“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”—Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
The following is a transcript of a recording made between Matthew Caldicott and Aaron Harvie as they attempt to cook a three-course dinner…
… (RUSTLING SOUND)… (CLUNK)…
Aaron: Oops I dropped it… is it on?
Matt: Yeah, it’s recording.
Aaron: No, I don’t think it is. Look, it’s not doing anything. I think I need to press this button…
(RECORDING STOPS)…. (CLUNK)
Matt: …ook it’s recording… stop playing with it. I think you may be too old for digital technology Azz.
Aaron: I don’t know, I am used to tape recorders, you can see the wheels going around, a lot easier if you ask me.
Matt: Are we going to do this?
Aaron: Yep, you start.
Matt: Okay, hi I’m Matt.
Aaron: And I’m Aaron.
Matt: So today we are going to cook a three-course meal for our respective food blogs.
Aaron: Uhh.. French themed, correct young Matthew?
Matt: Indeed, a three-course French themed dinner. You’re going to do entrée, aren’t you Aaron?
Aaron: I am. I think it be best that you tackle dessert.
Matt: I think you’re right. And we can both do main.
Aaron: Very cool. And before I forget, we need to take photos; I get in a lot of trouble when I don’t have any pics!
Matt: I brought my camera. We are golden.
Aaron: Excellent, as long as you take the shots, my shaky hands and photography don’t mix.
Matt: I can do that.
Aaron: Well, lets get this show on the road, the first course is mine. I am going to cook, Pan Seared Scallops with Carrot Mousse Roe and Blackberry Caviar.
Matt: Sounds great, but not very French.
Aaron: Yeah, well… I want to cook this anyway so I am sure nobody will complain. And Matt, by the way, thanks for pointing that out.
Matt: (Muffled Laughter)
Aaron: This is what we need ingredients wise to serve 4 people.
12 Scallops in shells
4 Tbsp Butter
4 Pinches Finely Chopped Parsley
50ml Olive Oil
Matt: Do you need any help?
Matt: So how are we going to do this?
Aaron: Lets start with the Carrot Mousse Roe.
First we need to grate the carrots.
(GRATING SOUND AND PANTING)
Matt: Having some trouble there?
Aaron: Wish Jono was here now… he was a machine!
Matt: I know, first time I saw him do that in a challenge I was like, “…okay so Jono is going to win…”
Aaron: Once we have grated the carrots we need to cook them in a covered saucepan with the butter for about ten or so minutes.
Matt: Until they are soft.
Aaron: Yeah, that’s the idea
Matt: Isn’t this Garry’s recipe from the show.
Aaron: It is, with a couple of changes. I always say you reach for the stars when you stand on the shoulders of giants.
Matt: Never heard you say that once.
Aaron: Well you have, cause I just said it then!
(SOUND OF PHONE RINGING IN THE BACKGROUND)
Aaron: Hey Matt, I need to take this can you watch the carrots?
Matt: No problem.
The next 8 minutes is silence. With an occasional clunk or loud noise.
Matt: Oh shit, the carrots.
(SOUND OF POTS CLANKING)
Matt: (Yells) Hey Aaron, we have a slight problem.
Aaron: Just finished my call what is it?
Matt: Uh, didn’t check the carrots.
Aaron: How bad?
Matt: We burnt the carrots.
Aaron: That is awesome. (Laughter) Should we put this in the blog?
Matt: No, makes us look like idiots.
Aaron: Cool, will edit this bit out. Let’s start again.
Grate 300g of carrots and cook them in a covered saucepan over a low heat with 4 tablespoons of butter for about 10 minutes or until soft, stirring every few minutes.
Then when cooked add them and the cream to a blender and puree until smooth.
Once pureed press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
Combine gelatine with a little hot water, melt and stir through the puree. Place in the fridge to chill. Approx 20 – 30 minutes
Matt: That was quick, what’s next.
Aaron: I suggest we have a little drink while it does its thing.
Aaron: Okay so that was fun. Lets finish the entrée. First clean the scallops and remove the roe. Then scrub the shells and place them in boiling water for five minutes to sterilize. Cool in cold water.
Matt: Slow down, do we really need to sterilize the shells?
Aaron: I don’t know. But I do remember you getting bollocked by George and Garry for not sterilizing your egg shells the time you made the custard so I say, better sterilized than sorry.
Matt: When you’re right, you’re right.
