Salami, zucchini pickle, tomme and anchovy sandwich

 

Ok. I know I’ve been lacking a bit on the blogland post front a bit for the last week or so but don’t think it’s because I don’t love you. I’ve just been hella busy a work and also discovered I have a new best friend – Barmah Forest Virus*. Which goes a little like this… We love and hold each other until she decrees that she will release me from this organised marriage of which I wanted no part. We hang out day and night. We go to the park together, we eat together, heck, we even shower together. We’re not actual besties though… more like conjoined twins with a raging dislike for each other (mostly due to the fact that one of us is a compulsive masturbator)… Not unlike the 80’s classic Wedlock. Electronic collars containing explosive devices remotely connect Rutger Hauer and Mimi Rodgers. Fucked. I do not like her and wish she would go away never to return. So the short story is, I’m shit at the mo’. But whatever. I’m sure if you wanted to listen to whiney bastards weekly you wouldn’t have subscribed to this blog!

 

Food.

 

That is what I’m on about. Food to sooth the soul and revitalise the head face. Food that is the best shit ever. A damn good sandwich. So on with it kid…

 

My new favorite sandwich; Salami, zucchini pickle, Tomme goat’s cheese and anchovy. Even as I write this my hand is glistening with anchovy oil. I am excited! And not just because my hand is lubed up and ready to go. This is a damn good sandwich and you should try it some day for sure.

 

These are the things you need;

 

ready for the grillin'
ready for the grillin’

Zucchini pickle

I thought I’d given you a recipe for this previously but I haven’t. That, to me, is just plain rude, so here it is…

 

Zucchini pickle

3-4 medium zucchini, slice into thin rounds or diced

salt

1 brown onion, sliced

3 Tbls castor sugar

3 Tbls red wine vinegar

  • Sprinkle the zucchini with a tablespoon of salt an let it sit for 15 minutes while you start getting a little pickled yourself. You’re going to need to calm yourself a little. This sandwich is going to rock your world…
  • Sauté the zucchini and onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 10-15 minutes. You want to get a bit of colour on it, and it’s not a biggie if it starts to stick. That just means it’s time to get the other ingredients in
  • Add the sugar and vinegar and cook out on a medium heat for another 5 minutes, or until caramelised and syrup-y

 

 

Salami from someone who knows how to make salami. I do not know how to make salami but am keen to learn.

 

Tomme goats cheese = good shit. Try it.

 

Anchovies are in the back of your fridge. At the front of mine though.

 

Jen made the bread this morning.

 

Sandwich press available from Kmart for ten bucks.

 

White wine that Jonathon the wine merchant left in your fridge – free (I think this may have been what made my head sore the next day. In hindsight this was probably not the most calculated plan I have ever devised, but it was a plan none-the-less so I ran with it).

 

I am sorted!
I am sorted!

 

 

*a mosquito born virus not unlike Ross river. Look it up, it’s awesome.

One ingredient… sweet and savoury… capers

The caper challenge. Or should I say “the caper not-challenge?”

PS. This has nothing to do with what sneaky little activities you get up to on a Friday night.

The caper is a good friend of mine, and could be your friend too (if you weren’t such a prick). You should always have some hiding in the fridge. You can easily add some of their piquant goodness to a pasta, a braise, a salsa for steak and other meats (I posted a caper salsa last week), sauces, salads, and apparently a dessert.

This challenge was given to me by my other good friend and wife, Jennee. Jennee is a bit of a sly little lady sometimes, and she had a very big I’m-effing-pretty-damn-impressed-with-myself-right-now smile creeping across her face as she sat on the couch, iPhone in hand, sending it to me. I’m sure she could’ve just used her mouth (hehe. Nope. I’m keeping well clear of that one) and verbaled it to me. But no, I think she wanted to keep it legit so I couldn’t back down. Nice work Jennee Hitler. Nice work indeed.

“Oooh you want some of this. Just let me finish my pasta baby. I’ll be literally one minute…”

For the savoury dish I could think of nothing better for capers to be the headline act of then a little festival called pasta puttanesca, or whores pasta. Derived from the Italian “puttana”, or whore. Someone I may or may not work with right now was under the impression that it was called whores pasta in reference to the fishy smell of the working girls vagina. Alas no. Although I think it is effing awesome for someone to make that correlation, this dish was given its moniker because of the ease it is made. A nice, easy meal for the working girls of old to make in between clients. Or possibly even while servicing aforementioned clients.

 

 

 

PASTA PUTTANESCA
Olives, capers, anchovies, diced fresh tomato, a hobbits handful of each
Pasta of your choosing (I’m liking penne or contadina), cooked, a big handful
Olive oil
Parmesan
Optional – a handful of basil leaves, chopped chilli, whole chilli, chilli dog, chopped dog, it’s chilly outside so make sure you pop a jacket on dear…?

• Toss everything except pasta and parmo in a med-hot pan for exactly 62 seconds
• Add pasta and toss for another 28 seconds. Don’t add any salt because the olives and anchovies have got that one covered
• Plate up. Top with cheese

Easier then getting sex at a whorehouse. Even if by some awesome twist of fate you have just come across thousands of dollars and could quite literally buy as much sex as your dirty little pee-pee could handle. This recipe is still easier.

And for the sweet side of things? A caper and current praline. Am I kidding? I very well may be. Who knows? Just try it anyway. God knows I didn’t.

ROSEMARY PANNACOTTA with CURRANT AND CAPER PRALINE
Your regular pannacotta recipe can go here, unless it’s shit in which case you should use someone else’s recipe or I will post one at a later date. Infused with a sprig of rosemary when you warm the milk and cream.

