Page 1


XXL


XXL EPIC FOOD, STREET EATS & CULT DISHES FROM AROUND THE WORLD


CONTENTS 6 10 56 86 140 180 194

INTRODUCTION SNACKS BURGERS MAINS DESSERTS DRINKS INDEX


INTRODUCTION Do you love your food meaty, crunchy, chewy, saucy, gooey, buttery, flaky, cheesy, chocolatey, creamy, hearty, silky, spicy, syrupy, particularly thick ’n’ juicy? If so, this is the book for you – it’s full of outrageously mouthwatering, decadent, indulgent, scrum-diddly-umptious recipes that will blow your socks off. Come with me on a wild gastronomic journey to different corners of the world. This book is a celebration of some of the epic food, street eats and cult dishes I’ve enjoyed on my travels since my first two cookbooks, Have You Eaten? and Man Food, were published. One of the greatest pleasures I get from cooking is feeding my friends. There is nothing more satisfying than sharing a meal and seeing them devour everything to their heart’s content – which is why so many of the recipes in this book are perfect for lunch get-togethers, dinner parties or barbecue gatherings.


There’s also a wide variety of recipes for every skill level and every occasion, including quick ’n’ easy monster jalapeño meatball subs for a lazy brunch or games night; whole roasted cauliflower or Mexican chicken parmi for those midweek TV dinners; a tonkotsu ramen and a Chinese hotpot to warm you inside out during the winter months; and a 12-hour Texas-style smoked brisket extravaganza to feed an army! Don’t be intimidated by a few of the longer recipes – they’re a lot more straightforward than you might think. Some of them you can easily scale back, or mix and match to suit. For instance, you can strip down the recipe on page 80 for the Roast pork belly rolls with pear kimchi, and simply serve the roast pork belly with the roast potatoes on page 96 – or enjoy the Malay curry chicken on page 98 as a hearty meal on its own, minus the great big serving bun. Ready to rumble? Turn the page for an inspired culinary experience that is truly, deeply, deliciously, completely over the top!

BILLY


PART

1

SNACKS CHAPTER 10 10


SPICY CHEESE BOMBS WITH CHILLI MAYO These one-bite cheese balls are the bomb! They’re always a hit at parties and gone in seconds. Really, who can resist crispy, golden deep-fried little morsels filled with melty, stretchy cheese? 220 g (8 oz) cherry bocconcini (fresh baby mozzarella) balls 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 2 eggs 90 g (3 oz/11⁄2 cups) panko breadcrumbs 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning 1 tablespoon thyme leaves 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon smoked paprika vegetable oil, for deep-frying salt, for seasoning

SERVES

4-6

Drain the bocconcini balls and pat dry. Set up a crumbing station. Place the flour in a shallow bowl, then beat the eggs in a second separate bowl. In a third bowl, mix together the panko crumbs, salt, thyme leaves, cayenne pepper and paprika. Roll the bocconcini balls in the flour, dusting off any excess, then dip in the egg, then finally dredge through the spiced panko crumb mixture. Dip the balls again in the egg, then the panko crumbs one more time, until they are nicely coated, then place the crumbed balls on a tray. Repeat with the remaining cheese balls. Transfer the tray to the refrigerator and let the balls set for at least 30 minutes.

CHILLI MAYO

To make the chilli mayo, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to mix well.

2 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce 1 teaspoon lime juice a pinch of salt

Pour vegetable oil into a deep-fryer or medium-sized heavy-based saucepan until about one-third full. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. In small batches, fry the balls for about 1 minute, or until golden and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel. Season with salt while they are still hot. Serve the hot cheese bombs with the chilli mayo dipping sauce on the side.

HOT TIP • Make sure the bocconcini are fully coated in the panko crumbs and the oil is not too hot, otherwise the balls will burst and melted cheese will leak out.

SNACKS 12


COCKTAIL SAUSAGES WITH BAKED CHEESE DIP Let’s throw an 80s party and bring a little retro deliciousness to the table. Guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, this dish is super easy to make, looks great as a table centrepiece and will be the talk of the town for days. 3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed 200 g (7 oz) wheel of double brie 2 long cabanossi sausages, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) cubes 1 egg, beaten 1 teaspoon sesame seeds 1 teaspoon poppy seeds 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 bacon rashers (slices), roughly chopped thinly sliced chives, to garnish

SERVES

6

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (430ºF). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place a sheet of puff pastry on the baking tray. Place the cheese in the middle of the pastry. Cut a second sheet of pastry into a circle just wide enough to cover the top and sides of the cheese (reserve the pastry off-cuts to wrap sausage cubes in later). Drape the pastry circle over the cheese and press firmly around the edges of the cheese to seal, ensuring there are no air pockets. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry from the cheese to the edges, into four equal wedges. Now make another three equal cuts in each wedge, so you have 12 strips. Place a sausage cube on the edge of a puff pastry strip, then roll it up towards the centre where the cheese is. Repeat with the rest of the puff pastry strips. With the third puff pastry sheet, cut from the centre to the edges, into 12 long equal wedges. Wrap a sausage cube in each puff pastry strip, then stick them to the already-rolled up puff pastry balls around the cheese. Wrap the sausage cubes in the off-cuts from the second pastry sheet as well. Nothing goes to waste! Brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with the poppy and sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 200ºC (400ºF) and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat and cook the bacon for about 3 minutes, until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel. When the pastry is done, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the pastry top off to reveal the cheese. Sprinkle the fried bacon over the cheese, garnish with the chives and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • You can replace cabanossi with cocktail frankfurts or meatballs. • If you are serving a big crowd, you can definitely wrap more sausage cubes in puff pastry strips and stick them around the edges of the masterpiece to make a bigger version.

SNACKS 14


DEEP-FRIED CHICKEN CARCASS I know you are probably thinking ‘WTF?’ – but trust me, next time you’re about to throw a chicken carcass away, give this recipe a try. The trick is to fry the carcass as long as possible without burning it, until the small bones are so brittle and crunchy that you can actually eat them. Make sure you have plenty of cold beer to wash it all down.

SERVES

4

2 raw chicken carcasses 150 g (51⁄2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 2 teaspoons chilli powder 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons salt, plus extra for seasoning 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper vegetable oil, for deep-frying 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced

Chop the chicken carcasses into smaller pieces about the size of your palm, so they will be easier to deep-fry. Put them in a saucepan filled with cold water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to medium and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain, then run the chicken under cold water to remove any excess fat and impurities. Pat dry with paper towel and set aside.

GINGER & WASABI MARINADE

Next day, put all the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Leave to cool, then set aside until ready to be used.

3 garlic cloves, peeled 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 3 French shallots, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce 1 tablespoon wasabi paste 2 tablespoons mirin

WASABI SOY DRESSING 1 teaspoon wasabi paste 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons mirin 2 tablespoons sugar

Put all the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and whiz into a paste. Place the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and pour the marinade over. Thoroughly rub the marinade into every nook and cranny. Cover, transfer to the refrigerator and allow to marinate overnight.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, chilli powder, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Leaving the chicken pieces a little wet, so the flour can stick to the marinade, dredge the chicken in the spiced flour mixture until well coated, shaking off any excess. Dip the pieces back in the marinade, then dredge in the flour mixture one more time. Place on a tray ready for frying. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large, deep heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil and heat to 175ºC (345ºF) over medium–high heat. In small batches, fry the chicken pieces for 3–5 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. Drain on paper towel to remove the excess oil. As soon as they’re done, put the fried chicken pieces in a mixing bowl, drizzle some of the wasabi soy dressing all over and give them a good toss. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with the spring onion and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • It is important to clean the carcasses properly to remove all the impurities, as these won’t taste great. • Make sure the oil is not too hot, as we want the bones to be cooked through and crunchy but we don’t want the pieces to brown too quickly. The smaller rib bones and soft bones are edible – but I would claim the whole thing is edible!

SNACKS 16


KOREAN CORN DOGS 3 WAYS Corn dog, dagwood dog, dippy dog, pluto pup, Pronto Pup, pogo – whatever you want to call it, the classic hot dog sausage on a stick, fried in a thick batter, sure brings back lots of fond memories of showground fairs. But wait until you try these three Korean versions: they are quite something else! 4 hot dog frankfurters ketchup, to serve mustard, to serve

POLENTA BATTER 150 g (51⁄2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) polenta (cornmeal) 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) 1 large egg 250 ml (81⁄2 fl oz/1 cup) milk vegetable oil, for deep-frying

SERVES

4-6

To make the batter, combine the flour, polenta, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and milk and stir to create a thick, runny batter. If the batter is too thick or dries up, add some water and stir well. Pour the batter into a tall, narrow vessel deep enough to dip each frankfurter into, such as a deep tumbler glass or water bottle. Insert a bamboo skewer lengthways through each frankfurter and set aside. Half-fill a deep-fryer or a deep, wide heavy-based saucepan or sturdy wok with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium– high heat. Now continue with one of the corn dog variations below. FRENCH FRIES HOT DOGS 75 g (2 ⁄2 oz/ ⁄2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting a handful of frozen crinkle-cut French fries, thawed, then cut into 1 cm (1⁄2 inch) cubes 1

1

Spread the flour in a shallow tray, and the chopped fries in a second tray. Dredge one of the frankfurters in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip it in the batter until fully coated, allowing the excess batter to drip off, then roll it in the fries, ensuring they completely stick to the batter. Immediately lower the hot dog into the hot oil and fry for 5–7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. One at a time, crumb and cook the remaining frankfurters in the same way.

Immediately lower the hot dog into the hot oil and fry for 5–7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. One at a time, crumb and cook the remaining frankfurters in the same way. Serve hot, with ketchup and mustard. PANKO CHEESE HOT DOGS 4 slices white bread, crusts trimmed 60 g (2 oz/1 cup) panko breadcrumbs 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water 4 slices American cheese

Using a rolling pin, flatten the bread slices to a 2 mm (1/8 inch) thickness. Place the panko crumbs in a shallow tray, and the beaten egg in another. Wrap a slice of cheese around each frankfurter, then wrap a slice of bread around the cheese. Dab some water along one edge of the bread and roll the hot dog on a flat surface to seal. Dip one of the hot dogs in the egg, then roll in the panko crumbs until fully coated. Repeat the process one more time. Immediately lower the hot dog into the hot oil and fry for 5–7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. One at a time, crumb and cook the remaining frankfurters in the same way. Serve hot, with ketchup and mustard.

Serve hot, with ketchup and mustard. FRIED BREAD HOT DOGS 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting 4 slices day-old bread, cut into 1 cm (1⁄2 inch) cubes

Spread the flour in a shallow tray, and the bread cubes in a second tray. Dredge one of the frankfurters in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip it in the batter until fully coated, allowing the excess batter to drip off, then roll it in the bread cubes until fully covered.

SNACKS 18

HOT TIPS • The batter will start to set if not used immediately. If it does, add some water and stir to make it a thick batter again. The batter needs to be thick and not too runny, otherwise the fries or bread cubes won’t adhere to it. • Also, make sure the vessel you pour your batter into is tall enough that you can dip the whole frankfurter in the batter in one go.


CHAPTER 20


CHICKEN WAFFLE CONES

MAKES

Chicken and waffles are a well-loved American ‘soul food’ classic. The salty fried chicken, the sweet waffle and maple syrup somehow work together seamlessly. I am adding a quirky twist by serving fried chicken in a crispy waffle cone, so you can munch ’n’ go!

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bitesized pieces 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) 1 large egg 120 g (4 oz/2 cups) panko breadcrumbs vegetable oil, for deep-frying Chilli mayo (page 12), to serve 4 waffle cones 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

SMOKY SPICE MIX ⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 ⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 ⁄2 teaspoon onion powder 1 ⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder 1 ⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt 1

4

Place the chicken in a mixing bowl. Add all the spice mix ingredients. Using your hands, mix until all the pieces are evenly coated. Add the cornflour and egg, stirring to mix well. Place the panko crumbs in a shallow tray, add the chicken pieces and gently roll them around to coat them completely. Set aside for 5 minutes. Half-fill a deep-fryer or medium-sized heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. In batches, fry the chicken for 1–2 minutes, or until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel. Drizzle some chilli mayo inside each waffle cone. Fill them with the fried chicken pieces, then drizzle more chilli mayo on top. Serve immediately, with a wedge of lime.

HOT TIP • Alternatively, go with the classic American soul-food combo of fried chicken, waffles and maple syrup.

SNACKS 22


BANG BANG CHICKEN LOLLIPOPS We all know chicken wings are fiddly and messy to eat – definitely not the best choice to serve as finger food at fancy parties. But these delicious chicken ‘lollipops’ are a game changer. Now you can nibble at a chicken wing like a lollipop and then just throw the single bone away. No mess, no fuss. 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) chicken wings 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 60 g (2 oz/1⁄2 cup) cornflour (cornstarch) 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon salt pinch of freshly ground black pepper vegetable oil, for deep-frying lime wedges, to serve

SOY & CHILLI MARINADE 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 4–5 French shallots, roughly chopped 2 large red chillies 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons soy sauce

SERVES

4

To make the marinade, toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a dry frying pan over low heat for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the spices to a mortar and pestle and grind them into a powder. Put the ground spices in a food processor, add the remaining marinade ingredients and blend into a fine paste. Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken wings at the joints between the drumstick and the wing; discard the wing tips, or reserve for making a stock. At the thinner end of the meaty drumette, cut the skin around the bone, then gently tease the flesh away from the bone; push the meat upwards and flip it inside out, then trim off any connecting tendons. Now you should have a drumette that looks like a lollipop! Do the same with the wingettes – at the pointy part of the wingette, make a cut between the two bones. To remove the smaller bone, tease the meat away from the smaller bone, then pull it out and discard. Now push the meat upwards on the bigger bone and flip it inside out. Place the lollipops in a zip-lock bag. Add the marinade, seal the bag, then massage the chicken until all the bits are well coated. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to marinate overnight. Next day, add the flour, cornflour, chilli powder, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl and stir to mix well. Dredge the meat part of the lollipops in the flour mixture until well coated, shaking off any excess. You can double dip for a thicker coating. Place on a tray and leave to set for 10 minutes. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. Working in batches, fry the lollipops for 3 minutes, or until golden. Remove and place on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Wrap the bone tips of each lollipop with foil and serve hot, with lime wedges.

HOT TIPS • It is fiddly to separate the meat from the bone on the wings, so take your time. • Serve with the Chilli mayo from page 12 for extra oomph!

SNACKS 24


KOREAN CHEESE CORN This is possibly the easiest and quickest – and naughtiest – vegetarian dish you can whip up in no time. You will find this popular appetiser at just about any Korean restaurant, and it’s the best way to line the stomach with cheese before a crazy night of booze and food. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 420 g (15 oz) tinned corn kernels, rinsed and drained 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 2 teaspoons sugar salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 100 g (31⁄2 oz/2⁄3 cup) shredded mozzarella cayenne pepper, for sprinkling (optional)

SERVES

4

Heat the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting of your oven to medium. Melt the butter in a small cast-iron or ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the corn kernels and fry for 3 minutes. Add the spring onion, give a quick stir and remove from the heat. Add the mayonnaise and sugar, season with salt and pepper, then stir and mix together well. Spread the cheese over the corn until fully covered. Transfer the frying pan to the oven and bake for 5–8 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown in places. Remove from the oven, sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top if you like, then leave to rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot, with cold beer.

HOT TIP • For a full Korean meal experience, serve this dish with Spicy Korean fried chicken (page 50) and Bo ssam (page 110).

SNACKS 26


CURRYWURST & FRIES WITH GARLIC MAYO Currywurst is one of the most popular street foods in Berlin. They love their curry-flavoured sausage so much, they even have a museum dedicated to it! I probably had one too many when I was there, but it was worth it. Let this version take you straight to the Berlin streets. vegetable oil, for deep-frying a handful of frozen potato chips salt, for seasoning 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 bratwurst sausages curry powder, for sprinkling

CURRYWURST SAUCE 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large brown onion 1 tablespoon curry powder 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 1 teaspoon onion powder a pinch of cayenne pepper 125 ml (4 fl oz/1⁄2 cup) tomato ketchup 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons water

GARLIC MAYO 1 garlic clove, peeled pinch of salt 125 g (41⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) mayonnaise pinch of cayenne pepper

SERVES

2

To make the currywurst sauce, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 3 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add all the spices and stir for a minute, then add the ketchup, worcestershire sauce and water, stirring to mix well. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Set aside to cool. To make the garlic mayo, chop the garlic finely, then put a pinch of salt on top. Using the blade of the knife, scrape the garlic against the salt, until the garlic becomes a fine paste, adding more salt if needed. Place in a mixing bowl with the mayonnaise and cayenne pepper, stirring to mix well. Set aside for serving. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. Fry the potato chips for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Drain on paper towel and season with salt while still warm. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat, then fry the sausages for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through, turning regularly to brown on both sides. Slice the sausages thickly and arrange on a serving plate. Slather them with the currywurst sauce, then sprinkle with a smidgen of curry powder. Serve the chips on the side, and a big dollop of garlic mayo on top.

HOT TIP • If you’re feeling lazy, just serve the bratwursts with ketchup and a touch of curry powder on top.

SNACKS 28


PEKING DUCK SPRING ROLLS WITH NUOC CHAM DIPPING SAUCE

MAKES

If you love Peking duck, and you love spring rolls, then why not combine the two and enjoy them both at once? These are always a popular snack at any dinner party. Usually they don’t last long, so be sure to make extra. 2 duck breasts 2 long strips of mandarin or orange peel 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 2 star anise 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced 8–10 square spring roll wrappers, thawed if frozen 1 egg, lightly beaten vegetable oil, for deep-frying

SICHUAN SPICE RUB 2 teaspoons sichuan peppercorns 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 teaspoon five-spice 1 ⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

NUOC CHAM DIPPING SAUCE 60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) fish sauce 60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) water 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 tablespoon white vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1 large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 ⁄2 Lebanese (short) cucumber, seeded and cut into tiny cubes

8-10

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). To make the spice rub, toast the sichuan peppercorns in a frying pan over low heat for 3 minutes, then grind them into a powder using a mortar and pestle. Place in a mixing bowl with the remaining spice rub ingredients, then stir into a thick paste. Place the duck breasts on a chopping board. Make a few shallow incisions in the skin, then flip them over and do the same on the meat side. Rub the spice rub all over the meat, coating evenly. Place the citrus peel strips, ginger and star anise in a baking dish, then lay the duck meat on top. Seal the baking dish with foil, place in the oven and bake for 11⁄2–2 hours, or until the duck meat is soft and can be pulled apart easily. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, Fry the duck, skin side down, for 3 minutes, or until it is crispy. Transfer to a chopping board to cool down. Once it is cool enough to handle, slice the duck meat into thin strips and place in a mixing bowl. Add the hoisin sauce, sesame seeds and spring onion, stirring to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Near serving time, put all the dipping sauce ingredients, except the cucumber, in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium–low heat. Leave to simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half and thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Pour the sauce into a small bowl and add the cucumber, ready to be used. Place a spring roll wrapper on a board, with a corner pointing towards you. Spoon a tablespoon of the duck mixture about halfway up from the corner closest to you. Spread the mixture out into a log shape. Fold the bottom corner up and roll halfway, then fold in the corners on each side and continue rolling up. Dab the top corner with beaten egg, then roll up to seal. Place on a tray. Repeat until all the duck mixture and wrappers are used. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large, deep heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. In batches, carefully lower the spring rolls into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, or until golden. Remove and transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Serve hot, with the dipping sauce.

SNACKS 30

HOT TIP • Make sure the duck mixture is not too wet, otherwise it will leak out during frying, and the hot oil will splatter.


TAIWANESE CHICKEN SCHNITTIES These oversized fried chicken steaks are one of the most popular snacks sold at night markets in Taiwan. What makes them so special is their blisteringly crunchy coating made from sweet potato flour. If you love chicken schnitzel, these ones are for you. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting 1 egg, beaten 140 g (5 oz/1 cup) sweet potato flour (see Hot tip) vegetable oil, for deep-frying cayenne pepper, for sprinkling (optional)

SOY & FIVE-SPICE MARINADE ⁄2 teaspoon salt ⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 teaspoon five-spice 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1

CHILLI & PEPPER SEASONING 1 teaspoon five-spice 1 ⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt 1 ⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder 1 ⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

MAKES

2

Using a sharp knife, carefully butterfly the chicken breasts – starting from the thicker end, cut lengthways through each breast, leaving a 2 cm (3/4 inch) hinge attached. Open the chicken breasts out and place between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to beat the chicken, flattening it to an even thickness. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small jug, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Place the chicken in a plastic container, pour the marinade over the chicken and rub until coated evenly. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Mix all the seasoning ingredients together and set aside. Set up a dusting station. Put the flour in a shallow tray, the beaten egg in a second tray and the sweet potato flour in a third tray. Dredge the chicken breasts in the plain flour, shaking off the excess. Dip them in the egg, then dredge in the sweet potato flour until evenly coated. Set aside for 10 minutes. Use a deep-fryer if you have one, or fill a heavy-based saucepan or sturdy wok with about 5 cm (2 inches) of oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. Being extremely careful to avoid hot splatters, and cooking them one at a time, lower the chicken into the hot oil, fry for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove with a wire skimmer and place on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Sprinkle the seasoning powder on both sides and serve immediately, with extra cayenne pepper for those who like it hot.

HOT TIP • Sweet potato flour is also known as camote flour, and can usually be found at Asian grocery stores. If unavailable, substitute it with potato starch.

