The Glenorie Butcher Chicken and Corn Sausage

Makes: 80 – 100 sausages

My father-in-law Rob would often visit the outer-Sydney suburb Glenorie both for work and to pick up kilos of this sausage.

He would message the family on WhatsApp and we would all put in our orders. Nobody ever missed out on an order.

When Nat and I were married, late in the night after my brother James’ leg ham and bread roll station had been exhausted, Rob and I hauled up a BBQ and cooked dozens and dozens of these.

Everyone was blown away. The best chicken sausage.

Sadly, during Covid, the butcher shut up shop. Hard enough being an independent butcher, during a pandemic, when your rent goes up and you’re old enough to get out of the game.

On his last visit to the butcher, Rob asked for the recipe and given quite literally the tonnes he had purchased over many years, they were happy for it not to go to the grave.

Nat and I decided to take the plunge and recreate; hand-on-heart, this is the recipe. Served on these incredible bread rolls with Lurpak butter and a tomato sauce by Nat: hearty BBQ at its best.

The original recipe.
What are the chances of living 750m from one of Sydney’s best butchers?! (Yes, that’s Jamie our Groodle watching on hoping this is for her!)
A Weber due for a clean.
Could this be it?!
The gentleman that owns our local IGA drives these bread rolls in each morning from a Vietnamese bakery somewhere in the South West of Sydney. He brings in a pallet and they’re gone by 10am. When we go camping, my kids specifically request them for breakfast each morning. Add Nat’s homemade tomato sauce and some good butter and this is BBQ as good as it gets.

A few tips we picked up on the journey.

  • Use chicken thigh with the skin on to give you the fat you need for a wonderful sausage. As with the various sausages we’ve made in the past, fat is key.

    Also, use a quality brand of chicken or sourced from a good butcher. And frankly, you won’t be able to get thigh with the skin on outside of a chicken specialist or an order to your butcher.
  • Use a thin, natural casing. They’re harder to handle, though they’re thinner and much nicer. Run water through the casing to wash and rinse the salt from the outer.

    I used our local butcher – Hummerstons – for both the chicken and casings and as a butcher, they’re the real deal. Many butchers are reluctant to sell casings, though these guys are not precious at all. They just love meat and what can be done with it.

    Every time I tell them how I am going to cook a cut of their meat, they’re genuinely excited.
  • The seasoning is from J Delaney & Co in Warriwood. They will sell you a 1.5kg bag of Chicken Supreme which will do 15kg of chicken.
  • Rest the sausages for two days prior to cooking.

Immediately after the first batch, Nat literally ordered us a semi-commercial sausage stuffer. We can easily foresee the demand from the family!

Unquestionably, the greatest chicken sausage we’ve had and we’ve cracked the code! Farewell Glenorie Butcher and also farewell to my old man Bill whom we farewelled yesterday.

He loved the Chicken and Corn sausage as much as we did and he would have been proud. He gave us a wonderful bottle of the Giant Steps Tosq Vineyard Pinot Noir from Central Otago and wasn’t it a like-for-like swap!

I’m dedicating this blog and this recipe which is now ours, to Bill.

Nat and Bill. 💧

We miss you Billy. You’re love of wonderful food and even better wine always inspired us.

Ingredients

500gm J Delaney & Co Chicken Supreme (no added water)
5kg chicken thigh, skin on cut into pieces
500gm corn kernels
1/4 c honey
Thin, natural sausage casings – 15 meters at least

Method

  1. Grind the chicken on a 6mm blade in your meat grinder.
  2. Mix together the chicken with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Stuff into the casings using your stuffer. BBQ and enjoy.

Josh Niland’s Scotch Eggs

Makes: 8

As with so many things with Josh Niland, his seafood interpretation of famous dishes are better than the original, meat dish.

Nat and I had his famous Coronation Sandwich at his restaurant Saint Peter and it was remarkable. When I typed up his fish tagine, I commented that it was the finest I had ever eaten.

It’s not a coincidence at this point.

Nat cooked these scotch eggs as the starter for a long seafood lunch and they are incredible. Serve with mustard or a mayonnaise and nobody is going to believe it.

