Kale-ard greens

This is my version of collard greens.

As I haven’t been able to source real collards for this I shall be using the oft hated, loved by me, northern rivers staple of kale instead. Tuscan kale to be precise. Also goes by the name of Cavolo Nero in certain circles…

I have never eaten legitimate collard greens so I will confidently admit I have absolutely zero comparison point, but I can also confidently tell you that I have eaten this version more than once and it is really tasty. In lieu of any experience in the world of collard greens I shall not be offering you a history report to reflect the infinite knowledge that I think I have of said collard greens, instead I will just make a recipe that you should go home and cook because I’m pretty sure you’ll love it.

Also, i have blessed this dish with moniker kale-ard greens because I think it shows you, the reader, that I am in fact pretty clever

Look at these good things
Braised kale, beef rib, love. What more could you want?
Bloody deliciousness



KALE-ARD GREENS

1 large bunch kale (As big as your face big. Get 2 bunches if they are not as big as your face), chopped into 2 cm or so pieces
½ brown onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup leftover BBQ meat if you have some (we used beef rib but pork, bacon, pancetta and brisket will all work perfectly), diced
1 tablespoon stock powder or 1 stock cube (whatever you have in the cupboard is fine)
½ cup water
Salt and pepper

Place a heavy based pot over medium heat. Splash a little oil in there and let it heat up.
Add onions and garlic and sauté until starting to brown.
Give it a bit of salt and pepper.
Add meat (if using) and give that a minute or two.
Add kale, stock powder and water and cover. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Give it a stir and then put the lid back on. Simmer that for another 5-10 minutes or until kale is tender.
Get it on the table at your next BBQ or fried chicken night.
Give yourself a pat on the back… just because.

Cheesy brisket, corn and jalapeno croquettes

Croquettes are like the Nelson Mandela of the culinary world.

Croquettes are acceptant and kind. They are a food based United Nations. They just want all of your edible friends to get along.

They are the little bit of love we all need in our lives right now.

They are one of those foods that will happily let any ingredient come and play; fish and herbs, turkey and sausage, chopped cheese burger things, ham and corn, chorizo and potato, cauliflower and broccoli cheese and a host of other ingredient “friends” including just about any meat or vegetable you can find in the back of your fridge (that spot normally reserved as a graveyard for a host of quality ingredients and good ideas and/or intentions).

Needless to say, they love BBQ leftovers.

Sausage, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables and especially brisket.

So, as fate would have it, I had acquired some leftover smoked brisket and discovered that when I combined it with corn kernels, jalapeno and a few other necessary ingredients, followed by a crumbing and then a stint in hot oil, I could sit back and enjoy the smack in the face of gooey, briskety good times that is the cheesy smoked brisket, corn and jalapeno croquette.

That should probably make you want to try this too.


CROQUETTES

Makes roughly 20 croquettes. You will probably eat them all.

4 cups chopped brisket
3 cups frozen corn
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 cup shredded jack or cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella
1 batch of béchamel made from ½ cup butter, ½ cup flour and 2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to season
Panko breadcrumbs, flour and egg wash to crumb
Canola oil to deep fry

Combine first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl big enough to fit it all plus some. Season with a little salt and pepper and mix.
Add béchamel and mix to combine.
Now form the mix into 20 large nuggets. Use a bowl of water to keep your hand wet as you go – this way you won’t get covered in cheesy, sticky stuff, unlike you at that party you went to last weekend.
Roll the nuggets through flour, egg wash and panko breadcrumbs (in that order please) and then chill so they may firm up a little.
Get some oil in a deep fryer up to temp. 180 C (360 F) is the go.
Deep fry croquettes in batches (4-5 at a time) for 2 ½ – 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Season with your favourite BBQ rub. Serve with your favourite BBQ sauce. Thank me later.
Video below if you like a watchy-listeny experience.



spaghetti bolognese, aka spag bog, on the bbq

Spaghetti Bolognese or, as we like the odd colloquialism and/or slang in Australia, the spag bog or spag bol.

I will be going with spag bog. Not sure why, but that’s just what we’ve always called it.

I bloody love a good spag bog. Always have. Although I must admit the spag bog that would redden my face as a child is a little different to the spag bog I cook in present times.

Whereas beef mince with a little tomato paste was the sauce and grated tasty cheese was the topping of the spag bog of my youth, my older person (I wanted to say more grown up or mature but those words really didn’t fit) spag bog might include a few more ingredients – nothing to put it all out of your reach though. Nothing you can’t buy from the local supermarket or steal from the neighbour’s cupboards if that’s what you’ve got to do. I won’t be a wanker and tell you it needs freshly shaved truffle or maybe a virginal pigmy goose egg stirred through at the end. I just like to start it off with a little smoked sausage in with the beef mince, cook it out with tomato passata, red wine and a bit of beef stock and then finish it up with some fresh herbs and parmesan cheese aka. the parmo (that was another colloquialism just for you).

This is going to be so much better than using a jar of supermarket pasta sauce. A jar of something shit that tastes like that last inkling of hope has just trickled down the drain in the factory floor. I won’t pretend that this will not require just a touch more effort than the jar of pre-made pasta sauce, but I really do think it’s worth while and, in an absolute triumph of the modern era, we now have freezers, so just bloody well make a double or triple recipe and freeze it down in containers for later.

Here we go.

Get it all ready to go. This is a thing that smart people do in the kitchen.
Get a little parmesan on there and get it into your face.


