mexican food is my weakness. my dirty little secret…i love it because the cuisine there is authentic, pure and healthy….. the realness and the minimalist ethic of its clean flavours keep my idea of amazing food with a easy honest approach going….. from moles to dirty chicken, through to the salsas and fish crudos….there are so few ingredients in the culture so it cool to be creative….ive added a touch of me in there…….
salads are my thing and this is a gorgeous chilled meal for all time….
…plus I’ve added a nasty little tipple to kick it off..
a new frontier splash
shaved zucchini, cucumber and green apples, lime vinegared tomatoes, rosemary oil and boiled egg salad
chilled red mole, brined shredded chicken, lime ricotta, jalapeno oil, tortilla salad
chilled pulled beef shin, slow cooked carrot, avocado, dirty lemon risotto, pickled thyme salad
jellied berries, hard vanilla custard, lime leaf and sweet vodka salad
recipes for 4:
1 cup off good vodka, 1 jalapeno sliced into 1/4’s, 3 cups of grapefruit juice, 1 lemon sliced, 1 orange sliced, 2 tablespoons icing agave nectar, sprigs of thyme. mix and serve.
shave 1 cucumber, 1 zucchini, 1 green apple into a bowl, mix with olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice salt and pepper. stir gently with 1/2 cup odf sliced baby tomatoes that have been mixed with white vinegar and a good squeeze of lime juice, and place on platter. place sliced apple on top with a perched boiled egg. drizzle with olive oil, that has been stored with rosemary in it overnight. sprinkle the plate with poppy seeds.
chicken, mole and ricotta salad:
mole: boil 1 can tomatoes, 1 cut jalapeño, 6 squares dark chocolate, 2 cloves chopped garlic, then add salt and pepper to taste. chill. soak 1 chicken in 1 cup white vinegar 1 tablespoon each of salt and sugar. roast on high for 20 mins and chill. flake into pieces. mix 1 cup ricotta with 1 squeezed lime. blend 1 jalapeño with 1 1/2 cup olive oil. make a circle on the plate with the mole, add shredded chicken, dollops of ricotta, add some jalapeños and tomatoes, top with coriander sprigs and a shard of tortilla.
shin, carrot, avocado and risotto salad:
pepper the outside of a piece of beef shin and place in a an oven dish. blend, 2 cups of chicken stock with 4 cloves of garlic. cover the beef with the stock and put 2 carrots in there as week. cook for 6 hours on 150C covered in greaseproof paper. chill down. in a chines cooker, cook 2 cups of lemon infused risotto with the stock from the beef. sit 4 sprigs of thyme in 2 cups of vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons icing sugar. serve cut avocado with the skin on, a big spoonful of the cold risotto, shred the beef and place the carrot on top, finishing of with the thyme.
jellied berry salad:
mix 1 cup of cream mixed 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence and 2 egg yolks. mix 1 tablespoon gelatine with 2 teaspoons hot water until dissolved. gently mix with the vanilla custard. place in fridge for 3 hours until hardened. cut into small rectangles. in a bowl stir together 2 cups of cranberry juice with 1 cup of vodka and 4 teaspoons of gel tin mixed with 1/2 cup boiling water to dissolve. in a large ramekin or 4 small, distribute the juice with 2 cups of mixed berries and the rectangles of custard and 2 tablespoons of finely chopped kaffir lime leaf. place in refrigerator for 1/2 a day. serve cold.
luxury + salmon……
omega 3’s rock my world…… simple steamed, raw, smoked, poached, roasted. crispy skinned.
….. i like to surround with flavours that bring out, not hide. sweet kisses of sweet, sour, crunch, fleshy, smooth.
sweet smoked salmon, pears, pear emulsion, mirin soaked tuna belly, maple soy peanuts, fragrances
its great to think that the elements can shine in a refined salad….
…. home smoked salmon fillet finely sliced and soaked in white balsamic….but only just…
…. sweet pears whipped in my Brevile food processor with olive oil and white balsamic till smooth
…. some delicate tuna belly slow soaked in horseradish and mirin
…. the elegant crunch and snap of some maple soy nuts
…. gentle tickle with baby lettuces and parsley
…. drip some vinegar and olive oil to wet up the base of the plate
this salad…..is the essence of low-fi luxury.
i love a cheeky smear…it underscores a dish and signatures flavour.pure and simple produce can be taken to the next level by just the addition of a cheeky smear of a pureed fresh ingredient.
i do a quick swipe with red miso underneath some gorgeous chilled lemon scented white blue eye cod and some micro watercress, lemon pieces and a gentle sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts….. or this dish….
