Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hawaiian Inspired Recipes - James Halliday Wine Mag

Hello, hello. Thought I'd share some recipes I developed for a Hawaiian inspired recipe feature for the James Halliday Wine Magazine after my trip to Hawaii late last year. I cannot wait to go back - what a truly amazing place. The flavours are an amazing combination of Japanese, Portugese, Americano - a real melting pot and some great food as a result. I think I could easily live off acai berry bowls, poke salad and fish tacos. With the odd hula pie chaser of course! I hope you enjoy these recipes and again the drink suggestions the wine experts make to go with the recipes are spot on.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Togarashi watermelon and sashimi salad

Sashimi and Togarashi Watermelon Salad

The perfect summer lunch, for me at least, will involve a table outdoors, with dappled, elements of shade, people I enjoy eating and drinking with and light lovely flavours that capture the essence of the season. This is generally why Ilean towards seafood and the vast, crimson-flesh of watermelon – these say summer at first bite. This salad works best when the elements are thrown together when you are ready to eat. I’ve used kingfish and wild salmon here, but any fresh sashimi-grade fish will work for this dish.

Serves 4

300g mixed sashimi grade fish, thinly sliced (I used kingfish and salmon)
½ bunch mint, leaves pulled
½ bunch coriander, leaves pulled
½ small watermelon, skinned, flesh cut into cubes
1 tsp togarashi pepper or to taste*

2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 ½ tbsp. caster sugar

Toss fish, herbs, shallot and spring onion in a bowl to combine. In a separate bowl add the watermelon cubes and togarashi pepper, tossing gently to coat. Peppers vary in strength depending on the brand so I suggest a slowly slowly approach, testing as you go until you get a light smoky and slightly fiery taste to contrast with the sweetness of the watermelon. Once coated add to the bowl with the fish and berbs.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until sugar has dissolved. Drizzle dressing over, toss to coat and serve.
To make a heartier meal, this salad also works really well with some steamed rice.

* Togarashi pepper is available from Asian grocers

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Choc Drizzled Nutella Meringues

Meringue and what you can do with it is consistently underrated. Plain, vanilla, chocolate, fruit laden – the list is long, large and in my mind exciting. Meringues are the food that most of us would like to eat. No scratch that. Meringues are a food that most of us would love to eat. And I’m guessing daily if they were put in front of us. Better than that they are super easy, are a great way to use up left over eggwhites and they keep pretty well in an airtight container for whenever the “cup of tea and something” urge comes calling. They are a morning, afternoon, late evening superfood and this version with nutella, well its perfection in chocolate loving form.

Makes 10

6 large eggwhites, room temperature
1 tsp lemon juice
280g caster sugar
2-3 tbsp Nutella, softened in the microwave
150g good quality couveture dark chocolate, melted for drizzling

For meringues, preheat oven to 120C. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then, whisking continuously, gradually add caster sugar and whisk until glossy. Add lemon juice and whisk again until sugar has dissolved.
Use a piping bag or spoon and place dollops of the beaten eggwhites onto a prepared baking tray. Gently swirl nutella through the top of each meringue.
Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until set. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside to dry for another hour.

Before serving, drizzle with melted chocolate.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cardomom breakfast scrolls with rosewater glaze

Cardamom breakfast scrolls with rosewater glaze
These breakfast scrolls are a bit of a hybrid, the texture lying between a brioche and a sweet bun, making them both rich and featherlight. They are a tender mid-morning pick-me-up and make the perfect brunch fodder.  Unlike other breads, it is hard to go wrong with these, it doesn’t require 10 years experience working in a bakery before making a decent sour dough – these are pretty foolproof – the key being in the resting time, the rest is clockwork. The cardamom and rosewater add exotic sweetness and hint of spice, and best of all you can start these the day before, letting them rise slowly overnight in the fridge. You can even make them and freeze them for later consumption, although I do tend to fall into the camp that nothing tastes quite as good as warm and fresh from the oven.

Sticky bun dough
¾ cup warm milk
½ cup melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
7g sachet of active dried yeast
pinch of salt
3 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups plain flour
2 tbsp butter, softened
½ cup Panela sugar*
Pinch ground cardamom, or more to taste
Pinch mixed spice, or more to taste
Rosewater glaze
2 tbsp rosewater
Icing sugar

Combine the milk, butter, sugar and yeast in a bowl, stir to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes or until it foams and bubbles on the surface. Add the salt, cardamom, vanilla and beaten egg. Gradually add the flour, adding as much as needed. The amount can vary depending on weather and the yeast you use. What you want to achieve as you are mixing is a dough that feels sticky to touch but doesn’t completely stick to your fingers. Knead for about 5 minutes in a mixer or if kneading by hand, about 10-12 minutes until it takes on a smooth appearance.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and on a lightly floured surface roll it into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the dough rectangle with the soft butter, then sprinkle it evenly with the sugar and spices.
Roll the rectangle up lengthwise into a long jellyroll. Slice it with a sharp knife, about 5cm thick slices, and arrange them in a 30cm baking dish or baking pan. Make sure there is some space around the buns as the dough will rise and grow. Cover and set aside in a warm place to rise, until doubled in size, about an hour. If you want these bright and early in the morning you can do this the night before, cover and place in the fridge to rise slowly overnight. If you do this make sure you let them come to room temperature before baking.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the rolls until golden, between 20 – 30 minutes. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze by adding the rosewater to a bowl. Add the icing sugar slowly, whisking with a fork, until a glaze consistency is achieved.  Allow the rolls to cool slightly before drizzling over the rosewater glaze. Serve warm.

  • Panela sugar is an organic cane sugar available from specialist grocers or health food stores. If unavailable substitute with brown sugar.