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The best barbecues, seafood, salads and sweets for Australia Day

Australia Day Whether you're planning a cheeky long weekend away, or simply firing up the barbecue, Cooked has every recipe you need for a sensational Australia Day. We've dipped into our talented pool of Australian chefs to bring you the best of summer cooking, not only for our national celebrations, but for every piping-hot day to come. Lyndey Milan embraces native ingredients in her impressive lunch for friends, tapping the flavours and health benefits of indigenous ingredients such as lemon myrtle, wattleseed, yabbies and macadamias, with handy wine suggestions to boot. Ben O'Donoghue fires up the grill for a relaxed barbecue, complete with beer matches and tips on cooking the perfect steak. And Olympic champion Ian Thorpe shares his virtuous paleo menu, loaded with beetroot, kangaroo and mango. If you plan on getting the party started early, look to Billy Law's boozy brunch of Bloody Marys, bacon and eggs, and a bold yet beautiful Vegemite cheesecake. Trust us, it's a cracker. And if you're attending an event, don't show up empty-handed. Pack one of Matt Wilkinson's salads or our 'true blue' desserts in your Esky for a side dish that'll take centre stage. For more summer inspiration, visit Cooked.com.au.


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Showcasing native ingredients and contemporary techniques, Lyndey’s relaxed menu delivers a modern twist on the Australia Day lunch. By Lyndey Milan Photography Stuart Scott Taste of Australia

LYNDEY’S NOTE This also makes a lovely canape in witlof leaves. This amount makes around 24.

Barramundi larb with native Australian flavours Serves 4 Larb is a popular north-eastern Thai dish and is also the national dish of Laos. Essentially it is a sour and spicy meat, fish or vegetarian salad, fragrant with fresh herbs and spices. There are other regional variations in Thailand and the meat or fish can be cooked whole and shredded or minced (ground) and then cooked with the flavourings. As a fan of Australian native spices, I am using those instead. 50g bean-thread noodles ¾ tsp ground lemon myrtle* 1 tsp ground native pepperberry* 2 x 200g barramundi fillets, skin on 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 3cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped ⅓ cup (80ml) lime juice 1 lime, zested or 2-3 native finger limes ½ cup native mint or mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus a few extra sprigs 1 small red onion, finely chopped 2 witlof or baby gem lettuces, leaves separated Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Drain well, cut into shorter pieces, cover and set aside. Combine the lemon myrtle, pepperberry and a good grinding of salt. Dust this mixture on both sides of the barramundi. Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add the barramundi, skin-side down, and cook for 4 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes or until crusted. Turn over and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 4 minutes more. After 2 minutes, add the garlic and ginger to the pan, stirring often. Remove then slide off the crisp skin and reserve. Place fish in a shallow bowl and, using two forks, flake the fish, mixing through garlic and ginger. Season with salt, lime juice and zest or fruit from the finger limes, the mint and onion and mix well. Toss through the noodles and taste for seasoning. Cut the crisp barramundi skin into thin shards. To serve, divide the witlof or lettuce leaves among four plates, top with the barramundi mixture, a few sprigs of mint, extra finger lime pearls, if available, and shards of crisp skin. l * From gourmet shops and spice stores. WINE: The lemony, herbaceous flavours here are well suited to a riesling or semillon.

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Mustard pikelets with minted lamb Makes 30 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil 200g lamb tenderloin 2 tbs white wine vinegar 2 tsp caster sugar 1/4 cup shredded mint leaves MUSTARD PIKELETS

160g wholemeal self-raising flour 1 egg 125ml milk 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 tbs wholegrain mustard Butter, to cook To make the mustard pikelets, place the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the egg, milk, oil and mustard. Whisk until smooth. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a large non-stick frypan. Swirl to coat the base, then place heaped teaspoons of the pikelet mixture in the foaming butter. Cook until set around the edges, flip over and cook for another minute or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel and repeat with the remaining mixture, cleaning the pan after each batch with paper towel and adding another teaspoon of butter. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Season the lamb with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 3 minutes before turning and cooking for an additional minute for medium, or longer if desired. Remove from the pan, cover with foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into very thin slices.


Whisk the white wine vinegar and caster sugar with the remaining tablespoon of oil in a bowl. Add the mint and sliced lamb and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the pikelets topped with the dressed slices of lamb, garnished with the mint leaves. l WINE: The soft, gentle flavours of merlot work well here.

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Yabbies with lemon myrtle butter and macadamia warrigal greens

LYNDEY’S NOTE Warrigal greens are also known as warrigal spinach, New Zealand spinach or Botany Bay greens. They should always be blanched, even if using for salad, to remove the oxalic acid. You could substitute silverbeet (Swiss chard), English spinach or kale.

