoon into bowls. Top with a sprinkling of parsley, salt, a grind of pepper, parmesan and chilli. Some crispy prosciutto is wicked too.

Cumin and Cayenne Kale Chips

Few things are easier, cheaper and tastier. Mess around with the flavours or go natural. Too easy. Works really really well with basil too, just adjust the cooking time down.


3 - 4 kale leaves ripped (size don't matter)
Olive oil
Cumin
Cayenne pepper
Salt

Combine the cumin and cayenne and salt with some olive oil. Bake in a preheated 180C oven for five minutes or so. Remove and allow to stand for a couple of minutes to become crisp. Keep your eye on them while they cook as they suck if burnt. Enjoy.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Kale with Bacon, Mushroom and Yoghurt

Wow, my first post this year. I still cook new things regularly but haven't found the time recently to do this. The reason I am sharing this particular recipe is - it rules - heaps. We eat this stacks as a side and as my now favourite kind of sauce for steak. I can't remember why I decided to throw these ingredients together but I am so glad that I did. It ticks most of the boxes; its cheap, quick and healthy. The kids rate this heaps too which is a bonus. Those are duck fat roasted smashed potatoes right there too BTW...

1 rasher bacon diced
1 handful of mushrooms minced
3 cloves garlic minced
3 kale leaves roughly minced with a knife
Dash of white wine (optional)
1 decent slug of chicken stock
1 heaped tbs of natural yoghurt
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Saute the garlic on the extra virgin with the bacon, salt and pepper until soft and fragrant. Saute the mushrooms (add more extra virgin if needed) until cooked through. Throw in the kale and cook until soft and fragrant. Deglaze with the stock (and wine if using) and reduce. When the liquid is mostly gone, mix through the yoghurt. Enjoy the hell out of this salty, smokey mess.




Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Chicken Mushroom and Kale Pasta with Lemon Herbed Bread Crumbs

This is the first time I have used fried bread crumbs with a pasta and it made feel silly I'd never done it before. So much flavour and crunch for so little effort. Quick and easy and another excuse for me to bung some kale into something else - I love that stuff.

500 gms chicken thighs fillets
2 handfuls mushroom roughly chopped
3 big kale leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 cloves garlic finely minced
2 rashers of bacon in dice
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (may need more)
1/2 cup white wine or bubbles
1/2 cup chicken stock
Juice of half a lemon
Rind of half a lemon
2 thick slices of nice bread (I used sour dough)
1 tbs of basil leaves minced
1 handful of minced parsley
1 knob of butter
Parmessan cheese
Chilli flakes
1 packet of spaghetti
Salt and pepper

Blitz the bread, mix with the minced basil, lemon rind and minced garlic. Pour in a little extra virgin olive oil and combine well. Roast spread out on a tray at 180C for about 10 minutes, keep your eye on it. Remove from the heat when done.
Have your pasta water boiling and ready.
Season the chicken with salt and fry in most of the extra virgin olive oil over a medium high heat, remove to a clean plate when you have great colour. Fry the bacon until you have great colour then add in the chopped garlic, throw in the mushroom and some salt and pepper, get some nice colour.
Cook the pasta.
Add the kale to the mushroom/bacon mixture and toss through the flavoured concoction. Chop the chicken then add back to the pan along with any juices. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce for a minute or two. Pour in the stock, lemon juice, half a cup of the pasta water and half of the parsley and continue reducing. Add in the knob of butter and toss/shake about to emulsify the sauce. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce.
Spoon into bowls, top with parsley, a little salt and pepper, a good helping of bread crumbs and chilli flakes and a little extra virgin olive oil.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Salsa with Pork Belly

Tonight I had a revelation.
Pork belly sauces made from the meat juices and cream etc are nice and all but you are always left feeling heavy afterwards. Today I made a very simple salsa for some taco boats (lunch) and used the remainder on some pork belly (dinner). It is the first time I have walked away from pork belly feeling refreshed. The acidity from the tomato, lime and red wine vinegar just smashed through the unctuous pork fat. The salsa took a mere 5 minutes from start to finish. Whilst I wouldn't mess with the simplicity of the salsa, some mint probably would work quite nicely in there too. The photo is terrible as I hadn't anticipated that this would be anywhere near as great as what it was.

Pork belly
10 cherry tomatoes
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 bunch of coriander
1/2 tbs sugar
1/4 of a red chilli
1/2 a red onion in dice
1 tbs garlic oil
Juice of half a lime
Salt and pepper
Salad of any description




Cook some pork belly, make sure you get some proper crackle on that shiz. Salt it hard cook it at about 30 mins per 500 gms at 180C and smash it in the last 20 mins at 220C. I find poultry scissors are great at dealing with crackling - pro tip.
For the salsa? Just blend the rest of the ingredients but leave it chunky. Check for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper or lime or red wine vinegar. Add salsa to pork, eat some salad (optional).

