Recipes
Food & Drink

Eat seasonal with a warm custard apple crumble

There’s something humbling yet soul-lifting about harvesting fresh seasonal produce from the earth and crafting the edible rewards into a nourishing meal for friends and family. South Bank’s new Epicurious Garden, which opened to the public last week, is inviting local foodies to do exactly that – help maintain an edible, productive garden in the parklands. The organic patch of herbs, fruit and vegetables has been designed by horticulture experts but will be partly maintained by volunteer gardeners, and hungry visitors will also be able to nibble on free samples as the produce grows. Inspired by the bounty of seasonal produce currently available in Brisbane, South Bank has shared its recipe for custard apple crumble, calling home cooks to forage for the last few custard apples of the season. Follow the recipe below to warm up your weekend. more

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Celebrate the Big Cake Bake with Maggie Beer’s burnt fig jam and almond cake

No matter where you are or what you’re legally obliged to do on Monday August 25, we’re imploring you all to take a break, have a seat and hoe into a mighty slice of cake. All for a good cause, of course. Australian Red Cross turns 100 this month and so it’s only right to show our respect by baking and binge-eating for the 2014 Red Cross Big Cake Bake. One of this year’s ambassadors, the wonderful Maggie Beer, has shared her recipe for burnt fig jam and almond cake, which is sure to be a standout on any Big Cake Bake table spread. more

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Craft a stack of gluten-free chestnut crepes

Delicate, paper-thin crepes drizzled with raw honey, a slathering of fruit conserve or a few fresh banana slices are the perfect snack to nibble between meals, at breakfast or as a late-night dessert. But for those whose bellies wage war against gluten, this sweet treat can often equal significant pain. The three chefs behind Parisian restaurant and grocer No Glu have banded together to share their palate-seducing gluten-free recipes with homecooks the world over, launching their first cookbook Good Without Gluten this month. The French favourite has made a very welcome appearance in the tome, substituting regular flour for gluten-free and chestnut. Cooks are recommended to make the batter the night before and allow it to rest in the fridge overnight. more

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Wrap your mitts around a fool’s gold mandwich

The mandwich is no humble repast. It’s a beast subject to its own laws; one that may leave you gasping for breath, wiping condiments from your chin and sitting out your next meal. But Billy Law, the culinary genius behind new cookbook Man Food, has toned down the fool’s gold from the mighty monsters originally developed in Colorado, which boasted a hollowed-out bread roll stuffed with one jar each of peanut butter and grape jelly, and a pound of crispy bacon. Billy’s recipe below serves two very hungry bellies. more

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Tuck in to a classic hot apple pie this winter

While our southern counterparts might scoff at Brisbane’s version of ‘winter’, we’ll still take any excuse to wrap ourselves in wool and hoe into comfort food. Of course no winter feast is done without dessert, so no matter how full you are from slow-cooked meats or stout pies, make sure you locate that extra dessert stomach and give this winter warmer a crack. Feel free to get creative with the pastry by carving out letters or creating a pattern, and serve the finished product with a dollop or three of whipped cream, custard or ice-cream. more

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Build a fresh Vietnamese chicken banh mi sandwich

From the chaotic crannies of Hanoi to the sleepy beach town of Doc Let, Vietnam is a street-food lover’s utopia. Stalls stud street corners and markets fill city plots, offering handheld snacks ranging from rice paper rolls to marinated pork skewers. A popular street-food snack that has found overwhelming popularity internationally is the classic banh mi. Combining the French influence of the baguette with the balanced Vietnamese flavours of the fillings, this travelling sandwich is a street-food staple. Fillings can vary depending on taste, but typically include fermented vegetables, meat, coriander and mayonnaise. In the recipe below, we’ve opted for chicken dressed up in a variety of condiments. more

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Embrace seasonal produce with fish tacos and sweetcorn salsa

Sure you can munch on imported fruit at any time of year and crack into tins of vegetables month in and month out, but the simple pleasure of eating in tune with the seasons is unsurpassed. Any local who has ever strolled through the aisles of Rocklea’s Brisbane Produce Market and eyed off the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables available will appreciate the value of fresh, local and seasonal. As we step boldly into winter with scarfs knotted and soup ladles at the ready, the Queensland vegetable industry has united with the Brisbane Produce Market, Bowen Gumlu Growers Association Inc. and Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers to launch the Colour Your Winter initiative. As in-season local produce like sweetcorn, tomatoes, broccoli and capsicum takes the spotlight, some of the state’s best chefs have been inspired to share their favourite dishes. In the recipe below, Restaurant Two… more

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Slice into a sweet potato and macadamia frittata

Just 25 km north of Gympie, on the rolling green hills of Anderleigh, more than 3000 macadamia trees are doing their darndest to flower. Once these pale-yellow blooms are pollinated by bees, they will develop into small green buds which will eventually mature into that gloriously creamy nut, the macadamia. The hardworking folk from Sandy Creek Macadamias will then rustle up the harvest for you to enjoy as a standalone snack or whipped into a dressing, meal or garnish. Before the crew share their wisdom at Regional Flavours in South Bank Parklands on Saturday July 19 and Sunday July 20, they’ve been kind enough to share this recipe for a sweet potato and macadamia frittata. Slice it up for lunch, dinner or a snack in between. more

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Toast the weekend with beer-battered fries

You might be accustomed to swilling a schooner of beer alongside a fresh bouquet of crispy fries, but why not try something a little different by raising that glass and pouring it straight into the batter. Try this basic recipe for beer-battered fries to fill the gap before dinner, accompany an after-work tipple or serve alongside gourmet homemade burgers. more

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Sweeten up with banana crepe pockets in dipping sauce

