Deconstructed Pavlova

MFF_EtonMess

Following on from our Gluten Free Raspberry Lamingtons for Australia Day, today we are bringing you another Aussie classic – pavlova! Today’s twist is that it’s a deconstructed version. By layering all the components of a traditional pavlova in stemless wineglasses, you can create an easy, elegant dessert in under 30 minutes!

DECONSTRUCTED AUSSIE PAVLOVA

125g blueberries
125g raspberries
250g strawberries, halved
200g white chocolate, melted
600ml thickened cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g mini meringues
mini Australian flags (optional)

  1. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Dip each strawberry in the melted white chocolate, shake off any excess and place on the prepared tray. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes or until chocolate is just set. Reserve remaining chocolate.
  3. Beat cream, icing sugar and vanilla until firm peaks form.
  4. In 6 x stemless wine glasses, alternate layers of cream mixture, berries and meringue. Drizzle with remaining melted chocolate, place an Australian flag in each and serve immediately.

Makes 6

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Gluten Free Raspberry Lamingtons

MFF_Lamingtons

 

Australia Day is fast approaching, so to help you out with all those engagements you’ve got coming up, we’ve got a bunch of easy Australian recipes coming your way. Today’s recipe is for a good ‘ol Aussie favorite – lamingtons! But the twist is these ones are gluten free and studded with raspberries to take advantage of the beautiful produce we have in Australia these summer months.

The ingrediens aren’t too scary – most you can pick up from any good supermarket these days including the coconut oil and water. The coconut flour you might do a bit more searching for, but is usually readily available at health food shops.

GLUTEN FREE
RASPBERRY LAMINGTONS

6 free range eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
70g coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g frozen raspberries
100 ml coconut water
200g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa, chopped
200g shredded coconut

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C. Grease and line a 23cm square cake tin.
  2. Whip the eggs, vanilla and honey for 10 minutes until light and airy. Add the coconut oil and mix until well combined.
  3. Sift in the coconut flour and baking powder and gently stir together until just combined.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the lined cake tin and smooth over evenly. Stud the cake mix with the raspberries at even intervals.
  5. Place the cake in a moderate oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when pricked into the center of the cake. Transfer cake to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the coconut water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the coconut water over the chocolate and stir until you have a smooth ganache.
  7. Cut the cake in half. Turn one half over and spread thinly with a little chocolate ganache. Place the second half, right side up, on top. Place cake in the fridge to set for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut the cake into 8 squares and brush lightly with the chocolate ganache. Roll each square in the shredded coconut and place on a tray. Place the lamingtons back in the fridge for 15 minutes to set before serving.

Makes 8

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Royal Croquet Club heads to Melbourne

Royal Croquet Club
16 January – 1 February 2015
Birrarung Marr
royalcroquetclub.com.au/melbourne

MFF_Croquet_02After previous success in Adelaide, the Royal Croquet Club is heading to Melbourne this year to bring you croquet unlike you’ve ever seen before. Opening this Friday, the festival brings together a giant croquet lawn, live music, entertainment, a bar, and most importantly a great line up of some of Melbourne’s best restaurants. Hosted at Birrarung Marr, RCC will run for 17 days till the 1st of February.

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Chefs from D.O.C, Mr Claws, Meatmother, Miss Chu, St Ali and Gelato Messina are all setting up food trucks to bring you Australia’s best summer BBQ.

Miss Chu has created a series of special dishes in keeping with the BBQ theme that aren’t available on their regular menu. These dishes include BBQ beef wrapped in betel leaves; grilled sugarcane prawns; and coconut poached chicken with a papaya salad. Tuck shop favourite Hanoi vegetarian spring rolls will also be available.

After their success at Taste of Melbourne and their Smith St pop-up last year, the guys behind Huxtaburger are back again with their venture Mr Claws. Sustainably fished lobster meat comes serves in soft rolls with a choice of three sauces: miso, wasabi and Sriracha-spiced mayonnaise or buttermilk ranch.