O
M
G

Wiltof Triple Cream Brie and Lemon

I've never eaten wiltof before prior to this. It was more bitter than I was expecting but it has a refreshing taste. Prep for this was about 10 minutes and it has only about ten minutes cook time. Nice snack. I think next time though I would have grilled the cheese over the top. Cheap and simple.

4 wiltof quartered
Garlic oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Triple cream brie in slices
A lemon cheek or two
Chopped parsley

Oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a grill over high heat for a couple of minutes until you get some lines/colour. Top with a piece of brie, a squeeze of lemon and some parsely. I reckon chilli flakes would be rad too.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Cous Cous Quinoa and Lentil Salad with Roast Potato and Minted Yoghurt

This was good, defo doing this again.


2/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup cous cous
2/3 cup lentils cooked
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup yoghurt
1 handful of mint
1 handful of coriander
Juice from half a lemon
2 cups diced roasted sweet potato
2 handful of quartered cherry tomatoes


Cook the quinoa and cous cous according to the packet instructions, but bung a slice of lemon in there while it cooks. When done, fluff with a fork and fold through a little olive oil, salt and pepper. If you follow the link above to the lentils it will show you how I prepare them, for this dish I was chasing lemon so the dressing I made for it was the same as for the recipe but lemon juice instead of red wine vinegar and honey instead of sugar. Mix the lentils in to the cous cous/quinoa concoction. Combine the yoghurt and lemon juice with some chopped coriander and mint and some salt and pepper. Place the gear onto a serving tray then layer up with roast sweet potato, tomatoes, some coriander and yoghurt sauce. Finish with some salt and a good grind of pepper and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

Pistachio Romesco Sauce

I made Romesco sauce a few years ago and it was nice but it was hard work. Traditional Romesco sauce is made with blanched almonds and hazelnuts. To prep the hazelnuts you need to oven roast them and then rub the skins off with a tea-towel. That task sucked. Anywho the reiteration I've come up with here was simple and quick and versatile. I served this with scallops, prosciutto and guacamole but it very easily doubles as a dip.


100 grams shelled pistachios
3 slices of ciabatta crusts removed, diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tsp chilli flakes
2 pinches paprika
Water


Toast the nuts and garlic in some olive oil over a medium heat. Remove to a clean plate. Add the remaining oil then toast the bread. Blitz the ingredients (only half of the vinegar) together, check for acidity and add more vinegar if required. Add water until you reach the consistency you'd like.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Flaked Salmon Pasta with a Mushroom and Asparagus Sauce

Wow, two recipes in a month, things are getting hectic. This was delicious, I made my own pasta here but store bought would be fine, if possible buy some freshly made pasta from a deli if you have the opportunity perhaps. The salmon was just as simple as shallow frying and really all the sauce was was some sautéed mushroom, asparagus pieces, pasta water and cream. One of the things I did do here actually (I cooked this a few days ago...) was make some basil chips. Basil what? Heaps simple, get half a bunch of basil and pick the leaves, lightly salt and toss in a little oil. Roast for 5-10 minutes, just don't let them burn. Very interesting flavour - initial beautiful basil hit then an after taste of green tea. I plan on doing more with this concept, very interesting.

3 salmon fillets, skin on
Two big handfuls and mushrooms sliced
1 bunch asparagus cut into bite sized pieces
2 tbs cream (or more if you're keen)
2 tbs butter
2 cloves garlic chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Enough fresh pasta for 4
Handful of sage leaves
Parsley for garnish
Basil chips
Cherry tomatoes quartered
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper

Have all of your ingredients ready to go as was you start it all happens quite quickly. Have your water simmering and ready to cook the pasta. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Heat some extra virgin olive oil over a medium high heat, fry the sage leaves in the oil until crisp - remove and reserve. Place the salmon fillets in skin side down and cook until the fillet is cook about 1/3 to 1/2 the way up the side - do not allow the skin to burn, this becomes part of the garnish. Turn when ready and when the fillet feels about medium rare to medium, remove to a clean plate. Cook your pasta.
Add the butter to the pan and when melted add in the mushrooms and some salt and pepper giving them some great colour. When mostly cooked add in the asparagus pieces and cook for a further minute. Squeeze in the lemon juice and give it a mix. Pour in the cream and a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Give the pan a good shake to emulsify the sauce, when combined turn off the heat. If the pasta is cooked, drain and toss through a little extra virgin olive oil.
Carefully remove the skin from each fillet and slice on the diagonal. Flake the flesh. Add a portion of pasta to each serving bowl, spoon over some sauce, some flaked salmon, garnish with some basil chips, fried sage leaves, parsley, cherry tomatoes, some freshly cracked pepper and a little drizzle of extra virgin.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Dukkah Crusted Labne and Lamb Backstrap Pizza

