Eat the World – Part 12

I’m not done… In 2015, I completed a lap around the world, taking in each continent and a bunch of recipes each had to offer. Through this, I was able to discover new ideas, flavours, ingredients and techniques, with some failures along the way but plenty of successes, too.

In 2016, I’m heading on another lap. In addition to another edible project this year (watch this space), I’ll be continuing with Eat the World for another 12 months. Starting back in Australia, this time around will be a similar format to the first. Each week will see a new country on the menu, with a mixture of repeat countries (new recipes) and ones I didn’t get to last year.

As there are often many variations for a particular dish, and given that I found myself making many adjustments to what I found the first time around, this year I will be posting the recipes I used in this blog (rather than only external links), along with any tips on making it easier for yourself.

Happy travels and happy cooking! Here’s Eat the World 2016.

Week 1 – Australia

ETW 01 Australia

What’s more Aussie than lamb and pies? The below recipe kicks off another year of Eat the World in gourmet style (these aren’t your run of the mill party pies). They’re not exactly quick to make, but they are straightforward and worth the effort.

If you want a quicker variant, rather than making little pies you can stretch the pastry (be careful, it’s quite sticky) and make one large pie in a 22 cm spring form pan. Remember to blind bake the pastry to ensure the filling doesn’t turn it soggy. The beauty of taking the liquid out and re-adding it is that you can manage what goes into the pastry. This means if you do make a larger pie, you’ll be able to slice it without a huge mess.

Aussie lamb pies with pineapple and mango salsa

Ingredients

For the pastry

• 1 cup plain flour
• Pinch of salt
• 100 grams unsalted butter, chopped
• ¼ cup full fat sour cream
• 1 sheet of ready puff pastry

For the pies

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 600gr lamb cutlets
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 medium purple carrots, finely chopped (you can use normal ones, but won’t get the cool purple colouring)
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 250ml dry apple cider
• 2 tablespoons cornflour
• 100ml pouring cream
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 eggyolk (for brushing)
• Macadamia and wattleseed dukka, or topping of choice

For the salsa

• ½ a pineapple, diced
• 1 mango, diced
• 1 long red chilli, seeded and very finely sliced
• Handful of basil leaves, finely sliced

Method

1. To make the pastry, pulse flour, salt and butter in blender until it forms a crumb. Add sour cream and pulse until combined. Combine with hands to form a ball, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oil over high heat in a heavy based pot and sear the lamb until brown on both sides. Set aside.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook until it begins to soften.

4. Return lamb to pot and add stock and cider. If it’s not quite covered, add a little water. Increase to a boil, then reduce to light simmer. Press a sheet of baking paper down over the surface, then cover with a lid and cook for 1.5 hours.

5. Remove lamb from pot and set aside to cool. When cooled, shred into little pieces.

6. Combine cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and add to the mix in the pot. Stir until sauce thickens (about 10 – 15 minutes). Then add cream and mustard and stir to combine.

7. Pour thickened mix through a sieve, reserving the liquid. Mix the solids with the lamb and add enough liquid back into the mix to moisten.

8. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a twelve hole muffin tray.

9. Divide pastry dough into twelve portions. Roll each portion into a ball and, using floured palms, press each into a thin, flat circle wide enough to fill a muffin hole. Repeat 12 times until you have filled the tray. Blind bake for 10 minutes with weights, then 3 minutes without weights.

10. Fill pastry cases with lamb mix, then top with a cut circle of puff pastry, pressed into the edges of the base. Brush tops with egg yolk and sprinkle with dukka. Bake for 20 minutes, then rest for 10 before transferring to a cooling rack.

11. For the salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl.

And how’s this for Aussie, Anzac bikkie ice cream sambos:

ETW 01 Aus - Ice Cream Sambos

Week 2 – Papua New Guinea

ETW 02 PNG

Looking for the national foods of PNG wasn’t a particularly rewarding search, I found. However, I did come across several variants for kau kau, the PNG “baked spud”. Sweet potato is a popular vegetable in PNG and used in much of the nation’s cooking. In this recipe, the root vege is baked (traditionally underground) and prepared with the flavours of coconut, garlic and ginger.

PNG also eat their fair share of fish, so with this in mind I prepared the kau kau as a side for some simple fried fish (in ginger, lime, coriander and chilli).

My kau kau used the below recipe; however it came out quite different to how I expected. The spud flesh, mixed with onions, garlic, ginger and coconut cream created a very wet mix. Using a dish with sides, I managed to line the halves against one another for support (or else it would have gone everywhere). Once baked, everything was still very soft, but creamy and quite yum.

