crispy chicken wings

IMG_0272What’s your favourite kitchen appliance? Mine is the oven… its literally does all the cooking for you, heat it up, pop in the dish and roast, bake, slow cook or braise away.  This is the simplest chicken wing dish ever, 4 ingredients including the chicken!  The skin goes all crispy and there is nothing to overpower the chicken deliciousness…  serve it with a simple salad, or some steamed greens and rice, and you have an easy mid week meal, or canapé for Friday night drinks. The chicken wing consists of three parts , the drumette, the winglette  or flats and the tip. Usually I  chop the tips off when roasting chicken wings, and save them wrapped in plastic in the freezer for stocks or to enhance my sauces or soups.But if you love the crunchy crisp tips then leave them on while roasting. Whats your favourite piece of the chicken?I love the flats especially cooked this way, as they are so crisp and crunchy, and you get lots of chicken skin.

 

Easy crispy chicken wings

 

Prep time 5 minutes

Cooking time- 45-50 minutes

Serves 4

 

 

1 kg chicken wings

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsps sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

 

 

1 Preheat oven to 180c. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Cut the wings into two, between the drumette and the winglette. Use a small sharp knife and cut each wing into two pieces.

2 Place into a bowl and drizzle in oil, sprinkle over sea salt and pepper, and massage the seasonings into the skin till all coated.

3 Lay out on the tray in a single layer and roast for 44-50 minutes till golden brown and skin is crisp.Turn once during cooking.

 sizzle tip-  these chicken wings go with almost anything try them with my tomato concasse which is also perfect with home made sausages rolls.  To ensure the skin is crispy on all sides, don’t overcrowd the tray, lay flat in a single layer, and turn once during cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sichuan salt& pepper calamari

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photography by  Andre Martin recipe and styling by Sydney Food stylist Jane Collins 

Sichuan salt and pepper calamari

Serves 4

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cooking time- 25 minutes

 

 

 

1 Tbsp Sichuan pepper corns

2 Tbsp sea salt flakes

¾  cup plain flour

¾ icy cold cups soda water

1/2 cup corn flour to dust

2 cups canola / vegetable oil

500g calamari hoods, approx. 2, cut into rings

1 lemon, cut into half

lettuce or salad leaves to serve

 

 

 

1 Heat a non stick frypan to medium heat, add Sichuan pepper,salt and cook, stirring often for 7-8 minutes till the peppercorns begin to pop, and become fragment. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes till cool.

Crush in a mortar and pestle or in a spice ginger. Strain through a fine sieve, so you remove most of the husks.

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2 Combine plain flour, and soda water and stir really gently in 3 or 4 swirls with a couple of chopsticks, so the water is incorporated, BUT there is still lumps.

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3 Heat oil in a deep medium saucepan over medium high heat till a piece of bread sizzles on contact. Dip each calamari ring into  corn flour, shake off excess, then into the batter and slowly lower into the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes in batches, drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with Sichuan salt & pepper while still warm. Serve immediately with a cold beer and lemon half.

 

Sizzle swap– use sea salt and cracked black pepper if Sichuan pepper is not your thing.

Add your favourite aioli or mayonnaise to this dish. Serve as an entrée for 4 , or as part of a nibble tray for up to 6 people.

 

 

Sizzle tip– watch the Sichuan pepper closely, tossing or stirring, so the peppercorns don’t burn. Once it starts to become fragrant, you are nearly there. The salt will become a ‘dirty “colour, this is the colour from the peppercorns. Store in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks. Sprinkle onto roasted chicken or pork fillets. The Sichuan tastes a little lemony and has a distinctive smell.

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spinach and ricotta dumplings

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Photography by Helen Coetzee

Recipe and styling by Sydney food stylist Jane Collins 

We love foodies at our place, and we love long lunches at Bungan on the balcony.  Mind you  while they start at lunchtime, they seem to linger longer and longer, hanging into the evenings and beyond, and we eat more and more food to fill in the time. We always have a tribe of testers and tasters and before you can say yum- a recipe is sorted and the favourite sauce is nominated. I love how food and conversation can bring the oddest bunch of people together and they can be happy in  the therapy that is food.

I first fell in love with dumplings when working at a Sydney modern Australia Fusion restaurant- they combined Asian techniques  and recipes with modern Australian flare and flavours. The chefs taught me how to master these dumplings and I really enjoy create different flavours and sauces.

My two favourite sauces are black vinegar and chilli , and the classic tomato concasse.

Try these dumplings out , you will soon be experimenting yourself.

