Friday, May 1, 2009

The Ultimate Kilpatrick Recipe...

I have always had a passion for seafood. Of all the different ways to serve oysters from fresh in the shell, deep fried in a lovely crisp tempura batter or a tornado with tomato juice, tobasco and a healthy shot of vodka, the list is endless but an old favourite has always been Kilpatrick Oysters. Of all the variations of the classic this recipe has to be my favourite. Start out by finding some beautiful fresh oysters. It takes no time at all to prepare the sauce. You start by finely slicing your bacon and add to a mixing bowl. In the same bowl put in a good dose of worchestershire sauce and there you have your basic Kilpatrick mix which is nice enough as it is but for that wow factor to your oysters you need to add a few more flavours. To your bacon and worchestershire mixture add a similiar amount of ketjap manis (sweet soy) then throw in about half that dose of tomato sauce and the same of barbeque and give it all a good mix (i'm not giving exact measurements because once you have tried it your goning to want more and more), now all thats left is a few drops of tobasco and a little seasoning (salt and pepper). Now you have your delectable mixture, spread your oysters out on a tray, a little bit of rock salt helps them to stand up nice and straight. Spoon a generous amount onto each oyster and pop the tray under your grill (if you don't have one placing it into the oven works just aswell) and cut yourself a few nice slabs of fresh bread, pour a glass of wine and wait till you start to get a bit of colour on the edges of your bacon bits and serve them up. Once again rock salt does the trick to keep them upright.
A little wedge of lemon or two for and devour these lovely morsels before everyone else does.
Shopping List:
Fresh Oysters
Worchestershire sauce
Ketjap Manis (sweet soy)
Barbeque sauce
Tomato sauce
Tobasco sauce
Salt & Pepper

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Bowl of Tomatoes...

A little treat for the vegetarians and carnivores alike is a tomato and fetta salad served in a tomato. It’s nothing complicated but is always a real eye catcher something for your dinner party guests to remember long after the evening has concluded. The best thing of all is it is simplicity all you need to do is find yourself some good sized vine ripened tomatoes, then simply slice off the top making sure you hang onto it. Then take a spoon and scoop out the inside of the tomato being careful to keep it in tact. Grab yourself some good ripe Roma tomatoes and cube them up, toss them into a bowl with some fresh basil, red wine vinegar, good olive oil, a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste and then last of all crumble some good fetta into the bowl as well (my personal choice is a Persian fetta a little more at the cash register but the flavour and texture are something special). Gently mix it altogether and spoon it into the tomato bowls you made earlier pop the top of the tomato on as your lid drizzle with a bit of your olive oil and send them out to your guests.

To satisfy 6:

6 vine ripened tomatoes
8 Roma Tomatoes
150g Fetta (Persian is preferable)
A good handful of fresh basil leaves torn
A good splash of red wine vinegar
The same of a good olive oil
Salt and pepper

A Fresh Start...

The passion for cooking has been revitalised with the creating of a new menu. My new canvas is a lovely little cafe in the east of Sydney and after only the first weekend it's showing some real potential. After a lapse of a few months I thought it was well and truly time to fire up the keyboard and the gas burner and get back to cooking up some real treats.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beautiful Banana Bread....

The smell of fresh baking banana bread warms the soul. The aroma which fills the room gets the taste buds dancing long before it is ready to eat. (The only downside to waiting for the bread to bake is the constant pleading of ‘is it ready yet?’) A nice sized chunk of banana bread and a cup of tea is a lovely way to warm the blood on one of these chilly afternoons we have been experiencing. There is nothing to difficult about making your own delicious batch of banana bread. Start by melting some butter then whisking it into 2 cups of sugar, then one at a time blend in an egg or two. Once that is well combined mix in about 300ml of butter milk and set it to the side. In another bowl throw in 40g of baking powder, 15g of cinnamon and 375g of sifted plain flour, and now in a third bowl mash 8 really ripe bananas (the riper the better if they almost mash themselves there perfect). Now simply add the first wet mixture into the second flour mixture and combine with a hand blender, when all the flour is mixed in add the mashed bananas. Grease up a large bread tin (with a bit of canola spray will do the job nicely), line it with baking paper, pour in your mixture and throw it into a preheated oven for about 75 minutes at 180c. Check if it is ready by sticking a knife into the loaf and if it comes out clean your ready to go, throw it on a cooling rack and stand guard against any passerby that can’t seem to resist the urge to pick. Once it has cooled down enough quickly cut yourself a slice add a little butter if so desired and enjoy because it won’t last long (trust me)...
Everything you will need:
8 ripe bananas
125g butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
300ml butter milk
40g baking powder
15g cinnamon
375g plain flour

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Succulent Stuffed Chicken Roll............