Kau Kau

Ingredients (enough for 2)

• 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed
• 60gr unsalted butter, diced
• ½ cup coconut cream
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
• 2 tablespoons orange juice
• ½ cup grated cheese

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap each sweet potato in aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour. A skewer should insert easily when cooked through.

2. Allow to cool slightly, then slice lengthways. Scoop out the centre flesh, leaving the skins with only a thin layer of potato flesh, and mash in a bowl with butter until smooth. Season.

3. Combine coconut cream, onion, garlic, ginger and orange juice in potato mash. Top with grated cheese, then place back in oven until cheese is melted.

4. Serve alongside meat, vegetables or salad.

Week 3 – Philippines

ETW 03 Philippines

It’s a Spanish name, but as Filipino a dish as you’ll get. Adobo simply translates to “marinade”, which is all this recipe really is. The Filipino twist is the marination in vinegar, which was most likely a practicality to begin with, before it became simply “the way it’s done” for this national food.

Nothing too complicated here, just delicious chook in a thick sauce. This can be served in any number of ways, although I opted for a main meal served with rice, green beans and Chinese cabbage.
The sauce for this chicken was quite rich and heavy on the vinegar, but it’s not overbearing. I had seen variations, some with white vinegar, which I think would be quite extreme. Balanced by the white rice and cabbage, this was a delicious dinner. It may have just been the extra sauce, but having this dish the day after was even tastier!

Adobo chicken

Ingredients (enough chicken for 2 people)

• 170ml rice wine vinegar
• 400ml can of coconut milk
• ¼ soy sauce
• 6 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3cm piece of turmeric, peeled and sliced
• 3 bay leaves
• 3 birdseye chillies
• 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
• 3 large chicken breasts, each sliced lengthways

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken, coat well, and marinate overnight.

2. Transfer contents of bowl to a pot and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking the marinade for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced. Discard the turmeric, bay leaves and chillies.

3. Return chicken to pot to heat through. Serve on steamed rice with green beans.

Week 4 – Taiwan

ETW 04 Taiwan

Braised beef and Chinese noodles are the key ingredients to beef noodle soup, a Taiwanese staple and national food. There are many variations, of which this soy based one is quite Taiwanese.

I haven’t made a beef broth like this before and boy does it kick ass. There’s a combo of sweet, tart and salty, with heavy influence from the orange peel and star anise.

Instead of a long chilli, I added a few chopped birdseye chillies for some heat and they worked beautifully, along with the coriander, chopped scallions and mung bean sprouts.

This is hearty, filling and packed full of interesting flavours.

Taiwanese beef noodle soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

• 2 tablespoons oil
• 600gr beef chuck steak (or any beef suitable for slow cooking)
• ¼ cup soy sauce
• ½ cup rice wine vinegar
• ½ cup medium-dry sherry
• ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
• 3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
• 3 scallions, whites crushed and greens chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• Half bunch coriander, leaves picked and stems chopped
• 10cm long piece of dried orange peel
• 4 whole star anise
• ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
• 5 cups water
• 1.5 cups chicken stock
• 300gr Chinese wheat noodles
• 1 cup mung bean sprouts
• Steamed broccoli, to serve
• Long green chilli, sliced, to garnish

Method

1. Heat oil in pot and add sear beef to brown on each side. Remove beef from pot and set aside.

2. Combine water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sherry, brown sugar, ginger, scallions whites, garlic, coriander stems, orange peel, star anise and chilli flakes. Bring to boil, then reduce to gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add beef to mix, cover and simmer for 2.5 hours. Turn off heat and rest for additional 1 hour.

4. Remove meat and slice or break apart as desired. Skim any fats from broth, then strain it thoroughly, reserve liquid, and discard solids. Combine broth and beef and reheat on low.

5. Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water until they are tender. Strain and divide among bowls. Ladle beef soup over noodles and top with sprouts and chilli. Serve with broccoli.

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16 in 16

The release of the Coachella lineup got me thinking who’d I’d like to see in 2016, so I put together a wish list. May the magical powers that be bring all these acts to Melbourne in 2016.

Thanks to WOMADelaide and Bluesfest respectively, two from my wish list – Calexico and Brian Wilson – are already doing sideshows in Melbourne. A Modest Mouse Bluesfest sideshow would make that three off the list!

The next lot all owe their Aussie fans a tour based on recent releases. These include: Editors, Maximo Park, Metric, Lianne La Havas, Villagers, Marina and the Diamonds and Delta Spirit. Unfortunately, I might have to head overseas (not so unfortunate, really) to see the latter few of these, as without a festival presenting them they’re not too likely to get here.