Aaron: Heat a pan and add olive oil. When hot add the scallops and cook for approx 30 seconds. Should have nice golden colour on the top. Turn over add the butter to the pan and spoon over the scallops. Cook for approx 30….owww! That really hurt!
Matt: Burn yourself?
Aaron: Yep. That’s going to leave a mark. Anyway sprinkle parsley over, remove from pan and place on scallop shells.
Matt: Don’t want to over cook the scallops, should be medium.
Aaron: Do they look medium?
Matt: Yeah, I was just saying that, you know, for the blog.
Aaron: Good Point! Now lets make the roe. Get the carrot mousse from the fridge and using a teaspoon quenelle and place against the scallop at the back of the shell.
Matt: That does not look good. Aaron your hands are so shaky.
Aaron: Okay Matt you do it…. Oh, that does look better.
Matt: Almost done, what is the Blackberry Caviar?
Aaron: Pretty simple really. To me the individual little pieces of the blackberry look like caviar so to fool the eye a little I thought we would remove each piece and stack them like caviar on top.
Matt: Cool, I like that. Let’s start on the main. Pan Seared Duck Breast with Red Wine and Duck Jus and White Truffle Pomme Puree
Aaron: Truffles! I love Truffles!
Matt: Let’s start with the Red Wine Sauce. We need:
1/2 garlic clove
1 thyme sprig
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
375ml red wine
400ml duck stock (2 duck carcasses, 1 onion halved, 1 carrot diced, 1 celery stick diced, cover with water and let simmer 45 min - skimming)
Heat oil in a pan, color the onion and garlic, and then add thyme. Continue to cook until everything is nicely golden brown. Deglaze with the vinegar, then add the wine and reduce until syrupy.
Add the duck stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 min. Pass through a very fine sieve into a clean pan and boil to reduce to the required consistency (quite thick). Season with salt and pepper. Keep hot.
Aaron: Boy, that was fast Matt.
Matt: Well, we are going to be here forever the rate you are going.
Aaron Point. Lets make the White Truffle Pomme Puree
4 Potatoes peeled and quartered
50g Unsalted Butter
50ml White Truffle Oil
Good amount of Salt
Peel and quarter the potatoes and add them to pot of boiling water. Cook until soft. Remove from water, drain and mash. Then pass through fine mesh sieve. Place in large bowl and cream, butter and truffle oil and whip with a spoon until creamy. Salt to taste.
Matt: Now lets do the Pan Seared Duck Breast
2 Duck Breasts
Score the duck breast through the skin and fat but not all the way to the meat.
Aaron: Important point that one. Then heat a pan and fry the duck breast skin side down until he skin is nice and brown and the fat runs out
Matt: Heat an oven to 180 degrees and cook skin side up for approx 6-8 minutes.
Aaron: Take them out and rest for a few minutes and then slice them thinly.
Matt: Nice. So let’s plate up. Drizzle some of the reduction on the plate and strategically place a spoonful of the Pomme Puree.
Aaron: Looking good Matty… place the duck on the plate and spoon over a little more of the reduction. And we are done. Should we have done something green to go with this?
Matt: Green Beans would have been nice on the side.
Aaron: Next time. Lets do dessert. Adam said he was coming over at about 5 O’clock
Matt: Wow. We have wasted so much time, okay no more messing around. Aaron you take the photo and I will cook the dessert.
Aaron: Cool. Can I shave some chocolate for presentation?
Matt: If there is any left. For dessert I am going to make a Moelleux. Going to need
100g 70% dark choc
110g unsalted butter
4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
50g plain flour, sifted
150g caster sugar
You will need 8 small circular ring moulds. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. Brush the moulds with butter, using upward strokes. Chill until firm, and then repeat. Dust with cocoa powder, shaking out the excess. Set the moulds on a baking tray. Melt all the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Take off the heat and allow to cool until tepid. Beat the eggs and yolks together, using an electric mixer, until pale and light. Mix the flour with the sugar, and then fold into the whisked eggs. Finally, fold in the melted chocolate and butter mix. Spoon the mix into the moulds to 3/4 fill them. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the chocolate moelleux is set around the edges but still moist and runny in the centre. The surface should look set but have a slight wobble. Let cool slightly.
Aaron: Boy you are a dessert demon. I shaved some chocolate
Matt: Cool, let’s plate. But we have to work quickly. Carefully run a small knife around the edges of each mould and invert onto the plates. Dress with some raspberries and a little quenelle of Crème Fresh.
