Friday, 18 May 2018

Orecchiette with turnip tops, bacon and lemon

04:05 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 4-6 // PREP TIME 15 MINS // COOK 15 MINS

Cime di rapa is a beautiful variety of turnip bred for its greens and mildly bitter, broccoli-like flower buds, rather than its roots. If you can’t find cime di rapa, the green tops of Japanese turnips are a great substitute. We’ve had adventures making orecchiette, the traditional accompaniment for cime di rapa, in our kitchen, and our 10-year-old, Heidi, was the only one to master the technique of scraping tiny bits of dough with the back of a knife to make the ‘little ears’. In the absence of a handy 10-year-old, dried orecchiette is a great idea.

Orecchiette with turnip tops, bacon and lemon

Orecchiette with turnip tops, bacon and lemon ingredients


  • 500 gm dried orecchiette
  • 200 gm streaky bacon rashers,
  • thinly sliced
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely
  • chopped
  • 1 bunch cime di rapa
  • (see note), thinly sliced
  • Finely grated rind of
  • 1 lemon, plus lemon
  • wedges to serve
  • 20 gm finely grated parmesan


Orecchiette with turnip tops, bacon and lemon preparations


  1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-15 minutes). Drain, reserving a little water. 
  2. Meanwhile, fry bacon with 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan over low heat, stirring often and increasing heat to high once fat has rendered, until crisp (5-6 minutes). Remove from pan, reduce heat to low, then add garlic to pan and fry until fragrant (1 minute). Add cime di rapa and enough reserved pasta water to loosen sauce (about 2-3 tbsp), then cook until greens are just wilted (1 minute). Add lemon rind and season to taste, then add drained pasta, bacon and remaining oil, toss to combine and divide among bowls. Top with parmesan and serve with lemon wedges. 


Note: Cime di rapa, also known as broccoli raab, may need to be ordered from greengrocers. Substitute kale, cavolo nero or Japanese turnip tops.

Wine suggestion: Barrelmatured sauvignon blanc.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Silverbeet rolls

01:47 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
MAKES ABOUT 14 ROLLS // PREP TIME 25 MINS // COOK 1 HR 20 MINS

Silverbeet is the workhorse of the vegetable patch. Come rain or shine, cabbage moths or blight, the silverbeet just keeps growing,. We grow a variety called fordhook giant with deep green leaves and thick white stems; each part of the plant is delicious. When I’d had my first baby and thought I’d die of starvation if I had to eat another bite of hospital food my mum arrived with a tray of these silverbeet rolls and I think they saved my life. A complete meal in one small dish.

Silverbeet rolls

Silverbeet rolls ingredients


  • 50 gm (¼ cup) long-grain rice
  • 2 bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500 gm coarsely minced beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp thyme, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • Leaves from 1 bunch of silverbeet (about 10) stalks removed
  • 400 ml tomato passata
  • 100 ml beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Steamed rice and chopped
  • flat-leaf parsley (both optional), to serve

Silverbeet rolls preparation


  1. Cook rice in a large saucepan of boiling water until par-boiled (5 minutes). Drain well and set aside.
  2. Add bacon and onion to a frying pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until fat renders and onion is softened (10-12 minutes). Add garlic, stir to combine, then cool completely. Add beef, egg, thyme, mustard, paprika and ½ cup cooked rice, season to taste and combine well, then refrigerate until required.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place silverbeet leaves in a large colander placed in the sink. Pour boiling water over the leaves, lifting them out of the colander with tongs as they collapse. Cool under cold running water, then gently squeeze out excess water. Cut larger leaves in half.
  4. Spread each leaf flat on a work surface, spoon about ¼-cup mince mixture onto the top of each leaf, then roll to enclose filling, tucking the sides over as you go. Transfer to a small roasting pan, seam-side down (the rolls should fit snugly). Combine passata, stock, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves in a jug, season to taste and pour it over rolls. Cover with foil and bake until cooked (50 minutes to 1 hour). Top with extra thyme or chopped parsley and serve with rice. 
Beer suggestion: A pint of dark ale.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Squished apple tart

04:13 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 6-8 // PREP TIME 15 MINS // COOK 30 MINS

Pastry, caramelised apple and ice-cream is a combination that’s pretty hard to beat. This is more or less a fine apple tart, but the apple goes just that bit further to become almost like an apple-sauce topping.

