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Green goodness lemon and parmesan risotto


Gluten-free | Serves 4 | Vegan | Ready in 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS 

3 tbsp butter or neutral oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1½ cups risotto rice
½ cup white wine
6 cups hot gluten-free
vegetable stock, plus a little extra if needed
1 tsp salt ground black pepper,
to taste
4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup grated parmesan
Finely grated zest and
Juice of 1 lemon
Pea tendrils or rocket (arugula),
to garnish

HERB OIL
1⁄2 packed cup fresh parsley, watercress or rocket (arugula)
leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt

METHOD

Puréeing frozen peas and adding them to a risotto just before it’s ready provides this wonderful zing of freshness. You can also purée lightly cooked broccoli, zucchini or spinach and use them in place of the peas.

Heat butter or oil in a large, heavy-based pot, add onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat until softened but not browned (8 minutes).

Add rice and stir for 1–2 minutes to lightly toast.

Add wine and allow to evaporate fully, then add hot stock, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Simmer gently, stirring now and then, until rice is creamy and just tender (about 18 minutes). If the mixture dries out during cooking, add a little more stock or water—it should be wet enough to fall from the spoon.

While rice is cooking, make herb oil by puréeing herbs with oil and salt, adding a little water if needed to thin to a pouring consistency.

Boil a jug of water. Place spinach and peas in a bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to stand for 2 minutes. Drain, then purée with a hand wand blender or in a food processor. Add to risotto with parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste and warm through.

To serve, divide risotto between heated serving bowls and top with a drizzle of herb oil and pea tendrils or rocket (if using).

 

 

Extracted from Bella: My life in food by Annabel Langbein. Food photography by William Meppem. RRP$49.99. Published by Allen & Unwin NZ.


 

Chocolate & almond butter swirl brownies


Makes 12

 

INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate batter
200g dark chocolate, chopped into 5mm chunks (150g for melting, the rest for the top)
100g coconut oil
100g white spelt flour
100g golden caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
2 organic eggs, or 8 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

For the almond butter batter
75g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 organic egg, or 4 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
100g smooth almond butter

METHOD

Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin with baking paper.

For the non-vegan brownies:
For the chocolate batter, melt 150g of the chocolate (saving the rest for the top) with the oil in a small pan over a low heat. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour in the melted chocolate and give the batter another stir until the chocolate is mixed through. Make the almond butter batter by whisking together the sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, whisk again, add the almond butter, stir until well combined and set aside. The batter will be thick.

For the vegan brownies:
Follow the steps above, replacing the eggs with the flaxseed. For the chocolate batter, mix 8 tsp of flaxseed with 6 tbsp of warm water in a separate bowl. For the almond butter, mix 4 tsp of flaxseed with 3 tbsp of warm water in a separate bowl. For both mixtures, leave to thicken for 15 minutes before using.

Dollop alternate heaped spoonfuls of each batter into the tin. Once all the batter is in, use a butter knife to swirl it in figures of eight. Top with the remaining chocolate, pressing each piece slightly into the batter, then sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies are just set with a little wobble and the almond butter swirls are golden. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin completely before cutting.

 

Recipe extracted from One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones. HarperCollins. RRP $54.99


 

“Dirty” bulgur with roast chicken (Red bulgur bi jara)


This dish was originally prepared in a clay pot, hence the term “bi jara”, or “from the clay oven” in the recipe’s name. My version differs from the original, not only in that I have used a regular saucepan instead of a clay pot, but also because I have ‘dirtied’ the rice. A friend of mine inspired me with his dirty rice recipe, where he mixed rice with vegetables and a lot of spices. The chicken is marinated first in the same Mediterranean seasonings that I would later use for the bulgur – each reinforcing the other.

