Creamed corn with sweetcorn and jalepeno relish on polenta pancakes

Creamed corn with sweetcorn and jalepeno relish on polenta pancakes

If you grow corn and had an abundance here is a great recipe to use up your harvest , you will love my triple hit of corn in one dish. The different textures help make this dish. The polenta pancakes are firm, similar texture to a corn bread, then there is the softness and creaminess of the creamed corn and a burst of corn kernels in your mouth with the relish.

I have had a mixed reaction when I mention creamed corn. Some think of baby food and others screw their noses and only think of the canned experience.

I cooked this up for Phil Dudman, Garden Guru, on ABC Northcoast Good Gardening and got the thumbs up and he was in the, “Creamed corn….argh baby food.” camp.  You can make the creamed corn and relish the day before, just reheat the creamed corn before serving. Enjoy!

Triple Corn Brunch
Serves 6

Creamed Corn
30gms butter
1 red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
200gms bacon bones
6 corn cobs, silk, husks and kernels removed
2 cups milk
6 fresh curry leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf
zest of a lime
lime wedges to serve

Sweetcorn & jalepeno relish
makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 corn cobs, silk and husks removed and kernels removed
1 jalepeno chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
100mls cider vinegar
1 heaped tablespoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder

Polenta pancakes
1/3 cup polenta
1 cup besan flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
salt and pepper, to season
2 eggs seperated
3 teaspoons vegetable oil

To make the creamed corn, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened.

Add the bacon bones and cook for 3 minutes then add the corn kernels and cobs, milk,  curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Season with salt and pepper remembering the bacon bones can be quite salty season with more pepper than salt. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until kernels are soft.

Remove the bones, cobs, and leaves and strain through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid. Blend the cooked corn in food processor or with a  stick blender adding enough liquid until you have a semi-smooth puree. Keep warm.

To make the relish, heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a medium size saucepan. Add the onion reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes until onion is softened.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes or untilthe liquid has reduced slightly. Pour into a sterilised jar and seal.

To make the polenta pancakes, in a large bowl add the polenta, besan flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt and pepper and make a well in the centre. In a jug whisk together the egg yolks and buttermilk and pour into the well and mix to combine. Whisk the egg whites in a seprerate clean bowl until soft peaks form. Fold through a third of the whites into the polenta mix.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Drop a 1/4 cup quantity of batter into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden underneath and bubbles form on top. Turn and cook for a further minute or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with 2 more batches with the remaining oil and batter.

To serve, divide the polenta cakes onto serving plates and top with creamed corn and then the relish and a sprinkle of lime zest and wedges of lime.

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Whiting revisited

Finishing off the Whiting dish with a Vietnamese salad

My Garden Guru buddy, Phil Dudman and I visited Coffs Coast Growers market a couple of years a go and we were able to choose from their broad selection of goodies, direct from the producers. We came up with some tasty delights. One of them was an Eastern School Whiting with Vietnamese salad.

I have changed the recipe slightly for this weeks ABC The Big Fish programme but really it doesn’t have to be whiting. Use whatever your catching or what’s seasonal in your fish shop. Enjoy!

Butterflied crispy whiting with Vietnamese salad

Serves 4

1/2 cup plain flour
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 Whiting, butterflied and deboned, leaving tails in tact
macadamia or vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Steamed rice, to serve

Vietnamese Salad
1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup lime juice

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1 small red onion, halved and sliced into thin slivers

1/4 wombok (Chinese cabbage), finely shredded

1 carrot, peeled and grated

2 celery sticks, finely sliced

1 bunch green asparagus, chopped into 5cm pieces, blanched(if using small asparagus no need to blanch)

1/3 cup roughly chopped macadamias, toasted (see notes)

1 tablespoon finely shredded Vietnamese mint leaves

2 tablespoons shredded mint leaves

2 tablespoons macadamia oil

To make the Vietnamese Salad: combine rice vinegar, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, red chilli and pepper. Add the onion and leave to marinate.

In a large bowl combine the remaining salad ingredients and add mint and macadamias and set aside.

Place flour, salt and pepper in a large freezer bag, add the Whiting and shake well to coat. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add just enough oil to cover the base of the pan. Add fish pieces in a single layer, skin side down (you may need to cook in batches), turn gently after 2-3 minutes and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Finish the Vietnamese salad: add macadamia oil, onions and their marinade to the salad mixture and gently toss to combine. Place salad on a platter, top with fish and serve with steamed rice.

 

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Gramma Pie

One of the recipes from Bangalow Banquet Cookbook

Challenge was on from the ABC Saturday morning presenters Graeme Stuart and Garden Guru Phil Dudman for me to find an authentic Aussie Gramma Pie recipe. Low and behold that afternoon I came across a beautiful cookbook featuring recipes and stories about Bangalow, a town in the hinterland of Byron Bay, that is popular with tourists for its authenticity but more importantly for the towns spirit and energy.

