Wednesday 27 June 2012

SLOW COOKING fever hits the food dept. It's winter here and the kitchen is the place to be. So cook up some gorgeous slow roasted lamb or maybe follow the hot new trend and do a pork slider.

Vietnamese pulled pork sliders with Asian slaw
Makes 24 sliders
Roasted meat sliders are the hot new food trend to pop up in café's and truckstops all over Sydney, could this be a worldwide trend? Our version is like a mini pork roast in a sweet soft roll, so serve up these cute little sliders at your next party.

• 1 onion, roughly diced
• 1 x 2kg skinless pork shoulder
• 1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 tablespoons grated ginger
• ½ cup char siu sauce
• ½ cup rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 24 small brioche buns or small bread rolls
• extra, char siu, for serving
1 quantity Asian slaw

1. Sprinkle the onion over the base of a slow cooker and place the piece of pork on top. If the pork is too large for your cooker it can be cut in half. Add the lemon grass.
2. In a jug, combine the garlic, ginger, char sui sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar, stir to combine, pour over the pork and cover the slow cooker.
3. Turn the slow cooker onto low and cook for 8 hours. When cooked the pork should just fall off the bone. Place onto a large tray that will collect the juices and gently tease and pull the meat apart with your fingers or 2 forks. Before returning the pork to the juices, skim any excess fat. Return the pork to the slow cooker and toss through the pan juices. Cover and keep warm.
4. Slice open buns and lightly toast, top with a spoonful of the pulled pork mixture. Drizzle with a small amount of char siu sauce if desired and spoon on some Asian slaw. Serve immediately.

food dept fact: If you don’t have a slow cooker, place pork into a baking dish and cover tightly with foil, bake in a low oven 110°C (225°F) for 8 hours. Extra pulled pork and can be frozen in its juices for up 3 months.

Asian slaw 

• 2 cups finely shredded wombok cabbage
• 1 small carrot, peeled and shredded or finely grated
• 6 snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
• ½ cup coriander leaves
• ½ cup mint leaves
• 2 green shallots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
• ¼ cup rice vinegar
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 small red chilli, seeded and finely diced

1. In a large mixing bowl toss together cabbage, carrot, snow peas, herbs and shallots.
2. Combine rice vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, garlic and chilli in a jar and shake until sugar has dissolved.
3. Just before serving toss the dressing through the slaw ingredients and use as required.

12 hour roast Moroccan lamb and quince served with toasted Israeli couscous with pistachio and preserved lemon
Serves 4 – 6

• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoons ground ginger
• ½ teaspoon saffron threads
• ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 x 1.5 – 1.7 kg lamb shoulder
• 3 quinces, peeled, quartered and cored
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 quantity Toasted Israeli couscous with pistachios and preserved lemon

1. Combine the onion, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, saffron, pepper and olive oil in a processor and process to form a paste.
2. Rub the paste onto the lamb shoulder and place into a non-reactive bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 – 24 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 110°C (225°F). To bake the lamb, make a large bag out of baking paper and place the lamb shoulder and quinces into the bag in a baking dish. You could also place the lamb and quinces in an oven bag or simply cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 12 hours.
4. Remove the lamb and quinces from the baking dish place onto a serving platter and spoon over any pan juices, drizzle over honey and serve with the Toasted Israeli couscous.

Toasted Israeli couscous with pistachios and preserved lemon
Serves 4 – 6

• ½ cup raw pistachios
• 40g butter
• 1 onion, finely diced
• 1 ½ cups Israeli couscous
• 2 ½ cups chicken stock
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
• 2 tablespoons finely julienned preserved lemon

1. Toast pistachio nuts in a large saucepan over a medium heat until brown, remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in the saucepan and sauté the onion until golden, add the couscous, cinnamon and bay leaf, continue stirring until couscous has slightly browned.
3. Pour over the chicken stock and simmer until couscous is tender and the stock has been absorbed, season to taste.
4. Stir through the parsley, preserved lemon and pistachios. Use as required.