Serves 4 I caught yabbies myself at Murray Bank Yabby Farm near Albury and took inspiration from local Wiradjuri woman Leonie McIntosh to incorporate Indigenous ingredients into this stunning dish. 16 yabbies 1 tsp salt 1 small white onion, roughly chopped 1 cup (250ml) white wine 1 tbs native pepperberries* 2 tbs lemon myrtle leaves* 1 flat-leaf parsley sprig LEMON MYRTLE BUTTER

½ cup (125ml) white wine ½ lemon, juiced 1 tsp ground lemon myrtle* 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 125g cold butter, diced WARRIGAL GREENS

1-2 tbs macadamia oil or extra virgin olive oil 250g warrigal greens, leaves picked 60ml water (optional) 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 35g macadamia nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped Place the yabbies in the freezer for 15 minutes to put them to sleep. Meanwhile, place 2 litres water, the salt, onion, wine, pepperberries, lemon myrtle leaves and parsley in a large stockpot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the yabbies to the pot and poach for 10 minutes or until red in colour and the tails spring back when pressed. Drain and refresh under cold water. To peel the yabbies, twist off the heads. Using scissors, cut down the side of the shell and peel off; discard. Remove the intestinal tract. For the lemon myrtle butter, place the wine, lemon juice, lemon myrtle and ginger in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid by half. Strain and return to the heat, then whisk in the butter until all the ingredients emulsify. Remove from the heat.

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For the greens, heat 1 tablespoon of the macadamia oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add the warrigal greens and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly wilted and bright green in colour. Add the water, if necessary, to help the wilting process. Once wilted, add the garlic and macadamia nuts. Add the yabby flesh to the same pan as the warrigal greens (with an extra

tablespoon of oil, if desired) and flash-fry to brown slightly and heat through. To serve, divide the warrigal greens among serving plates. Top with four yabbies and spoon over the lemon myrtle butter. l * From gourmet shops and spice stores. WINE: The lemony flavours are well suited to a semillon, and the butter dictates an older one with toasty aged flavours.

Deconstructed peach melba Serves 4 Deconstructed desserts are very popular in restaurants. This one is inspired by peach melba, the dessert developed to celebrate famous Australian opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba. ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar 1 strip lemon zest 4 small peaches 4 thyme sprigs, plus extra sprigs with flowers, to garnish 100g creme fraiche or light sour cream 125g raspberries, to serve COCONUT & ALMOND CRUMBLE

45g flaked almonds 40g shredded coconut 30g butter ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar 25g ground almonds RASPBERRY SAUCE

125g raspberries 2 tbs icing sugar ½ lemon, juiced

Place enough water to cover the peaches in a saucepan large enough to hold the fruit in one layer, and bring to the boil with the caster sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon zest, peaches and thyme sprigs, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes covered with a cartouche (see Lyndey’s note) or until the peaches are just tender. Remove the peaches from the liquid and set aside to cool before peeling, halving and removing the stones. Slice each half into quarters, or cut into random shapes if you prefer. For the coconut and almond crumble, toss the flaked almonds in a small frypan over low heat for 3 minutes or until just starting to colour. Add the coconut and continue to toss for a further 2 minutes or until the flaked almonds and coconut are a light golden colour. Remove to a small bowl. In the same frypan, add the butter, caster sugar and ground almonds and cook for 4 minutes or until the butter melts and the mixture colours slightly.

LYNDEY’S NOTE A cartouche is a circular round cut from baking paper, just large enough to cover the pan. The cartouche will help the top of the peaches stay submerged and cook evenly.

Remove from the heat and stir through the almonds and coconut, then set aside to cool. For the raspberry sauce, place the raspberries, icing sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, mashing the raspberries to a puree. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Push through a sieve to remove the seeds.

To serve, sprinkle each of four plates with the coconut and almond crumble. Top with the peach wedges and teaspoon-sized dollops of creme fraiche. Drizzle over some raspberry sauce, dot with whole raspberries, scatter over the thyme flowers and serve immediately. l WINE: This is not overly sweet, so try a late-picked riesling.

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Wattleseed damper Serves 6-8

A highlight of my visit to the Wonga Wetlands near Albury was meeting Wiradjuri woman Leonie McIntosh, who has learned the traditional ways from her elders. She showed me a 2000-year-old rock mortar and pestle used to grind native spices like wattleseed. She likes to use these ingredients in a modern way and shared this recipe with me.


2 cups (300g) self-raising flour ½ tsp salt 3 tsp wattleseed 30g butter, diced ½ cup (125ml) milk, plus 1 tablespoon extra to glaze

LYNDEY’S NOTE In order to get a stronger flavour from the wattleseed, infuse it in the milk and water mixture for an hour before use. Leonie recommends serving this with bush tomato butter, made by adding 2 teaspoons ground bush tomato (akudjura) to 250g soft butter to combine. Leonie says that it adds a savoury flavour to the butter, similar to Vegemite.

Preheat the oven to 220°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, add the wattleseed and mix well. Add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips. Combine the milk with ½ cup water, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid all at once. Mix quickly to make a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead lightly and form into a 12cm round. Place on the baking tray and glaze with the extra milk. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 190°C. Bake for another 10 minutes, turn the damper over then cook for a further 10 minutes or until the damper sounds hollow when tapped.

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To serve, cut into thick wedges and dot with butter and a good dollop of honey, jam or a condiment of your choice. l

A TO Z of native Australian ingredients Australian cuisine is hard to define. ‘Modern Australian’ implies a chef ’s interpretation of our country’s multiple cultural influences. Items like pavlova and lamingtons spring to mind as traditionally ‘ours’, but even those are contentious claims. What we can say with certainty is that indigenous ingredients are an important part of our national heritage, and there are a number of Australian chefs that employ native flavours with flair. MACADAMIA




Barramundi: one of Australia’s most popular food fishes, this species is versatile in the kitchen. Traditionally, it was wrapped in the leaves of wild ginger plants and baked in the ashes of a fire. Try Luke Nguyen’s chargrilled barramundi in betel leaves. Crocodile: offering a firm white flesh that’s low in fat and high in protein, this aquatic reptile is often found on outback menus. Try Lyndey Milan’s crocodile nori tempura cigars. Eucalyptus: a flowering tree

linked to the myrtle family, you’ll find species of Eucalyptus all across Australia (as anyone having observed the landscape will note). Traditionally used for its medicinal properties, its distinct flavour also adds interest to food. Try Mark Best’s chocolate mousse écrasé, eucalyptus and coconut.

