Summer has unceremoniously ended and although we were reluctant to embrace Winter, we now are jubilant about the start of the new season and all the seasonal cuisine we can indulge in all season long. Summer was all about fresh fruit, coconut water and BBQ bites you can pop in the fridge but Winter is about food that is meant to soothe the soul as well as the stomach. Think hearty stews, creamy dishes and soups that were made to warm us from the inside out. Here are some recipes from around the world that our team has always relied on during the cooler months.
Freshly ground black pepper
250 g green or mixed beans , topped but not tailed
1 x 500 g quality beef fillet
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
For the marinade:
2 small shallots , or ½ a small red onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1 handful of fresh soft herbs (chervil, parsley, yellow inner celery, tarragon) , leaves picked and chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the beans and cook for about 5 minutes. When perfectly done, drain them in a colander.
To make the marinade, mix the chopped shallot or onion in a bowl with the herbs, mustard, vinegar and 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the hot cooked beans and toss. Put to one side to allow the beans to cool down and take on all the fantastic flavours.
Place the beef fillet on a chopping board and season it all over with salt and pepper. Run the thyme sprigs under hot water for a few seconds – this will help to release their fragrant oils. Strip the leaves from the stalks and chop them up roughly. Sprinkle the thyme over the fillet, then roll the meat around the chopping board so that any excess seasoning and herbs stick to it.
Get a heavy frying pan very hot and add a splash of oil, followed by the beef fillet. Fry for 1 minute only, turning it every few seconds to sear and encrust all the lovely flavourings on to it. Take the meat out of the frying pan and put it on to a plate to rest for a minute. (Once seared, you can serve straight away or you can keep the meat covered on a plate until needed. I prefer not to keep it in the fridge.)
Slice the seared fillet with a sharp knife. Lay each slice on a board and flatten as much as you can by pressing down on them with the side of a chopping knife – it works a treat. Lay two or three slices out flat on each plate. Season again lightly and place a pile of beans on top, spooning over some of the marinade. Sprinkle over any leftover herb leaves and drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil.
Recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver.
1kg raw banana prawns
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 red chilli, finely chopped
To prepare prawns, remove heads with a small knife. Trim legs with kitchen scissors. With a small, sharp knife split in half lengthways not quite all the way through. Remove intestinal tract. Lay prawn on a flat surface, shell side up. Using your fingers, press prawn flat.
To make sauce, cook sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan for 5-7 mins until syrupy add chilli and cook for 3 mins. Remove from heat, add fish sauce and lime juice.
Preheat barbecue flat plate to high and cook prawns flesh side down for 2 mins turn and cook for 1 min. Place onto a platter and drizzle with sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Taste.com.
1/2 cup cooked crab meat
1/4 up sliced spring onions
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup bean shoots
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander
Gently toss the crab meat and spring onions in a small bowl to combine.
In another small bowl, mix the oyster sauce with 1 teaspoon of water to loosen. Set aside for later.
Whisk together the eggs, fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of water and a generous grinding of pepper in a large bowl.
Heat the vegetable oil in a 25 cm non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the egg mixture and use a spatula to draw the egg in towards the centre. Swirl the mixture in the pan to allow the uncooked egg to run out towards the edge. Keep doing this until the omelette is almost set.
Sprinkle the crab meat mixture over one half of the omelette. Flip the empty side of the omelette over the crab. Turn out onto a serving plate. Drizzle with spoonfuls of the oyster sauce mixture, then top with bean shoots, chilli and coriander.
Recipe courtesy of Medibank.
1 cups rice
1.5 cups water
75 millilitres coconut milk
2 pandan leaves
1 lemongrass stalk
Wash the rice and put into a pot. Then, add coconut milk, water, a pinch of salt, pandan leaves (knotted) and lemongrass into the pot. Optionally, you may add 2 cardamom pods
Bring to boil, then lower heat to minimum and cover the pot with the lid. Allow rice to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. The liquid should dry up and holes appear on the surface. Turn off the stove and leave the lid on for another 10 minutes before serving the rice.
Fry peanuts (with the skin) over medium heat until browned. Ensure oil is hot before frying the peanuts. Remove peanuts, add anchovies and fry until golden brown or crispy.
Serve coconut rice with side dishes such as boiled or fried egg, fried peanuts, fried anchovies, Sambal and Chicken Rendang.