Ingredients

10 eggs
1 c plain flour
Sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp full-cream milk
120gm white panko breadcrumbs
Canola oil, for deep frying

Filling

2 tbsp ghee
10 French shallots, finely diced
250gm ocean trout belly, cut into large chunks
Chilled water, if needed
250gm skinless, white fish fillet (ling, cod, groper or snapper) cut into a 1cm dice
1 1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp freshly ground fennel seeds
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon thyme leaves
2 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c finely chopped chives
Dijon and whole egg mayonnaise to serve

Method

  1. To make the filling, heat the ghee in a small saucepan over a medium heat to a light haze. Add the shallot and sweat for 6 – 7 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat and chill in the fridge.
  2. Working in small batches, blend the ocean trout belly in a food processor to a small mouse, adding a splash of chilled water to help everything emulsify if the mixture seems too oily. Add the remaining filling ingredients, including the chilled shallot, and blend until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Fill a bowl with iced water. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully lower eight of the eggs into the boiling water and cook for exactly 8 minutes, then transfer immediately to the bowl of iced water and leave to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. With clean hands, divide the filling mixture into eight even portions and roll into balls.
  5. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, carefully peel off the shells. Place each portion of filling between between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten into a circle large enough to enclose the egg, then remove the plastic wrap. Place an egg in the centre of each filling circle, then wrap the filling around the egg, gently pressing together to seal but being careful not to press too hard. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  7. Place the flour in one bowl and season with salt and pepper, then beat the remaining eggs in another and stir in the milk. Tip the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
  8. Roll each egg in the seasoned flour, gently tapping off any excess, then dip it into the beaten egg mixture. Finely, roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure it is evenly coated.
  9. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer or large saucepan over a medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 190c.
  10. Working in batches of two, add the Scotch eggs to the oil and fry for 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack over a baking tray. When all the eggs have been fried, place the tray in the oven for 3 – 4 minutes, then serve immediately while the yolks are still runny.

Khan Lamb

Serves: 8

Nat and I recently stayed in Ranthambore in India for two nights; part of Rajasthan, a state in the North.

Ranthambore is a massive area of jungle, famous for its tigers, something we were lucky enough to see.

The property we stayed at was incredible and at night, we sat around a huge fire being fed the most amazing food from the tandoor whilst sipping on G&Ts. They never did give me the recipe for their stuffed potatoes, though my word, we would travel back just for those alone.

One of the staff was particularly passionate about food and he shared a YouTube clip with me of a lamb leg, marinated, buried with coals and cooked for hours.

Wrapped in roti, banana leaf, foil and a wet cloth, when revealed, the lamb was eaten with the soaked roti; a dish I just had to cook with a little assistance from Nat.

So last night, NYE 2022, we catered Nat’s family an Indian feast.

And this lamb was the second dish. Absolutely classic Rajasthan cooking.

I cooked it medium rare. Wrapped in roti, a banana leaf, foil and then a wet cloth, placed in a cast iron pot and cooked in a BBQ over indirect heat until the centre reached 55c.

It was remarkable. Just remarkable.

Here is my translation of the video.

Ingredients

Leg of lamb
18 garlic, crushed (or 4 – 6 tbsp garlic paste)
4 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 c softened ghee
12 Indian roti
1 banana leaf

Method

  1. Score the lamb leg all over, about two centimetres deep. Rub the garlic and Garam Masala all over and into the scores. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for a few hours or over night.
  2. Mix the softened (though not melted) ghee with the chilli powder, ground coriander, ground turmeric and salt.
  3. Lay several sheets of foil. On top, place enough banana leaf to wrap the lamb. On top, lay enough roti to wrap the lamb.
  4. Cover the lamb in the combined ghee and then tightly wrap, starting with the roti, then the banana leaf and then the foil. Wet a cloth and wrap the parcel.
  5. Heat a BBQ (or oven) to 160c. Place the lamb parcel in a heavy, cast iron pot with a lid. Cook, over an indirect heat, until the centre of the lamb reaches 55c.
  6. Set aside for 20 minutes. Remove the cloth, foil and banana leaf and serve the slice lamb with the soaked roti.

