Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fontina meatballs on brioche

Meatballs. Fontina. Brioche. I’ll say write that again. Meatballs. Fontina. Brioche.

Why? Because its cold and I really really felt like meatballs. And when do you ever need a reason for meatballs? Or fontina. Or brioche? Thought as much....

This number begs to be part of your Sunday night ritual. You. This meatbally, cheesey brioche and a pinot. Most undoubtedly more than one (that applies to both the meatballs and the pinot). Easy to make, this is big fisted stuff, the enemy of prissiness but definitely a friend to epic flavour and without doubt the best possible, start to your week ahead.`

Meatballs (this makes more meatballs than you need*)
400g pork and veal mince
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted until fragrant
1 pinch chilli flakes
salt and pepper to season
1 egg
3 tbsp sourdough bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes
1 onion, peeled, chopped
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup red wine
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

330g (2 ¼ cups) plain flour
30g panella sugar
1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
100ml warm milk
1 egg and 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten together, at room temperature
200g butter, softened, chopped

To serve
Sea salt flakes and pepper to season
Flat leaf parsley stalks, coarsely torn
Fontina cheese, shaved

To make the brioche combine flour, sugar, yeast, and a hefty pinch of salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix well. Whisk milk, egg and yolk in a separate bowl then, with mixer on low-medium speed, add egg mixture and mix to combine, there will still be some flour muck at the base of your bowl. On medium speed, gradually add butter, mixing to form dough, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and glossy (4-5 minutes). It will be quite tacky to the touch. Transfer to a buttered bowl, turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1½-2 hours).

Preheat oven to 200C. Meanwhile combine the mince, spices, garlic, egg and sourdough crumbs in a bowl. Using your hands mix until the ingredients are well incorporated. Roll into golf ball sized balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and cook for ten minutes or until the balls are just starting to colour.
In a large frying pan, fry the onion in a little olive oil until starting to colour. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for fifteen minutes or until the mixture is starting to reduce. Add the meatballs, turn the heat to low and simmer for a further fifteen minutes until the sauce has reduced again, turning the meatballs often to coat them in the sauce.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface then roll out to a 28cm-diameter round and line the base and sides of a buttered 24cm-diameter fluted tart tin. Cook for ten minutes in the oven until a crust is just starting to form. Remove and smear over some of the tomato sauce and meatballs to just cover, leaving an approximate 3cm edge for the brioche to rise slightly and act as border protection for the sauce and meatballs. Season and return to the oven for another 15 minutes to finish cooking the brioche. Remove, sprinkle over shaved fontina and parsley and serve immediately.

*Leftover meatballs are great with fresh pasta, on fresh baguette.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl
You should make your own teriyaki sauce. Seriously. Why would you douse a delightful bit of protein in the packaged stuff that tastes like something you’d use as weed killer in your garden?
Cast aside your memories of the “chicken tezza” you had circa 1990s when the supermarket foray into “international” foods was just beginning because Teriyaki, when done well (aka made by you) by marinating, and re-coating in several glorious thick lashings, then served with the appropriate range of tastes and textures is like a ballet being performed inside your mouth.  A perfectly constructed Donburi (rice with food on top of it) like this one ensures every bite is rich, light, soft, crispy, deep, shallow, high, low, spicy, bland, sweet and sour. Served with the sanctimonious glow that comes with knowing you made it all yourself. Just the way it should be.
Serves 2
2 salmon fillets
Teriyaki sauce
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup mirin
½ cup rice malt syrup
½ cup brown sugar
pinch ground ginger
¾ cup wild rice
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
grapeseed oil for frying
½ avocado, sliced thinly
1 large carrot, peeled, shredded
¼ small bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
¼ small bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped
Toasted black sesame seeds to serve
Finely sliced nori to serve
To make the teriyaki sauce, add all ingredients to a saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened. You want it to be a smooth glaze consistency but not so thick that it coats the delicate fish too heavily. Allow to cool then pour about 1 cup into a bowl, reserving left over teriyaki for another use. Add the salmon to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place a saucepan of water over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Add the wild rice and cook for 30 minutes or until rice is just cracked, then drain.
Remove the salmon from the fridge, reserving the marinade.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Add the salmon and spoon over a few tablespoons of teriyaki sauce. Place in the oven and cook for 3-8 minutes or until cooked to your liking, basting the fish as it cooks. Depending on the thickness of your fillets and how “well done” you like your fish, the cooking time will vary quite significantly. As with any fish, watch it closely as it cooks.
Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl. Place a small frying pan over medium heat and pour in the egg, swirl gently to coat the base and cook for 1-2 minutes until the omelette has cooked through. Remove and cut in half.
Toss the carrot and herbs to combine.
Add the rice to your serving bowls. Top with a salmon fillet and spoon over any residual sauce from cooking. Add a piece of omelette, sliced avocado, and carrot salad. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and nori. Serve warm.