WELL SEASONED NOVEMBER 2023

By Cuisine15 Minutes
November 13, 2023By Cuisine

Enjoy glorious raspberries including a spectacular Kiwi Christmas trifle, make DIY fried chicken and sauce, finger-licking hot sandwiches and vege skewers that wow – all great ideas from David Neville.

THERE’S LOTS OF . . . RASPBERRIES

Raspberries have a hypnotic charm to them: when you see them growing, your first temptation is to pick them despite also seeing the thorns. I like to think that if a raspberry were human, it would have an Oscar Wilde wit about it. Raspberries hold a place in most of our childhood memories with raspberry ripple ice cream and jam. Today, they’re cultivated in numerous ways, which only affirms the popularity they still have.

GIVE THESE A GO…

Raspberry, tomato & feta salad
Cut 2 cups cherry tomatoes in half and put into a medium-sized bowl. Add 1 cup fresh raspberries, ½ finely sliced red onion, ¼ cup crumbled Greek-style feta, ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil and black pepper to taste. Lightly toss to combine. Ideal as a simple salad to accompany sandwiches.

Raspberry vinegar
Put 300g raspberries into a clean container and lightly crush with a spoon. Add 300ml each red wine and distilled vinegar. Put in the fridge for 10 days to mature. Strain, pour into sterilised bottles and store in a dark cupboard. Ideal in ripe tomato salads.

Raspberry & saffron compote
Put 150g fresh raspberries into a pot with 50g caster sugar and 8-10 saffron threads. Put over a low heat and cook gently for 10 minutes until the berries begin to release juice. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store in the fridge overnight to infuse. Ideal with muesli and Greek yoghurt or ice cream.

Raspberry Romanov
Toss 2 cups fresh raspberries with 2 tablespoons caster sugar until well coated. Leave for about 15 minutes to allow the sugar to macerate the raspberries and draw out their juices. Add 2 tablespoons vodka and stir gently. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons icing sugar until smooth. Divide the raspberry mixture into dessert bowls or glasses. Top each serving with a generous dollop of sour cream.

Raspberry & black pepper gastrique
Combine 1 cup fresh raspberries, ¼ cup caster sugar, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Stir well and simmer over a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, mashing the raspberries occasionally. The mixture will thicken into a glossy jam-like sauce. Strain to remove the solids. Ideal drizzled over roasted meats, salads or desserts.

Raspberry & citrus curd
In a blender, purée 1 cup fresh raspberries until smooth. Sieve to remove the seeds. Whisk 3 large eggs and ¾ cup caster sugar in a separate bowl until well combined and slightly thickened. In a saucepan over a low heat combine the raspberry purée with the zest and juice of 2 lemons. Gradually add the egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the saucepan from heat and add ½ cup unsalted butter cut into cubes, stirring until thoroughly melted and incorporated into the curd. Strain again for a silken curd. Ideal on toast and baked goods.

Raspberry leaf jam
Steep ¼ cup dried raspberry leaves in ¼ cup boiling water for 10-15 minutes, then strain. Put into a saucepan with 2 cups fresh raspberries. Cook over a low-medium heat, stirring gently, until the raspberries break down and release their juices. Stir in 1½ cups caster sugar and the juice of 1 lemon. Continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes until the jam is thickened. To check if the jam is ready put a small amount on a chilled plate – if it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it’s ready. If not, continue to cook for a few more minutes and test again. Once done, let the jam cool before transferring to sterilised jars. This jam has a pleasant tannin-like flavour and is ideal if you enjoy foods that are less sweet.

Raspberry jam palmiers
Roll out puff pastry into a 25cm x 25cm square and spread over a thin layer of raspberry jam. Roll both sides of the pastry towards the centre, meeting in the middle. Put in the fridge to become firm. Slice into 3mm pieces and egg wash and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until golden brown and caramelised.

Raspberry lemonade
Put 150g caster sugar and 1 cup water into a pot. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and pour into a blender. Add the juice of 4 lemons and 200g fresh raspberries and blend until smooth. Strain if you don’t like it pulpy. Pour into a pitcher and add ice. Add 600-800ml sparkling water or to taste – ideal as a summertime afternoon refresher.

MAKE IT YOURSELF / FRIED CHICKEN

We all have one sort of junk food as our guilty pleasure. Mine is fried chicken and I know I am not alone. These crispy wings make the perfect finger food; they are crisp, lightly spiced and have that good ol’ razzle-dazzle without being excessively salty or oily. Carolina Gold is an American classic sauce. It is not sweet and smoky or sour and spicy but piquant and easily adjusted to your tastes. Gold is in the title, so let’s push that to a new level.

