Friday 27 September 2013

TAKE A BOOTH SEAT at the food dept.'s American diner. A beef burger, cherry cola float and would you like fries with that?

The Food Dept.'s Beef Burger with Spicy Ketchup and Mustard Mayonnaise
This is our take on what you might find in an American diner. Nothing beats a beaut burger! Of course if you want to make it more Aussie you could add beetroot, pineapple and fried egg…
Makes 8 burgers.

• 1 kg freshly minced chuck steak
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped continental parsley
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
• 8 rashers of streaky bacon
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 8 slices Colby cheese
• ½ cup whole egg mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons American mustard
• 8 seeded burger buns, split in half
• 8 oak leaf lettuce leaves, washed
• 2 large vine ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced
• ½ cup Homemade spicy ketchup

1. Combine the mince, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and parsley in a bowl. Using your hands mince the ingredients together and divide onto 8.
2. Gently pass the balls of mince from hand to hand until they form a firm ball. Push the balls down to 2cm thick, season both sides of the patties with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Heat a bbq plate or large frying pan and cook the rashers of bacon until browned and crispy, set aside and keep warm.
4. Add oil to the bbq or pan and cook the burger patties for approximately 5 minutes on each side for medium. Turn and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Remove and put onto a plate, place a slice of cheese on each patty and lightly cover with foil. Allow to rest in a warm place for five minutes.
5. While the burgers are resting combine the mayonnaise and mustard in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
6. Toast the inside of the hamburger buns until golden. Spread the inside of the buns with mustard mayonnaise.
7. Top the bun base with lettuce, slices of tomato and then the beef patty. Top with a rasher of bacon and Homemade spicy ketchup. Serve immediately.

food dept. fact: You can make your own chuck steak mince if you like. Trim any sinew from the chuck steak, leaving the fat. The fat will keep the patties juicy, tender and full of flavour. Cut into 2 cm cubes and freeze for 30 minutes. Pulse in your food processor until coarsely minced. More or less depending on how you like your burgers.

Spicy Homemade Ketchup
This makes a delicious spicy ketchup with smokey flavours from the paprika, but you can also use your favourite  store bought ketchup too.
Makes 800ml.

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 red onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• ½ teaspoon smokey paprika
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• 2 x 400g cans tomatoes
• 1 large red chilli, seeded and chopped (optional)
• 1 x 140g tub tomato paste
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
• 1 bay leaf

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over and medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic  until transparent but not browned.
2. Add the ground spices and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until the spices become fragrant.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes or until thickened to a spoonable consistency, remove the bay leaf and discard.
4. Using a stick blender, blend the ketchup until smooth.  Pour into sterialzed jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

The Food Dept.'s Chips Cooked Three Times with Chipotle, Coriander, and Lime Salt
These tasty chips may not be the traditional diner frogs legs or French fries, but they are definately mighty fine!
Serves 6-8.

• 2 tablespoons salt flakes
finely grated rind, 1 lime
2 tablespoons coriander leaves
1 dried chipotle chilli, or more, to taste
1 kg desiree or bintji potatoes
1 litre vegetable oil

1. To make the flavoured salt, preheat the oven to 150°C (300F)  Combine the salt flakes, lime rind, coriander leaves and chipotle chilli on a lined baking tray.
2. Bake in the oven for 15 minute, turn off the oven and allow to stand in the warm oven until cool.
3. Remove and discard the stem from the chipotle chilli and place the chilli into a small food processor. Process until finely ground, add the salt, lime and coriander leaves and process until all ingredients are ground together.
4. Store in a jar until ready to use, keeps for up to 6 months.
5. To make the fries, peel the potatoes and cut them lengthways into 1½ cm chips.  Rinse well in cold water to remove any excess starch, drain and dry with a clean tea towel.
6. Steam the chips for 15 minutes until the chips are partially cooked. Remove from the steamer, spread onto a lined tray until cool and dry.
7. Heat oil in a wok or large saucepan until 170°C (325F) and fry the chips for 5 minutes, they should not have any colour at this stage. Drain on paper towel.
8. Just before serving reheat the oil to 190°C (375F). Fry the chips in batches until golden brown, drain on paper towel and sprinkle with the chipotle, lime and coriander salt. Serve immediately.

Reuben Sandwich with Spicy Russian Mayonnaise and Garlic and Dill Pickles
Makes 8 Reuben sandwiches.