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients 

2 chicken legs (drumsticks)

For the marinade
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
½ teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
Salt and pepper

For the bulgur
200 g (7 oz) of coarse bulgur
Boiling water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 French shallots (peeled and whole)
2 garlic cloves (pressed)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
400 g (14 oz) of tinned tomatoes (cubed)
200 ml (7 fl oz) of chicken stock
Salt and pepper
200 g (7 oz) of tinned chickpeas (rinsed)
150 g (1 cup) of frozen peas

To garnish
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley
(chopped)

Preparation

Put the chicken in a sealable freezer bag with the olive oil, tomato paste, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and rub all the marinade ingredients into the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Place the chicken in an ovenproof baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the grill (broiler) on, remove the foil and cook the chicken for another 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Make the bulgur while the chicken is baking in the oven. Pour the bulgur into a bowl and add boiling water to cover. Soak the bulgur for 5 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Fry the shallots for 3 minutes until golden yellow. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and ground cumin. Continue cooking the sauce until browned. This intensifies the flavour.

Add the cubed tomatoes, the soaked bulgur and the chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Check the bulgur regularly and add some more water or stock if the cooking liquid evaporates too quickly.

After the bulgur has cooked, stir in the chickpeas and the frozen peas. Warm the entire dish for a couple of minutes. Take the pan off the burner, cover and let the whole dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve the bulgur warm in a dish with the roasted chicken. Garnish liberally with fresh parsley.

 

Recipe extracted from SUMAC: Recipes and stories from Syria by Anas Atassi, published by Murdoch Books, RRP $55.

 

Cardamom + dark chocolate “cheesecake” bars


 

Gluten-free | Makes 12–14 slices | Vegan

Method:

Start this recipe the night before to soak the cashews.

To make the cheesecake base, line a 28cm x 18cm slice tin with baking paper, overlapping the sides by 2cm. Put the pitted dates, almonds and melted coconut oil into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Press the mixture into the tin, using the back of a spoon to pack it in firmly.

To make the filling, place all the filling ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, finely grind the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle first, before adding to the blender. Pour the mixture over the base and smooth the top. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. To make the chocolate topping, place the dark chocolate into a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.

Add the coconut milk and the maple/brown rice syrup and heat gently until melted. If it starts to look a little split (this can happen because of the coconut milk), whisk to bring it back together into a smooth sauce. When just melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, before spreading over the cheesecake. Return to the fridge until set. Once set, slice into 12–14 bars, using a sharp knife warmed under running hot water.

Ingredients: 

Base
240g (1½ cups) dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
100g (⅔cup) raw almonds
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted

Filling
375g (3 cups) raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight in cold water + drained well
185ml (¾ cup) virgin coconut oil, melted
125ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
125ml (½ cup) pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp fine salt
seeds from 20 cardamom pods (or 2 tsp ground cardamom)

Chocolate topping
85g dairy-free dark chocolate, roughly chopped
60ml (¼ cup) coconut milk
2 Tbsp pure maple/brown rice syrup

 

Extracted from Every Day by Emma Galloway. HarperCollins. RRP $60.

 

Quintessential quiche


Quiche, whether served hot or room temperature, is a versatile vessel for abundant autumnal fillings. Packed for a picnic, prepared for a party or famished family, local seasonal ingredients come alive when encased in a flaky or buttery shell.

 

 

With origins in Germany and France, it’s the Kiwi-as ingredients that have revitalised the classic quiche. Think a juxtaposition of at least three, for texture and taste, with these autumnal pairing partners.

Butternut pumpkin, sage or fennel, with roasted pinenuts or hazelnuts, are synonymous with falling leaves.

Ripened pears are eagerly awaited this time of year. A local blue cheese becomes their ultimate bed partner atop pastry sheets and toasted walnuts complete the romance.

Whether you call them zucchini or courgettes, they make a fine filler in an autumn quiche. Mild in taste, yet adding zing with the likes of feta, mint, parmesan, and sweet little cherry tomatoes.

Autumn hails the arrival of foraged fungi, whether plucked from the woodlands, farmers markets or local deli.

Mealy field mushrooms, Italian porcini, paler-fleshed delicate oyster mushrooms, and meaty shiitake all add their magic.

Quiches are a wonderful way to sneak in the health benefits of April’s flourishing super greens, such as kale, parsley or even nasturtium leaves.

And laden with the piquancy of local cheeses, they will rival the South of France – banishing any preconception of eggy blandness. Even the burgeoning vegan versions are divine.