MFF_Croquet_MrClawD.O.C is making rosticceria, a typical Italian street food of BBQ’d meats. They’ll be making the most well known rosticceria dish of lamb arrosticini (lamb skewers), alongside a porchetta panino – crispy pork in a bun with mustard and rosemary – and braised meatballs. A vegetarian and gluten-free dish of black rice salad with summer vegetables (zucchini, capsicum, purple carrots and herbs) and salted ricotta will also be available. DOC are also taking the opportunity to unveil their arrosticini concept.

Also debuting at RCC is Gelato Messina’s soup-kitchen concept. Featuring four gelato sundae flavours in cans, the flavours reference the cuisines of the other vendors Mr Claws, Misschu, DOC and Meatmother. A portion of the money raised by the sundaes will also be donated to the Salvation Army. Flavours include:

Black Forest Bisque – chocolate-fondant gelato, cherry jam, kirsch cream, kirsch-soaked sponge.
Faux Pho – salted-coconut sorbet, kaffir-lime marshmallow, lychee coconut cream, chilli-cashew crunch.
Zuppa Duppa – hazelnut gelato, wild-strawberry preserve, pistachio crunch, Amaretti biscotti.
American Chow Down – peanut gelato, Oreo custard, cream-cheese mousse and pretzel crunch.

MFF_Croquet_MessinaSoupThere will also be an Australia Day only event, with special guests joining the regular lineup. Grab a burger from Beatbox Kitchen, modern Vietnamese from Nuoc Mama, corn on the cob from Cornucopia or a Barry sandwich from Toasta, as well as checking out the likes of Taco Truck, The Little Mushroom Co, Trailer Made and Round The Way Bagels.

The RCC will also be streaming the tennis on the big screen, making it the perfect place to sit back, relax and watch the spectacle with friends and family.

Keep an eye on our instagram for more info.

Trading Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 11pm
Friday: 4pm – 1am
Saturday: 12pm – 1am
Sunday: 12pm – 11pm

Australia Day Weekend & Closing Weekend: 
Sunday 25th: 12pm – 12am
Monday 26th: 12pm – 12am
Closing Night Sunday 1st Feb: 12pm – 12am

The Royal Croquet Club is a free entry event from Sunday through to Thursday. Friday and Saturdays are $5 after 7pm.

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Christmas Day 2014

MFF_Christmas14_Gravlax

Happy 2015! Hope you all had a good break and enjoyed yourselves this holiday season. Today I’m going to take you all back to Christmas Day, just to relive it one last time.

This year we did things a bit differently in our house – usually I like to cook everything myself, spending hours and hours reading every single cooking magazine out there, choosing exactly what I want to cook and working out what will work with what. But this year I planned a trip overseas the week before Christmas, so with no time to prepare I asked each of my family members to bring a course.

Mother K and Sister E did an excellent job with the Salmon Gravlax this year (above), which we do every Christmas and I’m sure you’re tired of seeing. But really, Christmas is all about traditions and this is one of my favourites. Never tried curing your own salmon? Give it a go – it’s easier than you think.

I was in charge of the proteins given Christmas was held at my place. I’m not really a fan of turkey, and with only 8 of us it seemed extravagant to cook an entire bird. So as I’ve done in the past, I cooked a single turkey breast. Inspired by the brined turkey I did for the annual Housemate Christmas my housemate Miss R and I throw each year for our families, I decided to brine my lone turkey breast to keep it moist and add extra flavour. Make sure when you’re brining to get the ratio of salt to water right – mix the brine first then pour over your bird, otherwise if you add less water, you’ll end up curing your turkey breast.

MFF_Christmas14_Turkey

Given I’m not a fan of turkey, I usually go for the pork. This year, I payed homage to my late grandmother by doing a rolled pork with apples and prunes as she used to do, but jazzed up the recipe by adding some chestnuts and pancetta for extra flavour.

