Spiced Popcorn Gin Sour

Spiced Popcorn Gin Sour

Spiced Popcorn Gin Sour

One thing you may not know about Patrick is that in a previous life he was a bartender at one of Manila’s coolest cocktail bars, The Blind Pig. We had some leftover Spiced Popcorn from our Popcorn Tacos a few weeks ago (if you haven’t made them yet, do yourself a favour and get some in your belly tonight!), so we were wondering what to do with the leftovers. Patrick thought he could do something pretty amazing with the popcorn if he soaked it in sugar syrup and created a cocktail with it. And so, the Spiced Popcorn Gin Sour was born. It’s a little bit spicy, a little bit sour, a little bit sweet and has a delicious popcorn aroma that makes you want to reach for another glass as soon as you finish the first. Make a batch for your friends and start your next dinner party with a spicy popcorn kick!

For the Spiced Popcorn Sugar Syrup:

  • 300ml water
  • 300g sugar
  • 25g Spiced Popcorn (see recipe here)

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the Spiced Popcorn. Allow to steep for 30 minutes, then blend with a stick blender until the popcorn is coarsely chopped. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids. Set the sugar syrup aside.

For the cocktail:

  • 30ml Spiced Popcorn Sugar Syrup
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 45ml gin (we used Tanqueray)
  • 1 egg white
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • Spiced Popcorn, to garnish

Place all ingredients in a Boston shaker (cocktail shaker) and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds, until the mixture begins to foam. Add a handful of ice cubes and continue to shake until the ice shatters and you feel the shaker has become cold. Strain the mixture through a Hawthorn strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Dust the surface of the cocktail with a pinch of cayenne pepper and garnish with 3 small pieces of Spiced Popcorn. Serve immediately.

Louise Cake

20180409_103155Once again we’re adapting a recipe from Ottolenghi and Goh’s Sweet. They in turn have been inspired by the traditional Louise cake from New Zealand, which is a slice with a cake layer topped with raspberry jam and a coconut meringue. Ottolenghi and Goh’s version uses fresh fruit; you could use any stone fruit which is in season, just be sure it’s ripe but not too soft. We love the addition of flaked almonds to the meringue, as it adds a delicious crunch to the fluffy meringue and syrupy fruit. The cake is fairly rich so you could bake it in a square tin and cut into small squares to serve, or bake in a round tin as we did for a more decadent serving.

Ingredients:

  • 125g unslated butter, at room temperature, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 100g caster sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 20g desiccated coconut
  • 80ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 medium plums (450g), ripe but firm (or any stonefruit in season)

For the meringue:

  • 60g flaked almonds
  • 140g egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3.
  2. Spread the flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast for 10 minutes, or until they are a light brown colour. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 185°C/Gas mark 5. Using a 20cm square or 23cm round tin with removable base, line the base and sides with baking paper.
  4. Place the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and beat together until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl. Add the coconut and stir to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on a low speed, and alternating with the milk and vanilla. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Place in the oven and cook for around 25 minutes. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Slice each plum vertically in half and discard the stones. Slice each half into four segments so you have 8 segments per plum.
  6. Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and turn the temperature up to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Place the plum segments on top of the cake, forming a layer of fruit across the surface. Be sure not to overlap the plums though, or the fruit layer will become too watery.
  7. To make the meringue, whisk together the egg whites and salt on a medium-high speed, until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a little at a time, and continue to whisk until the egg whites are stiff and shiny. Add the vanilla, vinegar and cornflour and whisk again until combined. Fold in the toasted almond flakes.
  8. Spoon the meringue into the cake tin, on top of the fruit layer and spread out evenly. Create waves and peaks in the meringue by dabbing a spatula into and out of the mixture. Place in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Bake for 35 minutes or until the meringue has formed a hard crust and is just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the tin for at least 30 minutes before removing the base of the tin and removing the baking paper to serve.

Popcorn Tacos

20180501_212942One of our favourite cookbook authors is Anna Jones, whose vegetarian recipes are imaginative, tasty and versatile. We have cooked this recipe a few times, and it’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner, or a relaxed dinner with friends. We love the way corn is used three ways in this recipe; the spiced popcorn, caramelised corn salsa and corn tortillas. The cayenne pepper adds a nice warm glow to the dish without overpowering the flavours, and the crunch factor of the popcorn makes these tacos extra special. It’s also a fun novelty to serve and always impresses our friends, eve though it’s so easy to make.