beetroot essence, kingfish crudo, lemon myrtle mayonnaise, nasturnium radish, sprouts and crispy onion
you can tell how easy this dish is to make. a deconstructed salad. it requires, a fresh piece of kingfish, some pureed beetroots that have been steamed and pureed and strained, a mayo that has finely chopped lemon myrtle herbs ground into a good basic mayonnaise, slow oven roasted onions, and gorgeous fresh leaves, and lastly some fine discs of radish..how simple and how gorgeous is this dish
we are still in summer here and its march. beach, drinks, fresh food. And with that comes some classic Australian dining. Something we do really well here in Australia is fish and chips. the Brits would argue but bugger them…..a light batter made with beer and self raising flour, it gently coats our most gorgeous seafood. its crunchy, its soft, its salty…all those great things.grab some lemons off the tree and a beer from the fridge and its a cracker!…
Here i get the classic and do a cheeky twist……sometimes i don’t want everything fried so i keep the rest of the meal fresh ad chilled. a good bit of crunch with some big flavour snaps. and do a quick lobster fry with egg white mayo and some sweet pickled onion wedge.bringing some of my old faves back, as an idea, i serve it with an iceberg lettuce wedge with cold crispy apple and a red miso drip and some cheeky smashed potatoes with salt, olive oil and kaffir lime leaf….and its a sweet dreamy lunch or dinner…….so simple and so easy.
lobster fry, egg white mayo, sweet pickled onion, home grown green lemons off the tree
chilled iceberg wedge, shredded granny smiths, red miso drip
potato, salted first virgin olive oil, kaffir lime leaf chop
isn’t this the freshest most delicious lunch/dinner ever???
lobster: pull the meat out of two halves of a large uncooked lobster. using one cup of self raising flour, whip till a paste with a good beer or cider. plunge pieces into very hot oil till crispy (do a test for the batter. if its too thick add more beer, if too thin add more flour). blend a good mayo with the white of two boiled eggs andd some salt. cut a rough wedge of white onion and soak for 30 mins in white balsamic thats has had a good pinch of icing sugar mixed through it or a good dash of agave nectar. serve hot.
iceberg wedge: cut a quarter wedge of iceberg for each person. finely shred some cold granny smith apple and put on top. drip a dressing made off 1 teaspoon of good red miso with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and a dash of white balsamic. bring up the sweetness with a pinch of icing sugar or a dash of agave nectar.
potatoes: boil 2 large peeled and chopped desires. strain and chill. cut up 6 kaffir lime leaves and in a bowl stir to mix well, the potatoes and a good splash of extra virgin olive, a good crack of pepper and a very good pinch of salt (i like my potatoes salty). serve chilled.
i like my fish and potatoes salty. we grind our salt in a mortar and pestle. i buy hand harvested coarse celtic sea salt….it actually tastes sea watery…
– oh and add chilli and a smash and lick of lemon or lime anywhere. i want to eat this now…..
its summer down here is Australia. here is a delicious light brunchy summer menu. so simple and easy to make, concentrating on fresh market garden vegetables and pure eggs and yoghurt. its a gentle time of year!!
garden salad feta in parsley, and frest duck eggs
just a delicious fresh garden salad for warm days. boil 2 duck eggs till hard. slice across the bias some small carrots and slice some cucumbers down the lenthg with a potato peeler. form some soft feta into balls and roll in parsley. assemble on plate using a cut duck egg as the focus. sprinkle with olive oil, white onion oil (oil steeped in a wedge of white onion) and some white balsamic. i do like to eat the eggs warm but its up to you. i also like a slop of mayo…mmmm….
courgette tart with caramelised onions, ricotta and cheddar
little bombs of deliciousness. i bake these for a cafe every day. they have a gorgeous centre of caramelised onion which is hidden.
peel 2 zucchinis with a potato peeler. cut 2 pieces square of shortcrust. place the pastry in 2 tins which are oiled up. make circles with the strips. fry with a splash of white vinegar and a teaspoon of icing sugar, 1 finely cut onion. cook till brown. place the mixture into bottom of pastry lined dish. put a blog of ricotta, a handful of grated cheddar, and top with a small round of zucchini. fill the pastries up with 2 eggs whipped with a pinch of salt and 1/2 cup cream. cook at 160 for 30 minutes. eat hot with oiled parsley and lots of pepper
mango cheeks, yellow box honey, vanilla sugar frozen yoghurt
so simple and so fresh. i mix a full tub of greek yoghurt (approx 2 cups) with 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, and a splash of vanilla syrup. (i do like it to be spiky). swirl it around. place a sheet of greaseproof paper in a small tin and put the yoghurt in. drip yellow box honey over it. freeze till it becomes less runny. (approx 2 hours). in a gorgeous glass put a cut mango cheek in and a large spoonful of the yoghurt. drip honey over it and serve. (i do like to chill my glasses). decorate with flowers.