MFF_Christmas14_Pork

While you may know Sister E as the sweets chef of the house, she is also a pretty good savour chef herself. She took my recipe for carrots in harissa and almond cream (a recipe I myself stole from Andrew McConnell), and adapted it to add some green beans.

MFF_Christmas14_Carrots

Not to be outdone, Sister A did an excellent rendition of my cauliflower tabouli which I have posted previously. An excellent choice for Christmas given the red and green colours, this one has become a family favourite and is perfect any time of year.

MFF_Christmas14_CauliSalad

Along with my turkey and pork, I also made a decadant bunch of kipfler potatoes roasted in duck fat, finished with truffle salt. It doesn’t get much better than that. And really, when is there a better time to cook potatoes in duck fat and truffle salt than at Christmas?

Along side the potatoes, I also roasted a few wedges of pumpkin Miss A had on hand. Just a simple drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper were all they needed.

MFF_Christmas14_Potatoes

To finish, what kind of Christmas Day would it be without Father T’s amazing Christmas Pudding? Every year I forget to buy brandy to set the pudding alight, so the past few years we have been using Cointreau. Not quite as traditional but it does the trick. To serve, we have it with vanilla ice cream and traditional hard sauce – a mixture of butter, sugar and brandy that just makes it that bit more decadent.

MFF_Christmas14_PuddingSo that’s it. Christmas is over for another year. Hopefully this post has taken you back to your own Christmas Day and out of the depression of being back at work.


SALMON GRAVLAX W/ DILL SAUCE

100g caster sugar
1/4 cup salt
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1.3kg-1.5kg salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed*
1 bunch fresh dill
toast to serve

DILL SAUCE
1 cup mayonnaise (I like Kraft Original)
1/4 cup seeded mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp dry dill

  1. Combine sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large, deep dish, place 1/3 of the dill. Place the salmon fillet, skin side down on the dill.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar/salt mix over the salmon. Top with the remaining dill.
  4. Cover with aluminium foil, and weigh down with a light weight (I use 4 cans of beans on a tupperware lid). Leave to cure for 2 days, turning every 24 hours. Taste the liquid the salmon seeps out for seasoning (you may want to add more sugar or salt according to taste).
  5. FOR DILL SAUCE: In a large jar, mix together all the ingredients. Store in the fridge, dolloping a little over the gravlax when needed.
  6. To serve, cut thinly on the angle, away from the skin. Serve on cold toast with the dill sauce.

*Ask your fish monger to cut off the tail end of the fillet, so that it is an equal thickness the whole way through.

Serves 12 as an hors d’oeuvre.


POACHED TURKEY BREAST

1.5 – 2kg turkey breast, skin on
160g fine salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp dry sage
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Place your turkey in a snug container with walls deep enough that it will be completely submerged when the brine is added.
  2. In a container large jug or bowl, combine the salt, sugar, sage, garlic and onion powders. Add 2 litres of cold water and the molasses and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour brine over the turkey so it is completely submerged and leave in the fridge for 12 hours.
  3. After 12 hours, run the turkey under cold water to rinse off the brine for 5 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.
  4. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  5. Place the turkey on a lined baking tray, rub with olive oil and place in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 160C and cook for a further 45-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 70C.
  6. Remove turkey from the oven and allow to stand for 30 minutes, covered with aluminium foil, before carving.

Serves 8


ROLLED PORK
W/ PANCETTA, APPLES, PRUNES & CHESTNUTS

1.5kg – 2kg pork loin, boned and ready to roll*
100g piece of pancetta, diced into 5mm cubes*

1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 green apple, peeled and finely diced
50g pitted prunes, chopped
100g roasted chestnuts, chopped
4 slices of white bread, crusts removed, diced
1/4 cup soft butter