SPAG BOG

Serves 5-6

400g beef mince
200g smoked sausage, chopped or blitzed up (Fresh Italian pork sausage also works well. Just push it out of the sausage skin and break it up. Pancetta and every other cured pork product in existence also work beautifully here)
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup red red wine
1 cup beef stock
700ml tomato passata
Water if it needs a little more moisture as it cooks
Salt and pepper to season
A handful of fresh oregano and parsley, chopped
500g dried spaghetti, cooked according to packet instructions
Grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Heat a large pot over a hot flame, or even over coals in your BBQ.
Add a splash of olive oil and give it a few seconds to get hot.
Now add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook out for a few minutes until starting to soften a little.
Add beef mince and sausage to pot and stir and poke with a wooden spoon to break the mince up as it cooks – after all, we are making a meat sauce not bloody meatballs. Add some salt and pepper now too.
Once the mince is starting to colour up and it’s all looking fairly dry, add the red wine and reduce by half.
Now add beef stock and then tomato passata.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Also keep an eye on the moisture levels as it comes to the end of its cooking time as it may require up to a cup of water to keep it looking saucy and unctuous.
Stir through those herbs.
Check yo seasoning fool. If it needs a little more salt and/or pepper, give it a little.
Stir sauce through warm spaghetti.
Serve with a little grated parmesan.



the BASTARD BURRITO


Until last week, I had not eaten a burrito for over 20 years. That is one thing I know about.

Things I do not know about are how to build a traditional burrito, if in fact the burrito is traditional Mexican cooking at all. But I am in luck because I have a default setting that is triggered by such events and tells me I will be fine and I should just crack on and make something that I think would fit pretty happily into the description of a burrito. Then I should give it a name that will ensure the peeps out there know I have zero actual knowledge of the burrito and am trying to bluff my way through as per usual.

So here is my bastard burrito.

You are very welcome.

That’s the pigs head in the coals
Some things that will go together to make pico de gallo
It may be a bit full on for some, but it really is a thrifty arsed, tasty piece of pig


THE BASTARD BURRITO

(makes 4 fatties)

3 cups cooked seasoned meat of some description. This could be smoked brisket, pork, lamb or chicken, or mince sautéed with onion, garlic and Mexican seasoning, or even a dirty old pigs head, as was the case today
1 avocado, sliced
1 ½ cups grated tasty cheese
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1 cup braised black beans (recipe follows)
½ cup pico de gallo (recipe follows)
4x 12” tortillas

It’s probably best to watch the attached video for the explanation of the assembly and rolling of the burrito. It’s just easier that way. You’ve got this far. You may as well just press play now.
If you do not want to press play, the gist of it is this; place ingredients on the tortilla, roll, wrap it in foil, toast in a pan over medium heat, eat it. Well, first pull the foil back and then eat it.

PICO DE GALLO

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
½ fresh jalapeño chilli, finely diced
1 handful of coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt

Stir all ingredients together to combine. Now you’re pretty much done.
Leave for 10 minutes or so for flavours to amalgamate.

BRAISED BLACK BEANS

2 cups or so cooked black beans
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat for cooking if you want to feel sexy

Sauté onion and garlic in animal fat if you have it, otherwise vegetable oil will be fine.
Once onion has softened and is starting to colour, add all other ingredients and simmer on low heat for an hour or so until beans are starting to overcook and get a little mushy, and most of the water has evaporated.
Season with salt.
Keep warm for your burrito or where ever a home for tasty-simple beans may present itself.

fish finger sandwich with kimchi mayonnaise

This came from a thought where I remembered how much I loved to eat fish finger and tomato sauce sandwiches when I was a kid. ”Now”, I said to myself. “A fish finger and tomato sauce (ketchup) sandwich is probably not really worth writing a recipe for. Not to mention it is possibly not even really worth eating after all of these years”. So, I set about tarting this little sandwich up a bit. Not too much – it’s not trying to get laid on a Friday night – just enough tarting up so that it can feel a bit more confident with itself and hang out with the cool kids at the disco.

This is where that process ended up.

You might want to make double the amount of kimchi mayonnaise because it really is some tasty shit.

All the things you need to make a really decent fish sandwich
Fry the fish fillets in batches until they’re all done



FISH SANDWICH WITH KIMCHI MAYONNAISE

Makes 4 really decent sized sandwiches

500 g fish fillets. Something small is good for the crunch factor. Also, the smaller stuff is often better for sustainability.
2 eggs beaten with ½ cup of milk or water (egg wash)
1 heaped cup plain flour
2 heaped cups panko bread crumbs
Vinegar seasoning (or salt and a little spritz of white vinegar if you can’t find some)
Oil for frying
Sliced white bread, shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced onion and kimchi mayonnaise (recipe follows), to serve

First to crumb the fish dredge fillets through flour, followed by a dip in the egg wash, followed by a toss in the bread crumbs.
Repeat this process until all of the fish is crumbed.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast iron pot to approximately 180 C (360 F). You will need enough oil to submerge your fish.
Fry fish for 1 minute each side or a little longer for larger fillets of fish.
Drain fish on a wire rack or absorbent towel and then season with vinegar seasoning.
To put the sandwich together spread mayo on both slices of bread, followed by a pile of fish on the bottom, a few slices of onion and then shredded lettuce, and then the other slice of bread on top.
(it is totally feasible to omit mayonnaise, lettuce and onion and go with tomato ketchup if you want to try a decent version of my childhood nostalgia)

KIMCHI MAYONNAISE

2 – 3 tablespoons kimchi, chopped
1 cup kewpie mayonnaise (insert your favourite mayonnaise here)

Combine both ingredients in a bowl and mix until kimchi is thoroughly incorporated.
Now you are done.