Here are a few examples of the sort of food that we will be cooking.

Kimbo’s Chowder

There’s a lot of chopping of vegetables and seafood to produce this ,but it can all be done well before game time.As well as being deliciously rich and seafood sweet,the beauty of this is that you add the seafood and cream on the stroke of half time,and have served seconds by the time the second half kicks off.

Ingredients:
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery –from the inside of the bunch
1 leek,white part only
1 medium onion
2 ears corn
2 Desiree potatoes
2 thick rashers streaky bacon,rind removed.
1 litre fish stock (see recipe below or buy a not too reduced stock from your fish merchant)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon plain flour ,dissolved in 1\2 cup of cold water(whitewash)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup white fish fillets eg:Blue Eye or ling
1 cup green prawn and \ or scallop meat
1\2 cup cream

Slice bacon into thin lardons and brown in the butter in a very large,heavy based pot.Chop all vegetables into a fine dice and add to the bacon,along with the corn kernels removed from the cob and the thyme.Stir to coat in the bacon fat and butter and cook over a gentle heat to slightly soften the vegetables.
Add the fish stock and enough water to completely cover the vegetables.Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 20-30mins.Add the brandy and ‘whitewash’to thicken the soup.Cook for a couple of minutes to lose the raw taste of the flour and cook the alcohol out.Dice the fish as finely as possible and slice the shellfish.Fold through the seafood and cook for just a minute.Finish with the cream but do not allow to boil.Check seasoning.

Beef and beetroot rissoles

Mogens Bay Esbensen taught me the much smarter original version of this dish at an Accoutrement cooking class nearer twenty years ago than ten.The simplified ,down market version has become a family staple.

Ingredients:
1 kilo premium beef mince
2\3 cup finely chopped brown or Spanish onion,softened in a little butter in a pan,then cooled
2\3 cup finely diced fresh cooked beetroot or the sliced canned variety(this is for the footy,not entertaining royalty)
1 tablespoon capers,rinsed and finely chopped-the tiny ones,preserved in salt are better than the big ones in brine from supermarkets
4 egg yolks
Neutral oil like peanut or canola for frying

Thoroughly mix all ingredients except oil in a large bowl with your hands,season well with salt and black pepper.
Roll the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball or walnut.Shallow fry in batches in a heavy based frypan and drain on paper towel.Either eat them immediately or reheat in an ovenproof dish,covered with foil.They can be served with a simple dip of sour light cream,chopped dill,black pepper and a little lemon juice.

Spicy pork tortillas with salsa

You need to prepare the pork the morning of the game and put it into the oven about 4 1\2 hours before kick off.Turn the oven off as the game starts and the meat will be perfect by half time.It’s a dish that costs very little,the only downside is that you’ll still have the little jars of dried spices in your cupboard in 20 years time.

Ingredients:
2-3 kg pork forequarter or shoulder,trimmed of any excess fat and all skin

The Rub
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper,or a little less,to taste
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder

8 –12 tortillas

Salsa
1\2 cup finely chopped red onion
1\2 cup diced tomato flesh-seeds and juice discarded
1\2 cup diced green capsicum
1\2 cup diced peach,mango or nectarine
1 or 2 chillies,in a tiny dice, seeds discarded
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2\3 cup chopped coriander leaves
black pepper to taste

Mix all the dry ingredients in a ceramic dish and rub into the pork.Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 4-24 hours.Place pork in a large pot that has a lid Lightly brown the meat in a little oil then place in the oven ,covered for two hours ,then uncovered for another two hours.When uncovered,baste every 30 mins with the juice that the meat has produced.Rest in the oven for at least 10 minutes before serving.
For the salsa,just mix all the ingredients in a ceramic bowl and refrigerate if making ahead of time.

To serve,warm the tortillas in the oven and offer them with the salsa and the pork lightly shredded off the bone with two forks.Its not pretty but it is delicious.OR,SKIP THE SALSA AND TORTILLAS AND SLICE THE MEAT SERVING IT IN THE POT WITH THE REMAINING JUICES ALONG WITH A RICE SALAD OR SOME SORT OF SPUDS AND A GREEN SALAD.

Baked eggs and onions

This one is definitely a middle of the night or early morning number.Or you could make it in anticipation of the next morning’s hangover.Its seriously rich,and the eggs and onions combination doesn’t neacessarily make you pleasant to be around.But it is a disgustingly filling and yummy dish.About once a year does it for me.

Ingredients:
12 free range eggs
3 medium brown onions ,finely sliced
50gms butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup(approx)milk
A grate of nutmeg
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup (approx)fresh or packaged breadcrumbs

Boil eggs and peel while warm.In a large frypan,slowly cook onions in butter,until light brown but not caramelised-an occasional spoonful of water can help.When the onions are done,add the flour,nutmeg ,parsley and plenty of salt and pepper,stirring for about one minute to cook the flour.Then start adding the milk to make a white sauce that is the consistency of a pouring gravy.Cut the eggs in half and arrange cut side up in a ceramic dish just big enough to hold the eggs.Pour the onion mixture over the eggs and smooth it out. Completely cover the top with breadcrumbs and place in the top part of a hot (220Celcius)oven until the breadcrumbs brown.Serve with sourdough toast. Serves 6.

Lamb with pea and basil sauce

This is a really versatile sauce. It works with salmon, ocean trout of any firm flaked white fish, with chicken or with lean cuts of lamb. You can even serve it cold with cold sliced lamb on a hot day.

Ingredients:
4 racks of 4 lamb cutlets
1 bunch basil leaves, washed (remove all stems)
1 cup peas
White part of 1 small /medium leek
1 tablespoon butter
100 mls cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, each cut into 4 longways
Rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon sugar

Insert a small sharp knife twice into each lamb rack. Fill each cavity with a quarter of a garlic clove and two or three rosemary leaves. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Roast in a hot 200 C oven for ten minutes if the racks have been ‘frenched’ and trimmed of all fat or around 20 minutes if they still have their outside fat layer. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan. Add the leeks and soften but do not colour. Add peas, basil, sugar, salt and pepper and enough water to barely cover the peas. Cook over a medium heat until peas are soft. Puree with a stab blender or in a food processor. Warm through in saucepan and pour in cream, Do not boil. (Serves 4) Serve with potato gratin or boiled potatoes.

Poached peaches with raspberries and mint

Ingredients:
4 Freestone peaches
1 cup sugar
200 gms raspberries
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
16-20 whole fresh mint leaves

Dissolve sugar in 3 cups of water in a saucepan just large enough to hold the peaches. Place peaches in saucepan and top up with water if not completely covered. Bring contents to boil the simmer covered for about 5 minutes until peached are just cooked, not mushy.

Remove peaches and peel while warm. Reserve in refrigerator. Puree half the raspberries and add the puree and the lemon zest to the sugar syrup. Reduce by one third. When cool add the raspberries, mint leaves and peaches. Serve peaches in individual bowls with a little of the raspberry mint syrup. (Serves 4)

Armando's figs and prosciutto with dolce gorgonzola cream sauce

Ingredients:
8 fresh figs
8 thin slices prosciutto
250ml cream- approx
1 large tablespoon dolce (sweet) gorgonzola cheese

Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each fig, securing with a toothpick if necessary. Place figs in a baking dish that’s not to big but so that the figs don’t touch each other.
Pour the cream around the figs and crumble in the gorgonzola.
Bake in a hot 220 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until the prosciutto begins to crisp.
Serve two figs to a plate and spoon over the cream sauce.

Asparagus risotto

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, finely sliced
1 leek (white part only) or brown onion, finely chopped
4 handfuls Arborio rice
Approx 1\2 litre home made chicken stock or 250 mls tetra pack stock and water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2-3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan

In a large, heavy based saucepan, soften onion or leek in one tablespoon of butter. Add the asparagus and stir then add the rice and cook for a minute before adding enough stock to cover the rice and stirring.
Continue to add just enough stock to cover the rice, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente – cooked but still a little firm in the centre of each grain.
Add the parsley and parmesan and stir through before stirring through the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Season with sea salt and black pepper as required.
The final result should be wet and slightly soupy not dry.

Serves four as an entrée.

Baked beetroot with beetroot leaves and goat’s curd and balsamic dressing

This is simply a showcase for just how good fresh beetroot tastes. Do not even consider the canned stuff as a substitute in this dish.

Ingredients:
9 baby beetroot, unpeeled with tops trimmed; reserve the tender inside leaves for the salad
50 gms butter
200 gms goat’s curd or mild, soft goat’s cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
1 rib of celery sliced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut a number of pieces of cooking foil, each large enough to wrap one beetroot. Wrap each beetroot with half a teaspoon of butter and a little salt and pepper in a sheet of foil and place on a baking tray in a 180 degree oven for about 30 mins or until tender. When cool enough to handle, push remaining stalks off and rub skin off. Cut into quarters or halves.
Make the dressing in a bowl by mixing the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the beetroot, celery and washed beetroot leaves. Crumble cheese over the salad and sprinkle the dill over the top.

Basic ragu

Ingredients:
1kg cubed beef, veal or lamb
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 large onion or 1-2 leeks
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 can imported tomatoes
1 piece of orange peel, white pith removed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine

Place the meat in a large plastic bag and add the flour and a teaspoon of salt. Shake to coat the meat.
Heat half the oil in a non stick frypan and brown the meat.
In a large casserole pot, heat the other half of the oil and soften the onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Add the meat and all remaining ingredients.
Add enough water to just cover the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to the gentlest simmer with the lid on, either on top of the stove or in a 120 degree oven for an hour and a half.
Rest for 15 minutes before serving over pasta or with potatoes and green vegetables.

Caramelised onion and rosemary fritatta

Ingredients:
3 large brown onions, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
50 gms butter
2 teaspoons olive oil and 1 extra teaspoon butter
8 free range or organic eggs
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slowly cook the onions and rosemary in the butter in a non stick frypan, about 20 to 25 cm wide until they are sweet and brown.
Beat the eggs with the parmesan, salt and pepper. Add the onions to the eggs and stir. Wipe the frypan clean and add the oil and extra butter. Pour in the egg and onion mixture and cook over the lowest flame until the egg is completely set.
Allow to cool and cut into slices.
NB: You may need to place a lid or cooking foil on the pan for part of the cooking process to help cook the top of the eggs.