SNACKS 32


PIGS IN DOUBLE BLANKETS In the UK and US, ‘pigs in blankets’ are totally different. I’m more familiar with the version where a small sausage is wrapped in bacon (UK), whereas the other version wraps sausage in puff pastry (US). So I say, why wrap the pig in one blanket, when you can wrap it in two? Hence, pigs in ‘double’ blankets were born. 12 streaky bacon rashers (slices) or prosciutto slices a few thyme sprigs, leaves picked 12 short sausages, such as chipolata, frankfurters or chicken sausages 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting 2 tablespoons hot English mustard 1 large egg, beaten sesame seeds, for sprinkling (optional) tomato ketchup, for dipping

MAKES

12

Working one at a time, lay the bacon or prosciutto slices on a board and sprinkle with some thyme leaves. Place a sausage at one end and roll the bacon around it, then secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining sausages and bacon. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Fry the sausages for about 5 minutes, turning regularly, until the bacon is browned on both sides and the sausages are cooked. Transfer to a tray and leave to cool down completely. Remove the toothpicks. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Lay the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Using the sausages as a guide, cut the pastry sheets into rectangles long enough to wrap around the sausages, with the width just a little bit shorter than the sausages. Brush the pastry sheets lightly with the mustard. On each rectangle, place a sausage at one end and roll the pastry around it. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each roll with beaten egg, then sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Serve warm, with ketchup.

HOT TIP • You can add a third blanket by melting a layer of mozzarella cheese on top!

SNACKS 34


TAIWANESE POPCORN CHICKEN Also known as ‘salt and pepper chicken’, these little golden chicken nuggets that look like fried-up popcorn are scrumptious. I had way too many of these during my visit to Taiwan – because once you pop, you can’t stop! 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine 1 ⁄2 teaspoon five-spice 1 large egg 280 g (10 oz/2 cups) sweet potato flour (see Hot tip, page 32) vegetable oil, for deep-frying large handful of basil leaves

SEASONING MIX 1 tablespoon ground white pepper 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon five-spice 1 ⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

SERVES

2

Put the chicken in a large bowl. Add the garlic, soy sauce, sugar, rice wine and five-spice, stirring to mix well. Cover, transfer to the refrigerator and leave to marinate for 2 hours. Add the egg to the chicken and mix well, then add half the sweet potato flour and rub it over the chicken, coating evenly. Put the remaining sweet potato flour in a bowl and dredge the chicken pieces in it, shaking off any excess. Place them on a tray and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl, ready for serving. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil and heat to 175ºC (345ºF) over medium–high heat. In small batches, carefully lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil and fry for 3–4 minutes, or until golden. Scoop them out with a wire skimmer and transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Into the same hot oil, being very careful as it will splatter, drop the basil leaves and fry them for few seconds, then quickly scoop them out with a wire skimmer. Spread the leaves on paper towel to get rid of the excess oil. Place the chicken and basil leaves in a large bowl, sprinkle with seasoning, then toss to mix well. Serve immediately.

HOT TIP • When frying the chicken pieces, do not overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will stick together.

SNACKS 36


PAN-FRIED GYOZA WITH CRISPY LATTICE

MAKES

40-50

I love dumplings, a lot. They are one of my favourite comfort foods. These gyoza are softly steamed on top, with a pan-fried lattice base for an element of extra crispness. I also find folding dumplings very therapeutic – I can easily spend hours sitting in front of the TV and pleating hundreds of dumplings without getting tired. And did I mention I love dumplings? 270 g (91⁄2 oz) packet of round gow gee (egg) dumpling wrappers 1 tablespoon rice flour vegetable oil, for pan-frying

PORK & CABBAGE FILLING 300 g (101⁄2 oz) Chinese cabbage (wombok), finely shredded 2 teaspoons salt 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

DIPPING SAUCE 60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) soy sauce 60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) rice vinegar 1 ⁄2 teaspoon crispy prawn chilli oil, or chilli oil a few drops of sesame oil

To make the filling, put the cabbage and salt in a large colander or strainer, tossing to combine. Leave to stand for 15 minutes to draw the moisture out. Gather the cabbage in your hands and squeeze as much liquid out as possible, then place in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining filling ingredients and, with clean hands, knead everything together until the mixture is homogenous and feels sticky or tacky. Set up a work station with a small bowl of water, the dumpling filling, the wrappers covered with a damp cloth, and a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place a wrapper on a board, then place about 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the centre. Dab some water on the top edge of the wrapper, fold the wrapper upwards until both edges meet, then pinch together in the centre. Working from one side, pleat the edge inwards towards the centre, then repeat on the other side to seal the filling inside. Now you should have a half-moon-shaped dumpling. Place on the lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. If needed, the dumplings can be stored in the fridge for 1–2 hours, but no longer as the moisture in the filling will make the wrappers too soft and stick to the paper. Or you can freeze them in an airtight container, with baking paper between each dumpling, to stop them clumping together. In a small bowl, combine all the dipping sauce ingredients, mixing well. Set aside. Add 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) water to the rice flour, mixing well until there are no lumps. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches of 10–12, place the dumplings snugly in the pan, making sure they are not touching each other. Fry the dumplings for 1–2 minutes, or until the bottoms are slightly golden. Pour 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) of the rice flour batter into the pan – but not on the dumplings! Quickly cover with a lid and leave to cook for another 5 minutes (or 8–10 minutes if the dumplings have been frozen). Remove the lid and fry for another 2 minutes, or until the lattice on the bottom of the pan is golden and crispy. Remove from the heat. Using a spatula, gently lift the lattice up, or give the handle of the pan a tap to loosen the dumplings from the pan. Cover the pan with a plate and in one swift move, invert the pan and flip the dumplings onto the plate. Serve immediately, with the dipping sauce.

SNACKS 38


HOT TIPS • The rice flour will settle to the bottom of the batter if not used immediately, so give it a quick stir before pouring it into the pan. • Make sure the batter is runny and not too thick, otherwise you will be making rice noodles and not a crispy lattice!

CHAPTER 40


GINGER & SPRING ONION CHICKEN WINGS I ate a lot of chicken wings during my uni days because they were cheap. This dish was a staple back then because it was easy and delicious to dish up and serve over white rice. I used to make lots of these wings, store them in the fridge and just reheat them in the microwave whenever I wanted a quick bite. They still taste good to me.

SERVES

4

1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) chicken wings, with wing tips attached 60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) vegetable oil, plus extra for pan-frying 3 cm (11⁄4 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons soy sauce 250 ml (81⁄2 fl oz/1 cup) mirin 2 tablespoons sugar 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) shaoxing rice wine 1 ⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 spring onion (scallion), thinly shredded

Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken wings into three parts: the meaty drumette, the wingette and the tip. Keep the tips for making the sauce later.

BRINING SOLUTION

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat an extra 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the reserved wing tips and brown them slowly for about 10–15 minutes, flipping them over occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan and burn. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute, then add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and rice wine, using a spatula to scrape up any meaty bits stuck to the pan. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

1.5 litres (51 fl oz/6 cups) water 110 g (4 oz/1⁄2 cup) sugar 65 g (21⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) salt

In a large container with a lid, combine all the brining ingredients. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the chicken drumettes and wingettes, making sure they are fully submerged; add more water if needed. Cover with the lid and brine for at least 2 hours, but no more than 6 hours, otherwise the chicken will be too salty. Remove the chicken pieces from the brine and pat dry. Place in a mixing bowl, add the vegetable oil, then rub all over until well coated. Heat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Like a baking dish with baking paper, place the chicken neatly in the dish and seal tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Pour the liquid into a heatproof jug through a strainer, discarding the solids. Stir in the pepper, then set aside until ready to use. Heat a tablespoon of the fat from the baking dish over medium–high heat. Brown the baked chicken pieces on each side for 2–3 minutes. Add about 125 ml (4 fl oz/1⁄2 cup) of the sauce to the chicken, give it a quick stir, then leave to simmer until the sauce is reduced by half. Toss the chicken to coat and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with spring onion and serve immediately.

HOT TIP • You can make the sauce, and brine and bake the chicken wings, a day in advance and keep them in the fridge. Brown the chicken pieces in the frying pan just before serving.

SNACKS 42


POUTINE

SERVES

There is nothing more comforting than a big tray of hot chips, topped with a mountain of cheese curds and then slathered with lots of brown gravy. This dish originated in Canada, but the one I found from the street cart outside Flinders Station in Melbourne was just as satisfying after a big night out. 3–4 chipping potatoes, such as desiree, Dutch creams or yukon 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) 1 teaspoon white vinegar vegetable oil, for deep-frying sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 200 g (7 oz) cheddar curds (see Hot tips) or firm mozzarella, crumbed into small chunks

GRAVY 50 g (13/4 oz) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) beef stock freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2

To make the gravy, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, using a wooden spoon to stir continuously for about 1 minute, until the flour has turned golden brown and the raw flour taste has cooked out. Add the stock, 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) at a time, whisking continuously until there are no lumps. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes, or until the gravy thickens. Season with pepper. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve. Wash the potatoes and pat dry. Leaving the skins on, cut the potatoes into sticks about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Place the chips in a large saucepan filled with water, add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, and bring to the boil over high heat. Keep boiling for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked but still a bit firm. Drain and set aside until cool and completely dry. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 150ºC (300ºF) over medium heat. In batches, fry the chips in the hot oil for 5–6 minutes, or until they are cooked inside but not yet browned. Remove and spread them out on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Increase the oil temperature to 190ºC (375ºF), then fry the chips once again until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove and spread them out on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, salt the chips sparingly, and toss to coat well. Heat the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting of your oven to medium – about 200ºC (400ºF). Transfer the chips to a heatproof rectangular bowl or ramekin, or a small baking dish. Spread the cheese over the top, saving some for serving. Transfer to the oven and grill for 5 minutes, until the cheese is starting to get soft, but not melting. Remove from the oven. Pour a ladleful of gravy over the chips. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • Cheese curds can be hard to come by, but you can also substitute it with haloumi or feta. • The gravy may start to set if not used immediately; just add some water before serving and give it a stir over low heat.

SNACKS 44


BLACKENED SHRIMP & FOUR-CHEESE NACHOS It’s time to up your nachos game! I love spicing up nachos with these delicious Cajun-blackened shrimps and a zingy Mexican salsa, with a combo of four cheeses for added oomph! Not everyone loves avocado (trust me, these people do exist), so no argument here by serving the avo in the centre of the nachos. Everyone is happy: a win–win situation. 300 g (101/2 oz) fresh medium-sized prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon Blackened seasoning (see below) 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella 60 g (2 oz/1/2 cup) shredded cheddar 35 g (11/4 oz/1/3 cup) grated parmesan 35 g (11/4 oz/1/3 cup) grated provolone 200 g (7 oz) packet of tortilla chips 1/2 ripe avocado a handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves

BLACKENED SEASONING 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon if you want less spicy) 2 tablespoons ground white pepper 11/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

PICO DE GALLO SALSA 1/2 large red onion, diced 2 red tomatoes, diced handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped 5–6 pickled jalapeño chilli rings, finely diced juice of 1 lime salt, to taste

SERVES

4

Mix all the blackened seasoning ingredients together in a small jar with a lid. Close the lid and shake vigorously to blend. Store in a cool dry place until needed; you will have plenty left over, which you can use for seasoning chicken and seafood before barbecuing. Put the prawns, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the blackened seasoning in a plastic bag. Seal and shake the bag until all the prawns are nicely coated. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes. Heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Fry the prawns for 2 minutes on each side, until they start to brown on edges. Remove and set aside. Heat the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting of your oven to medium. In a bowl, mix together the four cheeses and set aside. Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl, stirring gently to mix well. Season with salt and adjust the flavours accordingly. Spread half the chips over a large baking dish, top with one-third of the salsa, then sprinkle one-third of the cheese all over. Repeat with another layer of chips, salsa and cheese. Scatter the prawns on top. Place the avocado half in the centre, then fill it with the remaining salsa and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes, then garnish with the coriander and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • Try not to add too much of the liquid from the salsa on the nachos, otherwise the chips will turn soggy very quickly. • Instead of nachos, you can turn this recipe into delicious tacos. • Go wild and mix-n-match the four cheeses combo, so long they are four distinctive flavours; you can even use blue cheese!

SNACKS 46


PIG’S EAR CHIPPIES

SERVES

When it comes to food, I am all behind the philosophy of ‘nose to tail’ eating. If you can get past the idea of eating something that is usually considered a chew toy for our canine friends, pig’s ears are actually very scrumptious. My partner stole a few these chippies from the tray while I wasn’t looking and, without knowing what he was eating, said they were delicious. Now he loves them. 2 pig’s ears (see Hot tip) 1 French shallot, peeled and halved 1 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns 5–6 whole white peppercorns 5 cm (2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, peeled 1 tablespoon soy sauce 5–6 dried red chillies 1 teaspoon white vinegar 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 60 g (2 oz/1/2 cup) cornflour (cornstarch) 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water vegetable oil, for deep-frying salt, to taste 2 tablespoons sour cream or cream cheese 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce

2

Clean the ears, remove any hair and place in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat, allow to boil for 5 minutes, then drain to remove any impurities. Place the ears back in the saucepan and fill with water until they are fully submerged. Add the shallot halves, sichuan and white peppercorns, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and dried chillies. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat, then reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 2 hours, or until the ears are tender. Test by piercing an ear with a knife; it should go through easily. Remove the ears and set aside to cool; discard the liquid and aromatics. Rub the vinegar on the ears, then place them between two baking sheets or trays. Transfer to the refrigerator and weigh down with heavy objects such as jars, or blocks of butter. Leave to set for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight. Slice the ears into 5 mm (1/4 inch) strips, about 5 cm (2 inches) long. Set up a dusting station. Mix the flour and cornflour in a bowl, and place the beaten egg in another bowl. Coat the ears in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour, then dip them in the beaten egg. Dredge again in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour and transfer them to a tray, ready for frying. Fill a sturdy wok or large heavy-based saucepan with 5 cm (2 inches) of oil. Heat to 175ºF (345ºF) over medium–high heat. In batches, very carefully and gently slip the ears into the hot oil and fry for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, gently stirring them around so they don’t stick in a clump. Remove from the oil and set on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Season the ears with salt while still warm. Put the sour cream in a bowl and drizzle the sweet chilli sauce on top. Serve as a dip with the warm pig ear chippies.

HOT TIP • After boiling them, it is important to keep the ears in the refrigerator to get rid of as much moisture as possible, so the chips don’t splatter during frying.

SNACKS 48


SPICY KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN Anyone who knows me knows how much I love fried chicken. I can’t express my love for fried chicken in words, so I have a tattoo of it on my body. I am not kidding! Among all the fried chicken dishes I have devoured, this one has to be my all-time favourite, hands down. The juicy wings are encrusted in a wafer-thin, ultra-crisp shield, and smothered in a sweet yet spicy chilli sauce. 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) chicken wings, washed and patted dry 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cm (1/2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 140 g (5 oz/1 cup) potato starch vegetable oil, for deep-frying 1 teaspoon sesame seeds 1 spring onion (scallion), thinly shredded

HOT CHILLI SAUCE 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons gochujang chilli paste (see Hot tip) 1 tablespoon white vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar

SERVES

4

To make the sauce, heat the vegetable in a wok over medium–high heat and stir-fry the garlic for a minute, until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, chilli paste, vinegar and sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 3–4 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half and thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut the wings into three parts: the meaty drumette, the wingette and the tip. Discard the tips, or reserve for making a stock. Put the chicken in a large bowl, add the salt, pepper and ginger and mix well, using your hands. Put the potato starch in a bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces, firmly pressing them into the starch to coat completely; shake off any excess starch. Repeat the process if there is any extra starch left, until all the starch is used. Set aside for 10 minutes. Pour about 5 cm (2 inches) vegetable oil into a heavy-based saucepan. Heat to 165ºC (330ºF) over medium heat. In batches, fry the chicken for 5 minutes on each side, using tongs to turn the wings over occasionally to stop them sticking together. Rest on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Increase the oil temperature to 180ºC (350ºF). In batches, fry the chicken once again for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and super crunchy. Remove the chicken from the hot oil, shake off any excess oil and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the desired amount of hot sauce, then toss the bowl a few times until all the chicken pieces are nicely coated. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, garnish with the spring onion and serve immediately.

HOT TIP • Gochujang or fermented red chilli paste is a staple in Korean cooking. Usually it comes in a red tub and is available at Asian grocery stores. Some like it hot, some don’t – so you can serve the Korean fried chicken as is and have the hot sauce on the side as dipping sauce.

SNACKS 50


BAK KWA The Chinese version of pork jerky, bak kwa is a popular snack and gift for friends and families during the Lunar New Year. These glistening tiles of sweet and salty soy and honey pork jerky are usually grilled over charcoal to imbibe that hint of smoky flavour. Bak kwa is also called ‘dragon’s meat’, because it is considered a high-priced delicacy for special occasions – but you will soon find out how economical and easy it is to make at home. 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) fatty minced (ground) pork (with 20% fat) 100 g (31/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar 1 tablespoon oyster sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine 1 teaspoon dark caramel soy sauce 1 teaspoon five-spice 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 2 tablespoons honey

MAKES

8-12 SLABS

Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Using your hand, mix everything together until the mixture is homogenous, sticky and well combined. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Using the back of a spoon or a palette knife, spread the mixture on the tray as thinly as possible. Place another sheet of baking paper over the mixture, then use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture to an even 3–4 mm (1/6 inch) thickness. Peel off the baking paper. Transfer to the refrigerator and leave to marinate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. Heat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Bake the meat slab for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, then cut into 12 cm (43/4 inch) squares. Heat up a charcoal barbecue. Working in batches, grill the meat for 2–3 minutes on each side, until well browned and slightly charred on both sides. You can keep the bak kwa in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, but usually they are gone in seconds!

HOT TIP • If you do not have a charcoal barbecue, you can cook the meat in the oven on the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting; however, it will not give you the smoky flavour that charcoal does.

SNACKS 52


CHAPTER 54


PART

2

BURGERS CHAPTER 56 56


ENGLISH HASH BROWN BREAKFAST MUFFINS Let me tell you the secret of making the best hash browns – ones that are nice and crispy on the outside, yet soft and fluffy on the inside. The answer is a waffle maker! That’s right, cook the hash browns in a waffle maker and they will come out perfectly browned and crisp all over. Then stack them up with bacon, egg and a sausage patty – breakfast of champions. 4 good-quality sausages of your choice 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 4 roasting/frying potatoes, such as desiree, Dutch cream, yukon or russet, peeled and grated unsalted butter, for greasing 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 streaky bacon rashers (slices) 2 eggs

MAKES

2

First, make the sausage patties. Squeeze all the sausage meat out of the casings, into a bowl. Season with the salt and pepper. Grab half the mixture, roll into a ball, then flatten into a disc shape. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the remaining mixture, transfer to the refrigerator and leave to set for 1 hour. Put the grated potatoes in a bowl filled with water. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, then drain. Repeat two or three times until the water is clear. Squeeze all the water out of the grated potato, then spread it out on paper towel. Put a layer of paper towel on top and press down with a heavy board to get the potato as dry as possible. Transfer to a bowl and season well with extra salt and pepper. Heat up a waffle iron, then grease the bottom half with butter. Once the iron is hot and ready, pile one-quarter of the grated potato into the waffle iron until the base is fully covered. Dab some more butter on top of the potato, close the lid without locking it, and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Dab on more butter if needed, then press down and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Transfer to a wire rack. Cook the remaining potato in the same way, to make four hash browns. Keep warm. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Fry the bacon and the patties, flipping them occasionally, until they are cooked and browned on the edges. Remove and drain on paper towel. Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the eggs to your liking. To serve, sandwich the sausage patties, bacon and fried eggs between two hash browns.

HOT TIPS • Make sure the grated potatoes are as dry as possible, otherwise the hash browns will take longer to cook and won’t be as crispy. • For those who like it hot, a splash of sriracha or other hot sauce will fire up the day!

BURGERS 58


GIANT CUMBERLAND SAUSAGE & BEER DAMPER BURGER I love the simplicity of cooking over a campfire, making do with whatever I’ve got, to create something simple and rustic. Doesn’t matter what it is, food often tastes better outdoors. If you’ve never made a beer damper, then you must try this one. Sandwich a coil of cumberland sausage inside the fresh loaf, cut it into wedges, and suddenly you have a delicious lunch to share around. 1 coil of Cumberland sausage, about 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) olive oil, for cooking 3 large brown onions, thinly sliced salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon hot English mustard 4 slices cheddar 2 pickled gherkins, halved

BEER DAMPER 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar 100 g (31/2 oz) lard or butter 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) beer

HOT TIPS SERVES

4

If you are going to make this recipe using a campfire, the first thing is to get the fire going so it is at a steady temperature when you start cooking. (If you’re making it at home, just see the Hot tips on the opposite page.) Cooking with a campfire can be tricky, as the temperature fluctuates constantly. You know your charcoals are ready for cooking when they look ash-white, and no flames flare up. To make the damper, put the flour, rosemary, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Using your fingers, rub the lard in until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly pour in the beer and gradually incorporate the dry ingredients, to form a rough dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, gather up all the loose crumbs and gently knead a few times into a soft, round dough. Dust the bottom of a cast-iron camp oven with flour, then place the dough inside. Lightly flour the top and slash with a sharp knife to make a cross. Put the lid on and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. Transfer the camp oven to the campfire. You want to bake the damper using indirect heat, so don’t put the camp oven on top of the coals, or it will end up with a charred bottom. Instead, put coals around the oven and on top of the lid. Cook for 30 minutes, then check the damper: it should be golden brown with a nice crust, and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. If it isn’t, bake for another 10 minutes and check again. Once ready, remove from the camp oven and set aside to cool down. Place a cast-iron plate on the campfire, or heat up a barbecue. Secure the sausage ring by piercing two pre-soaked bamboo skewers from the side at 90 degrees, to form a cross. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on the hot plate, then place the sausage ring on one side and onion on the other. Grill the sausage for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked inside and browned on both sides. Cook the onion until soft and translucent, then season well with salt and pepper.  To serve, slice the damper in half lengthways. Slather the mustard over the bottom half, then rest the sausage coil on top and remove the skewers. Top with the cheese slices and onion, then sandwich the bread lid on top. Secure the burger with four skewers on top, with a gherkin half on each of them. Cut the burger into four wedges and eat!