We have adapted this recipe from Anna Jones’ “A Modern Way To Eat”. It serves 2 hungry people as a main, or 4 people if you’re serving some appetisers as well.

Spiced Popcorn:

  • olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp popcorn kernels
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Caramelised Corn Salsa:

  • 4 corn on the cob
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 red or green chilli, finely chopped
  • 100ml natural yoghurt

To Serve:

  • 2 avocados
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • 8 small corn or wheat tortillas, or 4 large tortillas
  • 100g feta cheese, drained and crumbled
  • a bunch of coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. For the popcorn, place a pan on low heat and add a little oil and the popcorn kernels. Put the lid on and shake the pan every now and then to stop the kernels from burning. After a few minutes, the corn will start to pop. Continue shaking the pan every minute or so until the popping stops. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while you mix together the popcorn spices and honey in a small pan. Warm and mix over a low heat. Toss the honey mixture with the popcorn until it is well coated. Set aside.
  2. Cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and fry the kernels over a high heat until they become charred and caramelised. Add the salt and pepper, lime zest and juice, and the cayenne and chilli. Remove from the heat and stir in a tablespoon of the yoghurt. Set aside, covering with aluminium foil to keep the corn warm.
  3. Remove the flesh from the avocados and place in a small bowl. Squeeze over the lime juice and mash together.
  4. Warm your tortillas in a dry frying pan.
  5. To serve, fill each tortilla with some avocado, corn kernels and a dollop of yoghurt. Top with some crumbled feta, a pinch of coriander and a scattering of popcorn. Fold up in your hand and enjoy!

 

 

 

Anzac Biscuits 3 ways

Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream Sandwich

Anzac Biscuits 3 ways

Today is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, a day to honour the men and women of the armed forces of our countries. One of the most famous of Australian foods is the humble Anzac biscuit, which had its origins in World War 1. The biscuits were sent to soldiers overseas and were designed to keep well during transit. These biscuits are still very popular today due to their chewy texture and slightly caramel taste.

We decided to bake a batch to celebrate the holiday. Then after watching Chef’s Table on Netflix we were inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi to try infusing the flavour of the biscuit in an ice cream. Then we went one step further and turned the biscuits and ice cream into an ice cream sandwich! These are the resulting recipes, and it’s up to you how far along the journey you travel. You could just make the Anzac biscuits, or continue on to make the ice cream, or the ice cream sandwiches.

The biscuit recipe makes about 28 biscuits and you only need 10 of these for the ice cream recipe, so you’ll have plenty of delicious Anzac biscuits to share with friends and family (or make two batches and take some to work!)

Anzac Biscuits:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 90g desiccated coconut
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 90g golden syrup
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, and stir in the other dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre of the mixture.
  3. Place the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined. Remove from the heat. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the boiling water and immediately add to the butter mixture. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Roll level tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on the prepared trays, leaving room for each to spread as it cooks. Flatten each ball slightly with the bottom of a glass or your fingers.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. The biscuits will still be soft to the touch. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes to crisp up before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream:

  • 10 Anzac biscuits
  • 250ml (1 cup) full cream milk
  • 3 Tbsp (60 ml) golden syrup
  • 5 egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 375ml thickened (whipping) cream
  1. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, break the biscuits apart into crumbs. Place half of the crumbs into a mixing bowl and set the other half aside.
  2. Warm the milk in a saucepan until just simmering. Pour the milk into the mixing bowl with the biscuit crumbs and stir well. Allow to steep for an hour. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve back into the saucepan, wringing out all the liquid from the crumbs. Discard the solids. Add the golden syrup to the saucepan and bring the milk mixture back to a simmer, stirring well to combine.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour the warm milk mixture in a steady stream into the yolks, whisking continuously so the eggs don’t curdle. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, stirring continuously, and cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens. The mixture is ready once it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is set, add half of the remaining biscuit crumbs and stir through the ice cream. Keep the other half for garnishing when serving.
  5. Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover and freeze for at least an hour to set.
  6. Serve a few scoops of the ice cream in a small bowl, covered with a dusting of the reserved biscuit crumbs.

Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream Sandwich:

  • 2 Anzac biscuits
  • 1 scoop Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream

Take a scoop of ice cream and place on the flat side of an Anzac biscuit. Add another biscuit to the top, flat side against the ice cream and gently press together. Smooth out the edges of the ice cream filling with the flat side of a knife and serve immediately.

