Cooking with Karen
Mains, sweets and entrees. Done!
Spiced sweet and sour blueberry chilli sauce
Drizzle on steamed fish or serve alongside roasted chicken, grilled pork skewers or duck. Love cheese? This condiment is your new best friend!
Seared pork steak with crumbed mozzarella and tomato dressing
This quickly seared minute steak is a modern take on a deconstructed parmigiana.
MAPLE-BAKED APPLES AND PEARS WITH CLOVE CRUMB
The simple things in life, like baked apples, are the best – just add spice for extra flavour. Divine!
Preparation time 15 mins Cooking time 30 mins Serves 5
50g butter, to grease
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved 5 beurre bosc pears, peeled,
halved, leave stalks in one half 100ml verjuice
120g maple syrup
Juice of ½ lemon
200g clotted cream, to serve Clove crumb
100g rolled oats
50g plain flour
50g toasted hazelnuts, chopped 100g brown sugar
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cloves
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 180˚C fan-forced (200˚C conventional). Line an oven tray with baking paper. Grease base and sides of a baking dish with butter. Put apples and pears in prepared dish.
STEP 2 In a small saucepan, bring verjuice, maple syrup and lemon juice to a simmer. Stir. Pour over fruit and bake for 30 minutes or until tender and slightly coloured.
STEP 3 To make crumb, put all ingredients in a large bowl. Rub together to combine. Spread over prepared tray. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
STEP 4 Divide cooked fruit among serving bowls. Crumble over clove crumb and serve with clotted cream.
SPICED SWEET AND SOUR BLUEBERRY CHILLI SAUCE
Preparation time 5–10 mins Cooking time 25–30 mins Makes 500–600ml
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 2 tsp sea-salt flakes
10 long red chillies, roughly
chopped, seeds left in
4 baby red chillies, roughly
chopped, seeds left in 350g caster sugar
320ml red wine vinegar
2 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp ground white pepper 4 eschalots, peeled, finely
sliced in rounds
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp fish sauce
STEP 1 Put garlic and salt in a large mortar and pestle. Pound to form a paste. Add all chillies and pound again to a rough paste. (You can also do this in a food processor). STEP 2 Tip garlic mixture into a medium saucepan along with caster sugar, red wine vinegar, celery seeds, white pepper, eschalots, cinnamon sticks and blueberries.
STEP 3 Put pan over a medium heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken just a little. The volume will reduce considerably. Don’t let it go too far or it will be too thick. Add fish sauce and simmer for 1 minute. Discard cinnamon sticks. Pour into a clean jar and set aside to cool. Serve.
SEARED PORK STEAK WITH CRUMBED MOZZARELLA AND TOMATO DRESSING
Preparation time 15 mins Cooking time 10 mins Serves 4
4 x 200g pork scotch steaks
2 ripe tomatoes
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
¼ bunch basil, leaves picked 150ml extra virgin olive oil Juice of ½ lemon
Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground
black pepper, to season
2 large mozzarella balls
3 Tbsp flour
1 free-range egg, whisked
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
STEP 1 Put each pork steak between 2 sheets of baking paper and use a meat mallet or bottle to gently flatten to minute steaks, about 1.5cm thick.
STEP 2 Put tomato, chilli flakes,
6 of the basil leaves and 90ml of the oil in a small processor (or use a stick blender). Blitz to combine then add a little lemon juice to taste. Season then set aside.
STEP 3 Slice mozzarella into 1.5cm-thick pieces.
STEP 4 Put flour in 1 bowl, whisked eggs in another and breadcrumbs in a third.
STEP 5 Lightly coat mozzarella slices with flour, then dip slices in egg, then coat all over with breadcrumbs.
STEP 6 Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Fry each mozzarella slice for about 1 minute each side or until just golden. Remove from the pan and lay on paper towel to soak up excess oil. Keep warm in oven, if necessary.
STEP 7 In the same pan, over a high heat, cook pork for about 2 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking.
STEP 8 Serve pork steaks covered in fresh tomato dressing, topped with 1 or 2 slices of fried mozzarella and remaining basil leaves.
SPRING HAM HOCK MINESTRONE
Dollop homemade pesto onto this spring soup to make the green vegies really sing!
Preparation time 20 mins Cooking time 1 hour 20 mins Serves 8–10
90ml extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 celery heart, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 smoked ham hock, sliced
through the bone if possible 1.5L chicken stock
100g medium-grain rice
2 medium zucchini, sliced
3/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
12 green beans, cut into short lengths 2 handfuls chopped flatleaf parsley leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges
100g basil leaves
200g parsley leaves, chopped
50g pine nuts
100g parmesan, coarsely grated 1 clove garlic, chopped
200ml extra virgin olive oil Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground
black pepper, to season
STEP 1 To make pesto, put herbs, nuts, parmesan and garlic in a food processor. Process until fine. Add oil, scrape down bowl, then process until smooth. Season. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
STEP 2 To make soup, put butter and 50ml of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sticky but not yet caramelised. Add ham hock, stock and 500ml water. Increase heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in rice and simmer for a further 30 minutes. STEP 3 Add veg and parsley. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Remove hock and shred ham off bone. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with pesto, ham, a drizzle of remaining oil and a squeeze of lemon. Serve.