An awesome ex-student of mine gave me some dukkah and lamb herbs for Christmas last year and I finally got around to using them. This was delicious and simple and I can thoroughly recommend giving it a go yourself. Labne is a cheese you make from yoghurt (seriously this only takes 10 minutes). The fiddliest part of this is rolling the cheese into balls and then dusting them but even then, that only takes 15 minutes. I made my own pizza bases here but I would imagine that using toasted Turkish bread or kebab bread would be just as great. The amount of oil used will seem terrifying but its only for marinating and can be re-used as part of a salad dressing, used in pesto (a nod to Tracey), or used in confit (a nod to JP). Next time I use dukkah, I think I am going to make my own. You will need to make the labne three days in advance.

1 kg natural yoghurt
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp salt for the labne
45g packet of dukkah (mine was lemon and herb)
1.5 litres of extra virgin olive oil
1 lamb backstrap
Lamb herbs
Individual pizza bases
Garlic oil
Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley
Mozzarella
Rocket
Salt and pepper
A little red wine vinegar
Some fresh parsley

Combine the salt and crushed garlic for the labne into the yoghurt. Place a muslin wrap over a bowl doubled over, pour in the yoghurt. Bring the sides of the muslin wrap in and tie around a wooden spoon then hang in a bowl. Place in the fridge for three days re-adjusting the height of the bag if necessary so that the yoghurt is not sitting in the extracted liquid.

Remove the yoghurt from the hanging bag into a clean bowl. Pinch tablespoon sized quantities out and roll into a balls, place onto a clean plate. It helps if from time to time you rinse and dry your hands, the
yoghurt does become sticky. Roll each cheese ball in the labne then place carefully into another clean bowl, throw in a little fresh parsley then cover with the olive oil.


Pre-heat an oven to 180C. Paint the pizza bases with garlic oil, sprinkle on some chopped parsley, grate over some parmesan then top with a little mozzarella. Bake until they have great colour.

Season the lamb fillet with some lamb herbs, salt and pepper. Sear on a barbecue to your liking (mine were rare). Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes under some foil then slice very thinly. While this is happening dress the rocket in some garlic oil, some more grated parmesan and a little red wine vinegar.

Smear a labne ball on a pizza base, load up some lamb and rocket then tuck in.



Sunday, 25 May 2014

Turkey, Caramelised Onion and Mushroom Pinwheels

Nice. I think though next time I would space them out over two trays to get better colour on the sides. I cooked caramelised onion here (which takes a considerable amount of time) but bought stuff would be fine, it adds a great complexity and sweetness to the whole shebang.


3/4 cup caramelised onion
2 handfuls minced mushroom
garlic oil
thyme
2 cups grated cheese
500 gms turkey mince
1 handful coriander leaves chopped
2 sheets puff pastry
Salt and pepper
egg wash






Cook the mushrooms in a bit of garlic oil with some salt and pepper. Combine all of the remaining ingredients (except for the puff pastry and egg wash) and refrigerate until cool (hot mixture will melt the puff pastry). Spread the mixture out evenly between the two sheets of pastry leaving a lip to join up at the end. Paint some egg wash on the lip and gently roll up the pastry (using the plastic backing from the puff pastry sheets makes it easier). Cut each turkey log into 8 even slices. If you've got time, place them in the fridge to firm up. Egg wash the pastry. Roast in a 180C oven for about 20 minutes or until they have nice colour. I ate mine with some sweet chilli sauce.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Raw Humus (wellll almost...)

There are some local markets near my place that have heaps of cool food but by far and away my favourite thing from there is a raw humus that a dude makes. A friend asked me to see if I could do it so I had a go. The end result was very similar and certainly worth making again. It doesn't taste anything like regular humus in much the same way that raw corn tastes nothing like cooked corn. The cooked part in this? Salted cashews, I couldn't have been bothered finding raw ones. This was better a few hours later once the ingredients had had some time to get to know each other.