 

 

Spinach and ricotta dumplings

Makes 30

Prep time- 20 minutes

Cooking time – 15 minutes

 

2Tbsps vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bunch /200g   English spinach, trimmed

½ cup  firm ricotta cheese

Sea Salt & cracked pepper

275g packet / 30 gow gee pastry wrappers

 

 

 Soy & Black vinegar dressing

2 Tbsps soy sauce

1 Tbsp  Black vinegar

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp caster sugar

1 red chilli, halved

 

 

1Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non stick frypan over medium high heat. Cook onions for 1-2 minutes, add garlic cook and stir for 30 seconds.

2 Chop spinach, wash and drain well. Add to pan and cook for 1 minute, till wilted but still bright green. Remove from heat and cool completely for 10 minutes. Add ricotta to cooled spinach mixture, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

3 Arrange wrappers on work bench. Working with about 5-6 at a time. Lightly wet edge of one side of each wrapper.

helencoetzee.com (28 of 60) Place a heaped teaspoon of spinach mixture on one side of each wrapper. Fold wrapper in half to enclose filling and make a half moon shape. Pleat edge to seal.

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4 Heat remaining oil a large non stick frypan over medium heat, in a circular fashion.

pork dumpling raw 2Pour approx ½  cup water down the side of the pan and place the lid on the saucepan. Cook for 4-5 minutes till pastry is softened and water has evaporated.  Remove lid and gently ease each dumpling from surface so it doesn’t stick.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes more till bases are golden brown.

Serve with  Soy & black vinegar sauce.

 

 

To make Black vinegar sauce-Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

 Sizzle sub I also serve these dumpling with my tomato concasse. See archives for  concasse recipe. If you don’t have black vinegar use white vinegar, it will just have a milder taste .

Sizzle tip-  you can steam the dumplings in a bamboo steamer  and not brown the base.

 

chicken & roasted almond sandwiches

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These are the sandwiches that I get asked to bring to a party or BBQ… and they always go down a treat . Yes they are on white bread, you could choose any bread you like, but to me white bread and real butter and the perfect roast chook is just such a wonderful combination. I think it takes me back to my childhood. So these are really simple and sometimes if we have had a big day and don’t feel like cooking, its a BBQ chicken from the chicken shop, and all chopped up with our favourite mayonnaise and some chives, salt & pepper, slap it between two pieces of bread and you are satisfied.I first tasted these delicious sandwiches from a friend of mine who brought them to my baby shower nearly 8 years ago. They have been on my rotating  list of go-tos ever since. The roasted almond slivers are my favourite crunch.

Use left over  roast chicken, or  I also poach 2 chicken breasts and shred the meat while its still warm, toss it in the mayonnaise and season.

Of course you can use any bread you like, I make these for my mum who is Gluten free on gluten free bread, they also make great open snacks on rice cakes or crackers.

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kaffir lime roast chicken

 Photography by Andre Martin 

 recipe and styling by Sydney Food stylist Jane Collins 

 Chicken and roasted almond sandwiches

Prep time – 10 minutes

cooking time 15 minutes

Serves 8

 

 

2 chicken breasts  from a roast chicken ( I leave the skin on )   kaffir lime roast chicken

1/4 cup mayonnaise I  use kewpie mayonnaise 

2 Tbsp slivered almonds, roasted

2 Tbsp chopped chives

sea salt & cracked black pepper

1 loaf  thick sliced white bread ( or sliced bread of your choice )

butter for spreading

1 Cut or shred the chicken breast into small pieces. Combine in a medium bowl with mayonnaise, almonds and chives, season with salt and pepper.

2 Butter each  slice  of bread and top with a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture. Top with a bread slice and cut off the crusts.  Cut into strips.

3 Place onto a platter and serve.

Sizzle tip– Place the almonds on a tray lined with baking paper and Roast the almonds in a moderate ( 180 c°) oven for 10-12 minutes till lightly golden. Allow to cool and place into chicken mixture. You can roast a few almonds at a time, and just use the required amount. Place the unused almonds into an air tight container for  up to a couple of weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

Chip coated prawns

Prawns are a summer favourite, I love them big, fresh and coated in this  salty chip ( crisps ) mixture, which is my spin on Fish and chips !

So easy and even easier to fry as you can hold onto the skewers. I have  included a recipe for these on a soft  Vietnamese roll  with mayonnaise ( Kewpie is our favourite ) and a drizzle of chilli sauce .

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 photography by Andre Martin 

recipes and styling by Sydney Food stylist Jane Collins

 

Chip coated prawns

Prep time 20 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

Makes 12

 

12 green prawns, peeled , tails left on

12  long skewers

1 cup plain flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 cups crushed salted chips

Vegetable oil to  deep fry

6 long Vietnamese rolls

100g salad leaves

Mayonnaise to serve

Sriracha  chilli sauce to serve

 

1 Thread each prawn onto a skewer. Place flour on a large flat plate and season with cracked black pepper. Toss the prawns into the flour and dip into the beaten egg, allowing excess to drip off.  Place crushed chips onto a large plate and roll each prawn into the chip crumbs, pressing firmly to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the crumb layer to stick.

