Sichuan Hot Sweet and Sour Chicken

 

 

Ingredients

500g chicken diced into 2cm pieces
1/2 cup cornflour
300ml vegetable oil for shallow frying
1/2 cup spring onions sliced

Sauce

2TB peanut oil
2TB ginger finely chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
4 birds eye chillis
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1TB Sichuan peppercorns
4TB chicken stock
2TB chilli oil
4TB white sugar
4TB Chianking or black vinegar
1TB dark soy
1TB light soy

This is not your typical sweet and sour from the local Chinese and not for the faint hearted!

It is very heavy on the chilli and pepper which has a wonderful numbing effect on your face...

This could be my favourite chicken dish from anywhere in the world. Enjoy!

Method

Cut the chicken into 2cm squares, dust with the cornflour, and spread the pieces out on a tray to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside while you make the sauce.

In a heavy bottom pan dry roast the peppercorns and grind in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

In the same pan heat the peanut oil and fry the ginger, garlic and birds eye chillis until fragrant. Add the dried chilli and pepper and cook for around 30 seconds.

Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Add the chilli oil, sugar, vinegar, dark soy and light soy and simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Turn off pan.

In a large heavy bottom frypan heat 300ml vegetable oil almost to the point of the oil smoking and carefully place the chicken pieces into the pan.

Cook the chicken pieces for around 3-4 minutes on each side - or until crispy and golden. You will likely need to keep the pan on the highest setting throughout to maintain the heat.

Drain the chicken on paper towel, reheat your sauce if required, and toss the chicken through the sauce with the spring onions.

Serve with steamed rice and your favourite greens. Enjoy!

Chefs Tip: This dish could easily be made with pork fillet next time...

 

Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients


2TB Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion Finely Diced
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Red Capsicum Diced
1 Yellow Capsicum Diced
1 Zuchini Diced
1 Small Eggplant Diced
1/4 Cup Red Wine
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tin Tomatoes
1L Passata
Big Handful Basil
Big Handful Italian Parsley Chopped
Salt and Pepper
1L Milk
100g Butter
80g Flour
200g Grated Cheddar
Lasagne Sheets

Tomato Sauce

In a large heavy bottom pan brown the onion in the olive oil.

Add the garlic and capsicum and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the zucchini and eggplant and colour on a high heat for 4-5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup red wine and 1/2 cup water.

Add tomatoes and passata and bring to the boil. Gently simmer for for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and add the chopped basil, parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Bechamel Sauce

Gently bring the milk to the boil and set aside.

Melt the butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan, add the flour and whisk.

Add the warm milk in small amounts and continue to gently whisk to avoid lumps. Continue until all milk is used.

Add half of the grated cheddar, stir for 3 minutes and take off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the lasagne layer as follows:

sheets/tomato bechamel/sheets/tomato/bechamel/sheets/tomato/sheets/bechamel

Top with the remaining 100g of grated cheddar and bake for 50 minutes or until golden at 180 degrees.

Chef's Tip: It's important to be patient and ensure good colour on all of your vegetables for maximum flavour!

Thai Roasted Vegetable Curry

  Roasted Vegetables: 1 Zuchini 1 Green Capsicum 1 Red Capsicum 6-8 Yellow Squash 1 TB Olive Oil 1 tsp Fennel Seeds 1 tsp Cumin Seeds 1 tsp Turmeric 1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Black Pepper Dice all of the vegetables above, grind the seeds and toss all ingredients in a bowl. Roast at 190 for 10-12 minutes or until almost cooked. Set aside to cool. Curry Sauce: 1TB Olive Oil 4 Large Field Mushrooms Diced 12 Button Mushrooms Halved 1 Large Brown Onion Diced 3 Garlic Cloves 2 Inches Ginger 2TB Red Curry Paste 1 Bunch Coriander Stalks 1/2 Cup Water 2 Tins Coconut Milk 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves In a large pot cook the mushrooms over a high heat for 4-5 minutes to achieve plenty of colour. Add the onions, Garlic and ginger and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the coriander stalks and curry paste and stir for 1 minute being careful not to burn. Immediately deglaze with 1/2 cup of water. Add the coconut milk and lime leaves and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Reintroduce the roasted vegetables and stir for 2-3 minutes. Doing this will break up the zucchini a little and thicken the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the following ingredients: 2 Carrots Shredded 1 Punnet Baby Corn Halved 1 Cup Green Beans Halved 1 Bunch Coriander Leaves Stir the curry well, cover and set aside for three minutes to allow the carrots to cook through slightly and then serve with steamed Jasmine rice. Enjoy!

 

Roasted Vegetables:

1 Zuchini
1 Green Capsicum
1 Red Capsicum
6-8 Yellow Squash
1 TB Olive Oil
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper

Dice all of the vegetables above, grind the seeds and toss all ingredients in a bowl. Roast at 190 for 10-12 minutes or until almost cooked. Set aside to cool.