Squished apple tart

Squished apple tart ingredients


  • Half a 375gm sheet of butter puff pastry
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and halved
  • 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 10 gm unsalted butter
  • Vanilla ice-cream, to serve

Squished apple tart preparation


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick rectangle and cut out a 20cm x 30cm rectangle. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, top with a sheet of baking paper and another tray. Bake until golden and crisp (18-22 minutes). 
  2. Meanwhile, cut apple halves into 2mm-thick slices with a mandolin and arrange in rows on an oven tray lined with baking paper to form a rectangle the same size as the pastry (trim edges). Sprinkle 50gm sugar over apple and dot with butter, then bake until apple softens (8-10 minutes).
  3. Top apple with pastry, another sheet of baking paper and an oven tray, flip over so the tart is inverted with the apple on top, then weight top with a small ovenproof saucepan and bake until apple is soft and pastry is crisp. (8-10 minutes). Remove from oven, then remove top tray and baking paper.
  4. Heat oven grill to high. Dust tart with remaining sugar, cover edges with foil to prevent burning, and grill until caramelised (1-3 minutes). Cut tart into slices and serve with ice-cream.


Note: We’ve used Carême puf pastry. Remaining pastry can be reserved for another use.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Lemon buttermilk tart

07:03 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 10-12 // PREP TIME 20 MINS // COOK 50 MINS (PLUS RESTING, COOLING)

A fresh spin on a custard tart that’s rich but kept in line by the sourness of lemons and buttermilk. Pâte sablée can be difficult to work with if it warms up; if it is a warm day, consider rolling the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper, then chilling it briefly again before lining the tin.

Lemon buttermilk tart

Lemon buttermilk tart ingredients


  • 400 ml well-shaken buttermilk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 90 gm butter, melted and cooled
  • Finely grated rind of 1½ lemons, plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 40 gm (½ cup) roasted flaked almonds, to serve
  • Pure icing sugar, for dusting

PÂTE SABLÉE


  • 250 gm (1⅔ cups) plain flour
  • 60 gm pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 200 gm chilled butter, diced
  • 2 egg yolks, plus 1 beaten eggwhite for brushing

Lemon buttermilk tart preparation


  1. For pâte sablée, place flour on a work surface, add sugar and butter and rub in butter with your fingertips until coarse crumbs form. Add yolks, 2 tbsp iced water and a pinch of salt and lightly knead with the heel of your hand until the pastry just comes together. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (2 hours). Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm-thick round and line a 28cm-diameter loose-bottomed fluted tart tin, then refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Blind-bake tart until golden on the edges (15-20 minutes), remove paper and weights and bake until golden and crisp (5-7 minutes), then brush base with eggwhite, bake for 1 minute to seal, then reserve until required.
  3. Meanwhile, blend buttermilk, yolks, sugar, butter, lemon rind and juice, flour, vanilla and ¾ tsp salt in a food processor until combined. Transfer to a jug and allow foam to settle (20-30 minutes), then skim foam from top and discard. 
  4. Reduce oven to 175°C. Place tart base on an oven tray, transfer to oven, then carefully pour buttermilk mixture into tart case and bake until just set with a slight wobble in the centre (20-25 minutes). Set aside to cool to room temperature (1½-2 hours), then top with flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Lemon delicious pudding

00:18 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 4-6 // PREP TIME 20 MINS // COOK 50 MINS

Mum always focused on ensuring her four children had very nutritious meals, we grew up eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetable from the local market. She was an inspiration to me, a practical cook who planned well and kept to a tight budget. Nutrition was the focus at home, we didn’t have a pantry of lollies, biscuits or anything sweet. If we were still hungry after dinner, Mum’s catchphrase was ‘have an apple’, which I now say to my son. Although treats were rare, on occasion she did make this family favourite pudding.

Lemon delicious pudding

Lemon delicious pudding ingredients


  • 60 gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, plus 150ml juice (from about 3-4 lemons)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 60 gm self-raising flour
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) milk
  • Pure icing sugar and pouring cream, to serve

Lemon delicious pudding preparation


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Beat butter, sugar and lemon rind in an electric mixer until pale (2-3 minutes). Add yolks, one at a time, beating well to combine between each addition, add flour, then gradually add milk, mixing until a smooth batter forms. Scrape down sides of bowl and stir in lemon juice. Transfer batter to a bowl and clean and dry mixer bowl thoroughly.
  2. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form, then gradually add to batter, gently folding in until well combined. Pour into a 1.5-litre ceramic dish, place in a deep baking tray, transfer to oven, then fill tray with enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of dish.
  3. Bake until risen and golden brown on top (40-50 minutes). Cool briefly (5 minutes), then dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.

