Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon
2 English muffins
4 pieces ‘Aoraki’ smoked salmon
4 poached eggs (see below)
4 tablespoons ‘Quick Blender Hollandaise’ sauce (see below)
Split each muffin, toast and butter. Cover each half with smoked salmon. Top with a poached egg and a good dollop of hollandaise sauce.
Perfect Poached Eggs
2 very fresh, free-range eggs
Plenty of boiling water
Fill a large pan with water and bring to just below boiling. Use a spoon to get the water moving in a gentle circle and break the eggs in. Keep swirling the water gently while cooking the eggs – it may take up to 10 minutes. Do not rush the process; otherwise the white will separate from the egg.
To check if the egg is cooked, lift gently with a slotted spoon and check that none of the white is still transparent; it should be fairly solid and plump around the yolk.
Quick Blender Hollandaise
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 large egg yolks
A large pinch of salt
6 rounded tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
Melt butter slowly in a small saucepan. Place wine vinegar and lemon juice in another pan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile blend egg yolks in a food processor or liquidiser, then – with the motor still running – gradually add the hot lemon and vinegar. When the butter reaches the boil, trickle this in very slowly, with motor still running until it is all added and the sauce is thickened. Stir in snipped chives. Serve immediately with barbequed salmon or vegetables, e.g. asparagus. Will also keep for up to 2 days if covered with glad wrap and refrigerated.
400g Hi-Tec white flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
Butter or oil for frying
Sift flour and salt into large bowl and rub in butter. Warm milk gently in a saucepan to blood heat, then sprinkle dried yeast on top and leave for 10 – 15 minutes until frothy. Beat in the egg. Add yeast liquid to the flour to make a very soft dough. Beat by hand or with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes, until smooth and shiny. Cover with a large, lightly oiled plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Knead again lightly and roll out onto a well floured surface to a thickness of about 1 cm. Cut into rounds and place on a floured baking sheet. Cover with plastic bag and leave to rise for about 45 minutes or until light and puffy. Heat oil or butter on a hot plate or heavy bottom frypan. Cook muffins for about 4 minutes on each side until golden.
Chinese Crisp Roasted Pork WITH BOK CHOY, PICKLED TOMATOES AND AVOCADO
1 x 1kg piece fresh belly pork, boned but not skinned
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
3 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. avocado oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 jalapeños, sliced thinly
- ½ tsp. cumin seed, toasted and ground
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds, toasted and ground to a paste
- 4 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tsp. plus a pinch r salt
- 3 ripe, Fresh Avocados
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- 3 cups cleaned and thinly chopped bok choy
Score pork skin at 1cm intervals, using a very sharp knife and cutting right through the skin. Blanch meat in a large sauce pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then lift out, rinse under cold water and dry well with kitchen paper. Combine garlic and soy sauce and rub all over meat side of pork. Combine salt and five-spice powder and rub all over skin. Refrigerate uncovered, skin-side up, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 230°C and line a baking dish with foil. Position a rack in baking dish and settle pork on rack, skin-side up. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 200°C and bake for 40 minutes or until skin crackles and crisps.
Place the tomatoes in a glass or ceramic bowl that can withstand a little heat. Season the tomatoes with the salt.
In a large fry pan bring olive oil to a simmer over medium high heat, just below smoke point. Add shallot and then jalapeños. Fry off until tender, about two minutes and then add the cumin and the mustard seeds. Toast for about a minute and remove from heat.
Let cool slightly and then carefully add half of the lime juice and vinegar and then pour this over seasoned tomatoes. Add mint, parsley and about ½. of the kosher salt. Let the tomatoes sit at room temperature for the flavors to mature. While the pan is still hot add the bok choy and let it wilt in the pan, adding a pinch of salt to season
Cool a little before cutting into slices and then into thick fingers. Serve hot or at room temperature as an entrée with a dish of hoi sin sauce for dipping, or use in a stir-fry.
