Purple Rain – Beetroot Risotto with Thyme and Marscapone

May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

This May in Australia saw the return of one of the worlds most incredible artists, the Purple One…. Prince.

Every time he graces our shores he plays a myriad of sold out concerts, performs secret shows that wow the lucky few that get to attend and reminds us all why he has endured year after year as one of the most popular artists on the planet.

There is one record for me that defines Prince… the 1984 masterpiece Purple Rain.

I was 11 years old when this album was released.

Now I already had a healthy appreciation for music at this point, but there was something about this record, maybe the fact that to me it was a complete album, every track as good as the next and all fitting together like a musical jigsaw.

What can you say about Purple Rain… the music, the songs and the attitude… so cool and so timeless… a musician at the peak of his craft, placing every single element where it needed to be.

I remember very clearly the day I first saw the video for “When Doves Cry” on Countdown…  or my parents taking me to the Drive In to see “Purple Rain” the movie…. the first day I got my grubby little hands on that vinyl.

I spent months pouring over this record. I knew every word, tried (very badly I might add) to play every lick on my guitar at home and discovered the joy of the total abandonment that only music can truly bring.

I hope that my take on this classic dish pays homage to this amazing record, song, movie and artist… but lets face it… it could never compare!

PURPLE RAIN – Beetroot Risotto with Thyme, White Truffle Pecorino and Marscapone

Serves 4 Music Fans

Ingredients

4 Beetroot
2 Sprigs of Thyme
½ Cinnamon Stick
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup Carnaroli Rice
4 tablespoons Mascarpone
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
125 ml White Wine
1 litre Chicken or Vegetable stock (the vegetarian option)
100 g grated White Truffle Pecorino or Parmesan
Splash of good quality Olive Oil
Few tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons Butter
Good Splash of Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Pepper

Method

1. Peel and roughly chop Beetroot… does not have to be perfect so don’t spend to much time on this…
2. Bring Chicken Stock to boil in saucepan
3. Add Beetroot, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon and Thyme to the stock and cook beetroot till it’s tender. I am not going to give a time, just test it with a fork.
4. When Beetroot is tender remove the Thyme, Cinnamon and Bay leaf.
5. COOL STOCK. I cannot emphasize this enough… if you don’t this next step is going to re-paint your walls purple. You can either just turn off the heat and leave it to cool, put it in the fridge or for those of you in a rush place saucepan in an ice bath… up to you!
6. Add cooled stock to blender and blend for 10 -15 seconds creating a vortex. If your stock has not been cooled you will notice that your walls and quite likely yourself is covered in a purple, volcanically hot liquid. Use a rubber spatula to clean down the sides and pulse blender until it is all pureed.
7. Put back on heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
8. Chop onions to the size of rice grains.
9. Chop garlic
10. Add a generous splash of Olive oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and sweat onions & garlic until soft.
11. Add rice and stir gently in pan.
12. Cook Rice until translucent and deglaze pan with white wine. It is perfectly reasonable to start drinking the rest of the bottle at this point… you have a lot of stirring to do!
13. Once wine has been absorbed by rice add a ladle of stock and continue to stir until absorbed. Repeat until rice is al dente’. This should take about 20 or so minutes, it should be firm to the bite… not crunchy but not mushy.

Okay, okay… stop here… I know what some of you are saying out there… I prefer to cook my risotto stirring… I prefer to just agitate the pan… I like to just leave mine…
I am not going to get into this debate; I value my personal safety way too much.

I have seen it done many different ways, this is the way I like…. Please use your beloved method if that’s what rocks your boat!

14. Turn of the heat and stir in butter and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
15. To serve place risotto in large flat bottom plate. Tap gently under the plate to spread the risotto. Garnish with a teaspoon of Mascarpone, chopped parsley, grated Pecorino and a drizzle of Olive oil.

I suggest cooking this meal and eating it to the album… if it takes you two runs through until you get to eat, well hey, at least it is an album worthy of a double play!

That chick can waffle on

February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Putting aside the slightly misogynist title of this dish (which before I get complaints, I will point out was actually suggested by my wife) this is a story about one mans search for soul food and the ridiculous lengths I will go to when it comes to eating fried chicken.

