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Appealing Appetizers & Snacks


For a Quick Shortcut, Click on the Recipee Below;

Popcorn & Nuts

Chilli Lime Popcorn
Rosemary Spiced Nuts
Salted Caramel Pecans
Sriracha Baked Almonds


Baked

Lamb Sausage Rolls (2 Flavours)
American Pretzels
Brazilian Cheese Rolls (Pao de Queijo)
French Gruyere Mini-Muffins (Gougeres)
Baked Smokey Cheese Polenta Chips
Lebanese Sfiha (Harissa Lamb Minced Pies)
Aubergine Kadaifi Pastry Nests
Cyprus Flaounes (Easter Cheese Pastries)


Meatballs

Thai Beef Meatballs
Spiced Chicken Meatballs with Chilli & Mint Sauce
Preserved Lemon, Pork & Parmesan Meatballs
Spicy Hoisin Meatballs


Fried

Chinese Fried Wontons
Pear, Bacon & Brie Wontons
Italian Breaded Eggplant Fritters (Polpettine di melanzana)
Chickpea & Goat's Cheese Fritters
Chickpea Wedges with Parsley, Lemon & Caper Sauce
Rosemary Polenta Chips
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Minted Chilli Ricotta
Indonesian Tofu Fritters (Bregedel Tahu)
Fried Panko-Crumbed Cauliflower with Mint and Tamarind Dipping Sauce
American Mini Corn Dogs
Shiitake, Mushroom, Gruyere & Basil Fritters
El Salvador Pupusa (Thick cheese filled fried tortillas)
Chilean Sopaipilla (Fried Pumpkin bread dumplings)
Punjabi Samosas (Vegetarian, with potatoes and peas)
Israeli Felafel (Chickpea & Coriander Dumplings)


Steamed

Cantonese Rice Noodles (Cheung Fun)
Cantonese Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)
Cantonese Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gau)
Japanese Chawan-Mushi (Steamed Savoury Custard)


Barbecued

Balinese Beef Satay (Satay Manis)
BBQ Grilled Aubergine Wraps with Feta, Mint and Chilli


Fresh

Devilled Eggs
Spiced Pickled Turnip
Vietnamese Salad Rolls
Stuffed Artichokes


Dips

Middle Eastern Hummus Spread
Hot Cheese Dip
Home-made Tomato-Basil Sauce (Ketchup with a twist)
Thai Nam Jim Dipping Sauce
Thai Tamarind Jim Jaew Dipping Sauce
Thai Tamarind Sauce


Thai Nam Jim Dipping Sauce

Great for seafood. Makes 160ml.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Red Shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 Red Chilli, roughly chopped (depends how spicy the chilli is and how spicy you like it!)
  • 1-2 Coriander Roots, well washed
  • 1.5 tbsp Softened Palm Sugar
  • 60ml Fish Sauce
  • 60ml Lime Juice
  • 5-6 Sprigs Coriander, roughly chopped
Instructions:
  • In a mortar pestle or food processor, puree the garlic, shallot, chillies and coriander roots until you have a paste.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl and combine with palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Taste and adjust the flavours as desired, either spicy, sweet, sour or salty.
  • Garnish with roughly chopped coriander leaves.


Thai Tamarind Jim Jaew Dipping Sauce

Great for meats, especially pork and beef. Makes 250ml.

Ingredients:

  • 90g Tamarind Puree
  • 2.5 tbsp Softened Palm Sugar
  • 2.5 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 60ml Hot Water
  • 3 tsp Rice Flour, lightly roasted
  • 1-2 tsp Chilli Powder, to taste
Instructions:
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium-low heat, bring tamarind puree, palm sugar, fish sauce and hot water to a boil. Then remove from heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Mix in roasted rice flour and chilli powder to taste.


Thai Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Great for prawns, chicken, pork and vegetables.
Makes 250ml

Ingredients:

  • 30ml Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Red Chilli, minced
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic, crushed and chopped finely
  • 4 Shallots, chopped finely
  • 30ml Fish Sauce
  • 30ml Tamarind Puree
  • 75g Palm Sugar, softened
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 100ml Water
Instructions:
  • Over high heat, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Once hot, fry the garlic and chilli for 1 min.
  • Add the shallots and cook for 2 mins.
  • Then add the fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  • Slowly add the water and simmer over low heat for 5 mins.
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • The mixture keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Chilli Lime Popcorn

Makes a medium bowl full for about 4.
Prep = 10 mins. Cooking = 5 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 1/3 cup Popcorn Kernels
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes, depending on how spicy you like it!
  • 2 tbsp Finely Grated Lime Rind (2 small limes)
  • 1/4 cup Store-bought Fried Shallots (optional)
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
Instructions:
  • Heat the oil in a deep soup pan over medium heat. Add the dried chili flakes and popcorn kernels. Ensure that there is a cover on the pan and put on two oven gloves.
  • Shake pan to cover kernels in oil.
  • Shake pan every minute or so to balance out the heat across the kernels.
  • Once the popcorn starts popping, keep shaking the pan back and forth without removing it from the heat.
  • The pan is ready once the popping slows down (don't wait too long or it will burn).
  • Remove the pan from the heat and carefully open the cover away from you (there will be a lot of hot steam).
  • Pour all the popped corn into one large bowl and quickly add in the lime rind, shallots, salt and pepper and mix these thoroughly with your hands.


Lamb Sausage Rolls (2 Flavours)

This recipe is split to make 2 sets of flavours, one slightly sweet and the second more savoury with moroccan flavours. Makes 24 rolls.

Ingredients (Slightly Sweet Flavour):

  • 250g Lamb Mince
  • 1/2 Cup Mint Jelly
  • 1 Cup Haloumi, finely grated (optional, not sure if it makes a difference. Need to test.)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Ingredients (Moroccan Spice Flavours):
  • 250g Lamb Mince
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped (in food processor if possible)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Hot Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/3 Cup Mint Leaves, chopped finely (in food processor if possible)
Ingredients (Assembly):
  • 3 Sheets of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 200C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • For the slightly sweet flavoured rolls, place all the related ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.
  • For the moroccan flavoured rolls, place all the related ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well with your hands.
  • Divide each mixture into 3 portions, then, on a clean surface, roll each portion into a long log (about 3cm thick) until you reach the length of the short side of the puff pastry.
  • Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half to form two wide rectangles (nearly a square).
  • Place a roll of sausage mixture onto the bottom edge of a puff pastry piece. Then roll it up tightly to enclose.
  • Turn rolls seam-side down and cut each roll in 6 pieces (start by cutting the roll in half, then cut each half into 3 pieces).
  • Place on baking tray, allowing at least 1 inch of room in between rolls and brush with the beaten egg.
  • Bake the rolls in the oven for 10-12 mins until puffed and golden.
  • Serve the sausage rolls warm.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls (Pao de Queijo) (Delicious right out of the oven and easy to make)

