appetisers

Ceviche with Leche de tigre

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small stick celery
  • 1 long fresh red chilli
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1cm piece fresh ginger
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 200g (7oz) sashimi grade kingfish fillet, cut into 1cm dice
  • ½ Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ice cube
  • 2 shots of vodka
  • Poached sweet potato
  • 200ml (6½fl oz) water
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 sweet potato (250g/8oz), peeled, cut into 1cm dice
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions

To make poached sweet potato, stir water, sugar and star anise in a small saucepan, over low heat, until sugar is dissolved. Add potato. Boil gently until potato is just tender. Drain. Place in a bowl. Drizzle with lime juice.

Meanwhile, place oil, celery, chilli, garlic, ginger, coriander and half the lemon and lime juice in a small processor. Process until smooth. Place in a serving bowl. Add fish, onion and ice cube. Stand for 4 minutes—this allows the acid from the citrus juice to cook the protein in the fish.

Place a shot of vodka in each shot glass. Add a splash of the cloudy citrus juice from the fish.

Serve ceviche with sweet potato and vodka shot.

 

Fried Duck Wontons in a Ginger-apple Sauce

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 15 min

Ingredients

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 1/4 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage or Iceberg lettuce, chopped fine
  • 6 oz finely shredded duck meat (skin on duck thighs slow cookedwith
    pepper, ginger, juniper, anise,salt, allspice, cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 pinches cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp. ground star anise
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 1-1/2 cups diced apple or rhubarb if you have it.
  • 2 very thin, full slices of leek (white)
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup dark meat stock
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick, crushed
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns,crushed just before using
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 Tbsp whole butter

Instructions 

Procedure for Filling:
Heat oil over medium flame and sauté onions until slightly browned and very tender. Take off the heat, stir in the garlic well.

Return pan to heat and cook, stirring for 1 minute (garlic should colour a little). Add cabbage/Iceberg and cook for 1 minute, tossing well.

Add salt and toss well again. Cook until cabbage has lost its liquid and it has evaporated. Stir in all other ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally until everything is completely heated through, about 5 minutes and remove to a bowl and chill.

Procedure for Sauce:
Combine all ingredients except peppercorns and butter in a thick bottom, non reactive pan and bring to a boil, stirring to avoid scorching, for 20 minutes. Stir in freshly crushed peppercorns off the heat, cover and let sit 20 minutes. Push through fine strainer and cool.

Procedure for Stuffing Wontons:
Layout 8 wonton skins on a cutting board and place a mound (1/8) of the filling on each near the center. Brush two adjacent edges of the wonton skins with water and fold the pasta diagonally over the filling and seal firmly. with a pasta crimper, cut a round shape just inside the sealed edges. Repeat.

Procedure for Cooking Wontons:
In a large sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup sesame oil. When hot, lay the stuffed pasta in a single layer (or do half at a time in 2 batches) and sear the bottom for about a minute.
Turn each over and sear the other side. Add the sauce and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the 6 Tbsp whole butter from the sauce recipe and swirl pan so butter dissolves evenly. Divide the pasta, 2 to a plate and pour over sauce.
Garnish with crispy fried leek julienne.

 

Quick fried calarmari with garlic, lemon & parsley

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients: 

  • 500 gm baby calamari tubes
  • a slurp of olive oil
  • 1-2 red/green chillies, seeded & finely sliced (optional)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
     

Instructions: 

Clean the calamari and cut it into thin rings.

Then heat the oil to smoking in a wok (or large heavy-bottomed pot).
 
Add the calamari, toss a little and then add the chillies, garlic, butter, parsley, lemon juice and seasonings. Toss for a couple more minutes.
 
Serve straight away.

Seared Scallops with Sweet Corn Salsa

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 4  large scallops
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 300g sweet corn
  • 150g tomatoes
  • 1 thinly sliced red or green chilli
  • 1  small red onion
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  •  light soy sauce
  •  black pepper
  • fresh parsley

Instructions 

Finely chop the onion and chilli, and cut the tomatoes into wedges. Mix this with the corn in a small saucepan, and add sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce, salt and pepper. Hold back the parsley for now.

Slice the scallops into halves, across the middle. Dust them with sea salt and curry, and fry in olive oil for one minute on each side. You should have the heat fairly high, to get a nice crispy surface.

Meanwhile, heat the salsa - it will just take a minute - and add the parsley. Divide on four plates, and top with the scallops.

Spicy Stuffed Eggplant

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 75 Gram basmati rice
  • 1 Unit eggplant
  • 1 Tablespoon (Metric) olive oil
  • 1 Unit brown onion, halved
  • 2 Clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Teaspoon (Metric) ground coriander powder
  • 2 Teaspoon (Metric) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 0.2 Teaspoon (Metric) fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 0.25 Cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon (Metric) lime rind, finely grated
  • 1 Unit lime, juice of
  • 65 Gram reduced-fat yoghurt

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 200°C. Cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold running water. Drain well.

