FAVOURITE THINGS

donna hay - - CONTENTS - pho­tog­ra­phy CHRIS COURT styling STEVE PEARCE

Stretchy, silky and creamy, there’s no end to the de­light­ful ways meals can be up­lifted by moz­zarella and its cheesy re­la­tions

Del­i­cate, rich and creamy, moz­zarella (and its close re­la­tions, bur­rata, boc­concini and strac­ciatella) is the per­fect in­gre­di­ent to take meals to new heights. Whether melted over cia­batta, dain­tily dot­ted in pasta or sim­ply served whole, it guar­an­tees a sim­ple, el­e­gant meal to im­press.

baby buf­falo moz­zarella with fen­nel puree, spicy salami and olives 50g un­salted but­ter, chopped 2 small fen­nel, trimmed and chopped, fronds re­served

and finely chopped 4 cloves gar­lic, sliced ¹⁄³ cup (80ml) milk sea salt and cracked black pep­per 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 ta­ble­spoon white wine vine­gar 400g baby buf­falo moz­zarella+ 100g thinly sliced spicy salami chilli flakes, to serve 1 cup (120g) green olives Melt the but­ter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the fen­nel and gar­lic and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 4 min­utes. Add the milk and salt and cover with a lid. Re­duce heat to low and cook for 10 min­utes or un­til soft. Re­move from the heat and set aside to cool. Us­ing a hand­held blender, blend un­til smooth. Re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

Place the oil, vine­gar, salt and pep­per in a small bowl and whisk to com­bine. Spoon the fen­nel puree onto 4 plates. Top with the moz­zarella, salami, chilli, vinai­grette and re­served fen­nel fronds. Serve with the olives. SERVES 4. + We used a knot­ted baby buf­falo moz­zarella called no­dini, which is avail­able from del­i­catessens. If un­avail­able, you can use baby moz­zarella. roasted gar­lic, pine nut and boc­concini spinach lin­guine 2 bulbs gar­lic 1 ta­ble­spoon ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 tea­spoon sea salt flakes ½ cup (15g) finely grated parme­san, plus ex­tra to serve cracked black pep­per 300g fresh spinach lin­guine ½ cup chervil leaves, finely chopped 1 ta­ble­spoon lemon juice 1 ta­ble­spoon toasted pine nuts, chopped 400g buf­falo boc­concini+ Pre­heat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the gar­lic, oil and salt in alu­minium foil and en­close. Place on an oven tray and cook for 30 min­utes or un­til soft. Set aside to cool slightly. Squeeze the gar­lic cloves from their skins and place in a medium bowl. Add the parme­san, salt and pep­per and mix to com­bine. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boil­ing wa­ter for 3 min­utes or un­til al dente. Drain, re­serv­ing ½ cup (125ml) of the cook­ing wa­ter. Place the gar­lic mix­ture, pasta and re­served cook­ing wa­ter in a large bowl. Add the chervil, lemon juice, pine nuts and boc­concini and toss to com­bine. Sprin­kle with ex­tra parme­san to serve. SERVES 4. + Buf­falo boc­concini is avail­able from del­i­catessens. If un­avail­able, you can use reg­u­lar boc­concini.

tar­ragon-crumbed bur­rata, toma­toes and basil oil 1 cup (70g) panko (Ja­panese) bread­crumbs 2 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped tar­ragon sea salt and cracked black pep­per 1 cup (150g) plain (all-pur­pose) flour 2 eggs, lightly beaten 4 x 100g bur­rata, pat­ted dry veg­etable oil, for deep-fry­ing 2 ox heart toma­toes+, sliced mi­cro (baby) basil leaves, to serve basil oil 2 cups basil leaves 1 cup (250ml) boil­ing wa­ter ¾ cup (180ml) light-flavoured ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 tea­spoon sea salt flakes Place the bread­crumbs, tar­ragon, salt and pep­per in a medium bowl and mix to com­bine. Place the flour and egg in 2 sep­a­rate medium bowls. Dip 1 bur­rata in the flour and then in the egg. Dip again in the flour and egg. Dip in the bread­crumb mix­ture and place on a tray lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Re­peat with the re­main­ing bur­rata. Set aside in the freezer for 10 min­utes to firm.

To make the basil oil, place the basil in a large heat­proof bowl and pour over the boil­ing wa­ter. Drain and set aside to cool slightly. Squeeze out the ex­cess wa­ter and place the basil in a jug. Add the oil and salt and, us­ing a hand-held blender, blend un­til the basil is finely chopped. Set aside.

Half-fill a medium saucepan with the veg­etable oil and place over medium heat un­til it reaches 180°C (350°F) on a deep-fry­ing ther­mome­ter. Cook the bur­rata, in batches, for 2 min­utes or un­til golden. Re­move us­ing a slot­ted spoon and drain on pa­per towel.