i make this salad for Alimentari (car william and paddington streets, paddington sydney). it runs out the door. this gorgeous salad is a really pure event. nothing but, shrooms, basil, micro upland cress, parmesan powder lemon and oil….oh and my favourite. fregola. …little bombs of bliss…..
fregola with mushrooms, lemon flavours , parmesan powder, basil and cress
this recipe is ridiculously easy…….. easy and fresh food is something we love. fregola is the gorgeous of pastas. little delicate and gorgeous it is perfect for a gentle salad that is a little bit different but very fresh.
i do this by the bag of fregola.
boil i bag of fregola till al dente. rinse in cold water till cool.put in a big bowl. slice 6 large button mushrooms and 1 small onion finely into slices and drip olive oil and sprinkle salt over. heat a frypan till really hot. drop the shrooms in and turn off letting them cook but cool at the same time. don’t stir. when cool put in with the fregola with: grated lemon rind from 1 lemon and then squeeze the juice in, 1 handful baby basil leaves, 1/2 cup really fine grated parmesan, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. stir and put into bowl. season op with pepper and sprinkle more parmesan some more baby basil leaves, and some upland cress.
amazing with a roast chicken or just on its own. enjoy!
eggs are one of my favourite foods and have a certain feeling of nurture and yumminess. from a thumb in the mouth soft and squishy sandwich to comforting frittata, a spa salad, and a ridiculously good slow cooked hash or a sweet broth with a crispy fried egg on top that cracks and oozes into the dish when broken…….i am sort of always wondering what i can put an egg in or on top off.…..
when i had “Pond” restaurant with Guillaume we had a very high profile client that demanded an egg with his beef and merlot jus. Guillaume flatly refused and after some major to and froing back from the dining room to the kitchen, the well heeled patron went out and bought a cheeky half dozen and demanded he cook it himself. there were some interesting words spoken but the patron won…very funny. sort of…..
here are some dishes that i have made over the last two years that reflect what i like to use eggs in. of course there are a million ideas. and ill list some more at the end of this post…….
soft egg sandwiches with egg white mayonnaise
i buy one white sliced loaf and get it sliced lengthways. boil 1 dozen eggs till hard (10m mins.) peel the eggs and use 1 of the white to mix in with 1 cup good mayonnaise. add a squeeze of lemon juice salt and pepper to taste and then add the mayo to this and squish with a fork, so the mixture is lumpy but not massively. spread on half the slices and top with the other. cut the crusts off and cut into 6 sandwiches cutting across going half then into thirds. (make sense?) being gentle not to squash them. serve chilled on a platter in a row. gorgeous..
lazy susans with a micro green olive salad
ignore the lazy connotation…even if my name is susan. i have cooked these for my children since the first day they took breath. I’ve just made in adults food. cut 2 thick slices of wholemeal or sourdough and cut the crusts off. dig a little hole out of the middle. drizzle some olive oil in a pan and cook one side of the bead, and crack an egg into the hole. whilst its cooking, make a little salad of micro greens, celery, witlof, leeks, and finely sliced green onions. sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper and turn it over. cook for a second longer and take off ensuing the the egg stays soft. place on plate, sprinkle with salad on a corner and drizzle with olive oil.
Note: i do stuff sour cream or ricotta in there too….yum!
fiorre de latte with lemon oil, egg white and nasrturniums
this is a really sexy dish. i do it all the time as a drinks thing. cut the cheese into slices. boil an egg and smash it into pieces. turn the cheese into a flower by curling them into a circle. put the smashed egg onto a platter and curl the cheese around it. sprinkle some cut up white onion, drizzle some olive oil, some lemon juice and place nasturtiums all over it.
boiled eggs with celery salt and asparagus
another great dish. perfect with a roast chicken with aoli and walnuts.