Salmon Ankake

20180328_200521When we began Recipe Road, we listed our favourite cuisines that we hoped to explore. We’ve presented some French dishes, and plan to explore Italian cuisine after our travels in Italy later this year. Japanese is our other love, and we know we’re not alone here! Who can resist the delicacy of finely sliced sashimi or sushi with a side of soy sauce, wasabi and some pickled ginger? For us it’s using the flavours of sake, mirin, soy sauce and rice vinegar in various combinations that keeps us inspired; whether it’s creating a simple teriyaki dish or something a little more complex like this salmon dish. The joy of this dish is the beautiful sauce, which enhances the natural flavour of the salmon fillet and vegetables.

We have adapted this recipe from Adam Liaw’s wonderful book The Zen Kitchen.

Serves two people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small salmon fillets, skin removed
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10g bonito flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into batons
  • 4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 100g enoki mushrooms, trimmed and broken into clumps
  • 2 spinach plants, washed and cut into 5cm lengths
  • ¼ tsp chilli oil

Method:

  1. Dust the salmon in cornflour and shake off any excess. Pour the oil into a wok or pan to a depth of 2cm, and heat to 180°C. Shallow-fry the salmon for about 2 minutes each side, until barely cooked and just beginning to colour. Keep warm in a very low oven until ready to serve.
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Add the bonito flakes and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, discarding the solids, and set aside.
  3. In another saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over a high heat. Add the garlic, carrot and half of the spring onion and fry for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the ginger and cook for another minute. Add the bonito stock, soy sauce, sake, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cornflour mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Add the remaining spring onions, enoki mushrooms and spinach and cook for one more minute, until the sauce thickens to a silky consistency and the vegetables wilt slightly. (We prefer the vegetables just slightly wilted, if you’d like the mushrooms and spinach more cooked, add them to the saucepan with the ginger and before the liquids are added.)
  4. Place each salmon fillet in a serving dish and arrange the vegetables across the fillet. Spoon the sauce into the bowl around the fillet. Finish with a few drops of chilli oil, if you like.

 

Bourbon and Maple Glazed Pork Ribs with Smoked Corn Salad

20180331_203118This week we continued to draw inspiration from Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully’s Nopi cookbook. As always, we were inspired by the flavours these chefs use, and this recipe contained a new technique for us, smoking the corn. This was surprisingly easy, there was no fancy equipment required. Simply place the corn cobs in a colander or steaming basket (we used a bamboo steaming basket) inside a large pot sealed with a lid. The smoke comes from burning the husks of the corn in the base of the pot. If you struggle to find corn with the husks still attached, you could use rice instead. Just line the base of the pan with aluminium foil and spread 200g of uncooked rice across the base. If you do this, the cooking time will need to be reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. The cooking times for smoking need to be precise: cook for too long and the smoky flavour can become overpowering.

The real star of this dish is the ribs though, be prepared to get messy and enjoy the delicious glaze and tender pork ribs!

Serves six people.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg pork spare ribs, cut into 12 equal small racks of 2 or 3 ribs per rack.
  • 80g coarse sea salt
  • 35g ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 100ml Shaoxing rice wine
  • 100ml rice vinegar

Smoked Corn Salad:

  • 4 large corn cobs, with husks
  • 15g lemon thyme sprigs
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 20g coriander leaves
  • 20g mint leaves
  • 20g parsley leaves
  • 2 spring onions, white part only, thinly sliced

Glaze:

  • 130g shallots, thinly sliced
  • 350ml bourbon
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

 

Method:

  1. Place the ribs in a large bowl with the salt. Rub the ribs all over with the salt and set aside for an hour.
  2. Rinse the salt from the ribs under cold water, then pat dry. Put the ribs into a large saucepan for which you have a lid, and add the ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, cinnamon and peppercorns. Pour over the stock, Shaoxing wine and rice vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for an hour.
  3. Remove the pork and set aside. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids and return to the pan. Place on a high heat and reduce the liquid to 200ml. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Remove the husks from the corn and use them to line the base of a large saucepan or wok which is deep enough to fit a colander or steaming basket inside, and for which you have a lid. Add the sprigs of thyme and place the pan on a high heat. Once the husks begin to smoke, place the the corn cobs inside the colander or steaming basket, and place this inside the pan. Seal the pan with a lid and smoke for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, still covered, for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and set aside to cool.
  5. Stand each corn cob on a cutting board and use a large knife to shave the corn kernels from the cob. Make sure you cut deeply enough that some of the kernels remain in clusters. Set the corn kernels aside and discard the cobs.
  6. About 45 minutes before you are ready to serve, place all of the ingredients for the glaze, along with 100ml of the stock reduction in a large pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-high heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced to 200ml and has the consistency of a syrup, about 20 minutes. Return the pork ribs to the sauce and stir gently so they are coated in the syrup. Cook for about 7 minutes more, until the ribs are warmed through and sticky.
  7. Just before serving, prepare the salad in a large bowl by whisking together the lime juice, maple syrup, olive oil, chilli and salt. Add the corn kernels, herbs and spring onion and mix well.
  8. To serve, on each plate lean two small racks of ribs against each other and serve with the salad alongside. Garnish with a few sprigs of lemon thyme, if you like.