Finger limes: this elongated lime (in the shape of its namesake) is filled with seeds that pack a flavourful punch. A sought-after item both in Australia and abroad, it can be used in myriad ways, but it’s an ideal accompaniment with seafood. Try Paul Wilson’s heirloom tomato escabeche with finger lime goat’s crema.

Kangaroo: packed with iron and low in fat, kangaroo makes a lean, local alternative to beef or lamb. Try Rohan Anderson’s kangaroo shanks.

with this in your recipes keep in mind your tolerance of heat and adjust accordingly. Try Bitesize Savoury’s fig galettes with jamon and pepperberry mayonnaise.

Lemon myrtle: the leaves

Quandong: a native berry often likened to a peach, it has a tart flesh and was used by Indigenous Australians for the medicinal properties of its leaves.

from this flowering plant are dried and ground, and used to flavour everything from seafood to sweet dishes. Try Bitesize Savoury’s barramundi burgers with lemon myrtle mayonnaise.

Macadamia nuts: indigenous

to Australia and one of our largest exports, macadamias have a creamy flavour and crunchy texture (we like to freeze them and eat them as a cool treat in summer). Try Kate Bradley’s macadamia ‘ricotta’ cheese.

Moreton Bay bugs and Balmain bugs: closely linked

to lobsters, this seafood species is a native Australian delicacy. Best bought fresh from seafood markets, if buying chilled bugs check when they were last alive (they deteriorate quickly unless frozen). Try Ben O’Donoghue’s Moreton Bay bugs with figs and pancetta kebabs.

Pepperberry (aka dorrigo pepper): both the leaves and

Samphire: fresh samphire

has a woody appearance, and in season (October to March) it’s bright green. This native succulent is found primarily in South Australia’s waterways, with a crunchy texture and salty flavour (though saltiness is reduced with cooking) that works well with seafood. Try Matt Wilkinson’s crab, samphire and mustard on toast.

Warrigal greens: a native spinach that’s high in antioxidants and much more robust than its English counterpart, this was a popular ingredient with early settlers. Warrigal greens must be blanched in boiling water before use, even when using in salads, to remove any harmful oxalates. Try Paul Wilson’s hapuka with clams and sea vegetables.

Wattleseed: this prevalent

flowering plant has been a part of the Indigenous Australian diet for thousands of years. Traditionally ground into flour and used in bush breads, roasting wattleseeds creates a nutty aroma and flavour that works well in drinks and desserts. Only some wattles are edible – the most sought out species is the AC retinodes - Wirilda, which is now being planted commercially for its popularity in cooking. Try Lyndey Milan’s wattleseed Anzacs.

Yabbies: this freshwater crayfish is endemic to South Australia, though there are various similar species found across the country, including Western Australia’s marron. Try Jim McDougall’s salad of yabby, nashi and caramelised macadamias.


the berries from this native plant are used as a spice. As it's much hotter than your run-of-the-mill pepper, when experimenting

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Prawns, lamb cutlets, steak and even bananas get the barbecue treatment when Ben fires up the grill on January 26.

By Ben O’Donoghue Photography Billy Law Ben’s BBQ Bible

Barbecued tamarind prawns Serves 4 600g fresh large tiger prawns 2 tbs tamarind paste 2 tbs kecap manis 1 tbs palm sugar 1 tbs freshly ground black pepper Lime wedges 1 small bunch coriander, trimmed 2-4 fresh green chillies, seeded and quartered lengthways (optional) Prepare your barbecue – preferably a charcoal barbecue grill – for cooking over high heat. (You can also cook these prawns on a flat barbecue plate.) Rinse the prawns well, then pat dry with a clean cloth. Using a sharp knife, make an incision along the outside curve of the tail. Remove the vein. In a bowl, mix together the tamarind paste, kecap manis, palm sugar and pepper. Pour the mixture over the prawns, rubbing it over the shells and into the incision in the tails. Cover and marinate for 1 hour.

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Remove the prawns from the marinade and place on a rack over the charcoal grill or barbecue. Grill the prawns for about 3 minutes on each side, brushing them with marinade as they cook. Serve straight away, with lime wedges, coriander and chillies if desired. l BEER MATCH: Hoegaarden White Beer

Dukkah-crusted lamb cutlets Serves 4 These lamb cutlets make a great canape or finger food at a barbecue, or you can combine them with a delicious potato salad for a more substantial meal. For ease I use ready-made hummus and dukkah, but you can easily make your own. 16 french-trimmed lamb cutlets 250g hummus 1 preserved lemon, flesh and pulp removed, skin finely diced ⅓ cup dukkah ¼ cup mint leaves, shredded Prepare your barbecue for direct cooking over medium heat. You can use either the fat griddle or the chargrill portion of the barbecue.