Rabbit and porcini ragout with papperdelle and fried sage leaves
Serves 4 – 6

• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 100g speck, finely diced
• ½ small leek, finely diced
• 1 small carrot, finely diced
• 1 small stick celery, finely diced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1.2kg rabbit, cut in to 6 pieces  – ask your butcher to cut this for you
• 20g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in ½ cup boiling water
• 1 large field mushroom, finely diced
• 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
• 2 cups good quality chicken stock
• 6 sage leaves
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 stalk rosemary
• 500g fresh papperdelle pasta
• extra, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• extra 18, sage leaves
• optional, ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat olive oil a large, heavy based, casserole dish over and a medium heat and sauté speck for 3-4 minutes. Add the leek, carrot and celery and sauté
for another 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Move the leek, carrot and celery mixture to the sides of the pan and brown
the rabbit pieces well on all sides.
3. While the rabbit is browning, drain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the soaking water. Finely chop the porcini and once the rabbit is browned,
add with the soaking water to the casserole dish.  
4. Add the field mushroom, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, sage, bay leaf and rosemary.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 2 ½ - 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bones. Once cooked remove the rabbit pieces from the casserole dish and carefully pull the meat off the bone, shred into bite size pieces. Return the meat to the pan and season to taste.
5. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water til al dente.
6. While the pasta is cooking heat the extra olive oil in a small shallow pan over a medium heat. Fry the extra sage leaves until crispy and drain on paper towel.
7. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Toss ragout through the pasta, adding a little of the cooking water if needed to loosen the pasta. Serve topped with fried sage leaves and parmesan cheese to your liking.

food dept fact: You can substitute 6 chicken thighs on the bone in place of the rabbit pieces.

Slow roasted tomato and capsicum soup with sour dough croutons
Serves 4
Rich and bursting with flavour, this little red engine soup may take a little longer to cook than a regular soup, but don't be surprised if it is quickly slurped up!

• 1kg ripe tomatoes
• 2 red capsicum, halved and seeds removed
• 2 large red chilli, halved and seeded
• 2 red onions peeled and quartered
• 8 small cloves garlic, leave the skin on
• olive oil, for drizzling
• sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
• 2-2 ½ cups good quality chicken stock
• extra, 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ½ sour dough loaf, crust removed and torn into 3cm crouton pieces
• olive oil and black pepper, for serving
• optional, 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F) Arrange the tomatoes, capsicum, chilli, onion, and garlic cloves in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste
with the salt and pepper.
2. Bake for 1½ hours or until the tomatoes and capsicum are charred and softened. 
3. Place into a large saucepan with the chicken stock and using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Bring to a slow boil over a medium heat, reduce heat and cover to keep warm.
4. Increase oven to 200°C (400°C). Place croutons and extra olive oil in a bowl and toss until the bread is coated in the oil.  Place onto a lined oven tray and bake for 10 minutes or until bread is golden and crispy.
5. Serve soup in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with black pepper and serve topped
with sour dough croutons and parmesan if desired.

Crisp roast pork hock with spiced red cabbage and apple horseradish
Serves 4
This recipe from Jane Lawson is just so good we just had to include it in our slow story. Jane's beautiful cook book, Snowflakes and Schnapps, is a treasured favourite, not just because of the yummy recipes but the styling is divine too.

• 4 x 750g (1 lb 10 oz) fresh pork hocks from the hind legs, lightly scored around the hock
• 2 tablespoons sea salt
Spiced red cabbage
• 60g (2¼ oz) butter
• 1 red onion, finely sliced
• 1.5kg (3 lb 5 oz/about ½ large head) red cabbage, thickly shredded
• 65g (2½ oz/½ cup) dried cranberries
• 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and grated 6 juniper berries
• 60ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) red wine
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon ground allspice
Apple horseradish
• 65g (2½ oz/¼ cup) apple sauce

• 2 tablespoons bottled horseradish

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Place a large wire rack in a roasting tin. Stand the hocks upright on the rack, balancing them against each other with the small end pointing up. Rub well with sea salt. Cook for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3). Pour a small amount of water under the rack and cook for 1 hour further.
2. Increase the temperature back to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7) and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the pork is very tender, dark golden and crispy. Remove from the oven, cover, and rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
3. While the hocks are cooking, make the spiced red cabbage. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cabbage and stir for 10 minutes, or until the cabbage has wilted slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the allspice, and stir to combine.
4. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and there is very little liquid left. Stir in the allspice and season to taste. turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
5. For the apple horseradish, combine the apple sauce and horseradish and mix well. Set aside.
6. Serve the hocks on top of some cabbage with the apple horseradish sauce on the side.
tip: this dish is perfect with smooth mashed potatoes whipped together with a good dollop of mild, savoury mustard and some tender steamed green beans or spinach.