Go generous on fillings and flavours. Aotearoa’s autumn harvest is abundant. And thanks to the inspirations of our artisan foodies, a quiche is an epicurean open book to go wild with.


 

Jambalaya in a jiffy: United Fisheries


Recipe supplied by United Fisheries

 

 

Serves 4-6 | Prep 20 mins | Cook 30 mins

INGREDIENTS

Cooking oil
4 rashers streaky bacon, cut into
2cm pieces
5 Hellers Spanish Chorizo sausages, sliced 1cm thick
1 large onion, roughly chopped
½ green capsicum, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 ½ cup long grain white rice
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Gregg’s Creole Spice
1 dried bay leaf
½ cup + 1 Tbsp white wine
1x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
1 ½ cup chicken stock
250gm Sea Cuisine Raw Prawn
Meat or Cutlets, defrosted.
250gm Sea Cuisine Squid
Rings, thawed.
Fresh parsley, to garnish

 

METHOD

Heat a large pot over medium heat with oil. Add bacon and chorizo, cook until sausages turn golden brown.

Add the onions and cook until softened. Add celery, green and red capsicums and garlic. Cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add rice, turmeric, cayenne, and bay leaf and stir continuously for one minute. Add the ½ cup wine, tomatoes and chicken stock. Increase heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, season the prawns and squid with salt and pepper, and remaining wine. After the rice has simmered, fold in the prawns and squid. Cover again, continue to cook over low heat for another five minutes until prawns and squid have just cooked through.

Turn off the heat, keep the lid on to let everything rest for five minutes.

Fluff the jambalaya with a fork, garnish with parsley and serve with toasted garlic bread.


 

Choc-tail masterclass


While the Easter holiday means different things to everyone, there’s no doubt the long weekend as we know it is about indulging with loved ones. So, Metropol has gone on an Easter egg hunt for the chocolatey cocktails to try this long weekend.

 

 

SHOOT THE EGG, NOT THE BUNNY
The ultimate adult chocolate egg is here, thanks to culinary writer Sara McCleary’s Easter egg shots. All you need is 30ml Kahlúa, 30ml vodka, 30ml Irish cream liqueur, 30ml full cream milk, one cup of ice. Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately in hollow Easter eggs with the tops sliced off.

A DREAMY CHOCOLATINI
Put that chocolatey spin on a cocktail classic. Add 60ml vanilla vodka and 30ml crème de cacao into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake in a Bond-like fashion (not stirred) and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an Easter egg, and “salt” the rim with sugar and cinnamon (or chilli for an extra kick).

HOT AND CROSSED
If you’re not so chocolate inclined, try a tipple inspired by the other Easter treat, a hot cross bun. Shake 40ml spiced gin, 15ml cinnamon and saffron spiced syrup, 60ml pressed apple and a lemon twist together. Pour into a martini or rock glass, leaving the lemon twist in, and garnish with star anise.


 

Bad bunny hot cross bun bread + butter pudding


In New Zealand during lockdown, May 2020, these hot cross bun bread and butter puddings stormed social media and they simply can’t be ignored as a fabulous way to use up leftover hot cross buns. I know I buy too many, I know I shouldn’t, but…

 

Serves 5

 

You will need…

  • Clean hands
  • Chopping board and serrated knife
  • Medium-sized baking dish, greased with butter
  • Bowl
  • Whisk

INGREDIENTS 

4 hot cross buns, cutting tops
from bottoms
50g butter, softened
½ cup chocolate chips/leftover chocolate Easter Eggs (yeah right!)
4 eggs
2 egg yolks (save your whites)
60g caster sugar
250ml milk
350ml cream
Icing sugar for dusting

METHOD

Preheat the oven to bake 180C

Roughly coat the hot cross buns with the softened butter, I use my fingers to smear it over.

Place the bottom half of the hot cross buns in the dish, squishing them in, snug is best.

Scatter most of the chocolate over them, then put the tops on with the rest of the chocolate scattered over the top.

Whisk the eggs, yolks and caster sugar together, then add the milk and cream, mix, then pour over the buns. Wait for about 10-minutes for it to settle.