PRO TIP If you’d like to make everything from scratch, whip up Daniel Wilson’s hummus and Greg Malouf’s dukkah Just prior to barbecuing, season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Place on the barbecue and cook to your preferred degree. I prefer medium for lamb, for the best texture and tenderness — so about 3-4 minutes each side.

Top with a little preserved lemon.

Remove cutlets to a tray to rest for 3 minutes.

BEER MATCH: James Squire Constable Copper Ale

Just prior to serving, smear about 1 teaspoon of the hummus over the face of each cutlet.

Liberally sprinkle with dukkah to give a nice crunch, then finely scatter with the mint for freshness. Serve straight away. l

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Aussie steak sandwich Serves 6 Flank steak is an often-overlooked option when it comes to barbecuing. Cut from the belly, it is substantially tougher than rump or sirloin and benefits from being marinated and tenderised. Ideally, this recipe should marinate for two days. For this reason it has a far better flavour than most grilling steaks. Flank steak is popular in France, where it is known as bavette, and also in Mexico, where it’s called arrachera and is used in tortillas, and in Texas, where it is cooked slowly, like you would a brisket. I prefer the good old Aussie way! Marinate it really well and then just show it the fire. Cook it quickly and cut it thin, and you will enjoy the best steak sandwich this side of the black stump. 1kg skirt or flank steak, trimmed of sinew, but leave the fat 12 pide pieces, split in half lengthways 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced 2 handfuls rocket MARINADE

2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 long red chillies 250ml olive oil 2 tbs sherry vinegar 2 tbs worcestershire sauce 1 tbs tinned chopped tomatoes 100ml kecap manis 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 tbs thyme ONION CONFIT

75g butter 5 large onions, finely sliced 1 tbs sugar 1 rosemary sprig HONEY–MUSTARD MAYONNAISE

4 tbs mayonnaise 1 tbs dijon mustard 2 tsp runny honey

Prepare the marinade by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and blitzing. Rub into the trimmed steak and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight, but for the best flavour for 2 days. Prepare the onion confit by melting the butter over low heat. Add the onions, sugar and

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PRO TIP To take your steak sandwich to the next level, make Ben's mayonnaise. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

rosemary, and cook slowly until soft, golden and sweet. The confit can be made in advance and will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. To make the honey-mustard mayo, simply combine all ingredients well. Remove the meat from the marinade, pat it dry and allow to come to room temperature. Prepare your barbecue for direct grilling over high heat. I recommend that you cook the steak to medium-rare and no more.

Once cooked, allow the steak to rest. Place the marinade in a small saucepan and cook until reduced. To make each steak sandwich, spread the untoasted side of the bread with onion confit, add tomato and rocket, and dress with the mayonnaise. Slice the meat thinly, dress with the reduced marinade, place on top of your salad and top with a slice of toasted bread. l BEER MATCH: Colonial Brewing Draught

Barbecued banana split Serves 6 Caroline, a good friend of mine, gave me this cracking barbecue recipe. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it really appealed to me because I love the combination of bananas and peanut butter.

Prepare your barbecue for cooking on medium heat.

You need a sweet tooth for this one, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Be prepared for the kids to start bouncing off the walls. This is a great recipe to make when you’re going camping or having a barbecue in the great outdoors as you can prepare the bananas in advance and they travel well.

Insert slices of the Snickers bar into the split bananas, dividing the chocolate equally among the fruit. Drizzle with a little honey, sandwich the bananas back together and wrap in foil.

6 ripe bananas, unpeeled 1 Snickers bar, thinly sliced 1-2 tbs runny honey 1-2 tbs crushed salted peanuts Cream or ice-cream, to serve

Use a sharp knife to make an incision along the length of each banana, being careful not to cut all the way through.

Place over the direct heat of the barbecue and cook for 5 minutes on each side. When cooked, unwrap the bananas, sprinkle with the crushed peanuts and serve with cream or ice-cream. l BEER MATCH: Moon Dog Holdin’ Hay Time



Follow these simple steps and you’re guaranteed to end up with the perfect steak every time.


CHOOSE YOUR CUT The cuts that are best suited to the high heat of direct grilling are well-marinated skirt steak or cuts such as sirloin, porterhouse, T-bone, rump or tenderloin (fillet). These cuts have a broad surface area that takes advantage of the high heat.


SEASON YOUR MEAT Bring your steaks to room temperature and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper just prior to grilling. The coarse salt helps to protect the meat from sticking to the grill and gives it a lovely crust.


PREPARE YOUR GRILL Your fire should be built or the gas arranged so you have a hot area and a cooler area so you can move your steak from the high heat to a more steady, lower heat. This is more important if you’re cooking large, thick steaks as opposed to thin, quick-cook steaks. Be sure that your grill is clean and free of oil and fat. I never oil the steaks or the grill as oil cooking over a high heat will burn and flavour the meat. A hot fire and some seasoning are all you need to stop the steak from sticking.


COOK YOUR STEAKS Never overcrowd your grill. Seal your steak on the first side for 2-3 minutes, then rotate it 90 degrees to form crisscross grill marks. You should only turn steaks a maximum of three times. As a general rule, when cooking inch-thick steaks, turn them over after 5 minutes and repeat the crisscross cooking on the other side. You will require a little less time on the second side, as the meat will be hotter; allow 3-4 minutes. Give the meat a final turn for just 30 seconds to heat the other side and to balance the movement of moisture.