All dishes should feed 6 to 8 as part of an antipasto spread.

Fennel risotto

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 fennel bulb, inside core and shoots on top removed, remainder cut into a fine dice
4 good handfuls Italian Arborio rice
1\2 to 1 litre fresh chicken stock; use equal parts stock and water if using a commercial liquid stock
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons Pernod
2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the fennel, softening, but not browning it. Add the rice and cook for one minute, stirring occasionally.
Add enough stock to cover and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue adding stock, stirring every minute or so.
When nearly done (approx 16-18 mins), pour in the Pernod and cook to remove the alcohol. Add the parsley and stir before removing from heat and stirring through the remaining butter and the parmesan. The rice should be slightly ‘al dente’, ie: still be slightly firm and the final result should be wet and soupy rather than dry and solid.

Chicken stock.
Place a chicken, a chopped carrot, a chopped onion, a chopped celery stalk, a bay leaf and 8 whole peppercorns in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 60-90 minutes, skimming ‘scum’ from the top.
Drain and chill. You will be able to remove the fat that solidifies on t6op of the stock once it has chilled.

Italian vegetable and sausage soup

Ingredients:
2 leeks, including the soft green parts, sliced and washed
2 large Desiree potatoes cut in a 1cm dice
1 carrot, sliced
1 stick of celery, sliced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon continental parsley leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 litre home made chicken stock or one tetra pack plus water
3 quality Italian sausages such as Jonathons or AC Butchery

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, soften the vegetables in the oil without colouring them.
Add the chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are cooked but not mushy. The soup should be very thick.
Meanwhile, grill the sausages until just cooked through, then slice and add to the soup.
Serves 4.

Kimbo's (Now Famous) Prawns with Mango Dipping Sauce

Crystal Bay or other quality fresh king prawns ( peeled, leaving last section of tail on)

Sauce
1 mango, flesh only ie: skin and stone discarded
1 large (mild) red chilli, or hotter, to taste, very finely chopped
1\2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lime juice
1\2 cup finely sliced fresh mint leaves

Either blend all ingredients for sauce in a food processor, or better, puree the mango flesh in the food processor and stir other ingredients through, for a more interesting texture.
Serve the prawns with a dipping sauce in a bowl.

Oysters with Gazpacho Dressing

12 fresh oysters

Dressing:
1teaspoon each of very finely diced red onion, red capsicum, cucumber (no skin, no seeds) and tomato flesh
1 tablespoon each of olive oil and sherry vinegar
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
Black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a screw top containter and shake, then chill for 30 minutes. Spoon a little of the dressing on to each oyster and serve.

Poached Peaches in Lemongrass Ginger and Vanilla syrup

Ingredients:
4 freestone peaches
1 vanilla bean, split
2 stalks lemongrass, thick white part only, sliced
4 star anise
1 ‘thumb’ of ginger, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons palm sugar

Place all ingredients except peaches plus about a litre of water in a saucepan large enough to hold the peaches.
Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the peaches, ensuring that they are completely covered by the liquid and simmer covered, for 5-10 minutes or until the flesh can easily be pierced with the point of a knife, but they’re not soft or mushy.
Remove the peaches and cool slightly before peeling. Reduce the liquid by more than half, until it thickens slightly to a syrup. Place the peaches back into the cooled syrup, cover and refrigerate until use.
Serve with vanilla or coconut icecream.

Pork fillet schnitzel with coleslaw

Ingredients:
1 large pork fillet, sliced and flattened
1 or 2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packaged breadcrumbs
Approx. 2 cups vegetable, peanut or canola oil
2 lemons
1\4 cabbage, very finely sliced, thick core removed
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1\2 cup sultanas
1\2 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1-11\2 cups best quality imported mayonnaise

Arrange three bowls in front of you. One with the flour and salt, one with the egg , beaten with a tablespoon of water and the other with the breadcrumbs.
Coat each piece of pork with first flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, before placing them on a plate dusted with a few breadcrumbs.
Fry in a shallow pan of hot oil until golden brown, turning once.
To make the coleslaw, combine the cabbage, carrot, celery and onion in a large bowl. Add the mustard, juice of half a lemon, the sultanas and enough mayo to coat the vegetables without being ‘gluggy’.
Serve with new potatoes and a quarter of lemon to squeeze on the pork.

Serves 4 as a light main course

Prawn cutlets with remoulade

Remoulade.
1\2 cup best quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped capers
1 tablespoon finely chopped gherkins
1 tablespoon finely chopped chervil or tarragon
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cutlets.
12 large green king prawns
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups packaged breadcrumbs

To make remoulade, simply combine all ingredients.
Peel prawns leaving last section of the tail on. Split the backs with a sharp knife, remove the dark digestive tract and flatten the prawns slightly.
Arrange three bowls in front of you.
Mix the flour and salt in one, the eggs with a tablespoon of cold water in the second and the breadcrumbs in the third.
Dip each prawn in the flour, then the egg before thoroughly coating with the breadcrumbs.
Shallow or deep fry the prawns in clean oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt.
Serve with lemon wedges or the remoulade.

Roast lamb rump with pea and basil sauce

Ingredients:
2 lamb rumps
4 clove garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1 leek, white part only, sliced
25 gms butter
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup chicken stock or water
1\2 cup cream

Stud the lamb with slivers of garlic and a couple of rosemary leaves. Bake on a rack in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until done to your liking. Rest for 10 minutes before carving.
In a saucepan, soften the leek in the butter before adding the peas, basil and chicken stock or water.
Bring to the boil then simmer until peas are cooked, about 10 minutes. Puree using a stab blender or food processor and re-heat. Add cream and warm, but do not boil.
Serve sliced lamb with the sauce and mashed or new potatoes.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.\

Seafood salad with lemon vinaigarette

The fish market should determine the make up of this dish. Use whatever is freshest and best from prawns, scallops, squid and shells like pippis or clams.

Ingredients:
12 medium green prawns, peeled, leaving tails on
2 medium or 4 small fresh squid, cleaned and sliced into rings, retaining tentacles
12(buy spares) mussels, ‘beards’ removed
18 pippies or clams
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or dill
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablesppons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, very finely diced
1small red chilli, very finely diced-optional
4 tablespoons dry white wine

Make the dressing in the bowl you are going to serve the dish in by mixing the oil, lemon juice, dill or parsley, garlic and chilli, if using, with a little sea salt and black pepper.
Place the wine in a heavy based saucepan with a lid and bring to the boil. In batches, add the mussels placing the lid back on the saucepan, then other shells and remove with a slotted spoon. Break off the half of the shell with no meat attached and discard.
Place the shells with the meat attached in the dressing.
Put the prawns and squid into the wine mixture which should now be enriched by the juices from the shells. Bring to the boil, placing the lid back on and remove from the heat. The seafood will have cooked in the heat of the pan. Place this seafood along with a couple of tablespoons of the strained cooking liquid into the salad.

Seared salmon potato salad with grain mustard viaigarette

Ingredients:
8 medium new potatoes
24 fresh green beans
16 ripe cherry or grape tomatoes
5-600gms salmon fillets, skin on, bones removed
3 tablespoons finely chopped dill
1 tablespoon grain mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Steam or boil the potatoes until just cooked, halve and reserve. Boil or steam the beans and refresh in a bath of ice water (to stop further cooking and maintain the colour).Halve the tomatoes.
Heat a non-stick frypan and fry the salmon, with no extra oil or butter, until it is very rare. Remove from the pan, but place in a warm place for 15 minutes to rest and cook through.
Make the dressing in a large shallow bowl by mixing the oil, vinegar, mustard, dill, sea salt and black pepper.
Remove the skin from the salmon and break the fish into large chunks, gently mixing it with the vegetables in the dressing.
Serve from this dish or on individual plates.

Serves 4 as a light main course.

Sweet and sour fish, Venetian style

The basis of this recipe is centuries old, when, long prior to Kelvinators, vinegar was used as a means of keeping fish.

Ingredients:
12 fillets of garfish, sand whiting or other small, firm fleshed white fish
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 medium brown onions, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons sultanas, soaked in a little white wine
1\2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 1\2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Season fish fillets and fry in a non stick pan in one tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange fish on a serving plate in one layer.
Add another spoonful of oil to the pan and gently cook the onions until soft and golden, not too brown or caramelised.
Cool the onions slightly, then add the pine nuts, sultanas, parsley, oil and vinegar. Spoon this mixture over the fish.
Serve at room temperature. The final result should be a balance between the (sweet) sultanas and (sour) vinegar along with the natural saltiness of the fish.

Tuna with tapenade and beans

Ingredients:
4 tuna steaks, I-2 cm thick, brought back to room temperature
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 anchovies
6 basil leaves
1 cup pitted black olives
extra virgin olive oil
green beans

In a food processor, mix garlic, anchovies, basil and olives with enogh olive oil to make a thick, smooth paste.
Heat a large frypan to very hot and add a little oil. Fry tuna for a minute on either side, leaving the centre very rare.
Place tuna on a plate beside steamed or boiled beans. Top the tuna with a spoonful of tapenade and another drizzle of oil.

Vitello Tonnato

The ‘proper’ way to make this classic dish is to gently poach a piece of veal in a well flavoured vegetable stock. Kimbo’s short cut means using the expensive and hard to find veal fillets, but turns it into a very simple dish.

Ingredients:
2 whole veal fillets-make sure that you are getting veal, not older meat, and that it is really the fillet
200 gms best quality canned tuna in oil
1 1\2 tablespoons tiny capers in salt ( not the big, mushy ones in brine), rinsed and roughly chopped
6 -8 anchovy fillets
11\2-2 cups home made or best quality imported mayonnaise (alternatively, Neil Perry’s brand at Woolies and Fratelli Fresh’s are excellent)
pinch white pepper,
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Coat the veal in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake on a rack in a 200 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until pink, not blue. Allow to cool.
Make the dressing by placing all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and turning into a smooth sauce. Add a teaspoon or two of water if the sauce is too thick.
Thinly slice the veal and arrange in a single layer on a platter and completely cover with the sauce.