Trying new things is the spice of life. I was trying to find yet another excuse to use Persian fetta and when I couldn’t find something new to use it in I thought I would try something myself. Loving the combination of pine nuts and fetta I set out to find something to accompany it. After roughly chopping some Italian parsley and some fresh fragrant thyme, I combined the herbs with the fetta, pine nuts, juicy little currants and seasoned it with a little salt and pepper. Taking a chicken breast and butterflying it (cut almost all the way through the breast and fold it out so it is twice the size you started with) I then piled some of the mix along the middle of the breast, then rolled it up and pinned it together with a few tooth picks. Now to cook it, put a fry pan on to a medium to high heat and brown off each side and throw it into the oven on about 200c and leave it to cook for about 12 mins.
Then of course what to serve it with? I decided on a warm smashed potato salad, which is quite simply boiled baby potatoes which you just crush in your hand, Chopped chives, some crispy bacon bits (cut some bacon into little cubes and throw it in the oven on 200c till crispy) and some mascarpone add a little salt and pepper and mix together gently (don’t go over board and turn into mash as much as the other half might will it).
So you have the chicken and the salad sorted we had to think about saucing it to add a little more flavour and give it the wow factor which takes it from just dinner to something to impress someone special. A nice red wine jus i found was the perfect companion to this delicious main course. Add about 200ml of dry red wine to a pan and bring to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer once it starts to reduce add most of a beef stock cube (you should really use a beef jus but that takes a good two or three days to make properly so this a little bit of a way to cheat) and about two tablespoons of white sugar and give it a good whisk to combine the sugar and stock cube into the wine. Leave it to reduce to a nice thin gravy consistency. Put a nice little mound of the potato salad in the centre of the plate, cut the stuffed chicken rolls on a diagonal and place them on top and generously sauce and serve.

Satisfying Two:

For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts
100g Persian fetta
75g pine nuts
25g currants
Half a bunch of Italian parsley
5 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper
For the warm potato salad:
10- 12 baby potatoes
Bunch of chives
3 rashes of middle bacon
150g Mascarpone
Salt and pepper

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Luscious Lamb Shanks.........

The other half and I have had a very Italian feel to our week. I do love the flavours of the Mediterranean especially Italian food which shows through in a lot of my cooking. The use of fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs to make the simplest meals amazing (I seem to harp on a bit about keeping it simple).
The dish that really stood out was my marvellous lamb shanks, the best cure for the winter blues. An old favourite amongst pretty much everyone that has ever tried it, served with a delicious polenta or a lovely creamy mash potato (which if you ask the other half could be served with any and everything). After I have lightly coated them in flour browned off and put them aside and make a start on the sauce. In a good pan and some nice olive oil sweat off an onion, carrot, celery and a little garlic, then deglaze your pan with some red wine throw in a tin or two of Italian tomatoes, some beef stock and a good dose of fresh thyme. Put the shanks standing up in a large pot and cover with the sauce, turn it down to a really low heat, bang on a lid and simmer for two and a half hours or so until the lamb pretty much falls of the bone. The best thing about lamb shanks is once they have been started you can leave them to their own devices for a few hours, while you take care of a few pressing matters or just sit back enjoy a glass of wine and a nice chat. Once the hours have slowly ticked over remove the lamb shanks and put your sauce through a blender or the trusty food processor and season to taste with a little pepper and sea salt. Serve them up and sprinkle with some fresh parsley and indulge.

Taking care of two:
4 Lamb Shanks
A little flour
30ml good olive oil
1 large carrot roughly chopped
1 large stalk of celery roughly chopped
1 large onion roughly chopped
3 Cloves of garlic
2 tins of Italian tomatoes
500ml beef stock
A few good sprigs of thyme
200ml red wine
Salt and pepper

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Definately A Dessert.....

Every great meal needs an equally tantalising dessert to conclude the story, to add that memorable twist that makes it stick in your mind like your favourite novel. It is one thing to have an amazing entree accompanied by an extravagant main course but if you don’t get the desert right that is what everyone will remember, after going to all the trouble to get the first two just right putting in that little bit extra at the end is what gets people talking about your dinner party again and again. I had some friends over for civilised drinks and a few delicate morsels to satisfy the deep rumbling of their bellies. There was lovely garlic prawns on a bed of wild rice to start things off, followed by a delicious snapper fillet marinated in fresh herbs and roasted in the oven. The thing that had everyone commenting at the end of the evening was the port poached pear, which had been simmering away in the back ground filling the room with an aromatic aroma of the cinnamon, chilli and other spices used to flavour this ‘piece de resistance’. Served with a generous scoop of French vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the reduced poaching liquid, (there were a few ice cream headaches from those that couldn’t shovel it in fast enough) the sweetness of the pear and ice cream is finished of sensationally with the afterthought of the chilli and spices in the sauce.