Neil Perry is famous for his Asian omelettes and my first experience was in 1997 when I graduated from school (boarding school no-less) and in a surprise, my old-man picked me up and we drove into the Sydney CBD and had lunch at the original Rockpool.
We had Neil’s famous blue swimmer crap omelette and it was just awesome.
This particular dish is simpler – incredibly simple in fact – though it is that simplicity that makes it just such a wonderful treat.
What a cracking starter by Nat for a long afternoon of Chinese grazing.
300gm green king prawns, peeled and deveined 2 large eggs 3 tbsp vegetable oil 1 spring onion, sliced
2 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tsp sugar A few drops of sesame oil
To make the sauce, combine the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil with 2 tbsp water in a small pot and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly break up with a fork.
Heat a wok until it is almost smoking, Add half the oil and, when hot, stir-fry the prawns in two batches until almost cooked through. Remove the prawns and wipe the wok clean.
Heat the remaining oil and stir fry the eggs until just beginning to set, then add the prawns and spring onion and gently toss together. Remove from the heat, spoon onto a plate and pour the warm sauce over the eggs to serve.
150gm butter Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons 1 bunch asparagus, spears trimmed and cut into thirds Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Egg Yolk Ravioli (Makes about 18)
300gm type ‘00’ flour Pinch of salt 3 eggs, at room temperature Semolina flour, for dusting
To make the ravioli, sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Using a fork, gently beat the eggs and gradually allow the flour to mix with them. Continue until the sauce is too think to work with the fork. Tip out onto a smooth surface and work the dough until all the flour is absorbed, then continue to knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes until it becomes smooth. (You may need to dust the work surface with a little semolina flour if you find the dough sticking a bit.) Wrap the dough in plastic film and place in the refrigerator to rest for 10 minutes.
Dust the work surface with semolina flour, then cut off about a quarter of the pasta dough, being sure to wrap the remaining dough in a tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Flatten the first piece of dough and pass it through the widest setting on a pasta machine. Drop the setting down a notch and roll out, and again drop the setting a notch and repeat. At this point, take your dough and fold it over twice. Pass it through the pasta machine. Repeat this process 5 times on this setting, folding air into the pasta. Once you have done this, drop the setting down another notch and roll through once, then drop the setting down once more and roll your pasta dough through. You should now have a lovely thin sheet of pasta ready for cutting or filling Repeat with remaining dough it give 4 sheets of pasta.
Using a cutter, cut the pasta dough into 18 discs about 8cm in diameter for the base of the ravioli, and 18 discs about 9cm in diameter for the top. Carefully place an egg yolk in the middle of an 8cm disc and wet the edges with a little water on the end of your fingertips. Place a 9cm disc on top and press the edges together, being careful not to puncture the pasta with your fingernails, and making sure you remove any air pockets from inside the ravioli. Repeat with the remaining pasta discs and egg yolks.
The ravioli can then be dusted with semolina flour and placed in the fridge or thrown straight into a saucepan of salted, boiling water. Remove the ravioli when they float to the surface, after about 2 – 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-heat and sauté the prosciutto until crisp and golden, then drain on paper towel.
To make the asparagus and lemon butter, simply melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the lemon zest and juice and gently sauté the asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until they turn bright green and have softened a little. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the ravioli, divide evenly between the plates. Drizzle the asparagus and lemon butter over top and serve with prosciutto and Parmesan, then scatter over finely chopped chives.
Sunday is a long-lunch day and often, we do them at home.
Or more correctly this time, Nat did it at home. An utterly excellent, four course, lux-Chinese banquet.
This recipe by Terry Durack kicked the afternoon off and wow, it was a doozy of a dish. A dish that said things are going to be good.
The flavours are so mature and sophisticated; and it absolutely looks the part.
With Champagne… things were definitely good.
1/2 lup cheong sausage 1 tbsp vegetable oil plus 1 tsp for frying 5 medium prawns, peeled and cleaned 1 mild red chilli, finely sliced 50gm bean sprouts 3 eggs The green tops of 2 green spring onions, finely chopped 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce 1 tsp caster sugar Sea salt and black pepper 2 tsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp coriander leaves
Place the lup cheong in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes yo soften, then finely slice. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and stir-fry the prawns, lup cheong and half the chilli for 1-2 minutes over a high heat. Add the bean sprouts and toss for 30 seconds, and remove from the heat.
Lightly beat the eggs, half the onion tops, fish sauce, sugar, sea salt and pepper together with a fork. Heat 1 tsp oil in wok over a medium-high heat and swirl to coat the surface. Pour in the egg mixture and cook, using a fork to draw the mixture back into the centre, allowing the egg to cook.
When lightly set on top, lower the heat, scatter with the stir fry mixture and most of the remaining onion tops and cook for another 30 seconds or until the egg is cooked through. Slide the omelet from the wok onto a warmed plate; optionally fold the it over on itself. Drizzle oyster sauce on top, and scatter with the coriander and remaining onions and chilli. Serve immediately.