GIVE THESE A GO…

Carolina Gold sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium-sized pot. Add 100g diced pineapple, 100g onion, 15g garlic and a teaspoon dried chilli flakes and sweat for 3-4 minutes. Add 170ml water, 75g yellow mustard, 30ml cider vinegar, 35g tamarind concentrate, 5ml Worcestershire sauce, 20ml golden syrup, 50g glucose and 25g butter. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and blitz with a hand blender. Strain and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Minted ranch dressing
Combine ½ cup mayonnaise with ½ cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves, 1 teaspoon dried dill, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Whisk everything together until smooth and well combined. If desired, adjust the seasoning to taste. Refrigerate the dressing for at least 30 minutes. Ideal with chicken wings or wedge salads.

Miso-honey glaze
Mix 2 tablespoons miso paste with 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Whisk the ingredients until the miso paste is fully incorporated into the mixture. Brush over fried chicken wings or barbecued chops.

Sriracha-maple glaze
Combine ¼ cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (adjust for desired spiciness), 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Whisk until well blended. Brush over the fried wings and serve excess as a dipping sauce.

Tamarind & black pepper sauce
Combine ¼ cup tamarind paste, ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper (adjust to taste) and a pinch of salt. Heat the mixture over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are well combined. Allow the sauce to simmer gently for 5-7 minutes until it thickens slightly. Ideal as a dipping sauce or glaze for fried chicken wings.

THE NEXT BIG THING / HOT SANDWICHES

Hot sandwiches have been making a massive comeback in the past year and I am all for it. In popular food culture the sandwich never disappeared, it just took a back seat while we worked through other trends. But, when the trends have come and gone the sandwich still remains – and this time round, it’s hot.

GIVE THESE A GO…

Lamb Philly cheese sandwich
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add half a thinly sliced onion and half a thinly sliced green capsicum, frying gently for about 5-7 minutes until they are soft and slightly caramelised. Push the cooked vegetables to one side of the pan and add 200g thinly sliced lamb or cooked leftover lamb. Cook the lamb for a couple of minutes until it’s heated through. Season the lamb with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop the lamb and veges out into soft, buttered rolls, place slices of provolone-style cheese over the lamb, and let the residual heat gently melt the cheese. Serve immediately.

Italian meatball sub sandwich
In a mixing bowl, combine 500g minced beef with ½ cup breadcrumbs, 1 beaten egg, ¼ cup grated parmesan, 1 teaspoon dried oregano,½ teaspoon garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined and shape into small meatballs. Heat a little oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the meatballs until they’re nicely browned and fully cooked. Add a 500g jar marinara sauce and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Season to taste and serve in crusty baguettes or soft long rolls.

Shrimp & remoulade po’ boys
For the remoulade sauce, whisk together ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon each Dijon mustard and horseradish, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon paprika, a dash of hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate. Toss 400g peeled and deveined shrimps with 1 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper. Cook the shrimps in a hot pan with 1 tablespoon oil until pink and cooked through. Split and lightly toast some sub rolls. Spread remoulade on the rolls, add shrimps, lettuce and tomato slices. Ideal with a side of french fries.

Toasted caprese sandwich
Heat a pan over a medium heat. Mix 1 tablespoon softened butter with a pinch of garlic powder. Take 4 slices of bread and spread the butter on one side of each slice. Layer sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and fresh mozzarella on the unbuttered side of 2 bread slices. Top with the remaining 2 slices of bread, buttered-side up. Pan-fry the sandwiches until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve immediately. Ideal with a chunky cucumber salad.

POWER PLANTS

A meat-free main definitely isn’t ‘less’, it’s just different. Whatever the reason to choose a vege dish, you can’t deny we all want delicious meals packed with flavour. If you’re used to cooking with meat, it takes a bit of a pivot to make veges the star ingredient. In this column we load up your knowledge so your vege meals pack a punch.

I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings here, but vegetable skewers are undoubtedly one of the most hit-and- miss dishes. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they seek out where good is and then run as far from it as possible. The Achilles heel of products such as tempeh is they lack natural fats and their flavour can be mild. We are going to attack these two shortcomings with this recipe and deliver a barbecue hero that’s packed with texture, flavour and a pop of smokiness and heat.