Aaron: And shaved Chocolate
Matt: And yes, shaved chocolate.
Aaron: Okay, lets eat.
Matt: Well the duck is cold and the scallops have been sitting around for a few hours, are you game?
Aaron: Lets clean up and have a drink.
Adam Liam came over to the kitchen about 20 minutes after the dishes were shot, took one look at the shoddy photography and kindly re-shot all of the food.
Recipes & Banter- Matthew Caldicott and Aaron Harvie
Photos- Adam Liaw, Matthew Caldicott and Aaron Harvie
I was about a year away from a meal that would change my life and ignite a lifetime love of food.
But something happened in 1984 that started another life long love affair… the release of the sixth studio album by Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain.
Now I already had a healthy appreciation for music at this point, but there was something about this record, maybe the fact that to me it was a complete album, every track as good as the next and all fitting together like a musical jigsaw.
What can you say about this record… the music, the songs and the attitude… so cool and so timeless… a musician at the peak of his craft, placing every single element where it needed to be.
I remember very clearly the day I first saw the video for “When Doves Cry” on Countdown… or my parents taking me to the Drive In to see “Purple Rain” the movie…. the first day I got my grubby little hands on that vinyl.
I spent months pouring over this record. I knew every word, tried (very badly I might add) to play every lick on my shitty guitar at home and discovered the joy of the total abandonment that only music can truly bring.
While doing the show I developed a lot of recipes… some good, some average and some downright wrong…
I hope that my take on this simple dish pays homage to this amazing record, song, movie and artist… but lets face it… it could never compare!
PURPLE RAIN- Beetroot Risotto with Thyme, White Truffle Pecorino and Marscapone
Serves 4 Music Fans
1 Sprig Thyme
1 cup Carnaroli Rice
4 tablespoons Mascarpone
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
125 ml White Wine
1 litre Chicken or Vegetable stock (the vegetarian option)
100 g grated White Truffle Pecorino or Parmesan plus a couple of extra shavings for garnish
Splash of Truffle Oil
Few tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons Butter
Good Splash of Olive Oil
1 large Fry Pan
1 Large Saucepan
Peel and roughly chop Beetroot… does not have to be perfect so don’t spend to much time on this…
Bring Chicken Stock to boil in saucepan
Add Beetroot and thyme to the stock and cook beetroot till it’s tender. I am not going to give a time, just test it with a fork.
COOL STOCK. I cannot emphasize this enough… if you don’t this next step is going to re-paint your walls purple. You can either just turn off the heat and leave it to cool, put it in the fridge or for those of you in a rush place saucepan in an ice bath… up to you!
Add cooled stock to blender and blend for 10 -15 seconds creating a vortex. If your stock has not been cooled you will notice that your walls and quite likely yourself is covered in a purple, volcanically hot liquid. Use a rubber spatula to clean down the sides and pulse blender until it is all pureed.
Put back on heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
Chop onions to the size of rice grains.
Add a generous splash of Olive oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and sweet onions & garlic until soft.
Add rice and stir gently in pan.
Cook Rice until translucent and deglaze pan with white wine. It is perfectly reasonable to start drinking the rest of the bottle at this point… you have a lot of stirring to do!
Once wine has been absorbed by rice add a ladle of stock and continue to stir until absorbed. Repeat until rice is al dente’. This should take about 20 or so minutes, it should be tender but not mushy… remember taste for texture!
Okay, okay… stop here… I know what some of you are saying out there… I prefer to cook my risotto stirring… I prefer to just agitate the pan… I like to just leave mine…
I am not going to get into this debate; I value my personal safety way too much.
I am not a qualified chef, I am a home cook.
I have seen it done many different ways, this is the way I like…. Please use your beloved method if that’s what rocks your boat!
Turn of the heat and stir in butter and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve place risotto in large flat bottom plate. Tap gently under the plate to spread the risotto. Garnish with a tablespoon of Mascarpone, chopped parsley, shaved Pecorino and a drizzle of truffle oil.
I suggest cooking this meal and eating it to the album… if it takes you two runs through until you get to eat, well hey, at least it is an album worthy of a double play!
The old saying goes… Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his boots. In other words, don’t criticize another person’s work until you’ve tried to do it yourself. Don’t judge another person’s life until you’ve been forced to live it.
