So it has finally happened. Jennee has produced the recipes of the dishes Sarah and she prepared at our last “Stockdale vs Cootes cook-off”. Just as I have been able to at last put that last crippling defeat of cookery at the hands of my dear wife and her family out of my mind and finally rear my shamed face in public again, she goes and presents me with these recipes so she may rub my face in it once again… it is a cruel world out there folks, mark my words. If I had been born with thirteen fingers and nary the brain capacity to remove my pants before I went to the toilet, that cruel she dog that is the world would have surely chewed me up and spat me out by now. But no, I am still here. And just in case you didn’t figure it out yet (maybe you are one of those people with thirteen figures and, just in case you are, watch out for the world… she’s after you) team Cootes won that cook-off… and this is how they did it;
Step 1. Jennee got really messed up the evening previous and couldn’t string a sentence together that day… I’m not sure how this helped, but clearly it did.
Step 2. Sarah also got really messed up the night before, but she just soldiered on and kept drinking through the day of the cook-off. I’m not sure how this helped either… I’m starting to think it may have just been me that gave them the advantage…
Step 3. They somehow managed to pull it together long enough to cook three cracking dishes. They went something like this;
BRAZIL – Chicken Empanadas with chimmichurri sauce
Good on the Brazilians for creating these things and a great pubic hair cut. Not quite the winner but devoured by all none-the-less.
3 cups plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
160g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 12 pieces
4-5 tablespoons water
• Mix the flour and salt in a food processor
• Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms
• To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instruction but use your hands to mix the ingredients together. To make it easier to incorporate the butter you can freeze it and then grate it into the flour mix
• Form a ball, flatten slightly, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes
• Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate)
2 chicken thighs chopped finely
1 onion chopped finely
2 garlic cloves chopped finely
1 teaspoon each cumin, paprika and garlic powder
½ cup water
Salt and pepper
• Fry off all ingredients except water until chicken is cooked
• Add water and braise until all ingredients are soft
• When cooled blitz slightly to make it a bit pasty to ensure easy assembly of pastries
• Boil a couple of eggs, peel and slice when cooled
• To assemble, put a teaspoon of chicken mix, and a slice of egg and roll pastry.
• Brush with oil and bake at 180 until golden brown… texture of sun!!!
• Serve with chimmichurri, which can be found here
PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Paradise Dessert
This is a combination of a few things that are tropical and Paupa New Guinea-ish. A damn fine combo but still not quite hitting the number one spot.
2 frozen bananas
Coconut crème fritters
Puffed black rice
Coconut crème fritters
3 cups coconut cream
6 egg yolks
½ cup castor sugar
¾ cup corn flour
Zest of one lime
Rice flour, egg mix and desiccated coconut to coat
• In a small saucepan, warm the milk and lime zest over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam. While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, corn flour until the mixture is completely smooth.
• Once the milk is steaming, add half of it to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, it will thicken so stir like a madman until it is thick. Put in fridge until it is cold and set .
• Once set, roll into balls then roll these balls in rice flour, then egg mix then desiccated coconut and deep fry until golden
Soak 100g tamarind in hot water and then drain off liquid from seeds. Put liquid in pan with ½ cup sugar and slowly heat until it reaches a caramel consistency.
Blitz bananas in a food processor until it turns into ice cream – its delish… and easier than pie!!!!
Shallow fry tablespoons of black rice until they puff. Drain and cool on kitchen towel.
Serve fried custards with caramel, rice and ice cream and think of yourself on a tropical island!
MADAGASCAR – Pineapple and green papaya salad
Who would of thunk it? A simple little salad takes the winners podium. This thing was everything I like about food; simple, full of flavour and quite frankly, kick-ass. That’s about all I’ve got.
1 medium green papaya, shredded
1 medium pineapple, diced
5 Spring onions, sliced finely
1 handful coriander, chopped
½ tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon powdered chilli (less or more if you like it hotter or wimpier)
Juice of one big fat juicy lemon- or 2 small ones
Olive oil- about ¼ cup
• Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Set aside for an hour or more for extra awesomeness… serve and wait for the compliments to come flowing in!