Australian palates may be more accustomed to fluffy pancakes or portly little pikelets, but the thin crepes favoured by the French can make the perfect snack or post-dinner indulgence. Easily adapted to sweet or savoury, crepes are often topped or cocooned in various condiments, from a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of icing sugar, to a simple berry compote or spinach and cheese. We’ve opted for a creative twist on presentation by gathering the crepes into pockets, stuffing them with sliced banana and serving them in a warm chocolate dipping sauce. more

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Nourish the belly with Italian risotto al radicchio

We can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly winter’s evening than hovering over a pot of aromatic Italian goodness, with glass of wine in hand. Take the time to cook up a real winter warmer this weekend, adding radicchio and bacon to the standard Italian staple of risotto. This leafy chicory lends a slightly bitter taste and lovely purple hue to your risotto, while the addition of bacon and red wine will do wonders to warm that belly on a cold evening. Add plenty of parmesan and you'll question why you're ever tempted to leave the house. more

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Dip hot, fresh churros into gooey chocolate sauce

Winter has finally fallen upon Brisbane. As the sun drops below the horizon earlier each day, long cool evenings beg for belly warming indulgences and simple pleasures. We’ve taken to spending those longer night hours crafting wintertime desserts and this week we struck upon edible gold with those fried Spanish doughnuts, churros. While these snacks are traditionally nibbled at breakfast, we’ve been dipping them into warm chocolate sauce as a post-dinner treat. more

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Test your tastebuds on veal kidney and sweetbreads with black trumpets

Celebrated French chef Stéphane Reynaud grew up in a family of butchers, so it’s little surprise the man has spent the greater part of his life chomping through all manner of meat, from the traditional cuts to the edible innards. Offal, or organ meats, often cop a lot of flack but nose-to-tail advocates argue that using these less-popular parts of the animal is simply responsible eating. In Stéphane Reynaud's Book of Tripe, the restaurant owner encourages home cooks to forget their prejudices, make mates of their local butcher and dare to cook beyond their comfort zone. This recipe for veal kidney and sweetbreads with black trumpet mushrooms serves five brave bellies. more

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Wake up to a savoury breakfast pizza

While many of us may be guilty of frequently hoeing into stale pizza left over from the night before, we’ve discovered that rising in the morning to handcraft a fresh sphere of breakfast-flavoured goodness is a far better option. Indulge your cravings and whims, opting for fresh vegetables and lighter toppings on a clear-headed morning or heartier bacon and eggs when foggy head and fragile stomach calls for grease. The recipe outlined below is ideal for the early riser, the fragile and hungover, or the late bruncher. Follow the directions to make your own pizza base and basil pesto, or take the simple route and swing by your local grocery store. Throw a few pizzas in the oven, invite your mates around and enjoy a savoury pizza party for breakfast. more

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Warm the belly with Egyptian stuffed vegetables

When our bellies start craving comfort food, our imaginations often run straight to giant bowls of hearty pasta and steaming pot pies. As winter creeps closer day by day, set the intention this year to take a healthy twist on traditional cold-weather nosh. Start with this easy recipe for a colourful medley of vegetables, stuffed with Middle-Eastern spices and short-grain rice. Take your pick of seasonal vegies and nourish both body and soul. more

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Craft hot, fresh crumpets for chilly mornings

The sun may be taking longer to rise each morning, but that doesn’t mean us working bees can. As the mornings cool down and bed becomes harder to leave, we’ve been inventing crafty new ways to coax ourselves out of the covers and into the cold. And what better incentive than a hot breakfast? Soft curls of butter and sweet honey oozing through the cavities of hot crumpets ought to do it. Toddle into the kitchen and make yourself a cuppa as you flip some fresh crumpets for breakfast on a chilly Brisbane morning. more

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Tiki bread melds spiced rum, banana and coconut

Coconut milk, pineapple, banana and spiced rum – with a few added surprises, this base banana bread recipe gets upgraded to tiki bread status. We’ve baked this one in a cake tin instead of a loaf tin to yield triangular slices, but either rendition will work out fine. more

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Crunch on Indian avocado and salmon roe pani puri

Sometimes the messiest of meals can be the most enjoyable. This Indian street-food snack may indeed require bib and a handful of serviettes, but the resulting mouthful is a zesty reward of flavours and textures. The crispy spheres of pastry are traditionally filled with chickpeas or potato, but this recipe takes a modern twist with creamy avocado salsa, sour cream and salmon roe. Feel free to get as creative as you like, then throw the whole thing in your gob for a taste explosion. more

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Bake a loaf of chocolate bacon damper on the campfire

We love baking bread … the pop of air that comes with the first punch of a risen dough, the rhythmic kneading, streaks of flour dusting benchtops, hands and cheeks alike. But we thought we’d put a little extra effort into our choice of bread this weekend, honouring our roots with a loaf of damper. Traditionally damper was made using flour ground from spinifex seeds, which has a brown hue – so perhaps try using wholemeal flour instead of the usual stark white varietal to replicate the colouring. For this recipe, we’ve opted to jazz up a traditional damper with added chocolate and bacon for something a little bit different and a whole lot luscious. more

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Potter over a moreish seafood paella this Good Friday

As Easter Sunday approaches, carrying its delicious lures of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, we can also look forward to an all-out seafood feast on Good Friday. What better way to celebrate the tradition than by throwing a bunch of oceanic edibles into the pan and whipping up a seafood paella. We've included chicken in this recipe, but you can tweak the ingredients to suit your tastes. Cast a net into the ocean or grab a bounty of fresh calamari, prawns and mussels from local suppliers like Fresh N Wild Fish Portside, Samies Girl Fresh Seafood Market in Hamilton or The Fish Factory in Morningside. more