Perhaps more likely, and with albums to be released in 2016, are these acts: Miike Snow, Band of Horses and The Last Shadow Puppets. Splendour in the Grass, anyone?

Finally, some straight up wishes: Justin Vernon said there wouldn’t be any more Bon Iver shows for a good while, but a few have popped up. So why not in Aus? And if LCD Soundsystem have reunited for Coachella, surely they can tour a little more broadly, too? Finally, it’s not gonna happen, but can Them Crooked Vultures come out of hiatus already?

2016 Grid 1

16 for 16
Calexico
Brian Wilson
Modest Mouse
Editors
Maximo Park
Lianne La Havas
Metric
Delta Spirit
Villagers
Marina and the Diamonds
Miike Snow
Band of Horses
The Last Shadow Puppets
Bon Iver
LCD Soundsystem
Them Crooked Vultures

Falls Festival @ Mt Duneed Estate (Victoria), 28-31 December 2015

Falls Festival managed to pull off what was previously thought impossible. With fires still threatening the Otways, there was no chance the Erskine Falls sight in Lorne would proceed. But Falls have friends and favours, it appears.

My Duneed Estate, just outside of Geelong, was the replacement sight. It’s used more commonly for A Day on the Green but for this week, it would be overrun by the young and munted. At first I thought the replacement site would be a disaster, but I soon ate my words.

The sight was actually larger than Lorne, with a hill that seemed to climb on forever (not as steep as Lorne, but noticeably longer back). As for most other factors, the organisers had, in some feat of super natural ability, replicated the festival in 2 days! The stage setups, bars, food vendors, shelters – the whole deal – had not been compromised by the last minute shift. It was a bloody stellar effort.

Of course, then there was the relentless heat, ants of wrath, expensive drinks and droves of dickheads…

Musically, the lineup went ahead unchanged – from trippin to rockin, classics new and old, ska, stoner, dance, indie – Falls, as per usual, had it all. And through the music, the aforementioned negatives seemed to be forgiven.

Boogie Nights. Well, that happened.

Day 2 featured early local fare, including The Bennies, whose stoner party rock had revellers dancing in the afternoon sun, before the smooth soul of the ultra-dapper Leon Bridges set a completely new tone. Falls were on the mark booking Bridges at this stage and I can now highly recommend him.

Halsey and Paul Kelly held the late afternoon slots. The former was a surprise, holding a formidable stage presence and evoking the most genuinely huge crowd reaction I’ve heard at Falls following her song ‘Ghost’. Then Paul Kelly’s Merri Soul Sessions brought the class, with Clairy Brown and Vika and Linda Bull killing it on lead vocals throughout the set.

01 falls halsey

It really started to heat up on Day 3, with the site’s lack of shade taking its toll on the afternoon crowds (where did they all go to hide?). Alpine had a tough slot early arvo, but produced an energy that was somewhat hard to believe. Likewise, the energy held on the main stage with Courtney Barnett, who shook off any ideas of subtle, with guitar thrashing and hair flailing.

Gary Clark Jr was the epitome of cool, pulling in more and more listeners as he went on and displaying a legendary talent on the guitar. Afterwards, Ngaiire was keeping things cool up in the tent, with a stripped back soul session that demonstrated her own impressive vocal talents.

Sandwiched between Rufus (who are proof that if you make something shiny enough you’ll excite the majority) and Disclosure, Bloc Party’s indie rock needed to pull out all stops to keep the party vibe. For the most part they succeeded, with favourites like ‘Ratchet’ and ‘Helicopter’ right on target.

03 falls bloc party

New year’s eve started off beautifully with a swag of local acts. Little May kept things cool in the top tent, demonstrating a distinctly Australian folk rock, before Meg Mac and Holy Holy impressed on the main stage, with the heat meaning the latter struggled to pull a sizeable crowd despite deserving one.

The rock theme continued throughout the afternoon, first with Londoners The Maccabees releasing a solid performance despite the heat they of all people would be struggling through. Harts overlapped in the top tent, absolutely nailing it. That guy is going to be a superstar. Finally, Birds of Tokyo brought the anthems to the main stage and arms to the air, probably as much in reaction to the drop in temperature as to their tunes.

04 falls sunset hands

Elliphant accompanied the sunset of Falls’ last day, delivering a strange Sweden meets Jamaica kind of rap. Her banter may have been at times comical, but she knew how to rev people up and had a great time.

05 falls elliphant

Finally, midnight was counted down by Foals, who delivered a varied set with quieter lulls and elated highs. Yannis Philippakis owned the set as he literally stood on top of the crowd, while the band produced a stellar guitar jam to lead into 2016.

02 falls sunset backstage