I first heard about this dish while watching the 1997 Quentin Tarantino movie Jackie Brown. In the scene where Samuel L Jackson’s character, Ordell, is trying to convince his soon to be dead associate, Beaumont, to get into the trunk, he coaxes him with the following promise…

“When we get through fucking with these Koreans… me and you go to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles on me…Think about it now…That ‘Scoe’s Special, smothered in gravy and onions…side of red beans and rice, some greens…That’s some good eatin’…”

Good eatin’ indeed.

Now while Beaumont never gets to take Ordell up on his offer as he is shot to death moments later, the idea of Chicken and Waffles was one that haunted me.

For years I would go to sleep at night and dream of this dish; crispy Fried Chicken on a bed of piping hot waffles, butter melting and oozing, the syrup pooling on the bottom of the plate. They start calling me, taunting me … and then I wake up with a start, drenched in a cold sweat like a war vet, clutching an imaginary knife and fork and screaming an order of Chicken and Waffles to an imaginary waitress.

I needed to know more, I needed to taste it. But first I needed to know, what the hell it was.

Do you have Chicken and Waffles for Breakfast or Dinner? Waffles do lend themselves to a morning meal, but then again it could be a dessert. I realised I could eat fried chicken for breakfast, no problem. In fact, thinking about it, why wasn’t I eating fried chicken for breakfast? But this was only getting me more sidetracked and confused so I decided to research it further.

The origins of the dish are unclear and shrouded in finger lickin’ mystery. Some claim it was introduced when Thomas Jefferson bought a Waffle Iron to the States in 1790, others say it came from the Pennsylvania Dutch dish of Steamed Chicken with Waffles and Gravy. Others yet say it was born at the end of the Jazz era in 1938 at Wells Supper Club in Harlem where late night diners could not decide between breakfast and dinner. But like most Soul Food recipes it was probably handed down from generation to generation verbally and born from necessity…. which lets face it is the mother of all invention.

Continuing my search I found the most famous purveyors of the dish, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles established in 1975 in Long Beach California. Looking at the website and scanning through their menu it became clear to me that there was a whole world of food I was missing out on, and it seemed like everybody but me already knew about it. The more I looked into the dish, I found celebrities throughout the States were talking about it; Snoop Dog took David Beckham to eat it on his show Fatherhood, Gladys Knight owns her own Chicken and Waffles restaurant in Atlanta, Notorious B.I.G mentions it in his version of ‘Goin Back to Cali’, it’s in the film ‘Swingers’, hell even 30 Rock has a scene at M&G Soul Food Café in New York where they eat it.

And here I am, stuck in Australia, alone and Chicken and Waffle-less…

Dejected I knew that I would have to cross the great Pacific Ocean to sink my teeth into this, the Holy Grail of all Fried Chicken dishes.

But then, when all hope was lost and I had resigned myself to a world of healthy eating, a couple of friends asked me to join them for lunch at Sydney restaurant ‘Jazz City Diner’.

As I opened the menu my hands began to quiver. There, on the first page it sat… “Southern Fried Chicken with Waffles and Maple Syrup”.

I looked up toward the Chef, my eyes blinded by tears and said “I’ll have the Chicken and Waffles please”.

In honor of that day I give you my humble attempt at Soul Food….

Southern Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Waffles and Maple Syrup

Ingredients
For the Waffles

500g Flour
2 Tsp Bicarbonate Soda
4 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Salt
40g Caster Sugar
150g Melted Butter
5 Eggs Beaten
750 ml Buttermilk
Waffle Iron

For the Southern Fried Chicken
Assorted Chicken Pieces (this one is up to you, Legs, Thighs, Wings, Breasts… they all taste good to me)
Enough Buttermilk to cover the chicken
500g Flour for dredging
Salt
Pepper
Peanut Oil amount depends on how you are cooking the chicken… we will get into that a little later.
Celery Stick (optional)
Butter
Maple Syrup