CHECK FOR DONE-NESS To tell how cooked your steak is, the best method is to touch it. You should never cut a steak to check this. I use the finger-to-thumb method, which replicates the feeling of ‘done-ness’. To do this, feel the fleshy pad at the base of your thumb, which should feel different depending on which finger is gently meeting your thumb. As a rough gauge: thumb and index finger = rare to medium-rare; thumb to middle finger = medium-rare to medium; thumb to ring finger = medium to medium-well-done; thumb to pinkie = medium-well-done to well-done.


ALLOW TO REST Rest the meat for half the time you took to cook it to allow the proteins to relax and the moisture to settle within the meat. View our steak recipe collection on Cooked.com.au

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What would Australia Day be without beetroot, kangaroo and summer fruits? Olympic champion Ian Thorpe shares a virtuous dinner for our national day.

By Ian Thorpe Photography Gorta Yuuki (studio) and William Meppem (location) From Cook for Your Life

Beetroot-cured salmon with fennel salad Serves 6 This dish can make you appear a more expert cook than you really are! Everyone always tries to guess what flavours are in it. The fennel seeds give the dish fresh earthiness, while the beetroot gives it sweetness as well as vibrant colour. You'll need to begin the salmon 36 hours in advance. 2 tbs black peppercorns 1 tbs fennel seeds 4 beetroots, peeled and grated 2 limes, zested and juiced 1 orange, zested and juiced 1 cup dill leaves, finely chopped 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped 1½ cups (330g) caster sugar 130g sea salt 1.2kg side of salmon, pin-boned and skinned

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2 baby fennel bulbs, finely sliced 1 red onion, thinly sliced 1 cup mache (lamb’s lettuce) leaves ¼ cup dill leaves, chopped 2 tbs lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper Finely grind the peppercorns and fennel seeds in a mortar. Transfer to a bowl along with the beetroot, citrus zest and juice, herbs, sugar and salt and toss well.

Place the salmon in a large, deep tray and cover the top with the beetroot mix. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the salmon and re-cover with the beetroot mix, and refrigerate for a further 12 hours. To make the salad, combine the fennel, onion, mache and dill in a bowl. Dress with the lemon juice, season with pepper and toss to combine. Scrape the beetroot mixture from the salmon and pat the fish dry. Thinly slice the fish and serve with the fennel salad. l

Chilli kangaroo with coffee and chocolate Serves 6 2 tbs olive oil 2 small red chillies, finely chopped 6 x 180g kangaroo fillets 185g beef or veal stock ⅓ cup (80ml) red wine 1 garlic clove, bruised 1 sprig of rosemary 2 shots (60ml) freshly brewed espresso coffee 30g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), grated Combine the oil and chilli in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the kangaroo fillets and coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or longer if you like your food spicy). Combine the stock, wine, garlic and rosemary in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Boil for 8-10 minutes until the liquid reduces by half. Remove the garlic and rosemary from the pan and add the coffee. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes (don’t boil rapidly as the coffee may become bitter). Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Heat a frypan over medium-high heat and cook the kangaroo fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side, for medium-rare. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the kangaroo thickly and serve with the coffee and chocolate sauce. l

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Roasted pumpkin & hazelnut salad Serves 6 800g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes 1 red onion, quartered 2 tbs olive oil 1 tbs lemon juice 200g baby spinach leaves ž cup hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the pumpkin and onion in a large baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for 40 minutes or until golden brown, then leave to cool to warm or to room temperature, depending on your preference. (In winter I like to serve the salad warm, while in summer I serve it cool.) Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the remaining oil with the lemon juice in a small bowl. Tip the roasted pumpkin and onion into a large bowl and add the spinach, hazelnuts and dressing. Toss to combine, and serve. l

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Mango & berry soup Serves 6 This is a great summer dessert that is all fruit and no sugar. The mangoes and berries are pureed separately, then poured into bowls creating bright bursts of yellow and red – it presents beautifully at a dinner party. Lemon juice takes out some of the sweetness of the mango so it doesn’t overpower the berries. 3 mangoes, fleshed ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice 450g strawberries, hulled 125g raspberries ¼ cup fresh spearmint leaves 2 tbs pistachios, finely chopped Put the mango and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a jug. Rinse and dry the food processor, then blend the strawberries and raspberries together. Pour into another jug. Select wide, shallow bowls to serve. Carefully pour the berry mixture into half of one bowl while at the same time pouring the mango mixture into the other half. The aim is to have two neat semicircles of yellow and red. Continue pouring the soup into the remaining bowls. Decorate with the spearmint leaves and chopped pistachios. l

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BILLY LAW’S BRUNCH Kick off your Australia Day celebrations with Billy’s indulgent brunch, including Bloody Marys, bacon and eggs, and a surprise appearance by Vegemite.