Curry Sauce:

1TB Olive Oil
4 Large Field Mushrooms Diced
12 Button Mushrooms Halved
1 Large Brown Onion Diced
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Inches Ginger
2TB Red Curry Paste
1 Bunch Coriander Stalks
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tins Coconut Milk
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves

In a large pot cook the mushrooms over a high heat for 4-5 minutes to achieve plenty of colour.

Add the onions, Garlic and ginger and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

Add the coriander stalks and curry paste and stir for 1 minute being careful not to burn. Immediately deglaze with 1/2 cup of water.

Add the coconut milk and lime leaves and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

Reintroduce the roasted vegetables and stir for 2-3 minutes. Doing this will break up the zucchini a little and thicken the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the following ingredients:

2 Carrots Shredded
1 Punnet Baby Corn Halved
1 Cup Green Beans Halved
1 Bunch Coriander Leaves

Stir the curry well, cover and set aside for three minutes to allow the carrots to cook through slightly and then serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

Enjoy!

Ryan's Mussels

 

Ingredients

1TB Olive Oil
1 Medium Brown Onion Finely Diced
1 Green Chilli Finely Chopped
1tsp Minced Ginger
2tsp Minced Garlic
1 Bunch Coriander Stalks
80ml White Wine
300ml Cream
1kg Mussels Cleaned
100g Butter Diced
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Bunch Coriander Leaves
Salt and Pepper

Instructions

Cook the onion in a stock pot or large saucepan for one minute in the olive oil.

Add the chilli, ginger, garlic and coriander stalks and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add the white wine and reduce by half.

Add the cream and reduce by half. The sauce should be slightly thickened at this stage to allow for the mussel juices.

Add the mussels and put a lid on the pot. Simmer gently for about 3-5 minutes - or until the mussels have opened. Remove from heat and leave the lid off.

Add the butter, lime juice and coriander leaves and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper at the table if required.

Chef's Tip: Consider serving with steamed rice or baguette for a more substantial meal!

Green Peppercorn Sauce

 

Green Peppercorn Sauce

1TB Olive Oil
1 Small Brown Onion Finely Diced
1 Clove Garlic Minced
30ml Brandy
100ml Beef Stock
2TB Green Peppercorns
200ml Cream
Salt and Pepper

Instructions

In a small saucepan cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until slightly golden.

Add the brandy (be careful it will probably flare up briefly), beef stock and green peppercorns and reduce by half.

Add the cream and reduce over a low heat until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Chefs Tips: Seal your steaks really well in a fry pan first and use the same pan to make your sauce. The meat juices will improve the flavour of your sauce enormously!

Steak Diane

 

 

Diane Sauce

1TB Olive Oil
4 x Steaks
1 Small Brown Onion Finely Diced
1 Clove Garlic Minced
40ml Brandy
1TB Worcestershire Sauce
200ml Cream
1tsp Dijon Mustard
1TB Flat Leaf Parsley Finely Chopped
Salt and Pepper

Instructions

Season four steaks well with salt and pepper.

In a hot frypan seal the steaks very well on all sides and place on an oven tray.

In the same frypan cook the onion and garlic until slightly golden.

Add the brandy and reduce by half.

Add the cream and Worcestershire sauce and reduce over a low heat until slightly thickened.

At the end whisk in the Dijon, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish the steaks in a hot oven at your leisure and serve with mash potato and green beans.

Chef's Tips - Take care when you add the brandy. It may flare up!

 

Mushroom Sauce

 

Mushroom Sauce

1TB Olive Oil
1 Small Brown Onion Finely Diced
1 Clove Garlic Minced
5 Sprigs Thyme Finely Chopped
4 Field Mushrooms Roughly Chopped
6 Button Mushrooms - Quartered
50ml Red Wine
150ml Beef Stock
150ml Cream
Salt and Pepper

Instructions

In a small saucepan cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until slightly golden.

Add the thyme and mushrooms and cook well over a medium heat to achieve a nice colour.

Add the red wine and reduce by half.

Add the beef stock and reduce by half again.

Add the cream and reduce over a low heat until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Chef's Tip: If you want to send the flavour of your sauce through the roof - consider soaking and adding some Porcini mushrooms or a tiny amount of truffle!

 

Apple and Caramel Pudding

 

Ingredients Cake

1.5 Cups Self Raising Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs
125ml Milk
3 TB Melted Butter
5 Apples
1 TB Water

Method Cake

Preheat Oven to 180c.

Peel, core and cut each apple into quarters.

Cook covered in a saucepan with 1TB water for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Beat the sugar with the eggs and add the flour, milk, butter and apples.

Bake at 180c in a baking dish for 50-60 minutes. Skewer Test.

Ingredients Caramel

300ml Cream
1/4 Cup Sugar
100ml Caramel Syrup

Method Caramel

Stir all three ingredients over a low heat while the cake is cooking. When the cake comes out of the oven pierce it with a skewer all over and spoon the caramel sauce over the cake.

Set the puddings aside for 5 minutes to absorb the sauce.

Serve with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and I promise you will love it!

Chefs Tip

Many coffee chains sell caramel syrup and a great place to start!