BURGERS 60

• If cooking at home, make the damper as directed, and rest in a cast-iron or enamel casserole dish for 30 minutes. Bake on the bottom rack of a preheated 200ºC (400ºF) oven (still with the lid on) for 45–60 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown with a nice crust, and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes, then transfer the damper to a wire rack to cool. • To cook the sausage, you can skewer it and barbecue as directed, or skewer it, rub a tablespoon of olive oil all over it, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake on the middle rack of a preheated 220ºC (430ºF) oven for 40 minutes, or until browned and crispy. • Sauté the onion either on the barbecue, or in a frying pan in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft and slightly charred on the edges.


MAC-N-CHEESE & PULLED PORK TOASTIES When desperate times call for desperate measures, a scrumptious toastie can be easily constructed from leftovers in the fridge. One time I just sandwiched together some pulled pork and mac-n-cheese left over from a dinner party, then toasted it until nice and golden – and a new recipe was born. It was the best thing in the world for a hangover, and definitely a keeper. 300 g (101/2 oz) pulled pork, such as leftover Spicy cola pulled pork from page 90 4 thick slices sourdough bread 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce 2 slices cheddar 4 tablespoons Mac-n-cheese (recipe below) softened butter, for spreading

MAC-N-CHEESE 100 g (31/2 oz) salted butter 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) full-cream milk 1 teaspoon salt 50 g (13/4 oz/1/2 cup) grated parmesan 450 g (1 lb) elbow macaroni

MAKES

2

To make the mac-n-cheese, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add the flour and stir constantly with a whisk for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light brown in colour. Slowly pour in one-third of the milk and whisk until combined; it will form a very thick paste. Slowly add another one-third of the milk and keep whisking until smooth. Pour in the remaining milk and stir constantly until you have a thick, smooth béchamel sauce, with no lumps. Stir in the salt and parmesan until well combined. Remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until almost al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and shake off any excess water. Add the pasta to the béchamel sauce and stir until combined. Keep warm and set aside until ready to use. To assemble, spread equal amounts of pulled pork on two slices of the bread. Drizzle each with the barbecue sauce, then add a slice of cheese. Top each with about 2 tablespoons of the mac-n-cheese, until fully covered. Place the remaining bread slices on top, then butter the outsides of the bread, on both sides of the sandwiches. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the sandwiches for about 1–2 minutes on each side, until the toasties are golden on both sides and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • If the béchamel sauce is too thick and pasty, whisk in more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is thick but flows like lava again. • Store the leftover mac-n-cheese in a baking dish in the fridge. The next day, just sprinkle extra cheese on top and bake in a 200ºC (400ºF) oven for 40 minutes – effortless comfort food!

BURGERS 62


FRANCESINHA This may come as a surprise, but the craziest, dopest sandwich hails from Porto in Portugal. Francesinha (pronounced fran-zes-zin-ah), means ‘Little Frenchie’, but trust me, there is nothing little about it! This monster-sized toastie is constructed with layers of ham, sausages and steak, encased in bread, then fully covered with melted cheese before being doused in a hot, thick beer sauce. Not to mention it is also usually served with a side of fries. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a sandwich using a knife and fork on this occasion. 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 slices one-minute steak 2 chipolata sausages 4 thick slices white bread, toasted lightly 8 slices hot salami or pepperoni 8 slices leg ham 10 slices edam, Swiss or jarlsberg cheese

BEER SAUCE 50 g (13/4 oz) butter 1/2 brown onion, finely diced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 bay leaves 1 strip of bacon fat or lardon 2 tablespoons tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) white wine 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) beer 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) 200 ml (7 fl oz) beef stock or water 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) brandy 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) port wine

MAKES

2

To make the beer sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and bacon fat and sauté for 2 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the passata and cook for another minute. Add the wine, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any caramelised bits. Stir in the beer, turn the heat down to medium and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the cornflour and stock until there are no lumps. Add the mixture to the beer sauce and stir until thickened, then let it simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove and discard the bacon fat and bay leaves, then blitz the sauce with a hand-held stick blender until smooth. Stir in the brandy and port wine and simmer for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep warm until ready to use. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Brown the steaks for 30 seconds on each side, then remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, cook the sausages for about 3 minutes, turning now and then, until browned on all sides. Remove the sausages to a board, cut them in half, then slice in half lengthways. Set aside. To build the sandwiches, place a slice of toasted bread in a small heatproof serving dish. Add 4 slices of salami, 2 slices of ham, a slice of steak, 4 pieces of sausage, another 2 slices of ham, then finally a slice of bread on top. Now cover the whole sandwich with cheese, by draping 4 slices of cheese over the sides of the sandwich, one on each side, then placing a final slice on top. In a second small heatproof serving dish, repeat with the remaining ingredients, to build another sandwich. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt. Remove from the oven, pour 3 ladlefuls of the beer sauce on each sandwich and serve immediately.

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HOT TIPS • Typically, the Francesinha is served with a side of fries and a glass of cold beer. • You can keep any leftover beer sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and serve it with steak or chicken schnitzel.


PIMPED-UP WASABI LOBSTER ROLLS If you love a good lobster roll, then you’ll love this pimped-up version infused with Japanese flavours. It doesn’t get much more decadent than this – succulent lobster meat in a wasabi mayo, piled into a buttery toasted bun, then topped with tiny little tobiko caviar… 1 tablespoon salt, plus extra for seasoning 2 fresh lobster tails, about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) each 1/2 celery stalk, thinly sliced 1 green apple, finely diced 2 tablespoons lemon juice a few sprigs of chives, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon Japanese shichimi togarashi (see Hot tips), plus extra for sprinkling 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste 1 tablespoon tobiko (see Hot tips), plus extra to serve freshly ground black pepper, to taste 4 hot dog buns butter, for spreading potato crisps, to serve (optional)

MAKES

4

Half-fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the salt, then carefully lower the lobster tails into the hot water. Bring the water back to a rolling boil again, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the lobster tails are bright red. Remove them and dunk in a bowl of iced water. Once chilled, drain and crack the lobster shells. Pick the meat out, then cut into bite-sized pieces. In a mixing bowl, combine the celery, apple, lemon juice, chives, mayonnaise, shichimi togarashi, wasabi and tobiko. Seasoning with extra salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the lobster meat and stir gently until well coated. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Slice open the top of the hotdog buns lengthways, stopping halfway through. Open them up and butter the inside of the buns evenly. Spread them open and place, buttered side down, into the hot pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden. Remove and transfer to a board. Fill each bun generously with the lobster mixture. Top with extra tobiko and sprinkle with a smidgen more shichimi togarashi. Serve immediately, with potato crisps on the side, if you like.

HOT TIPS • Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice mix containing seven ingredients, usually used to sprinkle over sushi, ramen or rice. Tobiko is flying fish roe, usually used in sushi. You can find both ingredients in any Japanese or Asian grocery store, along with kewpie, a Japanese mayonnaise. • You can substitute wasabi with sriracha hot sauce.

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MONSTER JALAPEÑO MEATBALL SUBS Why make a 12-inch meatball sub when you can have a whole 22-inch meatball monster? Are you game? Well okay then, these subs are perfect for a games night with a few mates around. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 long baguette, about 55 cm (22 inches) 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) firm mozzarella, thinly sliced

JALAPEÑO MEATBALLS 2 slices white bread, crusts removed 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) full-cream milk 400 g (14 oz) minced (ground) beef 100 g (31/2 oz) minced (ground) pork 1 large brown onion 1 large egg 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley 6–8 pickled jalapeño chilli rings, finely diced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 25 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) finely grated parmesan 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

HOT ITALIAN SAUCE 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large brown onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SERVES

4-8

To make the meatballs, soak the bread in the milk in a large bowl until softened and mushy. Add all the remaining meatball ingredients and knead everything together, using your hand. Scoop out a heaped tablespoonful of the mixture and roll lightly to form a ball. Set it on a tray and repeat with the remaining meatball mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat. In batches, fry the meatballs for 5 minutes, or until browned all over. Remove and transfer to a plate. In the same pan, start making the sauce. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any meaty bits stuck to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium–low. Put the meatballs in, along with any juices on the plate. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20–30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half and has thickened. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper if necessary. Heat the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting of your oven to medium. Cut the baguette in half, into two long portions. Without splitting them, slice down lengthways to open them up on top. Pack the meatballs into the baguettes, spoon a generous amount of sauce over the meatballs, then cover them with a layer of mozzarella. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is starting to brown. Remove from the oven and cut each baguette in half or quarters. Serve hot.

HOT TIPS • You can cut the subs into smaller portions with two meatballs in each and serve them as finger food at a party. • Leftover meatballs are great with spaghetti for a lazy night in.

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XXL BURGERS WITH SECRET SAUCE Hope you’ve worked up an appetite before smashing this bad boy. Sandwiched between the buns is a huge half-pound juicy beef pattie, smothered in my version of that elusive secret sauce found under the ‘golden arches’. I think my sauce comes pretty close. Do give it a try. 2 slices American yellow cheese 2 sesame-topped burger buns, split lengthways and buttered inside 1/2 white onion, finely diced 1/4 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded 2 dill pickles, thinly sliced

SECRET SAUCE

MAKES

2

Put all the secret sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the fridge until ready to use. To make the patties, combine the beef, onion and salt in a bowl and gently mix together; do not overwork. Grease your hands with a little olive oil. Divide the mixture into two portions, roll them into balls, then flatten into patties. Place on a tray and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

250 g (9 oz/1 cup) mayonnaise 1 tablespoon gherkin relish 2 teaspoons white vinegar a pinch of ground white pepper 2 teaspoons mild mustard 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika salt, to taste

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat. Rub a little olive oil on both sides of the patties and place them in the hot pan. Using your thumb, make a dent in the centre of the patties to prevent shrinkage. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip over and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip again and cook for a further minute for a medium–rare burger.

BEEF PATTIES

Meanwhile, heat another frying pan over medium heat. Place the buns, buttered side down, in the pan and toast until lightly golden. They should be ready when the patties are cooked.

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fatty minced (ground) beef 1 brown onion, finely diced 1 teaspoon salt olive oil, for greasing

Top each patty with a slice of cheese, add a tiny splash of water to the pan, then quickly cover with a lid and steam for 10 seconds, or until the cheese is starting to melt.

To assemble the burgers, spread a tablespoonful of secret sauce over the bun bases, sprinkle with the white onion, then the shredded lettuce. Top with a patty, some pickle slices, then more sauce. Finish with the bun tops and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • Any leftover secret sauce will keep in the fridge for a week, and makes a great condiment for fries. • Instead of making two thick patties, you can divide the mixture into four thinner patties. They will they cook quicker and you can make your own double-beef burger with secret sauce – with two patties on each burger!

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DOUBLE-DOWN FRIED CHICKEN BURGERS A fried chicken burger without the bun is a dream come true for me. I’ve been trying to crack The Colonel’s secret eleven herbs and spices for the fried chicken batter for quite some time, and I think this version here nails it! 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts vegetable oil, for deep-frying 4 streaky bacon rashers (slices) 2 slices American yellow cheese

BUTTERMILK BRINE 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) buttermilk 2 tablespoons salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

HOT & SPICY MAYO 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon ketchup 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as sriracha or Frank’s Red Hot sauce 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

HERB & SPICE CRUST 300 g (101/2 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 1 teaspoon celery salt 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/3 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon mustard powder 3 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground ginger

MAKES

2

Place the chicken breasts on a board and cut them in half crossways. Use a meat mallet to beat the thicker side of each half-breast until the whole piece is an even thickness. Put all the buttermilk brine ingredients in a large bowl, stirring to mix well. Add the chicken, making sure it is fully submerged. Transfer to the refrigerator and leave to marinate for 2 hours. Combine all the hot & spicy mayo ingredients in a jug and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Set up a dusting station, with the bowl of marinated chicken and a baking tray. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the herb & spice crust. Grab a piece of chicken and use your hand to scrape off the excess brine, letting it drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the spice crust mixture until coated completely, shaking off the excess flour. Repeat the process one more time, then place the chicken on the tray. Coat the remaining chicken pieces and set aside for 20 minutes before frying. Pour 5 cm (2 inches) vegetable oil into a deep-fryer or heavy-based saucepan saucepan. Heat the oil to 175ºC (345ºF) over medium–high heat. In batches if necessary, fry the chicken for 3 minutes on each side, until fully cooked through and golden brown. Remove and transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat and fry the bacon until browned and extra crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel. Heat the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting of your oven to medium–high. Place the chicken on a clean baking tray and top each with a slice of cheese. Grill the chicken for 1 minute, or until the cheese is starting to melt. To assemble the burgers, put two bacon rashers on a piece of chicken, then a second piece of chicken. Spread the spicy sauce all over, then top each with a second piece of chicken, cheese side down. Serve immediately.

HOT TIP • Add a grilled pineapple ring and let it take you to Hawaii!

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DA MUFFS You’ve been invited to a picnic? Bring a muffaletta – or ‘Da Muffs’, as I like to call it. It’s a large round bread loaf, packed with cheese and cured meats, all soaked in the flavoursome marinated olives and vegetables. This football-sized sandwich can definitely feed a crowd, so bring a knife and slice it into wedges and share. Everyone will be your best friend after tasting your Muffs. 1 round country cobbler loaf or miche sourdough 200 g (7 oz) salami, thinly sliced 200 g (7 oz) mortadella, thinly sliced 100 g (31/2 oz) provolone cheese 250 g (9 oz) wheel of triple-cream brie, thickly sliced 200 g (7 oz) capicola (see Hot tips), thinly sliced

OLIVE SALAD 1 French shallot, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 220 g (8 oz/1 cup) green olives, pitted and chopped 140 g (5 oz/3/4 cup) kalamata olives, pitted and chopped 100 g (31/2 oz/1/2 cup) roasted red capsicums (bell peppers) in oil, roughly chopped 4 anchovies in oil, finely chopped 1 tablespoon capers, chopped 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon chilli flakes sea salt flakes, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste

SERVES

8-10

Make the olive salad a day ahead. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Cut the loaf of bread in half horizontally. Hollow out each bread half by pulling out some of the soft bread inside, leaving a shell about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. (Save the bread chunks for making awesome breadcrumbs!) Evenly spread half the olive salad over each bread half. Lay equal portions of salami on each bread half, followed by the mortadella, provolone, brie and finally the capicola. Close the two halves back together and wrap the loaf in plastic wrap. Place the loaf on a tray and weigh down with some heavy cookbooks to flatten and compress it slightly. Leave to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour, turning it over halfway. Cut into wedges to serve.

HOT TIPS • You can find capicola, a dry cured pork, at Italian delicatessens; if unavailable, you can use pancetta or prosciutto. • Omit the anchovies from the salad if you don’t like them. • Add some chopped pickled jalapeño chillies to the salad for a spicy version.

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SPAM KATSU MUSUBI Some 30 years ago in Hawaii, when East met West, a hybrid sushi was born. Barbara Funamura found an ingenious way to combine Japanese sushi rice with a slice of grilled American Spam, all neatly wrapped up in a nori strip. An instant hit, ‘Spam musubi’ is still a popular snack in Hawaii to this day. Try this crumbed ‘katsu’ version and you will understand why. 1 egg, beaten 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) teriyaki sauce 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 60 g (2 oz/1 cup) panko breadcrumbs 340 g (12 oz) can of Spam (see Hot tips) vegetable oil, for shallow-frying 3 nori sheets, each cut into 3 even strips 1 tablespoon furikake seasoning (see Hot tips) 125 g (41/2 oz/1/2 cup) kewpie mayonnaise

SUSHI RICE 335 g (12 oz/11/2 cups) short-grain white sushi rice 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) rice vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt

MAKES

8

To prepare the sushi rice, wash the rice in running water a few times until no more starch is released and the water runs clear. Cook the rice in a rice cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Scoop the hot rice out and spread it evenly on a baking sheet. Rain the vinegar mixture onto the rice, then leave to cool to room temperature. Transfer the seasoned sushi rice to a bowl until ready to be used. Set up a dusting station with a bowl of beaten egg, a bowl of teriyaki sauce, a bowl of flour and a bowl of panko crumbs. Remove the Spam from the can, keeping the tin handy. Cut the Spam into eight thick, even slices. One at a time, brush the slices with teriyaki sauce on both sides, then dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Dip in the egg, then press firmly into the panko crumbs until coated completely. Transfer to a tray and repeat with the remaining Spam slices. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before frying. Pour 3 cm (11/4 inches) vegetable oil into a sturdy wok or heavy-based saucepan. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. In batches, fry the crumbed Spam for 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove and rest on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Wash out the Spam tin and pat dry, then place a sheet of plastic wrap inside the can with the corners hanging out; this will be our sushi mould. Put 2 tablespoons of the sushi rice inside the can, fold the plastic wrap over, then press the rice down firmly. Lift the plastic wrap out of the can, and now you should have a log of compacted sushi rice. Repeat to make eight logs of sushi rice. Lay a nori strip, glossy side down, on a board, and place a log of rice in the centre. Brush the rice with teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with a little furikake. Put a Spam katsu on top of the rice, brush the nori strip with a little teriyaki sauce, then wrap the nori around the log to seal. Repeat to make eight logs in total. Squirt a generous dollop of the kewpie mayo on each and serve.

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HOT TIPS • Spam also comes in a 200 g (7 oz) can, which actually works better as a sushi mould for this recipe. • Furikake is Japanese seasoning commonly used on cooked rice; you can find it at Japanese or Asian grocery stores.


LUTHER BURGERS

MAKES

A cheeseburger sandwiched between glazed donuts? You must be thinking I’m crazy – but believe me, it’s amazing! No one knows the burger’s true origins, but legend tells us the burger was named after American singer Luther Vandross, and was a favourite of his. 8 Donuts (pages 164–165) 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing 8 streaky bacon rashers (slices) 4 slices American yellow cheese

ICING GLAZE 2 tablespoons full-cream milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 125 g 941/2 oz/1 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar

BEEF PAPRIKA PATTIES 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) fatty minced (ground) beef 1 large brown onion, finely diced 11/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

4

Put all the icing glaze ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Dip one side of each donut in the glaze, then transfer to a wire rack to let the glaze set. Combine all the beef patty ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix together; do not overwork. Divide the mixture into four portions, of about 250 g (9 oz) each. Roll them into balls, then flatten into patties about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Place on a tray and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Fry the bacon for 5 minutes, flipping often, until browned and crisp. Remove and transfer to a tray lined with paper towel. Cooking two at a time, rub a little olive oil on both sides of the patties and place them in the same hot pan. Use your thumb and make a dent in the centre of the patties to prevent shrinkage. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip again and cook for a further 1 minute for a medium–rare burger. Top each patty with a slice of cheese, add a tiny splash of water to the pan, then quickly cover with a lid and steam for 10 seconds, or until the cheese is starting to melt. Remove and keep warm while cooking the remaining patties. To assemble, place half the donuts on a plate, with the glazed side upwards. Top each with a burger patty and two bacon rashers, then another donut. Serve immediately.

HOT TIP • If you are worried about calories, instead of using two donuts on each burger, you can just use one and cut them in half horizontally. But who are we kidding, really?

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ROAST PORK BELLY ROLLS WITH PEAR KIMCHI To make the perfect roast pork belly with an earth-shatteringly crunchy crackling is not as difficult as you think. The trick is to keep the skin as dry as possible before roasting. Now grab a crusty roll, stuff it with a few slices of that juicy pork belly, spice it up with pear kimchi salad and you are all set. Happy days! 4 crusty sandwich rolls 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, thinly sliced a bunch of coriander (cilantro)

PORK BELLY 1.5–2 kg (3 lb 5 oz–4 lb 6 oz) slab of pork belly, skin scored (ask the butcher to do this for you) 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon five-spice 1 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 2 teaspoons white vinegar 1 teaspoon olive oil 3 tablespoons rock salt 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) vegetable stock, approximately

PEAR KIMCHI 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 cm (3/4 inch) knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) fish sauce 4 tablespoons Korean hot pepper powder (see Hot tips) 2 tablespoons gochujang chilli paste (see Hot tips) 2 teaspoons rice vinegar 2 crunchy Asian or nashi pears, peeled and cored, then cut into 5 cm (2 inch) sticks 1 carrot, julienned 2 spring onions (scallions), green parts only, cut into thin strips

SERVES

4

Start by preparing the pork belly. Place it on a cutting board, skin side down. Using a sharp knife, score the meat with incisions about 1 cm (1/2 inch) deep, both crossways and lengthways. Sprinkle the garlic, five-spice, salt and white pepper over the meat, then rub the mixture into the meat until fully coated. Turn the pork over and place on a baking tray. Rub the vinegar all over the skin. Transfer the tray to the refrigerator, uncovered, and leave the pork belly to dry out overnight. Next day, remove the pork from the fridge and set aside to come to room temperature. Meawnhile, make the pear kimchi. Combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, hot pepper powder, chilli paste and vinegar in a bowl, stirring to mix well. Add the pear, carrot and spring onion into the paste. Wearing a foodhandling glove, mix everything together until coated evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment for 2–3 hours at room temperature, before transferring to the fridge to chill. Heat the oven to 240ºC (465ºF). Rub the olive oil on the skin of the pork, then spread the rock salt evenly on top. Pour the stock into the tray, to about halfway up the side of the pork belly, making sure not to get the skin wet. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 11/2 hours. Check the pork every 30 minutes, rotating the tray so the pork cooks evenly and the skin doesn’t burn. Remove the tray from the oven. Using two pairs of tongs, carefully lift the pork out of the stock and transfer to a cutting board. Brush away all the rock salt, then put the pork back in the baking tray. Top up the tray with more stock if necessary. Heat your oven to the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting. Put the pork back in the oven, on the top shelf, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the skin is fully blistered and crunchy. Check it every 15 minutes, rotating the tray occasionally so the skin doesn’t burn. Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest in the tray for 30 minutes. Take the pork out of the stock, then rest for another 10 minutes before cutting into thick slices. Slice the bread rolls in half lengthways, without splitting them. Spread them open, then fill with cucumber slices, coriander, pear kimchi and two slices of roasted pork belly. Eat straight away!

