Down-under wonders | Monocle

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Recipes & food styling: Emma Knowles
Food assistant: Max Adey

Prawn cocktail

Serves 4 as a starter or snack

½ small iceberg lettuce, shredded
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Juice and finely grated zest of ½ lemon
20 cooked, peeled prawns, tails intact
1 ripe avocado, peeled, cut into segments
Chervil and tarragon sprigs, to serve
Lemon wedges, to serve

Cocktail sauce
1 small shallot, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
3 tsps brandy
150ml double cream
2 tbsps tomato ketchup
1 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Tabasco
Juice of ½ a lemon, or to taste

1. To make the cocktail sauce, combine the shallot, garlic, brandy and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk cream to thicken slightly, then add in remaining ingredients. Season to taste, add shallot mixture and mix to combine.
2. To serve, divide shredded lettuce among serving bowls and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice; season to taste. Arrange prawns and avocado on top, drizzle with a little cocktail sauce, scatter with lemon zest, tarragon and chervil and serve.

Salt-and-vinegar onion rings

Serves 4 as a snack

250ml dry white wine
250ml malt vinegar
2 tbsps caster sugar
3 onions, peeled and sliced 1cm thick
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Rice flour for dusting

Thyme and vinegar salt
20g sea-salt flakes
1½ tbsps malt vinegar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Finely grated rind of ½ a lemon
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Beer batter
100g rice flour
75g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
250ml beer

1. To make the thyme-and-vinegar salt, preheat oven to 180c. Stir salt and vinegar in a bowl to combine, spread on a small baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until dried (8 to 10 minutes). Cool completely, crumble into flakes, add thyme, rind and pepper and mix to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
2. Combine wine, vinegar, sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, season to taste and bring to simmer. Separate onion into rings, add to wine mixture and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until just tender. Drain and spread on a tray lined with paper towels to dry.
3. For the batter, combine flours and baking powder in a bowl; season to taste. Whisk in beer until smooth and batter has the consistency of heavy cream. If it becomes too thick add a little more beer.
4. Heat oil in a deepfryer or large saucepan to 180c. Working in batches, dust onion rings with rice flour and dip in batter, shaking off excess, and deep-fry until light golden brown and crisp (1 to 2 minutes; be careful, hot oil may spit). Drain on paper towels, season with thyme-and-vinegar salt and serve hot.

Bavette steak sanga with beetroot relish

Serves 4

600g piece of beef bavette
2 tbsps olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 tsps fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves – 1 finely grated, 1 halved
1 tsp smoked paprika
8 thick slices of sourdough bread
Mayonnaise, to serve
Rocket leaves, to serve

Barbecue sauce
250ml tomato passata
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
80ml apple cider vinegar
60ml maple syrup
60ml Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp treacle
½ tsp smoked paprika
Quick-pickled beetroot
60ml red wine vinegar
50ml red wine
40g caster sugar
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 thyme sprigs
2 small beetroot (about 150g each), thinly shaved on a mandolin

1. Combine beef, oil, thyme, grated garlic and paprika in a bowl; season to taste. Cover and stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. To make the barbecue sauce, pulse passata, onion and garlic in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan, add vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, treacle and paprika, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened. Season to taste, cool slightly then transfer to a sterilised bottle or container. Refrigerate for up to one month.
3. To make the beetroot relish, stir vinegar, wine, sugar, shallot, thyme and 50ml water in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, season to taste, add beetroot, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Drain before using.
4. Preheat a griddle pan or barbecue to medium-high heat. Drizzle bread slices in olive oil and char-grill, turning occasionally, until toasted. Rub with the cut side of a garlic clove and then set aside.
5. Remove beef from marinade and char-grill for 7 to 8 minutes, turning once, until charred and cooked rare. Transfer to a tray, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
6. To serve, spread half the toasted bread slices with mayonnaise. Thinly slice bavette against the grain and divide among bread. Drizzle with barbecue sauce to taste, top with quick-pickled beetroot and rocket, and serve.

Chicken parma

Serves 4

4 small skinless chicken breast fillets
100g panko or dried breadcrumbs
2 tbsps sesame seeds
1 tbsp finely chopped oregano
150g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dusting
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200ml olive oil
100g thinly sliced leg ham
250g buffalo mozzarella, thickly sliced
30g finely grated parmesan
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Basil leaves, to serve
Rocket and parmesan salad, to serve

Tomato ‘sugo’
1½ tbsps olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
750ml tomato passata
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
125ml dry white wine
2 oregano sprigs, kept whole
2 basil sprigs, kept whole
2 tsp red-wine vinegar, or to taste