Method

  1. First thing you need to do is prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork to ensure the buttermilk is penetrating the bird… if you have a large piece you can make an incision with a knife to the bone to make sure it cooks through. Once done place all the chicken in a dish and cover it in Buttermilk. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  2. In a large bowl place flour with a good whack of salt and pepper. You can add other spices if you like. Personally I like the simplicity of the buttermilk batter… but I will leave that up to you. Dredge the chicken pieces well in the flour to ensure an even coating and leave out on a rack for 15 min or so to dry.
  3. Now this is where the variants for frying chicken come into play, there are so many different ways to do this. I personally use a deep fryer at 180 degrees Celsius until golden brown but if you don’t have one you can shallow fry in a large pan… Cast Iron if you want to go old school. Anyhow if you are cooking this in a pan add enough oil for a shallow fry and heat to a medium temp. Now the temperature is the key, make sure pan does not get too hot or you will burn the outside and have raw chicken in the centre. You can even add some celery to the pan for extra flavour if you want… Anyway add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown, turn with a pair of tongs and repeat until cooked through. Just make sure that there in no pink in the chicken. Pierce a piece to make sure and ensure the juices run clear.
  4. Once finished place chicken on wax paper or a rack to drain… don’t cover as they will loose their crispy goodness!
  5. Now it’s time for the waffles. In a medium bowl mix flour, bicarbonate soda, baking powder, salt and caster sugar.
  6. Add the eggs, butter and buttermilk and mix into a batter… if it has a couple of lumps don’t worry… it will still taste good.
  7. Heat your waffle iron, brush with oil lightly and add mixture evenly over the iron.
  8. Cook for 5-6 minutes so the waffles are crisp and golden.
  9. Place the waffles on a plate with some butter; add the chicken and coat the whole dish with some Maple Syrup… heaven is only a mouthful away!

Baby got back Pork Ribs

January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

I was originally going to write about my love of old school hip-hop music when I thought about this blog.

But the more I thought about this I realized my love of ribs started way before my love of music in general and if I was going to write about anything it had to be the ribs themselves.

I remember being a little boy and seeing an episode of MASH (boy, I am really showing my age here!) In it, Hawkeye was losing the plot about Adams Ribs from his hometown, Crab Apple Cove in Maine… I remember thinking… why? What could be so incredible to eat that you would fly them from the other side of the world? It would be quite a few years before I got my answer, but the question was always with me.

Years later my Father took me to an all you can eat rib night at a local restaurant in Brisbane… I can still remember my first taste. I realize now, they might not have been the best ribs in the world, but like your first kiss… you never forget it! From then on I was hooked.

Over the years, no matter what region they were from or how they were prepared, Ribs have always been one of my favorite things to eat… but I was forever changed when I spent a little time in some of the Southern American states and got to eat their ribs first hand… AMAZING!

My wife and I had a White Trash Xmas Party a few years ago for all of our friends that could not be with their families. Everyone had to dress up in their best  White trash outfits, big hair, short skits and cowboy boots was the price of admission!

I think I wore a mullet wig, sleeveless Skynard Shirt, many fake tattoos (to go with the ones I already had) and cowboy boots over skin tight acid washed jeans … We even bought a dead Christmas Tree for the occasion and decorated it with a few pieces of shitty tinsel… it was one of the funniest Xmas Days I have ever had.

For Christmas dinner I cooked Southern Fried Chicken, Ribs, Cornbread & Mash. Personally it was one of my favorite Xmas dinners ever!

Over the years I have tried to come up with the ultimate rib recipe… still not there yet and maybe I never will be, but this is the one I cooked for our White Trash Christmas…

Hope you enjoy how it turned out….

