Today’s Blogger Guest Post for The Holiday Project:
Lucy from Lucy vs. The Globe
[Lucy is fantastic and witty. She also has excellent taste in music! If you haven’t visited her blog yet, you’re missing out! She’s kind of epic, and she can cook up a mean dish.]
So – first thing off the bat that we need to understand, I am Australian. I call Australian’s the Panda of the human race – as there are only 22 million of us, but we seem to be in every country throughout the world. Much like the Panda, with very few – they are in almost every zoo. As a result of my ethnicity, I have decided it was only fair to pay a homage to the motherland, and theme this entry into the Holiday Special with Australian only dishes. Prepare thyself – culture bombs, will drop.
So let’s get on with this. When approached re: the Holiday Issue, I had to have a good hard think about what was good to make. You know – I could make pies, and stews, and muffins – and frankly they would likely have all been delicious. But I don’t make pies, stew(s), or muffins on the day to day – so why educate you on things you already know – and I am unfamiliar with.
I decided to dig deep and make you typical holiday food from the motherland. So what we have below are two very special dishes:
- Sausage rolls
Few fast facts:
- You ever want to impress an Australian or you are working on an Australian as a Part Time Boyfriend/ Girlfriend – make either of these. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good pav or handful of sausage rolls, unless they are veggie/ vegan, and then you probably should run anyway.
- There are 2 very distinct types of sausage rolls > those from the gas station/ bakery and the fancy kind. These are the fancy kind.
- Pavlova was named after Anna Pavlova who danced in the Black Swan, as she loved the Pavlova when she visited Australia – Australia named their beloved dish after her, a Russian ballerina..(?)
- My pavlova won this years Pav Off in San Francisco. I know – MAJOR.
Below are the two recipes, I am not one for recipes – it’s a known thing. I generally do this once as I am told, and then ad-lib a bit. Not because I think I am better than a recipe – because I truly am not, but all that reading and cooking and reading and stirring and reading and ovening.. it bores the shit out of me. So try this once, then do it blind – if it moves you so much into a round two of cooking the Australian way.
If you hit play at the bottom, there is a music selection to go with your meal of Sausage Rolls and Pavlova, not (all) Australian themed, however all fab.
NB: all measurements are in Australian’esque terms – I am sorry, I work in that system. Download the app and convert them if necessary. I really think I am doing you a service, Americans. – You’re welcome.
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, plus extra to sprinkle
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 80g sliced pancetta, chopped
- 450g pork mince
- 2 cups (140g) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley (I use this whole, and lay it over the meat when rolling the sausage rolls)
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange (I often leave this out, because I forget)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten (beat one egg in one bowl, and the other in the other – they are used for different things)
- 375g block frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Sesame and poppyseeds, to sprinkle (or just use the fennel/ cumin seeds whole)
- Tomato chutney or sauce, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200∞C (390∞F-ish) and line a tray with baking paper. Toast spices in a dry frypan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Pound the spices in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Set aside. Return pan to medium heat. Cook onion and pancetta for 5 minutes or until onion softens, stirring. Add spices, then cool.
- Add onion/ pancetta mixt to a large bowl with pork, crumbs, parsley, zest and 1 whisked egg. Season and mix well, then refrigerate until needed.
- Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a 5mm-thick, 40cm x 28cm rectangle, then halve into 2 long rectangles. Shape pork into two 40cm sausages, about 4cm wide. Place 1 sausage on each pastry rectangle, then roll up to enclose. Turn rolls seamside down, brush with egg and sprinkle with fennel, sesame and poppyseed. Cut into bite-sized pieces, then place on tray and bake for 20ish minutes or until golden and cooked. Serve with chutney.
- 6 (59g) eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups (270g) caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- mixed fruits
- shaved almonds
- Preheat oven to 120∞C (240∞F-ish). Line an oven tray with non stick waxed paper paper. Draw a circle (around a plate) to give you approximate size of pav. – or don’t and make it oval shaped.. This is sort of un-imaginative – the circle drawing bit. I like mine to be sort of mad looking, with like waves on top (see below).
- Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form – this is IMPORTANT! make sure peaks are forming. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Shake the sugar in, leaving the beater going as your work. Keep going after adding all the sugar until the meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still “gritty” with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves – you need to make sure firm, like HARD firm peaks are forming at this stage. So when you take the whisk out it the mix should stand up and flick down, but not disolve back into the majority of the mix.. get me??
- Add cornflour (in the US, I just use all purpose flour.. it works the same as far as I am concerned) – sprinkle lightly as broadly as possible across the mix, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined.
- Spoon meringue onto the waxed paper or foil, using the marked circle as a guide (if you are unimaginative). Smooth sides and top of pavlova (don’t need to do this either, it can be dramatic). Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of pavlova.
- Bake in oven for 1.5 hours or until pavlova is dry to the touch; you don’t want it to feel moist at all, or soft like rubbery – if it feels like that, just leave it in – you wont dry it out by leaving it in for 20 mins passed the 1.5h limit – which isn’t even really a limit. Turn off oven when it’s done. Leave pavlova in oven with the door ajar to cool completely. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.
- Dress with current fruits > in Australia this is commonly done with strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruits, passion fruit, blue berries, maybe mango.
- Toast shaved almonds in a dry frypan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until brown’ish > throw on top of pav.
My mum makes shards of toffee and pierces the pav with it, I haven’t been able to master getting this right, so I drizzle (see below) pretty easy and glam thing to do.
- 1 cup caster sugar
- Take caster sugar, heat in a pan – continuously moving while over heat (this is key!) – just move the pan with the handle, don’t use a wooden spoon or any of that, that would be a nightmare – once it has turned a golden brown color and all the grainy sugar has disolved take off heat
- Pour slowly over the pavlova (I would normally have it already dressed with fruit/ almonds at this stage – so it acts like a cage.)
- Voila – a glam looking Pavlova.