Lidia Bastianich’s Pasta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes

Serves: 6

Goodness, I did not expect my first Lidia pasta to be this good.

As in, immediately one of Nat’s absolute favourites of all time and better than my abbriata which until then was the favourite of all time!

It’s much more than a baked cherry tomato pasta.

It’s all that garlic, fried and then fast boiled in the pasta water; the subsequent frying off of the parsley. The basil. The chilli, The parmesan.

And the addition of the ricotta adding all that creaminess.

Absolutely lovely.

Hats off Lidia. Your book will be revisited imminently

Ingredients

1.5kg cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c fine dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt, plus more for the pasta pot
1/4 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
500gm spaghetti, gemelli or penne*
10 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 c loosely packed basil leaves, shredded
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan
125gm ricotta

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180c. Toss the cherry tomato halves in a large bowl with 3 tbsp of the olive oil. Sprinkly over the breadcrumbs, salt and chilli flakes and toss well to coat the tomatoes evenly. Pour the tomatoes onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and spread them apart in a single layer. Use a second tray if necessary. Bake until the tomatoes are shriveled and lightely caramelised (though not dried out), about 25 minutes in all.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with salted water and heat to a rolling boil. When the tomatoes are nearly done, drop the pasta into the pot, stir and cook.
  3. As soon as the pasta is cooking, pour the remaining olive oil into a big skillet, set over a medium-high heat and scatter in the sliced garlic. Cook for a minute or two, until it is sizzling and lightly coloured, then ladle in about 2 cups of the pasta cooking water, and bring to a vigorous boil, stirring up the garlic. Let half the water evaporate**, stir in the chopped parsley, and keep the sauce barely simmering.
  4. As soon as the tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven.
  5. When the pasta is al dente, lift it from the water, drain for a moment, and drop it into the skillet, still over the low heat. Toss the pasta quickly with the garlic-and-parsley sauce in the pan, then slide in the baked tomatoes on top of the pasta. Scatter the basil shreds all over, toss everything together well, until the pasta is evenly dressed and the tomatoes are distributed throughout. Turn off the heat, sprinkle on the grated parmesan, and toss once more.
  6. Mound the pasta in a warmed serving bowl. Shred the ricotta all over the top of the pasta and serve immediately.

* When our builder looks after our house when we are away, he always leaves some damn fine Italian staples he picks up in Five Dock, Sydney. Quite the foodie. Anyway, we used a beautiful packet of spaghettini and it was just lovely.

** I did not read this right and cooked it right down before adding the parsley. Worked, though you can’t go wrong with pasta water in pasta so go with Lidia’s instruction here.

Pushpesh Pant’s Eggplant in Mild Yoghurt Sauce (Dahi ke Baigan)

Serves: 2

This is just such a moorish dish.

The eggplant rounds, seasoned with spices and pan-fried.

The yoghurt, tempered with the oil, mustard seeds, dried red chillies and the fresh curry leaves.

Yum.

Another cracking addition to any thali. A dish on its own. A side you really should try as part of a long Indian banquet.

Oh, the dish perfectly doubles in size. I was worried it wouldn’t, though it very easily does.

Ingredients

250gm (1 small) eggplant, trimmed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of chilli powder
Pinch of ground turmeric
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
1 1/2 tsp ginger paste*
1 tsp garlic paste*
2 – 3 green chillies, de-seeded and chopped
200ml (1 cup) natural yoghurt

For the tempering

Pinch of asafoetida**
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 – 2 dried red chillies
Sprig of curry leaves

Method

  1. Cut the eggplant into round slices. Put the ground spices in a small bowl, season with salt and add 1 tbsp of water. Mix together.
  2. Coat. Non-stick pan with a thin film of oil over a medium heat. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, garlic paste and green chillies and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the eggplant and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring once with a wooden spatula, then remove from the pan an set aside. Put the yoghurt in another pan and mix with a little water, then bring almost to the boil, stirring constantly to ensure it does not curdle.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based frying pan (skillet) over medium heat, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds and stir-fry for 1-minute, or until the seeds start to splutter. Add the dried red chillies, if using, and stir fry for about 2 minutes, or until they turn a shade darker, then add the curry leaves. Pour the tempering over the yoghurt mixture, add the eggplant and simmer for a further 2 minutes, or until the yoghurt and the eggplant is hot.