Baby Back Pork Ribs with a Green Apple & Fennel Slaw and a side of Horseradish infused Potato Mash

Ingredients

For the Ribs
1.5 kg Baby Back Pork Ribs
½ Onion
6 Red Chillies Seeded
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp Molasses
1 Cup of Guinness or Dark Beer
½ Cup Apple Juice
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp White Vinegar
2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Chipotle or Smoked Paprika Powder
Salt
Pepper
For The Apple and Fennel Slaw
1 Green Apple
½ Bulb Baby Fennel
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Handful Continental Parsley Leaves Roughly Chopped
50g Finely Grated Parmesan
For the Horseradish infused Potato Mash
2 Potatoes
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
250ml Double Cream
2 Tbsp Horseradish
Salt

Method
1. In a large food processor combine Onion, Chillies, Garlic, Ketchup, Molasses, Guinness, Apple Juice, Sugar, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Chipotle/Paprika and blend well. Have a little taste, balance the flavours and season.
2. Break up ribs in sections following the bone… should be about 4 ribs per piece… or bigger if you want a Flintstones size serve!
3. Heat a large pan and add the sauce and the ribs. Make sure the ribs are all submerged in the sauce.
4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low (barley a simmer) and cover.
5. Cook for one hour checking every 15 minutes to ensure sauce in not burning. Turn the ribs to ensure even cooking
6. While the ribs are cooking get started on the Green Apple Slaw. Cut the Apple into wafer thin slice using a mandolin of sharp   knife… the thinner the better. Once you have cut the apple to the core stack the pieces and cut into batons.
7. Repeat the same process with the Fennel and add to the Apple.
8. Combine Lemon juice and Olive Oil in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pour over the Apples & Fennel.
9. Add Chopped Parsley and grated Parmesan. Stir together well and reserve
10. Add peeled and chopped Potatoes to boiling water and cook until soft. Drain, mash lightly and then pass through a sieve to ensure we have no lumps. Stir is Butter, Cream and Horseradish and season to taste…
11. By Now our Ribs are done… cook for approx 5 min uncovered to thicken the sauce if needed. The meat should be nice and soft… heat up a BBQ and remove the ribs from the sauce.
12. Add the ribs to BBQ and cook for a few minutes on each side basting with some of the sauce.
13. Remove ribs from the BBQ and arrange on serving platter. If you want, pour the remaining rib sauce into bowl and serve for those who need a little extra!
14. Serve with the Slaw and Potatoes… and let the feeding frenzy begin!

Side note… Bibs may be needed… finger bowls with a little water and lemon is a good idea as well!

The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang

November 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

dumplings

Pork, Prawn and Scallop Dumplings with a Black Vinegar and Chilli Sauce

To me the is one reason to drag yourself out of bed on a Sunday… Dim Sum.

No matter how I feel, nor what stupidity has occurred the night before the promise of dumplings is a call too strong to resist.

To me Dim Sum is the total sensory experience, it ushers you away from your daily life….  There is something magical about walking into a crowded restaurant in Chinatown, bustling with an energy that is totally uncharacteristic for a lazy Sunday.

When you finally get seated your table is reset before your eyes, you sip your first sip of tea and sit back watching as hundreds of carts careen around the room, pluming steam like ancient, wheezing engines that time has forgotten. When one of these shambolic jalopies stops at your table, stacked with teetering towers of bamboo steamers you can only salivate with the promise of whatever delight lay within…

I always overindulge on these days… one taste is never enough… but oh my, is there a better start to a week?

This recipe isn’t new nor mine… I have taken ideas from cookbooks, friends and meals I have eaten. But I must say… I do love to cook this at home during the week as I wait with baited breath for Sunday to come around.

Recipe

Makes about 40

For the Sui Mai Dumplings

180g Prawns
300g Pork Mince
150g Scallops
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
100g Water Chestnuts
2 Tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
2 Tsp Sesame Oil
½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Chopped Ginger
1 Tsp Chopped Garlic
1 Spring Onion Chopped
8 Chives Chopped
1 Egg Beaten
2 Tbsp Cornflour
Dumpling Wrappers

For the Dipping Sauce

125ml Light Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Black Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Chilli Oil