Wine suggestion: Sweet German auslese riesling

Broccoli soup and cheesy toast

00:03 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 30 MINS // COOK 30 MINS

I don’t have many food memories from when I was young, but one recipe that Mum used to make a lot was a good broccoli and potato soup with a very bastardised Welsh rarebit.

Broccoli soup and cheesy toast

Broccoli soup and cheesy toast ingredients


  • 2 tbsp neutral oil, such as grapeseed or rice-bran oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500 gm (about 2) sebago potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 700 gm (about 2 small heads) broccoli, thinly sliced (cores and thick stalks kept separately)
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • Sour cream, extra-virgin olive oil and finely chopped chives, to serve

CHEESY TOASTS


  • 100 gm (1 cup) coarsely grated cheddar or Gruyère
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 thick slices soft white or wholemeal sandwich bread

Broccoli soup and cheesy toast ingredients preparation


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add leek, celery and garlic and stir occasionally until translucent (4-5 minutes). Add potato, broccoli cores and thick stalks and stock to just cover, season to taste and simmer until very soft (20-25 minutes). Add broccoli florets and finer stalks, simmer until just cooked (2-3 minutes), then blend with a hand-held blender until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, for cheesy toasts, preheat oven to 220°C. Combine cheese, sauces and egg in a bowl, and season lightly to taste. Spread onto bread, transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden and bubbling (10-12 minutes). Cut into fingers. 
  3. Season soup to taste, divide among bowls, and top with a spoon of sour cream, chives and a drizzle of oil. Serve hot with cheesy toasts. 

Wine suggestion: Golden bottle-aged Barossa sémillon.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Chicken curry with pickled pineapple

05:28 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 1 HR // COOK 1 HR (PLUS PICKLING, MARINATING)

Chicken curry with accompaniments was the equivalent of a roast dinner in our family when I was growing up. The scent of all the spices and aromatics, which were pounded in a mortar and pestle, would waft out of the kitchen, and it would seem an age before we got to sit down to enjoy it.

Chicken curry with pickled pineapple

Chicken curry with pickled pineapple ingredients


  • 1 chicken (about 1.5kg), jointed into 12 pieces
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 15 gm (about 3cm) ginger
  • 1 tsp belacan, roasted (see note)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 star anise
  • 450 gm (about 3 small) sebago potatoes, quartered
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  • 3 tsp grated palm sugar, or to taste
  • Steamed rice, to serve

PICKLED PINEAPPLE


  • 10 small garlic cloves
  • 5 long red chillies, chopped
  • 30 gm (about 6cm) ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 30 gm (about 6cm) galangal, finely grated
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 125 ml (½ cup) canola oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 ripe pineapple (about
  • 1kg), cut into 2cm pieces

CURRY POWDER


  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 4 dried red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

Chicken curry with pickled pineapple preparation


  1. For pickled pineapple, blend garlic, chilli, ginger, galangal, lemongrass and turmeric in a small food processor until smooth, adding a little oil to loosen if necessary. Heat oil in a saucepan over low heat and fry paste until it darkens slightly (20 minutes), then stir in vinegar, sugar and 1 tsp salt. Remove from heat and cool, then add pineapple, stir to coat, and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour).
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. For curry powder, dry-roast ingredients (except chillies peppercorns and turmeric) until fragrant (10 minutes). Finely grind chillies with a mortar and pestle, add roasted spices and peppercorns, finely grind, then stir in turmeric.
  3. Place chicken in a large bowl, rub with 1 tbsp curry powder and 1 tsp salt and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pound onion, garlic, ginger and belacan to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and fry paste until fragrant and onion is cooked out (5-6 minutes). Add lemongrass, star anise and remaining curry powder and fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add chicken and 250ml water, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is half-cooked (15 minutes). Add potato, coconut milk and curry leaves, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potato is tender and chicken is cooked (25-30 minutes). Season with salt and palm sugar and serve with rice and pineapple pickle. Note Belacan is a shrimp paste available from Asian grocers. To roast it, wrap it in foil and roast in a 180°C oven for 10 minutes. 


Wine suggestion: Fully mature bottle-aged Eden Valley riesling.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Potato gnocchi with tuco

05:15 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 45 MINS // COOK TIME 3 HRS 15 MINS

Tuco is an Argentinian tomato sauce with either chicken or beef, it’s light and a little watery.