By Billy Law From Have You Eaten and Man Food

Bacon Bloody Mary Makes 1 For me – and most of us – the ultimate hangover cure has long been a breakfast big on bacon with a tall, spicy Bloody Mary. This tomato juice and vodka-based cocktail has been dubbed the world’s most complex cocktail as its ingredients are more akin to a soup than a cocktail. But I figure why stop there – this is the ultimate hangover cure in one glass. Make the bacon-infused vodka 3-7 days in advance. Ice 1 shot bacon-infused vodka (recipe below) 250ml tomato juice ½ lemon, juiced 1 tsp worcestershire sauce 1-2 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco Pinch freshly ground black pepper 1 slice spicy beer and maple candied bacon (see recipe page 19) 1 celery stalk BACON-INFUSED VODKA

4 slices spicy beer and maple candied bacon (see recipe page 19) 750ml bottle vodka CELERY SALT

10-12 celery leaves Olive oil spray 35g sea salt flakes To make the bacon-infused vodka, put the candied bacon in a large, clean sterilised jar with a lid, then fill it with the vodka (keep the original bottle), making sure all of the bacon is fully submerged. Screw the lid on tight, refrigerate and infuse until the vodka reaches the infusion level to your liking, from 3 days up to 1 week. Place a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) over a sieve and drain the vodka through the sieve into a clean jug. Do this twice to get rid of as much bacon fat in the liquid as possible. Using a funnel, pour the infused vodka back into the bottle and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. To make the celery salt, preheat the oven to 180°C. Lay the celery leaves on a baking tray in a single layer, spray with some oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the celery leaves are dry. Remove and let cool. Grind the celery leaves and salt together using a mortar and pestle until they resemble green sand. Tip this out onto a small plate ready for dipping the rim of the glass. To make the Bloody Mary, wet the rim of a glass with water then dip it in the celery salt and set aside. Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the infused vodka, juices, sauces and pepper. Cap and shake to chill. Pour into the glass. Garnish with the candied bacon and celery stalk. l

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Breakfast pie Serves 2 8 short bacon slices 2 large eggs, beaten ¼ cup (60ml) full-cream milk Handful chives, finely chopped Handful English spinach, roughly chopped 1 sheet puff pastry 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash Preheat the oven to 220°C and place a baking tray on the middle rack of the oven. Cook the bacon in a frypan over mediumhigh heat until lightly coloured, then remove and drain on paper towel. Put the eggs and milk in a bowl, stir to combine, then stir in the chives and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.

Grease a 20cm x 12cm ceramic dish or baking dish. Line the dish with the puff pastry, gently pressing the pastry down so it fits in all the corners. Leave the pastry hanging over the rim of the dish. To assemble, arrange 4 bacon slices in the base of the dish, then place the hard-boiled eggs on top. Pour the egg and spinach mixture into the dish, then jiggle the dish a little to get rid of any air pockets. Place the remaining bacon over the top. Lift the pastry up from the longest sides and fold them towards the centre, sealing the mixture inside. Trim off the shorter ends of the pastry, then fold them inwards and press down to seal. Decorate the dish with some of the pastry offcuts. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and then use a knife to make a few incisions in the top of the pastry, to let the steam out when baking. Place the pie on the hot baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until the pastry is light golden brown. Serve hot with tomato sauce, barbecue sauce or chilli onion jam. l

Spicy beer and maple candied bacon Makes 10 Forget the mixed nuts or corn chips, this is the ultimate beer snack! But make sure you save some for the Bacon Bloody Mary recipe. 115g soft brown sugar 3 tbs maple syrup ¼ cup (60ml) beer ½ tsp cayenne papper 10 streaky bacon slices, cut in half Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with foil, then place a wire rack on top. Stir the sugar, maple syrup, beer and cayenne pepper in a bowl until the sugar has completely dissolved into a thick syrup. Brush the bacon on both sides with the syrup, arrange on the wire rack, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush the bacon again with the syrup on both sides. Pop it back in the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes. Repeat the process a few more times until the bacon is crisp and browned. It should take about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the wire rack to harden. Serve as a snack. l

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Vegemite cheesecake

adding the next. Add the cream, lemon juice and Vegemite, and beat until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust, tap the tin gently on the bench top to get rid of any air bubbles and level the surface. Wrap the bottom and side of the tin in foil, then place it in a 4cm deep baking dish.

Serves 10-12 I can see some of you screwing up your faces at the mere title of this recipe. All I can say is ‘don’t judge it until you’ve tried it’. As we know, salt brings out the sweetness in food, and this works the same way: the salty Vegemite enhances the sweetness of the cheesecake. I also find the yeast in the Vegemite helps the cake to rise better when baking, which yields an airier texture. Are you convinced yet?

Pour boiling water into the baking dish until the water reaches halfway up the side of the cake tin. Make sure there are no tears or holes in the foil; if so, the water may seep into the tin and you’ll end up with a soggy crust base. Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. It should be just set but still wobbly in the centre. Turn the oven off, and let it cool in the oven for at least an hour. This will allow the cake to finish cooking and prevent cracking on top. Take it out and let it finish cooling on the bench top if it’s still warm. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to set.


250g plain sweet biscuits 150g unsalted butter, melted 2 tbs caster sugar CHEESECAKE

500g cream cheese, softened 1 cup (220g) sugar 3 large eggs 1 cup (250ml) thickened cream 1 tbs lemon juice 2 tbs Vegemite yeast extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 24cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Mix together the ingredients for the crust, then tip the mixture into the prepared tin and gently press the crumbs evenly over the base and about 5cm up the side. Place in the refrigerator to set.