Makes approx. 32 Balls
Great as appetizers or hors d'oeuvres at a party!
Prep & Cook time : 40 mins
Prep time only : 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Melted butter
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 1/8 cups Tapioca Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Grated Farmer's Cheese (or any firm fresh cows milk cheese such as Baccio or Brazilian Cheese Queijo Minas) or Parmesan
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese (Optional)
  • Salt to taste
Instructions:
  • Preheat over to 350F.
  • Mix milk, salt, vegetable oil and butter in a pot. Bring it to a boil, then immediately remove it from the heat.
  • Stir in tapioca flour, a little at a time.
  • Stir in the eggs and the cheese. Mix well.
  • Let mixture cool for 15-30 mins, so that it will be easier to handle. Option : Chill in the refrigerator for 15 mins or so to help cool.
  • With floured (tapioca flour) hands, shape the dough into golf ball sized balls (about 50g portions) and place them on a baking sheet which is covered with baking paper to prevent sticking. Allow for at least 5 cms space between balls.
  • Bake rolls for 20-25 mins, until they are golden and have puffed up.
  • Serve Warm. If serving later, reheat each in the microwave for about 15-20secs, or 45secs for 4 or 5 rolls at once.


French Grueyere Mini-Tarts (Gougeres)

Makes 24 mini tarts / muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 pound (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cup plain flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup diced Gruyere cheese
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Cup grated Gruyere cheese
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven at 375F/190C
  • In a saucepan, bring the water, butter and 1 tsp of salt to a boil. Mix well.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, let cool slightly, then stir in the flour and mix well.
  • Return the pan to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon over high heat until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the eggs, one at a time until well combined.
  • Add the diced cheese, the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper. Stir well.
  • Drop the dough into a greased mini muffin tins. Sprinkle on the grated cheese.
  • Bake in batches for 25 mins, or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately, while warm.


Thai Beef Meatballs

Makes about 2 dozen
Great as appetizers or hors d'oeuvres at a party!

Ingredients:

  • 500g Beef Mince (Pork or Chicken could also be used as substitutes)
  • 1/2 tsp Green Curry Paste
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Clove Garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cm Ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Spring Onion, finely sliced (include the stalk)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped Coriander
  • 140 or 165ml tin Coconut Milk
  • 1 Carrot, grated
  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping only
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Prepare 3 baking trays - Cover with baking paper.
  • Combine all ingredients, apart from the Sweet Chili Sauce, in a large bowl.
  • Use teaspoons to place rounded teaspoonfuls on the tray. Loosely shape into spheres.
  • Bake for approx. 12mins, or until cooked and slightly browned.
  • Serve warm with Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping.



Baked Smokey Cheese Polenta Chips

Serves 6-8 as an appetiser

Ingredients:

  • 375ml Chicken Stock
  • 60g Instant Polenta
  • 20g Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Grind of Pepper
  • 2 tsp Thyme leaves
  • 60g Smokey Cheese (eg. Scamorza affumicata), coarsely grated
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
  • Tomato relish or sauce, for serving (optional)
Instructions:
  • Grease and line a 22cm square baking tray with baking paper, with a slight overhang for easily removal.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, over medium heat, bring the stock to boil.
  • Slowly add the polenta while stirring constantly to avoid clumping.
  • Reduce heat to low and, while continuing to stir, cook for 5-7 mins.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter, grated cheese, thyme leaves, salt and black pepper.
  • Once the butter and cheese have melted and have been stirred through evenly, pour the mixture into the prepare baking tray.
  • Use a wet spatula to level out the polenta mixture. Place a square of baking paper overtop the mixture and roll a glass over it to smoothen further.
  • Leave the baking paper cover and leave to cool completely. Once room temperature, transfer the baking tray to the fridge to chill and firm up for 30 mins.
  • Heat up the wok for frying (alternatively you could also bake them for a healthier approach).
  • Remove the polenta from the tray and cut into rectangle thumb sized lengths (approx 1.5cm thick x 6cm long).
  • If frying, toss each polenta rectangle in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess and carefully place in the hot oil. Fry for about 6 mins until golden brown. Transfer to a baking rack to drain. Repeat with remaining polenta chips but don't overcrowd otherwise the chips won't be crispy.
  • If baking, preheat oven to 200C. Line a large flat baking tray with baking paper and place the chips, 2cm apart, across the tray. Spray with oil spray to coat evenly. Bake for about 10-15 mins until chips are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve hot with tomato relish alongside.



Lebanese Sfiha (Harissa Lamb Minced Pies)

Makes a dozen small pies.

Ingredients (Dough):

  • 1 Cup Warm Milk
  • 1 tsp Dried Yeast Powder
  • 1.5 Cups Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1.5 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 500g Minced Lamb
  • 1 Large Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Large Tomato, chopped
  • 1 Handful Fresh Mint, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Harissa Paste + extra to garnish if desired
  • 1 Egg
  • Lemon Wedges, for serving (optional)
  • Plain Yoghurt, for serving (optional)
Instructions:
  • Start with the dough. In a medium bowl, combine the warm milk and yeast, stir to dissolve the yeast and set aside in a warm place for five minutes until the mixture begins to froth.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix sifted flour with olive oil, sugar and salt.
  • Add milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until well blended.
  • Cover the bowl with a cloth and set aside for five minutes.
  • Knead the dough thorough for ten minutes, until it becomes elastic. Cover the dough with a cloth, place in a warm spot and allow to rise for 1-2 hours until it has doubled it's size.
  • Meanwhile, start preparing the filling by toasting the pine nuts in a frying pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the meat, chopped onion, tomatoes, mint, salt and spices.
  • Add yoghurt, tahini, pomegranate molasses, toasted pine nuts, harissa paste and butter. Mix well and set aside in the fridge until you need to start.
  • Prepare a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  • Preheat oven at 180C.
  • Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls in between your palms.
  • Place each dough ball on a sheet of baking paper and top with another sheet of baking paper. Then using a rolling pin, flatten the dough ball into a circle of about 8cm diameter.
  • Place 1 tbsp of the meat filling in the middle of each circle.
  • Fold the sides of the dough to form 4 walls around the mixture, pinch each corner so that the walls hold together and the corners stick out a little.
  • Place each sfiha bundle on the lined baking tray. Space them out by at least 1 inch.
  • In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg with a fork. Then, using a pastry brush, brush some whisked egg on top of the dough parts of the sfiha.
  • Bake the sfihas for 30 mins, until the pastry is golden and filling is sizzling.
  • Serve warm with lemon wedges, dollops of plain yoghurt and/or harissa.


Aubergine Kadaifi Pastry Nests

Makes about 12 kadaifi nests.