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HOT TIPS • Korean hot chilli pepper powder – also known as gochugaru – can be found in Asian grocery stores, along with the gochujang chilli paste. • For the kimchi, you can substitute the pear with green apple.


PASTRAMI REUBEN (THE ONE THAT MADE MEG RYAN MOAN)

SERVES

I am not going to lie: the pastrami does take a whole week to complete. But it is oh so worth it. Because when you remember how Meg Ryan moaned in the middle of a crowded delicatessen, in When Harry Met Sally, you would want what she was having too! 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz) good-quality beef brisket

PICKLING SPICE 2 tablespoons black peppercorns 1 tablespoon whole cloves 2 tablespoons mustard seeds 2 tablespoons coriander seeds 2 tablespoons smoked paprika 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 tablespoons chilli flakes 4 bay leaves, torn into tiny pieces

PICKLING BRINE

8-10

Start by preparing the pickling spice. Warm the peppercorns, cloves and mustard and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over low heat. Stir until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Grind them coarsely using a mortar and pestle, then tip the mixture into a bowl. Add the remaining spices, stir to mix well, then store in an airtight container until required. You will have much more pickling spice mix than you need; just save the rest for next time. To make the pickling brine, fill a stockpot with 4 litres (135 fl oz/16 cups) water. Add the cooking salt, pink salt, sugar, garlic and 2 tablespoons pickling spice. Bring to a simmer over medium–high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a large clean plastic container and chill in the refrigerator.

240 g (81/2 oz/3/4 cup) coarse cooking salt 3 tablespoons pink curing salt (sodium nitrite) 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup, firmly packed) light or dark brown sugar 5 garlic cloves, smashed, skin off 2 tablespoons pickling spice (from below)

Trim the fat cap on the brisket to about 1 cm (1/2 inch), and remove any sinew. Place the brisket in the chilled brine, then weigh it down with something heavy so it is fully submerged. Cover and let it swim for 5 days, moving the meat or turning it over every day to stir up the brine. After 5 days, remove the brisket and discard the brine. Wash the container and put the brisket back inside, then pour in plenty of cold water until it is fully submerged. Transfer to the fridge again and let it desalinate for 8 hours, preferably overnight.

SPICE RUB

When ready, rinse the meat and pat dry. Combine all the spice rub ingredients, then rub half the spice mix on one side of the brisket until fully coated. Repeat on the other side with the remaining spice rub. Place the brisket on a tray and marinate overnight again in the fridge.

4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons ground coriander 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder

FOR EACH SERVING 2 slices rye bread butter, for spreading sauerkraut, to taste 2 slices Swiss cheese wholegrain mustard, for spreading hot English mustard, for spreading pickled gherkins, halved

Next day, set up a smoker so the temperature is between 110–130ºC (230–266ºF). Smoke the brisket with indirect heat for about 2 hours, or until it reaches 65ºC (150ºF) in the thickest part of the meat. Heat the oven to 135ºC (275ºF). Transfer the brisket to a baking dish and pour in 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water. Wrap the dish tightly with double layers of foil, then bake for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. Thinly slice the brisket against the grain, about 2 mm (1/8 inch) thick. To make a reuben sandwich, switch the oven to the ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ setting. Butter one side of the bread slices, then toast in a frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned. Set the slices on a board, buttered side down. Top one slice with a generous amount of pastrami, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) high. Add some sauerkraut on top, then cover with the cheese. Grill the sandwich in the oven until the cheese is melting. On the other slice of rye, spread some hot and wholegrain mustard, then place on top. Secure the sandwich with a skewer and serve with gherkins.

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HOT TIPS • Wrapped tightly in foil, the pastrami will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also make a pastrami pizza with any leftovers! • For a spicy reuben sandwich, add a few dashes of Tabasco or Sriracha hot sauce.


CHAPTER 84


PART

3

MAINS CHAPTER 86 86


SPICY WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH BACON BITS SERVES

Cauliflower is possibly one of the most underrated vegies. Yes, it can be very dull if you just steam it, but I find the best way to bring out its flavours is by roasting. Don’t even bother to cut it into small florets – just roast the whole thing, smothered in an Indian-inspired spice paste. Once you’ve tried it, I swear you’ll see cauliflower in a whole new light. 1 head of cauliflower 250 g (9 oz/1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt, plus extra to serve zest and juice of 1 lime 2 teaspoons chilli powder 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 streaky bacon rashers (slices), rind removed, finely chopped

4

Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer over medium heat. Put the cauliflower in a steamer basket and set it over the pan. Cover and steam for 10–15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Trim the base of the cauliflower stem so that it can sit upright, then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. In a mixing bowl, combine the yoghurt, lime zest, lime juice and all the spices, mixing well. Dip the cauliflower into the yoghurt marinade, then use your hand or a spoon to smear it over evenly until the whole head is fully coated. Sprinkle the bacon bits all over. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the surface of the cauliflower is crusty and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes, before cutting into wedges. Serve with extra yoghurt.

HOT TIPS • A herbaceous pesto will go very well with the cauliflower. • Instead of cauliflower, try this recipe using broccoli, too!

MAINS 88


SPICY COLA PULLED PORK

SERVES

Pulled pork has got to be one of the easiest and tastiest meat dishes you can whip up. There’s very little to do with this recipe – just put everything into a casserole dish and whack it in the oven for 5–6 hours, and the end result is a pool of tender pork heaven. I like my meat hot, sweet and juicy, so this dish will definitely tingle your tastebuds while making you crave more! 2 granny smith apples, cored and quartered 3–4 kg (6 lb 10–8 lb 13 oz) pork shoulder or forequarter 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 200 g (7 oz) tin chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 330 ml (11 fl oz) can cola 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) smoked barbecue sauce

8

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Place the apple quarters in a single layer on the bottom of a large casserole dish. Remove the skin from the pork shoulder and trim off any excess fat. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, salt and pepper, then rub the mixture all over the pork. Place the pork on top of the apples. Pour the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce over the pork, then pour the cola into the casserole dish (not on the pork). Put the lid on, transfer to the oven and cook for 4 hours, basting every hour with the rendered fat and pan juices, and turning the pork two or three times during the cooking process. Now remove the lid and cook for a further 2 hours, turning the pork occasionally, until the pork is super tender – you should be able to pull the meat off easily using a fork. Remove the dish from the oven and let the pork rest in the sauce for about 15 minutes, or until it is cool enough to handle. With a fork in each hand, shred the meat completely and let it soak up all the liquid in the pan. Add the barbecue sauce and mix well. Serve the pulled pork with corn cobs and coleslaw.

HOT TIPS • This recipe makes a lot of pulled pork – but you can keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or 3 months in the freezer. • The pulled pork is also brilliant in the Mac-n-cheese & pulled pork toasties on page 62!

MAINS 90


MALAYSIAN-STYLE SATAY CHICKEN FROM SCRATCH Everybody loves satay chicken, but I think it’s time to stop cutting corners using store-bought spice paste or satay sauce out of a jar. Everyone should know how to make a mean satay spice paste from scratch to keep in their cooking repository. No more excuses! 2 tablespoons peanut oil 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bitesized pieces 5–6 snake (yard-long) beans, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths 1 large brown onion, quartered salt, to taste 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, cut into small chunks steamed jasmine rice, to serve

SPICE PASTE 8–10 dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes 3 garlic cloves, peeled 6–8 French shallots, roughly chopped 2 lemongrass stems, white part only, roughly chopped 2 cm (3/4 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 2 cm (3/4 inch) knob of fresh galangal, peeled and roughly chopped

SATAY SAUCE 160 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) raw peanuts, without any skins 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) peanut oil 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) water 1 tablespoon kecap manis (see Hot tips) 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate

SERVES

4

To make the spice paste, put the dried chillies and 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) of the soaking water in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend into a fine paste. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the spice paste, reserving the rest for the satay sauce, and rub until well coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the satay sauce. Toast the peanuts in a frying pan over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely, then transfer the peanuts to a food processor and blitz coarsely. Set aside. Heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Fry the remaining spice paste, stirring continuously, for 8–10 minutes, or until the oil has split from the paste and the mixture is fragrant. Add the water, kecap manis, sugar, salt, tamarind paste and two-thirds of the crushed peanuts. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until required. When you’re ready to eat, heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a wok over high heat until smoking hot. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until cooked and browned on the edges. Add the snake beans and stirfry for another minute. Then add the onion and 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) of the satay sauce. Keep stirring for another minute and season with salt. Place the cucumber on a serving plate and pour the satay chicken over the top. Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

HOT TIPS • Kecap manis is sweet Indonesian soy sauce, which you can find in larger supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. • The delicious satay sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can serve it as a dipping sauce alongside grilled chicken skewers.

MAINS 92


BULDAK: KOREAN FIRE CHICKEN This dish is not for the faint-hearted. If you love super-spicy hot food and stretchy cheese, then this popular Korean dish will be right up your alley. Don’t be fooled by the sweetness of the cheese and chicken on first bite – BOOM! The chilli will hit you like a punch in the belly. The trick to beat the spiciness of this dish is to keep eating, because if you stop, you’re done for.

SERVES

4-6

1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) water 250 g (9 oz/12/3 cups) shredded mozzarella 1 spring onion (scallion), thinly sliced 2 heads cos (romaine) or butter lettuce, leaves washed and separated steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Put all the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring to mix well.

CHILLI GINGER MARINADE

Turn the oven to its ‘grill or ‘broil’ setting. Take the lid off the chicken, give it another quick stir, then spread the cheese over until the chicken is fully covered. Transfer the pan to the top shelf of the oven and grill for 5 minutes, or until the cheesy top is starting to brown and blister.

50 g (13/4 oz/1/2 cup) Korean hot pepper powder (see Hot tips, page 81) 2 tablespoons gochujang chilli paste (see Hot tips, page 50) 1 tablespoon soy sauce 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 55 g (2 oz/1/4 cup) sugar 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped 5 cm (2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Trim off any excess fat from the chicken, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to the marinade and rub until coated completely. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. When you’re ready to eat, place the chicken in a cast-iron frying pan or shallow flameproof dish. Pour a little water into the marinade bowl, to rinse off the remaining marinade, then pour it over the chicken. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes over medium–high heat, giving it a stir after 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and garnish with spring onion. Serve immediately, like san choy bau, inviting diners to scoop their own small portions into lettuce cups, and offering small bowls of steamed jasmine rice on the side.

HOT TIPS • For those who can’t take it too hot, reduce the red pepper powder by half. • This dish is best served with some steamed jasmine rice.

MAINS 94


THE BEST ROAST POTATOES… EVER!

SERVES

I don’t normally make such a big call, but these roast potatoes seriously are the bomb. This recipe will show you all the secrets and tricks on how to roast potatoes with an extra-crunchy exterior, and soft and fluffy interior, all infused with garlic and rosemary oil. Yes, this is in the mains chapter deliberately – it’s a complete meal! 1 tablespoon salt 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz) roasting potatoes, such as Dutch creams or desiree, peeled and quartered 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) olive oil a handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste a handful of parsley, finely chopped sea salt flakes, to taste

8

Fill a large saucepan with 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the salt and bicarbonate of soda, then the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for about 10–15 minutes, or until a knife pierces through the potatoes easily. Meanwhile, make an infused oil. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic turns golden. Take off the heat and immediately strain the oil into a large metal bowl, reserving the fried rosemary and garlic. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (430ºF). Drain the cooked potatoes and set aside for a minute to let them dry out a little, then add them to the infused oil. Season with salt and pepper, then give the potatoes a good toss until the exterior is rough and pasty. Spread them out on a baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crunchy, flipping them around halfway through so they roast evenly. Transfer to a bowl, along with the reserved fried rosemary and garlic. Add the parsley, then toss the potatoes until well coated. Sprinkle with a smidgen of sea salt flakes and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • For a more rustic version, leave the skin on the potatoes – they will get even crunchier after roasting. • If you’re feeling lazy, omit the infused oil and just toss the potatoes in olive oil.

MAINS 96


MALAY CURRY CHICKEN IN A BIG BUN I discovered this dish in my hometown in Malaysia and it was a revelation. What a genius way to serve up curry chicken – inside a bun, so you can start pulling off small pieces of bread to dip in and soak up the rich curry sauce. This dish definitely has that theatrical element, so make sure you impress the guests at your next dinner party by cutting the bread open in front of them.

SERVES

4

1 whole chicken, about 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz), cut into 16 bite-sized pieces 2 teaspoons salt 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) vegetable oil 400 ml (14 fl oz) tin of coconut milk a few sprigs of curry leaves 2 star anise 300 g (101/2 oz) baby new potatoes, peeled and halved salt and pepper, to taste 1 egg, beaten a sprinkling of sesame seeds

To make the curry paste, put the dried chillies and 2 tablespoons of the chilli soaking water in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend into a fine paste.

CURRY PASTE

Pour in the coconut milk, add the curry leaves and star anise, and stir to mix well. Turn the heat down to medium–low, then cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes.

8–10 dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes 3 large fresh red chillies, roughly chopped 10 French shallots, roughly chopped 5 garlic cloves, peeled 5 cm (2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 2–3 cm (1 inch) knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced 10 candlenuts (see Hot tips) 2 lemongrass stems, white part only, thinly sliced 1 thin slice, about 5 g (1/4 oz), belachan shrimp paste, toasted (see Hot tips, page 106)

DOUGH STARTER 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) water 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) full-cream milk 2 tablespoons strong (‘bread’) flour

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the curry paste, reserving the rest for the sauce. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of salt and rub all over the chicken until nicely coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or saucepan over medium heat. Fry the remaining curry paste, stirring continuously, for about 10 minutes, or until the oil has split from the paste and the mixture is fragrant. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes, then cover and cook for another 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, scoop the curry mixture into an ovenproof bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag before tying a knot to seal the bag. Trim off the excess plastic on top with a pair of scissors and set aside. While the chicken is simmering, make the milk bread. Combine the dough starter ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk constantly over medium–low heat for about 3 minutes, or until there are no lumps and the mixture has thickened like a roux. Using a silicon spatula, scrape the mixture into a small bowl, place plastic wrap directly on the surface to stop a skin forming, and leave to cool to room temperature. To make the milk bread, put the flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix to combine. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter and the cooled dough starter until well combined, then add to the flour mixture. Attach the dough hook and start kneading on low speed. The mixture will be wet to start with; once all the ingredients are mixed together into a wet dough, turn the speed up to medium–low and continue kneading for about 15–20 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic, doesn’t stick to the bowl anymore, and starts making a beating noise when it slaps against the bowl.

MAINS 98


MILK BREAD DOUGH 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) strong (‘bread’) flour, plus extra for dusting 2 tablespoons milk powder (optional) 55 g (2 oz/1/4 cup) sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons active dried yeast (1 x 7 g sachet) 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) lukewarm full-cream milk 1 large egg 60 g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted

Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough to prove in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a round ball. Roll the dough out into a 20 x 40 cm (8 x 16 inch) rectangle, about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick, but with a thinner centre of about 3 mm (1/8 inch). Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place the bag of chicken curry, knot side up, in the centre of the dough. Fold the shorter sides of the dough over the bag. Then fold up the longer sides, overlapping to seal. Brush the top of the bun with egg wash, then sprinkle with a smidgen of sesame seeds. Leave the dough prove for another 40–50 minutes, until puffy. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Bake the bun on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180ºC (350ºF) and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes, before slicing open the bread on top, then using scissors to cut off the knot of the oven bag. Serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • Candlenuts are used as a thickening agent in many Asian dishes, particularly curries. You’ll find them at Asian grocery stores, or you can use macadamia nuts or raw cashews. • It’s inevitable that the base of the bun will not be cooked through, because of the heavy bag of chicken curry sitting on top of it. This is why I suggest rolling the centre of the dough as thin as possible, and keeping most of the dough on the sides and on top of the bag – these bits will be soft and fluffy when baked. Just don’t eat the dough on the base.

MAINS 100


BANH XEO WITH NUOC CHAM DIPPING SAUCE In Vietnamese, ‘banh xeo’ means ‘sizzling cake’, named for the loud sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter hits the hot pan. A good banh xeo takes time to make – the pancake should be thin and crispy, filled with plump prawns and pork belly slices that are just cooked through. Make sure you serve it with lots of fresh herbs and nuoc cham, the classic Vietnamese dipping sauce. I’m salivating just thinking about it. 300 g (101/2 oz) piece of pork belly, cut into thin strips about 5 cm (2 inches) long 15–20 raw prawns (shrimp), about 300 g (101/2 oz), peeled and deveined salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 large onion, thinly sliced vegetable oil, for pan-frying 3 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced 250 g (9 oz) packet of bean sprouts 1 head of cos (romaine) lettuce, leaves washed and separated a bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked a bunch of coriander (cilantro) a bunch of Vietnamese perilla (see Hot tips), leaves picked

TURMERIC BATTER 350 g (12/1/2 oz/2 cups) rice flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 300 ml (101/2 fl oz) bottle of cold beer 400 ml (14 fl oz) tin of coconut milk

SERVES

4

To make the batter, add the rice flour, salt and turmeric to a large bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the beer and coconut milk until there are no lumps. Cover and rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, season the pork belly and prawns with salt and pepper, then marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. To make the nuoc cham, warm the fish sauce, water, lime juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat without boiling. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Stir in the garlic and chilli and set aside until ready to use. Heat a non-stick lidded frying pan over medium heat. Add a few slices of pork belly and cook until crispy on both sides, about 2–3 minutes. Add a small handful of onion and a few prawns, then cook for another minute. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan. Once the oil is sizzling hot, pour a ladleful of batter into the pan, tilting and swirling the pan to spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle some spring onion on the pancake, cover with the lid and cook for 2–3 minutes. Remove the lid and add a handful of bean sprouts on one side of the pancake. Cook until the pancake is dry and crispy on the bottom. Using a spatula, fold the pancake from the side without the bean sprouts, over the other side, into a half-moon shape. Transfer to a serving plate. Repeat to make four pancakes. Serve the pancakes immediately, with lettuce leaves, herbs and the nuoc cham dipping sauce.

NUOC CHAM 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) fish sauce 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water 1 tablespoon lime juice 55 g (2 oz/1/4 cup) sugar 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 red bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped

HOT TIPS • Perilla, also known as shiso leaf, is a sweet-tasting herb with a hint of anise. If you can’t find it in your local Asian supermarket, just leave it out, no biggie. • This recipe makes a lot of batter! If you don’t use it all, just keep the rest in the fridge and cook more pancakes the next day. Also, it’s important to use a non-stick frying pan so the pancake doesn’t stick. Alternatively, use a heavy cast-iron pan. • The pancakes are best eaten immediately, as they will lose their distinctive crispness after sitting on the plate for too long.

MAINS 102


CHICAGO DEEP-DISH PIZZA One thing you must try when visiting Chicago is deep-dish pizza. Although it’s more like a pie than a pizza – a crusty pizza dough bowl filled with a thick layer of mozzarella, then topped with meatballs in a herbaceous tomato sauce. Every slice is a meal on its own. olive oil, for pan-frying 300 g (101/2 oz/2 cups) shredded mozzarella 25 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) grated parmesan

SEMOLINA PIZZA DOUGH 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) lukewarm water 2 teaspoons active dried yeast (1 x 7 g sachet) 1 tablespoon sugar 375 g (13 oz/21/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting 60 g (2 oz/1/2 cup) semolina, plus extra for dusting 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil

CLASSIC MEATBALLS 2 slices white bread, crust removed 2 tablespoons full-cream milk 400 g (14 oz) minced (ground) beef 100 g (31/2 oz) minced (ground) pork 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped a few parsley sprigs, finely chopped 1 egg 1 large onion, finely diced 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

RED WINE TOMATO SAUCE 1 brown onion, finely diced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) red wine 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 2 teaspoons Italian herb mix 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes 1 teaspoon salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste

SERVES

4

First, make the pizza dough. Add the water, yeast and sugar to a jug, stir, then leave to sit for 10 minutes, or until foamy on top. Add the flour, semolina and salt to the bowl of an electric mixer. Pour in the olive oil and foamy yeast mixture and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes, to form a soft, supple dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough to prove in a warm spot for 1–2 hours, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, make the meatballs. In a large bowl, soak the bread in the milk until softened and mushy. Add the remaining ingredients and use your hand to mix everything together until well combined. Heat 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. In batches, use a teaspoon to scoop up some of the meatball mixture and drop it into the hot oil. Fry the meatballs until browned all over, about 2–3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel. In the same pan, start making the tomato sauce. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Pour in the wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any meaty bits stuck to the pan. Add the passata and season with herbs, chilli flakes, salt and pepper, stirring well. Turn the heat down to medium–low and simmer for 20–30 minutes, until the sauce is rich and thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Heat the oven to 220ºC (430ºF) and move an oven rack to the bottom rung of the oven. Brush the inside of 24 cm (91/2 inch) cast-iron or heavy-based ovenproof pan with olive oil. Sprinkle some semolina inside, tilt and rotate the pan around until fully coated, then tip out the excess semolina. When the dough is ready, punch it down and place on a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough back into a round, soft dough. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and freeze it for another occasion. Roll the other half out into a 30 cm (12 inch) circle. Drape the dough over the semolina-coated pan, then press it down into the pan to fill all the gaps. Trim off any excess dough around the edges; it’s okay to leave some overhanging the pan a little. Evenly spread half the mozzarella over the pizza base. Top with the meatballs, then cover with the remaining mozzarella. Pour 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) tomato sauce all over until fully covered, adding more if needed. Then sprinkle the parmesan over the top. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, covering the top with foil if it’s browning too quickly. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

MAINS 104

HOT TIPS • The pizza keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover the leftovers with foil and reheat in a 150°C (300ºF) oven for 15–20 minutes, or until the crust is crispy again. • If there is any tomato sauce left, you can use it for pasta.