To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before

250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped 150ml thickened cream 1 tbs Vegemite yeast extract

To make the Vegemite chocolate ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until boiling point, then quickly remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the chocolate soften for a minute, then stir until the chocolate has melted. Add the Vegemite and stir to mix well. Pour the chocolate ganache over the cheesecake, tilting the cheesecake in a circular motion to spread the ganache evenly. Cut into small slices and serve. l


It’s not only Billy Law who likes to push the boat out with Vegemite. Ben O’Donoghue and Rosie Birkett also draw on this salty, savoury, umami-bomb to flavour a range of dishes.

Vegemite roast chicken

For an Aussie take on roast chicken, Ben looks to our tar-black icon. "I use Vegemite as a stock base for a lot of things," says Ben. "When I first started making pies in the UK, I used it as a flavour base and colouring agent. However, when you end up needing 20 kilos of the stuff a week, it can get a little tedious opening jar after jar! Thankfully, you don’t need that much for this recipe.”

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Shearer pie

Ben also pumps up the volume in this classic lamb pie by adding a tablespoon of Vegemite, which he says acts as a stock base.


For a posh take on Vegemite and cheese, whip up a batch of Rosie Birkett’s gougeres. OK, so British Rosie uses Marmite in her original recipe, but she says Vegemite will also work a treat in these cloud-like choux pastry puffs.

Pandan kaya lamingtons Makes 15 After living in Australia for 10 years, I finally became a citizen in 2007. Other than receiving a certificate and a wattle tree, I was given three other items from friends that have encouraged my passion in cooking: a CWA cookbook, a meat pie, and a lamington (which I devoured at the ceremony). While I do call Australia home, a part of me still belongs to Malaysia. Thus, this pandan kaya lamington was born. 50g cornflour 75g plain flour 50g self-raising flour 6 eggs 150g caster sugar 1 tsp pandan essence KAYA JAM

3 eggs 2 egg yolks 100g caster sugar 50g dark brown sugar 250ml coconut cream 3-4 pandan leaves, washed CHOCOLATE SAUCE

150ml water 175g caster sugar 50g unsweetened cocoa powder 250ml thickened cream 100g dark chocolate, chopp TO FINISH

180g desiccated coconut To make the kaya jam, put the eggs, egg yolks, caster and brown sugars in a large metal or glass bowl, and beat until the sugars have dissolved. Heat the coconut cream in a saucepan to boiling point, then quickly remove from the heat. Pour the hot coconut cream into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, stirring continuously so it doesn’t curdle. Stack all the pandan leaves together and tie them into a knot, then drop the leaves into the mixture. Place the metal bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Using a silicone spatula, stir the egg mixture and scrape the bowl all the while to stop it curdling, until it reaches a smooth custard consistency with a nice golden brown colour – this will take

about 1 hour (this is a crucial step so don’t walk away). Test to see if the mixture is ready by using the ‘parting the sea’ technique: use the spatula to draw a line through the mixture in the bowl; if the line stays visible for a couple of seconds before the mixture flows like lava and covers the line, it is ready. When the jam is cooked, it should be very thick and glossy and deep brown in colour. Remove the bowl from the heat, squeeze all the sticky jam out of the pandan leaves, then discard them. Strain the jam through a fine sieve into a jug. Leave to cool before storing in a sterilised jar. (The jam keeps well for a week at room temperature or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.)

the cake mixture evenly between the two tins. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The cakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn off the oven, but leave the cakes in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread a layer of kaya jam on the flat side of one of the sponge cakes, then sandwich with the other one over the top.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two rectangular 15cm x 20cm cake tins and line with baking paper. Triple-sift the cornflour, plain flour and self-raising flour into a bowl, then set aside.

To make the chocolate sauce, put the water, sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the cream and bring it back up to boiling point. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl, then pour the hot cocoa mixture over the chocolate. Let the chocolate soften for a minute, then stir until the chocolate has melted. Set the chocolate sauce aside until it is cool enough for coating.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, whisk the eggs for 10 minutes until thick and frothy. Then gradually add the sugar, whisking constantly until the mixture has tripled in volume. Using a metal spoon, fold one-third of the egg mixture and the pandan essence into the flour, making sure it is well incorporated. Then fold in the rest of the egg mixture in two batches – be extremely gentle and try not to knock too much air out of the batter. Divide

Have the bowl of chocolate sauce, a bowl of desiccated coconut and a wire rack over a baking tray ready. Cut the cake into fifteen 5cm cubes. Using two forks, dip the cake into the chocolate sauce, then drop it in the bowl of coconut. Sprinkle the cake with coconut and then roll it around until it is well coated. Repeat for all the cakes. Place the lamingtons on the wire rack to set for 1 hour before serving. l

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So you’ve been asked to bring a salad? Make your side dish the main event by whipping up one of Matt Wilkinson's green-and-gold wonders.