This book was a community effort, not only to share the towns heritage but to showcase local producers like Coopers Shoot tomatoes, Singhs piggery, Hayters Hill Farm, Nash Stone fruit and the Jarrett’s farm from where this recipe hails, thank you Edna and there are many more stories told throughout. There are also amazing and do-able recipes from local residents and restaurants.

This is not your average community thrown together cookbook. It s a piece of history from the Northern Rivers of NSW. This is a pure voluntary community effort and it is beautifully photographed by a collection of professional photographers in the region,  food styling and recipe editing by Jody Vasallo, who has worked in the cookbook industry for a number of years and painstakingly produced by a long list of skillful and generous people in the region.
All profits from this book go to raise well needed funds for the Bangalow Public School and Bangalow Community Children’s Centre. The book retails for $39.99 and you can go online to Bangalow Banquet Cookbook facebook page or if visiting Bangalow pop into the Post Office or Bangalow Cellars and pick up a copy and take home a bit of Northern Rivers history (it is now in its second run of printing…go Bangers!). Enjoy!

 

 

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Chrissy presents….

100% linen 100% Australian teatowel

Looking for a Crissy pressie…then look no further!
Here’s a chance to treat yourself (or some other special person) to something new from the garden2kitchen range of goodies!Our 100% Australian linen teatowels have been very popular and proudly show our ‘GROW your food, KNOW your food, LOVE your food’ message.

You’ll also find handmade aprons, camphor laurel cutting boards and recycled timber herb boxes here—> http://bit.ly/1iUzFPP

Phil & Julsx
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Spanner crabs for Christmas

Paul Porters catch of Spanners

Christmas is just around the corner and there is something about having crustaceans on the Christmas menu that is a big part of the great Aussie Christmas.

Christmas Eve, I serve up a platter of crustaceans. Cooked prawns, bugs and crabs sprinkled with fresh herbs like dill, chervil, coriander. There is always lots of lemon wedges, wasabi mayonnaise, homemade cocktail sauce (my boys insist we have that sauce),  served with a crunchy green salad and crusty bread.

The crabs I use are usually  spanner crabs found in the northern NSW and Queensland waters. I find their meat sweater than the blue swimmer and mud crabs. It may be because they are caught between a mile and 15 mile off shore on sandy bottoms, so they have a more of a smorgasbord of food to choose from than their cousins in the mangroves. Although they only yield 25 per cent meat, they are cheaper than other Crabs and some chefs prefer their distinctive flavour.

Paul Porter’s 7m aluminium cat

Paul Porter has been catching spanners commercially since 1989. There wasn’t really a market for them domestically as most people either had no idea what they were or how to prepare and cook them. Thankfully that has changed and Paul sends most of his catch to Sydney Fish Market.

If you want to have a go at catching them Paul suggests going out when there is no swell and using mullet or pilchards as bait. Paul sends down his trap in the late afternoon and says an hour later he can haul up to 15-20 but you need to check what the quota is for recreational fishers. Good luck and let me know if you do catch them and how you cooked them.

So what does Paul do with his spanner crab? Besides eating them cooked from the shell he has shared with me his wife Rebecca’s recipe of Hot Crab Dip. Perfect for the the silly season. Enjoy!

BECCY’S FAMOUS HOT CRAB DIP

INGREDIENTS

500 grams drained cooked crab meat

250 grams cream cheese, softened

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup thickened cream

4-6 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 drops Tabasco sauce

½ teaspoon garlic salt

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Water crackers to serve

Fresh dill to garnish

METHOD

Grease an ovenproof dish (4cup capacity)

  1. Combine crab meat, cream cheese, mayonnaise, thickened cream, spring onions, mustard sauces and garlic salt in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper, mix well.  Spoon mixture into the prepared dish, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  2. Cook, uncovered in a moderate oven, 160ºC, for about 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  3. Stand dip for 10 minutes before serving with crackers.  Garnish with fresh dill.

 

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Roasted broccoli salad with avocado dressing

Roasted broccoli salad with avocado dressing

I had fun as usual on the Good Gardening show this morning on ABC Northcoast radio.

Whipping up the avocado dressing in the ABC Northcoast studio

Phil is harvesting broccoli so on our last tour together to Sydney for the Australian Garden Show we brainstormed this salad. Phil just loves roasting broccoli and I don’t blame him. It gives this veg a nutty flavour. You can just eat it as is with a squeeze of lemon juice or make up this salad. Enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli salad

Serves 4

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets

1 red onion, peeled and cut into eighths

dried oregano

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 big handful rocket leaves

100gms almond flakes, toasted

200gms Greek feta, cut into cubes

Avocado dressing

1 head garlic

1 avocado

100gms Greek style plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 200C. Place the head of garlic in the oven on a small tray and cook for 40-45 minutes or until cloves are softened.

On a large oven tray place the broccoli florets and onion. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over a good pinch of dried oregano and season with salt and pepper. Place into the preheated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the broccoli is tender and lightly golden brown.