Method

1.    Peel and devein the prawns, clean scallops and remove roe and abductor muscle.
2.    Mince roughly and add to a bowl with mince.
3.    Finely dice Water Chestnuts add to bowl.
4.    Chop Chives, Spring Onion, Ginger and Garlic and add to bowl.
5.    Add Soy, Rice Wine, Sesame Oil & Pepper to bowl.
6.    Beat one egg, add cornflour and Mix well ensuring there are no lumps. Add to bowl and mix together well.
7.    Place about ¾ of a tablespoon of mixture in centre of dumpling wrapper, squeeze the wrapper together lightly between your thumb and index finger to form a parcel and then press down and flatten the top of the dumpling with a knife.
8.    Heat a wok with water and place a bamboo steamer on the top (or use a regular steamer if you don’t have one) that has been lined with baking paper with holes punched into it.
9.    Cook for about 12 minutes.
10.    While you are waiting mix your dipping sauce in a bowl.
11.    And you are done…. Top with some chives… start dipping and eating!!!

Smells Like Teen Spirit!

November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ravioli stuffed with Ricotta and Truffle Pecorino finished with a Cracked Black Pepper and Gorgonzola Sauce

 

Ravioli with gorgonzola sauce

 

 When I was 18 years old I was given a ticket to see a new band called Nirvana support the Violent Femmes at Brisbane Festival Hall in Australia….

 

I was working as a hairdresser at the time and the local youth radio station Triple J had Nevermind as the feature album the week before getting the tickets. The response was out of control, I remember going to 4 different record stores (yes there were record stores back then) and being told that they were sold out…

 

When the night came for me to see Nirvana I can say I was out of control excited, the vibe in the room was one of barely restrained chaos, a mass of people moving in undulating waves ready to explode like a Tsunami about to unleash its fury against the shore.

 

And we were not disappointed.

 

To this day I have never seen a display like that night, even to the point that while moshing like a mad man I noticed my wonderful friend to my right get her front tooth knocked out by another dancing enthusiastic fan who seemed to be almost breaking invisible chains that had constrained him for all of his life.

 

It was liberation.

It was freedom.

It was ours.

 

The best bit was, when the dust had settled almost the whole room emptied and did not stay on to see the main act.

 

I created this pasta to celebrate the amazing unison of three. Three cheeses, three pieces of ravioli and of course the smell of Gorgonzola, that emulates the rebellious odor of any teenage boys room…

 

Thanks for the memories!


 Ingredients


For the Pasta

2 Cups Double Zero Flour

12 Egg Yolks

1tbsp Olive Oil

  

For the Filling

350g Ricotta Cheese

125g White Truffle infused Pecorino

1 Tbsp Sachet Nutmeg

Cracked Black Pepper

 

 For the Sauce

125g Gorgonzola

250 ml Milk

2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

2 Tbsp Cream

Salt

Cracked Black Pepper


 To Finish

50g Unsalted Butter

2 Springs of Chives finely chopped

 

 Method

 

  1. In a large bowl add two cups of flour and create a well. Add some salt. Then add olive oil and egg yolk and mix together in s circular motion, slowly incorporating the flour until you have a rough dough.
  2. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead the dough for 8 – 10 minutes. Wrap in foil and store in refrigerator for 30 minutes
  3. While waiting for the dough it’s time to make the filling. Add Ricotta, Grated Pecorino and a generous couple of cracks of black pepper. Mix together well and reserve in the fridge.
  4. Get out your pasta machine and set it to the largest setting. Divide your dough into three portions and run the first portion through the machine folding and quarter turning after each pass 17 times. Repeat for the other 2 portions of dough. Once through the largest run each [portion through, narrowing your machine one notch each time until you have passed through 6 times.
  5. Lay pasta sheets on floured flat surface and portion filling on the middle of the sheet approx 3cm apart.
  6. Fold sheet in half covering the mixture and gently outline the filling with your fingers. Press sheets together ensuring there are no air bubbles. Cut pasta using half of a circular pastry ring to make a half-moon. Repeat this process and then press the lip of the ravioli together with your fingers to ensure it is sealed. Flour and store on baking tray lined with floured baking paper.
  7.   Now it is time for the sauce… in a pan combine Gorgonzola, milk and butter. Cook until all the ingredients have melted then add the cream and cook until sauce consistency. Season with salt and add some cracked pepper. Drop to lowest heat and reserve.
  8. To a pot of salted boiling water add the ravioli and cook until the float to the surface… no more than about 2-3 min max. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a colander.
  9. Heat a large fry pan with 50g butter and when melted add the ravioli tossing quickly to coat the pasta. Remove from heat and place 3 ravioli on each plate.
  10. Spoon sauce over ravioli and garnish with cracked pepper and chives
  11. Unleash the Teen Spirit in years!