* Essentially, lots of ginger and lots of garlic blended with water. We have jars of ginger, garlic and ginger/garlic paste from our local Indian grocer in the fridge for this, a pretty simple and convenient approach that doesn’t unduly undermine the flavour.

** We did a cooking class with the wonderful Ajoy Joshi of Nilgiris in Sydney and this spice doesn’t add flavour. It is for flatulence (!) and we have always skipped it.

Pushpesh Pant’s Peppery Cauliflower Curry (Gobi Kali Mirch)

Serves: 4

As part of an Indian feast, this is just so authentic.

The pan-fried mustard and cumin seeds and then the urad dal which turns crunchy and golden.

Super simple, very very good.

Ingredients

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp ural dal, rinsed and drained
500gm (1 small head) cauliflower cut into small florets
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Salt

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat, add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir-fry for a minute, or until they start to splutter. Add the dal and stir-fry for a further 1 minute, or until they change colour, then add he cauliflower and just enough water to cook the vegetables.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is almost done. Seas with salt, add the pepper and stir. Remove from the heat and keep covered for a further 5 minutes.

Vikrant Kapoor’s Pan-roasted Barramundi (Lasooni Tali Machli)

Serves: 4

We recently ticked another thing off the bucket list: India!

We spent two nights at the incredible Mountbatten Lodge in Ranakpur, jungles about two hours out of Udaipur. Four absolutely luxury villas, just incredible food, G&Ts until late by the fire. The local temple is absolutely extraordinary. We spent an hour and trust us, we aren’t temple people.

What an absolutely incredible country. The people, the culture, the history, the sheer size of it, the organised chaos and of course the food.

Walking through the spice markets of Old Delhi, trying the street food or eating a banquet by the fire after walking with the elephants. (Not on the elephants to be clear!)

Every meal was excellent. The spices sing. Course after course of okra and potato and eggplant and breads flat, puffed, crisped, fried. Oh, and don’t get me started on Colonial Indian food. Just incredible.

So, does Indian food in India taste different to Indian food in Australia?

Largely, yes.

It’s more unique. It’s more flavoursome. Techniques are rolled into techniques: steam, peel, fry, stuff and tandoor potatoes. Or tomatoes. As just two examples.

We looked in a few bookstores – chaos in themselves – for at least one book to take home and India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant kept coming up. 1,000 recipes to be sure.

And after a cross check with the many memorable dishes we had had over our two weeks, it was a no-brainer.

The book contains some recipes from guest chefs and this barramundi from the man behind Sydney’s own Zaafran – Vikrant Kapoor – is just excellent. Like nothing you would otherwise eat in Sydney.

This is Indian food. As in Indian food you would eat in India.

(I have adapted the recipe slightly to serve 4; the other is that I baked the fish rather than frying. It was wonderful, though frying would have its own great outcome too.)

Ingredients

4 skinless, boneless barramundi fillets
Juice of 1 lime
Vegetable oil, for pan frying
Salt

For the marinade

Juice of 1 lime
3 tsp garlic paste*
2 tsp green chilli paste
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cornflour
2 pinches of ground white pepper

Method

  1. Put the barramundi fillets in a shallow, non-metallic dish. Season with salt and sprinkle with lime juice.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and then rub the marinade all over the fillets. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Brush a little oil on a non-stick pan and heat the pan over a medium heat. Add the fish and pan-fry for 3 – 5 minutes on both sides, or until cooked.

* 5 heads of peeled garlic blended with 3 tbsp water; or use store bought from an Indian grocer as we now do.

Colu Henry’s Sheet-Pan Harissa Salmon with Potatoes and Citrus

Serves: 4

This is another NY Times Cooking 5-star dish that hits it out of the park.

It is absolutely delicious. The marinade is wonderful.

It’s dead simple.

And all you need is one pan for cooking.