Potato gnocchi with tuco

Potato gnocchi with tuco ingredients


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 2 small chicken Marylands (about 250gm each)
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 800 gm canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock or water
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 700 gm (about 3-4) Dutch cream potatoes, scrubbed
  • 100 gm (2/3 cup) plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Grated parmesan, to serve


Potato gnocchi with tuco preparation


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides (2-3 minutes each side), then add remaining oil and the onion, garlic and carrot and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent (6-8 minutes). Add tomato, stock and bay, season to taste, reduce heat to very low and simmer very gently until chicken is falling from the bone (2-3 hours). Cool briefly, then coarsely shred chicken meat, discarding skin and bones, and season to taste. Break up tomatoes with a spoon. 
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170°C. Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork, then roast on a baking tray lined with baking paper until they can be easily pierced all the way through with a skewer (1¼-1½ hours). While still hot, quarter potatoes lengthways, scrape out flesh and press through a fine sieve into a bowl. Weigh out 400gm potato then mix with flour, eggs and nutmeg and season to taste with salt, being careful not to overmix. Divide dough into 4, and roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a thin log, about 2cm wide. Cut into 2cm lengths, lightly dust with flour and roll each piece down the back of a fork, pressing lightly to form gnocchi. Transfer to a lightly floured tray.
  3. Cook gnocchi in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until they float (1 minute). Gently transfer to sauce with a slotted spoon, toss to coat, then top with parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil to serve. 


Wine suggestion: Medium bodied red bonarda from Mendoza.

Mum’s lasagne

00:59 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 6-8 // PREP TIME 1 HR // COOK 1½ HRS (PLUS COOLING)

Mum’s lasagne takes me back to when I was young. We’d spend Sundays rolling pasta and making the ragù. It’s one of the first dishes I learnt to cook. Thanks Mum! This can also be made with bought fresh lasagne sheets.

Mum’s lasagne

Mum’s lasagne ingredients


  • 1 kg coarsely minced beef
  • 500 gm coarsely minced pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tsp rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into
  • 1cm dice
  • ½ cinnamon quill
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 80 ml red wine
  • 500 ml (2 cups) tomato passata
  • 1 large eggplant, cut lengthways into 1cm slices
  • 60 gm (¾ cup) coarsely grated parmesan
  • Green salad (optional), to serve

PASTA


  • 300 gm “00” flour
  • 3 eggs

MORNAY SAUCE


  • 75 gm butter
  • 75 gm (½ cup) plain flour
  • 750 ml (3 cups) milk
  • 150 gm (1¼ cups) coarsely grated cheddar cheese

Mum’s lasagne preparation


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Combine beef and pork mince, garlic, rosemary and chilli in a large bowl and season to taste. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add half the mince and cook, stirring to break it up, until golden brown (4-6 minutes). Remove from pan and repeat with another 1 tbsp oil and remaining mince, then set aside. Heat remaining oil in the same pan over medium heat, add onion, carrot and celery and stir until softened and starting to brown (6-8 minutes). Add wine and simmer until reduced by half (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a large baking dish, add mince, spices (Breen ties them in a muslin bundle) and passata and stir to combine. Season to taste, then bake, stirring halfway through cooking, until thickened and well flavoured (1 hour). Cool.
  2. Meanwhile for pasta, combine flour and a large pinch of salt on a work surface and make a well. Add eggs, beat with your hands or a fork, then slowly incorporate flour. Once combined, knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Wrap in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Working with half the dough at a time, roll through a pasta machine on the widest setting a few times, folding as you go, to laminate the dough, dusting with a little flour to prevent sticking. Continue rolling and folding, reducing settings notch by notch until pasta is 1.5mm thick. Cut into 20cm lengths and transfer to a lightly floured tray. Blanch in a large saucepan of boiling salted water (30 seconds), drain, and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzling with oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Blanch eggplant in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender (2-3 minutes).
  4. For mornay, melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and cook, whisking, until sandy coloured (2-3 minutes). Gradually whisk in milk until smooth, then cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in cheddar. 
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Layer a third of the ragù (discard spices) into a 30cm-diameter round baking dish or a 25cm x 35cm baking dish. Add a third of the eggplant and a layer of pasta (trim to fit). Top with a third of mornay sauce, then repeat layering twice, finishing with a layer of mornay sauce. Top with parmesan, cover tightly with foil and bake until hot and bubbling (45-50 minutes). Increase oven to 200°C, uncover and bake until golden brown (20-25 minutes). Cool briefly and serve with salad. 

Wine suggestion: Gutsy red aglianico from Campania.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Andalusian spinach and chickpeas

00:31 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 35 MINS // COOK 1 HR 10 MINS (PLUS SOAKING)

I love Mum’s Andalusian spinach and chickpea stew, because to me it’s comfort food, it’s like sausages and mash for other people,. The flavours you remember from childhood are the ones that stick with you. Even now I can’t make it exactly the same as she can, and still look forward to a massive plate of it made by her. Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the chickpeas.