Salad of beans with honey dressing and smoked almonds Serves 4

Pineapple, mint & coconut salad Serves 4 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into long ‘finger’ wedges 50g coconut sugar 1 tsp salt flakes 8-10g dried mint leaves, roughly chopped 1 tsp whole white peppercorns Small mint leaves, to garnish ½ fresh young coconut, flesh only, well chilled Lay the pineapple wedges on a serving plate. Using a mortar and pestle, grind together the coconut sugar, salt, dried mint and peppercorns. Sprinkle the mixture all over the pineapple, then scatter with the fresh mint leaves. Cut the coconut flesh into thin strips and arrange over the top. Eat with your hands, making sure you get the fresh coconut too! l

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300g green beans, topped and tailed 300g butterbeans, topped and tailed 300g flat green beans, topped and tailed 1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, washed and torn 1 small handful mint, washed and roughly chopped 2 eschalots, thinly sliced

By Matt Wilkinson Photography Jacqui Melville From Mr Wilkinson’s Simply Dressed Salads


90g honey 50g smoked almonds, chopped 100ml olive oil 50ml sherry vinegar Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Test to see if they’re cooked by scooping one out of the water and biting into it – you’re looking for a little crunch to still be there. Once done, drain the beans in a colander and refresh under cold water until cool. Set aside. To make the dressing, add honey and almonds to a little pot and warm gently over low heat. Add oil and vinegar and take off the heat. Place beans in a bowl, add herbs, eschalot and dressing, mix together, then serve. l

Fossie’s charred corn & potato salad Serves 4 My business partner, Ben Foster, is a damn good cook. Don’t tell him I said that, but he really is – although he’s a bit messy in the kitchen, like all ‘home chef wannabes’, hehehe. This is one of his staple summer salads that I have enjoyed many a time at his house.

Avocado, sweet potato & walnut salad Serves 4 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled 1 ripe avocado, flesh sliced 1 small fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced 2 tbs chopped walnuts 2 tbs chopped dill pickles 1 large handful mache (lamb’s lettuce) leaves 2 tbs dill leaves 1 tbs flat-leaf parsley leaves 50g pecorino or hard salted ricotta

1kg boiling potatoes (such as pink fir, kipfler or small Nicolas), peeled and roughly diced 2 corn cobs, husks removed 125g A Frenchman’s mayo ¼ tsp chipotle chilli powder 1 tbs pickled jalapeno chillies, chopped 3 spring onions, chopped 1 small handful coriander, leaves picked, washed and chopped 1 lime, juiced

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until tender when poked with a sharp knife. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat a chargrill or barbecue to high. Toast the corn cobs until nicely browned all over, but not burnt. All up it’ll take a good 15-20 minutes to cook the cobs. Take off the heat, leave to cool a little, then slice off the kernels using a sharp knife. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, chilli powder and jalapeno. Put the potato and corn in a large bowl, then stir in the mayo mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and season with flakes and pepper. Mix together gently, then serve. l

MATT'S NOTE This is the perfect barbecue salad or lunch. A good sprinkling of fried bacon or chorizo doesn’t go astray, and adds a lovely texture.


2 lemons, juiced 100ml grapeseed oil or canola oil 2 tbs walnut oil 1 tbs honey, warmed 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 210°C. Stab the sweet potatoes all over, place on a baking tray and roast for 30-50 minutes, or until you can insert a skewer through them. Let cool, then peel off the skin and cut the sweet potatoes into rounds. To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together, then season to taste with salt flakes. To serve, arrange the sweet potato and avocado around a plate. Lightly dress the fennel with some of the dressing and arrange over the top, then layer with walnuts and dill pickles. Dress with some more dressing. In a bowl, combine the mache, dill and parsley. Dress lightly, then scatter over the salad. Grate the pecorino all over, using a microplane. Serve immediately. l

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TOP 10 DESSERTS Give your guests a sweet send-off with one of the Australian-accented desserts, including classic lamingtons, indulgent gelato and boozy tarts. Turn the traditional cheesecake on its head with Lydney’s modern twist

Pavlova gelato

By Nick Palumbo Photography Billy Law From Gelato Messina

Pro cooks should have a crack at this four-part gelato recipe.

Grilled pineapple By Ben O’Donoghue Photography Billy Law From Ben’s BBQ Bible

Upside-down salted caramel cheesecake with macadamia praline By Lyndey Milan Photography Stuart Scott From Taste of Australia

Who can resist freshly made sponge cake dipped in chocolate and coated in coconut?

Finger lime & tequila tart By Paul Wilson Photography Chris Middleton From Cantina

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Native finger limes and macadamia pastry give this tart a ‘true blue’ accent.


By Margaret Fulton Photography Geoff Lung From The Margaret Fulton Cookbook

Keep the barbecue blazing for this zesty rum-spiked sweet.

Pavlova nests

By Margaret Fulton Photography Mark Roper From The 12 Days of Christmas

No Australia Day celebration is complete without a fruity pavlova.

Tim Tams and ice-cream?

Tim Tam ice-cream dessert By Gaye Weeden Photography Mark Roper From Cooking From The Heart


Lemon myrtle adds a native flavour to this old-school classic.

Lemon myrtle delicious By Billy Law Photography Billy Law From Have You Eaten

Raspberry & passionfruit tart By Gabriel GatĂŠ Photography Mark Roper From 100 Best Cakes and Desserts

This pretty tart is ideal for Australia Day as it resembles a giant Iced VoVo.

Homemade Tim Tams By Sarah Coates Photography Chris Middleton From The Sugar Hit!

Up your baking game with this supercharged take on the original.

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Profile for HGX DESIGN

Cooked: Australia Day  

The best barbecues, seafood, salads and sweets for Australia Day.

Cooked: Australia Day  

The best barbecues, seafood, salads and sweets for Australia Day.

Profile for hgxdesign