Warm fruit salad

Ingredients:
2 cups 3cm x 2 cm pineapple pieces
2 bananas in 2 cm slices
1 1\2 cups orange flesh in 2 cm pieces
1 1\2 cups medium strawberries- whole
50 gms butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Dark rum- to taste

Ice cream to serve

Have everything at your fingertips because this dish all happens in a minute.
Heat a large frypan or baking tray on your barbecue. Throw the butter in and the fruit in as the butter starts to melt, as you don’t want to burn it.
Fry the fruit for about 30 seconds to a minute- it should be heated through and caramelizing on the outside but not going mushy. Sprinkle over brown sugar and gently stir.
Finally, add a slug of rum and cook for ten seconds to evaporate the alcohol.
Serve with ice cream, spooning over the juices from the pan.

Salmon with Sorrel Butter Sauce

This is a moveable feast recipe. You can use salmon or any sweet white fish fillet, like blue eye or john dory. And you can flavour the butter sauce with any herb you like; dill will work well, so will basil.
There’s something quite sexy about the texture of warm, meltingly tender salmon, the slight bitterness of the sorrel balances its sweetness nicely.

Ingredients:
4 portions of salmon from the thick part of the fillet
2 eschallots (the little ones that look like they’re wrapped in brown paper, not spring onions)
1 cup white wine
½ cup white wine vinegar
100 grams cold butter, chopped into pieces
steamed potatoes and snowpeas to serve
½ bunch sorrell cut into a chiffonade (like ribbons) across the leaves

Peel and chop the eschallots. Place in a small saucepan with the wine and vinegar. Reduce slowly until only 3-4 tablespoons of liquid remain. Strain through a fine sieve into another small saucepan.

Heat a large non stick frypan (you may need two to fit the fish) until hot. Do not add any oil or butter. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and place it in pan skin side down and cook for 90 seconds. Turn and cook the other side for one minute. The centre should still be quite raw. Remove fish to a warm plate and cover with a tea towel or loose foil for five minutes. The heat in the outside of the fish will move to the centre, continuing the cooking process.

Warm the remaining tablespoons of reduced wine/vinegar, as soon as it boils add the sorrell, stirring constantly to break up or ‘melt’ the leaves. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted. Pour sauce over fish and serve with steamed potatoes and snow peas.

For vanilla butter sauce (delicious on steamed prawns, lobster, salmon or white fish) add a split vanilla bean to the eshallots wine and vinegar mixture and delete the sorrell.

Baked Chicken with Potatoes and Rosemary (Serves 4)

This is a great one dish wonder recipe, which is also a handy school night staple to have in your repertoire. You need five minutes to throw it all together, ideally, half an hour for it to marinate (perfect drinking time), then about forty five minutes in the oven. The latter being around the time it takes for a half of soccer, league or rugby, including injury time.

Ingrediants:
1 free range or organic chicken cut into 8 pieces (get your butcher to do it)
2-3 large desiree potatoes, peeled and cut in 3 cm chunks
4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 small or 1\2 large fennel bulb, cored and roughly chopped (optional)
1\2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1\2-3\4 cup dry white wine
1\2 cup grated parmesan
2 teaspoons sea salt
1\2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place chicken, potatoes and fennel in a large flat ceramic bowl and add all the other ingredients, stirring to coat.
Allow to marinate for about half an hour before placing the dish in a 200 degree C oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. The oil and wine should have been absorbed by the chicken and vegetables, but the top should be nicely browned.
Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.

Beef and Beetroor Rissoles

Ground breaking chef Mogens Bay Esbensen taught me the much smarter original version of this dish at an Accoutrement cooking class nearer twenty years ago than ten He made large patties, fried them in butter and topped them with a veal glaze. The simplified, down market version has become a family staple. A kilo of mince goes a long way, but you can make even more, they’re delicious straight from the fridge for days.

Ingredients:
1 kilo premium beef mince
2\3 cup finely chopped brown or Spanish onion, softened, not browned, in a little butter in a pan, then cooled
2\3 cup finely diced fresh cooked beetroot or the sliced canned variety (this is for the footy, not entertaining royalty)
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and finely chopped-the tiny ones, preserved in salt are better than the big ones in brine from supermarkets
4 egg yolks
Neutral oil like peanut or canola for frying

Thoroughly mix all ingredients except oil in a large bowl with your hands, season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Roll the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball or walnut. Shallow fry in batches in a heavy based frypan and drain on paper towel.
They can be served with a simple dip of sour light cream, chopped dill, black pepper and a little lemon juice.

Blue Eye With Herb Butter

Some herb butter is a very handy thing to have in the freezer. It jazzes up a plain piece of steak or fish or bland chicken, whether you barbecue, grill or pan fry them.

Ingredients:
4 thick pieces of Blue eye cod or other large firm fleshed fish, cut across the fillet.
250 gms butter-softened
2 tablespoons each of finely chopped parley, basil, chives and coriander
1\2 teaspoon tomato paste
3 or 4 drops of fish sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients other than the fish in a bowl or food processor and mix well. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a sausage shape. Chill .
Heat the barbecue to medium hot and oil lightly .Cook the fish until firm to the touch but not hard. Cover loosely with foil and rest somewhere warm for a couple of minutes. Place the fish on a warm plate and top with a slice of the herb butter.(Leftover butter can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Bread And Tomato Salad

I made this for my very old mate, dirty Lizzy once as part of a slap up dinner for our families. The salad is tomatoes, bread and basil, plus oil and balsamic. That’s three ingredients really, five with the dressing and I refuse to count salt and pepper.
I told Liz the recipe and she rang me four times to check the ingredients. Sheesh!

Ingredients:
4 fabulous ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 day old Italian rosetta roll, or similar, cut into cubes
About 20 basil leaves, roughly torn
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix the bread, tomatoes and basil in a bowl and add all other ingredients, mixing well. Add more oil and vinegar if the bread isn’t completely coated.
Serve as a simple entrée, before pasta or a grill.

‘Crying’ Lamb With Spring Vegetables

The chicken rotisserie stalls of St Tropez gave me the idea for this dish. A dozen chickens rotate in rows over a bed of Provencale vegetables plus grapes and olives, all the lovely cooking juices dripping down and flavouring what’s underneath.
It works just fine with a really good chook, but I prefer it with a young leg of lamb, brilliant spring vegetables and plenty of fresh herbs at the last minute.

Ingredients:

1 small leg of lamb
4 cloves garlic, peeled, 2 finely sliced, 2 cut into matchsticks
2 sprigs rosemary
1 red and 1 green capsicum, seeded, white membrane removed
2 medium red onions
6 ripe roma tomatoes
1 small eggplant
4 medium or 2 large zucchini
20 Nicoise olives
20 basil leaves, torn
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 new potatoes, optional

Make about eight 2 cm deep incisions in the top of the lamb leg, and force about four rosemary leaves and a garlic matchstick into each. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Chop all vegetables into pieces around 3cm, and place with the remaining garlic, olives and two tablespoons of oil at the base of a large non stick roasting dish, ideally with a rack. Place the lamb on the rack and roast in a 200 degrees oven for about an hour.
Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil for about twenty minutes. Stir basil and parsley and remaining oil through vegetables while you carve the lamb.
Spoon plenty of the vegetables and cooking juices onto warm plates, and serve lamb on top.

Shells In White Wine And Garlic

You can do this with pasta or without. Personally, I prefer it sans pasta, just with crusty bread and lots of crisp young reisling or semillon. It is such a wonderfully easy but delicious dish.

Ingredients:
750gms small black mussels-never those big Kiwi things
750 gms vongole
750 gms pippies
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1\2 cup white wine
1\2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Discard any open mussels and pull out ‘beards’. Cook pasta in lots of salted water. When pasta has about 3 minutes head start, heat a pot large enough to hold the shells and the spaghetti. Add the oil, then the garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, throw in all the shells and the wine. Cover and leave to boil for two minutes. Give the shells a gentle stir, adding the parsley and some black pepper. Cover again until all the shells have opened-turn the heat off at this point to prevent overcooking. Drain the spaghetti and pour into the pot of seafood and mix through.
Serves 6 as an entrée, 4 as a main. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad as a main.

Chilli

There are a million different chilli recipes. This particular version started with my friend Jill Dupleix’s recipe, from her terrific book, New Food. I prefer to use plain old red kidney beans than her black eyed turtle beans, and I’ve added tomato paste for richness and upped the amount of herbs. With this amount of beans and onions, chilli is serious fart food. But if you’re watching the footy with the boys, farting is hysterically funny, as we all know.

Ingredients:
200 grams red kidney beans, soaked in cold water for 6 hours or overnight
2-3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
2 medium-large onions, finely chopped
1 large, (very) red capsicum, finely diced
500 grams minced beef
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1 teaspoon chilli powder, more to your taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1\2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, more to your taste
500 grams Italian canned tomatoes, broken up
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3-400 ml beef stock, tetra pack stuff is ok, just
1 tablespoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Dry crackers to serve

Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot and gently soften the garlic and onions and capsicum over a low heat.
Add the meat and dry spices and increase the heat, stirring until the meat changes colour.
Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, beef stock, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Drain the beans and pour into the pot, adding enough water to cover if necessary.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1-1 1\2 hours, or until the beans are cooked but not mushy.
Taste for seasoning and add the parsley.
Ladle into bowls and serve with dry crackers to crumble in and extra Tabasco for the heat freaks.

21st Century Garlic Prawns

Old fashioned garlic prawns were usually soggy frozen things drowning in a greasy pool of oil.
This version uses fresh prawns and a garlicky butter livened up with fresh herbs.

Ingredients:
16 large, or 24 medium green prawns, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely sliced
4 teaspoons butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
About 40 leaves oregano
1\2 cup finely shredded flat leaf parsley
1\2 cup finely chopped chives

Divide all ingredients between four small ovenproof dishes.
Place in a screaming hot oven until prawns begin to change colour, just a couple of minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

Ayam Chinta-Chinta Ria’s Fried Chicken

6 boned chicken thighs
1 tblspn malay curry powder
1tsp tumeric
1tsp five spice powder
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp sugar
1\2 tsp salt
1\2 tblspn oyster sauce
1\2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1tspn sesame oil
1 lemon-quartered

Combine all ingredients except lemon and marinate, covered, in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Fry the chicken in vegetable or peanut oil in a frypan until golden brown and cooked through, and serve with steamed rice, Chinese greens topped with a little oyster sauce or soy and squeeze the lemon over the chicken.