Dinosaur designs white platter Earth Art Range Medium Temple plate 
20 hour apple cake with spiced crème anglaise
Serves 6 - 8
10 hours in the oven and 10 hours resting definitely seems like an eternity but when the apple cake is baking all you have to do is relax and wait or maybe make some spiced crème anglaise to have with them. It’s definitely worth the wait!

• 6 granny smith apples
• 6 Fuji apples
• ¼ cup caster sugar
• 40g butter, melted
• 1 quantity Spiced crème anglais

1. Preheat oven to 110°C (175°F). Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) cake pan.
2. Working with 1 apple at a time, peel and core the apples. Using a mandolin slice the apple on the thinnest setting.
3. Fan the apple slices over the base of the pan. When the base is completely covered with apple lightly brush with the melted butter and sprinkle over a little of the sugar. Repeat with remaining apples (alternating the types of apples), butter and sugar until all is used.
4. Cover with baking paper and then foil, seal tightly. Using a small knife puncture the foil and baking paper about 20 times. Place a smaller cake pan on top of the foil and fill with baking weights or dried beans. Take care not to cover all of the holes you just have punctured.
5. Place on a tray and bake for 10 hours. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack, remove the pan with the pie weights and allow to cool to room temperature. Do not remove the baking paper and foil.
6. Once cool place the pan with the weights back onto the apples and rest in the refrigerator for a further 10 hours. Removes from the refrigerator, uncover and gently run a small paring knife around the edge of the tin. Turn the apples onto a serving platter and cut into wedges, serve with Spiced crème anglaise.

food dept fact: These apples make a delicious tart or pie filling or simply can be served over vanilla ice cream. You could also make in individual ramekins of the apple, cut back the cooking time to 2 – 3 hours.

Spiced crème anglaise
Makes 2½ cups

• 300ml cream
• 300ml milk
• 1 star anise
• 1 cinnamon quill
• 4 free range egg yolks
• ½ cup caster sugar

1. Place the cream, milk and spices in a saucepan, bring to a slow boil over a medium heat, remove from the heat and allow the spices to infuse into the milk for a couple of minites.
2. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk approximately ½ of the spiced milk into the egg mixture.  Return the egg and milk mixture to the remaining milk in the saucepan and whisk well.
3. Place over a low heat and stir the custard until it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil or it will curdle.
4. Once thickened cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and keep warm. Use as required.

A little about Jane's cook book
Snowflakes and Schnapps (Murdoch Books)
From the seaside towns of
 Scandinavia, to the alpine villages
 of Austria, from the ski fields of France, to the fairy-tale castles 
of Germany, and as far afield as the 
white-blanketed cities of Russia and beyond, comes this enticing collection of traditional recipes with contemporary flair. Beautifully designed, Snowflakes and Schnapps features recipes for everyday meals and special occasions, including a Christmas chapter, perfect for Christmas in July celebrations.
Celebrate the season of winter and enjoy this irresistible selection of simmering soups, hearty meals and indulgent desserts that will warm you to the core. from humble and satisfying classics to glamorous feasts worthy of a celebration, you are sure to be inspired by the mythical winter wonderland of Snowflakes and Schnapps.
Available in all good bookshops

the food dept would like to thank our lovely friends who kindly helped us on our slow shoot day
Food assistant: Nicola Mayes
Photography assistant: Lauren Chant

Saturday 2 June 2012

UNDERGROUND EXTRA – create colourful jars of pickled root vegetables with your left over vegies.

Pickled root vegetables
Makes a 6 litre jar or use a variety of smaller jars

• 1 bunch baby purple carrots
• 1 bunch baby yellow carrots
• 1 bunch baby turnips
• 1 bunch radishes
• 1 bunch baby beetroot
• 20 peppercorns
• 10 bay leaves
• 1 litre white vinegar
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 cups water
• 2 teaspoons vanilla salt or 2 teaspoons sea salt and 1 vanilla pod

1. Wash and trim the vegetables, pack into a 6 litre sterilized jar, alternating with the peppercorns and bay leaves.
2. Combine the vinegar, sugar, water and vanilla salt in a large saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until simmering and the sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour the hot vinegar over the vegetables and seal the jar. Allow to cool and then store in the refrigerator until required. Keeps refrigerated for 1 month.

food dept. fact: Thinly slice a selection of the pickles, toss with a handful of salad greens some thinly sliced red onion to make a refreshing and crunchy salad. They make great Christmas or birthday gifts for friends or family.