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Faux Pho

Long wait time, but they say ‘patience is a virtue’…

2.5kg soup beef bones
10cm ginger, rough slice skin on
4 small onions, peeled and halved
8 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
6 star anise
1 tablespoon palm sugar (brown sugar can be substituted)
400g roughly diced casserole beef
1/3 cup of fish sauce
1 large cinnamon stick
Stalks from a bunch of coriander, rinsed

Bring to the boil with 6 litres of water. Reduce to a simmer for 2 hours. Remove meat and bones. Simmer for a further 90 minutes. Strain. Skim when cool.

To serve, reheat stock.

Please cooked rice noodles in a bowl. Garnish with very thinly sliced steak, bean shoots, shredded coriander, spring onion, Vietnamese mint. Pour the hot broth over. Enjoy

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You will need
Lamb shoulder or butterflied leg of lamb
2 heads of garlic
Loads of fresh rosemary
1/2 cup of water
New potatoes
Harissa spice paste
Thick Greek yogurt
1 clove of freshly minced garlic
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper
Freshly chopped parsley.
Baby rocket leaves
Cucumber – seeds removed

The night before -
Generously lather the lamb with Harissa paste.
Store in fridge

Takes at least 4 hours in the oven

Preheat oven as high as it will go

Prepare the oven dish
Line with foil then baking paper
Lay a thick bed of fresh rosemary at the bottom of the dish.
Scatter whole cloves from an entire bulb of garlic
Lay the lamb on top – it should still be thickly covered with the Harissa paste
Scatter the potatoes around the meat
Cover meat with another layer of fresh rosemary and another layer of cloves of garlic from a whole bulb
Pour in the water
Tightly seal around the entire tray with foil so that no liquid or steam can escape
Put in the oven – leave at hottest temperature for 20 minutes
Then turn the oven down to 160degrees Celsius and cook for 4-5 hours

In the meantime prepare a salad of fresh rocket and deseeded cucumber.
Mix Greek yogurt, 1 minced clove of garlic, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil l, drizzle with pomegranate molasses.

After you remove the lamb from the oven. Don’t touch it! Don’t remove the foil! Let it all rest for 20 minutes.
Then…
Remove foil, put the potatoes in a serving dish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Place lamb on a serving plate, shred with 2 forks.

Serve – in a tortilla, or a fresh breadroll, with the leaves and a good dollop of yogurt dressing.

Wow! What an out-of-body dining euphoria!

 

The beautiful view from our table.

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The elegant table.  Caramelized butter and fresh Kalamata olive and rosemary rolls.

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A tiny bite to start – tuna belly crudites

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A UFO like display – 4 textures of mushrooms with herbed gnocchi and a trio of heirloom cauliflower,

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Three textures of beef on a caramelized artichoke puree.

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Rach’s smoked salmon arrived in a polished stone pond of liquid nitrogen.

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A tiny sweet bite.

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I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for my grandma Rosa’s cooking after eating Danielle Goldman’s apple cake and she was kind enough to share the recipe with me.

Polish Apple Cake

4 eggs

2 1/2 cups of sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup ricebran oil (keeps it so moist!)

3/4 cup of orange juice

3 cups of SIFTED self raising flour

 

In a bowl, prepare

5 granny smith apples – peeled, cored, and sliced (or if you’re in a rush – 800g tin of pie apples)

2 tbsp of brown sugar

1 tsp of cinnamon

 

Preheat over – 180 degrees Celsius

 

Using an electric beater – mix the eggs and sugar.

Gradually add the oil, orange juice, and flour.

Grease a cake tin and line with baking paper.

Pour in HALF the batter.

Scatter the apples.

Pour in the remaining batter.

Sprinkle additional brown sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 90 minutes (you may need to cover with foil after 1 hour to prevent the top from burning)

This dish was inspired by one of Nigella’s Express recipes

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75 grams sesame seeds
250 grams soba noodles
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
5 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
5 spring onions

Method:
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a high heat until they look golden brown, and tip them into a bowl.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add some salt. Put in the soba noodles and cook them according to packet instructions until they are tender but not mushy.

Have a bowl of iced water waiting to plunge them into after draining.

In the bowl you are going to serve them in, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and oil. Then finely slice the spring onions and put them into the bowl with the cooled, drained noodles and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.

Leave the sesame seed noodles for about half an hour to let the flavours develop.

I served them with seared tuna belly. Coated with black pepper and sesame seeds. Pan sear for a few seconds on all sides. Slice as thinly as possible to serve atop the noodles.

Gnocchi

Serves 3 for mains (4 for entree)

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4 small or 2 large mashing potatoes
Boil in their skin until tender
When cool, peel off skin
Press through a potato ricer (or sieve for a super fine mash)

In a large bowl mix:
100g OO flour
50g ricotta
Zest of half a lemon (super fine)
2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan

Then add the potato purée

Whisk up one egg separately then gently fold through the mix with a fork

Dust your surface with flour
Roll in to long snakes, the width of your thumb
Cut in to little pillows (you can make an indent with your thumb, poke them with a fork, or leave them as is)

Toss in to salted, boiling water
Remove from the water when they have risen to the surface – this only takes a few seconds

You can serve them many ways
The most popular is to toss them in to a pan of butter until golden with crispy sage

The first time I melted butter with a hint of garlic, fried off the gnocchi and sprinkled with a few leaves of fresh time, served with wilted spinach and lashings of Parmesan.

Here is what I tried next – burnt butter with sage, wilted spinach, roast pumpkin, toasted walnuts, Parmesan.

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Fruit base
Peel and core 3 pears, 1cm chunks
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons of mixed spice

Pudding cake
250g meadow lea margarine
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups white wings gluten free self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons of Demerara sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 160degrees
Mix fruit base ingredients together at the bottom of a lasagna dish

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer
Cream eggs and sugar until pale.
Add margarine and vanilla, beat until smooth before adding the milk.
Finally incorporate the gluten free flour.

Pour over the fruit base in the lasagna dish and smooth over.
Sprinkle evenly with the Demerara sugar.
Bake for 1 hour until golden and cooked all the way through.

Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream (blue ribbon buttermilk would be my choice) and it’s pleasant with a mint and berry salad on the side.

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