Blue Swimmer Crabs Stir Fried with Ginger, Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime

This is a much lighter, more aromatic alternative to traditional chilli crab with its chilli sauce, tomato sauce and cornflour ingredients.

Ingredients:

6 heavy uncooked blue swimmer crabs, cleaned and cut into six, claws cracked
2 tablespoons peanut, canola or vegetable oil
2 sticks lemongrass, thick end only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ‘thumb’ young ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
10 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 approx 8cm red chilli, seeds removed, sliced, or more to taste
1\2 cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1\2 teaspoon sugar

Heat a large wok over very high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime leaves, chilli and crab pieces.
Stir to coat the crab in the other ingredients and to prevent them from burning.
Add the water salt and sugar and cover the wok with a lid, shaking occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, making sure that the crab pieces cook evenly.
Serve in shallow bowls, spooning over juices with boiled rice or baguette slices to accompany.
Serves 4.

Carpaccio of Fish with a Citrus Dressing

Ingredients:
200 grams in total of sashimi quality tuna, salmon, swordfish or kingfish
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablepoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
Approx 20 oregano leaves or 8 chives, finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to season.

Place the fish in the freezer for about fifteen minutes, until it is firm, but not frozen hard.
Slice the fish as finely as possible and arrange on plates.
Mix the oil, lemon and lime juices, salt and pepper and spoon over the fish, covering every part of it. Allow to stand for five minutes.
Sprinkle fresh herbs over the top of the plates and serve.

Serves 4 as a light entrée.

Guacomole

Most times that you see this dish it’s a sanitized, bland bowl of nothing. Spice it up!
A good guacamole should have enough oomph to make you want to drink more beer – rarely a bad thing. We can’t get the right Mexican chillies fresh here, but better to get the fruit flavour of fresh chillies than dried imports.

2 large ripe avocados, peeled, stone removed
1 medium red onion, very finely chopped
2 large red or green chillies, try jalapenos if you can find them, seeded and finely chopped, or to taste
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into 1\2 cm squares
Juice of 1 lime
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Sea salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve with plain corn chips and plenty of cold beer.

Hingara's Pork Chops in BBQ Sauce

I ate at a humble little restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown called the Hingara just about every week for twenty nine years, until it changed hands in 2000.
It saw me through first dates as a callow teenager, hundreds of family dinners and at least a thousand hangovers as a callow adult.
All that you need for this slightly spicy dish is a couple of jars of sauces and some rice wine from an Asian supermarket and some thin cut pork chops from an Asian butcher.

Ingredients:
250 g pork chops (ideally from an Asian butcher), sliced about 1 cm thick, chopped into 2 or 3 cm pieces
1\2 teaspoon salt
1\2 teaspoon sugar
1\2 teaspoon five spice powder
Pinch bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese BBQ sauce
4 tablespoons plum sauce
About a cup of vegetable, peanut, safflower or canola oil

Marinate the pork chops overnight or at least for two hours in the fridge in a mixture of the salt, sugar, five spice, bicarb of soda and rice wine.
Deep fry the pork until golden brown in the oil in a wok or large pan. Drain the pork and return to the pan along with the three sauces, stirring for one minute.
Serve with steamed rice and Asian greens.

Hokien Noodles with BBQ Pork and Prawns

Not really junk food, except it feels like take away.
The truth is that a noodle stir fry can be a well planned dish or something you throw together with whatever is in the house. You could throw in chicken, pork, prawns, Chinese sausage or BBQ pork and any sort of Asian vegetables. Fresh hokien noodles are available from Asian supermarkets and a lot of their western counterparts these days. I like them because they don’t need soaking or pre cooking; just straight in the wok. You’ll find that their volume is deceptive, one packet makes a truckload.

1 cup thin sliced BBQ pork
1 Chinese lupchong sausage
12 medium green prawns- frozen are ok for this, just thaw them in water
1/2 cup spring onions, white and pale green part only, cut in 2cm lengths
2 choy sum, washed and cut into individual leaves?
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 small piece ginger, just the size of the last joint of your thumb, peeled and finely sliced
1 small packet fresh hokien noodles, loosened
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/ 2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 red chilli. Seeded and sliced- optional
1 tablespoon vegetable, peanut or sunflower oil

Heat a wok and add the oil, then the prawns, sausage, BBQ pork, spring onions, garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally. When the prawns begin to change colour, add the choy sum, chilli if using, and then the noodles. Stir to heat the noodles and add the oyster and fish sauce.

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:
1\2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1\2 cup very hot water for 10 mins
1 1\2 cups coarsely chopped Portobello or field mushrooms
4 large handfuls Carnaroli, Vialone or Arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 small clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 leek, white part only, or 1 small onion, finely chopped.
1 cup tetra pack chicken stock or 2 cups home made
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt one tablespoon of the butter and add the leek or onion and the garlic, cooking to soften but not colour. Drain the porcinis, reserving the water. Add the porcinis, Portobello or field mushrooms and the rice and stir to coat in the butter for a minute or two.
Add the water from the porcinis, leaving behind any sediment, along with enough stock to completely cover the rice mixture, then simmer, stirring every minute or so. Continue to add stock or water and stirring for about 16 minutes, until the rice is cooked but still al dente.
Remove from the heat and add the parsley, cheese and remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately. The final result should be wet, slightly soupy, not dry.
Serves 4 as an entrée.

Osso Buco Braised in Balsamic Vinegar

I had a wonderful dish of veal cheeks slow cooked in balsamic vinegar in San Francisco years ago. The vinegar cut right through the richness of the meat. Veal or beef cheeks are fine for this, but veal shin- even with real veal, is a bloody sight easier to find.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 golden eschallots, peeled
8 x 3cm thick pieces of veal shank
3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
120 ml good quality balsamic vinegar
400ml veal stock, available from good delis, butchers and specialty stores or make your own and freeze it
1 bunch fresh thyme and 1 stick cinnamon, wrapped in muslin and secured with non plastic twine

To serve:
12 baby carrots
1 cup fresh, shelled peas
Mashed potatoes or celeriac

Pre-heat the oven to 120 degrees C. Heat the oil in a large oven proof pot that has a lid, ideally big enough to accommodate the meat in a single layer.
Sear the eschallots and veal until browned all over. Add the garlic, balsamic, stock and thyme and cinnamon. Bring the liquid to the boil and cover the pot, transferring it to the oven. Bake for three hours or until the veal is very tender.
To serve: Boil or steam carrots and peas until just cooked, strain and distribute between four large coupes along with a spoonful of mash. Arrange two pieces of veal over the mash on each plate and spoon over about half a cup of the strained cooking juices on each.

Penne with Capsicum and Italian Pork Sausage

Ingredients:
1 AC Butchery Italian sausage, meat removed from skin
1 red capsicum, seeds and pith removed, cut into 2cm pieces
1\2 yellow capsicum, as above
1\2 brown onion, cut into 2cm pieces
1 ripe tomato, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced
8-10 basil leaves, finely sliced
1\2 cup in all, extra virgin olive oil

Poached Peaches in Lemongrass, Ginger and Vanilla Syrup

4 freestone peaches
1 vanilla bean, split
2 stalks lemongrass, thick white part only, sliced
4 star anise
1 ‘thumb’ of ginger, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons palm sugar

Place all ingredients except peaches plus about a litre of water in a saucepan large enough to hold the peaches.
Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the peaches, ensuring that they are completely covered by the liquid and simmer covered, for 5-10 minutes or until the flesh can easily be pierced with the point of a knife, but they’re not soft or mushy.
Remove the peaches and cool slightly before peeling. Reduce the liquid by more than half, until it thickens slightly to a syrup. Place the peaches back into the cooled syrup, cover and refrigerate until use.
Serve with vanilla or coconut icecream.

Potato and Celeriac Gratin

Do not tell you doctor about this. You can feel it clogging your arteries before you swallow it. It’s a very versatile side dish and works especially well with red meat and re heats pretty well too.

Ingredients:

4 medium desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ cm matchsticks
100 gm butter
1 bulb celeriac, peeled and cut like the potatoes
200 mls cream
Lots of sea salt and black pepper

Melt butter in a large saucepan, add celeriac, potatoes, salt and pepper and cook quickly over high heat to colour the vegetables a little.
Transfer to ceramic baking dish and pour over cream. Bake in a medium 160 C oven for 25 minutes or until potatoes are cooked and the top is golden.

Serve with heart pills.

Scallops with Jerulsalem Artichoke, Pancetta and Oregano

Go crazy and buy a dozen Chinese soup spoons for a dollar or so each to present this great mouthful of rich flavours to your guests before they sit down.

Ingredients:
12 fresh scallops, preferably the meaty roe free type from Queensland
250gms Jerusalem artichokes or celeriac or potato
1\2 cup chopped white of leek
200 mls chicken stock
12x two cm square, thin slices of pancetta
1 bunch oregano or marjoram

Peel and roughly chop the Jerusalem artichokes into even pieces. Cook with the leeks in enough chicken stock to just cover, Bring to boil then simmer gently until cooked; cool and puree with a stab blender. You should have a thick puree. Season to taste.
Trim scallops of the hard bit that attaches them to their shell, season them and sear them on a screaming hot pan or grill plate with just a little butter and olive oil. Don’t crowd too many scallops on at once or they will boil in the juices that they release. Grill or fry the pancetta until crisp.
Re-heat the puree and place a teaspoon on Chinese soup spoons, position a scallop on top and garnish with the pancetta and a couple of oregano or marjoram leaves.

Stir Fried Pork with Bean Sauce and Fresh Herbs

This is another recipe that’s seen some evolution. A dozen years ago, I found a terrific recipe from the innovative Chinese chef Ken Hom. It combined green king prawns with what seemed like too many fresh herbs, but never was, and Chinese bean sauce, which is one of the squillion fabulous thing you find in Asian supermarkets for about $2.
The recipe was adapted in the Terakes household to substitute thin sliced pork fillet for the prawns, then trying it with pork mince and finally, adding some asparagus for a contrasting, slightly crunchy texture.
I serve it with steamed rice as a standard school night meal because it takes less time to make than the rice does to cook. But I deliberately make much too much, because the saltiness of the bean sauce makes it delicious the next day, cold- though better half an hour out of the fridge, if you can wait.