I was a bit perplexed when Nat said that the people reading this blog wouldn’t really want to cook Son-In-Law-Eggs.
I think they are just beautiful. And they’re not complicated.
Perhaps it needs a broader Thai menu behind it? Perhaps deep-fried eggs comes across odd if you’re not in the know?
Because Son-In-Law-Eggs are just essential Royal Thai cooking and by that definition, have to be wonderful. All Royal Thai is! Especially given the Chin Chin twist.
Key is to boil as quickly as possible and then to cool as quickly as possible to keep them as runny as possible. Though don’t worry either way.
They are amazing either way.
Sweet Tamarind (Makes 2 cups) *
120gm palm sugar 1 c tamarind water 1/4 cup fish sauce 2 tbs aromats (chilli, lime leaf, lemongrass scraps)
Chilli Jam (Makes about 1kg) **
10 red birds eye chillies 8 red banana chillies 2 red capsicums 6 red onions 1 stalk lemongrass (pale part only) 1 knob ginger 5 cloves garlic, peeled 1 cup vegetable oil 250gm palm sugar 3 tbs tamarind water 1/2 cup fish sauce
4 eggs at room temperature Vegetable oil for frying 2 sprigs Thai basil, leaves picked 1 large red chilli, sliced
Mix 2 – 3 tbsp of the tamarind and 1 tbs of the chilli jame to make a sauce. Set aside.
Fill a bowl with ice and water. Place eggs in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Bring the water to a rapid boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the boiling water and put them straight into the iced water to stop the cooking process. When they’ve cooled off, gently roll and tap each egg on a chopping board to break the shell then peel off the shell using your thumb. Gently does it.
Heat a good quantity of oil – enough to deep fry – in a wok to medium (about 180c) and fry the eggs for 4 minutes or until crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
To serve, arrange the eggs on a serving platter and bruise them gently so that the yolk just starts to ooze out. Drizzle with the sauce and garnish with basil leaves and chilli.
* You need far less than two cups unless you are operating a restaurant. Reduce accordingly.
Many years ago – like 25 – my mother and I would watch Gary Rhodes and his British cooking show.
He was not only an incredibly talented chef, though came across as a lovely, calm and collected guy.
Sadly, he died prematurely in 2019 though I remember the tributes at the time from people such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver. One quote from the time from Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge described Rhodes as “one of the greatest British chefs who almost single handedly put British food on the world stage”.
All those years ago, my mother bought his two books and we cooked a number of his dishes. Just wonderful, wonderful French cooking.
Twently years later, I am telling Nat about Mr Rhodes and the wonderful books I used to cook from, long out of print of course.
Unbenowst to me, Nat tracks them down in a second hand book store (this is the sort of person Nat is!) and we are back in business.
Five weeks into lockdown in Sydney, Nat and I agreed we needed a break. Home schooling, work, renovating an apartment for sale, endless activities to entertain the kids, endless loops around the park to keep sane, we needed some time for ourselves.
So we took Wednesday off. I lit the outdoor firepit and put the Champagne on ice.
And served this decadent dish as the first course.
My lordy it is fine. Absolute dinner party material.
I said to Nat it reminded me of the food I ate in Chartres (France) many years back. Delicate, so tasty, so bloody good.
To say that we had the best afternoon since lockdown would be an understatement. And I can assure you that this starter (along with a cold Champagne) was a strong contributing reason for it!
225gm puff pastry Flour for dusting 50gm butter plus two large knobs for cooking 5 eggs 1 large or 2 small leeks 3 or 4 thick slices of leg ham 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 6 tbsp vegetable stock 3 tbsp crème fraîche Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Champagne for serving!
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Cut 2 10cm x 10cm squares of puff pastry and then cut them diagonally in half to make four triangles. Beat one of the eggs and use to brush the pastries, and bake in the over for 20 – 25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven and set the pastries to one side.
Split the leeks in half lengthways, removing the outer layer. Finely slice the halves, washing off any grit in a colander. Leave the leek slices to drain.
To make the ham crème fraîche, cut the ham into a 5mm dice and set aside. Heat the white wine vinegar in a saucepan. Once almost all evaporated, add the stock and simmer until reduced by a third. Whisk in the crème fraîch, followed by the measured butter. Season.
Cut through the pastries, separated the risen lid from the base. Keep the pastry tops and bases warm.
Melt a knob of butter in a large saucepan and once bubbling, add the leeks. Cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time to ensure an even cooking, for 5 – 7 minutes, until very tender.
Whilst the leeks are cooking, add the remaining eggs to the one used as an egg wash, beating with a fork to emulsify. In another saucepan, melt the remaining knob of butter and once bubbling, add the eggs. Season. As they cook, turn the eggs with a spoon reasonably vigorously, capturing every corner of the pan. When they have reached a very soft, scrambled consistency, remove the pan from the heat. This leaves you with just a minute to ‘build’ the rest of the dish while the scrambled egg thickens.