1 pumpkin, washed and scrubbed (about 5kg)
1kg chicken, trimmed and large diced (about 2cm)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, chopped
2 small green peppers, sliced
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
300 ml coconut cream
300 ml puréed tomatoes
1 tablespoon korma paste
3 tomatoes, skinned deseeded and chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
Preheat oven to 180˚C
Choose a pumpkin with a decent stem on it as this will serve as a handle in the lid. Cut the top off the pumpkin to form a lid and scoop all the seeds and stringy bits out. Put the lid back on and bake for 1 – 1½ hours or until tender but still firm. Once cooked scoop a little more of the flesh out to give enough space for the casserole being careful not to damage the outer layer and skin.
Meanwhile heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, adding more oil if necessary, fry off the onions, garlic, celery, capsicum, potatoes and chilli until soft. Add the korma paste and fry to release flavours. Pour in the tomato and coconut and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomatoes, bouquet garni and seasoning to taste, cover and cook gently for 20 minutes.
Spoon the casserole into the pumpkin and bake in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
Carefully place the pumpkin on a serving dish and fish out the bouquet garmi before serving.
Venison Loin with Chocolate Sauce and Spiced Red Cabbage
Venison is one of those rich gamey flavours that can handle a bit of creativity in the accompanying sauce. It works well with berry fruits or in this case, high quality chocolate.
1 backstrap (loin or saddle) venison
“Mire-poix” of root vegetables, e.g. carrot, onion, leek, garlic, peeled and chopped into small dice
15 ml groundnut oil
1 cup red wine
1 cup Ruby Port
1 litre game stock (or beef stock)
2 pistules bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
Spiced Red Cabbage
900g firm red cabbage
450g Granny Smith apples
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon each of powdered nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, thyme and caraway seeds
275ml red wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
100g sultanas or raisins
Juice and grated rind of 2 oranges
- Shred the cabbage finely and toss in the melted butter. In a suitable casserole dish, layer the cabbage, apple, onion and orange rind. Sprinkle each layer with salt, pepper and sugar. Pour over liquidised red wine, vinegar, orange juice and spices. Cover and bake at 190˚C for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sauté the ‘mire-poix’ in the oil until softened. Add red wine and reduce. Add port and reduce. Add stock and bring to boil. Strain through muslin in a strainer and set aside in a warm place until needed.
- Pan fry venison to brown outside and retain juices. Cook in a preheated oven at 200˚C for approximately 5–8 minutes (depending on size and thickness). Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve, reheat sauce, add chocolate pistules and allow to melt slowly. Season to taste.
- Serve with loin of venison and spiced red cabbage.
Bruléed Peaches with Pan Fried Croissant
2 ripe peaches or nectarines
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
½ tablespoon Muscovado sugar
Preheat grill to a HIGH temperature. Halve and stone peaches. Place ½ tablespoon yoghurt into centre of peach and sprinkle generously with sugar. Place under grill to melt and caramelise for 5 minutes. Meanwhile panfry the croissants dry until just caramelising. Serve immediately.
I’m just back from foodie heaven, that being Melbourne. I had three days of cooking shows to do at a food extravaganza put on by ESSE stoves with Paul Mecurio. The shows were great fun but the real joy is being able to immerse myself in Melbourne’s food culture. We headed straight from the airport to the foodie temple that is Victoria Street Market. Wow what a place, it seemed like acres of beautiful fresh produce and halls of the finest fish, meat and deli products all just on the edge of the central city. As a chef I’m so jealous of my colleagues in Melbourne, what a pleasure it would be to be able to choose a menu from that astounding array every morning.
Speaking of restaurants, I must just mention the best Tapas that you’ll ever eat outside of Spain is in a restaurant called Movida. They have four restaurant spread around the city, but search out the original one half way up a graffiti strewn alleyway next-door to the theatre on Flinders, it is worth the effort.