Ingredients:
1\2 - 3\4 kg pork fillet, finely sliced or pork mince from an Asian butcher-this makes plenty of leftovers
1 tablespoon vegetable, peanut or canola oil
2 tablespoons bean paste, often called bean sauce
1 bunch asparagus, tender parts only, cut into 1 cm pieces
1 cup basil leaves, finely sliced
1 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup finely chopped spring onions-white part only

Heat a wok and add the oil then the pork and stir until it begins to colour. Add all other ingredients and stir until the meat is cooked. Transfer to a large bowl and serve with boiled rice.

Beef carpaccio with spring onion, ginger and sesame seed ‘jam’

Ingredients;
200 grams beef fillet
Marinade:
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1\2 teaspoon sugar
Dressing:
4 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Jam:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1\2 cup finely sliced spring onions-white and pale green parts only
1\2 cup peeled and very finely sliced ginger- try cutting into fine ‘matchsticks’
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1\2 teaspoon finely chopped chill(optional)

Cut the beef lengthways into pieces approx. 3 cm x 2 cm. Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the beef for between 1 and 2 hours in the fridge.
Heat a non-stick frying pan to very hot and sear each piece of meat on all sides, leaving the centre completely raw. Allow to cool, then refrigerate,
Make the jam by combining the peanut oil, ginger, spring onions and sesame seeds in a small saucepan over a low heat and cooking until the ginger and spring onions are soft. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir through the soy and sesame oil.

To serve, finely slice the beef and arrange it on a flat plate just big enough for all the slices without overlapping. Stir the dressing ingredients and sprinkle it over every piece of beef. Place a pile of the jam in a corner of the plate or serve separately.

Serve with a bowl of pappadams or prawn crackers

Serves 4 as a light entrée.

Braised Pork short ribs with a fragrant salad

Braising liquid:
1 litre water
100ml light soy sauce
200 ml mirin
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
100 grams yellow rock sugar
1 stick lemongrass, sliced
2 whole star anise

Salad:
1 cup mint leaves
1 red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
1 cup coriander leaves
1 endive, sliced crossways
A piece of young ginger 2cm x 1 cm, peeled and cut into very fine strips
1\4 medium red onion, sliced as finely as possible

Dressing:
1 teaspoon light Soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1\2 teaspoon sugar

Place the braising liquid ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the pork. Cover and simmer gently for ninety minutes.
NB: You can serve the dish immediately or cool and refrigerate, removing the thin layer of white fat that will form, then gently reheating.
Thoroughly mix dressing ingredients in a large bowl and toss through salad ingredients.
Serve the pork in shallow bowls with some of the braising liquid and a little of the salad on top or in separate bowls.

Serve with boiled rice.
Serves 4.

Celeriac Soup with Pancetta and Gorgonzola

Ingredients:

1 large bulb celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 cup tetra pack chicken stock
1 small leek, white part only, sliced
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons cream.
1 heaped tablespoon dolce gorgonzola
4 very thin slices pancetta (not the spicy one), grilled or fried crispy and crumbled.

In a large saucepan, soften the leek in the butter but do not brown. Add the celeriac and cover with the chicken stock and water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the celeriac is cooked, approx 20 minutes.
Puree with a stab blender and stir through cream and cheese. Add a little water if the soup is too thick and check seasoning.
Ladle into bowls and top with crispy pancetta to serve.

Serves 4 as an entrée.

Chicken and exotic mushroom san choi bau

Ingredients:

200 grams chicken mince

Marinade for chicken:
1\2 teaspoon each of sugar, salt and light soy sauce

1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1\2 cup finely sliced spring onions-white and pale green parts only
250 grams mixed exotic mushrooms such as enoki, wood fungus, sejimi, shitake and oyster-sliced
50 grams bamboo shoots, chopped
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauice
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
8 leaves of iceberg lettuce, trimmed into circles and chilled

Marinate chicken mince for one hour.
Heat wok and add oil. When hot add the chicken, spring onions and garlic. As the chicken colours, add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots, stirring for thirty seconds-try not to overcook the mushrooms. Finally, stir through the oyster, hoisin and soy sauces, mixing thoroughly.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at the table with the lettuce leaves.
Note: you may wish to allow the cooked mixture to cool just a little to make it easier to eat.

Serves 4 as an entrée.

Duck and Pea Casserole

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1\2 kg streaky bacon, speck or pancetta, cut into thick lardons
6 duck marylands- available from AC Butchery
18 small pickling onions or red schallots, peeled
2 cups shelled fresh peas
1 heaped tablespoon flour
2 cups water
Bouquet garni made from bay leaf, parsley stalks and thyme

Heat a large casserole, add the butter and brown the lardons until crisp and golden. Remove and replace with the onions, browning on all sides. Remove the onions and brown the duck marylands on both sides. Remove and reserve.
Add the flour to the fat in the pan and stir constantly until it begins to brown. Pour in the water, then return the bacon, onions, duck and the peas to the pot, shoving the bouquet garni under the liquid. Season with salt and pepper and place a lid on the pot.
Place in a pre heated 150 degree oven for two hours or gently simmer on top of the stove.
Discard the bouquet garni and serve one maryland per portion with the vegetables and cooking juices along side some mashed potatoes.

Serves six as a small but rich main course.

Gruyere, Caraway and Thyme Bread and Butter Pudding

Ingredients:
100 gms approx butter, slightly softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
1\2 kg brown onions, peeled and sliced
1 large baguette, thinly sliced
400 gms Heidi gruyere, coarsely grated
1 bunch thyme, leaves removed
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
6 free range or organic eggs
700 ml milk
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Grease a baking dish with a little butter. Gently cook the onions in a frying pan in the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter, until soft and golden brown- do not allow to burn or go crisp.
Butter the bread with the remaining butter. Depending on the size of the pan, layer the bread, then the onions, the cheese, then the thyme caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Repeat so that you have two or three complete layers, ending up with onions and cheese on top.
Beat the eggs and milk together and pour carefully over the pudding.
Place in a 180 degree oven for30-40 minutes, until the’custard is set and the top is golden brown.

Serve with a green salad.
Serves six as a light lunch.

Lamb cutlets with hoisin sauce

Ingredients:
8 plump lamb cutlets, ‘restaurant cut’, with most fat removed.
Marinade:
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons peanut, canola or vegetable oil
4 cups fresh bean sprouts
1\2 cup finely chopped spring onions-dark green part only
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add the lamb, stirring to coat all the meat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
Bring the meat back to room temperature by removing from the fridge half an hour before cooking.
Grill, char grill, BBQ or pan fry the lamb until medium rare and place in a bowl to rest while you cook the vegetables.
Heat a wok to very hot, then add the oil. When the oil is hot add the ginger, garlic, bean sprouts and spring onion. Stir for thirty seconds then add the hoisin sauce and stir for another thirty seconds.
Arrange the vegetables on four plates and place two cutlets on each, pouring over any juices from resting the meat.

Serves four as a light main course or part of a banquet.

Lamb Shanks Cooked in Tomatoes, Oregano and White Beans

This is a feed! Lamb shanks and white beans- you won’t be running any marathons immediately afterwards.

8 lamb shanks
6 tablespoons olive oil.
2 cans good imported Italian tomatoes
1 1\2 cups dried cannelini beans
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
4 anchovies- optional
1 cup dry white wine
1 piece lemon peel 2cmx3 cm, white pith removed
2 leeks, white part only or 2 onions sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 dozen black olives

Place white beans in a large bowl and fill to the top with water. Leave overnight or all day.
Season the shanks with sea salt and black pepper and brown them in batches in the half the olive oil in the large pot that will hold them all standing up. Remove to a bowl.
Re- heat the pot and add the remaining olive oil, the leeks, celery, garlic and anchovies if using and soften, but don’t brown. Return the lamb to the dish along with the white beans, tomatoes, wine, lemon peel and oregano. Barely cover with water, and bring to the boil. Immediately transfer to a slow 150 degree oven and cook, lid on for 1\2 – 2 hours until lamb is very tender, checking after an hour that there is still enough liquid and that it is simmering, not boiling rapidly.
Remove from heat and add the olive and remove the lemon. Allow to rest for twenty minutes and simply ladle into large, shallow bowls



Poached peaches in berry soup

This old Serge Dansereau dessert looks spectacular and has been my traditional celebration of summer berries and stone fruit ever since I first found it in the long gone Epicure magazine back in 1985. While it looks a million dollars, it costs nearly as much, but it is the sort of dessert that your guests will remember for a long time.
Over the years I’ve added the mint and changed the berries around to suit.

Ingredients:

4 freestone peaches
150 gms raspberries
50 gms blueberries
50 gms  strawberries, halved or quartered
50 gms red currants , available right on Christmas
50 gms orange segments, no skin or pith
10 gms grapefruit zest, finely shredded, white pith removed
1\2 cup finely shredded mint

Poaching liquid:
300 gms water
400 gms sugar
Juice of one lemon

Boil the syrup ingredients together for ten minutes.
Gently poach(simmer in a saucepan with a lid) the peaches in the syrup until they’re just tender, 5-10 minutes, ensuring that the peaches are completely covered by the syrup.
Remove the peaches and peel as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.
Add 100 gms of the raspberries, pureed with a stab blender to the syrup and reduce by one third over a high heat. Remove from heat and add remaining berries and grapefruit zest. When completely cool, add the peaches, orange segments and mint.
Ladle a peach and a quarter of the syrup and berries into four shallow bowls.


Six hour lamb salad

Really slow cooked dry rubbed lamb is delicious with baked vegetables, but lighter and just as yummy with a salad. You could go more middle eastern with harissa, labna (drained yoghurt, but sounds really dirty, doesn’t it?) pomegranate molasses and mint or the nice simple salad below.