1. To make the tomato sugo, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, adding garlic in the last minute of cooking. Add passata, tinned tomatoes, wine and herbs, season to taste and simmer until slightly thickened. Add vinegar to taste, adjust seasoning and discard herbs. Sugo can be made several days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Warm before using.
2. Halve each chicken breast horizontally so you have two flat pieces of an even thickness. Combine panko, sesame seeds and oregano in large bowl and season to taste. Place seasoned flour and egg in separate bowls. Working with one chicken breast at a time, dust in seasoned flour, dip into egg and coat in panko mixture, shaking off excess in between. Place on a tray in a single layer.
3. Heat a quarter of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add two pieces of the chicken and fry, turning once, until crisp and golden brown (2 to 3 minutes each side). Transfer to a tray, wipe pan with paper towels and repeat in batches with remaining oil and chicken.
4. Preheat oven to 180c. Spread a little sugo in the base of four shallow ovenproof bowls big enough to hold two pieces of chicken (or bake in a large baking dish). Arrange two pieces of chicken on top, then spoon over a little sugo. Top with ham and a little more sugo, then arrange mozzarella on top. Scatter with parmesan, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Scatter with basil and serve hot with a rocket-and-parmesan salad.

Burger with the lot

Serves 4

750g minced beef (see note)
2½ tbsps olive oil
8 rashers of streaky bacon
150g vintage cheddar, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs
4 sesame-seed buns, halved and toasted
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
6 baby cos lettuce leaves, shredded
Sliced pickles, to serve
Crinkle-cut fries, to serve

Tomato relish
2 tbsps olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
1 clove garlic
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
80ml red-wine vinegar
2 tbsps brown sugar
2 thyme sprigs

1. To make the tomato relish, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then sauté onion until tender and translucent. Stir in diced tomato and garlic and simmer, stirring occasionally until tomato begins to break down. Add tin of tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and thyme, season to taste and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes until thick and rich. Check the seasoning, cool to room temperature and refrigerate in an airtight container or sterile jar for up to one month.
2. Divide beef mince into quarters. Form a quarter at a time into a patty slightly larger than the diameter of your burger bun. Press an indent into the centre of each with your thumb, then set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 180c. Warm a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add bacon in batches and fry, turning until crisp. Transfer to oven tray.
4. Season burger patties generously and add to pan. Fry until well browned on the base (3 to 4 minutes for rare, 6 to 8 minutes for medium/well done), turn and top with the cheese slices. Continue cooking until base is well-browned. Transfer to the oven tray.
5. Add onion to pan, season to taste and fry, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl.
6. Wipe pan with paper towels and return to medium heat. Add a splash of remaining oil. Crack 2 eggs into the pan, fry until cooked to your liking (2 to 3 minutes for soft yolks), transfer to plate and wipe pan with paper towels. Repeat with remaining oil and eggs.
7. Place burgers and bacon in oven to warm through for 2 to 3 minutes. Spread bases of toasted burger buns with tomato relish, top with a burger patty, fried onion, bacon, tomato, lettuce, egg and pickles. Sandwich with bun tops and serve with crinkle-cut fries.

Note: choose a mince with about 20 per cent fat content so your patties are nice and succulent. Avoid lean mince or your burger will be dry.

Golden Gaytime sundae

Serves 4

Salted caramel ice-cream
6 egg yolks
300g caster sugar
40g butter, diced
1 tsp sea-salt flakes
600ml double cream
150ml milk

Chocolate mousse
280ml double cream
200g good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
80g good-quality dark chocolate (56-60 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp chocolate liqueur or brandy

Malt crumbs
30g softened butter
2 tbsps caster sugar
1/2 egg yolk
75g plain flour
30g malt powder
1/4 tsp baking powder

Crushed honeycomb and shaved milk chocolate, to serve

1. To make the salted caramel ice-cream, whisk yolks and 100g sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Set aside. Stir 200g sugar and 80ml water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals. Boil without stirring for 4 to 5 minutes, swirling pan occasionally when syrup starts to caramelise, until dark caramel. Remove from heat, add butter and sea salt, swirl to combine, then add milk and cream – be careful as the hot caramel mixture will spit. Return to heat and whisk until all the caramel is melted, then bring to a simmer. Add to yolk mixture, whisking continuously to combine, then return to pan and stir continuously until the mixture coats the back of your spoon thickly. Strain into a bowl placed over ice, whisk occasionally until cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate to chill, then churn in an ice-cream machine, cover and freeze until required. Makes about one litre and will keep for up to one month.
2. To make the chocolate mousse, bring cream to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stand for five minutes, then whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside. Whisk yolks, liqueur and one tablespoon of water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until light and fluffy. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate mixture to combine. Transfer to an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until cooled to room temperature. Divide among four 40ml-capacity serving glasses or bowls and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours until chilled and set.
3. Meanwhile, to make the malt biscuit crumbs, preheat oven to 170c. Blend butter and sugar in a bowl, then beat in yolk. Add flour, malt and baking powder and mix with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread in an even layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown. Cool on tray then store in an airtight container for up to three days.
4. To serve, top milk chocolate mousse with a scoop or two of salted caramel ice-cream, scatter with malt crumbs and crushed honeycomb and serve topped with shaved milk chocolate.

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