Meanwhile to make the avocado dressing, place the avocado, yoghurt, lemon juice and dried chilli into a small food processor or hand-held blender. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze each roasted garlic clove into the avocado mixture and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Place into a large bowl the cooked broccoli and onion, beans, rocket, almond flakes and feta. Pour over the avocado dressing, toss well, taste to see if salad needs more seasoning and serve immediately.

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Throw a fish on the barbie

Chargrilled fish with pine nut parsley salad and tahini sauce

We have had some warm weather and not that I need an excuse but it prompted me to fire up the barbie. Of course I love throwing fish on the grill, so quick, simple and tasty.

This is a great recipe from Sydney Fish Market FISHline. It uses Yellowtail Kingfish but as I told Scott Levi (Mullet Guts) on ABC The Big Fish program, you can use whatever your catching or whatever looks delish at your local fish shop.

The tahini sauce, I could eat on its own but so tasty with a grilled fish and the parsley salad with its Middle Eastern flavours is fresh and crunchy. I have so much parsley in the garden that its always great to find new ways of using it. Enjoy!

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Teriyaki Tuna Time…

Happy days….a great catch of Yellowfin Tuna

Lucky, is how I feel. I live in a beautiful part of Australia, Byron Bay but to add to it I have an amazingly passionate fishmonger.

Meet Freckle, your friendly fishmonger.

Meet Freckle (yes he has freckles) your friendly, camera shy, mad fishmonger. Mad, because I don’t think he ever sleeps, as the boats call him at all times of the night letting him know they have a catch. Without fail he gets up and will drive up to 8 hours north to meet the boat, mad!

But I am not complaining, because the seafood in his shop is sublime. There is a lot of locally caught fish in his shop, I have had a whole snapper that was caught that morning. So when I saw the haul of tuna I couldn’t resist but to buy a few steaks and throw them on the chargrill. This recipe uses a teriyaki marinade, so make sure you wipe the marinade off the tuna before cooking otherwise it will stick and burn quickly. Enjoy!

Mouth-watering side of tuna…yum!

Chargrilled tuna steaks with cucumber vermicelli and noodles

Serves 4

4 x 180gm tuna steaks (or swordfish, snapper, blue-eye or any firm fillets)

4 tablespoons teriyaki marinade (recipe follows)

1 packet Green tea or Soba noodles

2 telegraph cucumbers, washed

4 green onions, finely sliced

Dressing

1/4 cup Shaoxhing wine (Chinese cooking wine)

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons palm sugar

Teriyaki marinade

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/3 cup dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon caster sugar

To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic container and stir until sugar has dissolved. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade to serve. Place the tuna steaks into the marinade, set aside.

Use a mandolin to slice the cucumbers into thin long strips (like vermicelli noodles) working around the seeds, or use a knife to cut into thin strips. To make the dressing, in a large bowl, combine wine, fish sauce and sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions. Drain and add to the dressing with the strips of cucumber. Toss well.

Heat the chargrill on a high heat. Remove the tuna from the bowl and wipe off  the marinade. Lightly brush the tuna steaks with oil and cook 1 minute each side for a pink centre, or longer if you prefer.

Divide the prepared noodles and cucumber onto serving plates and place the cooked tuna on top and drizzle with reserved marinade and sprinkle over the green onions and serve.

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Cajun fish stew

Cajun fish stew

You want quick, you want delicious then give this fish stew a go…enjoy!

Cajun fish stew

Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 stalks celery, sliced

1 green or red capsicum, deseeded and chopped

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix

4 tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 cups fish stock

800gms fish fillets, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley. chopped

freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve.

Heat the olive oil in a mediun saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened

Add celery, capsicum and carrot to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add cajun spice and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stock, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes

Add the fish and simmer, without lid for 10 minutes.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide between bowls then top with parmesan to serve.

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BBQ Squid

Squids galore…

According to ‘Mullet Guts’ from The Big Fish program, squid are on. I love cooking squid on the barbie, its quick, its easy and its tasty. I know its still chilly but the barbie can warm you up…just need to put on the beanie and the warm coat. Enjoy!

BBQ Squid salad

500gms squid, cleaned, honeycombed and cut into triangles

marinade

1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped

1 lime, zest

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 medium red chilli seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon palm sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

¼ cup vegetable oil

salad

1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthwise and seeds removed

¼ cup mint leaves, chopped

¼ cup coriander, chopped

¼ cup basil leaves, torn

2 green onions, sliced diagonally

1/4 cup unsalted macadamias, roasted and chopped

dressing

2 tablespoons lime juice, extra

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon palm sugar

1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Place the cleaned and honeycombed squid into the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Heat a BBQ plate to a high heat, cook squid until curled and opaque, 2-3 minutes.

In a large salad bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Add the cooked squid. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the squid salad, toss well and serve.

 

 

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