Ingredients:

  • 1.2kg of Aubergine (approx 4 Aubergine)
  • 200g Ricotta
  • 65g Mature Pecorino Cheese, coarsely grated
  • 25g Parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 110g Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 80ml Canola or Sunflower Oil
  • 240g Kdaifi Pastry
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tomato salsa, for serving (optional)
Instructions:
  • Heat the oven to 250C. Pierce the aubergines in a few places with a sharp knife.
  • Place on a tray in the oven for 1.5 hours, turning occasionally until blackened on all sides. Check every 30 mins to ensure it is not overburnt.
  • Remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh into a colander to drain for 30 mins. Discard the burnt skins.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 220C.
  • Mix the drained aubergine in a bowl with the ricotta, pecorino cheese, parsley, egg, 3/4 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper.
  • Make the kadaifi nests by mixing together in a small bowl, the melted butter and oil.
  • Remove a 20g bundle of kadaifi pastry and place in a separate small bowl. Add a teaspoon of butter mixture and toss to coat.
  • Take the bundle and spread it flat on a working surface. Place 1.5 tbsp of the filling mixture in the middle of the bundle.
  • wrap the pastry loosely around the filling so all the filling is covered. Place the bundle on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Only a little bit of space is needed in between the bundles.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins, until golden and crisp. Serve at once with tomato salsa.


Cyprus Flaounes (Easter Cheese Pastries)

Makes 15 pastries.

Note : You'll need to start making this the day before.

Ingredients (Filling):

  • 12g Dried Yeast
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 62ml Milk, warmed
  • 500g Kefalotyri or Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  • 125g Haloumi, grated
  • 90g Fine Semolina
  • 75g Plain Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 Bunch Mint, chopped
  • 85g Sultanas
Ingredients (Pastry):
  • 10g Dried Yeast
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 375ml Milk, warmed
  • 500g Plain Flour
  • 3g Mastic, ground to a powder
  • 5g Mahlab (Mahlepi), ground to a powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 63g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 125g Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Egg Yolk, lightly beaten
Instructions (Filling):
  • In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and warm milk. Stir once to dissolve the yeast into the milk. Wait for 5 mins for the yeast to bloom.
  • Then add the grated cheeses, semolina, flour and eggs. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Instructions (Pastry):
  • Combine the yeast, sugar and 125ml of the milk in a bowl and dissolve the yeast into the milk (give it a quick stir). Wait for 5 mins for the yeast to bloom.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, combine the flour, mastic, mahlab, salt and butter.
  • Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 625ml milk. Knead to form a dough, adding extra milk or flour if/as needed. the pastry should be soft but not sticky..
  • Place dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Set aside for 1 hour to rise.
Instructions (Back to the Filling):
  • Mix in the mint and sultanas into the cheese filling.
  • Rinse the sesame seeds in a fine sieve. Drain and spread out the seeds over a tea towel to dry.
Instructions (Assembly & Baking):
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Roll out a quarter of the dough in between two sheets of baking paper until it is about 3mm thick.
  • Cut out 15cm diameter rounds of the pastry.
  • Place a round of pastry on top of the sesame seeds and press down firmly to stick the seeds to the pastry.
  • Place the round of pastry with seeds on top of a baking tray lined with baking paper. Add 2 tbsp of the cheese filling.
  • Fold the pastry to create 3 walls, leaving the filling in the centre open.
  • Repeat with remaining pastry.
  • Brush the pastry and filling with the beaten egg yolk.
  • Bake pastry for 30 mins until golden.


Spiced Chicken Meatballs with Chilli & Mint Sauce


Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 600g Minced Chicken
  • 1 Large Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 Medium Carrot, grated
  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Freshly Chopped Thai Basil
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Green Curry Paste
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Egg
  • Olive Oil for Cooking
Ingredients for the Sauce:
  • 1/4 Cup Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Grated Palm Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Freshly Chopped Mint
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  • Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and blend well. Cover and chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 200C (not fan forced).
  • Brush a baking tray with oil. Form the mixture into balls approximately 3-cm wide, and place onto tray.
  • Bake for 20-30 mins, turning the meatballs every 10 mins.
  • Drain meatballs on paper towels.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all ingredients and mix well.


Preserved Lemon, Pork & Parmesan Meatballs

Makes 12 meatballs

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 500g Pork Mince
  • 1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Coarsely Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Flat-Leafed Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Finely Chopped Preserved Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Instructions:
  • Put the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and set aside for 5 mins.
  • Meanwhile, put the mince, garlic, parmesan, parsley and preserved lemon in a separate bowl and season with salt.
  • Add the breadcrumbs mixture and mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Divide the mixture into 12 meatballs.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat then cook the meatballs, turning, for 4-6 mins or until golden and cooked through.


Spicy Hoisin Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 500g Chicken Mince or Pork Mince
  • 1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
  • 1 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Small Brown Onion, grated
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup, Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable or Peanut Oil
  • 2 cm Piece of Fresh Ginger, finely grated
  • Hokkien Noodles, to serve
  • Thinly Sliced Green Onion, to serve
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, combine mince, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, chilli and half the hoisin sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Blend mixture with your hands and rolls 2cm small meatballs. Place on a lined tray.
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Cook meatballs, turning regularly, for 5-7 mins or until browned and cooked through. Transfer cooked meatballs to a separate plate. Cover to keep warm.
  • After the meatballs are all cooked, add ginger and remaining garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 min until fragrant.
  • Add 1/2 cup cold water and remaining hoisin sauce.
  • Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 mins until sauce has thickened.
  • Return meatballs to pan and stir gently to coat.
  • To serve, place hot noodles (reheat if necessary) in bowls and top with meatbals and green onion.


Chickpea & Goat's Cheese Fritters

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1 Bulb Fennel, coarse outer layer removed, cored, fennel coarsely chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, chopped
  • 400g Can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g Soft Goat's Cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Parsley Leaves, chopped (optional)
  • Olive Oil for Frying
Instructions:
  • Put the fennel and garlic in a small food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Put the chickpeas in the food processor and blitz to a coarse paste.
  • Add the chickpeas to the fennel mix, along with the flour, baking powder, curry powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, parsley and egg. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • Add the goat's cheese and mix gently until just combined.
  • Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on a large plate.
  • Heat 1 cm of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the fritters, in batches, and press down slightly with a spatula to flatten. Cook for 3 mins each side or until golden and heated through.
  • Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • Sprinkle the fritters with salt and pepper. Serve warm.