SINGAPORE CHILLI CRAB WITH FRIED MANTOU BUNS I know a lot of people don’t like crab because it’s fiddly and messy to eat. For me, eating with my hands and slurping up the sauce on the shell are all part of the enjoyment. If you were going to make just one crab dish, then make Singapore chilli crab, which is – hands down – the king of all crab dishes. Make sure you have plenty of fried mantou buns to soak up that sweet and spicy chilli sauce. 2 large fresh mub crabs, about 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) each (see Hot tips) vegetable oil, for cooking and deep-frying 250 g (9 oz/1 cup) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) fish stock 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon white vinegar 2 tablespoons soy sauce 12 frozen mantou buns (see Hot tips), thawed at room temperature 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 2 tablespoons water 1 egg, lightly beaten 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths 1 large red chilli, thinly sliced a handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves

CHILLI PASTE 1 thin slice, about 5 g (1/4 oz), belachan shrimp paste, toasted (see Hot tips) 1 large brown onion, roughly chopped 5 garlic cloves, peeled 6 large red chillies, seeded

SERVES

4

To prepare the crabs, scrub them well to remove any dirt. Lift the abdomen (the triangle flap) on the underside and you will be able to pull the top shell off. Remove all the feather-like gills and the mouthparts. Using a cleaver, chop the crab in half down the centre, then cut each piece in half again. Chop the two claws off and crack the shell with the back of the cleaver. (Or just ask your fishmonger to do all this for you!) Set aside, ready to be used. Put all the chilli paste ingredients in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons water and blend into a fine paste. Heat 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) vegetable oil in a large wok or saucepan over medium heat. Fry the chilli paste, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes, or until the oil has split from the paste and the mixture is fragrant. Add the passata, stock, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. Stir to mix well and bring to the boil. Add the crab to the sauce, stirring to coat well. Cover with a lid, turn the heat down to medium–low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the crab is fully cooked. Meanwhile, half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 170ºC (340ºF) over medium heat. In batches, fry the mantou buns until golden, about 1–2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel. Once the crab is cooked, use a pair of tongs to transfer to a large serving platter. Turn the heat up to medium–high, pour the cornflour slurry into the wok and stir to thicken the sauce. While stirring, pour the beaten egg into the sauce to create strands of egg floss. Add the spring onion and give it a stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Pour the sauce over the crab, then garnish with chilli and coriander. Serve immediately, with the fried mantou buns on the side to soak up all the delicious sauce.

HOT TIPS • If using live crabs, make sure you prepare them humanely by putting them to sleep in the freezer for 1 hour beforehand. • Mantou buns, also known as Chinese steamed buns, can be found in Asian grocery stores. • Belachan is a notoriously pungent fermented shrimp paste that is commonly used in South-East Asian cooking. The smell will linger for days – so make sure your kitchen is well ventilated before cooking! You’ve been warned. To toast the belachan, wrap the shrimp paste in foil and place it in a frying pan over low heat. Toast for 10 minutes, or until it is almost dried out.

MAINS 106


CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS CURRY PASTIES It’s time to get creative with Christmas leftovers. These curry pasties are inspired by Malaysian curry puffs, as well as the many Cornish pasties I devoured when I was in the UK. Make a few extra and keep them in the freezer for rainy days. 1 egg, beaten, for brushing sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)

PASTY PASTRY 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 125 g (41/2 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 2 egg yolks 190 ml (61/2 fl oz/3/4 cup) chilled water

CURRY FILLING 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 large brown onions, roughly chopped 3–4 large potatoes, about 400 g (14 oz) in total, peeled and cut into small cubes 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) leg ham or turkey, cut into small cubes 2 tablespoons curry powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon chilli powder salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

MAKES

4

To make the pastry, add the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolks to a food processor. Pulse in two-second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water in a steady stream, pulsing until a dough forms. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and leave to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion and potato for about 2 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10–15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and the water has evaporated. Add the meat, curry powder and spices, season with salt and pepper and keep stirring for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is dry and pasty. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). On a floured surface, roll the chilled pastry out to a 5 mm (1/4 inch) thickness. Using a 20 cm (8 inch) dinner plate as a template, cut out four circles. Place a generous 2–3 tablespoons of filling on one half of one of the pastry circles, leaving a 2.5 cm (1 inch) gap around the edge. Brush all around the edge with egg wash, then fold the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shaped pasty and seal firmly. Starting at one side, crimp the edges over, into a decorative pleat. Brush the top of pasty with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds, then make a steam hole in the centre with a sharp knife. Repeat with the remaining pastry circles and filling. Bake the pasties for 50 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before serving.

HOT TIPS • These pasties are a meal on their own; you can make smaller snack-sized ones for parties by using a bread plate as the pastry template. • Make sure the pleated crust is not too big, otherwise the pastry will still be doughy inside and not fully cooked through.

MAINS 108


BO SSAM The hero of this popular Korean dish is pork belly. Typically the pork is boiled, but I prefer to slow-cook it in the oven until caramelised and melt-in-the-mouth tender. I love a bit of communal DIY party food, and this dish will definitely bring all the boys and girls to the yard. Have the full spread on the table and invite everyone to construct their own wrap with a little bit of everything. ‘Bo ssam’ means ‘wrapped’, hence the name. 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz) pork belly

SWEET SOY GINGER MARINADE 1 large brown onion, quartered 100 g (31/2 oz/1/2 cup) dark brown sugar 5 garlic cloves, peeled 2 tablespoons doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste) 5 cm (2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, thinly sliced

PICKLED CABBAGE 300 g (101/2 oz) Chinese cabbage (wombok) 55 g (2 oz/1/4 cup) sugar 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) white vinegar 1 tablespoon salt

OYSTER RADISH SALAD 300 g (101/2 oz) Korean radish or daikon, washed and peeled 2 teaspoons salt 3 tablespoons Korean hot pepper powder 2 tablespoons gochujang chilli paste 2 tablespoons fish sauce 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 spring onion (scallion), thinly sliced 2 teaspoons sugar 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 12 freshly shucked oysters (see Hot tip)

SERVES

4-6

Rinse the pork belly under cold water, then pat dry and place in a baking dish. Place all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend into a fine paste. Pour the marinade over the pork, rubbing all over to coat completely. Wrap the dish in plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Place the pork and marinating juices in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake for 11/2 hours. Remove the foil and baste the pork with the pan juices. Bake, uncovered, for a further 11/2 hours, basting the pork every 30 minutes, until the skin is caramelised and the meat is super-tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, pickle the cabbage. Cut the core off the cabbage, trim about 2.5 cm (1 inch) off the white lower parts and keep them for other recipes. Rinse the cabbage leaves, shake off the excess water and set aside in a strainer. Make a brine solution by adding the sugar, vinegar, salt and 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water in a large bowl, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the cabbage leaves, toss them in the brine and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Now turn the cabbage over and marinate for a further 15 minutes. Keep turning the leaves every 15 minutes for the next 1–2 hours, until the cabbage is soft and withered. Squeeze out all the excess water and refrigerate until ready to serve. To make the salad, cut the radish into matchsticks and place in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and mix well. Leave to pickle for 10 minutes, then squeeze out all the excess water. Add the remaining ingredients, except the oysters, and mix well using your hand. Now add the oysters. Gently, without breaking them, mix them through the salad. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To serve, carve the pork into thin slices and fan them out on a serving platter. Serve the pickled cabbage and the salad in bowls alongside.

HOT TIP • If oysters are not your thing, you can omit it from the radish salad. Alternatively, try serving the bo ssam with Pear kimchi (page 80) – or if you’re feeling lazy, store-bought kimchi would do too.

MAINS 110


CHINESE HOT POT Also known as a steamboat, Chinese hot pot is definitely one of the best winter warmers! Another great thing about the communal hotpot is that there is very minimal cooking involved – so don’t let this longlooking recipe fool you. All you have to do is prepare the soup stock and two dipping sauces in advance. When it’s time to serve up, have all the other raw ingredients spread out at the table, and let your guests cook it themselves in the simmering hot pot. Soup stock 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) pork bones 30 g (1 oz) dried anchovies (ikan bilis; see Hot tips) 95 g (31/4 oz/1/2 cup) dried soy beans

CHILLI SATAY SAUCE 8–10 dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes 4 large fresh red chillies, seeded and cut into small chunks 6–8 French shallots, roughly chopped 4 gloves garlic, roughly chopped 2 lemongrass stems, white part only, thinly sliced 2 cm (3/4 inch) knob of fresh galangal, peeled and thinly sliced 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) vegetable oil 2 tablespoons tamarind purée 300 g (101/2 oz/13/4 cups) skinless peanuts, toasted and coarsely ground 60 g (2 oz/1/3 cup) palm sugar (jaggery), roughly chopped 80 g (23/4 oz/1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 1/2 tablespoon salt

SWEET HOISIN SAUCE 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) hoisin sauce 2 tablespoons tahini 1 teaspoon thick black caramel soy sauce 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon peanut butter 75 g (21/2 oz/1/3 cup) sugar

SERVES

8-10

Start by making the stock. Put the pork bones in a 16 litre (541 fl oz/ 72 cup) stockpot and pour in enough water to fully submerge the bones. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, leave to boil for 5 minutes, then drain. Wash the bones under cold running water to remove any impurities.

Meanwhile, arrange all the meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles and dipping sauces around the table.

Put the bones back in the stockpot and fill with 10 litres (338 fl oz/ 40 cups) water. Add the anchovies and soy beans and bring back to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 3 hours with the lid ajar. Be sure to keep skimming off any foam on top, to keep the stock clear.

HOT TIPS

Once ready, pour the stock through a fine-meshed sieve, into a large pot, discarding the solids. Keep warm until ready to serve. While the stock is simmering, make the satay sauce. Put the dried chillies in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of the soaking water. Add the fresh chillies, shallot, garlic, lemongrass and galangal and blend into a fine paste.

Once the stock is boiling, it is time for everyone to grab a little bit of everything to cook in the hot stock, and dig in.

• Ikan bilis, or dried anchovies, are commonly used throughout South-East Asia to enhance the flavour of soup stocks. You can find them at Asian grocery stores. Don’t confuse them with the Italian anchovies in oil! • Keep your vegetables, raw protein and seafood on their own separate serving plates, to avoid any chance of cross-contamination. • Typically, we cook the noodles last, as they get everywhere in the pot – and as a ‘filler’ only if anyone is still hungry after devouring all the meat and vegies!

300 g (101/2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced 300 g (101/2 oz) pork tenderloin, thinly sliced 300 g (101/2 oz) beef scotch fillet, thinly sliced 300 g (101/2 oz) packet of beef balls 4 century eggs, quartered, served with thinly sliced young ginger (optional)

SEAFOOD 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined 300 g (101/2 oz) packet of fried fish balls 300 g (101/2 oz) packet of squid balls

VEGETABLES & NOODLES

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium–high heat. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the oil has split from the paste and the mixture is fragrant. Add the tamarind purée, peanuts, palm sugar, caster sugar and salt and cook for another minute. Stir in 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water and leave to simmer over medium–low heat for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside until ready to serve.

1/4 Chinese cabbage, cored, rinsed then cut into 3 cm (11/4 inch) strips 3 bunches baby bok choy (pak choy), cored and rinsed, leaves separated 200 g (7 oz) fried tofu puffs, cut in half 450 g (1 lb) bean sprouts noodles of your choice (optional, if people are still hungry!)

Put all the sweet hoisin sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Add 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water and stir over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3–5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside until required. When ready to serve, place a portable induction cooker in the centre of the dining table. Fill a large saucepan with soup stock to about three-quarters full, then place on top of induction cooker and bring to the boil.

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MEAT

MAINS 113


MAINS 114


PX BEEF CHEEKS Over the past decade or so, beef cheeks have definitely made a culinary comeback. Given that a cow spends most of its life grazing and chewing, it is entirely natural that the ‘cheek’ will be a tough cut of meat. The only way to enjoy beef cheeks is to cook them low and slow, until all the connective tissue transforms into meltingly tender, meaty goodness, such as in this dish, where they soak up all that red wine and lusciously sweet sherry. 4 beef cheeks 35 g (11/2 oz/1/4 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) olive oil 3 carrots, roughly chopped 1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally 1 large brown onion, sliced 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) Pedro Ximenéz sherry 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) red wine 3 bay leaves a few thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

SERVES

4

Trim the beef cheeks to remove any sinews and tough silver skin. Dredge the beef in the flour until fully coated, shaking off the excess flour. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Sear the beef for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil, then sauté the carrot, garlic and onion for about 10 minutes, or until cooked and browned, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn or it will taste bitter. Add the sherry and wine, using a spatula to scrape up any caramelised bits stuck to the pan. Place the beef cheeks back in the pan. Once the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, and add the bay leaves and thyme. Cover with a lid and simmer for 3–4 hours, turning the beef every hour, until the beef cheeks are beginning to fall apart. They should be super tender, but still holding their shape. When the beef is ready, the sauce should be reduced by half and glossy. If it needs further reducing, remove the beef cheeks from the pan, cover with foil to keep warm, and simmer the sauce over high heat until nicely reduced and thick. Strain the sauce through a fine-meshed sieve, into another pan. Season well with salt and pepper, then return the beef cheeks back to the sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve, garnished with some fresh thyme sprigs.

HOT TIP • This dish pairs really well with the Spicy whole roasted cauliflower on page 88 or The best roast potatoes... ever! on page 96.

MAINS 116


ASIAN-STYLE BEEF SHORT RIBS Beef short ribs can be hard to come by, but if you find them, grab them. They are one of my favourite cuts of meat. This easy recipe is perfect for beginners, or people who don’t want to spend hours smoking the ribs in a barbecue smoker. Just throw them in the oven and slow cook for a few hours, then finish them off on the barbecue. It can’t get any simpler than that. 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz) beef short ribs a handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves sesame seeds, to garnish

SWEET CHILLI MARINADE 115 g (4 zoz/1/2 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar 3 garlic cloves, peeled 2 large red chillies, seeded and cut into small chunks 7–8 French shallots, roughly chopped 5 cm (2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 2 tablespoons fish sauce

SERVES

4

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Add all the marinade ingredients to a food processor and blend into a smooth paste. Place the ribs in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over the beef, then use your hands to rub the marinade into the meat until well coated. Cover the dish with double layers of foil and seal tightly. Bake for 21/2–3 hours, or until the beef is super tender and the bones are just about to detach from the meat. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Heat a barbecue grill to medium. Pour the pan juices from the beef into a jug, then skim off the excess fat on top. Place the ribs on the barbecue. Basting with the pan juices frequently, grill the ribs for about 2–3 minutes on each side, until caramelised on both sides. Transfer the ribs to a serving plate and drizzle with the remaining pan juices. Garnish with coriander and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • There is a layer of membrane underneath the ribs that holds them together; it is extremely tough and chewy, so just don’t eat that bit. • Serve with potato fries or steamed jasmine rice.

MAINS 118


AN INSANELY GOOD TONKOTSU RAMEN There is a Chinese saying, ‘Patience is a bitter plant, but it has sweet fruit.’ To prepare a good tonkotsu broth takes time – it involves boiling pork bones for over 10 hours. But, be patient and you shall be rewarded with a bowl of ramen swimming in the most luscious, thick tonkotsu broth – every sip will make your lips curl and stick together from all the gelatinous goodness. It’s definitely worth the effort. TONKOTSU BROTH 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) pig’s trotters, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) discs by your butcher 2 chicken carcasses, chopped into small pieces 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large onion, peeled and quartered 1 garlic bulb, peeled and split into cloves 5 cm (2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, thinly sliced 1 leek, white part only, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths 12 spring onions (scallions), white parts only; reserve the green bits for serving

CHASHU (PORK BELLY) 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) pork belly 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) soy sauce 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) cooking sake 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) mirin 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 6 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths 5 garlic cloves 5 cm (2 inch) knob of fresh ginger, thinly sliced 1 French shallot, skin on, halved

BROTH SEASONINGS 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) reserved chashu pan juices (from above) 2 tablespoons cooking sake 2 tablespoons mirin 1 tablespoon white sugar 50 g (13/4 oz) white miso paste 1 piece of kombu (see Hot tips) sesame oil, to taste salt, to taste

SERVES

4-6

Start by making the tonkotsu broth. Place the pork and chicken bones in a 16 litre (541 fl oz/72 cup) stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium–high and leave to boil for 10 minutes to draw out all the impurities. Drain the bones and scrub or wash them thoroughly under running cold water to remove any dark marrow and coagulated blood. Rinse the stockpot, put the bones back in, cover with fresh cold water and bring back to the boil over high heat. Skim off any scum and foam that accumulates on the surface during the next 15–20 minutes, then continue skimming until it stops. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger, tossing occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until charred on most sides. Add the charred vegetables to the stock, along with the leek and spring onion. Cover, reduce the heat to medium–low, then simmer for 10 hours at a slow rolling boil. Top up with more water only if necessary to keep the bones submerged at all times. When the broth is ready, it should be a rich white opaque colour, not brown. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed strainer, into a clean saucepan, discarding the solids. Skim off any excess liquid fat on the surface. Set aside until required; the broth will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or 1 month in freezer. To prepare the chashu, lay the pork belly on a board, skin side down. Roll it into a log and secure tightly with butcher’s twine. Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Place the pork roll in a flameproof casserole dish. Add the remaining chashu ingredients and bring to the boil over high heat. Put the lid on, then transfer to the oven. Cook, turning the pork every hour, for about 3 hours, or until the pork is very tender. Test by inserting a skewer into the pork – it should offer very little resistance. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Put the pork in a container, reserving the pan juices for the broth, and chill in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, reheat 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) of the tonkotsu broth over medium–high heat. Add the seasonings to the broth, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the kombu, then adjust the seasoning if necessary.

MAINS 120

To serve, divide the ramen noodles among four bowls. Slice the pork into thin rounds. Reheat the pork slices by dipping them in the hot broth in a wire skimmer/strainer, then arrange over the noodles. Pour the broth over the noodles. Add half an egg to each bowl, garnish with bamboo shoots, spring onion and a nori sheet and serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • It’s best to prepare the tonkotsu broth and chashu a day ahead, as it will take an entire day to boil a rich stock, and the chashu needs to set overnight before slicing. • While boiling the pork bones, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated, or your house will smell like an abattoir. • Kombu is a dried kelp commonly used throughout East Asia to make stock. You can find at Asian or Japanese grocers, as well as health food stores. • You can also serve the finished dish with condiments such as mayu (black garlic oil), shichimi togarashi and pickled ginger.

TO SERVE 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) ramen noodles, cooked according to the packet instructions 2 soft-boiled eggs, halved pickled bamboo shoots, thinly sliced spring onion (scallion) greens, reserved from the broth, thinly sliced 4 nori sheets


MEXICANA CHICKEN PARMI Chicken parmigiana is, of course, an Italian dish, but has become a beloved Aussie pub staple affectionately known as ‘chicken parmi’ (or ‘parma’ – depending on which state you’re in). And no wonder: few can resist that golden crumbed chicken breast covered with ham and a blanket of melty cheese. But I like my food spicy, so I’m giving the classic parmi a Mexican twist to fire things up a little. If you are ravenous, serve it on a bed of fries. Winner winner, chicken dinner! 2 large chicken breast halves, skin off salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 2 eggs, beaten with 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) milk 60 g (2 oz/1 cup) panko breadcrumbs vegetable oil, for shallow-frying 2 bacon rashers (slices), cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces 2 slices ham 2 mozzarella balls, sliced 10–12 pickled jalapeño chilli rings 50 g (13/4 oz/1/2 cup) grated pecorino or parmesan

CHILLI TOMATO SAUCE 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large red onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, mashed with a pinch of salt 140 g (5 oz) tub of tomato paste (concentrated purée) 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon chilli flakes salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

MAKES

2

Make the tomato sauce in advance. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, keep stirring and cook for a minute. Stir in the passata, bay leaf and chilli flakes and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Using a sharp knife, carefully butterfly the chicken breasts – starting from the thicker end, cut lengthways through each breast, leaving a 2 cm (3/4 inch) hinge attached. Open the chicken breasts out and place between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to beat the chicken, flattening it to an even 1 cm (1/2 inch) thickness. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper on both sides. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Set up a dusting station with a bowl of flour, a bowl of beaten egg wash and a bowl of panko breadcrumbs. Dredge each breast in the flour, shaking off the excess, dip in the egg to coat completely, and finally dredge in the panko crumbs until fully coated. Transfer the crumbed breasts to a tray and leave to set for 10 minutes before frying. Heat about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of vegetable oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan over high heat. One at a time, fry the chicken breasts for about 2–3 minutes on each side, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Pour the oil out of the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon, and cook the bacon for about 3 minutes, or until well browned and crispy. Remove and chop into small pieces. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish or cast-iron pan. Top each breast with a slice of ham, then some tomato sauce. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top, add the jalapeño rings and bacon bits, and sprinkle the parmesan all over. Bake on the top rack in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned. Add another spoonful of tomato sauce to each serving plate, place the chicken on top and serve.

MAINS 124

HOT TIPS • Make sure you use a frying pan wide enough to shallowfry the chicken in. • Serve the parmi with sour cream and tortilla on the side if desired.