How could I write about hangover food and not heed this insightful saying. How could I write about good hangover food with out having a hangover?
So last night, I sat down and proceeded to drink.
I drank a lot.
I drank for one reason and one reason only. To inebriate myself enough to wake up with the mother of all hangovers and explore the world of food with bleary, bloodshot eyes!
And as I stumbled into my bedroom at around 3.30 am I thought to myself… “This is such a smart idea, I am so clever!”
I awoke to the piercing tone of my alarm clock. It was blinking 9.15 am… over two hours later than when I had set it.
I did not feel smart, or clever… I felt truly terrible!
My brain had shrunk to the size of a raisin, and my mouth tasted like the floor of a taxi.
As I arose and tried to concentrate on the task at hand… not easy when you have a marching band in your head… I thought, what do I feel like eating? What am I capable of cooking?
The first thing I think about is a hamburger… something greasy to sop up all of my sins from the night before… or maybe a bacon and egg sandwich.
Ohh, bacon and egg sandwich… hash browns!
… but no… I have come this far; I need to find the ultimate hangover food… something outside my normal repertoire of food I would normally cook when I felt like this.
After I make myself presentable to the outside world I grab the largest and darkest sunglasses I have to hide behind, ditch the beanie and make my way to the local supermarket.
Inside bright fluorescent lights assault me and a million brightly packaged items seem to leap off the shelves at me. As I walk around the market soft muzak fills the air; a lounge version of Eye of the Tiger. So much food to choose from… I am really struggling here.
After wandering around aimlessly and grabbing random items from the shelves I look in my little basket at what I have grabbed… and three things jump out at me… bacon, ham and pork.
What a combo. Bacon, ham and pork…
What could I do with bacon, ham and… hang on…
A Sandwich Mixto.
A Cuban sandwich…
A Cuban sandwich is an experience that everyone must have… I have only had one… but to this day it would still go down as one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten… Roast pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, thinly sliced dill pickles on Cuban bread with mustard!
Now I know what I want for my hangover… A Sandwich Mixto! Or my version anyway. I am going to call it…
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
Serves 4 Very Hungover People
500g Pork loin
500g Sliced Ham
1 head Garlic (8-9 Cloves)
1 tsp Cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Couple of Squeezes of Lemon Juice and Lime Juice
Hot English Mustard
250g Swiss cheese
1 Loaf Turkish Bread
Let’s get started by making the pork…
We need to mash the garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, lemon and lime juice together to form a paste. If you have a Mortar & Pestle that is the way to go but if not a small food processor will do the trick.
Cut the pork into thin slices, place each piece between two sheets of cling film and beat with meat tenderizer until thin… this will be painful for your head but if you do it in time with the throb of your headache you should be alright…. Sorry about this but you will have to repeat until all pork is complete. Rub the paste on the pork and leave for a few minutes while you get the rest of the sandwich together.
Heat a large fry pan and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels… try not to eat the bacon at this point… if you are having trouble resisting I suggest making a Bloody Mary and soothing the pain!
Okay, now for the pork. Use the same pan as you cooked the the bacon in and fry off the pork till cooked through… don’t overcook or it will dry out! Remove and reserve from pan.
Cut your Turkish loaf into 4 equal parts and halve… Cover one side with butter, the other with mustard.
Heat a large fry pan and start stacking these sandwiches- pork, bacon, ham, and cheese. Be generous… the hangover may kill you before the sandwich so throw caution to the wind
Splash some olive oil in the pan and place in the sandwich.
Now you can do a few things here… but the end result is we want to squash the sandwich down about third to a half of the original size.
You can press down with a spatula (but that is way to much effort) or place another pan on top with some weights (cans maybe).
Any which way you do it… 3 minutes on each side, remove and cut in half…
Soft Flour Tortillas with Chipotle Pork, Red Onion Salsa & Red Pepper and Chilli Sauce
Okay here we go…. Tortilla
3 Cups Flour
Splash of Vegetable Oil
Water- you are going to have to use common sense here people… will explain!!!!