Ingredients:
1 good size lamb shoulder (around 1.5 kg)
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
1 1\2 teaspoons ground cumin
Approx 600 grams butternut pumpkin cut in 1cm slices, roasted until golden
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved, sprinkled with thyme and salt and slowly roasted
1 bunch beetroot, each bulb wrapped in foil with salt and pepper and roasted until just cooked. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off- gloves are a good idea
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 bag baby rocket
1\2 cup toasted pine nuts
1\2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1\4 cup good balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Mix the celery salt, coriander and cumin and rub all over the lamb. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.
Place the lamb on a rack in a baking dish with 2 cups of water in the base and cover loosely with foil. Cook for up to six hours in a 130 degree oven, the last hour with the foil removed.
Allow the meat to rest, loosely covered with foil for twenty minutes.
Arrange the rocket on a platter and top with the pumpkin, onion and beetroot. Roughly shred the lamb with two forks and place on top of the salad. Top with tomatoes and the pine nuts. Mix olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper and pour over the salad.

Serves 4 to 6.



BBQ AMERICAN STYLE RIBS.

The problem with ribs is that they need slow cooking, either roasting or braising in liquid, before they're finished on the barbecue.

Ingredients:
4 whole racks of American style pork ribs

Marinade:
1 tablespoon Masterfoods paprika
1\2 teaspoon Masterfoods cayenne pepper
1\2 teaspoon Masterfoods red chilli flakes
1\4 teaspoon Masterfoods garlic powder
1\4 teaspoon Masterfoods onion powder
1\2 teaspoon Masterfoods celery salt
1 teaspoon salt
1\2 teaspoon black pepper
1\2 cup lemon juice
1\2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1\2 cups cider vinegar

Sauce:
2 cups tomato ketchup
1\2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1\4 teaspoon Masterfoods cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1\3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Masterfoods dry mustard

Mix marinade ingredients and place with ribs in a baking dish in refrigerator for between six and twelve hours. Pour excess marinade into a bowl and reserve. Place ribs in a 180 degree oven for two hours, basting every half hour with reserved marinade. Allow ribs to cool. This can be done the morning of the barbecue or even the day before. To make the sauce, place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for five minutes. Keep the sauce warm. Heat your barbecue to very hot and brown the ribs on both sides. Cover the ribs with sauce and cook for a few minutes more each side. Serve the ribs with remaining sauce spooned over.

Serves four hungry people.



BEEF FILLET WITH VICHYSOISSE PUREE

Ingredients:
1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
2 medium Pontiac or desiree potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
100 ml tetra pack chicken stock, plus water, or 2-300 ml home made stock
2 teaspoons butter, plus a tablespoon
2 tablespoons cream
2 x 3 cm thick pieces best beef eye fillet
2 thin slices prosciutto
Enough broccoli, asparagus, snow peas or beans for two
1 dozen 5 cm pieces of fresh chive

Wrap the steaks in a slice of prosciutto, securing with a toothpick if necessary and reserve. NB Steaks should be at room temperature when cooking. Melt one teaspoon of butter in a small flat bottomed saucepan and gently coat the leeks and potatoes. Do not brown add just enough chicken stock and water to cover the vegetables and simmer with the lid on the saucepan for about fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Remove from heat and puree with a wand mixer, making sure all lumps are removed; replace lid and put to one side. Season the fillets with plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
Heat a frypan and when hot, add a teaspoon of butter and a drizzle of oil and the two steaks. Cook for a couple of minutes either side or to your taste. Transfer the steaks to a bowl and allow to rest in a warm place for five minutes. This is the time to be cooking the green vegetables and heating the serving plates.
Gently re-heat the vichysoisse puree and stir through the tablespoon of butter and cream, but do not boil. The result should be silky, smooth and thick. Place a big dollop in the middle of each plate and place a steak on top of each. Pour the juices that have come from resting the steak back in to the pan the steak cooked in and stir to incorporate any juices from the bottom of the pan. Spoon over each steak and top with the chives. Serve green vegetables separately.



BLUEBERRY HOTCAKES WITH BACON AND MAPLE SYRUP

OK, I know it sounds disgusting, but you're hardly going to have it every morning. And it is delicious –in a disgusting sort of way. Substitute cooked fresh corn or raspberries for the blueberries, or leave the hotcakes plain.

Ingredients:
1 punnet blueberries
3 eggs- separated
120 g plain flour, sifted
150 mls milk
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
6 bacon rashers
A little butter for frying
Real maple syrup (not the flavoured stuff) to serve, plus extra butter if you must

Add the flour, milk and baking powder to the egg yolks and mix to a thick batter. Beat the whites until stiff and gently fold through the batter. Gently stir through the blueberries. Heat a small, non stick pan and smear with a little butter. Ladle in enough mixture for one hotcake and add to the pan. Turn only once when golden brown. Keep warm while the others cook. Top with grilled bacon and plenty of maple syrup

Serves 4-6 for breakfast



CHICKEN PIE

You only want to tackle this if you've just made chicken stock for something else and you’re left with a very cooked chook and some spare stock. From there it's a piece of cake to make this very homey, not so flash looking dish.

Ingredients:
1 cooked chicken from the stock pot, skin and fat discarded, meat removed from bones and cut into bite sized pieces
1 or 2 leeks, white only, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
About 15 button mushrooms, halved
1-2 cups home made chicken stock, reduced by about a third
3 tablespoons butter
1 heaped tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, rosemary or parsley leaves
1 sheet frozen puff pastry

In a large pot or deep frypan, cook the carrot, leek and celery in two tablespoons of butter, until just starting to soften. Add the flour, plenty of sea salt and some white pepper and stir until the butter and flour form a paste (roux) and no white flour is visible. Stir through the stock over a low heat until the roux changes to a sauce consistency. Add the chicken pieces. Brown the mushrooms separately in the remaining butter and add to the pot along with the herbs .
Transfer the mixture to a ceramic baking dish and top with the thawed pastry, trimming about 1cm down the side of the dish. Cut a hole in the top to let steam escape. Brush with a beaten egg and cold water mixture if you want a shiny pastry.

Bake in a 200 degree oven for twenty minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Serve some crisp pastry and some of the filling with mashed potatoes and maybe peas.



CHICKEN SAN CHOI BAU

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons neutral oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced or crushed
1 thumb ginger, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
½ cup water chestnuts, roughly chopped or sliced
½ cup bamboo shoots, finely chopped
4 fresh shitake mushrooms, finely chopped
4oo grams chicken mince
1 lupchong sausage, finely sliced
3 tablespoons Hoi Sin sauce
½ teaspoon rice vinegar
8 trimmed, washed, chilled lettuce leaves

Heat a wok to very hot then add the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, chicken and lupchong and stir fry until the chicken is nearly cooked. Add the water chestnuts, mushrooms and bamboo shoots, then the hoi sin and vinegar, simmering for a minute or two.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly the spoon into lettuce leaves without over filling.

Serves 4 as an entrée.



CHINESE DUCK AND VEGETABLE CREPES

Here's a twist on the traditional Peking duck. A quick trip to a Chinatown near you for some roast duck and frozen pancakes and you're just about there. Make sure you have finger bowls and decent serviettes- things can get messy!

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil
1/2 roast duck (from Chinatown), meat and skin removed from bones and sliced thinly
2 cups bean sprouts
2 schallots, from white to dark green, finely sliced
4 fresh (or dried and soaked in hot water for ten minutes and drained) shitake mushrooms, finely sliced
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 x 2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 packet Asian Peking duck style pancakes (from Asian grocers)

Heat a wok or large frying pan to very hot and add the oil, then the ginger, garlic, schallot and sliced mushrooms and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the bean sprouts and cook for one minute stirring occasionally. Fold through the duck and the two sauces and cook for one minute more. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and serve with the warm pancakes (best gently steamed). Guests should place a tablespoon of the mixture into a pancake and roll like Peking duck.

Makes approx. 8 generous pancakes.



CURED MEATS WITH SAUCE GRIBICHE

Ingredients:
A selection of cured meats such as prosciutto, salamis, sopressa, air dried beef or ham
3 hard boiled eggs, yolks and whites separated
250 ml olive oil
100 ml white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped cornichons
1 teaspoon chopped capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or mix of parsley, chives and tarragon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Mash the egg yolks and mustard together and gradually mix in the oil.
Stir through the vinegar, then add the capers, cornichons, herbs and finely chopped egg whites. Season to taste and spoon beside and arrangement of the cured meats.
Gribiche sauce is also good with cold poached fish, smoked salmon, crab cakes or even veal or chicken.



INDONESIAN BRAISED CHICKEN

Ingredients:
paste:
3 cloves garlic
2 medium red chillies
3 red schallots
1 thumb ginger
1 thumb galangal
3 coriander roots
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

4 chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and quartered
2 tablespoons neutral oil
2 lemongrass, split lengthways
2 cassia bark sticks
½ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/3 cup kecap manis
1 tablespoon light soy
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon strained tamarind pulp

Peel and chop paste ingredients, then pound in a mortar and pestle.
Heat the oil in a large wok over very high heat and brown the chicken.
Remove the chicken and reserve then add the paste and cook for a few minutes.
Return the chicken to the wok and add all other ingredients and reduce to a simmer, cooking for ten minutes. Add a little water if the mixture starts to look a little dry.
Serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4.



ITALIAN SEAFOOD SOUP

This is not intended to be a gutsy French soup of bony little fish, the best known version of which is at Bistro Moncur. Nor is it a classic bisque, with all the richness of a reduced red shellfish stock. What it certainly isn’t meant to be is one of those horrible thin seventies canned tomato and onion atrocities with a few dried herbs and some frozen seafood. This should be a balance between fresh seafood that isn't overcooked and a well flavoured base to complement it.

Ingredients:
1 litre fish stock
2 raw blue swimmer crabs, cleaned, each cut into four or six segments
16 med/large green prawns, peeled, half prawns cut into four pieces
12 mussels, beards removed
200 grams blue eye fillet, bones removed
2 small squid, washed and sliced into rings
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sliced celery
½ cup sliced fennel
½ cup sliced onion or leek
1 desiree potato, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
½ teaspoon saffron
1 cup tomato passata
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon each finely chopped parsley, basil and chives

Heat the oil in a large pot and add the celery, garlic, onion or leek, fennel, saffron and potato.
Stir to coat the vegetables in oil without browning.
Add the stock, tomato passata and white wine and bring to the boil then simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the crab. Make sure the crab is completely immersed and simmer for about five minutes before adding the mussels, fish, prawns and squid. Simmer for just a minute or two until the mussels open and seafood turns white (cooked).
Stir through fresh herbs and season as necessary with sea salt and black pepper.
Serve with toasted baguette slices or Italian bread rubbed with a cut clove of garlic and plenty of white wine.