We’ve recently had five kids in the house – two cousins had come to stay – and whilst it was a fun and full household, it wasn’t without its moments. Certainly, post bedtime, we needed a wine or two!

As well as the hastily agreed need for a home date-night: essentially, open a nice wine, share a meal and talk about holidays, meals, plans, the family etc.

And despite the hasty agreement, this dish was a breeze whilst at the same time serving the kids noodles and refilling glasses of apple juice.

Served with a green salad and wow, this is one to line up for a cracking weekday dinner. It’s even better the next day

I have slightly adapted the recipe.

Ingredients

4 skin-on salmon fillets
Salt and black pepper
2 – 3 tbsp mild or spicy harissa paste
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/4 c orange juice (from about 1/2 orange)
500gm baby potatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into small wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c coriander, leaves and stems roughly chopped
3 tbsp spring onions, thinly sliced on an angle
Sea salt, for serving

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 230c. Lay the salmon on a plate and season. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the harissa, ginger, garlic, orange zest and juice. Spoon the mixture over the flesh and sides of the fish and let marinate at room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, line a large baking dish with baking paper. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes and onion with the olive oil and season. Arrange in the baking dish in one layer, leaving space for the salmon fillets to be added later. Roast until the potatoes are starting to brown; 20 – 35 minutes.
  3. Add the salmon to the baking dish, skin-side down and roast until the fish is opaque and cooked through and the potatoes are crisp: 8 – 12 minutes. Scatter coriander and spring onions over everything and season with sea salt.

Claudia Roden’s Fried Fish with Cumin and Tahini Sauce

Serves: 4

As I started typing up this recipe, it struck me that there is not a Claudia Roden recipe I haven’t typed.

I am new to her cooking; the only question, is why?

This recipe is just lux.

Total joy.

Total simplicity.

Total genius.

If you served this to friends as part of a long lunch in the sun, there would be smiles all around. It’s just that good.

Ingredients

4 firm white fish fillets, such as bream or sea bass, skinless
3 tbsp plain flour
1 – 1 1/2 ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil, for frying
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, quartered, to serve
Saltt

Tahini sauce

3 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon, to taste
1 small garlic clove, crushed

Method

  1. For the tahini sauce, stir the tahini in the jar before putting 3 tbsp in a small serving bowl. Gradually add the lemon juice and 2 – 3 tbsp water, beating vigorously with a fork and adding just enough water to get the consistency of a runny cream. The paste with stiffen at first and then become light and smooth. Add a little salt and the garlic.
  2. Season the fish with salt. Put the flour, cumin and a pinch of salt on a plate and mix well. Turn the fish fillets into this to coat them all over, then shake vigorously to remove the excess flour.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick fry pan. Put the fillets in and cook over a medium-heat, turning them over once, for 3 – 10 minutes depending on their thickness, until crisp, lightly browned and just cooked through.
  4. Serve the fish with a sprinkling of parsley and the lemon quarters. Serve with the tahini sauce.

Claudia Roden’s Sweet and Sour Minty Grilled Courgettes

Serves: 4

One of my favourite BBQ tricks is to toss sliced zucchini with oil, chilli and garlic and to grill alongside the chicken, pork, whatever.

It dials things up and shows a bit of effort.

This dish goes further and the addition of the ricotta is wonderful.

Nat absolutely loved the sweet and sour of the sauce and of course, it can all be prepared in advance.

Ingredients

3 courgettes (zucchini), cut lengthways into 1cm-thick slices
Olive or sunflower oil
100ml white wine vinegar
50gm sugar
1 tbsp dried mint
Salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Whipped ricotta

250gm smooth ricotta
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Grated zest of 1/2 small lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. For the ricotta, whip the ricotta with the oil, lemon zest and season.
  2. Preheat a grill to high. Brush the courgettes with oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt. Grill on the BBQ or on a griddle pan for about 10 minutes until tender and lightly browned in places.
  3. Heat the vinegar and sugar with the dried mint and some pepper in a small pan over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts, then simmer for 2 minutes to reduce it a little. Arrange the courgette slices side by side on a serving plates pour the vinegar dressing over them and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with the whipped ricotta.