Grilled Figs with Almond Crisp and Verjuice Sabayon

20180331_221618Figs are in season here in Sydney and every store seems to have plump, juicy figs on display. We couldn’t resist any longer, and decided to try Maggie Beer’s grilled fig recipe. Simply glazing and grilling the figs is a great way to highlight the great quality produce. The Almond Crisp and Verjuice Sabayon add texture and tartness respectively, but don’t detract from the real star of this simple dessert.

We have adapted this recipe from one in Maggie Beer’s Maggie’s Verjuice Cookbook.

Serves four people.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe figs
  • 3 tsp vino cotto
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • mint leaves, to garnish (optional)

Almond Crisp:

  • 60g flaked almonds
  • 35g brown sugar
  • 25ml verjuice

Verjuice Sabayon:

  • 1 cup (250ml) verjuice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°
  2. Place the Almond Crisp ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Spread the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the cooking time. Watch carefully in case the sugar burns. Once the almonds are a pale golden colour, remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool. Break into shards.
  3. To make the sabayon, simmer the verjuice in a saucepan until reduced to 100ml. Set aside to cool. Fill a saucepan one-third full of water and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl that fits over the saucepan without touching the water. Whisk the yolks and sugar together, slowly adding the cooled verjuice a little at a time. Continue whisking for around 8 minutes, or until the sabayon thickens to the point where it forms ribbons and holds its shape when lifted with a spoon. Remove from the heat and cover the surface with cling film.
  4. Preheat a barbecue plate or chargrill pan to high heat.
  5. Mix the vino cotto and olive oil together. Cut the figs in half lengthways and brush the cut surface with the vino cotto mixture. Place the cut sides down on the very hot chargrill pan, and cook until well caramelised, around 2-3 minutes.
  6. On one side of each plate, arrange three fig halves and a shard or two of the Almond Crisp. On the other side, place a dollop of sabayon, and smear across the plate. Alternatively, serve the sabayon in a ramekin on the side.

 

Glazed Chocolate Mousse and Cherry Sorbet with Almond and Pistachio Crumb

20180307_213757Here’s another Recipe Road invention we created for our friend’s birthday party a few weeks ago. We wanted a rich chocolate dessert to finish the night, but hoped to cut through the richness with something fresh and light. As we had featured cherries in our main dish (Roasted Pork Rack with Cherries and Onions), we decided to link the two dishes by making a cherry sorbet. The combination worked beautifully, with the sorbet cleansing the palate between each bite of the rich chocolate mousse. The almond and pistachio crumb adds a bit of texture and crunch to the dish so it has everything, really! We hope you enjoy.

Serves 6 people.

Chocolate Mousse:

  • 225g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 160g butter
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 90g cocoa powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 90ml thickened cream, whipped

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl set above a pan of simmering water. Once melted and combined, set aside to cool. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the egg yolks with a spatula. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture, and stir well to combine. In another bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar to make a soft peak meringue. Gently fold the meringue and then the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture into a 1 inch-deep baking tray lined with cling film and transfer to the freezer to set.

Cherry Sorbet:

  • 100g raw sugar
  • 300g cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 egg white
  • 550g ice cubes

Pour sugar into a sturdy food processor (we used a thermomix). Mill on a high speed for 10 seconds (Thermomix speed 9). Add the cherries, egg white and 350g of the ice cubes and blend for 20 seconds, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to maximum speed (Thermomix speed 10). Add the remaining ice and blend for around 1 minute more, until the mixture has reached a smooth consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve.

Golden Honey Glaze:

  • ½ tsp gin
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp gold powder

Mix the gin and honey in a bowl, once the mixture becomes thinner, add the gold powder and mix well.