Spoon the basil oil onto 4 plates. Top with the tomato, bur­rata, mi­cro basil, salt and pep­per to serve. SERVES 4. + You can find ox heart toma­toes in farm­ers mar­kets and green­gro­cers. If un­avail­able, you can use any heir­loom toma­toes. moz­zarella and truf­fle pizza 2 tea­spoons caster (su­perfine) sugar ¾ cup (180ml) luke­warm wa­ter 1½ tea­spoons dried yeast 1 ta­ble­spoon ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, plus ex­tra for driz­zling 1 tea­spoon sea salt flakes 2¼ cups (335g) 00 flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing 200g buf­falo moz­zarella, torn cracked black pep­per, to serve thinly sliced fresh truf­fle+ (op­tional), to serve Place the sugar, wa­ter and yeast in a small bowl and mix to com­bine. Set aside for 5–10 min­utes or un­til foamy.

Place the oil, salt and flour in the bowl of an elec­tric mixer with a dough hook at­tached. Add the yeast mix­ture and beat for 6 min­utes or un­til smooth and elas­tic. Place the dough in a lightly greased large bowl, cover with plas­tic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or un­til dou­bled in size.

Pre­heat oven to 240°C (475°F). Place 2 x 20cm round pizza trays in the oven for 5–10 min­utes. Di­vide the dough into 2 balls and, on a lightly floured sheet of non-stick bak­ing pa­per, roll out each one to a 30cm round. Top with the moz­zarella and driz­zle with the ex­tra oil. Care­fully slide the pizza bases onto the hot trays. Cook for 15 min­utes or un­til golden and cheese is bub­bling. Top with pep­per and truf­fle (if us­ing) to serve. MAKES 2. + You can find fresh truf­fle in spe­cialty del­i­catessens and farm­ers mar­kets. If un­avail­able, you can use truf­fle oil.

or­ange and crispy ca­per mar­i­nated moz­zarella 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil ¼ cup (50g) baby ca­pers, pat­ted dry ¼ cup (60ml) or­ange juice 1 ta­ble­spoon red wine vine­gar 1 clove gar­lic, bruised 1 ta­ble­spoon honey sea salt flakes 4 small red chill­ies, halved 2 or­anges, quar­tered 2 x 250g buf­falo moz­zarella 1 ta­ble­spoon crushed pink pep­per­corns 4 sprigs Greek basil Heat the oil in a small fry­ing pan over high heat. Add the ca­pers and cook for 2 min­utes or un­til crispy. Re­move us­ing a slot­ted spoon and drain on pa­per towel.

Care­fully add the or­ange juice, red wine vine­gar, gar­lic, honey and salt to the pan and cook for 2 min­utes or un­til slightly re­duced. Pour into a medium bowl, add the chilli and or­ange and mix to com­bine. Set aside to cool.

Add the moz­zarella, pep­per­corns and crispy ca­pers and toss to coat. Set aside for 30 min­utes to mar­i­nate. Top with the basil sprigs to serve. SERVES 4. Note: We served this as a canapé with cured meats and bread. strac­ciatella with chilli oil and an­chovy crumb 1 x 50g can an­chovies, drained 250g strac­ciatella+ 100g nas­tur­tium leaves (op­tional), to serve bread, to serve chilli oil ½ cup (125ml) ex­tra vir­gin olive oil ¼ cup (10g) dried chill­ies, chopped 3 strips lemon rind 1 clove gar­lic, crushed 1 ta­ble­spoon red wine vine­gar Pre­heat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the an­chovies on a small lightly greased oven tray lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Cook for 5 min­utes or un­til dry and crumbly. Set aside.

To make the chilli oil, place the oil, chilli and lemon rind in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for 4–6 min­utes or un­til bub­bling. Place the gar­lic and vine­gar in a medium heat­proof bowl and pour over the oil.

Spoon the strac­ciatella into a bowl. Driz­zle with the chilli oil and sprin­kle with the an­chovy crumb. Top with the nas­tur­tium leaves (if us­ing) and serve with the bread. SERVES 4. + Strac­ciatella is sold in tubs and is avail­able from del­i­catessens. If un­avail­able, you can use 250g bur­rata, chopped. smoked moz­zarella and olive sand­wich 1 tea­spoon fen­nel seeds 1 tea­spoon sea salt flakes 2 tea­spoons caster (su­perfine) sugar 1 green olive cia­batta loaf+ 1 clove gar­lic, halved 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 2 x 125g smoked moz­zarella++, sliced Pre­heat oven to 220°C (425°F). Place the fen­nel seeds in a mor­tar and pound with a pes­tle un­til fine. Place in a small bowl. Add the salt and sugar and mix to com­bine. Set aside.

Cut the bread in half hor­i­zon­tally and rub the cut sides with the gar­lic. Place the bread, cut-side up, on an oven tray. Brush with the oil and cook for 6 min­utes or un­til golden. Sprin­kle both halves with the fen­nel sugar and top one half with the moz­zarella. Sand­wich to­gether and cook for 8 min­utes or un­til golden and cheese is melted. Cut into slices to serve. SERVES 4–6. + You can find green olive cia­batta in bak­eries and some su­per­mar­kets. If un­avail­able, use plain cia­batta. ++ Smoked moz­zarella is avail­able from del­i­catessens.

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