Meanwhile, cut the eggplant in half lengthways. Use a small sharp knife to cut a 1cm border around the edge of each eggplant half. Scoop out the flesh within the border, leaving about 1.5cm of flesh on the base of each eggplant half. Finely chop the flesh.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, coriander, ginger, chilli and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.

Add the chopped eggplant and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until eggplant is soft. Remove from heat.

Add the rice, lime juice to eggplant mixture, and stir to combine. Place eggplant shells in a large baking dish. Spoon rice mixture evenly among eggplant shells. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until eggplant shells are soft and filling is golden.

Place the lime rind into bowl with the yoghurt and serve as you wish.

Carrot & harissa dip

Serves: 6 | Preparation Time: 35 min

Ingredients 

  • 1kg carrots, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2/3 cup (165ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp harissa (see note)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with foil. In a pan, cover carrots with water and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes until just tender.
Transfer to the baking tray, drizzle with 2 tbs oil and roast for 20 minutes until browned.
Cool, then whiz in a processor with harissa, spices, garlic and vinegar. Slowly add remaining oil and whiz until smooth.
Season and serve.

Baked Baby Fennel with Parmesan

Serves: 2 as entree | Preparation Time: 15 min

Ingredients 

  • 1 baby fennel bulb
  • 1 tbsp butter, chopped
  • 20g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Remove feathery fronds from fennel bulbs .

Cut bulb in half lengthwise. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add fennel and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes.

Do not overcook fennel or it will turn a dull gray and become very soft.

Drain and refresh fennel under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels.
Place fennel in a lightly oiled, shallow heatproof dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cheese, nutmeg and pepper to taste.
 
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, place under a hot grill and cook until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Serve hot.

Warm Herbed Olives

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 5 min

Ingredients 

  • 350 Gram black kalamata olives
  • 80 Millilitre olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon (Metric) cumin seeds
  • 2 Clove garlic, crushed
  • 0.5 Teaspoon (Metric) dried chilli
  • 1 Unit lemon, the zest and juice
  • 1 Tablespoon (Metric) parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon (Metric) coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 Pinch cinnamon

Instructions 

Wash olives in cold water and place in a pan. Cover with water and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes.

In a dry pan roast the cumin seeds until browning and fragrant. Turn the heat down low. Add the olive oil to the pan and olives. Mix through the garlic, chili flakes, lemon zest and juice and cinnamon.

Heat through for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

Add the chopped herbs and toss mixture until the olives are coated. Turn out into a large bowl and serve with crusty bread.

You can use the same method for marinated goats cheese. Place your block of cheese into the smallest container you have. Excluding the olives, use the same method as above to make your oil mixture. Adding a tsp of whole black pepper corns as an extra (if you have preserved lemon, add a few slices to it).

Pour over the cheese while still warm and serve or store for later... Yum!

Haloumi parcels

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 30 min

Ingredients 

  • 4 Unit red capsicum
  • 200g haloumi, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup olive tapenade
  • 1/4 Cup basil leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced and grated rind

Instructions 

Cook capsicum on hot grill plate for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently, until skin blackens and blisters and flesh is tender. Place in a plastic bag. Set aside to cool. Scrape away skin. Cut each in half length ways. Remove seeds and membrane.

Place a haloumi slice on a capsicum half. Top with one quarter of tapenade, basil leaves and lemon rind. Cover with another capsicum half and secure with string. Repeat to make four parcels.

Cook on grill plate on medium heat for 3-5 minutes each or until cheese begins to melt. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve immediately.

Tip: Soak kitchen string in water so it doesn't burn on the barbecue.

Vegetable Samosas

Serves: 4-6 | Preparation Time: 50 mins

Ingredients 

  • 500g (about 3) sebago (brushed) potatoes, peeled
  • 20g ghee
  • 1 long fresh green chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 sheets (25 x 25cm) ready-rolled frozen puff pastry, just thawed
  • Vegetable oil, to deep fry

 

Instructions 

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Coarsely chop.

Heat the ghee in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the potato, green chilli, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and chilli powder and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until aromatic. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Stir in the coriander.

Use an 11cm-diameter round cutter to cut out 16 discs from the pastry. Cut each disc in half to make a semi-circle. Place two teaspoonfuls of the potato mixture in the centre of the pastry. Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling and make a triangle shape. Press the edges of the pastry with a fork to seal.

Meanwhile, to make the fresh green chutney, place the chili, mint and coriander in the bowl of a small food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the yoghurt and lemon juice and process until combined.

Add enough oil to a medium saucepan to reach a depth of 3cm. Heat to 170°C over medium-high heat (when the oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden in 20 seconds). Carefully add 2-3 samosas and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat, in 5 more batches, with remaining samosas, reheating the oil between batches.

Place the samosas on a serving plate and serve with the fresh green chutney.