The sweet, sour and bitter flavours in this autumnal salad are a great complement to many dishes.
Recipe Category: Recipe
Served with: GREEN THUMB COCKTAIL
The calamari is based on a salad my parents served in their first restaurant, an upmarket hotel just outside of Melbourne, called Athelstane.
We adapted our Green Thumb cocktail from Meehan's Bartender Manual, adjusting the ratios for the Kiwi palate and freshening it up a bit with a few local ingredients. Green tea on matcha, ginger on apple, wasabi on fennel – this dish/drink pair works because they’re analogous rather than contrasting.
Not only do I imagine we will be encouraged to eat less sugar in the future, but I am growing less and less fond of overly sweet desserts, preferring something fruit based. Sticky date pudding is one of my favourite desserts but, if you think about it, it is sugar on sugar with more sugar. In this recipe I have used the sweetness of dates, apples and orange kūmara to replace the refined sugar. I can’t live without ice cream to serve, but if you really want to be free of refined sugar, serve with plain yoghurt instead.
In my household, gratin is devoured greedily; the youngest is likely to go for double helpings so I always tend to make a lot. It’s an easy recipe to cut down if you need too, but also a brilliant dish for taking to a potluck. I tend to assume there will be at least one vegetarian, so use a vegetable stock rather then chicken. If I know there are vegans or people on a dairy-free regime present then I omit all the dairy, using oil in place of butter, increasing the vegetable stock to replace the cream and instead of the cheese I will often top the gratin with lightly oiled panko crumbs.
Now is the perfect time for margaritas with local limes so plentiful. This version has a little Japanese twist with the salty, warming character of miso and togarashi added to the mix.
The original Ray McVinnie recipe (which in turn was based on a recipe by Elizabeth David) from issue 71, November 1998, calls for turkey breasts, and of course you can use these, but here I have used Bostocks chicken breast. I have also used Poaka coppa, from happy, sustainable pigs instead of the original prosciutto.
Served with: BUTTERED OLD FASHIONED
The cauliflower cheese was actually a place holder on a winter menu that made it to print when we ran out of time to come up with something more mind-blowing. That said, it sold so well that it's a classic we have to keep on through the colder months (though its popularity never waned even through summer). Maybe it's the nostalgia that keeps it ever-seasonal? With brown-butter notes and general old-timeliness, both this and the Buttered Old Fashioned are united in taste and tempo. Best served in front of an open fire, vinyl on the radiogram filling the room, a cigar prepared as digestif – or streaming Mad Men on your laptop, curtains closed, in bed.