boil 2 eggs, steam some asparagus till still crunchy. cut the eggs in halves and place on top of asparagus in a bowl with paper in it. sprinkle celery salt and pepper over it and top with some herbs or micro leaves. lastly drizzle some garlic or plain olive oil over the dish.. serves 2
lamb hash, pan juices, crispy olive oil egg and onions
in a large oven crock pot, place a shoulder of lamb with 2 cups of beer, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup maple sugar and 1 chilli. salt and pepper the death out out of it and seal with the lid and cook for 3 hours on 200C. using a fork strip the meat away from the bone and let it sit. crispy fry 2 eggs in a shallow puddle if good extra virgin olive oil sunny side up. chop up a small handful of onions. place the meat on the bottom of a shallow bowl and put the egg on top. spoon the juices around the bowl with a sprinkle of the onions. serves 2 and them some with the lamb.
a salad of radicchio, peas, smoked trout, lemon, and a soft boiled egg.
i think this was the first dish i ever blogged. i was in a hotel room in Auckland working on a fashion shoot, trying to get over a month of hard core deli, extreme pizza and steak eating in new york. i went for this for the cleanse. it worked a treat. new zealand smoked trout, nothing finer.
soft boil an egg (2-3 mins). hold in shell. put onto the plate 1 handful finely sliced radicchio, some baby peas, 1/2 cup flaked smoked trout and some grated lemon rind. peel and cut open the egg in the middle. squeeze lemon juice and olive oil all over it.
root vegetable broth, micro basil, peppered fried egg
another dish that makes me feel amazing. crack the egg into the broth and slurp away. incredible for hangovers. i promise…..
boil 1 parsnip, 1 carrot, 1 white onion, and 1 turnip with 2 vegan vegetable stock cubes and 2 cups water. strain, and boil down by half. crispy fry an egg in a shallow puddle of good olive oil with a generous spray of cracked pepper in a really hot pan so it crisps up fast and doesn’t lose its runny value in the yolk. place a deep puddle of broth in a bowl and submerge the egg on top. sprinkle with micro basil or anything fragrant and herbaceous.
potato and shrimp frittata
heaven. quite simply. i have a small spring form baking tin. i line it in greaseproof and get the dish under way. line the bottom with sliced boiled potatoes, then a layer of cooked small shrimps, some salt and pepper, some mixed cheese, and then crack two eggs on top. make a mixture of 1 egg with a splash of cream and some thumb twigs. stir and pour that over filling up the tin. bake till firm about 30 minutes on low 150C. eat immediately on its own with some tomatoes melted in unsalted butter in a pan or a small salad of leaves a splash of oil and balsamic with some smoked salmon. also a good splurge of ricotta chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon is great with this also.
i think its time i described how i do recipes…..i don’t really. this is not a site for complication or stress. i like my food to be easy . i don’t use recipes really because i don’t really cook anything that needs them. i use ingredients and just let the flavours and my taste flourish. so really its a little free form and a little loose. i am sorry but i promise it works and it releases you from the prison of measurements in small doses. i use cups and tablespoons and stuff but only broadly. admittedly this is difficult to grasp but lets use some easy examples to set my story straight…….
soy tamarind spatchcock with sweet zucchini shred
cut up 2 spatchcocks removing the spine and into 4 pieces each. soak for 1 hr in 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon tamarind paste. roast with a few extra small tomatoes in hot oven 250C till dark, turning all the time. with a potato peeler shred 2 zucchinis lengthways. soak for 30 minutes in a mixture of white balsamic and icing sugar. (you can add some chilli here is you like). make a circle with the zucchinis and place 4 pieces in each circle and a piece of tomato on top. drip olive oil and lemon juice around the outside. serve with rice that has grated ginger and salt and pepper in it and some fresh greek yoghurt and finely cut mint.
i encourage people to taste their food. its not me being lazy with the recipes, its paying respect to the people cooking and getting them back into really bonding with their food and getting back to the old days when food was easy but amazing. i get everything is fast and driven by measurements but it doesn’t have to be the rule. why can’t we have some food that requires less but tastes awesome.
this is where i come in…if you use fresh and simple ingredients, you don’t need very much to play with. you already have the fun on the plate….another example
celery and cheddar puddle with cheddar rye and celery salt
in a pot boil gently for 30 minutes, 2 cups of cut celery and 2 cups of good vegetable stock. at the end add 1 cup of cheddar cheese. melt and transfer to the blender. blend until creamy. do not season.
using a great rye loaf, cut into 1 inch slabs and toast on one side and sprinkle the other side with cheddar and toast until bubbling. serve the soup with the toast not top with some batons of celery. sprinkle with celery salt and cracked pepper.
ok…its really easy to keep adding flavour to dishes but its really hard to pair back. this is my philosophy. dig into taste and texture and it won’t change the base of what you are eating. playing with combinations is the fun here. another example.