Add the ham to the sauce, warming it through. Place the pastry bases on warm plates and spoon the cooked leeks loosely on top of each. Turn the scrambled eggs just once more, then spoon on top of the leeks and drizzle the ham crème fraîche around and over. Finish by placing the pastry lids on top.
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 tsp cornflour
2 egg yolks
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
40gm unsalted butter, softened
For the Hollandaise Sauce, place the creme fraiche, cornflour, egg yolks, white wine vinegar and lemon juice in a saucepan over a low heat. Cook, whisking gently for 1 – 2 minutes until thickened and combined.
Remove from the heat and set aside. Whisk in the butter until combined, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Steam the asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until tender.
Divide the asparagus and rocket among serving plates, then drizzle with Hollandaise Sauce and serve.
In a medium saucepan over a medium heat, combine the milk, sugar, salt and coffee granules, stirring occasionally until steaming. Reduce the heat to low.
Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly pour half the hot milk into the eggs whilst whisking continuously. Return mixture to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, allowing it to touch the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate until cold.
When ready, whisk the cream and vanilla into the custard until smooth. Churn in your ice cream maker.
You can’t beat a special weekend breakfast and our favourite is anything with a little spice, tomato and hopefully some chorizo.
This recipe is consistent with a few others I have typed up – beans, chilli, tomato and baked eggs – though that is simply consistent with how much we love this sort of start to a Sunday morning.
With a good coffee or ideally, a good Champagne, this fairly straightforward number will hopefully inspire you to kick-off next Sunday with a bang.
4 flour tortillas 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 large red onion, finely chopped 200gm dried chorizo, chopped 400gm can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, chopped plus extra to serve 1 yellow capsicum, chopped 400gm can chopped tomatoes 4 eggs Sour cream and coriander leaves to serve
Preheat the oven to 200c. Great 4 ramekins and carefully line with the tortillas.
Heat the oil in a frypan over a low heat and add the onion. Cook for 10 minutes until soft and add the chorizo. Turn up the heat a bit and cook for 5 minutes until starting to crisp. Add the beans, chilli and capsicum and season. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid has reduced and the consistency is thick.
Divide among the tortilla cups, making small wells in the center of each.
Break eggs into the wells. Bake for 20 minutes or until the eggs are just set.
Serve with extra chilli, sour cream, coffee and Champagne.
Nat whipped up these delicate, Gabriel Gaté (remember him?) soufflés as part of a dinner party we had a few weeks back and they were a triumph.
It had been a while since I had had a soufflé and they did not disappoint.
Soft, airy, a wonderful flavour served with a dollop of cream.
I guess there are some people that don’t like quiches or avocado. For the rest of us, assume that soufflés are a big wow and two steps up from your usual dinner-party dessert.
Plenty of reason why you should serve these at your next dinner-party.
60ml Grand Marnier 310ml Crème pâtissière, chilled (below) 6 large egg whites Pinch of cream of tartar 1 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for preparing moulds Icing sugar for dusting Double cream Crème pâtissière 500ml milk ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways 4 egg yolks 100gm caster sugar 50gm plain flour, sifted Method
For the Crème pâtissière: place milk and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk well.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar into a heatproof bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in sifted flour. Remove vanilla pod from milk and pour hot milk into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking well.
Return to the saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-heat, whisking constantly. When mixture is just boiling and has thickened, transfer to a heatproof bowl. Whisk for a few seconds more and set aside to cool in the refrigerator. Stores up-to 4-days.
For the soufflés: Preheat the oven to 150c. Butter 6 185ml ramekins and dust with caster sugar.
Whisk Grand Marnier into crème pâtissière. Using electric beater, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until almost stiff. Add caster sugar and beat until firm.
Using a spatula, mix a little of the egg white mixture into crème pâtissière; gently fold in the rest. Spon the mixture into the prepared ramekins, making sure it doesn’t touch the rim. Smooth the tops with the spatula.
Back for 5 minutes then increase the temperature to 205c. Bake for a further 5 minutes then increase the temperature to 230c and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, dust with the icing sugar and serve immediately with a dollop of cream (or ice cream).
We love our weekend breakfasts and this number we whipped up last week was just awesome; so spicy, so rich, so hot.
Add a side of avocado and a good coffee and you’re off to the best Sunday morning of anyone in your street; add a French champagne and you’re talking streets and streets!
1 tbsp olive oil 2 red onions, chopped 2 red chillis (de-seeding is optional) and finely chopped 1 garlic clove, sliced Small bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves chopped separately 2 x 400gm cans cherry tomatoes 2 chorizo, diced ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese 1 tsp caster sugar 4 eggs Oiled, grilled Turkish bread sliced to serve
Heat the oil in a frying pan that fits a lid; soften the onions, chilli, garlic, chorizo and coriander stalks for 5 or so minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and then simmer for 10 or more minutes until thick.
Using the back of a large spoon, make four dips in the sauce and then crack and egg into each one. Put a lid on the pan (or cover with foil) and then cook the eggs through over a low heat for 6 – 8 minutes; halfway through, scatter the parmesan cheese.