Chickpea Wedges with Parsley, Lemon & Caper Sauce

Makes about 20.
Time : 20 mins Prep + 1 hr Chill + 25 mins Cook

Ingredients:

  • 120g Chickpea Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp Oregano, finely chopped
  • 50g Pecorino or Parmesan, finely grated
  • 750ml - 1L Vegetable Oil, for frying
Ingredients (Sauce):
  • 1/2 Cup Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, smashed and finely minced
  • 1 tbsp Salted Capers, rinsed, drained, finely chopped
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, on no heat, combine chickpea flour, baking powder and 2 tsp sea salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Gradually add 2 cups of water, while whisking, until smooth and combined.
  • Over medium heat, whisk mixture until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 mins while still whisking until thickened.
  • Stir in oregano, pepper and 1/4 cup of the grated pecorino cheese.
  • On a lined baking tray, spread mixture to about 6mm thick. Stand at room temperature for an hour until firm.
  • Cut into triangle shapes. Set aside.
  • Then make the sauce by combining sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare a deep dish pan or wok with oil for frying. Heat to 180C (or until a piece of bread turns golden in 10 secs).
  • Working in batches, fry the individual chickpea triangles, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Place them on a paper towel to drain and season with salt and pecorino right away after they are fried.
  • Place in a serving tray and drizzle with sauce and more pecorino. Serve warm.


Chinese Fried Wontons

Prep 20 mins + Cook 15 mins
Serves 6-9 (with about 5-7 each)


Ingredients:

  • 300g Minced Pork
  • 80g Raw Sheeled Prawn Meat, chopped roughly (at least in thirds or quarters)
  • 3-4 Finely Sliced Spring Onions (1/2 Cup)
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
  • 1.5 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp Finely Grated Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Packet of Wonton Wrappers
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 1-1.5L Oil, depending on the size and shape of the saucepan
  • Chili Oil, Black Rice Vinear, Grated Ginger, Minced Garlic, and Soy Sauce for serving.
Instructions:
  • Combine minced pork, chopped prawns, chopped spring onions, shaoxing wine, soy sauc, minced ginger and white pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  • Fill a small bowl with room temperatur water.
  • Take one wonton wrapper, spoon some filling in the centre, dip your finger in the water and wet with your finger the perimeter of the wonton around the filling.
  • Fold the wrapper to your liking, ensuring the air has been squeezed out from inside and that there is no space for the filling to fall out.
    One way to fold is to fold it diagonally into a triangle (with a 90 degree corner), then bring in each point next to the 90 degree angle, to the middle, making what looks like an open rounded enveloppe.
  • Repeat with the rest of the filling and wrappers
  • Heat up the oil in a very deep saucepan on medium heat (you need it to cover the last wonton fried completely, so adjust to have 1.5-2 inches depth for your oil).
  • Once oil is hot (test a small piece of wonton wrapper to ensure it starts frying furiously immediately), fry about 6-8 wontons at a time. Ensure they are not crowded in the saucepan and have enough room to fry.
  • Wontons are ready when they flot to the surface and are nicely brown (average 4-6 mins).
  • Drain on a plate lined with disposable serviettes and then serve immediately with a mixture of Chiangkiang Black Rice Vinegar (1 tbsp) mixed with grated ginger (1 tsp), minced garlic (1 tsp), soy sauce (2 tsp) and chili oil (2 tsp).


Pear, Bacon & Brie Wontons

Makes approx two dozen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Packham pears, peeled, cored and diced in small 0.5cm cubes
  • 100g Firm Brie, cut into small 0.5cm cubes
  • 4 Rashes of Bacon, rind removed, diced into small 0.5cm cubes
  • 100g Sundried Tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp Chives, finely chopped
  • 30 Egg Wonton Wrappers
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying
  • 1/4 Cup Plum Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
Instructions:
  • Cook the bacon bits until slightly crunchy. Set aside and let cool.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the diced pears, brie, cooled bacon, sundried tomatoes and chives.
  • Prepare a very small bowl of water for the wrappers.
  • Take one wonton wrapper and place a small amount of the mixture onto the wrapper.
  • Dip your fingertip in the water and wet the edges of the wonton wrapper. Pull the edges together to form a little "money bag" shape, ensuring that it is well sealed on top and can sit standing upright.
  • Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
  • In a wok, over medium-high, heat enough the vegetable oil (at least 2.5 inches deep) until it is about 160C.
  • Carefully place several prepared wontons into the hot oil, cooking until they are golden and crisp.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce by mixing together the plum sauce, sweet chilli sauce and lime juice.
  • Serve the cooked wonton money bags warm with the dipping sauce.



Italian Breaded Eggplant Fritters (Polpettine di melanzana)

Makes 40

Ingredients:

  • 500g of Eggplant, peeled and cut into 2-3 cm cubes
  • 100g + 80g Breadcrumbs
  • 80g Pine Nuts
  • 30g Grana Padano Cheese, grated
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1-2 Red Chillis, minced
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp Parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Vegetable Oil, for deep frying
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Tomato relish or sauce, for serving (optional)
Instructions:
  • In a large soup pot, over medium heat, bring 2 litres of water and 1 tsp salt to a boil.
  • Add the eggplant cubes and boil for 10 mins, pushing them under water as much as possible, until tender.
  • Transfer eggplant to a colander and let drain while cooling off. Press with the back of a spoon to drain further.
  • Chop the eggplant and place them in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, pine nuts, grated cheese, minced garlic, minced chillis, eggs and parsley. Blend gently. Season to taste.
  • Preheat a wok with vegetable oil for frying.
  • Meanwhile make small spheres from the eggplant mixture and then coat them in the extra breadcrumbs. Set aside. Repeat for the remaining mixture.
  • Once the oil is hot, place one fritter in the wok. If it starts sizzling immediately, it is ready and you can add a few more in, careful not to overcrowd.
  • Rotate the fritters in the oil to ensure they cook all over. Once they become golden brown, remove the fritter from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a rack to drain.
  • Let cool for 5 mins then serve warm with tomato relish or sauce for dipping.



Devilled Eggs (Great if you have leftover boiled eggs from the day before or in pickling)

Ingredients:

Instructions:
  • Remove egg shells, and cut eggs vertically in half
  • With a spoon extract the boiled egg yolks from the whites
  • In a very small mixing bowl add boiled egg yolks, and all other ingredients -- Whip mixture well until smooth
  • Scoop a spoonful of egg mixture for each egg half
  • For aesthetics, you may want to add a twig of parsley on top



Spiced Pickled Turnip

Not really spicy if using ancho chillies.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Dried Ancho Chillies, deseeded and stalks removed
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Chilli Powder
  • 1 Garlic Clove, smashed and then minced very fine
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp Caraway Seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable or Sunflower Oil
  • 1 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 Turnips, peeled and stalks removed (350g)
  • 45g Preserved Lemon, seeds removed and skin & flesh chopped finely
  • 10g Coriander Leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp Salt
Instructions:
  • In a small bowl, cover the ancho chilli with boiling water and let sit for at least 30 mins until soft.
  • Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan to boil, then blanch the turnips for 3 mins. Drain and refresh with cold water. Cut into 1cm wide x 4-5cm long wedges.
  • Remove chillies from the water, reserving both the chillies and 1 tbsp of the ancho water.
  • In a food processor, puree the chillies, and all the remaining ingredients apart from the turnip, preserved lemon and coriander.
  • In a large bowl, toss the turnip wedges, the chilli paste and the preserved lemon.
  • Marinate for 1 hour.
  • Serve topped with coriander leaves.