Toasted Golden Almonds:

  • 42 whole almonds, halved lengthways
  • ½ of the Golden Honey Glaze

Toast the halved almonds and then brush with the golden honey glaze. Set aside on a tray to dry.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2 gelatine sheets (8g)
  • 50g water
  • 85g sugar
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 45g cream

Bloom the gelatin by soaking it in cold water. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cocoa powder, and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat immediately. In a separate saucepan, warm the cream, then combine it with the chocolate mixture. Add the gelatin, stir to combine and set aside. Cool the mixture to room temperature to glaze.

Glazed Chocolate Mousse

  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • Toasted Golden Almonds

Once the mousse is set, use a 6cm round cookie cutter to cut 6 rounds from the mousse. Rinse the cutter in warm water between cutting each round of mousse. Set the rounds on a cooling rack and pour a little of the glaze over each one, making sure the sides are fully covered. Remove the rounds from the cooling rack and set on a tray lined with baking paper. Decorate the sides of each mousse round with the Toasted Golden Almonds.

 Almond and Pistachio Crumb:

  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup pistachio kernels
  • 5 savoury crackers (we used Eton crackers)
  • A handful of cornflakes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend to a rough crumb consistency. Set aside.

To serve:

  • ½ of the Golden Honey Glaze
  • Almond and Pistachio Crumb
  • Glazed Chocolate Mousse
  • Cherry Sorbet
  • 18 micro mint leaves

Across one side of each plate, paint a 4cm stripe of Golden Honey Glaze. On the opposite side of the plate, place a small pile of Almond and Pistachio Crumb, and create a small well in the centre of the pile. Place the Glazed Chocolate Mousse on the stripe. Quenelle the Cherry Sorbet and place in the well of the crumb. Decorate with 3 micro mint leaves and serve.

Recipe Road’s Waldorf Salad

20180307_195356

Recently we cooked a 4-course dinner for a friend’s birthday, and this salad was the first course. We wanted something light to whet the appetite, which was visually striking and delicious. We decided to create our own unique version of the classic Waldorf Salad. One of our core ingredients for the night was good-quality buttermilk, so we incorporated this into the salad dressing in place of the traditional yoghurt. To create some different textures, we kept the crunch of the witlof, celery and toasted walnuts, but added the surprising element of an apple and celery jelly. We were really happy with the result and we hope you give it a try!

Serves 4 people as an entrée or two as a main course.

Apple and Celery Jelly:

  • 250ml cloudy apple juice
  • 2 sheets gelatin (10g)
  • 3 celery leaves, finely chopped
  • sea salt and cracked pepper

Bloom the gelatin by soaking it in cold water until it softens. Heat the apple juice in a saucepan over a medium heat until simmering. Add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves, then strain into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the celery leaves, salt and pepper, stir and refrigerate overnight.

Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ Tbsp good-quality red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 80ml canola oil
  • 2 tsp good-quality buttermilk

Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a jar, and shake until well combined.

Salad:

  • 1 celery stalk, julienned
  • 2 witlofs, leaves seperated
  • Vinaigrette
  • Apple and Celery Jelly, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 100g toasted walnuts

Combine the celery and witlof in a bowl with the Vinaigrette. Place the dressed witlof leaves on the plates, overlapping in a crisscross pattern. Top with dressed celery sticks and the cubes of jelly. Scatter with the toasted walnuts and serve.

 

Roasted Pork Rack with Onions and Cherries

20180228_220218

One of the most inspiring restaurants in the world right now is Eleven Madison Park in New York, which last year became the No.1 restaurant on San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. We love the ethos of chef Daniel Humm, who strives to balance modern techniques with classical flavours. One day we hope to travel to New York to dine there, but for now we have to settle for recreating some of the dishes from the cookbook at home. This week we set aside a day to create our first dish from the book, and chose one which doesn’t have too many unfamiliar ingredients or techniques. Although the number of elements in this dish is daunting, there was actually nothing very difficult about the recipes, and we had fun creating our own spin on the incredible plating in the book.

We have to be entirely honest, though – we did simplify a few things here. For instance, rather than spending 6 hours making a chicken jus (which we’re sure would taste amazing!) we cheated by using chicken stock and pimping it up with some tomato paste. We also changed a few ingredients we couldn’t source, such as particular varieties of cherries and cured pork. If you don’t feel like tackling the whole thing, just making the cherry pork sauce to go with your favourite cut of pork would be totally worthwhile. Similarly, the pickled mustard seeds and pickled cherries were delicious and could be used in so many dishes. Let us know if you give it a try!

