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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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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scallops with lemon butter sauce

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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.