Ravioli with gorgonzola sauce

 

SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT

 

Ravioli stuffed with Ricotta and Truffle Pecorino finished with a Cracked Black Pepper and Gorgonzola Sauce

 

When I was 18 years old I was given a ticket to see a new band called Nirvana support the Violent Femmes at Brisbane Festival Hall in Australia….

 

I was working as a hairdresser at the time and the local youth radio station Triple J had Nevermind as the feature album the week before getting the tickets. The response was out of control, I remember going to 4 different record stores (yes there were record stores back then) and being told that they were sold out…

 

When the night came for me to see Nirvana I can say I was out of control excited, the vibe in the room was one of barely restrained chaos, a mass of people moving in undulating waves ready to explode like a Tsunami about to unleash its fury against the shore.

 

And we were not disappointed.

 

To this day I have never seen a display like that night, even to the point that while moshing like a mad man I noticed my wonderful friend to my right get her front tooth knocked out by an dancing enthusiastic fan who seemed to be almost breaking invisible chains that had constrained him for all of his life.

 

It was liberation.

It was freedom.

It was ours.

 

The best bit was, when the dust had settled almost the whole room emptied and did not stay on to see the main act.

 

I created this pasta to celebrate the amazing unison of three. Three cheeses, three pieces of ravioli and of course the smell of Gorgonzola, that emulates the rebellious odor of any teenage boys room…

 

Thanks for the memories!

 

 

Ingredients

 

For the Pasta

2 Cups Double Zero Flour

12 Egg Yolks

1tbsp Olive Oil

 

For the Filling

350g Ricotta Cheese

125g White Truffle infused Pecorino

1 Tbsp Sachet Nutmeg

Cracked Black Pepper

 

 

For the Sauce

125g Gorgonzola

250 ml Milk

2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

2 Tbsp Cream

Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

 

To Finish

50g Unsalted Butter

2 Springs of Chives finely chopped

 

 

Method

 

  1. In a large bowl add two cups of flour and create a well. Add some salt. Then add olive oil and egg yolk and mix together in s circular motion, slowly incorporating the flour until you have a rough dough.
  2. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead the dough for 8 – 10 minutes. Wrap in foil and store in refrigerator for 30 minutes
  3. While waiting for the dough it’s time to make the filling. Add Ricotta, Grated Pecorino and a generous couple of cracks of black pepper. Mix together well and reserve in the fridge. 
  4. Get out your pasta machine and set it to the largest setting. Divide your dough into three portions and run the first portion through the machine folding and quarter turning after each pass 17 times. Repeat for the other 2 portions of dough. Once through the largest run each [portion through, narrowing your machine one notch each time until you have passed through 6 times.
  5. Lay pasta sheets on floured flat surface and portion filling on the middle of the sheet approx 3cm apart.
  6. Fold sheet in half covering the mixture and gently outline the filling with your fingers. Press sheets together ensuring there are no air bubbles. Cut pasta using half of a circular pastry ring to make a half-moon. Repeat this process and then press the lip of the ravioli together with your fingers to ensure it is sealed. Flour and store on baking tray lined with floured baking paper.
  7.   Now it is time for the sauce… in a pan combine Gorgonzola, milk and butter. Cook until all the ingredients have melted then add the cream and cook until sauce consistency. Season with salt and add some cracked pepper. Drop to lowest heat and reserve.
  8. To a pot of salted boiling water add the ravioli and cook until the float to the surface… no more than about 2-3 min max. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a colander.
  9. Heat a large fry pan with 50g butter and when melted add the ravioli tossing quickly to coat the pasta. Remove from heat and place 3 ravioli on each plate.
  10. Spoon sauce over ravioli and garnish with cracked pepper and chives
  11. Unleash the Teen Spirit in years!

Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes

October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Aaron Harvie fish soup

Cioppino with Prawns, Mussels, Clams & Snapper

Serves Six Wiseguys.

I recently developed a menu for a one off Italian American night in Sydney and as with most things I do with food I needed a theme. It did not take me long to come up with one… Mafia films.

I had a blast coming up with the names but the one I liked the most was named after one of the most famous lines from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather… Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes.

Luca Brasi was the ultimate muscle and right hand man to Don Vito Corleone. Like Darth Vader to the Emperor or Lancelot to King Arthur this guy was so badass that people did what his boss said, simply not to piss him off… and he was tall.
Tall and imposing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against short people.
Joe Pesci was absolutely terrifying in Goodfellas and again as the same character a few years later in Casino. But I did have a little trouble getting intimidated in The Sopranos watching Artie Bucco get his arm shoved in boiling red sauce by the guy that played Doogie Howser’s sidekick.

But was Luca Brasi the ultimate henchman? I struggle to believe that. In the film we see him put on a bulletproof vest, attempt to infiltrate a rival gang and get strangled… all in the first 20 minutes. Later his vest mailed to his boss with a fish in it as a message that Luca Brasi sleeps with the Fishes.
If you ask me he should have worn a neck brace to the meeting.

But hey… enough of film history for the insane… hope you dig this dish.

INGREDIENTS

Tomato Base
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
    2 clove garlic, chopped rough
    1/2 med onion, chopped rough
    2 carrot chopped rough
    1/2 green pepper chopped rough
    1 Stalk celery, some leaves chopped rough ?
1 Tbsp of chopped fresh basil 
1 Tsp of chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbsp of chopped fresh continental parsley (reserve one for garnish)
A grind black pepper
1 Tsp ground Chipotle Chili Powder (or normal chili powder if you like)
2 Tbsp white wine
1 Tsp of Tabasco
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Worstershire Sauce.
3 cans of Tomato

1 liter of Fish stock (Home made or store bought. If store bought ensure to get salt reduced)

Seafood
.    12 x 20g pieces of Snapper (Cob would be a good alternative)
.    12 Prawns  (Peeled and deveined. Cleaned heads and Shells reserved)
.    12 mussels scrubbed and bearded
.    12 clams scrubbed

METHOD

1.    Okay let’s begin… Chop up garlic, onion, carrots, green pepper and celery.
2.    Heat a heavy pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Put in the vegetables and sauté till soft.
3.    Once soft add oregano, parsley, grind black pepper, ground Chipotle Chili Powder, white wine, Tabasco, red wine vinegar & Worstershire sauce. Finally add 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes.
4.    Cover & Simmer for 45 min stirring every ten min or so.
5.    Once the base is reduced and nice and thick, should be very little liquid cool in the fridge or ice bath and blend until pureed.
6.    Pour the liquid into a drum sieve (if you have one) or normal sieve will do and press through with a plastic pastry scraper.
7.    Reserve the Tomato Base.
8.    If you have made your own fish stock add the prawn heads and shells about 20 min before finished. If you have bought fish stock  heat till almost boiling, reduce to simmer, add prawn shells and heads and infuse for 20 min. Strain and mix together with the Tomato Base.
9.    Now to finish this off…. In a hot pan or pot add to soup mix, bring to boil, reduce heat a little and then add the mussels and clams and fish. These should take about 6 minutes to cook. After four minutes add the prawns.
10.    Once the mussels and clams have opened remove from heat and discard any that have not opened. Have a taste of the soup and season.
11.    Divide up the seafood into the bowls so everyone gets two pieces of everything and ladle the soup over.
12.    Garnish with some chopped continental parsley and a drizzle of Olive Oil and before you know it you and your friends can sleep with the fishes as well…. Enjoy!

Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes

Cioppino with Prawns, Mussels, Clams & Snapper.

Serves Six Wiseguys.

 

I recently developed a menu for a one off Italian American night in Sydney and as with most things I do with food I needed a theme. It did not take me long to come up with one… Mafia films.

 

I had a blast coming up with the names but the one I liked the most was named after one of the most famous lines from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather… Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes. 