We have adapted this recipe from Eleven Madison Park – The Cookbook by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara to serve 4 people. You’ll have some extra pickled mustard seeds, onion puree, cherry sauce and brown butter to use another day.

 

Pickled Yellow Mustard Seeds:

  • ¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds. Strain through a fine sieve and refresh with cold running water. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Transfer the mustard seeds to a bowl and pour over the liquid. Cool to room temperature, then cover and leave at room temperature overnight.

Roasted Onion Petals:

  • 1 white onion
  • salt
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Toss the onion with salt and olive oil and wrap in aluminium foil. Roast in the oven for 2 hours, or until the onion is soft but still holds its shape. Cool to room temperature. Quarter the onion, remove the skin and separate the onion into individual petals. Trim the ends and cut each petal into half-inch thick strips. Set aside until ready to serve.

Onion Puree:

  • 3 ½ cups thinly sliced white onions
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 3 white peppercorns
  • 1 ½ Tbsp butter, plus ½ Tbsp cold butter
  • 3 Tbsp white wine

Season the onions with salt and set aside. Tie the peppercorns in a small piece of cheesecloth. Heat a pan over high heat and add the butter, onions and peppercorn parcel. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute, being careful not to let the onions begin to colour. Add the wine and 1 ½ Tbsp water, cover with a cartouche of baking paper, and cook until the onions are tender, adding more water if the onions begin to dry out. Once the onions are cooked, remove the cartouche and reduce any liquid that is left in the pan. Puree in a blender with the ½ Tbsp cold butter. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois and cool over ice. Set aside until ready to assemble the dish.

Brown Butter:

  • 250g butter
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 clove garlic

Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer slowly for about 40 minutes, until the butter is clear and a light caramel colour. Continue to cook, whisking vigorously until the butter becomes a walnut brown colour. Place the thyme and garlic in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Strain the Brown Butter over the thyme and garlic, and set aside until needed. Discard the thyme and garlic.

Pork Rack:

  • ½ pork rack (4 chops when sliced), frenched and skin removed
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed but still intact

Preheat the oven to 150°C and place a roasting pan and rack in the oven to heat. Season the pork with salt. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat and then sear the pork, fat side down, until it is evenly browned (about 2 minutes). Add the butter, thyme and garlic and baste for another 2 minutes. Transfer to the preheated roasting rack and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, basting with butter every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cherry Pork Sauce:

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/8 cup of speck or bacon, diced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 475g cherries, pitted
  • 3 pods star anise
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • salt

In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the speck. Render the fat for 5 minutes, then strain the oil to remove the solids.

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar to a dark caramel. Add the cherries and star anise. Cook until the cherries are soft, then deglaze with the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Stir to dissolve all of the sugar. Reduce to a glaze and then chill over ice.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken stock and tomato paste, and reduce to 1 cup of liquid. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the glaze. Stir in the rendered fat and season with salt to taste.

Pickled Cherries:

  • 5 Cherries
  • 75ml white balsamic vinegar
  • 75ml water
  • 2 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, stir together the vinegar, water and salt, until the salt dissolves. Pit and quarter the cherries, and add to the pickling liquid. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Onions and Cherries:

  • 1 scallion/green onion, white and light green parts only
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • Roasted Onion Petals
  • 4 baby scallions/green onions
  • 8 cherries, pitted
  • ½ Tbsp butter

Shave the scallions into shards with a vegetable peeler, and dress them with the olive oil and salt. Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan over a medium heat. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the onion petals, baby scallions and cherries. Toss to combine and add the butter, tossing to glaze.

To Serve:

  • Pork Rack
  • Brown Butter
  • Sea Salt Flakes
  • Cherry Pork Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp Onion Puree
  • 8 Pickled Cherries
  • 4 tsp Pickled Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 4 slices shaved Prosciutto di Parma
  • 12 mizuna leaves

Slice the pork rack between the bones, giving you 4 pork chops. Brush the sides of the pork with brown butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Place a few spoonfuls of the Cherry Pork Sauce on one side of the plate, and top with a pork chop. Beside the pork chop, place a baby scallion. Warm the onion puree in a small saucepan over low heat and spoon 3 small blobs onto each plate above the pork chop. Top two of the piles of onion puree with glazed cherries, and the other with a pickled cherry quarter. Arrange two more pickled cherry quarters, some onion petals, some shaved scallions and a few strands of prosciutto around the plate to your liking. Scatter some pickled mustard seeds around the plate, and garnish with 3 small mizuna leaves.