12-HOUR TEXAS-STYLE SMOKED BRISKET Always dreamed of smoking your own Texas-style barbecue feast at home? This easy step-by-step guide to setting up your barbecue will have you smoking your own beef brisket in no time. One word of advice: preparation is the key. You don’t want to spend all that time and effort smoking an expensive piece of meat only to find that it is overcooked and inedible. Be patient, my young padawans. 4–5 kg (8 lb 13 oz–11 lb) whole beef brisket with fat caps

TEXAN SPICE RUB 3 tablespoons cooking salt or kosher salt 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon onion powder

SERVES

12

Rinse the brisket under cold running water, then pat dry. Trim the fat caps on top to about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick, then place the beef on a baking tray. In a bowl, mix together all the spice rub ingredients, then rub liberally over both sides of the brisket. Leave to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare a hooded barbecue grill or vertical smoker ready for smoking. Place four wood chunks at four opposite corners on the charcoal grate. Fill the spaces between the wood chunks with barbecue beads, leaving the centre of the grate clear. Using a chimney starter, fill three-quarters of the charcoal chimney with beads and light it up. Let them burn until they are ash white. Then, being very careful as it will be extremely hot, pour the live beads into the centre of the grate. Using tongs, spread them out evenly. Put a water pan on top and fill it with hot water. Add the cooking grills, then close the lid, leaving the air vents open. When the temperature reaches the smoking zone – 93–150ºC (200–300ºF) on the thermometer – place the brisket on the grate, fat cap facing up, and close the lid. Adjust the heat as needed by closing the air vents slightly to keep the temperature steady between 110–120ºC (230–250ºF). Top up with more fuels and wood chunks as needed when the temperature drops. Cook the brisket for 12 hours. Do not open the barbecue for the first 2 hours, then open and check the brisket every hour after and rotate it for even cooking. If the brisket gets too dark, around 5–6 hours into the cooking time, wrap it in foil tightly and put it back on the grill. The brisket is done when the meat is very tender like butter, and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 90–96ºC (195–205ºF). Remove the brisket from the heat, wrap it in foil and allow to rest for at least 1 hour before slicing. Serve the brisket with coleslaw, potato salad and sliced pickles.

HOT TIPS • You’ll have to wake up at 5am to start smoking the barbecue if you want the brisket for dinner, otherwise prepare it a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, wrap the brisket in foil and reheat in a 150ºC (300ºF) oven for 1–1½ hours. • While smoking the brisket, you shouldn’t have heavy puffs of white smoke coming out of the air vents; there should be a very faint – almost invisible – smoke, known as ‘blue smoke’.

MAINS 126


CHAPTER 128


HSP (HALAL SNACK PACK) It’s 3am, you’ve had a big night, you’re feeling a little tipsy and craving something hot and greasy, so you stumble across the street and order yourself a ‘HSP’ from a kebab shop. I’m sure we’ve all been there! The dependable HSP must surely be one of the best hangover foods ever invented. And you don’t even need to be hungover to enjoy this one. vegetable oil, for deep-frying 2 handfuls frozen thick-cut potato fries salt, for seasoning 1 tablespoon olive oil 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) shredded mozzarella barbecue sauce, to serve sriracha hot sauce, to serve

DONER MEATLOAF 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb 1 brown onion, grated 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

GARLIC SAUCE 750 ml–1 litre (251/2–34 fl oz/ 3–4 cups) olive oil 10 garlic cloves, peeled 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) lemon juice 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) ice-cold water 11/2 teaspoons salt

SERVES

4

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Put all the meatloaf ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the mixture is well combined and homogenous; the meat should be a little sticky and pasty. Tip the mixture onto a work surface and shape it into a meatloaf. Place your meatloaf on a sheet of foil, then roll and wrap it up tightly. Place on a baking tray and bake for 11/2–2 hours, or until a thermometer registers 75ºC (167ºF) when inserted into the centre of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before removing the foil. Meanwhile, make the garlic sauce. Chill the olive oil in the refrigerator for 1 hour. In a food processor, blend the garlic, lemon juice, ice-cold water and salt to a smooth purée, scraping down the side of the bowl to ensure everything is blended. With the motor running, drizzle in the chilled oil in a steady stream, until the oil is emulsified and the mixture starts to thicken; the sauce should be a little more watery than mayonnaise. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if needed. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over high heat. Add the fries to the hot oil and fry for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Using a wire skimmer, remove from the hot oil and spread out on a baking tray lined with paper towel. Season the fries with salt while still hot. Meanwhile, slice the meatloaf lengthways into long, thin strips. Heat the olive oil in frying pan over high heat and fry the meat strips for about 5 minutes, until browned. To assemble, place the fries on serving plates – or to be really authentic, in styrofoam takeaway boxes! Scatter the cheese all over, top with lamb strips, then drizzle the garlic sauce, barbecue sauce and sriracha in zig-zag patterns over top. Serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • Instead of the lamb meatloaf, you can use chargrilled chicken. • The garlic sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. You can also use it as a dip for fries or barbecued charcoal chicken, or on falafel rolls.

MAINS 130


STEAK & GUINNESS PIES There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a warm beef pie to beat the winter chills. If you love pies as much as I do, then this one is not to be missed. Slow cooking allows the chunky beef to soak up all the flavours of the stout; we then encased all that meaty goodness in a crisp rosemary-scented pastry. A truly hale and hearty winter warmer. STEAK FILLING 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus an extra 2 tablespoons olive oil, for pan-frying 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) braising steak or chuck steak, cut into 4 cm (11/2 inch) chunks 2 carrots, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 3 large brown onions, 1 finely chopped and 2 thinly sliced 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) Guinness or other Irish stout 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) beef stock 60 g (2 oz) butter sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

BOUQUET GARNI 3 fresh bay leaves a few rosemary sprigs a few thyme sprigs a few flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs

MAKES

6

Make the filling a day ahead. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), and put the 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) flour in a bowl. Working in batches, dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess, then place on a tray. Tie all the bouquet garni herbs together with butcher’s twine. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over medium–high heat. Taking care not to crowd the pan, cook the beef in batches for 5–6 minutes, turning occasionally, until well browned all over, adding more olive oil if necessary. Remove to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium–low. In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil, then sauté the carrot, celery, garlic and the 1 chopped onion for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Pour the stout into the pan, using a spatula to scrape up any meaty bits stuck to the pan. Stir in the worcestershire and stock, then bring to the boil over high heat. Return the beef to the pan, add the bouquet garni and put the lid on. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours, or until the beef is super tender and falls apart when squashed with a fork. The sauce should be reduced by half. When the beef is almost ready, heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the 2 thinly sliced onions for 10 minutes, or until well browned and charred a little. Remove the casserole from the oven. Stir the sautéed onion through the beef. Place the casserole dish back on the stove and bring to a simmer over medium–low heat. Place the butter and the extra 2 tablespoons flour in a small mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub them together to form buttery crumbs. Add to the beef mixture, a little bit at a time, and stir until the sauce thickens. The beef filling should be quite thick and not saucy. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, spread the beef filling out in a rectangular casserole dish and allow to cool completely. Transfer to the refrigerator and leave to set for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, lard and rosemary in a food processor and pulse in two-second bursts until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Keep pulsing while pouring in the cold water in a steady stream until the mixture forms a dough. Do not overmix.

MAINS 132

Tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently gather all the loose crumbs together to form a soft dough, then knead and fold the dough gently into a 2.5 cm (1 inch) disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut off two-thirds of the chilled pastry and put the remainder back in the fridge. Roll the pastry out to about 4 mm (1/6 inch) thick, then cut out six 15 cm (6 inch) circles. Line a deep six-hole muffin tin with the pastry circle, pressing down firmly into the tin to fill all the gaps. Leave 1 cm (1/2 inch) of pastry hanging over the edges of the tin, then trim off the excess. Fill each pastry shell with the chilled beef filling. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out six 10 cm (4 inch) circles. Drape each circle over the filling, trim off the excess around each pie, then pleat the edges to seal. Decorate the top with extra trimmings and cut out a steam hole in the centre with a sharp knife. Leave to set in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Brush the pie tops with the beaten egg, then bake for 45–60 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and rest for 10–15 minutes before serving.

HOT TIPS • Instead of making six individual pies, you can make a family-sized one using a 25 (10 inch) pie dish, about 5 cm (2 inches) deep. • Make sure the beef filling is not too saucy, or you will end up with a pie with a soggy bottom – or even worse, a leaky pie!

ROSEMARY LARD PASTRY 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/31/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting 150 g (51/2 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) cubes 100 g (31/2 oz) lard 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) chilled water 1 large egg, beaten


MAINS 134


EPIC MEAT-LOVER’S PIZZAS

MAKES

This is just one of those crazy ideas I simply had to put it to the test. More meat and less crust I say, so this pizza is one man’s dream come true! Now someone please put this one on more pizza menus, pronto.

2

1 quantity Classic meatball mixture, from the Deep-dish pizza on page 104 olive oil, for pan-frying 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) shredded mozzarella sliced pepperoni, for topping sliced salami, for topping sliced black olives, for topping 4 slices American yellow cheese, cut into quarters

Start by making the pizza dough. Combine the yeast, sugar and water in a jug, stirring well. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Add the flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and use your finger to make a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil into the well. Using a fork, start whisking in a circular motion, to gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid to form a rough dough.

PIZZA DOUGH

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the garlic for a minute. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with the salt, then set aside to cool completely.

2 teaspoons active dried yeast (1 x 7 g sachet) 25 g (1 oz) caster (superfine) sugar 320 ml (11 fl oz) lukewarm water 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/31/3 cups) all-purpose plain flour, plus extra for dusting 2 teaspoons salt 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra for greasing fine semolina, for dusting

HERBED TOMATO SAUCE 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped 400 g (14 oz) tin crushed tomatoes 2 teaspoons oregano 1 teaspoon salt

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

To make the meatballs, follow the recipe on page 104, but shape them into 16 balls the size of golf balls. Fry them in some olive oil over medium heat for about 2–3 minutes, or until browned all over and just cooked through. Set aside until ready to be used. When the dough has finished rising, punch the dough down to let the air out, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times just to shape the dough back into a round ball, then divide into two even portions. When you are ready to cook the pizzas, place a pizza stone (if you have one) on the middle rack in the oven and crank the temperature up to the highest setting, between 250–280ºC (480–535ºF). Using both hands or a rolling pin, stretch one portion of pizza dough out to a 25 cm (10 inch) round, about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Sprinkle a handful of semolina on a baking tray and place the pizza base on top. Place eight meatballs evenly around the edge of the pizza, like a clock. Stretch the edges of the dough between the meatballs, folding inwards and pinching it down around the meatballs to secure them in place. Spread half the tomato sauce over the pizza base, then sprinkle with half the chilli flakes and one-quarter the mozzarella. Top with pepperoni, salami and olives, then sprinkle with another one-quarter of the mozzarella. Repeat to make another pizza. Bake the pizzas, one at a time if necessary, for 15–20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crisp and the toppings slightly charred. Turn the heat off, place a slice of American cheese on top of each meatball, and leave the pizza in the oven for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese with the residual heat. Remove from the oven, rest for a few minutes, then slice.

MAINS 136

HOT TIPS • Instead of meatballs, you can use chorizo slices or cocktail sausages. • This recipe makes two thincrust pizza bases. If you prefer a thick-crust pizza, just use all the dough and roll it out to 1–2 cm (½–¾ inch) thick and bake it a little longer.


CHAPTER 138


PART

4

DESSERTS CHAPTER 140 140


BEER & CHILLI PEANUT BRITTLE Beer and peanuts are a match made in heaven. This brittle is every beer lover’s dream – you can consume as much as you like and you won’t even get drunk because the alcohol has already evaporated during cooking, leaving behind that malty, hoppy flavour. Settle back and enjoy the footy or a good action-packed movie with this delicious sweet snack. Just be careful: the chilli heat does creep up on you. unsalted butter, softened, for greasing 460 g (1 lb/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) beer 375 g (13 oz) packet of roasted unsalted peanuts, no skins 1/2 teaspoon hot cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes

SERVES

6

Line a baking tray with baking paper, then grease the paper evenly with butter and set aside. Grease a silicon spatula and set aside. Put the sugar and beer in a saucepan. Without stirring, bring to the boil over high heat, then continue to boil for 10–12 minutes, or until the bubbles slowly subside and the syrup turns golden amber. Working quickly, remove from the heat, stir in the peanuts, cayenne pepper and salt, then pour the mixture onto the baking tray. Using the greased spatula, spread the mixture to an even thickness. Leave to cool completely; this will take about 15 minutes. Smash the brittle into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

HOT TIPS • Try to spread the mixture out as thinly as possible before the toffee is set, otherwise you will end up with brittle as hard as rock. (I hold no responsibility for anyone chipping a tooth by biting into it!) • For those with peanut allergies, substitute with macadamia nuts, or even roasted chickpeas.

DESSERTS 142


CHOCO ICE CREAM TACOS I had my first Choco Taco when I was in the States. What a genius invention – I just had to make my own version! Shaped like a taco, the crispy chocolate waffle is filled to the brim with ice cream, then sealed with a milk chocolate coating studded with roasted peanuts. If you are naughty, you can always make the taco ‘fatter’, so it fits in more ice cream. The diet can wait. 1 litre (34 fl oz) tub of ice cream of your choice 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped 160 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped

WAFFLE BATTER 4 egg whites 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract 230 g (8 oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 80 g (23/4 oz) butter, melted

MAKES

6

Add all the waffle batter ingredients to a bowl. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved, and the batter is smooth with no flour lumps; the batter should flow like lava, but not be runny. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Grab a few cookbooks and wrap them separately in foil. Heat a wafflecone maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When it is hot enough, pour 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of the batter into the centre, close the lid and press firmly, and cook for 40 seconds to 1 minute. Wearing a glove as it will be very hot, carefully peel off the waffle while it is still soft, then quickly wrap it around the spine of one of the cookbooks and weigh it down with another cookbook. Once the waffle hardens, remove and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter, to make at least six waffle tacos. Store in an airtight container until ready to use; they will keep only a day or two in the cupboard, but indefinitely in the freezer. When you’re ready to continue, very gently fill the taco shells with ice cream to the brim, making sure it is nice and compacted inside. Transfer the filled taco shells to the freezer and leave to set for at least 1 hour. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, either using the double-boiler method over a saucepan of simmering water, or in a microwave at 20-second intervals. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Set up a dipping station with a bowl of the chocolate sauce, a bowl of peanuts and a tray of the frozen ice-cream tacos. Dip the open end of a taco into the chocolate sauce until the ice cream is fully coated. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off, then dip it into the peanuts until fully coated. Place it back on the tray, and repeat the process with the remaining tacos. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

HOT TIPS • The waffle tacos freeze well in a zip-lock bag or airtight container. In the unlikely event you haven’t consumed them after a year, it is best to discard them. • If your kitchen is hot, just work with one taco ice cream at a time. Take one taco out of the freezer, fill with ice cream and place back in the freezer before filling another one. Same deal when coating them with the chocolate and peanuts.

DESSERTS 144


PUMPKIN-SPICED BACON & PECAN PILLOWS

SERVES

2-4

This stuff is addictive! I guarantee once you start, you won’t be able to stop. The pumpkin spice flavour always reminds me of Christmas, but this crunchy mix is the perfect sweet snack to nibble on any time you want to chillax on the couch, bingeing on Home Alone. 2 bacon rashers (slices) 30 g (1 oz) butter, melted 55 g (2 oz/1/4 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) maple syrup 150 g (51/2 oz/5 cups) crunchy pillow-shaped breakfast cereal, such as Crispix or Chex (see Hot tips) 150 g (51/2 oz) pecans

Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Line a baking tray with baking paper and lay the bacon on top. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the bacon is deep golden brown and crispy, turning once at the 10-minute mark. Remove and drain on paper towel. Chop into fine crumbs and set aside.

PUMPKIN SPICE MIX

Combine the cereal, bacon bits and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Pour the pumpkin spice mixture over and use a wooden spatula to stir everything together until well coated.

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger a tiny pinch of ground cloves

Lower the oven temperature to 150ºC (300ºF). Line another baking tray with baking paper. Mix the pumpkin spices together in a small bowl. Add the butter, sugar and maple syrup and stir to mix well.

Spread the mixture in a single layer on the lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the mixture is golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month, and snack on it at will, as you would with popcorn.

HOT TIPS • Crispix cereal is also known as Chex in the US. • You can definitely add more ingredients to the mix, such as dried cranberries, macadamia nuts and pretzels… Whatever works for you!

DESSERTS 146


BANANA, WALNUT & CHOCOLATE SPRING ROLLS

MAKES

Rummaging through the pantry to satiate a craving for something sweet, I came up with this emergency quick fix of rich chocolate hazelnut spread, sweet banana and nutty walnuts in a crunchy deepfried spring roll – nothing fancy, but it hit all the right spots. It has banana in it, so surely it is healthy, right? 4 frozen square spring roll wrappers, thawed 4 teaspoons Nutella or other choc-hazelnut spread 50 g (13/4 oz/1/2 cup) walnuts, roughly chopped 2 just-ripe bananas, thickly sliced vegetable oil, for deep-frying vanilla ice cream, to serve

4

Place a spring roll wrapper on a board with one corner pointing towards you. Spread a heaped teaspoon of Nutella in the middle, sprinkle some walnuts on top, and then half a sliced banana. Fold the corner closest to you upward and over the filling, then fold in the corners from both sides to secure the filling inside. Dab some water on the top corner and finally roll the spring roll all the way up to seal. Set aside on a tray and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC (350ºF) over medium–high heat. Fry the spring rolls for about 1 minute, or until golden. Remove and place on a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. Slice the spring rolls in half diagonally and serve immediately, with vanilla ice cream.

HOT TIPS • Be sure to roll the spring rolls tightly, so the oil doesn’t seep in, or the filling leak out during frying. • Do not overfill the spring rolls, or they will burst while frying. • Instead of Nutella, you can also use peanut butter.

DESSERTS 148


KNAFEH Knafeh (also spelled kunafah) is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet cheese pastry dating back to 10th century. It’s a golden marvel of crispy kataifi (pronounced: ka-ta-if-ee) pastry, encasing a thick layer of stretchy soft white cheese, bathed in a rosewater-infused sugar syrup, and garnished with pistachios harvested by virgins under the blue moon. Okay, I made the last bit up. But it is wonderful nonetheless. 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) full-cream milk 2 tablespoons sugar 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) semolina 2 teaspoons rosewater 380 g (131/2 oz) packet of kataifi pastry (see Hot tips) 160 g (51/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted 400 g (14 oz/22/3 cups) shredded mozzarella a handful of pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped

ROSEWATER SYRUP 220 g (8 oz/1 cup) sugar 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon rosewater

SERVES

8-10

To make the rosewater syrup, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the syrup has thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and rosewater, then set aside to cool completely. Combine the milk, sugar and semolina in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 minute, until the mixture thickens. If it’s too thick, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, stirring to loosen the mixture – it should be thick like paste, but not runny. Remove from the heat, stir in the rosewater and set aside. Shred the kataifi into tiny 1–2 cm (1/2–3/4 inch) strands and place them in a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over and rub it in using your hands, until the pastry strands are all nicely coated. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (345ºF). Spread half the kataifi mixture into a 30 cm (12 inch) cast-iron or heavy-based ovenproof pan. Using your palm or the base of a clean cake pan, press the kataifi down firmly to the base, and up the side of the pan. Scatter half the mozzarella over the base, then evenly spread the semolina mixture on top, and finally the remaining mozzarella. Cover with the remaining kataifi mixture and press down firmly. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1–11/2 hours, or until the kataifi is crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle the rosewater syrup all over it. Leave to stand for 15 minutes, then decorate with pistachios and serve warm.

HOT TIPS • Kataifi is a type of pastry that looks like vermicelli, but is crunchy once cooked. It is used in many Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern desserts, especially sweets that are soaked in syrup. You’ll find it at grocery stores specialising in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern goods. • This recipe makes a huge knafeh, but you can make two smaller ones using two 20 cm (8 inch) cake pans. • Once the knafeh is out of the oven, you can serve as is, or flip it onto a serving plate and then drizzle with the syrup. Because, choices.

DESSERTS 150


FIVE-TIER PAVLOVA CHRISTMAS TREE You can’t celebrate Christmas Down Under without a pavlova. I have to admit pavlova has long been one of my baking nemeses, until I finally cracked the meringue code. The ‘pav’ purists are probably rolling their eyes by now, but this five-tiered beauty will definitely wow the crowd at your next Yuletide gathering – or indeed, any summer soirée. 375 ml (121/2 fl oz/11/2 cups) thickened (whipping) cream 2 tablespoons sugar fresh strawberries, to garnish fresh raspberries, to garnish fresh blueberries, to garnish a handful of mint sprigs

MERINGUE LAYERS 8 egg whites 345 g (12 oz/11/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch) 1 teaspoon white vinegar

RASPBERRY COULIS 300 g (101/2 oz) frozen raspberries 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) water 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

SERVES

8

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Line two baking trays with baking paper. On the two baking paper sheets, draw five circles in different sizes: 25 cm (10 inches), 20 cm (8 inches), 15 cm (6 inches), 10 cm (4 inches) and 5 cm (2 inches). To make the meringue, add the egg whites to the spotlessly clean bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating constantly for about 15 minutes, until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and glossy. While the machine is still running, add the cornflour and vinegar, whisk for 30 seconds until well combined, then turn off the mixer. Spoon the mixture into rounds on the baking paper sheets, using the circles as guides. Use a palette knife to spread the meringue to the edge of the four largest circles – each one should be about 2.5 cm (1 inch) tall. Shape or pipe the smallest meringue into a dome. Transfer the trays to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 100ºC (210ºF), or as low as it will go, and bake for a further 1 hour, or until the meringues are crisp and dry. Turn the oven off, and without opening the oven door, leave the meringues inside to cool completely. This will take about 1 hour. Gently remove the meringue discs and set aside, ready for assembling. Add all the coulis ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Squash the berries using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half. Strain the sauce through a fine-meshed sieve, into a jug, using the wooden spoon to scrape the pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Set the coulis aside to cool completely until ready to use. Just before serving, whisk the cream and sugar using an electric mixer – or by hand with a balloon whisk – until firm peaks form. To assemble the dessert, place the largest meringue on a serving platter, spread a layer of whipped cream over the top, then drizzle some coulis all over. Working from largest to smallest, repeat with the remaining meringue layers, spreading the remaining whipped cream between each layer, and drizzling with most of the coulis. Decorate the meringue tree with berries and mint leaves. Drizzle with the remaining coulis and serve immediately.