Rosemary Polenta Chips

Ingredients:

  • 150g Polenta
  • 600ml Stock (Vegetable or Chicken)
  • 2 tsp Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 50 Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Sea Salt, to serve
Instructions:
  • Line the inside of a rectangular long deepdish oven pan with clingwrap.
  • In a separate saucepan, bring the stock to a boil.
  • Gradually, add the polenta to the stock while stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed.
  • Stir constantly over low heat for 2 mins, until the mixture is soft and thick.
  • Remove from the heat, then stir in the rosemary and cheese. Blend well.
  • Wait 5 mins to cool, then pour the polenta mixture into the lined pan. Spread the mixture out evenly.
  • Cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  • Remove the pan from the fridge, then tip it upside down onto a chopping board. Remove the clingwrap.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice the cooled polenta into long chunky wedges.
  • Place the wedges onto a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper. Optional : Spray a fine mist of Canola cooking spray over the paper to prevent sticking.
  • Bake the wedges in the oven for 30 mins, turning once.
  • Serve warm with a little sea salt sprinkled on top.


Vietnamese Salad Rolls (Zingy and Refreshing)

Ingredients:

  • Rice Paper Sheets (2-3 per person)
  • A Handful of Rice Vermicelli (Thin Rice Noodles)
  • 2 Green Onions, Sliced horizontally and thinly
  • Lettuce Leaves (2 per person)
  • Chopped herbs for garnishing
  • 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup of satay sauce
  • Water to dilute the dipping sauce
Instructions:
  • Boil small pot of water and then turn off the heat
  • Add vermicelli noodles and let it soak for 5 minutes
  • Rinse noodles with cold water and drain well
  • Fill a large plate with warm water
  • Immerse one sheet of rice paper in the plate of water, let sit for 1/2 minute, and set aside until it softens
  • Fold over bottom 1/3rd of paper and place 1-2 lettuce leaves on the folded portion
  • Arrange a line of vermicelli noodles (as thick as two fingers) lengthwise ontop of the lettuce
  • Add shrimp, green onion and other garnishes as desired ontop of noodles
  • Fold the sides of the paper inward
  • Roll the folded bottom edge away from you, envelopping the ingredients, and making a tight roll
  • Repear with the remaining sheets of rice paper
  • For the sauce, mix hoisin with satay sauce, and thin with water as desired.


Stuffed Artichokes (Interesting Taste, Somewhat intensive eating process)


Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Green Globe Artichokes
  • 1 Cup of Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 4 tbs of each Parmesan and Romano Cheeses
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 tsp of each salt and pepper
  • 2 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
Instructions:
  • Pull off lower, outer petals of artichokes; cut off top third of artichoke. Cut stem to one inch or less (so that it can stand in a baking dish).
  • Combine bread crumbs, cheeses, garlic, salt, 2 table spoons stock and oil.
  • Stuff bread mixture in center of artichokes and between artichoke leaves.
  • Place stuffed artichokes in a large pan with 2 cups boiled stock.
  • Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 mins or until petal near center pulls out easily.


Crispy Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Minted Chilli Ricotta

Serves 4.
Prep 45mins. Cook 15 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 220g Quality Crumbly Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 Lemon, zested finely + 2 Lemons halved for serving
  • 1/3 Cup Mint Leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 Fresh Chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • Sea salt & ground pepper
  • 1 2/4 Self Rising Flour, sifted + extra for dusting
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Wine or Sparkling Water
  • 8 Zucchini Flowers with stems
  • Vegetable Oil, for deep frying
Instructions:
  • To make the filling, in a medium sized bowl, combine the ricotta, nutmeg, parmesan, lemon zest, 3/4 of the chopped mint & chillies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make the batter by whisking, in a medium sized bowl, flour and white wine. Consistency should be like heavy cream. If not, whisk in more flour or wine as needed.
  • Open the zucchini flower gently. Remove barbs at the outside base of the flower and the pointed stamen inside of the flower (as it is bitter tasting).
  • Heat oil in a wok for deep frying until it reaches 180C. Oil should be about 4 inches deep.
  • Meanwhile, fill flowers carefully with a piping bag. Fill each flower with the ricotta mixture until just full. Carefully press the flowers back together around the mixture to seal it in. (Leftover ricotta mixture can be spread on toast for a tasty snack!)
  • To deep fry, have tongs and a plate with paper towels for draining at the ready.
  • One by one, dip the filled zucchini flower into the batter, ensuring they are completely covered. Let the excess drip off before placing in the hot oil.
  • Repeat with other zucchini flowers, in batches. Don't crowd the zucchini flowers in the hot oil otherwise they'll stick together and won't cook properly.
  • Remove them from the oil, place on prepared plate and sprinkle right away with a pinch of salt and the remaining finely chopped chillies and mint.
  • Serve with half a lemon.


Indonesian Tofu Fritters (Bregedel Tahu)

These super flavourful treats are great as a side dish or, better, as an appetizer or amuse-geule before the meal.
Makes about 15 fritters.

Ingredients:

  • 250g Firm Tofu
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Fried Shallots, finely minced
  • 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • Oil for frying
Ingredients (Spice Paste):
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
  • 3 tsp Galangal, chopped
  • 2 tsp Fresh Turmeric, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Shrimp Paste
  • 1/2 Large Red Chili, chopped
  • 1 tsp Palm Sugar, grated
Instructions:
  • Dry the tofu with a paper towel. Chop tofu into chunks.
  • Blend all spice paste ingredients in a mortar & pestle or food processor until smooth.
  • Add tofu to food processor and blend with paste until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, combine tofu mixture, flour, egg, salt, shallots and kaffir leaves.
  • Heat oil into a large pan, ensuring the oil is at least 3-4cm deep (deep enough to cover fritters).
  • When oil is hot but not smoking, drop a tablespoon of tofu batter into the oil. Flip the fritter to make sure it cooks evenly to golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove and set aside on paper towels to drain. Season with salt immediately after removing from the oil for extra taste.
  • Serve hot !


Fried Panko-Crumbed Cauliflower with Mint and Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 120g Pank Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 1 Cauliflower, broken into 3cm florets
  • 3 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 90g Plain Flour
  • 1L Sunflower Oil for frying
  • Salt, to taste
Ingredients (Dipping Sauce):
  • 40g Parsley leaves
  • 25g Coriander leaves
  • 10g Mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 2 tsp Lime Juice (1-2 limes)
Instructions:
  • Place all the ingredients for the sauce, apart from the lime juice, in a food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Set aside. Rinse and dry the food processor.
  • In the food processor, place breadcrumbs, crushed garlic, powdered spices, seeds, salt, chili flakes and sugar. Blitz only a few times until spices are mixed - you don't want the breadcrumbs to be completely fine. Set aside.
  • Set 4 dipping bowls next to each other. In the first bowl, place the eggs.
  • Flour and a pinch of salt go into the second bowl.
  • In the third bowl, place the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Dip a cauliflower floret in the first bowl (flour), shaking the excess flour off. Then dip it into the second bowl, until it is covered in egg. Finally, dip the floret into the breadcrumb mixture, ensuring it is completely covered and set aside on a plate while you progress to prepare the remaining florets prior to frying.
  • In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, add oil until it is 5cm deep.
  • Once hot, fry breaded florets for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Make sure you don't crowd the florets in the oil, otherwise it will not brown as well.
  • Once golden brown, use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a plate covered with paper towel to help drain the oil.
  • Add the lime juice into the dipping sauce just before serving alongside the fried florets.