1 tub sprouting mung beans
1/2 a thumb on ginger
1 clove garlic
1 stick of celery finely diced
1/4 of a bunch or coriander
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbs sesame oil
1 handful salted cashews
1/2 tsp paprika (or to taste)
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
Pepper and salt

Using only half of the juices, combine the remainder of the ingredients in a blender into a paste. Adjust the juices levels, salt and pepper accordingly.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Braised Rabbit with Star Anise and Cranberries

A mate of mine recently gave me a whole stack of bunny wabbits, dressed and everything. Having never cooked rabbit and only eaten it once this was new territory. I did some research and this is attempt number one. Many recipes pointed out how delicate a flavour it is but most recipes have bold flavours like mine so I went for the safe option. Not surprisingly - its quite like chicken. On the upside, this was very nice but next time I will be more gentle. The most interesting part was the cranberries, a few recipes I saw called for sultanas or raisins which I do not like in savoury food. The cranberries puffed up heaps but the flavour went to the background - my wife didn't even know until I told her after that they were there. Tasty.

1 kg of rabbit on the bone
2 rashers of bacon cut in batons
1 stick celery in fine dice
2 carrots in fine dice
1 onion in fine dice
2 big handfuls diced mushroom
3 cloves garlic
1 tin tomato purée
1 star anise
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 good slug of red wine
2 bay leaves
A bouquet garni  (tie some herbs together)
A splash of Brandy
1 cup chicken stock
Flour for dusting
Salt and pepper
Butter and extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs sour cream
Parsley and chilli flakes
Good mash


Season the flour and dust the rabbit. Heat the butter until foaming then add in some olive oil. Brown the rabbit then remove to a clean plate. Fry the bacon then remove to a clean plate. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot until soft then add in the garlic and cook until fragrant then remove. Add more oil/butter sauté the mushrooms with some salt and pepper, add the onion mixture and bacon. If you want a thick sauce, cook through some of the left over flour from dusting. Deglaze the pan with the Brandy and red wine and when the boozie smell is gone pour in the tomato, cranberries, star anise, stock and stir to combine. Place in the bouquet garni and add the rabbit pieces. Reduce the heat to low, add a lid and leave it for 1.5 hours. Remove the rabbit pieces and take the meat off the bone (discard those), chop into bite sized pieces then return to the sauce and stir through the sour cream. Check for seasoning. Garnish and serve with some mash.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Artichoke Tapenade

So easy, so tasty.


1 small tub marinated artichoke
1/3 jar olives
3 tbs creamed cheese
Juice of half a lemon
1 handful of parsley leaves


Blitz it.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Avocado and Dill Yoghurt Sauce

An incredibly quick and tasty way to finish preparing a meal. We had this the following night with some barbecued prawns which was also rad. I didn't use a great deal of dill as I can find it overpowering but go nuts if you love it. Oh, and the potatoes there, honey mustard dressing, hell yes.

1 avocado shelled
1 tbs dill sprigs
3 tbs Greek yoghurt
A little salt and pepper

Blend it.


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Chilli Oregano Sardines

I haven't eaten sardines in years. Quick and simple.

1 chilli sliced
Sardine fillets
1 tbs fresh oregano leaves
1 clove garlic finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Rind from 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

Combine the lot (don't use much salt however) and fry in a hot pan.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Hash Browns with Corn

So rad. I have tried to make hash brown a few times before and consistently sucked at it. I made breakfast for the kids last week and gave it another crack, went super simple and it worked. So much so that the kids demanded I make another batch immediately. Made them again today but added corn. Wicked. I served this with poached eggs and snow peas and used the little bits of errant corn as garnish.



1 large potato washed and grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Some fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Kernels from 1 cob of corn
Oil for frying


Pat the potato dry with absorbent paper. Combine the ingredients. Heat the oil to medium high. Pinch about 1 tbs or more of the potato mixture and lay it into the oil and spread it out a bit. Don't overcrowd the pan and cook in batches. Remove to a wire cooling rack to become dry and crispy. Nom nom nom nom....

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Pork Rack Cassoulet with Cherry Tomatoes

I've been meaning to make this for some time now. I had intended on making it slightly differently but I left some diced lamb in the butchers. Thankfully however the apple and cinnamon pork sausages that I bought easily had enough flavour. I thought that this would have been more labour intensive than it was, it was really very simple actually, give it a crack.

