Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Turkish Delight Roulade. Your New Dessert Weapon

 My love for Turkish delight knows no limits. Remember in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe when Edmund couldn’t say no to a Turkish delight treat from the white witch? I really felt for the guy – he was me incarnate. There is something about the rose taste, the pink colour and the gelatinous silky texture of it in your mouth that is truly delightful and impossible to say no to. I’ve combined it here with a few other loves – meringue, fresh raspberries and pistachios in a roulade. Roulade is a dessert weapon. It looks super fancy but really is very simple to make. You can make the meringue part in advance then smear the fillings and roll just before serving.

Pistachio, Turkish Delight and Rose Roulade
Serves 6

6 eggwhites
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp rose water
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp pistachios, crushed
1 cup double cream
1 cup Turkish delight, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup fresh raspberries
½ cup cup pistachio kernels

To make the roulade, preheat the oven to 170ÂșC.
Line a Swiss-roll pan with baking paper. Grease the paper.
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add in half the caster sugar then beat in the remaining caster sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold in the cornflour, lemon juice and rosewater. Spread the meringue evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pale golden, then allow to cool for about 1 hour.
Place another sheet of baking paper on a work surface and dust with icing sugar and crushed pistachios. Turn the meringue onto the baking paper. Carefully remove the top sheet of paper.
For the filling, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the beaten cream over the meringue with a palette knife. Sprinkle the raspberries, Turkish delight and pistachio kernels over the cream. Use the paper to help you roll up the meringue from the short end. Ease the roulade, seam side down, onto a serving dish and refrigerate for 1 hour. To serve, cut slices and place lying down on a serving plate.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pomegranate and maple slow cooked lamb shoulder

Pomegranate and spiced maple slow-roasted lamb shoulder with burghul and olive salad

I’d like to be upfront. This recipe involves meat in a bag. The old oven bag seemed to fall off the radar – something your grandma would do – or Jamie Oliver circa 1992. But you know what, the process rocks. And it helps achieve achingly soft meat that falls from the bone every time. A friend reintroduced the oven bag to me recently and so here it is, in all its’ slow cooking glory, housing one seriously tasty lamb dish that is spicy, tangy and a touch sweet all at once. It is the sort of lamb that will shake up your Sunday roast, so much so you may never go traditional again. The richness of the meat is great with the salty bite of the olive and burghul salad, all of which is tempered by a dollop of thick yoghurt. Yep, delicious. Oh I almost forgot the best bit - the leftovers (should you have any) are pretty magic as lunch the next day.

All you need is lamb. A bit of time with your oven on. And one oven bag.

Serves 6-8

1 x 1.7kg (approx.) lamb shoulder, bone in at room temperature
2 tbsp each cumin, coriander, fennel seeds
4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 tbsp good quality maple syrup (I use an oak aged bourbon maple)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and pepper to season
1 large oven bag
3-4 tbsp greek style yoghurt to serve (optional)

400g coarse burghul rinsed and drained
1 ½ - 2 cups chicken stock
1 cup good quality, Sicilian green olives, seeded
1 red onion, peeled, finely sliced
½ cup each finely chopped mint, coriander, flat leaf parsley
3 tbsp dried cranberries
3 tbsp currants
Seeds of ½ a fresh pomegranate
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sumac

Preheat oven to 160C. Coarsely crush cumin, coriander and seeds with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Place the lamb inside the oven bag and pour in the marinade ingredients. Seal and then using both hands ensure the mixture is coating the lamb. Place on a tray then bake in the oven for 5-6 hours.

To make the salad, add the chicken stock to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the burghul, reduce heat to low, and cook, covered for 10 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and add to a bowl with the remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine. The salad is best made just before serving.

To serve, remove the lamb from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before gently breaking the oven bag (be careful as it will be quite hot) and gently place the lamb on a serving tray, spooning over some of the lovely juices.
Serve with the burghul salad and yoghurt.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kitchen Aid & Delicious Mag Dinner

Recently I was invited by Kitchen Aid to a Delicious Magazine Produce Awards Dinner at Martin Boetz's restaurant Rushcutters. In all honesty I usually avoid these kinds of things like the plague - I've had my fill of watered down conversations and chardonnay to last me a lifetime and then some; I'd rather stab myself in the eye with my fork. But you know what, I had a really really lovely night. The crew from Kitchen Aid, Delicious Mag and Filtered Media were such a nice bunch - one of those rare  moments you walk away and realise it was simply a table full of friends you hadn't met yet. 

And the food, well it was just beautiful. If Martin Boetz could do no wrong before (thank you Longrain for being one of the great food loves of my life) he continues at Rushcutters, using produce from his Cooks Co-op farm. And it was bonkers awesome. Lucky for me and now lucky for you, here is one of the recipes from the night. From Marty's hands to yours. Why thank you Chef Boetz.