DESSERTS 152

HOT TIP • It’s important to leave the meringues to cool completely in the oven – they will collapse if you take them out too soon. I suggest baking the meringues a day in advance, and letting them cool in the oven overnight.


CHURROS & PORRAS WITH BOOZY CHOCOLATE ORANGE SAUCE

SERVES

If you love churros, then you should try its thicker, chubbier sister, porras! Churros are fried dough pastries, whereas porras are made from yeasted dough – but both are equally delicious, so take your pick. In Spain, it’s not unusual to find locals enjoying churros or porras dipped in chocolate sauce (or coffee) for breakfast. Yes, you heard me right – for breakfast! Obviously the alcohol in the chocolate sauce is totally optional… HOT CHOCOLATE SAUCE 100 g (31/2 oz) semi-sweet dark chocolate (65% cocoa), roughly chopped 200 ml (7 fl oz) thickened (whipping) cream 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau

PORRAS 300 g (101/2 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour 1 teaspoon (3 g) active dried yeast 11/4 teaspoons salt 350 ml (12 fl oz) water vegetable oil, for frying

4

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium–low heat until it just comes to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to stand for 1 minute. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the orange zest and orange liqueur and stir to combine. Set aside and keep warm.

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, stirring to mix well. Heat the water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, to a rolling boil. Add the flour mixture and stir constantly with a wooden spatula for about 2 minutes, until the dough comes away from the side of the pan.

Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl, stirring to mix well.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool slightly. While the dough is still warm, place it in a piping (icing) bag fitted with a large star nozzle and set aside.

Heat the water in a saucepan over low heat until the temperature reaches 42ºC (108ºF) on a cooking thermometer, or just above lukewarm.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon on a shallow tray, set aside ready for coating.

Pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring with a fork until there are no lumps in the batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Heat about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of oil in a large sturdy wok or frying pan over medium heat until it reaches 170–175ºC (345ºF).

Heat about 5 cm (2 inches) of oil in a large sturdy wok or frying pan over medium heat until it reaches 170–175ºC (345ºF). Meanwhile, attach a 1 cm (1/2 inch) nozzle to a piping (icing) bag and fill the bag with the thickened batter. Holding the piping bag just above the hot oil, pipe the batter into the oil in a circular motion, to form a long spiral. Cook the dough for 3–4 minutes, turning over halfway through, until golden on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Repeat the process until all the batter is used. Cut the porras into 15–20 cm (6–8 inch) sticks and serve immediately, with the hot chocolate sauce.

Staying away from the oil, pipe a 20 cm (8 inch) length of dough, keeping it attached to the piping bag. Grab the end of the dough and curl it upward to meet the tip of the nozzle, to form a tear-drop shape. Pinch both ends together, tear the dough off the piping nozzle and gently drop it into the hot oil. Repeat to shape a few more churros; you should be able to fry three or four at a time. Cook the churros for 3–4 minutes, turning over halfway through, until golden on both sides. Remove the churros from the oil and drain on paper towel. While still hot, toss them in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve immediately, with the hot chocolate sauce

HOT TIPS • If you don’t use the chocolate sauce soon enough and it starts to set, just reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir until it is back to liquid form. • For the churros, you can first pipe the dough onto a tray lined with baking paper, then shape them into a tear-drop shape, before adding them to the hot oil. Alternatively, you can just pipe both the porras and churros into long strips – they will still taste just as fabulous!

DESSERTS 154

DESSERTS 155

CHURROS 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) water 50 g (13/4 oz) butter 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


MAGIC MIKE

MAKES

A big, thick square of Magic Mike is what you need when you’re not sure what you need. It is crumbly, crunchy, buttery, salty, sugary, gooey, chewy, fudgey – in other words, a party in your mouth. A magic square layered with digestive biscuits, pretzels, chocolate chips, butterscotch fudge, macadamias, bacon crumbs and coconut… Just eat it already! 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 streaky bacon rashers (slices) 200 g (7 oz) digestive biscuits, such as graham crackers 130 g (41/2 oz) butter, melted 30 g (4 oz/1 cup) pretzels, crushed 150 g (61/2 oz/1 cup) chocolate chips 160 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) roughly chopped butterscotch fudge 160 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) macadamias, roughly chopped 55 g (2 oz/1 cup) coconut flakes 400 g (14 oz) tin sweetened condensed milk

12

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat and fry the bacon until golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel, then chop into fine crumbs and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line a deep-sided 25 x 32 cm (10 x 13 inch) baking tray with baking paper. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a mixing bowl and pour the melted butter over, stirring until well coated. Spread the mixture evenly into the lined baking tray, pressing down firmly to achieve an even, compacted thickness. Spread the remaining ingredients on top, in layers. Start with the pretzels, then the chocolate chips, fudge, macadamias and bacon crumbs, then top with the coconut flakes. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

HOT TIPS • To achieve a compact layer of the biscuit base, use the bottom of a glass to press it down firmly. • The slice will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or for months in the freezer.

DESSERTS 158


CEREAL-MILK PANNA COTTA WITH PRUNES IN SPICED PORT SYRUP Like most other kids, I grew up eating cornflakes for breakfast. For me, the best part was slurping up the last drops of cereal-infused milk left behind in the bowl. This panna cotta draws on that favourite childhood flavour, but pairs it with a fancy grown-up topping. It’s breakfast in a dessert! 90 g (3 oz/3 cups) cornflakes, plus extra to garnish 625 ml (21 fl oz/21/2 cups) fullcream milk 375 ml (121/2 fl oz/11/2 cups) thick (double/heavy) cream 4 gold-strength gelatine leaves (10 g/1/4 oz) 45 g (11/2 oz/1/4 cup, firmly packed) light brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract 25 g (1 oz) butter, melted

PRUNES IN SPICED PORT SYRUP 110 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) sugar 1 cinnamon stick 2 whole cloves 3 orange rind strips 200 g (7 oz) prunes, pitted 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) tawny port

SERVES

4

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Spread the cornflakes in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Leave to cool until just warm to the touch. Place the cornflakes in a large saucepan. Pour in the milk and cream, stir, then let steep for 40 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine-meshed sieve, into another clean saucepan, pressing on the cornflakes with the back of a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the gelatine leaves to a bowl of water and leave to ‘bloom’ for 2–3 minutes, or until soft and jelly-like. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla extract to the cereal milk, then stir gently over low heat until the mixture is just warm enough to dissolve the sugar. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine leaves, drop them into the warm milk mixture and stir gently until the gelatine has dissolved. Divide the milk mixture among four moulds or plastic cups. Place them on a tray and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, or until set. Meanwhile, prepare the prunes in syrup. Pour 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) water into a small saucepan, add the sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange rind strips and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the prunes and simmer for a further 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Remove from the heat, stir in the port and set aside to cool completely. Remove the cinnamon stick. To unmould the panna cottas, pour some hot (not boiling!) water into a big bowl. One at a time, carefully tip the side of the moulds into the hot water for 15 seconds. Wipe off the water, then flip each mould onto a serving plate, letting the panna cotta slide out in one piece. Grab a handful of extra cornflakes, crush them between your hands and sprinkle over and around the side each panna cotta. Garnish with two or three prunes and drizzle the spiced port syrup all over and around. Serve immediately.

HOT TIPS • If the panna cottas still won’t come out after dipping them in hot water, run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen them a little – they will pop out eventually. • The prunes can be stewed well ahead and refrigerated in their syrup in a sterile airtight container. They will keep in the fridge for a month or two and will continue to improve in flavour.

DESSERTS 160


FLUFFY JAPANESE CHEESECAKE If you love a cheesecake that’s not too rich or too sweet, try this one. Japanese cheesecake is super light and fluffy, like soft cotton, like a puffy pillow, like a big marshmallow cloud… It is so light, you will want a second slice. Oishii! 170 ml (51/2 fl oz/2/3 cup) full-cream milk 100 g (31/2 oz) cream cheese 100 g (31/2 oz) butter 8 egg yolks 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 60 g (2 oz/1/2 cup) cornflour (cornstarch) 12 egg whites 145 g (5 oz/2/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, to serve icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting

SERVES

8-10

Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF). Line the base and side of a 23 cm (9 inch) cake tin with baking paper. Combine the milk, cream cheese and butter in a saucepan. Without allowing it to boil, warm the mixture over medium heat and gently whisk together until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl using a balloon whisk until smooth. While whisking, slowly pour in the warm cream cheese mixture. Sift the flour and cornflour into the mixture, whisking until there are no lumps. Add the egg whites to the spotlessly clean bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. While still beating, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue beating for about 10 minutes, or until firm peaks form. The meringue should be stiff and glossy. Add one-quarter of the meringue to the flour mixture and gently fold through with a silicone spatula until well combined. Repeat with the remaining meringue, one-quarter at a time, until the batter is fully incorporated, being carefully not to knock out too much air. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, then tap the tin gently on the bench to release any air bubbles. Line a roasting tin with two layers of paper towel, to induct the heat evenly. Place the cake on top, then pour enough hot water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the side of the cake tin. Transfer the roasting tin to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 135ºC (275ºF) and bake for a further 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven. Being very careful as the cake will be hot, gently invert the cake onto the palm of your hand, wearing gloves if is too hot to handle. Peel the baking paper off the bottom of the cake and place the cake on a serving plate, right side up. (The baking paper will peel off easily while the cake is still hot.) Set aside to cool to room temperature. Decorate the top of the cake with berries, dust with icing sugar, cut into slices and serve.

DESSERTS 162

HOT TIPS • If you going to use a springform cake tin, make sure you wrap the bottom of the tin very tightly with a double layer of foil to ensure there is no leakage, otherwise you will end up with a cheesecake with a soggy bottom. • You can keep the cheesecake in the refrigerator; it will deflate a little, but will taste even better served chilled.


CRAZY DONUTS Donuts sure have made a comeback, big time. The days of the humble cinnamon-sprinkled or glazed donuts are long gone, so say hello to these outrageous, totally out-of-this-world hybrids, which I call ‘crazy donuts’ – because you’d be crazy not to give them a try. DONUTS 300 ml (10 fl oz) full-cream milk 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/31/3 cups) strong (‘bread’) flour, plus extra for dusting 100 g (31/2 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 1 large egg 2 tablespoons brown sugar 4 teaspoons active dried yeast (2 x 7 g sachets) 1 teaspoon salt vegetable oil, for deep-frying

OREO CRUMBLE (TO GLAZE 6 DONUTS) 11/2 tablespoons cream cheese 2 tablespoons full-cream milk 185 g (61/2 oz/11/2 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar 1 tablespoon Nutella or other choc-hazelnut spread 5–6 Oreo or other cream-filled dark chocolate cookies, crushed into big chunks

VEGEMITE & BACON (TO GLAZE 6 DONUTS) 2 streaky bacon rashers (slices) 150 g (51/2 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) thickened (whipping) cream 1 tablespoon Vegemite

MAKES

16-18

To make the donuts, whisk the milk and 2 tablespoons of the flour together in a saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and just comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, or until just lukewarm, whisking occasionally. Add the egg to the lukewarm milk mixture and whisk until combined. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Then add the remaining flour, along with the sugar, yeast and salt. Mix on low speed for about 10 minutes, or until a smooth, soft and elastic dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to prove for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Turn the proved dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough very gently a few turns, then reshape back into a round ball. Roll the dough out to about 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Using a 10 cm (4 inch) round cutter, cut out as many donuts as you can, then use a 2.5 cm (1 inch) cutter to cut out the donut holes. (You can keep the donut ‘holes’ and fry those up as well, if you wish!) Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Now knead the dough scraps back together and leave to rest for a few minutes. Roll the dough back out to the same thickness as before, then and cut out more donuts and donut holes. Repeat until all the dough is used, covering loosely with plastic wrap. Leave the donuts in a warm place and let them prove for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

For the Oreo crumble donuts, combine the cream cheese, milk, icing sugar and Nutella in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Dip one side of six donuts into the icing, then place on a wire rack, glazed side up. Top with the cookie chunks and leave to set. For the Vegemite & bacon donuts, place the bacon on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven 200ºC (400ºF) for 15–20 minutes, or until deep golden brown and crispy, turning once at the 10-minute mark. Drain on paper towel, then chop the bacon into small chunks. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, stir the cream and Vegemite over medium–heat until combined and just about to boil, then pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let it sit for 15 seconds, then stir gently until all the chocolate has melted. Allow to cool to just about lukewarm, then dip one side of six donuts in the chocolate. Place them on a wire rack, glazed side up, top with the bacon chips and leave to set. For the Taste the rainbow donuts, combine the cream cheese, milk, icing sugar, vanilla and food colouring in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Dip one side of six donuts into the icing, then place on a wire rack, glazed side up. Top with the Froot Loops and hundreds and thousands and leave to set.

HOT TIPS • Make sure the oil is not too hot when cooking the donuts, or they will brown too fast while still being raw inside. • These donuts are best eaten the same day, as they go stale very quickly. You can reheat the unglazed donuts in the microwave for 12–15 seconds and they will become soft again.

Add about 5 cm (2 inches) of vegetable oil to a large sturdy wok or heavybased saucepan. Heat the oil to 170ºC (340ºF) over medium–high heat. Working in batches, slowly lower three or four donuts at a time into the hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until puffed, golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil. (Don’t forget to cook the donut holes as well, if you’ve kept them!) Leave to cool completely, then it’s time to glaze and decorate your crazy donuts.

DESSERTS 164

DESSERTS 165

TASTE THE RAINBOW (TO GLAZE 6 DONUTS) 11/2 tablespoons cream cheese 2 tablespoons full-cream milk 185 g (61/2 oz/11/2 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract 1 tiny drop of red food colouring 30 g (1 oz/1 cup) Froot Loops or other crazy-coloured breakfast cereal a handful of hundreds and thousands


GIN & TONIC LIME MERINGUE PIE Do you love gin and tonic as much as I do – to a point where you almost want to eat it? Well, now you can. This delectable pie is a concoction of lime, tonic water and a whole lot of gin, topped with a dome of sweet meringue. Beware: this adults-only dessert is potent. 60 g (2 oz) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing 200 g (7 oz) digestive biscuits, such as graham crackers 40 g (11/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt zest of 1/2 lime

CREAMY LIME FILLING zest and juice of 4 limes 4 large egg yolks 400 g (14 oz) tin sweetened condensed milk 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) gin

GIN & TONIC JELLY 4 gold-strength gelatine leaves (10 g/1/4 oz) 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) gin 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) tonic water 1/2 tablespoon grated lime zest 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) lime juice 1 tiny drop of green food colouring

MERINGUE TOPPING 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water 4 egg whites

SERVES

8

Preheat the oven to 175ºC (345ºF). Line a 23 cm (9 inch) springform tin with baking paper, then lightly grease the paper with butter. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a bowl, add the butter, sugar and salt and stir until the mixture is well combined and begins to clump. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin. Using the flat base of a glass, press the mixture firmly into the base, and about 3–4 cm (11/2–11/4 inches) up the side of the tin. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Set aside to cool while preparing the filling, leaving the oven on. To make the filling, whisk the lime zest and egg yolks in the bowl an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Add the condensed milk, lime juice and gin and beat until combined. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust, then bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the filling is just set, but still slightly wobbly in the centre. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. To make the gin and tonic jelly, add the gelatine leaves to a bowl of cold water and leave to ‘bloom’ for 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix together the gin, tonic water, lime zest, lime juice and food colouring. Transfer 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) of the gin mixture to a saucepan and heat it up for a minute without boiling, then remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine leaves, add them to the warm gin mixture and stir until dissolved, then stir it back into the remaining mixture in the bowl and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, pour the jelly mixture over the cooled cheesecake. Leave to set in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. The next day, make the meringue for the topping. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, without stirring. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, until the syrup reaches 112ºC (234ºF) on a sugar thermometer. Immediately start whisking the egg whites using an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Allow the syrup to continue to cook until it reaches 115ºC (240ºF) – then, while the electric mixer is still running, gradually pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. Keep beating for about 15–20 minutes, until the meringue has cooled down to room temperature and is thick and glossy. Smear the meringue evenly on top of the pie in a dome shape. Grate more lime zest on top, cut into wedges and serve.

DESSERTS 168

HOT TIPS • The gin levels can be a little potent for some; you can use less gin for a sweeter version. • If you’re feeling lazy, you can omit the meringue on top – just call it a tart instead of a pie!


GOLDFINGERS This extravagant dessert is pure… gold! Literally. It is sheer indulgence for those special occasions. You definitely do not want to skimp on the ingredients here, so go all out and splash out on the finest chocolate you can find. After all, these spectacular solid bars are made of nothing less than decadent semi-sweet chocolate ganache on a crispy chocolate base, covered in a crunchy dark chocolate coating, and then, for sheer bling, in pure 24-carat edible gold leaf. This dessert is RICH, in every possible way. softened butter, for greasing

CHOCOLATE PASTRY BASE 100 g (31/2 oz/2/3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder salt, to taste 50 g (13/4 oz) cold butter, diced 2 tablespoons chilled full-cream milk 1 egg yolk

CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING 200 g (7 oz) milk chocolate, roughly chopped 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (65–70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped 375 ml (121/2 fl oz/11/2 cups) thick (double/heavy) cream 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

CHOCOLATE SHELL 300 g (101/2 oz) couverture dark chocolate (65–70% cocoa solids) a booklet of 24-carat edible gold leaf (see Hot tips)

MAKES

12

To make the pastry base, put all the ingredients, except the egg yolk, in a food processor. Pulse in two-second bursts until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and keep pulsing until the mixture forms a dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and bring the dough together with the palm of your hand. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 20–25 minutes. Grease a 16 x 26 cm (6 x 10 inch) baking tray with butter, then line the base and sides with baking paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled pastry out to about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick, then use it to line the base of the baking tray. Trim off the excess pastry on the sides. Transfer the tray to the refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill the pastry. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line the pastry with baking paper, then top with baking weights, rice or dried beans. Blind-bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking paper and weights and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the pastry is dry and crisp. Set aside to cool completely. To make the ganache filling, put the milk and dark chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until just about to boil, then pour over the chocolate and leave for 2 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, stir slowly in a circular motion, in the centre of the mixture, until all the chocolate has melted and incorporated into the cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then stir in the salt. Pour the ganache over the pastry base, smoothing it evenly. Leave to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Set a wire rack over a baking tray lined with baking paper. Lift the ganache-filled pastry base out of its baking tray, then peel off the baking paper underneath. Cut into 8 cm x 3.5 cm (23/4 x 11/2 inch) bars and put them on the wire rack. If the ambient temperature is too warm, put them back in the fridge. To make the chocolate shell, put 250 g (9 oz) of the couverture chocolate in a heatproof bowl and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Take it out and give it a stir using a silicone spatula. Put it back in the microwave and heat for another 20 seconds. Keep repeating this process several times until the chocolate is fully melted. Add the

DESSERTS 170

DESSERTS 171


remaining 50 g (13/4 oz) chocolate and stir until melted. Leave to cool to room temperature. One at a time, pour the tempered chocolate over each bar until fully coated. In one steady swipe, use a palette knife to spread the chocolate on top to a thinner layer. Now leave the chocolate bars to set and harden for about 1 hour – do not put them back in the fridge or they will bloom and turn white. Once set, carefully cover each chocolate bar with gold leaf; you will need about two sheets per chocolate bar. It’s a delicate job, so take your time. (What I do is lightly place the gold leaf on the bar, blow onto the leaf and let it adhere to the chocolate, then dab the gold leaf with paper towel to smoothen – but you may find a better way!) The bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature below 24ºC (75ºF) for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks. But really, they are best stored in your tummy.

HOT TIPS • Edible gold leaf is readily available online and from cake-decorating stores. It is expensive, so treat the leaves with care as they are extremely flimsy and delicate.

DESSERTS 172


CROISSANT BUTTER & BACON PUDDING Whenever I go camping, I love a good bread and butter pudding for dessert, where everyone gathers around the campfire and starts digging in while it’s still piping hot. It’s like a warm hug in a bowl. I discovered that using croissants instead of bread adds that extra level of buttery goodness. 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 streaky bacon rashers (slices) 375 ml (121/2 fl oz/11/2 cups) thick (double/heavy) cream 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) milk 3 eggs 55 g (2 oz/1/4 cup) raw sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) Kahlua or other coffee-flavoured liqueur 6–8 croissants, cut into 4 cm (11/2 inch) strips 100 g (31/2 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon vanilla ice cream or clotted cream, to serve

SERVES

4-6

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the bacon until golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel. Chop the bacon into small pieces and set aside. Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan over medium–high heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs and the 55 g (2 oz/1/4 cup) sugar in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved. While still stirring, gradually pour in the hot cream, until combined. Stir in the liqueur and set aside. Grease a 5 cm (2 inch) deep, 17 cm x 26 cm (7 x 10 inch) baking dish. Arrange the croissant pieces randomly in the dish, fill the gaps with the chocolate and sprinkle the bacon bits all over. Pour the custard mixture over and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Sprinkle the cinnamon and remaining sugar over the pudding and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the custard is just set and golden. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or clotted cream.

HOT TIPS • For an even naughtier version, serve with hot caramel sauce.

