GRAN DE­SIGN

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Adam Wolfers’ flavour­some food has been var­i­ously de­scribed as Eastern Euro­pean, Hun­gar­ian Jewish and new-school Jewish. Yet when asked to ex­plain its di­verse ap­peal, the chef points in­stead to his big­gest culi­nary in­spi­ra­tion: his grand­mother. “She was from Vi­enna and her fa­ther was a chef who owned a kosher restau­rant serv­ing Ashke­nazi Jewish food in the early 1900s,” he says. Her en­dur­ing recipes, be­queathed over gen­er­a­tions, form the ba­sis of Wolfers’ ap­proach. Work­ing with chefs the stature of Peter Doyle, Mark Best and Brent Sav­age has helped him to re­fine them even fur­ther. “Us­ing all these in­flu­ences, tech­niques and mem­o­ries, I’ve de­vel­oped an ex­cit­ing way of cook­ing with a fo­cus on my her­itage,” he says. His parsnip schnitzel recipe is a de­light­ful twist on the meat dish, while roasted flathead with ‘kosher XO’ nods clev­erly to Chi­nese cui­sine. But don’t even think about mod­i­fy­ing matzo ball soup. “My grand­mother al­ways said it has to be just the soup and the matzo ball, that’s it. Do not fancy it up with any­thing else. The matzo ball has to be light and fluffy, and the soup has to be full of flavour and clear.” Un­sur­pris­ingly given his sin­gu­lar style, Wolfers is an in-de­mand chef, with a string of pop-up restau­rants un­der the Ètelek ban­ner in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Can­berra. “Ex­pect to see ex­cit­ing things on the hori­zon,” he says.

Mean­while, for the flat­bread, in the bowl of a stand mixer fit­ted with the hook at­tach­ment, com­bine sugar, yeast and 320ml warm wa­ter, cover and stand in a warm place for 10 min­utes or un­til frothy. Add flour and 1 tsp salt flakes, and knead for 10 min­utes. Trans­fer to a greased bowl, cover and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or un­til dou­bled in size. Di­vide into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Trans­fer to a tray, cover with a clean tea towel and stand for 30 min­utes. On a but­tered sur­face, stretch a piece of dough to form a 26cm x 32cm rec­tan­gle. Fold in half length­ways and scrunch long edges to­gether into a strip. Twist into a flat spi­ral and cover with plas­tic wrap. Re­peat with re­main­ing dough and stand for 30 min­utes.

Heat 20g but­ter in a fry­pan over medium-low heat. Work­ing with 1 piece at a time, on a but­tered sur­face, press dough into a 22cm round. Us­ing a wide spat­ula, care­fully trans­fer to pan and cook for 2 min­utes each side or un­til golden. Trans­fer to a tray and re­peat with re­main­ing dough and but­ter. Cover to keep warm.

Pre­heat the oven to 200°C. Line an oven­proof wire rack with bak­ing pa­per and place over a bak­ing tray. Place flathead on pre­pared tray, place lemon slices in fish cav­ity and driz­zle with oil. Roast for 17 min­utes or un­til cooked through.

Mean­while, heat cup (100g) XO, lemon juice, chives and stock in a fry­pan over high heat and stir un­til hot.

Trans­fer flathead to a serv­ing plat­ter, spoon over chive mixture and serve with the flat­breads.

‘TOPFEN­GO­LATSCHE’, CREAM CHEESE, RHUBARB

SERVES 4 Topfen­go­latsche is an Aus­trian pas­try.

100g cream cheese, soft­ened 1 cup (220g) caster sugar 90g creme fraiche 225g fresh ri­cotta Finely grated zest of 1/ 2 orange

and 1/ 2 lemon 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

1/3 cup (80ml) thick­ened cream, whipped 650g trimmed rhubarb,

cut into 10cm pieces 1 sheet frozen but­ter puff pas­try,

thawed 1 egg, lightly beaten Sifted ic­ing sugar, to serve

In a stand mixer fit­ted with the whisk at­tach­ment, whisk cream cheese and 60g sugar un­til smooth. Stir through creme fraiche, ri­cotta, zest, vanilla seeds and a pinch of salt flakes. Fold cream into cream cheese mixture and chill un­til needed.

Toss rhubarb, 50ml wa­ter and re­main­ing 160g sugar in a roast­ing tray lined with bak­ing pa­per and stand for 1 hour. Pre­heat the oven to 160°C. Roast rhubarb for 25 min­utes or un­til soft­ened. Stand to cool.

In­crease oven to 200°C. Grease a large bak­ing tray and line with bak­ing pa­per.

Place pas­try on pre­pared tray and brush with egg. Bake for 40 min­utes or un­til golden. Brush with some rhubarb juice, cool, then break into shards.

Di­vide cream cheese mixture among serv­ing plates, top with rhubarb, then cover with pas­try shards. Driz­zle with some rhubarb juice and dust with ic­ing sugar to serve.

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