Serves 4 as a main course.



KING PRAWN AND PORK BLACK BEAN STIR FRY

Ingredients:
8-12 medium green king prawns, peeled
1 taespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Shaosing rice wine

2 tablespoons neutral oil
2 tablespoons black beans, rinsed and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 thumb ginger, peeled and finely chopped or sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
300 grams pork mince (not too lean)
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Shaosing rice wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
A few drops of sesame oil

Marinate the prawns in the sugar, salt an rice wine for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Drain the prawns and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over medium heat and cook until just firm. Remove prawns from wok and reserve.
Add the remaining oil to the wok over high heat and add the garlic, ginger, black beans and spring onions and cook for only ten seconds before adding the pork.
Stir fry the pork until cooked (pink turns to grey) and add the sugar, then the soy, Shaosing and oyster sauce.
Return the prawns to the wok and stir through to re-heat and coat in the sauce. Sprinkle over a few drops of sesame oil before serving.
Serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4 as part of an Asian meal.



LARB

Ingredients:
5oo grams lean minced chicken (or pork)
1\4 teaspoon salt
1\2 teaspoon sugar
1\3 cup water or chicken stock
4 red schallots, peeled and finely sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, outer leaf removed, very finely sliced
4 bird’s eye chillies, seeds removed, finely sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
1 tablespoon ground toasted rice*
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, more to taste
2 tablespoons fish sauce

Mix the salt and sugar into the chicken. Heat the water or stock in a wok and, when approaching the boil, add the chicken, stirring until just cooked- about two or three minutes. Place the chicken in a bowl and add all ingredients except the mint and coriander. When the chicken has cooled to room temperature, stir through the fresh herbs. Taste the mixture and add more lime, chilli, fish sauce or even a teaspoon of caster sugar if you think the dish needs it. Transfer to s serving dish or serve in lettuce cups like san choy bau.

* To make toasted rice simply place long grain or jasmine rice in a frying pan(without oil) and cook until the rice starts to change colour to a pale golden brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder. It takes just a couple of minutes but makes a lot of difference to dishes like this.



MALAYSIAN CHICKEN LEG COCONUT CURRY

Ingredients:
8 chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon neutral oil

Paste:
3-4 bird's eye chillies, seeds removed and sliced-more to taste
1/2 thumb galangal, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 thumb ginger, peeled and grated
1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
3 coriander stems, washed and chopped
3 red schallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 teaspoon each turmeric, coriander and cumin

1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind, dissolved in hot water, solids, discarded, or 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
5-600 mls coconut milk
1/2 cup coriander leaves

Combine all the paste ingredients in a food processor or pound with a mortar and pestle.
Brown the chicken legs in the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the paste and cook until aromatic. Add the coconut milk, tamarind and palm sugar and simmer very gently for about an hour, turning the legs occasionally. Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4 as a main or 8 as part of a banquet



MURTURBAK ROLLS

Ingredients:
1 packet frozen filo pastry-thawed before opening

250 grams beef mince
250 grams onions, peeled and very finely diced
1\2 teaspoon salt
1\2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
1 dessertspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground star anise
12 ground cardamom seeds

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and gently cook the onions, turmeric, salt and beef without browning. Stir through oyster sauce and spices and allow the mixture to cool.
Peel off sheets of the filo pastry and cut to rectangles of approx 10 cm x 16 cm, then place about a dessertspoon of the mixture at the centre of one of the long ends of the pastry. Fold over once, then tuck in the ends and roll into small spring roll shapes.

Repeat the process with remaining mixture and place on a sheet of baking paper on a flat tray.
Bake in a pre heated 200 degree celcius oven for ten to fifteen minutes or until the pastry is flaky crisp and golden brown. Serve as finger food or a light entrée with sweet chilli sauce if desired.



MUSSELS IN TOMATO AND CHILLI SAUCE

Try to find the new Boston Bay mussels for this dish. They are a farmed, vacuum packed product with a lot of lovely sweet mussel meat in them.

Ingredients:
2 kg mussels, beards removed, open shells discarded
4 very ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 or more medium chillies, finely slice (seeds left in for more heat)
12 basil leaves, very finely sliced
12 flat leaf parsley leaves, finely sliced

Soften the garlic and onion in the oil in a pot large enough to hold the mussels.
Add the tomatoes and chillies and cook gently for about ten minutes until the tomatoes have broken down. Puree with a stab blender, away from the flame.
Turn the heat to high and add the mussels, placing the lid on the pot immediately.
Cook for five minutes, shaking occasionally.
Check that they have opened and cook for a minute or two more if most have not.
Add the fresh herbs and black pepper.
Serve immediately with crusty bread, discarding any unopened mussels.

Serves 6.



PEAR AND TALLEGIO RISOTTO

Ingredients:
1 small leek or a small brown onion, chopped
4 small handfuls Arborio, vialone or carnaroli rice
Approx 3 cups fresh chicken stock or a small tetra pack and some water
2 tablespoons butter
1 pear, peeled, cored and cut into a 1\2 cm dice
1 piece Tallegio cheese, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Soften the leek or onion in half the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add the rice and stir to coat.
Add the chicken stock so that the rice is completely covered.
After about fifteen minutes of cooking, the rice will be nearly done. Add the pear and stir, cooking for another minute or two.
When the rice is al dente, stir through the cheese and parsley.
Remove from heat and stir through remaining butter.
Serve immediately but not too much as this is a very rich dish.

Serves 4 as an entrée.



PANZANELLA

Ingredients:
2 cups day old sourdough bread, cut into 2cm cubes
1 small red onion peeled and finely sliced
2 ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced green capsicum
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
10 basil leaves, torn or sliced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup goat's curd or soft goat's cheese
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Bake the sourdough in a low oven until it dries out and just starts to colour.
Make dressing with oil and vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper in a salad bowl and toss through bread, onion, tomato, cucumber, capsicum and fresh herbs. Check that there is enough dressing to moisten the bread.
Spoon the goat’s cheese over the top and serve immediately.

Serves 4 as an entrée.



PECAN, MAPLE AND SULTANA BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups pecan nuts
2/3 cup sultanas
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup demererra sugar
1 large baguette, sliced and buttered
6 egg yolks
1 litre milk

Soak the sultanas in the maple syrup for one hour. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl.
Bring the milk to near boiling and pour over the egg yolks whisking to mix through.
Arrange half the bread slices on the bottom of a baking dish then spread half the pecans and all the sultana and maple syrup mixture on top.
Arrange another layer of bread and pour custard mixture carefully over the bread. Sprnkle remaining pecans and the sugar over the top and bake in a 180 degree oven for about fifteen minutes, until the top is brown and the custard just set.



PORK FILLET WITH GREEN APPLE AND PROSCIUTTO, PARSNIP AND RED ONION SAUCE

Ingredients:
2 medium pork fillets, thin 'tails' removed
1 green apple, core removed, cut into thin slices
4 slices prosciutto
6-8 sage leaves
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 dessertspoon olive oil
2/3 cup chicken stock

Place two slices of prosciutto on a work surface at a slight angle.
Place a pork fillet on top and arrange the apple and sage slices on top.
Wrap the pork tightly in the prosciutto and repeat with the other fillet.
The pork can be cooked in a frying pan over low heat or sealed quickly in a frying pan and finished in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes at 200 degrees.
Reast the pork for five minutes, loosely covered before serving.
To make the sauce, soften the onion in the oil in a small saucepan, without colouring it.
Add the parsnips and the stock and place a lid on the pan, simmering gently until the parsnip is cooked, about fifteen minutes.
Puree with a stab blender and add a little butter to enrich if desired.
Slice each fillet into four or six pieces. Spread the sauce over the bottom of four dinner plates and place the pork on top.

Serves four.



PORK RIBS WITH CARAMEL SAUCE

Ingredients:
1 kg American style pork ribs, cut in half lengthways
1 litre master stock

Ingredients:
1\2 cup palm sugar
1\4 cup water
1 tablespoon grated young ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 large (mild) red chilli seeded and sliced-optional

Neutral oil for frying

Gently simmer the ribs in the master stock for two hours. Carefully remove the ribs, drain and allow to cool.
Cut each rib individually and shallow fry in very hot oil in a flat bottomed pan until slightly crisp and golden brown. Drain on crumpled paper towel and serve in a pile on a plate with the hot sauce poured over.
To make the sauce, gently melt the sugar in the water in a small saucepan. Allow the sugar to caramelize to a golden colour, not a dark toffee.
Add the grated ginger, lime juice and fish sauces then stir through the chilli.



POTATO AND PARMESAN GRATIN

Ingredients:
4 large desiree or other good quality waxy potatoes
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary or thyme leaves
150 grams butter
1 cup pouring cream
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Peel and slice potatoes 1/4 to 1/3 cm thick.
Graease a small baking or large soufflé dish and reserve.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and gently fry the potatoes until nearly half cooked and well soaked with the butter.
Arrange layers of potatoes then parmesan then herbs and sea salt and black pepper, finishing with a covering of parmesan. Pour cream into the dish.
Bake in a 180 degree oven for about 20 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and the top is golden brown.
Serve with any fried or roast red meat.



RED CURRY BLUE EYE

Ingredients:
1 kg blue eye, bones removed, cut into 2cm cubes

Marinade:
2 tablespoons red curry paste (Simon Johnson brand is good and not too fiery)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce

Sauce:
2 tablespoons neutral oil
3 red schallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or finely chopped
1 thumb ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon palm sugar, grated or finely sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1\2 teaspoon salt
2-300 ml coconut milk
Red chillies sliced- optional

Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the fish for 2-4 hours.
Sear the blue eye in one tablespoon of the oil and reserve. Add the rest of the oil to a pan or wok and soften the schallots without browning them. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute before adding the curry paste.
Cook for a few seconds before adding the sugar, salt fish sauce and coconut milk. Return the fish to the pan and simmer for a few minutes- do not boil rapidly.
Serve with boiled rice and green or pickled vegetables.