1 pork rack
2 pork sausages (apple and cinnamon)
1 tin crushed cherry tomatoes
1 tin cannelini beans, drained
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic diced
2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 slice of bacon, diced
4 or 5 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper
A little Pesto Aioli
Chives
Olive oil

Colour the sausages in the pan you are going to cook the dish in, with a little olive oil - remove to a clean plate. Saute the garlic, onions, rosemary and bacon. Pour in the cherry tomatoes and cannelini beans and the chicken stock. Slice the sausages and place them in too. Give it a good mix along with the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, turn down to very low and let it do its thing four a couple of hours.
Oil the pork rack and rub plenty of salt into the rind. Place on a roasting tray then place into a preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes. Increase the temperature to 220C for another 15. Keep an eye on the rack that you don't overcook it or burn the crackling. Remove to a plate and allow to rest covered loosely with foil.
Check the cassoulet for seasoning adding more salt and pepper as required. Remove the bay leaves. Slice the pork rack between the bone. Spoon the cassoulet into bowls, bang on your piece of pork, drizzle over some pesto aioli and a sprinkling of chives.

Pesto Aioli

Hooray! Not for the faint hearted however, it is rather strong... Would work very well with some rare beef or would be great with some hot chips.

1 handful of basil
250ml extra light olive oil
1 head garlic
1/2 an anchovy fillet
1 handful pine nuts, toasted
2 egg yolks
1 tsp white vinegar
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Wrap the head of garlic in some foil and drizzle over a little oil. Roast in a 180C oven for about 20 minutes or until soft, remove and allow to cool. In the meantime, blitz the basil with the oil and allow to infuse while the garlic cooks and cools. Drain through a fine sieve or muslin wrap and discard the solids. Grind the garlic, pine nuts and anchovy fillet in a mortar and pestle until it is a fine paste. In a mixing bowl using an electric whisk incorporate the garlic mixture with the egg and vinegar then gradually introduce the oil in a thin stream until it is all gone. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Mix and check for seasoning adding more of what is missing.

Crumbed Stuffed Mushrooms

Some people I know made this a few years ago at a New Years Eve bun fight which was later topped off by eating 700gms of meat-sweat-inducing rib on the bone steaks. I have tweaked it a little but it is still pretty close the original. Tastes good.

Mushrooms
200 gms cream cheese
1 rasher of bacon
Some rosemary
1 clove garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Porcini salt
Pepper
Bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
Flour
Some milk
Light olive oil

Chop up the bacon and garlic and fry with rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. Remove and mince the stems from the mushrooms with the bacon etc with a knife. Stir the mushroom/bacon mix through the cream cheese with some porcini salt and cracked pepper until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. In batches dip the mushrooms in the milk then flour then egg and finally the bread crumb so that they are well covered. Heat some light olive oil to medium high. Fry the mushrooms in batches on both side until they have great colour.
(If you have some lemon, squeeze some over the finished product once cooked - I didn't but it would taste nice)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Golden Syrup and Rosemary Wingettes

I didn't have honey but the syrup was an excellent substitute.


Chicken wingettes
2 tsp garlic oil
1/2 sprig rosemary roughly chopped
Salt
1 tbs seeded mustard
Pepper


Combine them all, marinade for a bit then roast at 170C until they have nice colour (about 30 minutes).

Garlic Cannellini Beans with Mushroom and Chilli

Awesome - 5 minutes. Maybe add some herb. I had this with a dirty filthy massive t-bone. Would be brilliant on little toasts or for breakfast.


1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 mushrooms sliced
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Porcini salt
Pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar
1/2 a fresh chilli sliced


Heat the oil to medium high and when hot toast the garlic. As soon as the garlic starts to take on some colour, add in the mushrooms and fry until they have great colour. Pour in the beans and toss about in the flavoured oil. Season with some porcini salt and some pepper and a little splash of red wine vinegar. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with sliced chilli.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin Rocket Parmessan Barbecued Broccolini and Almond Salad

This according to my wife was the best salad she has ever eaten. I often find that the 'I need to use that up very soon' approach to making food to be the most rewarding. In this case it was rocket and pumpkin. Again, this was low maintenance, cheap and tasty. The cumin touch came from a pumpkin soup some mates made in South America, really great combo. (Photo soon).

1/2 a pumpkin in bite sized chunks
1/2 tsp cumin
Splash of teriyaki sauce
1 bunch broccolini
5 or 6 garlic cloves, skin on
Pepper
1 bag of rocket
1 handful slivered almonds
Parmesan shavings
Olive oil

Coat the pumpkin in oil, cumin and a splash of teriyaki. Coat the garlic in oil. Place the pumpkin on some grease proof paper and roast for about 20 minutes or until it has great colour. Barbecue the broccolini. Remove the pumpkin and garlic from the oven, when cool enough to handle remove the garlic from its skin. Combine all of the ingredients and tuck in.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Salmon Dish

This recipe is up to celebrate the unimaginable which is 10K hits on my blog. Odd title but that's what we call it. This is probably the first recipe I can say was really a creation of mine and unlike most of my other recipes (only due a love of gastronomic experimentation), I regularly cook this dish. When I say "I" I mean my wife, because she makes it so much better than me (I try to mess with it). Fast, simple, cheap, keeps well, healthy and most importantly, tasty.

