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.
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 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.