DESSERTS 174


ROCKY ROAD S’MORES Rocky road is always a hit with kids, and kids at heart. This jackedup version will definitely hit all the sweet spots. Each mouthful is a wondrous textural contrast of crunchy puffed rice and pistachios, soft and chewy Turkish delight and toasted marshmallows. Did I mention, it is sweet? Best to administer to kids in small doses only, so they don’t bounce off the walls in a mad sugar rush. 50 g (13/4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 200 g (7 oz) milk chocolate, roughly chopped 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped 225 g (8 oz/5 cups) Coco Pops or other cocoa-flavoured puffed rice breakfast cereal 250 g (9 oz) Turkish delight, cut into small chunks 170 g (6 oz) dried cranberries 140 g (5 oz) unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped 8–10 large marshmallows, halved

MAKES

12

Put the butter, milk chocolate and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted, then set aside to cool a little. Grease and line a deep-sided 25 x 32 cm (10 x 13 inch) baking tray with baking paper. Put the cereal, Turkish delight, cranberries and pistachios in a large mixing bowl. Reserve about 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) of the melted chocolate and pour the remainder over the mixture. Using a silicone spatula, stir everything together until well combined. Tip the mixture into the baking tray, spreading it out to an even layer, then pour the remaining chocolate evenly over the top. Give the tray a little shake to let the chocolate fill the gaps. Arrange the marshmallows snugly on top until fully covered. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until firm. Set the oven to ‘grill’ or ‘broil’ mode. Toast the rocky road for 3–5 minutes, or until the marshmallows begin to melt a little and turn golden on top. Remove and leave to cool, then cut into squares and eat.

HOT TIPS • The rocky road will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for a very long time. • Instead of toasting the marshmallows in the oven, you can use a kitchen blowtorch if you have one.

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CHAPTER 178


PART

5

DRINKS CHAPTER 180 180


PRAWN COCKTAIL BLOODY MARY When a drink is also a meal is also a drink? Sign me up! The Bloody Mary is a common ‘hair of the dog’ drink during brunch hours in the States, as many people think the way you cure a hangover is by keeping on drinking. Whether it is true or not, this prawn cocktail version is just right as a wake-me-up.

MAKES

4

1 teaspoon celery salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 4 cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined 4 cornichons 4 pickled baby onions 4 pimento-stuffed green olives

Combine all the Bloody Mary mix ingredients in a jug, stirring to mix well. Chill in the fridge until needed.

BLOODY MARY MIX

Add 4–5 ice cubes and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chilled Bloody Mary mix to a cocktail shaker. Tilt and swirl the shaker a few times to mix, without making the drink frothy. Pour into the glasses. Repeat the process until all four glasses are filled.

1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) tomato juice, chilled 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) vodka 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as sriracha or Tabasco juice of 1/2 lime juice of 1/2 lemon ice cubes

When ready to serve, mix together the celery salt, black and cayenne pepper and paprika, then spread the mixture on a small plate. Wet the rims of four cocktail glasses with water, then dip in the celery salt mixture and set aside. Secure a prawn, a cornichon, pickled onion and olive together on a short bamboo skewer. Repeat to make another three garnishes.

Balance a prawn and cornichon skewer on top of each glass. Serve immediately.

HOT TIP • Go wild with the garnishes! Jazz it up with salami, white anchovy, cube of cheddar or candied bacon… the sky’s the limit.

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FLAMIN’ MOE This cocktail provides a bit of theatrical flourish to entertain and amuse the guests. It’s my version of the tropical fruity Mai Tai, with a touch of magic! Don’t worry Simpsons’ fans – there is no cough syrup in this concoction, but it will taste just as delicious. 1 cup ice cubes a half-spent lime shell

COCKTAIL MIX 30 ml (1 fl oz) amber rum 15 ml (1/2 fl oz) Grand Marnier 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice 15 ml (1/2 fl oz) freshly squeezed lime juice 15 ml (1/2 fl oz) Sugar syrup (see Hot tips, page 186) 1 drop of pure almond extract dash of grenadine (optional)

FOR THE FLAMBÉ 30 ml (1 fl oz) dark rum ground cinnamon in a jar

MAKES

1

Add the ice cubes and all the cocktail mix ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake well for around 10 seconds, then pour unstrained into a tiki mug. Place the lime shell on top, to make a lime boat. For the flambé, heat the dark rum in a mini saucepan over low heat until it is warm to touch. Being extremely careful, use a lighter or blowtorch to light the alcohol from the edge of the pan. While the flame is still burning in the pan, quickly grab the jar of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the flame, then pour the alcohol into the lime shell. Let the flame burn for no more than 10 seconds, then sink the lime into the drink. Stir and drink.

HOT TIPS • I can’t stress enough the importance of being extra careful when flambéing with alcohol – make sure there is nothing nearby (including your eyebrows!) that will catch on fire. • Another fun way of serving this cocktail is by pouring the flambé rum into the lime shell first, then sprinkle with the cinnamon and at the same time wave a magic wand to create your own potion: Abracadabra!

DRINKS 184


FROZEN MEXICAN BULLDOG

SERVES

If you have never had one of these, you’ve been missing out. In this crude and popular concoction a bottle of beer (typically Corona) is tipped upside-down into a frozen margarita; as the cocktail is sipped through a straw, more beer slowly trickles in. This glass-bowl cocktail is the perfect size to share between two. The more you sip, the sooner you’ll be singing ‘Te-te-te, Tequila!’ 4 cups ice 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) tequila 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) Grand Marnier 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) Sugar syrup (see Hot tips) 2 x 330 ml (11 fl oz) ice-cold bottles of Corona lime slices, to garnish orange slices, to garnish

2

Put the ice in a blender. Pour in the tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice, orange juice and sugar syrup. Blend into a frozen margarita. Pour the margarita into a 2.6 litre (88 fl oz) glass cocktail bowl. Pop open the beers, then quickly flip the bottles upside down into the margarita bowl. Garnish with lime and orange slices, add lots of straws and share with a pal.

HOT TIPS • First things first: wash and clean the outside of the beer bottles properly before serving. • To make a simple sugar syrup, just put equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes over medium–high heat. Set aside to cool completely. It will keep in a clean airtight container in the fridge for several weeks.

DRINKS 186


PISCO SOUR Pisco Sour is the national drink of Peru and Chile, and while both countries lay claim to it, I personally prefer the Peruvian version, which comes with a foamy egg-white froth on top with a few drops of bitters. The Peruvians love their pisco sour so much they even celebrate National Pisco Sour Day on the first Saturday each February! 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) freshly squeezed lime juice 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) pisco (see Hot tips) 1 very fresh egg white 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) Sugar syrup (see Hot tips, page 186) 5–6 ice cubes dash of Angostura bitters, to taste

MAKES

1

Add the lime juice, pisco, egg white and sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add the ice cubes, resisting the temptation to add too much ice as it will dilute the concoction. Cover and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain half the concoction into a cocktail glass. Give the shaker another swirl to stir the mix, then continue to fill the glass to the brim. Your pisco sour should have a layer of egg-white foam on top. Add a few drops of bitters and serve.

HOT TIPS • Pisco is a popular colourless spirit produced in Peru and Chile. Pisco comes in many variations; some are suitable for making cocktails, while others are best enjoyed on their own. For making a pisco sour, look for one with the word ‘Quebranta’ on the bottle – quebranta being the grape variety from which that type of pisco is made. • Even though the egg white will be ‘cooked’ by the lime juice in the concoction, it is best to use very freshest eggs whenever possible.

DRINKS 188


PARTY WATERMELON KEG Summer and watermelons go hand in hand. A watermelon keg is a fun way to serve up your favourite fruity elixir, and always a party winner – exactly what your next poolside gathering needs. 1.25 litres (42 fl oz/5 cups) watermelon juice (from the watermelon keg) 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) lychee liqueur 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) vodka 1 cup ice cubes

WATERMELON KEG 1 large seedless watermelon 1 plastic tap, with rubber washer ring and lock bolt

SERVES

4-6

To make the watermelon keg, use a large sharp knife to trim some of the skin off the bottom end of the watermelon, to flatten the base so that it can sit upright. Now cut off the top of the melon, just like you would carve a pumpkin, and keep the top as a lid. Scoop all the watermelon flesh out, and set aside in a large bowl. Using a small sharp knife or an apple corer, make a hole near the bottom of the melon. Make sure the hole is a little bit smaller than the coupling of your tap for a tight fit, so it doesn’t leak. Then secure the tap through the hole and fasten tightly. Test the tap by filling the melon with water to ensure there is no leakage. If there is, wrap the thread of the tap with plastic wrap until it is nice and tight through the melon hole. Discard any seeds from the reserved watermelon flesh, then juice using a blender. Pour the juice through a strainer into a jug and chill in the refrigerator until needed. When ready to serve, add the watermelon juice, lychee liqueur, vodka and ice cubes to the melon keg, stirring to mix well. Pour the cocktails straight out of the watermelon keg, into your cocktail glasses. Refill the keg with more cocktail mix whenever it is empty. Discard the watermelon once the party is over.

HOT TIPS • It’s important to strain the watermelon juice through a sieve to get rid of solids so the tap doesn’t get bunged up. • If the watermelon juice runs out, just add whatever you have in the fridge that keeps the party going.

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CHAPTER 192


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Billy Law is the founder and editor-in-chief of www.atablefortwo.com.au, which he founded in 2008 and turned into one of Australia’s top food and travel blogs. A self-taught chef coming from an IT background, Billy’s passion for gastronomy led him to embark on a career in the food industry with his skills taking him through to the Top 10 on MasterChef Australia in 2011. Law is also a professional food photographer with his commissioned work featuring in magazines, restaurants and many cookbook projects, including his own. An avid globetrotter, Law is always on the move, camera in hand, discovering the next food trends and submerging himself in the sights and sounds of the culinary world. Law has worked with some of the biggest names in the food and travel industries including Nespresso, AirAsia, Qantas, Pernod Ricard Wines, Emirates, Breville, Sodastream and KitchenAid, among many other clients. Billy is also a food and travel writer for Expedia Travel. Following his time on MasterChef, Billy published his debut cookbook, Have You Eaten? globally in 2012 and his second cookbook Man Food in 2014. 


INDEX

chicken Bang bang chicken lollipops 24 Buldak: Korean fire chicken 94 Chicken waffle cones 22

12-hour Texas-style smoked brisket 126

A An insanely good tonkotsu ramen 120–1 Asian-style beef short ribs 118

B bacon Bacon & Vegemite glaze 164, 165

PX beef cheeks 116

Spam katsu musubi 76–7

Steak and Guinness pies 132–3

XXL burgers with secret sauce 70

XXL burgers with secret sauce 70 beer Beer & chilli peanut brittle 142 Beer damper 60, 61 Beer sauce 64, 65 Frozen Mexican Bulldog 186 belachan 106

Croissant butter & bacon pudding 174

The best roast potatoes ... ever! 96

Double-down fried chicken burgers 72

Blackened shrimp & fourcheese nachos 46

English hash brown breakfast muffins 58

Bo ssam 110

Magic mike 158

Buldak: Korean fire chicken 94

Mexicana chicken parmi 124–5 Pigs in double blankets 34 Pumpkin-spiced bacon & pecan pillows 146 Spicy whole roasted cauliflower with bacon bits 88 Bak kwa 52

bouquet garni 132 burgers Da muffs 74 Double-down fried chicken burgers 72 English hash brown breakfast muffins 58 Francesinha 64–5 Giant Cumberland sausage & beer damper burger 60–1

Banana, walnut & chocolate spring rolls 148

Luther burgers 78

Bang bang chicken lollipops 24

Mac-n-cheese & pulled pork toasties 62

Banh xeo with nuoc cham dipping sauce 102 beef 12-hour Texas-style smoked brisket 126 Asian-style beef short ribs 118 Beef paprika patties 78 Luther burgers 78

Monster jalapeño meatball subs 68

Double-down fried chicken burgers 72 Ginger & spring onion chicken wings 42

Croissant butter & bacon pudding 174

drinks Flamin’ Moe 184 Frozen Mexican Bulldog 186 Party Watermelon Keg 190

Goldfingers 170–2

Pisco Sour 188

Hot chocolate sauce 154

Prawn Cocktail Bloody Mary 182

Magic mike 158 Rocky road s’mores 176 Christmas leftovers curry pasties 108

duck: Peking duck spring rolls with nuoc cham dipping sauce 30 dumplings: Pan-fried gyoza with crispy lattice 38

Malay curry chicken in a big bun 98–100

Churros & porras with boozy chocolate orange sauce 154–5

Malaysian-style satay chicken from scratch 92

Cocktail sausages with baked cheese dip 14

Mexicana chicken parmi 124–5

corn

Spicy Korean fried chicken 50

Korean corn dogs 3 ways 18–19

Taiwanese chicken schnitties 32

F

Crab, Singapore chilli, with fried mantou buns 106

Five-tier pavlova Christmas tree 152–3

Taiwanese popcorn chicken 36

Crazy donuts 164–5

flambéing 184

chillies

Croissant butter & bacon pudding 174

Flamin’ Moe 184

cheese

Beer & chilli peanut brittle 142

curry

Blackened shrimp & four- cheese nachos 46

Buldak: Korean fire chicken 94

Cocktail sausages with baked cheese dip 14

chilli & pepper seasoning 32

Da muffs 74

Chilli mayo 12

Fluffy Japanese cheesecake 162–3

Chilli paste 106

C cabbage Chinese hot pot 112 Pan-fried gyoza with crispy lattice 38–41 Pickled cabbage 110 camote flour 32 candlenuts 100 Cauliflower, spicy whole roasted, with bacon bits 88 Cereal-milk panna cotta with prunes in spiced port syrup 160

Francesinha 64–5 Knafeh 150 Korean cheese corn 26 Mac-n-cheese & pulled pork toasties 62 Panko cheese hot dogs 19

Pastrami reuben (the one that made Meg Ryan moan) 82–3

Poutine 44

Pimped-up wasabi lobster rolls 66

Cheesecake, fluffy Japanese 162–3

Roast pork belly rolls with pear kimchi 80–1

Chicago deep-dish pizza 104–5

INDEX 196

Deep-fried chicken carcass 16

Churros & porras with boozy chocolate orange sauce 154–5

Spicy cheese bombs with chilli mayo 12

Korean cheese corn 26

Christmas leftovers curry pasties 108 curry paste 98 Currywurst & fries with garlic mayo 28 Malay curry chicken in a big bun 98–100

Chilli satay sauce 112 Chilli tomato sauce 124 Gochujang (fermented red chilli paste) 50 Hot chilli sauce 50 Mexicana chicken parmi 124–5

E English hash brown breakfast muffins 58 Epic meat-lovers’ pizzas 136–7

Fluffy Japanese cheesecake 162–3 Francesinha 64–5 French fries hot dogs 18 Fried bread hot dogs 18–19 Frozen Mexican Bulldog 186

G Garlic mayo 28

D

Garlic sauce 130

Da muffs 74

Giant Cumberland sausage & beer damper burger 60–1

Deep-fried chicken carcass 16 dips

Gin & tonic lime meringue pie 168–9 ginger

Chinese hot pot 112–13

Cocktail sausages with baked cheese dip 14

chocolate

Pig’s ear chippies 48

Banana, walnut & chocolate spring rolls 148

Double-down fried chicken burgers 72

Choco ice cream tacos 144

dressing

gold leaf, edible 172

Chocolate ganache 170

Wasabi soy 16

Goldfingers 170–2

Chocolate pastry 170

see also sauces

INDEX 197

Ginger & spring onion chicken wings 42 Pig’s ear chippies 48 gochugaru 81


H

meringues 152, 153

Herbed tomato sauce 136

Five-tier pavlova Christmas tree 152–3

pies, Steak and Guinness 132–3

Prunes in spiced port syrup 160

Currywurst & fries with garlic mayo 28

Spring rolls, banana, walnut & chocolate 148

Pigs in double blankets 34

Pumpkin-spiced bacon & pecan pillows 146

English hash brown breakfast muffins 58

Steak and Guinness pies 132–3

PX beef cheeks 116

French fries hot dogs 18

Mexicana chicken parmi 124–5

Pimped-up wasabi lobster rolls 66

Sweet hoisin sauce 112

Milk bread dough 98–100

pisco 188

R

Monster jalapeño meatball subs 68

Pisco Sour 188

Raspberry coulis 152

pizzas

Red wine tomato sauce 104

Chicago deep-dish pizza 104–5

Roast pork belly rolls with pear kimchi 80–1

Epic meat-lovers’ pizzas 136–7

Rocky road s’mores 176

J

noodles: An insanely good tonkotsu ramen 120–1

Jelly, gin & tonic 168, 169

nose to tail eating 48

Pizza dough 136

Rosemary lard pastry 132–3

Semolina pizza dough 104

Rosewater syrup 150

K

Nuoc cham dipping sauce 30, 102

Polenta batter 18, 19

rum: Flamin’ Moe 184

Hot & spicy mayo 72 Hot chilli sauce 50 Hot chocolate sauce 154 Hot Italian sauce 68 HSP (Halal snack pack) 130

I ikan bilis 113

Gin & tonic lime meringue pie 168–9

N

kecap manis 92

Pig’s ear chippies 48

pork

Knafeh 150

O

kombu 121

Olive salad 74

An insanely good tonkotsu ramen 120–1

Korean cheese corn 26

Oyster radish salad 110

Bak kwa 52 Banh xeo with nuoc cham dipping sauce 102

Korean corn dogs 3 ways 18–19

p L Lobster rolls, pimped-up wasabi 66 Luther burgers 78

M Mac-n-cheese & pulled pork toasties 62 Magic mike 158

Fried bread hot dogs 18

Pan-fried gyoza with crispy lattice 38–41 Panko cheese hot dogs 19 Panna cotta, cereal-milk, with prunes in spiced port syrup 160 Party Watermelon Keg 190 Pastrami reuben (the one that made Meg Ryan moan) 82–3

Bo ssam 110 Mac-n-cheese & pulled pork toasties 62

S salads Olive salad 74 Oyster radish salad 110 salsa, Pico de gallo 46 Satay sauce 92 sauces

Pan-fried gyoza with crispy lattice 38–41

Beer sauce 64, 65

Pig’s ear chippies 48

Chilli satay sauce 112

Roast pork belly rolls with pear kimchi 80–1

Chilli tomato sauce 124

Spicy cola pulled pork 90

Chilli mayo 12

Garlic mayo 28 Garlic sauce 130

Chocolate pastry 170

Porras & churros with boozy chocolate orange sauce 154–5

Malaysian-style satay chicken from scratch 92

kataifi 150

potatoes

Hot chilli sauce 50

Pasty pastry 108

mantou buns 106

Hot chocolate sauce 154

Rosemary lard pastry 132–3

The best roast potatoes ... ever! 96

Malay curry chicken in a big bun 98–100

pastry

meat

Peanut brittle, beer & chilli 142

Chinese hot pot 112

Pear kimchi 80, 81

Classic meatballs 104 Da muffs 74 Epic meat-lovers’ pizzas 136–7 Francesinha 64–5 HSP (Halal snack pack) 130 Monster jalapeño meatball subs 68

Peking duck spring rolls with nuoc cham dipping sauce 30–1 perilla 102 Pickled cabbage 110 Pickling spice 82 Pico de gallo salsa 46

INDEX 198

Currywurst & fries with garlic mayo 28 English hash brown breakfast muffins 58 Malay curry chicken in a big bun 98

Herbed tomato sauce 136 Hot & spicy mayo 72

Hot Italian sauce 68 Nuoc cham dipping sauce 30, 102 Red wine tomato sauce 104 Satay sauce 92 Secret sauce 70

Poutine 44

Sweet hoisin sauce 112

Poutine 44

sausages

Prawn Cocktail Bloody Mary 182

Cocktail sausages with baked cheese dip 14

Giant Cumberland sausage & beer damper burger 60 Korean corn dogs 3 ways 18–19 Panko cheese hot dogs 19 Pigs in double blankets 34 seafood Banh xeo with nuoc cham dipping sauce 102

Sushi rice 76 sweet potato flour 32 Syrup, rosewater 150

T Taiwanese chicken schnitties 32 Taiwanese popcorn chicken 36 Texan spice rub 126 tobiko 66

Blackened shrimp & four- cheese nachos 46

tomatoes

Chinese hot pot 112

Herbed tomato sauce 136

Pimped-up wasabi lobster rolls 66

Prawn Cocktail Bloody Mary 182

Prawn cocktail Bloody Mary 182

Red wine tomato sauce 104

Singapore chilli crab with fried mantou buns 106

Turmeric batter 102

Chilli tomato sauce 124

Tonkostu broth 120

Secret sauce 70 Semolina pizza dough 104 shichimi 66 Sichuan spice rub 30 Singapore chilli crab with fried mantou buns 106

V vodka Party Watermelon Keg 190 Prawn Cocktail Bloody Mary 182

Smoky spice mix 22 Soup stock 112 Spam katsu musubi 76–7 spicy things Satay spice paste 92 Sichuan spice rub 30 Smoky spice mix 22 Spice rub 82 Spicy cheese bombs with chilli mayo 12 Spicy cola pulled pork 90 Spicy Korean fried chicken 50 Spicy whole roasted cauliflower with bacon bits 88 Texan spice rub 126

INDEX 199

W Waffle batter 144 wasabi Pimped-up wasabi lobster rolls 66 Wasabi soy dressing 16

X XXL burgers with secret sauce 70


Published in 2018 by Smith Street Books Melbourne | Australia smithstreetbooks.com

ISBN: 978-1-925418-59-0

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity, in any form or means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, scanning or by any storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publishers and copyright holders.

Copyright text & photography Š Billy Law Copyright design Š Smith Street Books

The moral rights of the author have been asserted. CIP data is available from the National Library of Australia.

Publisher: Paul McNally Editor: Katri Hilden Internal Design: Josh Beggs Cover Design: Kate Barraclough Photography, food styling & food preparation: Billy Law

Printed & bound in China by C&C Offset Printing Co., Ltd.

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