Salmon (smoked, tinned, doesn't matter)
Cooked rice
Fresh veg just steamed or raw (shrooms, asparagus, capsicum...)
Sour cream or yoghurt
Kikkoman Teriyaki (best in my opinion)
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Sliced chilli
Parsley/chives

Rice - veg - flaked/torn salmon - flecks of sour cream or yoghurt - splash of teriyaki - squeeze of juice - salt and pepper - the herb.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Sage and Anchovy

Cooked anchovy rules. Hard. I was watching a cooking podcast from Strada and the dude did lamb rump with an anchovy, oil and rosemary sauce which I thought was a great concept so I tweaked it to get this. My wife who does not dig on anchovy loved it (best ever lamb roast apparently) and the kids smashed it too. Anyhow, quick and easy to prepare and could be applied to any cut of lamb I would imagine.

5 or 6 anchovy fillets
1 handful sage leaves
6  garlic cloves
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Pepper
1 leg of lamb (mine was boned out)
1 leek chopped
2 piece celery chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 cup sparkling white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock

Blitz anchovies, sage leaves, 3 cloves garlic, pepper and olive oil along with some of the oil from the anchovies. Paint the lamb with about half of the flavoured oil. Sear the lamb on all sides in your roasting dish on the stove top then remove. Add in the leek and celery and remaining garlic and soften a little in the flavoured oil then deglaze with the wine, cook out the alcohol for a minute then add in the chicken stock. Add a lid then place into a pre-heated 140C oven for 2 hours. Remove the lid, paint with some more of the oil then return to the oven for another 45 mins. Rest the meat and strain the sauce. I served this with fresh beans and mash and if you want an extra hit of anchovy, spoon some more oil over your meat.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Calamari Balls

This recipe (though slightly bastardised) came from a student of mine. Good bloke with a real love of food. This is as simple as it is cheap. Squid tubes are very economical and as the mixture is combined with milk, you effectively cannot over cook it! Hooray! Thanks Josh.

500 gms squid tubes
1 chilli de-seeded
Zest of 1 lime
1 coriander root (or leaves)
1 tsp garam marsala
Milk
Bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
Flour
Oil for frying


Rough chop the squid tubes then blitz with the chilli, lime zest, coriander, a little salt and 1 tbs of milk until it forms a paste. If it is too dry, add a little more milk. If you've added too much you can drain it later. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Heat the oil to a high temperature. Make 1 tbs sized balls of the squid goo. Season the flour with salt and the curry paste (garam marsala). Dust the balls in the flour, pass through the beaten egg then crumb. Deep fry in batches until they rise to the surface and have great colour. Drain and season with a little more salt while hot. Serve with whatever takes your fancy - I had lime wedges, teriyaki sauce and some home-made chilli jam.


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Crispy Spanish Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

This was outstanding. Do it. Only bummer is I didn't take a photo of the cous cous I made to go with it, it was brilliant.

6 chicken thighs skin on
2 chorizo
3 potato in wedges
2 small sweet potato in chunks
1/2 a fennel bulb sliced
4 cloves garlic sliced
2 tsp paprika
1 bunch coriander
1 tbs coriander seeds crushed
1 tbs red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup cider
1 cup water
1 handful cherry tomatoes chopped
Natural yoghurt
1 cup cous cous

Remove the stalks from the coriander and chop. Combine the paprika, coriander stalks, garlic, coriander seed, salt and pepper and the red wine vinegar. Pass the chicken through the paprika oil then set aside. Pass the veg though the paprika oil and set aside. Fry the chorizo in a large frying pan then remove. Fry the chicken in batches skin side down first  in the same pan then remove when it has nice colour. Arrange the veg in a roasting dish along with most of the coriander leaves (reserve some) then place the chicken on top, slice the chorizo and place around the chicken. Deglaze the frying pan with the cider. Pour the cider into the roasting dish along with the water. Pour any remain paprika oil over the top then roast for about 30 minutes at 180C with
the last 10 at 220C for a blast.
Remove from the oven, set the meat aside to rest, set the veg aside. Place the cous cous into a large bowl, pour in the water/cider, mix through the remaining coriander and the chopped tomato. If necessary place it in the microwave oven for 1 minute to cook if the liquid has cooled too much.
Slice the meat. Spoon some cous cous into bowls, add some veg, top with some chicken and chorizo and blob on some yoghurt.
Very very nice.