• 1 x 1.2kg piece corned beef
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
1 onion, halved
1 bay leaf
8 peppercorns
1 whole orange
½ cup whole egg mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chili sauce (vary the quantity to suit your taste and the strength of chilli sauce you have)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
16 slices rye bread, for serving
butter, for spreading
1 packet or 400g can sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 quantity Dill and garlic pickles

1. Rinse the piece of corned beef and pat dry with paper towel. Place the meat into a large pot with the brown sugar, malt vinegar, onion, bay leaf , peppercorns and orange. Add enough water to just cover the meat and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1¼ to 1½ hours or until the meat is tender when tested. Remove form the heat and allow the meat to cool in the cooking liquid.
2. Make the Russian mayonnaise by combining the whole egg mayonnaise with the chilli sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and onion, set aside.
3. Drain the meat, pat dry and remove any fat. Cut the meat into 3-4mm thick slices, set aside.
4. Spread the rye bread slices with butter on one side. Place half of the bread slices butter side down onto a board and spread with the Russian mayonnaise. Divide the meat slices evenly between the sandwiches top with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Spread Russian mayonnaise on the inside of the remaining bread slices and top the sandwiches, butter side out.
5. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and place the sandwiches into the pan.
6. Cook for 7-10 minutes each side or until the rye bread has toasted and the filling is hot. Serve with Dill and garlic pickles.

the food dept. fact: Cook the meat the day before to save time. It is also best to have all of the sandwich fillings at room temperature before assembling, this will make sure that you have a piping hot centre in your Reuben sandwich when its cooked.

Garlic and Dill Pickles
Makes 2 x 500g jars.

• 2 x 250g packets baby cucumber
• iced water
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup dill sprigs
2 cups water
2 tablespoons salt flakes
¼ cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Place the baby cucumbers into a large bowl filled with iced water. Allow the cucumbers to stand for an hour to crisp them so that you get a crunchy pickle.
2. Drain the cucumbers and pack into sterilized jars with garlic slices and dill sprigs.
3. Combine the 2 cups water, salt , vinegar and sugar in a large jug, stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
4. Pour into the jars until the cucumbers are covered.
5. Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before eating and then they will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator

The Food Dept.'s Cherry Vodka Cola Float
Dessert as a drink! What a great way to end a fun ‘diner’ meal.

• 300g fresh or frozen cherries
• 300ml good quality vodka
• vanilla ice cream
• cola

1. Place the frozen cherries into a sterilized jar and pour over the vodka. If the cherries are icey you can give them a quick rinse under cold water to remove any excess ice - you don’t want to water down the vodka.
2. Pour over the vodka and seal the jar, allow to stand in a cool dark place for at least a week, giving the jar a gentle shake every few days.
3. Once the vodka has had a chance to stand for at least a week it is ready to use. Place 2 tablespoons cherry vodka and a few of the cherries into a tall serving glass, add a scoop of ice cream then top with as little or as much cola as you like, we recommend ½ cup.
4. Give it a gentle stir and serve immediately.

the food dept. fact: We used frozen cherries for this recipe because they are available all year but you can of course use fresh cherries when in season. Pit the cherries or leave them whole and just split them down the side, if you leave the pit in, it will give the vodka a slightly bitter, nutty flavour.

Recipe: Sally Courtney.

Friday 13 September 2013

SHARE DESSERT - One more recipe for you to share with friends this weekend

Baked rhubarb served with macadamia crumble and vanilla ice cream
Serves 8

• 3 bunches rhubarb (approximately 1.5kg), trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 10cm pieces
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup apple juice
1 vanilla pod, scraped
1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup brown sugar
• 40 g butter, room temperature
½ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vanilla ice cream, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (360F). Spread the rhubarb pieces evenly over the base of 2 large baking dishes, sprinkle the raw sugar and apple juice evenly between the 2 trays. Add half of the vanilla pod and seeds to each tray and give them a gentle stir.
2. Loosely cover with foil and set aside.
3. To make the crumble, combine the nuts, coconut, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl, rub together gently with your finger tips and then sprinkle over a lined baking tray.
4. Place the rhubarb and crumble trays into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. The rhubarb should be tender but not falling apart and the crumble should be golden brown.
5. Serve the rhubarb and its syrup piled into a serving dish, the crumble on the side and a tub of the best quality vanilla ice cream. Let your guests assemble their own deconstructed rhubarb crumble with ice cream.

food dept. fact: Any left over crumble can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry for up to a month. Why not try stirring it through softened ice cream and serve with caramelized apples for another great winter dessert.

Recipes: Sally Courtney.