beer and brown sugar ribs with melted tomatoes and burnt onions
soak 1 full set ribs in enough beer that it just melts 2 cups of brown sugar into a paste. rub onto a set of pork ribs and sit for 2 hours. bake on high until brown qat 250C. at the same time place face down 2 cut up spanish onions. they should burn around the edges but also caramelise as well. in a pot just warm and melt 1 cup of halved baby tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and some thyme twigs.
serve the ribs with onions and tomatoes and a fork. some aoli would be sexy here too. should serve two depending on appetite. my animal of a son would eat all of this so double or triple as you go. my son eats these with his hands and wields a fork around at the same time. white bread with onions and tomatoes and mayonnaise is extremely awesome.
lastly something sweet. again, nothing complicated but just flavour and texture playing on cold, sweet and crunch….
candied almonds, strawberries and cinnamon cream, and mint
wash and chill 5 strawberries each person. toss 1 cup of almonds in 1 cup brown sugar that has been melted with a drop or two of red food colouring. single them out and . bake in an oven on greaseproof paper till crusty. whisk 1 carton of cream till stiff adding a drop of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of icing sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. serve in a glass with the strawberries on the bottom, then the cream with the almonds and some extra strawberries on the top. chill the whole thing down. top with a sprig of mint.
down south in Australia its getting warm…its time for some really cool fresh food ideas for the coming season
lets have a…fresh…new…start.
sweet smoked salmon, citrus, nasturiums, chipped zucchini salad with white onion oil
simply gorgeous. soak a fresh fillet of smoked salmon in white vinegar sweetened with a pinch of sugar, and turn into a rosette by curling it around your finger.flash fry till dark, some chipped pieces of green zucchini in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. let go cold with a crush of pepper and sprinkle on top. smash some white and red onion in olive oil and sprinkle on top with some finely sliced lemon and lime rind, mint, parsley and lemon verbena (anything will actually work). delicious with some fresh ricotta on the side and crunchy bread…or nothing at all
seaweed with sesame flavours, marigolds and wasabi oil
i love this, and it is so easy and fresh. i squeeze lemon juice and sesame oil over some good japanese seaweed and place in the middle of a big white plate. drizzle sesame oil mixed with wasabi around the edges and sprinkle with marigold leaves.
caviar pie with calendula flowers
a complete favourite. boil 6 eggs to hard. smash with some cold unsalted butter and salt to taste. put into the bottom of a small removable spring form tin. put a layer of peppery sour cream over the top and refrigerate. serve out of the tin with a layer of caviar on top and some calundula flowers sprinkled around the plate, ad some crisps and crackers.
sweet root vegetable and rice broth, lime oil and deep fried parsley
the total cleanse, and a flavour surprise. please try. make a broth from turnips, parsnips, white onion, pumpkin and carrots. boil and strain. reduce by half and add a tablespoon of jasmine rice and gently boil till absorbed. squeeze lime juice mixed with olive oil over the top and serve with quick fried continental parsley, serve in small bowls.
celery salted ricotta, slow baked heirloom tomato, honey oil and flora
an unbelievably fragrant start to any meal day or night.cut massive heirloom tomato in half and cook on 100C for 1-2 hours or until it start to fall down. grill till the top bubbles. mix a good quality ricotta with celery salt to taste. (i like mine salty). serve with a tiny drizzle of exceptional first pressed extra virgin olive oil mixed with a tiny amount of organic honey and some gorgeous fragrant, flora greens, like chervril, parsley and or basil.
i have made this dish forever and its a hot tip. its flash, its sexy and its a salad. sexy tuna, who would believe it…i serve it in glasses as its really gorgeous to see the colours, or as a tall shape on a plate. it is a perfect dish as a starter or even a canapé walking around.
my crisp of choice to serve with it, is a fried triangle of corn tortilla that salted. it suits the sweetness of the pickled ginger. a sort of sweet and sour thing.
tuna tartare with pink ginger, wasabi and lime flavours
so clean, so sharp, so easy, so fast, so crisp, so sexy….
2 cups of tuna belly, 1 handful coriander root, 1 handful baby mint leaves, 1 tablespoon water chesnuts, 1 handful bean sprouts, 1 tablespoons pink japanese ginger, 1 desert spoon shallots
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon ginger liquid, 1 desert spoon wasabi (i like it hot), a splash of sesame oil, the juice of 1 lime and the grated zest of 1/2 lime. (i like to add red chilli here but it depends on yr palate) go nutsso…….
gently toss everything together and serve in a cup or in a pile on the plate. i like i said serve these with deep fried tortilla pieces. yum.
not: add some chopped cucumber skin and nuts and seeds for extra crunch………