American Mini Corn Dogs (aka Pluto Pops in Australia and Pogo Sticks in Canada)

Makes 16 mini corn dogs.

Ingredients:

  • 110g Polenta
  • 185g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Bircarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 45g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 330ml Buttermilk
  • 10-12 Chipolatas (Small Pork & Beef Sausages)
  • Vegetable Oil, for deep frying
  • Tomato Ketchup, for serving
  • 16 Wooden Skewers (optional)
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, combine polenta, 150g of the flour, bicarb soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, sugar and salt.
  • Stir in the eggs and then gradually stir in the buttermilk to make a smooth thick batter.
  • Fill in a deep sauce pan with oil and heat over medium-high heat to 180C.
  • Place remaining flour in a bowl.
  • Once oil is hot, coat a sausage with flour and dip into the polenta mixture until fully covered.
  • Shake off excess batter and place into the hot oil to cook. Remove with thongs and set aside on a paper towel to drain.
  • Serve warm, either on wooden skewers or standalone, with ketchup as dipping sauce.


Cantonese Rice Noodles (Cheung Fun)


Makes 12 Rolls

Ingredients:
Noodles:

  • 2 Cups of Rice Noodle Flour (specialty floor)
  • 1/4 Cup White cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Oil
  • 2 2/3 Cup Cold Water
Filling:
  • 3/4 Cup Ham, cooked, finely minced
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilentro, finely minced
  • 2 tbs Sesame Seeds
Instructions:
  • Mix in order given above. Make sure the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  • Ladle 1/3 Cup into an stick-free 9" pie pan. Sprinkle filling on top.
  • Steam for 5 mins. Cool. Roll-up like a crepe.
  • Wipe pie pan clean and repeat procedure until all the batter is used. Or, to facilitate process, use two pie pans.


Shiitake, Mushroom, Gruyere & Basil Fritters

Serves 6-8 as a first course, or many more as appetizers.

Ingredients:

  • 70g Flour, sifted
  • 100g Polenta
  • 2/3 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Ground Roasted Coriander Seeds
  • 350g Thick Plain Yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 Spring Onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 Sprigs of Basil, leaves removed and coarsely shredded
  • 12 Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 200g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Lettuce Leaves for garnish / presentation (optional)
Instructions:
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sifted flour, polenta, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and coriander seeds.
  • In a larger bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, 4 tbsp of cold water, the olive oil, egg and garlic.
  • In the large bowl, then add in the spring onions, basil leaves, mushrooms and cheese and the polenta mixture.
  • Leave to rest for 20 mins.
  • Fill a large frying pan with vegetable oil, until it is about 4-5cm deep. Heat the oil over medium-high.
  • Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Make sure the fritters are not crowded in the oil.
  • Cook for about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to turn them over to ensure they cook evenly and then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to allow them to drain.
  • Sprinkle with salt as soon as they are transfered to the plate.
  • Serve hot on a bed of lettuce leaves.


El Salvador Pupusa (Thick cheese filled fried tortillas)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Masa Harina (maize flour)
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 200g Grated Cheese (Cheddar or Mozzarella)
  • Optional extras for filling : Chopped bacon bits, chopped black olives, chopped jalepenos and/or sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Olive or Canola Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Salsa (optional for serving)
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, mix masa harina and water (a little bit at a time) to form a smooth dough that is firm but not dry.
  • Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into balls the size of a billiard ball.
  • Take one ball and make a deep indentation into the dough with your thumb, big enough to allow for a tablespoon full of filling.
  • Add a spoonful of filling and then pinch the dough closed and roll the dough to help smooth it out. Gently flatten the ball to make a disc.
  • Place the disc between two sheets of baking paper and, with a rolling pin, flatten the disc further to 0.5-1cm thickness.
  • Heat a large frying pan to medium-high, add a tbsp of oil and butter. When the pan is hot, cook each pupusa on both sides until each side is browned and crispy.
  • Enjoy them hot with salsa, if available.


Chilean Sopaipilla (Fried Pumpkin bread dumplings)

Makes 1 dozen.

Ingredients (Sopaipilla):

  • 1/2 Zapallo Squash, cut into large pieces
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 2.5 Cups Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 Cups Vegetable Oil, for frying
Ingredients (Chancaca Syrup):
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Cloves
  • 1 Orange
Instructions:
  • In a large soup pot, boil pieces of squash until very tender.
  • Remove squash from water, place it in a heat proof bowl and mash it to a smooth paste with the butter.
  • In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Gradually, add the dry mixture to the mashed squash (you may not need all the flour and the dough should not be too thick or dry).
  • Knead dough gently. Let it rest for a few minutes. Then, with a rolling pin, roll it flat to a thickness of 1.5cm.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out 10cm diameter circles from the dough.
  • In a large work or deep sauce pan, fry the dough circles (don't crowd them) for a few minutes, until the surface of the dough is darker and crisp. Drain on paper towels.
  • Meanwhile, make the chancaca syrup in a small saucepan by combining brown sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, honey and cloves. Stir the mixture frequently over medium-low heat. Squeeze the oranges into the mixture once hot. Remove from heat, strain and serve hot over the sopaipillas.


Cantonese Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)

Makes 8 Buns

Ingredients: Buns:

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 pkg. dry yeast
  • 5 cups steam bun flour
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
Filling:
  • 2 tbs Oil
  • 1 Chive, Chopped fine
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, Chopped Fine
  • 1/2 Lb BBQ Pork (preprepared and cooked), Diced
  • 2 tbs Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbs Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbs Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tbs Sugar
  • 1 tbs White Cornstarch, Dissolved in 2 tbs water
Instructions: Buns:
  • Mix together the warm water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and yeast in an 8 ounce measuring cup. Let the mixture stand until it rises to the 8 ounce level (about 20 minutes).
  • Mix the flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening, yeast mixture and milk.
  • Knead the mixture for 5 minutes to form a dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and set the dough in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for 3 hours.
  • Prepare Filling.
  • After the dough has risen for 2 hours, shape it into rolls about 2 inches in diameter. Cut each roll into 1-1/2 inch pieces.
  • Shape each piece into a shallow bowl shape.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each piece of dough, close and twist the dough to form a bun. Put the bun on a 2-inch square of white paper. (This prevents the bun from becoming soggy while steaming.)
  • Place 8 buns in a pie pan and allow them to set and rise for 15 minutes in a warm place.
  • Steam for 25 minutes.