Chorizo Fish and Prawn Chowder

This was how I intended to start soup season and would have if those pesky leftover vegies hadn't gotten in the way. This was absolutely delicious although a little labour intensive. My understanding of chowder is that it is meant to be a complex, full flavoured, thick soup with a little kick. To help achieve this I made my own fish stock using some fish wings, prawn shells, garlic, chicken stock, lemon rind, carrot, 1 roughly chopped chilli, onion, coriander stems and roots, silverbeet stem, bare corn cobs and 3 start anise. After that I strained the stock and built me some tasty soup with bits. Unreal.

3 litres fish stock
1 kg chopped peeled potato
1 handful mushrooms in fine dice
2 carrots in fine dice
1 onion fine dice
1 leek in fine dice
2 cobs corn striped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp harrisa
Leaves from 1 bunch coriander chopped
300 gms green prawns shelled in big chunks
2 pieces reef fish in big chunks
1 chorizo
2 slices prosciutto, grilled and crispy
1 handful cherry tomatoes
2 tbs sour cream
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender then blitz till smooth. While this happens, cook the chorizo in a frying pan then remove, throw in mushrooms and cook those, remove to a clean bowl. Saute the carrot, onion, leek and garlic with the harrisa in some extra virgin olive oil. Chop the chorizo into small chunks. Add the onion mixture to the potato soup along with the mushroom and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse. Add in the corn, fish, chorizo and prawns and turn off the heat. The fish/prawns should take about 5 minutes to cook. Mince the coriander with the cherry tomatoes and prosciutto. Add the lemon juice to the chowder then test for seasoning and mix through the sour cream. Spoon into bowls, top with some coriander/prosciutto gear, serve with some great toasted  bread.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Roast Pork Brined in Pear Juice

Another concept I have been toying with, brining in pear juice. I watched Heston brine a chicken a while ago and it looked great, I have also heard of brining as 'marinading with water'. Great result very next to no work. Pear and pork work very well and I thought I would see if this process worked. The information I read on-line recommended that I do so for between 2 and 4 days, Heston said overnight (it was for chicken) but I only had time for about 8 hours. The result? More moist, sweet flavour, more colour than I would have aimed for though on the crackle. Absolutely doing this again.


150 gms salt
1 litre pear juice
1.5 litres water
Pepper corns
Fresh bay leaves
Joint of roasting pork



Cover the meat in the water/juice in a large saucepan - you may need more (use 60 gms salt per litre liquid), bung in the bay leaf and pepper corns. Refrigerate until required, roast as usual (20 mins at 220C, cover then roast at 20 mins per 450 gms, finishing with the last 20 at 220C).

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Coriander, Almond and Roast Garlic Aioli Slaw

Any crunchy veg would do, meant to use Nashi pears but forgot. Surprisingly, this is the first time I have ever made coleslaw. Happy end result.


1/4 purple cabbage
1 capsicum in thin slice
1 bulb fennel in very thin slice
2 handfuls green beans in small bits
2 handfuls almond sliced thickly
1 big handful roughly chopped coriander
1 head garlic roasted in foil with some oil
3 tbs mayo
Salt and pepper
Juice of half a lemon


Thinly slice the veg, combine the roasted garlic and mayo. Mix well.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Boned Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Ricotta and Corn, Almonds and Mushroom

Mothers Day din dins. For maximum effect make a trivet of veg for the lamb and half fill with water to sit on and blitz at the end to make your gravy

1 leg of lamb boned
3 tbs Barbecued Corn and Ricotta Dip
1 handful almonds
2 handfuls chopped mushroom
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tbs thyme
1 handful sage
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Water
Root veg

Blitz the almonds, 2 cloves garlic, mushroom and thyme, some salt and pepper and enough extra virgin to make it moist. Paint the Barbecued Corn and Ricotta Dip on in the inside of the meat then evenly spread out the almond/mushroom mixture. Carefully and firmly tie the lamb back up, shoving as much stuffing back inside as you can. Oil, salt and pepper and sage the lamb and rub well. Place on a trivet of veg and remaining garlic, pouring in enough water to come up to the bottom of the lamb and cover with foil. Cooking a preheated 220C oven for 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180C and cook for 20 mins per 450 gms. Remove the foil 20 minutes from the end. Once finished, remove, cover, rest, make gravy, stuff yourself.


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Barbecued Corn Ricotta Dip

All of my favourite boxes ticked: tasty, cheap, quick. I used this to fill Mothers Day bagels. Hmmmmm, home made bagels with salmon and stuffffff.