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. In a large saucepan, fry the pancetta in a dry pan until golden and crispy, about 5-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
  3. Add the apple, prunes and chestnuts to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the bread and butter to the bowl and using your hands, squelch the stuffing together until well combined.
  4. On a clean board, lay pork our flat, fatty side down, with the longest edge parallel to you. Ensure pork is of even thickness – you may need to slice through the thickest part of the meat and use a meat hammer to ensure it is even.
  5. Create a sausage shape with the stuffing in the middle of the pork, running parallel with you. Roll up pork into a cylinder and secure with kitchen string.
  6. Place pork on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes until the crackling is golden. Reduce heat to 180C and cook for a further 60 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Serves 8

*Ask your butcher to prepare the pork loin for you so it is ready for you to roll up. Ask you deli or deli to cut you a single piece of pancetta.


CARROTS & BEANS
W/ HARISSA & ALMOND CREAM

750g baby orange carrots
750g green beans, tails removed
3 tbsp of harissa paste (or other chilli paste)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flaked almonds

ALMOND CREAM
100g almond meal
200ml olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 tsp sherry vinegar
salt and pepper

  1. FOR THE ALMOND CREAM: place the almond meal, 75ml of oil and 150ml of water in a saucepan and heat over low heat until just warm, stirring continuously. Place mixture in a food processor, and with the motor running add the egg. Then, with the motor still running, gently pour in the remaining oil in a slow steady stream, similar to making a mayonnaise. Stir through sherry vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool before refrigerating until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the leaves from the carrots leaving 2-3cm of stem (don’t worry if yours don’t have the stems attached). Scrub them clean using steel wool (don’t peel) and place in a boiling pot of salted water with the beans and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and place in a bowl with harissa and butter. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread almond cream over the serving plate. Top with the carrots and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Serves 8


CAULIFLOWER TABOULI

1 large head of cauliflower
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 bunch chives
1 bunch of coriander
1/2 bunch parsley
1/3 cup currents
Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
Salt and pepper to taste

DRESSING
1 tbs pomegranate molasses

2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Pull all the leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut into quarters and using your knife, cut the very tips of the cauliflower off so that you have very very small florets and lots of crumbly bits. Transfer to a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake in a moderate oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly toast almonds in a dry pan until beginning to brown. Set aside.
  4. Finely chop the chives, and moderately-finely chop parsley and coriander. Place in a large bowl with almonds, currents, 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds and the cauliflower.
  5. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and add to the cauliflower. Mix well and check seasoning. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over remaining pomegranate seeds before serving.

Serves 8


KIPFLER POTATOES ROASTED IN DUCK FAT
W/ TRUFFLE SALT

2kg small kipfler potatoes, peeled, sliced lengthways
1/2 cup duck fat
truffle salt, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes until just tender but not soft (they need to hold their shape). Drain well and set aside.
  3. Place the duck fat on a large baking tray and place in a hot oven for 3-5 minutes. Place the tray on a flat surface and carefully transfer potatoes onto the tray. Toss gently to coat in the duck fat and sprinkle with a little truffle salt. Return to the oven and cook for 60 minutes or until golden, tossing occasionally. For the last 10 minutes, drain the fat from the tray and return potatoes to the oven to ensure you don’t have soggy potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with a little more of truffle salt to serve.

Serves 8


TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PUDDING

Begin this recipe the day before.
Make pudding a month in advance if possible.

250g raisins
250g sultanas
250g currents
100g mixed candied peel
100g glace cherries
3 tbsp brandy

250g butter
250g brown sugar
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp treacle
60g blanched almonds, chopped
170g suet mix, chopped finely
115g breadcrumbs

1 cup plain flour + 2 tbsp self raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Mix together raisins, sultanas, currents, candied peel and glace cherries. Sprinkle over brandy and leave overnight.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add milk and treacle and mix together to form a smooth batter.
  3. Stir in the fruit and brandy, almonds, suet and breadcrumbs.
  4. Add sifted flours, spices and salt and mix well.
  5. Transfer mix to a well-buttered pudding tin lined with a circle of grease-proof paper at the base. You may choose to line the tin with the traditional cloth, but we don’t bother. Cover with greased aluminium foil and secure the lid.
  6. Transfer to a large pot and fill with water until nearly to the top of the pudding. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 6 hours, keeping an eye on the water level to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
  7. Remove from the water and allow to cool completely before storing in a cool, dark place until Christmas day.
  8. On Christmas day, to reheat, reboil in a pot of simmering water for 2 hours.