I'm still trying to get my hands on the dessert recipe and if I have any luck will share it with you here soon - hand on heart I am still dreaming about it. But for now, try this mulloway dish. Immediately. You won't regret it. 

Martin Boetz.
Palmers Mulloway with watercress chives & Capertee saffron vinaigrette.

2x   180g pieces of mid cut mulloway fillets
8x   thin slices of cured pork leg 
salt & white pepper
Picked watercress
1 small bunch chives snipped in 1cm lengths
Lemon juice
olive oil

Saffron vinaigrette

300ml   dry white wine
80ml     white wine vinegar
!/2 teaspoon of saffron threads
1 teaspoon sugar
salt & white pepper to taste
60ml olive oil

In a heavy based saucepan add the white wine, wine vinegar & saffron threads
gently simmer until reduced by three-quarters.
Add the sugar and stir in until dissolved.
Whisk through the olive oil taste for seasoning then set aside

Method fish.

Wrap each fillet completely in the cured pork.

Heat a non stick pan & sear the fillets on both sides until pork is golden around 4 minutes each side.

remove from the pan & rest.

Toss the watercress & chives together dress with olive oil & lemon juice salt & white pepper.

To assemble 

Cut the fish on a diagonal & place in the bowl with the saffron vinaigrette & move around gently so the fish is flavoured
Arrange the watercress & chives in a serving bowl
Place the fish pieces on the leaves & spoon over more of the vinaigrette.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Simple basil and mint ice cream

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a few simple fantastic ingredients making friends in your blender and then your belly. It is the perfect way to use up the last of your summer basil and it is so light and refreshing, a hybrid ice cream meets frozen yoghurt. It may well end up as your go to dessert with a bowl of strawberries, much like it is mine.  Or plop a scoop or two into some waffle cones at your next bbq and be everyone’s best friend.

Best of all, it takes all of five seconds of your life to make. I’ve made it with and without an ice cream machine and to be honest the difference in results is so negligible, you may as well just skip the machine altogether. Minimum fuss for maximum outcome. Perfect.

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
¼ bunch mint, leaves picked (or more to taste)
1 litre thick natural yoghurt
200g caster sugar300g mascarpone cheese

Add all ingredients to the blender. Blitz until well combined and sugar has dissolved. Pour into a freezer proof container, cover with cling film to prevent ice crystals forming and freeze overnight. Best consumed within a few days of making.

Note: If you wanted something a little more tart, add the sugar gradually, stopping when the yoghurt mix is sweetened to your liking.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Slab

Apple pie, crumble, slice, turnover…. basically pastry and stewed apple in all its glorious forms is my kryptonite. Left alone with any of them? They don’t stand a chance. Suffice to say, this slab of stewed apple with pops of tart rhubarb sitting on a base as thick as fence posts won’t see out the day. It’s properly old school. Comforting and dependable. The sort of slice you might feed slightly fancy grandmothers or friends from out of town when they come to stay. It’s frills-free baking that harks back to the basics and leaves you wondering why you ever left them. You’ll eat the whole batch alone without the tiniest bit of remorse; as dessert piping hot with ice cream melting at its sides, cold standing at the fridge while you work out what you might want to eat, or just warmed with a cup of tea as we succumb to the impending change in season.
Makes about 25 bars

225g butter
¾ cup caster sugar
3 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt

6 tbsp butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 bunch rhubarb, washed, trimmed, chopped
6-8 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1 tbsp cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Water as necessary

1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds) toasted, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
1 cup plain flour
¾ cup brown sugar
pinch cinnamon
pinch baking soda
pinch salt
100g butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large high-sided baking tray (at least 30cm x 40cm) with baking paper and set aside. Make the crust by beating the butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with the paddle hook until light and fluffy. Usually about 2 minutes. Turn the speed to low and gradually beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Press the dough over the bottom of the baking tray and a few cm’s up the side. You want it to be nice and thick and solid, something dependable that won’t buckle under the weight of the filling. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, until it looks golden.

To make the filling, add the butter, sugar and sliced apple to a large saucepan or frying pan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, adding water if necessary to prevent burning. The liquid needs to be completely evaporated and make sure you scrape up any of the caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Stir through the spices and set aside to cool.

Add the rhubarb to another pan and cook over low heat with a tablespoon or two of water. If your rhubarb is particularly tart, add a tablespoon of sugar, but go slowly, you want this to be quite punchy in comparison to the apple mixture. Once stewed, set aside to cool.

Make the crumble topping by combining all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to combine until it looks lumpy and the butter is just incorporated, you want it to have clumps.

Spread the apple filling over the cooked crust. Top with blobs of stewed rhubarb. Scatter over the crumble topping, in clumps. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes up to an hour until the topping is golden. Let cool before you slice into nice big slabs of goodness.

If you have a will stronger than mine you can store these in an airtight container at toom temperature for three days or they can be frozen for a month.