2 Heat oil in a saucepan or deep fryer, until a cube of bread sizzles on contact. Cook prawns in batches, for 3-4 minutes till golden. Drain on paper towel.

3 To serve fill the rolls with salad leaves and top each with a prawn stick

( remove skewers) drizzle with mayonnaise and chilli sauce.

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These prawns can also be served with sweet chilli sauce and lime wedges.

sweet chilli sauce

1 red onion, sliced

1 long red chilli, sliced

½ cup vinegar

1 cup water

Coriander roots

1 In a small saucepan, combine onion, red chilli, vinegar, water, coriander roots  and bring to the boil.

2 Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes till sauce is slightly thickened. Strain, and seal in a screw top jar.

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classic pavlova with strawberries & cream

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Photography by  Sydney Food Photographer Omid

Recipe and styling by Sydney Food Stylist Jane Collins 

 Classic Pavlova with cream and strawberries

Pavs seem to make a special appearance at Christmas time……there are rolls, layered disks, classic and flavoured with chocolate, nuts, fruit. I love the classic version, and if you do it well, it will become a family favourite all year round.This is like the one my mum  makes. She loves it with simple fruit, such as strawberries, but the list is endless for the toppings.

Do you like it with lots of mallow ? Pile it really high to get the most mallow … Cool completely in the oven before dressing with cream and strawberries, don’t worry if the pavlova shell cracks, its all part of the charm and rustic nature of this dessert.

 

 

Serves 8-10

Prep time 10 minutes

Cooking time 1- 1 ¼ hours

 

6 egg whites

1 ½ cups caster sugar

1 Tbsp corn flour

1 Tbsp malt vinegar or white vinegar

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract or scraped beans from 1 pod

600ml thickened cream

250g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped

Icing sugar to dust

 

 

 

1 Preheat oven to 180°C, or 160°C fan. Line a circular tray (the pizza trays with the holes in the base are really good for this) with baking paper.

2 In a large bowl beat egg whites with an electric beater for 4-5 minutes on medium speed till soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat on high speed scraping down the sides between additions, beating till thick and glossy. With a large metal spoon fold in corn flour, vinegar and vanilla. Stir till combined.

3 Pile the meringue really high in the centre of the prepared tray with a diameter of about 12-15 cm. Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C, or 100°C fan forced. And bake for 1 hour- 1 ¼ hours, till the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Turn off oven and leave door ajar. Cool completely in the oven.

4 Beat cream with electric beaters, on medium speed till thick.

5 Spread pavlova with cream, top with chopped strawberries, and dust with icing sugar to serve.

 

 

 

 

scallops with lemon butter sauce

food-photographer-scallops

photography by sydney photographer Omid

recipes and styling by Sydney food stylist  Jane Collins 

 

This butter sauce is rich, light and sharp at the same time! This makes about a cup and the trick is to keep the sauce warm, but not hot so remove from heat while you whisk in the butter, if the sauce is getting to cold and the butter is not melting, place back over a low heat to bring the temperature back up.  If you like it a bit sharper add some lemon juice or some lemon zest at the end. This is great on any seafood, but also good with roasted chicken and golden potatoes.  This is called a compound sauce, you are adding cold butter to a hot acid liquid, and the sauce will gradually become thick and smooth.

These scallops are easily cooked on the BBQ flat grill where if big enough you can cook them all at the same time. Make the sauce first and set aside, that way it’s a quick sear for the scallops and drizzle with lemon sauce and you are away.  We used to make this sauce in a restaurant I worked in, and serve it with grilled prawns, fish and add chopped mustard fruits to the sauce at the end.

 

Scallops with lemon butter sauce

Prep time 10 minutes

Cooking time 5-8 minutes

Makes 12

 

Lemon Sauce-

½ small red onion,  quartered

½ lemon, juiced

2 Tbsps white wine vinegar

1 sprig tarragon

200g butter, chopped

Sea salt and ground white pepper to season

1 Tbsp olive oil

12 scallops on the half shell

Micro herbs to garnish

 

 

1 In a small saucepan, place onion, lemon juice, vinegar and tarragon, cook over medium high heat till bubbling.Reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes till slightly thickened.Remove onion pieces and tarragon sprig, take off the heat and whisk in cold butter cubes constantly till sauce is smooth and all the butter has been used. The sauce should be thick and glossy.  Set aside in a warm place.  Season with sea salt and white pepper.

2 Wash and remove any grit from the scallops. Heat a large frypan or grill plate on the bbq to medium high. Drizzle with olive oil and cook scallops for 1 minute each side. Drizzle with lemon butter sauce and top with micro herbs.