 

Luca Brasi was the ultimate muscle and right hand man to Don Vito Corleone. Like Darth Vader to the Emperor or Lancelot to King Arthur this guy was so badass that people did what his boss said, simply not to piss him off… and he was tall.

Tall and imposing.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against short people.

Joe Pesci was absolutely terrifying in Goodfellas and again as the same character a few years later in Casino. But I did have a little trouble getting intimidated in The Sopranos watching Artie Bucco get his arm shoved in boiling red sauce by the guy that played Doogie Howser’s sidekick.

 

But was Luca Brasi the ultimate henchman? I struggle to believe that. In the film we see him put on a bulletproof vest, attempt to infiltrate a rival gang and get strangled… all in the first 20 minutes. Later his vest mailed to his boss with a fish in it as a message that Luca Brasi sleeps with the Fishes.

If you ask me he should have worn a neck brace to the meeting.

 

But hey… enough of film history for the insane… hope you dig this dish.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Tomato Base 

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

   2 clove garlic, chopped rough

   1/2 med onion, chopped rough

   2 carrot chopped rough

   1/2 green pepper chopped rough

   1 Stalk celery, some leaves chopped rough

1 Tbsp of chopped fresh basil  

1 Tsp of chopped fresh oregano

2 Tbsp of chopped fresh continental parsley (reserve one for garnish)

A grind black pepper

1 Tsp ground Chipotle Chili Powder (or normal chili powder if you like)

2 Tbsp white wine

1 Tsp of Tabasco

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Worstershire Sauce.

3 cans of Tomato

 

1 liter of Fish stock (Home made or store bought. If store bought ensure to get salt reduced)

 

Seafood

. 12 x 20g pieces of Snapper

. 12 Prawns  (Peeled and deveined. Cleaned heads and Shells reserved)

. 12 mussels scrubbed and bearded

. 12 clams scrubbed

 

METHOD

 

1. Okay let’s begin… Chop up garlic, onion, carrots, green pepper and celery.

  1. Heat a heavy pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Put in the vegetables and sauté till soft.
  2. Once soft add oregano, parsley, grind black pepper, ground Chipotle Chili Powder, white wine, Tabasco, red wine vinegar & Worstershire sauce. Finally add 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes.
  3. Cover & Simmer for 45 min stirring every ten min or so.
  4. Once the base is reduced and nice and thick, should be very little liquid cool in the fridge or ice bath and blend until pureed.
  5. Pour the liquid into a drum sieve (if you have one) or normal sieve will do and press through with a plastic pastry scraper.
  6. Reserve the Tomato Base.
  7. If you have made your own fish stock add the prawn heads and shells about 20 min before finished. If you have bought fish stock  heat till almost boiling, reduce to simmer, add prawn shells and heads and infuse for 20 min. Strain and mix together with the Tomato Base.
  8. Now to finish this off…. In a hot pan or pot add to soup mix, bring to boil, reduce heat a little and then add the mussels and clams and fish. These should take about 6 minutes to cook. After four minutes add the prawns.
  9. Once the mussels and clams have opened remove from heat and discard any that have not opened. Have a taste of the soup and season.
  10. Divide up the seafood into the bowls so everyone gets two pieces of everything and ladle the soup over.
  11. Garnish with some chopped continental parsley and a drizzle of Olive Oil and before you know it you and your friends can sleep with the fishes as well…. Enjoy!

Hey South Africa….

October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 Food That Rocks

Hey South Africa…. Soooo excited to be able to share some of my ideas and recipes with you, in fact I am honoured. Before my first blog we need to establish some ground rules!

1. Some of my recipes are fun to make at home for your family and friends.
2. Some of my recipes are for dinner parties and when you want to impress.
3. Some of my recipes are just for me and my chance to share the crazy stuff in my brain with everyone….

I love to tell a story with food so normally I will ramble on about an idea that inspired me to make it… you must bear with me.

Above all I am a home cook, just like you and at the end of the day I love to cook, eat and share with the ones I love…. hope you enjoy!

Rock On!


Aaron Harvie
Aaron