Pop in oven for 20-minutes, or until tops are browned.

Take out, cover with foil (recycled if possible) and put back in oven for another 20-minutes: you are making a custard as such, and it should be set.

Remove from oven and dust with icing sugar.

 

Extracted from Fridge Cleaner Cooking: Waste Not Want Not by Sarah Burtscher, published by SJKB Ltd, distributed by Bateman Books, release date April 10, 2021, RRP$39.99. Food photography by Jet Campbell.

 

Tray-bake chicken Caesar salad: Annabel Langbein


Caesar salad is one of those timeless recipes that everyone loves. Throwing everything into the oven to cook makes fast work of this fabulous recipe, and the dressing can also be made ahead of time.

 

Serves 4 | Ready in 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

Caesar salad
4 boneless chicken thighs, ideally skin-on
8 rashers streaky bacon
4 trusses cherry or truss tomatoes
Finely grated zest of ½ a lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
About ⅓ loaf ciabatta or sourdough bread, torn into coarse chunks
1 large or 2 baby cos (romaine) lettuces
A handful of fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley leaves, to garnish
Grated parmesan, to garnish

Caesar dressing
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 canned anchovies, with a little of their oil
1 cup cream
½ cup grated parmesan (about 40g)
Finely grated zest of ½ a lemon
Ground black pepper, to taste

METHODS

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C fan bake. Line two shallow roasting dishes with baking paper for easy clean-up. Arrange chicken, bacon and truss tomatoes on one tray. Sprinkle chicken with lemon zest, drizzle everything with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange bread chunks on second tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper to make croutons. Bake until chicken is fully cooked through (20 to 25 minutes). Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. While chicken bakes, make Caesar Dressing. Heat oil and sizzle garlic and anchovies over a medium heat for about 30 seconds, mashing up anchovies to a paste. Add all remaining ingredients to pan and boil hard until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 2 minutes). Cool before use. The dressing will keep for a few days in a jar in the fridge. It thickens on cooling, so warm gently to loosen, or thin with a little water as desired.
  3. To prepare the salad, cut lettuce into wedges or cut leaves in half and pile onto a serving platter. Drizzle with ¼ cup Caesar dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Cut each chicken thigh into 3 to 4 pieces and each bacon rasher into four pieces. Arrange evenly over salad with tomatoes and croutons. Drizzle with more dressing, then serve the remainder in a small jug or bowl on the side. Garnish salad with basil or parsley and grated parmesan to serve.
Extracted from Bella: My life in food by Annabel Langbein. Food photography by William Meppem. RRP$49.99. Published by Allen & Unwin NZ.

 

Scrumptious dumplings


Bite-sized flavour dynamos, dumplings are a crowd-pleasing snack or meal that are fun and surprisingly simple to make at home. From Korean mandu to Japanese gyoza and Chinese-style wonton, here are some tried and true flavour combos to try – whether you like them boiled, steamed or fried.

 

 

Dumpling wrappers can be found at Asian supermarkets for – usually – much cheaper than the big brand stores, and keep well in the freezer. Whichever dumpling style you choose to make, a damp tea towel will prevent them drying out while you finish pleating the whole batch.

FERMENTED FAVOURITES
Kimchi and tofu dumplings are a comforting, flavourful and plant-based mix. Stir fry 2/3C shallots, 3 cloves of garlic, 2Tbsp ginger, 1 grated carrot and 2 chopped spring onions. Cool, then add 400g crumbled tofu, 3/4C kimchi and 1tsp ground coriander.

POT STICKER WINNER
Pork and cabbage is a classic combo, and pairs deliciously with a chili and vinegar dipping sauce. For the filling, combine about 500g pork mince with 120g finely sliced Chinese cabbage, 1Tbsp ginger, 2 cloves minced garlic, 4 slices spring onions and ½ tsp miso paste.

BOILIN’ BROTH
Try your hand at delicate chicken and prawn wontons, cooked in a toothsome broth. For the filling, mix 300g minced chicken, 200g uncooked and chopped prawns with 15g chopped ginger, 4 garlic cloves, 2Tbsp soy sauce, and 2tsp sesame oil.