2 corn cobs barbecued
3 tbs ricotta
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 handful parsley
1/2 handful coriander
Salt
Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tbs water

Cut the corn from the cob and blitz the lot (only
1/2 of the vinegar) except for the water. Check for seasoning and add more vinegar if necessary. If the dip is too thick, add the water then re-blitz. Nice.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Smashed Roast Garlic and Pumpkin with Toasted Almonds

Really very basic but very delicious. I was hoping to make more of a purée for some spatchcock I had roasted but part way through decided that the chunks looked cooler. The big bits of garlic were the real winner.

1/2 a butternut pumpkin in wedges
5 cloves garlic, skin on
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 slice bacon diced
1 handful sage leaves
1 handful sliced almonds



Oil, salt and pepper the pumpkin and garlic - roast at 180C until cooked (45 mins-ish). Remove from the oven and cool 'til you can handle. In the meantime, fry the bacon and sage leaves, when almost ready throw in the almonds to colour a little. While this happens, spoon out the flesh of the pumpkin and garlic.
Mash about a bit, top with the almonds then eat.






Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Seafood Carbonara Risotto

Nice. Having never made Carbonara this was interesting. In retrospect, I would only have used half the amount of carb sauce and twice the amount of blue cheese. I have written here my amounts for the carbonara sauce, cut it in half if you try this. If you're a carbonara fan, give it a go.

2 cups risotto rice
1 litre chicken stock
1 onion in fine dice
300 gms green prawns, shelled and deveined
10 fresh sea scallops
1/2 cup bubbling wine
1 tbs butter
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 tbs blue cheese
1 tbs cream
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Sliced chilli
1 tbs butter
1/2 tbs porcini oil
2 slices of pancetta cut in batons
1 clove garlic minced
1 whole clove garlic
Parsley stalks
2 tbs minced parsley
1 wedge of lemon

Simmer the chicken stock with the prawn shells and head, lemon wedge and whole garlic clove for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard the solids. Place to stock back on the heat and return to a simmer.
Combine well the Parmesan, blue cheese, eggs, egg yolks, half of the parsley and cream along with some salt and pepper, cover until required.
Sauté the onion with the butter and garlic until soft and translucent in a large, heavy based frying pan. Throw in the rice and toast for a couple of minutes. Deglaze the pan with the bubbles then once almost absorbed spoon in some stock, stir occasionally until reduced. Repeat until you are down to your last 2 ladles. Pour in the last 2 ladles of stock along with the lemon juice, and half of the parsley, stir, remove from the heat and cover for 5 minutes to cool and finish cooking.
Heat the porcini oil, fry the pancetta until crispy, remove and cook the prawns until just tender. Add a little more butter to the pan and when foaming, cook the scallops allow for nice colour on each side. Remove and keep warm.
Stir the carbonara sauce through the risotto, along with half of the pancetta, test for seasoning then spoon into warmed bowls. Top with seafood and pancetta and a sprinkling of chilli. Some more lemon probably wouldn't hurt either.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Chilli Rosemary Oven Fondue

I have been meaning to try this for a while. Straight forward, painless and really great. The flavours can swing as wildly as you like here by using different herbs and spices, citrus rind or inserting something smoky like fried bacon pieces. It is important though that you find a cheese wheel that has a wooden container and is wrapped in foil or grease proof paper or you may find melted plastic which aint cool.

1 small cheese wheel
Garlic slivers
Chilli slices
Rosemary sprigs

Peel back the wrapping from the top of the cheese. Use a small sharp knife to make incisions all over the cheese and insert your flavourings. Re-wrap with the foil and place the wooden lid back on. Place into a 120C preheated oven for 20 minutes or so. Remove and tuck in with biscuits, bread or vegetables.

Garlic Prawn and Lemon Cous Cous with Shaved Fennel

With Mum at work and the boys in bed, this was a super quick supper for the big girl and I. 10 minutes maybe?


1/2 a small fennel bulb in thin slices
200 gms green prawns peeled
1/2 a lemon
1 cup cous cous
1 tbs garlic oil
Salt and pepper
1 handful chives chopped


Add the cous cous to a bowl along with the lemon, cover with boiling water then cover with a tea towel and allow to infuse/cook.
Mix the prawns and garlic oil together. Heat a medium frying pan to medium high then throw in the prawns along with some salt and pepper, toss until just cooked through. Remove the prawns to a clean plate then cook the shaved fennel for a couple of minutes in the garlic oil. Remove from the heat.
Remove the tea towel from the cous cous, squeeze the juice out of lemon and fluff the cous cous with a fork.
Add the cous cous to a clean plate, top with the prawns and fennel and the chopped chives. If necessary add more lemon juice.