For the praline
2 tablespoons baby capers
1 tablespoon currants
1 cup castor sugar
A few tablespoons of water
• Line a small oven tray with baking paper. Scatter the capers and currants on the baking paper
• Combine sugar and water in a pot to make a slurry
• Simmer over a med-high heat, not stirring, for 5-ish minutes. By this time your sugar syrup should be starting to turn caramel-y sort of colour
• Now you need to keep a close eye on this, because it can go from good to bad in a very short amount of time. Once it is all golden brown, pour it over the capers and currants. It might splutter a little so don’t have your 4 year old child holding the baking dish for you because steaming hot caramel fucking hurts
• Leave it chill out and harden up on the bench for 15 minutes, and then you can crack it up and eat with your pannacotta

AAAH. FOODISTHEBESTSHITEVER

Anchovy and caper salsa… And thanks Pauly. Thanks for the cheer.

Pauly from Paul’s Caul (and various other notoriety) is a great friend and means many other things to me then just cheap “thrills” to say the least, but today I just wanna say thanks to him for the laughs he brings to my day when he sends me a new post. My day usually isn’t short of a laugh or two (mostly at the expense of life, various kitchen crew, waitresses, my boys, my wife, a random hobbit on a street corner… Pretty much whatever (whoever) comes my way) but a laugh with an old friend is always gonna be the best. What am I actually harping on about here? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe.

Shit I have drunk a lot of coffee this week.

But back to the point, I’m sitting here after work having a beer listening to a couple of backpackers talk about how they have heaps more friends back home, but they still feel like they can hang out more happily with people in old Byron town. I’m thinking they should re-evaluate their lives and their perception of “friends”. And they should just shut up because I’ve had a long day (week) and they’re bothering me. But hey, I’m OK if Mr Eurovision 2012 wants to try and have sex with Mr Pop Asia. It’s all OK. I just like the fact the my friends are my friends, and damn good friends at that.

No more side stories.

The anchovy and caper salsa deserves a moment in the lime light all to itself… So here it is.

Ladies and gentlemen and you smelly little carnies in the back row, please be upstanding and raise your glasses. For tonight we salute the anchovy and caper salsa. Why? You ask. I shall list the reasons in point form.

Actually I don’t think I need to list any reasons at all. Try it and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Or don’t try it and live your life wondering what could’ve been. Just like that girl you were in love with when you were a teenager but never had the guts to ask her out… You know what I’m talking about…

And Pauly, thanks for the cheer.

ANCHOVY and CAPER SALSA (for any meat you want to put it on. Yes I did just say that)
15 anchovy fillets
1/2 cup capers
1/2 brown onion
1 clove garlic
1 cup picked parsley
1 cup good olive oil
Chop or pulse it all together. Eat it. Love it.

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My big fat feasting long weekend part 1

Yeah I know it’s been a week since I last gave you a bang up insight into the world of my kitchen, but it was new menu time at the restaurant and, as any head chef* will tell you, new menu time does not offer us much personal space, family time or blog-land time. When you aren’t in the kitchen re-working and tweaking the bits that are doing your head in, you are on the phone to suppliers making sure you can get what you need (legit suppliers of fine food for your menu that is. Not the suppliers of your not even legal methods of stress relief that hang out behind the public toilets at the park on the corner of Hill St… Err, can you please not tell those guys I told you where to find them. And be careful of the leprechaun looking mofo. He says I can have discount if I let him put his hand inside my knickers… I’m not sure how legit that is). I’m not complaining, it just means my snippets of free time are taken from me by beer and late night TV.

But now I return to you my love. To your open arms…

Last weekend was a long weekend up our way and around about in some other places too. It was someone’s birthday and somewhere a small child was born. Wars were fought and lost and won. Venerial diseases were treated and sometimes cured. Also, it was a long weekend that I pretty much ate my way through. If I had stumbled across a calendar with these three days on it in my feasting frenzy, I probably would’ve eaten that too. And the midget who was holding the calendar would’ve fallen prey also… Is that appropriate? Probs not, but I don’t really give an eff because I am clearly a person of questionable something’s. Not sure which word I was meant to put in there though…

Part one
There was a 60th birthday. Actually, I’m quite certain there were a few 60th birthdays. It’s just that one of those 60th birthdays belonged to my mother-in-law (we shall call her Lainsey).

It didn’t seem to be an optional extra for me to cook that day. There were family coming from all over this land, some by horse and cart, others on the back of a hobbit, I heard mutterings that one family may have even come on the back of a large wooden bird. I also heard the mutterings of a hundred hungry men… So I decided I should get my bitch ass into the kitchen and cook them some effing iggs.

With the help of Jennee, Liz and Queenie (it’s gonna kill Jen but Queenie is my new number 1 draft pick for the Coates kitchen all stars), this is what we fed them…

Pork terrine, chicken liver pate, herby labne, croute. That was the entree.

Braised beans with port, dauphinoise potatoes, 6hr lamb shoulder with caper and anchovy salsa, chicken roulade stuffed with good shit, buerre blanc

A good look at the caper and anchovy salsa just because it deserves a moment of it’s own…

This was also the first night the ghost of Midnight Drunkard Barney was seen. It was 2:30am when Jennee was taking Seba to the toilet. She said the apparition appeared from the darkness and offered her a scotch. She politely refused, and moved on.

*may not be applicable to chefs who bring in pre made, pre-packaged shit that any trained monkey (and most people) with a stovetop, could buy at the supermarket and cook at home.

PS. If anyone would like to offer us a sweet and savoury challenge (look back a post or two if you have zero knowledge of what I am speaking about) flick it our way. Rock on!