This week our recipe is an easy midweek dinner for two, but it’s still packed full of flavour! We adapted this recipe from the wonderful book A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones, which is full of great vegetarian recipes. You won’t miss the meat here, as there is so much interest in the textures and flavours of each component in this dish. We particularly like the quick pickled cabbage which also works well as a side dish for other meals. Best of all, this meal will be on the table in under 20 minutes.
- 1 bunch broccolini
- 200g soba noodles
- ¼ small red cabbage, finely shredded
- sea salt
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- olive oil
- 200g tofu (smoked tofu if you can find it), cut into 1cm strips
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 6 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- juice of 1 lemon
- handful of toasted sesame seeds
- small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the broccolini. Cook just for a few minutes, until the broccolini is no longer raw but retains its crispness and colour.
- Remove the broccolini with a slotted spoon, keeping the water on the heat. Set aside the broccolini and add the noodles to the pan. Cook according to the packet instructions, or until the noodles are soft with a little bit of bite. Drain, then refresh the noodles in cold water.
- Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl with a large pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Mix well with your hands, scrunching the cabbage firmly. Set aside.
- Set a non-stick frypan over a medium-high heat and add a splash of oil. Add the tofu and brown it evenly all over. Toss in the sesame seeds and stir to coat, then take the tofu out and set aside.
- Return the frypan to the heat with another splash of oil. Add the spring onions and cook until softened. Add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, the sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice. Stir and allow to reduce until the mixture becomes a thick, sweet sauce.
- Add the drained noodles to the frypan and toss to coat them with the sauce.
- Divide the noodles between two bowls, and top each bowl with half the tofu and broccolini, a handful of cabbage, some of the chopped coriander and a scattering of toasted sesame seeds.
Continuing with our French theme, we decided to make madeleines for the first time. We were given a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s Sweet for Christmas, and decided to try their untraditional version. Madeleines are a very light and fluffy little French cake, baked in a scallop mould. In the traditional version, they are best eaten while still warm as they will become stale quickly. Ottolenghi and Goh’s version uses a food processor rather than hand beating so will last for a few hours after baking (if you can resist from eating them all at once!)
Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh.
- 90g unsalted butter, plus 20g extra butter, melted, for brushing
- 2 tsp honey, plus an extra 3 Tbsp, for glazing
- ¼ tsp saffron threads
- 2 large eggs
- 75g caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla bean extract with seeds
- finely grated zest of 1 small orange
- 90g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 20g pistachio kernels, finely blitzed
- Place the butter, honey and saffron threads in a saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat and set aside until the mixture has reached room temperature.
- Place the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a food processor and mix until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then add to the egg mixture. Pulse a few times to mix, then add the cooled butter mixture. Process once more to combine, then pour the mixture into a bowl. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200° Grease the moulds with melted butter and sprinkle with flour (you can skip this step if using a silicone or non-stick tray). Tap to coat all the moulds and then shake off any excess flour.
- Spoon a heaped tablespoon of batter into each mould, so the mixture rises halfway up each mould. If you only have one tray, place the remaining batter in the fridge while you bake the first batch. You will need to wash, dry and re-grease the tray before baking your second batch.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until the madeleines are browning around the edges and spring back when lightly pressed on the top. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for a minute before releasing the cakes from their moulds. You may need to use a knife or spatula around the edges of the cakes if not using a silicone or non-stick tray. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack to cool.
- Melt the 3 tablespoons of honey in a saucepan or microwave. One madeleine at a time, brush the honey onto the shell-shaped side of the cake, then roll the base of the madeleine in the blitzed pistachios so that you have a 1cm strip of pistachio at the base of each cake. Serve on a platter with some scattered pistachios and saffron (optional).
To start our journey, we wanted to cook some classic French cuisine, and decided to begin with possibly the most famous dish of all, Boeuf Bourguignon. We have adapted this recipe from the classic book Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisetta Bertholle and Simone Beck.
In keeping with our goal of using local produce, we have used wine sourced from our favourite winery, Tamburlaine. Their organic wine is produced in the Orange region, not far from Sydney. The recipe in Child/Bertholle/Beck suggests using a full-bodied, young red wine, and we thought that the full-bodied flavor of Tamburlaine’s 2016 Reserve Malbec would work well in this dish.