Serves 10-12

HARD SAUCE

Begin this recipe the day before.

250g good quality butter, unsalted
125g pure icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup brandy
ground nutmeg to serve

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together till frothy.
  2. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the brandy a little at a time until the mixture won’t absorb any more, about 1/2 cup (alternatively, add the brandy to taste as this recipe is quite strong.)
  3. Place in glass dish and store in refrigerator overnight.
  4.  Serve dusted with nutmeg.

Makes enough for 1 pudding

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Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

MFF_Christmas2014_BooksSo Christmas is almost upon us and if you’ve left it to the last minute to buy the ones you love a gift, here are some of my favourite cook books from my own collection that I think everyone should own. They might not be the newest books out there (some have even had sequals published) but these are my tried and tested favourites.

MFF_Christmas2014_Books_01

Chin Chin: The Book
Benjamin Cooper
$49.95 RRP

If you’ve been to the restaurant why not try cooking some of the delicious dishes yourself? Full of beautiful photography and great South East Asian recipes, this book is an ode to it’s namesake, documenting how Chin Chin has grown to become one of the most popular restaurants in Melbourne.

The Flavour Thesaurus
Niki Segnit
$39.99 RRP

If you’re looking for something for the experienced cook, this is an excellent book. It caragorizes flavours into distinct groups, pairing them in both classic and unusual combinations. Great for cooks who like to create their own recipes and like to experiment.

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Community: Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen
Hetty McKinnon
$34.99 RRP

If you love your veggies and your mouth waters over a good salad, this is the book for you. Full of simple, easy salad recipes that make both excellent side dishes or stand alone main meals.

Cumulus Inc.
Andrew McConnell
$59.99 RRP

Easily one of my favourite cook books of all time, this book is based on the cooking of McConnell’s iconic Melbourne restaurant Cumulus Inc. Full of easy to follow recipes using beautiful ingredients, this book belongs in every good cooks collection.

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Movida
Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish
$59.99 RRP

The debut cook book from the iconic Melbourne restaurant, this is a great book full of slow braises, bold flavours and classic Spanish recipes. It’s a great documentation of Camorra’s lifetime of cooking knowledge.

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals
Jamie Oliver
$49.99 RRP

Even great cooks get lazy. Following the success of Jamie’s 30 minute meals comes the even more impressive 15 minute meals. Great for the busy home cook who is short on time but still wants to eat well.

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Zumbarons
Adriano Zumbo
$24.99 RRP

Have you got a friend who’s an amazing sweet chef? Have they perfected the art of the macaron or maybe just want to experiment with some new flavours? Then this one is perfect. With 40 flavour combinations including cherry coconut, mandarin, tonka bean or salt and vinegar, this is THE book for macarons from the man that made them mainstream in Australia.

What Katie Ate
Andrew McConnell
$49.99 RRP

Successful Sydney blogger Katie Quinn Davies’ debut book, “What Katie Ate” is beautifully designed and photographed, making it the perfect gift cook book. She has also published two additional books since: “At the Weekend” and “Recipes and Stories”.

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Plenty
Yotam Ottolenghi
$49.99 RRP

Yotam Ottolenghi is a successful restaurant owner based in the UK who is known for his salads. This book is a great one for vegetarians looking for inspiration to dress up their veggies.

Sweet Studio
Darren Purchese
$50.00 RRP

The perfect book for the budding pastry chef, Sweet Studio gives the home cook the chance to create some of Darren Purchese’s amazing creations. Aimed at intermediate to advanced home cooks, this one contains a few tricky techniques for those looking to improve their skillset.

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