Serves 6.



PRAWNS WITH VANILLA BUTTER SAUCE

This is an easy dinner party dish that wows everyone. You probably need one practice run with the sauce before attempting it for a dinner. The sauce also works well with salmon fillets.

Ingredients:
12-16 large green prawns, peeled, last part of the tail left on
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry white wine
1\2 cup white wine vinegar
1 red schallot or 1\2 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 vanilla bean split lengthways
150 gms cold butter, chopped into 1 cm blocks
5 or 6 chives, finely sliced

Combine wine, vinegar, schallot and vanilla bean in a small saucepan and reduce to two or three tablespoons only. Strain out solids and return the sauce to the saucepan.
Pan fry the prawns in butter over a medium heat, until just cooked, or simply steam them.
Re-heat sauce and stir through the cold butter-do this off the stove top or the butter will cook.
Arrange the prawns on plates and pour over the sauce. Sprinle over a few chopped chives. Serve with steamed snowpeas, sugar snap peas or asparagus.

Serves 4 as an entree.



ROAST LAMB LOIN WITH TOMATO AND TAPENADE TARTS

This is an easy dinner party dish that wows everyone. You probably need one practice run with the sauce before attempting it for a dinner. The sauce also works well with salmon fillets.

Ingredients:
2 lamb loins, fat left on
2 tablespoons olive oil
Rosemary branches to roast

Tarts:
4 sheets frozen puff pastry
4 ripe tomatoes, preferably ox-heart, sliced
1 cup seeded black olives
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 anchovy fillets
Approx 12 basil leaves
Approx 2 tablespoons olive oil
Additional 12 basil leaves, shredded to garnish

Process the olives, garlic, anchovies and basil in a food processor or with a stab blender. Add enough olive oil to form a thick paste.

Use a saucer to cut eight circles of pastry, each about 10-12 cm.
Place some baking paper on a large baking tray and arrange the pastry disks on top. Bake for about ten minutes in a 200 degree oven until lightly golden.
Spread the tapenade over the middle of each pastry disk, then place one on top of the other so you have four ‘sandwiches’, each with tapenade spread on top.
Arrange the tomato slices on top of each and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Return to the oven for another ten to fifteen minutes.

To cook the lamb, season with sea salt and black pepper and sear in a pan over very high heat to colour but not cook through.
Transfer to the oven and bake at 200 degrees, skin side down for about ten minutes.
Allow to rest in a warm place for five minutes before carving.

Slice the lamb and serve on warm plates with a tomato tart topped with the shredded basil.
NB: The lamb can be cooked in the same oven as the second cooking of the tarts.

Serves 4.



SCALLOPS WITH GARLIC AND PARMESAN

This is an easy dinner party dish that wows everyone. You probably need one practice run with the sauce before attempting it for a dinner. The sauce also works well with salmon fillets.

Ingredients:
12 scallops in their shell, cleaned and returned to their shells
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100 grams soft butter
½ cup grated parmesan
1 teaspoon very finely chopped parsley
Black pepper to taste

Mix the garlic, butter, parmesan, parsley and parmesan in a bowl and mash with the back of a fork.
Spoon a little of the butter on top of each scallop and place on a tray under a hot griller until just opaque, about one minute.
Serve with thin baguette slices to mop up the juices.



SPANISH STYLE MUSSELS WITH SPICY SAUSAGE

This is an easy dinner party dish that wows everyone. You probably need one practice run with the sauce before attempting it for a dinner. The sauce also works well with salmon fillets.

Ingredients:
1 kg Boston Bay or live mussels cleaned
250 grams chorizo sausage, sliced
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 green capsicum, cut into 1.5 cm pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup tomato passata
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chopped parsley

Fry the onion, garlic, capsicum and chorizo slices in a large pot in the olive oil until soft and turning light brown.
Add the paprika and cayenne if using and cook for a few seconds.
Add the mussels, passata and white wine and place lid on the pot. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer until the shells open, just a couple of minutes.
Stir through the parsley and some black pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Serves 4 as a rich entrée.



SPICE RUBBED LAMB LOIN WITH COUSCOUS SALAD

Ingredients:
4 lamb loins, trimmed of all fat

Marinade:
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium red chilli, very finely sliced

Couscous:
2 cups instant couscous, cooked as per instructions
4 spring onions, white and pale green parts only, finely sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1 cup red capsicum cut into 1cm dice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup orange juice
½ cup currants
1 teaspoon ras el hanout
1 tablespoon finely chopped medium red chilli-optional

Combine marinade ingredients and cover lamb in them, marinating for 2-24 hours.
Soak the currants in the orange juice for a half an hour before making the salad.
Combine all couscous ingredients in a large bowl, adding more oil and orange juice if necessary. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Bring lamb back to room temperature and season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Cook for a few minutes each side on a char grill or for about ten minutes in a very hot oven. Rest for a few minutes and serve with the cous cous and lime wedges.



SWORDFISH WITH CHUNKY CAPONATA

Caponata is a lovely sweet and sour Italian vegetable salad that works as a dish in its own right as part of an antipasto spread. Here is a version with the vegetables cut into chunkier pieces than usual and it is teamed with swordfish fillets. Swordfish is one of the very best fish on the barbecue, with its dense, meaty character it is best cooked to medium, neither rare like tuna or cooked right through like most white fleshed fish.

Ingredients:
4 180 gram swordfish steaks, ideally 1cm thick
1/2 kg eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes
1/2 cup neutral oil
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 zucchini, cut into 2cm lengths
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 2cm segments
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 celery heart, roughly chopped
4 large green olives, seeds removed
1 heaped teaspoon, small capers, preferably in salt-rinsed
6 leaves basil, finely sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 dessertspoon sugar

Shallow fry the eggplant in the neutral oil and drain on paper towel.
Discard the oil and add half the olive oil. Fry the zucchini until coloured on both sides. Remove the zucchini and reserve, then add the remaining oil and soften the onion until it just starts to colour.
Add the celery and tomatoes and cook over medium heat for five minutes. Return the eggplant and zucchini to the pan and add all other ingredients, cooking for just a minute to dissolve the sugar.
Brush the swordfish with a little olive oil and season well.
Char grill over high heat for just a minute each side, until the fish is just cooked through.
Serve each swordfish steak with a spoonful of caponata and a lemon wedge.

Serves 4.



TAGLARINI WITH CITRUS ZEST AND SMOKED SALMON

Ingredients:
Zest of one lemon, finely grated
Zest of one orange, finely grated
1\4 cup brandy
10 mint leaves, finely sliced
100 grams smoked salmon, sliced into thin strips
200 mls pure (thick) cream
200 mls pouring cream
1\2 cup freshly grated parmesan
400 grams taglarini or other fine pasta

Bring a large pot of salted to the boil and add the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, place the cream, citrus zest and brandy into a large pan, bringing to the boil and simmering for five minutes.
When the pasta is just cooked, drain it well before adding it to the pan with the cream sauce. Fold through the mint, salmon and parmesan and serve immediately.

Serves 4.



THAI FISH CAKES

Ingredients:
500 grams snapper fillets, bones removed
1 tablespoon red curry paste (Simon Johnson brand is good)
1 egg
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 dessertspoon grated palm sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
3 green beans, very finely sliced
1 chilli, seeds removed and very finely sliced- optional
Neutral oil for frying

Place fish, curry paste, egg, fish sauce and palm sugar in a food processor and process to a thick paste.
Stir through the beans, coriander and chilli if using it.
Place a walnut size ball in your hand and flatten into a patty shape. Repeat until all the mixture is used then fry in hot oil and drain on paper towels.
Serve with sweet chilli sauce.



THAI SEAFOOD SAUSAGES WITH RED CURRY SAUCE

Ingredients:
Sausages
400 grams flathead fillets, bones removed (or other flaky white fish)
1 dessertspoon red curry paste
Finely grated zest from 1 lime
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 egg whites, beaten
100 ml coconut cream
6 medium green king prawns, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves

Sauce:
1 cup home made chicken stock or 1/2 cup tetra pack plus water
140 grams coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 small piece ginger, sliced
1 stick lemongrass, finely sliced
1 teaspoon palm sugar

Garnish:
6 snow peas, blanched and shredded
1 cup coriander leaves
1-2 red chillies, sliced- optional

For the sausages, place all sausage ingredients except prawns and coriander in a food processor and process to a tick paste, then stir through the prawns and coriander leaves.
Roll the mixture into 2-3 cm thick sausages in plastic wrap and again in foil.
Reserve in fridge.

Place the sausages in simmering water for fifteen minutes. Remove and allow to sit for five minutes.
To make the sauce, simply combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes, reducing slightly.
Remove the sausages from their two ‘skins’ and cut into thick slightly diagonal slices.
Place the shredded snow peas in the middle of each plate and arrange the sausage slices on top.
Strain the sauce over or around the sausages and garnish with the coriander and the chilli, if using.

Serves 4 as rich entrée.



ZUCCHINI AND PRAWN CASSEROLE-NEW ORLEANS STYLE

Ingredients:
4 medium/large zucchini, boiled and mashed, approx 2 cups
6 firm, small zucchini, sliced
1 small green capsicum, cut into 1cm pieces
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 kg medium green prawns, peeled
2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon cumin
11/2 teaspoons celery salt
1/2 teaspoon file powder –optional
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 green chilli, seeded and chopped-optional
Several drops Tabasco, to taste
150 grams butter

Heat a large wok over high heat and add one tablespoon of butter then the prawns and quickly colour without cooking through. Transfer to a ceramic or metal baking dish.
Lower the heat and add another tablespoon of butter, then cook the sliced zucchini, onion, capsicum, chilli if using and celery until they are starting to soften. Mix through the mashed zucchini, cumin, file and celery salt, then add the mixture to the prawns in the baking dish, along with the Tabasco, folding them through and smoothing the top.

Melt the remaining butter and fold through the breadcrumbs along with the thyme. Evenly spread the breadcrumbs over the prawn and vegetable mixture and bake in a 200 degree oven for about fifteen minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Serve with a green salad.

Serves 4-6 as a light lunch.