- 180g speck (or bacon)
- 35ml olive oil
- 1.5kg stewing beef, cut into 5cm cubes (we used Rump Cap)
- 1 medium carrot, sliced
- 1 medium brown onion, sliced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1.5 Tbsp plain flour
- 650ml Red Wine (see note above)
- 2 to 3 cups Beef Stock
- 15g tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
For the onions:
- 20 small white onions (pickling onions), peeled and trimmed
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 100ml Red Wine
- Bouquet garni (4 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of thyme tied in cheesecloth)
For the mushrooms:
- 500g button mushrooms, quartered.
- 1.5 Tbsp butter
- 3 tsp olive oil
To serve (optional):
- Roasted dutch carrots, trimmed to retain 1cm of stalk.
- Roasted baby potatoes, served with butter and parsley.
- green beans, blanched.
- Remove the rind from the bacon and cut into lardons roughly 3.5cm x 0.5cm x 0.5cm
- Simmer the rind and the bacon for 10 minutes in 1.8 liters of water, then drain and dry.
- Dry the beef with paper towel (this will help it brown properly)
- Preheat oven to 230°C
- Using a cast-iron casserole (ours is 22cm x 28cm, 10cm deep), heat the oil over moderate heat and sauté the bacon until lightly brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Heat the casserole until the fat is almost smoking, then sauté the beef in batches so as not to crowd the pan, until all the beef is browned on all sides. Remove the beef as each batch is browned and set aside with the bacon.
- In the same pan and fat, sauté the vegetables.
- Drain the fat and return the bacon and beef to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the flour over the ingredients, and toss to combine.
- Set the uncovered casserole in the preheated oven for 4 minutes, then remove and stir. Return to the oven and cook for another 4 minutes. This cooks the flour and gives the beef a crusty coat.
- Remove the casserole and reduce heat to 160°C
- Add 650ml of red wine and enough beef stock to just cover the beef, then add tomato paste ,garlic, herbs and the bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, then cover and set in the oven. Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours, making sure the liquid simmers very slowly. The meat is done when it can be pierced easily with a fork.
- While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. For the onions, bring the butter and oil to a bubble in a small pan, then sauté the onions over a medium heat, stirring so that the onions will brown evenly. Be careful to keep the onions intact.
- Add 100ml of red wine, the bouquet garni and season to taste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender with an intact shape. Remove the bouquet garni and set aside.
- For the mushrooms, add the butter and oil to a pan over high heat. After the butter has foamed and begun to subside, add the mushrooms and stir for 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms have browned lightly, remove from the heat and set aside.
- When the beef is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Add the cooked onions and mushrooms to the casserole.
- Skim fat off the sauce, and simmer lightly. You should have a sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thick, add some extra stock, and if too thin, continue to reduce the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
- Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, carefully stirring occasionally to cover the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
- Slice the onions in half, and take apart the layers of onion.
- Place three pieces of beef on each plate, top with several mushrooms and a good ladle full of sauce.
- Scatter over a few slices of onion and roasted dutch carrots (optional).
- Serve with roasted baby potatoes and blanched green beans on the side (optional).
Welcome to our blog, Recipe Road. We are Pat and Ian, two food lovers from Sydney, Australia. We dream of opening our own restaurant one day, and are beginning a journey of exploring cuisines, improving our cooking and food presentation skills, finding local produce, and visiting restaurants with the goal of discovering what food is “us”. Pat trained as a bartender and then as a pastry chef in his native Philippines. He is now working in a commercial kitchen in Sydney and dreaming of creating his own style of food. Ian is a professional musician and enthusiastic home cook. He has a passion for food and words, which he hopes to combine in this project.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be exploring various cuisines, beginning with French and Japanese; mastering some dishes from restaurants and chefs we are inspired by including Nopi, Attica and Alinea. We’ll also be visiting local restaurants and travelling to discover food around Australia and internationally. Along the way we hope to meet some local producers and begin building connections with people in the food industry and other passionate foodies.
We hope to inspire other amateur cooks and foodies to follow our journey, learn more about local produce and restaurants and perhaps even build a community of like-minded food lovers. Feel free to contact us if you have tried any of our recipes, want to give us some tips about local restaurants or produce, or just to say hello!