Red Onion & Tomato Salsa
2 Tomatoes cored & seeded
¼ Red Onion
Big Handful of Coriander Finely Diced
1 Lemon Cheek
1 Serious Splash Tobassco Sauce
Salt & Pepper
500 g Pork Loin Cubed
1 litre Chicken Stock
1 Tin Whole Peeled Tomatoes
4 Diced Jalapenos
1 tbsp Molasses
3 Chipotles Chillies
1 Roughly Chopped Onion
1 ½ Tbsp Cumin
Water if you need it
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper & Chilli Sauce
2 Red Capsicums
6 Long Red Chillies
5 Cloves Garlic
½ Red Onion
1 tin Tomato
2 tbsp Raw Sugar
Splash White Vinegar
I Rolling Pin
1 Food Processor
2 Griddle Pans
1 Large Fry Pan
1 Set Tongs
1 Meat Tenderiser
1 Mixing Bowl to fit Drum Sieve
1 Plastic Spatula
To Make Tortilla
Add three cups of flour to food processor. Start to blend and drizzle in oil. Add water in slow, thin stream stopping to allow dough to clump. Don’t add too much or we will have glue here people!!!
When dough forms remove from processor and knead like a mad man for 10 minutes on a floured work surface.
Wrap in Cling film and rest for 30 min in cool dry place.
To Make Chipotle Pork
Heat Griddle pan till the bad boy smokes, add Chipotle Chillies and garlic. Roast Chillies till you can smell that great smoky flavour then remove. Roast garlic until skin has blackened and is soft then remove and skin.
Place Chipotle Chillies into bowl, cover with boiling water and submerge for 20 minutes. Use a tin of something to keep them under the water
After they have soaked remove Chipotle from water, de-seed and de-stem. Roughly chop & reserve… don’t eat them yet!!!
Okay two ways to go here… Pressure Cooker or Old School in a pot… one is quick, one is slow… both taste goooood!
In the large pot or the pressure cooker add onions, jalapenos, garlic and pork and brown. Don’t be a lunatic and burn things… the smoky flavour comes from the chillies, not the burnt onions on the bottom of a pan!
Chuck in the chicken stock, tomatoes, Molasses (I love Molasses), Chipotles Chillies, Cinnamon & Cumin. Add water to ensure meat is covered. I am leaving this up to you as I am not there and don’t know how large your pot is!
If using a pressure cooker place lid on and cook to manufacturer’s advice… please follow this - I don’t want you to blow up or over cook the meat! (Every pressure cooker is different, mine normally takes 30 minutes)
If going ‘old school’ and using a pot on the stove, cook covered on low simmer for 1 hour the remove lid and cook for approx 2-3 hours
Once meat is tender transfer to large flat pan and cook off excess liquid. Meat should be shredded and juicy… LOVE IT!
To Make Red Pepper & Chilli Sauce
Okay heat the griddle pan again till smokin’ hot, add Capsicum, Chillies and the garlic and blacken on all sides. Once Capsicum & Chillies are cooked place into plastic bag and sweat them, just like an old man in a steam room. Remove skins and chop roughly. Don’t need to tell you what to do with the garlic because you just did that before….
Rough chop onions… no need for anything fancy here!
Get out your blender and add Capsicum, Chillies, Garlic, Onion and tin of tomatoes and blend for approx 20 seconds. Make sure it is all pureed; scrape the sides of the blender if it is not.
Pour puree into fine mesh Sieve and push through with plastic spatula.
Heat a pan till pretty hot and add puree. Add sugar, salt and vinegar to taste… remember I am not eating this so take your time to balance!
Cook for 10 minutes on low heat and reserve
To Make Red Onion & Tomato Salsa
Grab 2 Tomatoes core & seed them. Lay skin out flat and cut into long strips then dice finely… or brunoise if we want to use correct terminology
Time to go to onion town. Peel and slice red onion, use about ¼, cut into fine dice.
Rip a generous handful of coriander and chop finely
Combine all in a bowl, squeeze some of the lemon and add a good splash of Tobassco Sauce… season till your heart is content
Okay so we have made everything… now it’s time to bring this bad boy together.
Divide into small ½ fist size portions and roll out with rolling pin on floured surface. Make sure you roll to the edge and ¼ turn to get a good circular shape…. Then again you may want them to have some personality so if they are not perfect, no big deal!
Roll dough out till it is approx 1mm thin and repeat until you have enough for dinner… wrap and put excess dough in the fridge for another day
Heat a dry pan and cook on each side till black spots appear.
Add Pork, Salsa to tortilla drizzle with Red Pepper sauce and add a little coriander. For some crunch chop up some Romaine Lettuce and add it to the mix…