Banh mi traditionally contains pâté made from livers, so this takes that flavour combination to the next level with strips of lamb’s liver, crumbed and pan fried and piled into a baguette roll with Vietnamese salad and a homemade mayonnaise with nuoc cham flavours. For a quick version of the mayo stir ginger, fish sauce and lime juice into a good-quality bought mayonnaise, then season with soy sauce.
For an extra special, creamy hummus, I like to peel the skin from the cooked chickpeas. It’s an arduous task which can take an hour, but you’ll be amazed at the results.
This is a really traditional and delicious way to cook chicken livers, whose strong flavour is mellowed by the sweet, richness of Marsala wine, and they go beautifully with creamy risotto that has the peppery flavour of watercress to balance the rich livers.
Marcus Ringrose, friend of Cuisine photographer Aaron McLean, makes the most delicious heart skewers, that are loved by everybody who tries them. He doesn’t tell people what they are at first (as this instantly puts them off), instead letting them enjoy the flavours before surprising them with the ingredients. These are great to pass around as they are, or to make them into an entrée try with the cucumber and feta. If serving them with the feta, reduce the salt in the heart to 1 teaspoon.
While tongue takes a long time to cook, it doesn’t need any attention and can be cooked a few days in advance. This is also good cooked in the slow cooker if you have one. These tostadas are also great as finger food , just top your favourite corn chips with the tongue and salsa just before serving.
Spaghetti vongole is one of the simple pleasures of fresh shellfish – steamed clams with a few additions, combined with pasta to give a salty, sweet taste of the ocean. Here I have built on this simplicity by stirring through a fresh herb paste.
The hot meringue/cold ice cream combination of baked Alaska is a winner, but they can be fiddly to put together at the last minute. Here I have simplified the whole process into a flat slice, so it takes only a few minutes to whip up the meringue and grill the top. If you want to finish the whole thing ahead of time, just gently cover the slice – trying to keep the wrap off the meringue – and freeze for up to three days. Let sit at room temperature for five minutes before serving.
I remember liking beef schnitzel as a small (and obviously very cheeky) kid, but my father likes to remind me of the time I informed my mother, “I don’t call this schnitzel, I call it shit-zel!” Well, I definitely love it now, but it’s quite time consuming to fry on the stove top; oven baking simplifies this. I have used rye bread for crumb in a nod to the Reuben sandwich, but you could use panko if you like.
One of the longstanding favourites in our household was rich shin ragu served with pasta, a dish taught to Mum by our Italian neighbour. While you can never quite capture the unctuous quality that the bone adds to the sauce, this vegetarian version is nonetheless rich and tasty with strong umami flavours from the slow-cooked onions, mushrooms and parmesan, and the added richness of porcini.
I remember liking beef schnitzel as a small (and obviously very cheeky) kid, but my father likes to remind me of the time I informed my mother, “I don’t call this schnitzel, I call it shit-zel!”
Turmeric is everywhere right now – people are drinking turmeric lattes and eating turmeric ice creams! While it may be in fashion, we shouldn’t overlook that fresh turmeric is quite new to the market and much more zingy with citrus and ginger overtones than the powdered version. Its earthiness works well with the spices in apple crumble and it also adds amazing colour. For those who can’t get fresh turmeric, you can increase the dried turmeric to one teaspoon in the crumble; while more pungent, it still adds an interesting layer of flavour.