Andalusian spinach and chickpeas

Andalusian spinach and chickpeas ingredients


  • 170 gm dried chickpeas (see note)
  • 20 gm butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 800 gm (about 2 bunches) spinach, trimmed
  • 1½ tbsp sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground dry-roasted cumin seeds
  • 1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and crusty bread (optional), to serve

PICADA DE PAN


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 thick slices day-old dense country-style bread, crusts removed (about 100gm)

Andalusian spinach and chickpeas preparation


  1. Soak chickpeas in 1 litre of water in a large bowl. overnight. Drain, transfer to large saucepan of water, bring to the boil, add 250ml cold water, bring back to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, topping up water as necessary until tender (40 minutes to 1 hour). Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Cool.
  2. For picada de pan, heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant (2-3 minutes), then add bread, season to taste, and cook, turning halfway, until golden (2-3 minutes). Transfer bread and garlic to paper towels to drain and cool briefly, then tear bread into small pieces and remove skins from garlic. Pound bread and garlic with a mortar and pestle until large but even breadcrumbs. Add 50gm cooked chickpeas, 60ml reserved cooking liquid and season to taste with sea salt, then pound to break up chickpeas. Add another 50gm cooked chickpeas, and another 1-2 tbsp cooking liquid and pound to the consistency of coarsely mashed potato.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and stir until light golden (1 minute), then add spinach and turn with tongs until wilted (2 minutes). Increase heat to high, add chickpeas and 400ml cooking liquid and cook, stirring occasionally and crushing a few of the chickpeas into the spinach, until heated through (5-6 minutes). Add 125gm picada de pan (reserve remainder; it’s great with eggs) and spices, season to taste and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened and creamy (5-7 minutes), then stir in sherry vinegar. Drizzle with oil and serve with bread. 


Note: We use Ord River chickpeas, available from select delicatessens and greengrocers.

Wine suggestion: Leathery old red Rioja.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Pan-fried bananas with salted maple caramel and vanilla ice-cream

05:32 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
This dessert of nut-brown bananas and no-fuss salted caramel has any sweet cravings sorted. Better yet, it’s all made in the one pan.

Pan-fried bananas with salted maple caramel and vanilla ice-cream

Pan-fried bananas ingredients


  • 80 gm butter
  • 4 slightly underripe bananas, halved lengthways
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) maple syrup
  • 20 ml whiskey
  • 50 ml thickened cream
  • Vanilla ice-cream and coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts, to serve

Pan-fried bananas preparation


  1. Melt 60gm butter in a large, deep frying pan over medium high heat. In batches, add bananas, cut-side down, and pan-fry, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Remove from pan and wipe pan clean. 
  2. Simmer maple syrup in the same pan over medium-high heat until caramelised (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, swirl in 20gm butter and ½ tsp sea salt, then add whiskey and cream and swirl to combine (be careful, hot caramel may spit). Add bananas and return to heat to warm through, then serve topped with vanilla ice-cream and peanuts

Snapper with broccolini and nori-miso butter

05:23 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
Miso butter is good, but miso butter with roasted nori, sesame and ginger is better. It works wonders with pan-fried snapper here, but serve it with any kind of fish, or on steak or roasted vegetables.

Snapper with broccolini and nori-miso butter

Snapper with broccolini and nori-miso butter ingredients


  • 525 gm (3 bunches) broccolini, trimmed
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 pink snapper fillets (about 180gm each),skin on, pin-boned
  • Grapeseed or other neutral-flavoured oil, for drizzling
  • 1 spring onion, cut into julienne
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

NORI-MISO BUTTER


  • 2 nori sheets
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 150 gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 30 gm shiro (white) miso paste
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Snapper with broccolini and nori-miso butter preparation


  1. For nori-miso butter, gently toast nori sheets over an open flame until crisp (5-10 seconds). Cool briefly (1-2 minutes), then tear into pieces and transfer to a food processor. Process until finely chopped (1-2 minutes), then combine with remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and heat gently to melt butter. Keep warm.
  2. Cook broccolini in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (2-3 minutes). Drain, toss with sesame oil and season to taste. 
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Pat snapper dry with paper towels, then drizzle with grapeseed oil and season to taste. Add to pan skin side-down, top with a piece of baking paper, weight with a heavy pan, and fry until skin is crisp (2 minutes). Turn over and fry until snapper is just cooked through (1-2 minutes). Divide broccolini and snapper among plates, spoon over nori-miso butter, top with spring onion and serve with lemon wedges.