Filling:

  • Heat 2 tbs oil in wok. Stir fry scallion and garlic for 30 secs. Add pork. Stir fry for 1 min. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.
  • Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stirfry quickly until pork is glazed. Remove to bowl and allow to cool.


Punjabi Samosas (Vegetarian, with potatoes and peas)

Makes 12 samosas.
Mortar & pestle may be needed.

Ingredients (Samosa Pastry):

  • 2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 4 tbsp Ghee or Oil
  • 5-6 tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp Carom Seeds
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 750ml Vegetable Oil for Frying
  • Coriander or Tamarind Chutney or Plain Yoghurt, to serve
Ingredients (Potato & Pea Stuffing):
  • 3 Medium sized potatoes
  • 1 Cup Green Peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1/2 inch Fresh Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Dry Mango Powder / Amchur
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tbsp Oil
  • Salt as required
Ingredients (Spice Mix):
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
Instructions (Prepare the dough):
  • In a food processor, combine the flour, ghee, carom seeds and salt.
  • Blitz until you get a coarse crumb. Pour mixture in a large bowl.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp water. Begin to knead to form a firm dough. Add a little more water as required.
  • Place dough in a bowl and keep covered with a moistened towel. Set aside for 30-40 mins.
Instructions (Prepare the filling):
  • Prepare stuffing by steaming/boiling the potatoes and peas until they are cooked completely. Remove from the heat and water and let cool.
  • Peel the boiled potatoes and dice them into small cubes.
  • Dry roast the spice mix until fragrant. Once cooled, grind them to a powder in a mortar pestle or spice grinder.
  • Make coarse paste with the ginger and green chilli. Set aside.
  • In a frying pan, heat oil and then add the cumin seeds until they crackle. Add the ginger-green-chilli paste. Saute until the aroma of raw ginger dissipates.
  • Add the peas, red chilli powder, amchur, the freshly ground spice mix and asafoetida.
  • Stir and cook on a low flame for 1-2 mins.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 mins, ensuring they are coated thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Instructions (Assembly & Cooking):
  • Knead the dough lightly and then divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
  • Roll 1 piece into a smooth ball with your hands, then flatten the dough ball with a rolling pin.
  • With a knife, cut a line across the center of the dough round. This will create two samosa shells.
  • Set aside a small bowl of water. Create a pocket out of the half dough round by joining the two sides of the half together, applying water along the edge to help it stick. Press the edges to also help strengthen the seal.
  • Stuff the samosa with some of the filling. Using some water, seal the remainder of the samosa pocket. Set aside.
  • Prepare remaining samosas likewise.
  • In a deep sauce pan, heat oil on high.
  • Once the oil is very hot (but not yet smoking), slip in the samosas and then immediately reduce the flame down to low.
  • Turn over and fry the samosas on their other sides until golden. Remove the samosa and turn up the heat to high again.
  • Drain fried samosas on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Repeat with remaining samosas.
  • Serve warm with chutney.


Israeli Felafel (Coriander & Chickpea Fritters)

Serves 4 or about 16 felafel.

Ingredients:

  • 400g Dried Chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Small Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Parsley
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1-2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Plain Flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp Bicarb Soda
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying
  • 1 Cup Flour for dipping
Instructions:
  • Cook the soaked chickpeas in 4 cups water for 30 mins. Drain well.
  • In a food processor, blend the cooked chickpeas with the garlic, onion, coriander leaves, parsley and spices. Blend to a coarse paste.
  • Add more water if needed. More coriander leaves for a greener felafel.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chickpea mixture with breadcrumbs, sifted flour, egg, bicarb soda, salt and pepper. Let stand for 30 mins.
  • Roll a heaped tablespoon of mixture to make a flattened disc. Set aside on a plate.
  • In a deep saucepan or wok, over medium-high heat, add the oil for deep frying.
  • Once hot, deep fry the felafels, a few minutes on both sides. Don't overcrowd in the oil.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve hot with hummus, pita bread, tomato and onion.


Cantonese Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gau)

Ingredients: Wrappers:

  • 1/2 cup wheat starch
  • 1/6 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Filling:

  • 1/3 pound medium raw shrimp
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 egg white
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • 3/4 tablespoons cooking oil or solid vegetable shortening
  • Soy sauce and chili oil

Instructions:
Makes about 15 dumplings

Wrappers:

  • Mix the wheat starch, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl. Add the boiling water to the mixture and stir until the dough is moist all over. Cover it with a towel and let sit for approximately 20 minutes.
  • While the dough is sitting, begin preparing the filling. Remove the shells from the shrimp, and devein by cutting a slice down the back of the shrimp and removing the vein. Rinse the shrimp in cold water, drain and place in a bowl with the other filling ingredients.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and knead until smooth. Add the cooking oil, a teaspoon at a time, kneading the dough after each addition. The dough should be smooth and shiny.
  • Cut the dough into two equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 15-inch cylinder. Split each cylinder into 1-inch pieces, and form each piece into a ball. Cover the dough while you are making the dumplings to prevent it from drying.

Dumplings:

  • Roll a portion of the dough into a 3 to 3 1/2-inch circle. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the centre, and fold the skin in half, forming a semicircle or half-moon shape. Press to seal the edges. Cover the dumpling with a damp cloth while you are making the remaining dumplings.

Steaming:

  • Line the bottom of the steamer with Napa cabbage or a damp cloth to keep the dumplings from sticking. Steam the dumplings until translucent (this will take approximately 18 - 20 minutes).
  • Serve immediately with the soy sauce and chili oil


Japanese Chawan-Mushi (Steamed Savoury Custard)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Shitaake Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 6 Raw Prawns, peeled, deveined and chopped in half
  • 4 Eggs
  • 600ml Cold Dashi Stock
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mirin
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced spring onion, for garnish
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, gently beat the eggs with a fork or chopsticks to avoid making bubbles.
  • Stir in the dashi stock and soy sauce. Strain into a jug and set aside.
  • Divide the mushrooms and prawns equally into four individual ceramic bowls.
  • Pour in the egg mixture. Cover each bowl tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Steam over medium heat for 10-15 mins or until set.
  • They are done when a toothpick in the centre comes out clean.
  • Serve warm with slices of green onion as garnish.


American Pretzels


Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/3 Cups of Warm Water (If water is too hot, it will kill the yeast)
  • 1 tbs Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbs Water
  • 2 tbs Coarse Salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  • Grease two large baking sheets.
  • In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Stir with rubber spatula until well blended and yeast is dissolved.
  • With wooden spoon, gradually stir in sugar, salt, and flour until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms.
  • Turn dough onto well-floured board or countertop. Knead dough (fold dough towards you with the heels of your hands push dough away with short rocking motions. Rotate dough a and repeat above motion.) Knead and turn for 5-7 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour if necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough should not stick to board or hands.
  • Cut dough in half, then each half into 6 equal-sized pieces.
  • With floured hands, roll one piece of dough to form a long rope shape until it is 15 inches long.
  • To form pretzel shape, place rope on baking sheet, cross left side over to the middle of rope joining the dough. Then fold right side of the rope up and over the first loop to form pretzel shape. Continue with remaining dough, placing pretzels 3" apart on baking sheet. Enlarge holes in pretzels to prevent them from closing during baking.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 egg and 1 tbs water. Brush on pretzels.
  • Sprinkle pretzels with coarse salt.
  • Bake 15 - 20 mins or until golden brown. Enjoy when still warm and fresh.


Balinese Beef Satay (Satay Manis)

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 15 Satay Sticks
  • 500g Beef Steak (Porterhouse)
  • 1 tbsp Kecap manis
  • 1 tbsp Canola Oil
  • Bamboo Sticks, soaked in water for 30 mins - 1 hour
Ingredients (Spice Paste):
  • 3 tsp Roasted Ground Coriander
  • 1/3 tsp Roasted Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1 Chilli, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Palm Sugar, softened
Instructions:
  • In a small bowl, combine the spice paste ingredients.
  • Chop the beef into small cubes, approx 2 cm squares.
  • Mix the beef cubes in the spice paste, kecap manis and oil. Marinate for 15 mins.
  • On each bamboo stick, thread 4-5 pieces of marinated beef.
  • BBQ sticks until golden brown.



BBQ Grilled Aubergine Wraps with Feta, Mint and Chilli

Makes 10 Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Globe Eggplants, cut thinly lengthwise (you'll have about 10 slices)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 250g Feta Cheese
  • 1 Red Chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Mint, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Black Pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  • Preheat your BBQ grill to medium.
  • Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the olive oil.
  • Grill them on the BBQ for about 2 mins each side until golden and tender.
  • In a bowl, crumb the feta, and stir in the mint, chilli, black pepper and lemon juice.
  • Take a grilled aubergine slice and place a heaped tablespoon of feta mixture on one end.
  • Roll the aubergine slice to form a cigar shape.
  • Store in the fridge until it is time to serve. Serve chilled.



Hot Cheese Dip

Ingredients:
  • 1 227-gm bar old white cheddar (emphasis on 'old' and 'white' - the'medium' orange stuff won't do)
  • 1 cup hellmann's mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons minced (white) onion
  • 1 box crackers ('stone wheat' are good for this)

Instructions:

  • grate the cheese
  • combine with mayo and minced onion,
  • then bake in small oven-proof dish at 375F (pre-heated) for about 20 min until top has golden hue.
  • NOTE: if it's gonna be the only appetizer there, i'd double the batch esp. cos people love this stuff, amongst 7 or 8 people it'll be gone in a flash
  • NOTE: if there is any leftover, it'll keep in fridge indefinitely and can be re-heated/microwaved to it's former glory in about 15 seconds.


Egyptian Hummus Spread

Ingredients:
  • 2 regular sized tins of organic chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 lemon (or more for extra fresh lemon flavour!)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • Fresh nutmeg (optional)

Instructions:

  • Drain and wash organic chickpeas. Remove clear husks when separated and where possible.
  • Add tahini, apple cider vinegar, lemon, olive oil, warm water and salt.
  • Use a processor to blend mixture until very smooth.
  • Chop up coriander or parsley real fine and mix it in.
  • If you have any nutmeg grate some and mix in as well for a little bit of aroma.
  • Note : The quantities are not precise, and it's up to you to increase level of acidity by adding more lemon juice or vinegar.
Recipe Credit :
Tawfik Elgazzar, Photographer

Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Makes about 2 cups. GF.
Prep Time 10 mins + Cooking Time 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Peanuts
  • 2.5 tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 2 tsp Dried Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Mild Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg White, lightly whisked

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, place all the nuts.
  • In a small skillet, heat the oil and the rosemary until aromatic, then pour over the nuts.
  • Stir to coat evenly. Let cool.
  • In a separate bowl, blend the sugar, cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Add to nuts, stirring to coat.
  • Add in the whisked egg white and toss again to coat.
  • Place coated nuts on the lined baking tray, spaced out as much as possible.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins, tossing every 5 mins or until nuts are dry.
  • Cool on the tray prior to storing or serving.


Salted Caramel Pecans

Serves 8-10
Prep Time 5 mins + Cooking Time 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 45g (1/4 Cup) Brown Sugar
  • 25g Butter
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 250g Pecan Nuts

Instructions:

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper and set it aside for use later.
  • In a large frying pan, over low heat, melt the butter.
  • Add sugar, paprika, salt and water. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Increase to medium heat, bring to a boil and stir in the nuts for 5-8 mins until glazed and golden. Be careful not to burn the pecans.
  • Transfer the glazed pecans onto the baking paper, spacing them out as much as possible. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • If not enough caramel, prepare more caramel in the frying pan (half the above caramel ingredients), and return the pecans back to the additional caramel, stirring for about 5 mins more. Return pecans to baking tray to cool.
  • Once set, break them up gently and serve them at room temperature.


Sriracha Baked Almonds

Makes about 2 cups. GF.
Prep Time 5 mins + Cooking Time 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 300g Blanched Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Tamari Soy
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha Chili Garlic Sauce

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, place almonds, tamari soy and sriracha sauce. Mix until well coated.
  • Place coated almonds on the lined baking tray, spaced out as much as possible.
  • Bake for 15 mins, tossing every 5 mins or until nuts are dry.
  • Cool on the tray prior to storing or serving.


Home-made Tomato-Basil Sauce (Ketchup with a twist)

Makes 1 cup.
Works with ripe tomatoes, as well as ones which are a little less ripe. The riper they are, the sweeter the sauce will be.

Ingredients:

  • 900g Tomatoes (peeled and seeded if ripe)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 tbsp light coloured honey
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (white balsamic is best but is harder to find)
  • 2 tsp Cider Vinegar
  • 5 Sprigs Fresh Basil
Instructions:
  • Once they have been peeled (you can blanch them in boiling water to help with this) and deseeded, cut the tomatoes into small cubes.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, over medium heat and ensuring the pan is covered, cook the tomato cubes.
  • When the tomatoes begin to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, uncover the pot and let it cook for 10 mins. If it seems dry, add a splash or two of water.
  • Ensure that the tomatoes are completely softened before adding other ingredients. Additional time with saucepan covered may be needed.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to let it cook uncovered over medium heat for another 35 mins, or until it has been reduced to about a third of it's original volume.
  • Remove pan from heat. Discard the basil. And let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer to a clean jar with a tight fitting lid, and store for up to several weeks in the refrigerator.


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