Bankstown Bites Festival

by Ed Halmagyi


Serves 4

1 long red chilli
3 clove garlic, minced
½ bunch coriander, chopped
½ red onion, very finely diced
juice of 4 limes
2 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp fine salt
300g kingfish fillet, sliced
1 avocado, peeled and seeded
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled
1 beetroot, peeled
1 zucchini
¼ bunch coriander leaves
2 tsp sherry vinegar
½ tsp dried oregano

1 Char the chilli with a kitchen blowtorch until blackened, then scrape away the skin and remove the seeds. Place in a mortar with 1 clove garlic and the chopped coriander and pound until a paste forms. Mix in the onion, half the lime juice, the sugar and the fine salt. Combine with the fish, mixing to coat, then set aside for 4 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, mash the avocado and remaining garlic in the mortar, then mix in half the olive oil and half the cumin. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the tomato.
3 Use a vegetable spaghetti machine to process the carrot, beetroot and zucchini, then toss with the coriander leaves. Mix the sherry vinegar, dried oregano, remaining cumin and remaining olive oil and dress onto the salad.
4 Spread avocado mixture on plates, then top with the fish and salad.

Serves 4

4 rashers Serrano ham, finely sliced
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, finely sliced
½ bunch thyme leaves
4 chicken Marylands, thigh bones removed, trussed
salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
½ cup plain flour
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup green Sicilian olive cheeks
1 cup dry sherry
½ cup chicken stock
½ bunch parsley leaves, roughly chopped
juice of ½ lemon
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1 Preheat oven to 220°C. Fry the ham and onion in olive oil in an ovenproof skillet for 3 minutes on high until lightly browned, then add the garlic and thyme and cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.
2 Season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss in flour, then drain excess. Fry in butter in the skillet for 3 minutes, until browned, then return the onion mixture and pour in the olives, stock and sherry. Bring to a high simmer, then transfer to the oven.
3 Bake for 10 minutes, until just cooked, then add the parsley, lemon juice and walnuts.

Serves 4

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g caster sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
2 ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup buttermilk
1 egg yolk
vegetable oil, for deep frying
½ cup cinnamon sugar
½ cup dulce de leche
¼ cup sweet sherry
½ cup cream
½ cup crème fraiche
4 tsp freeze dried strawberry powder

1 Sift the flour, baking powder ad sugar into a large bowl then add the coconut, zest, banana, buttermilk and yolk. Mix to combine, then load into a piping bag fitted with a large star-shape nozzle.
2 Pipe into hot (180°C) vegetable oil in tablespoon amounts in batches and fry for 3 minutes, until golden, then keep warm in a moderate oven, draining on kitchen paper. Toss in cinnamon sugar.
3 Meanwhile, purée the dulce de leche, sherry and cream until smooth. Pour the sauce into bowls, then arrange four fritters in each. Add a spoon of crème fraîche, then sprinkle with strawberry powder.

Serves 4

1 cup tuna in oil, drained
6 green shallots, finely sliced
½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
4 sprigs mint, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp capers, finely chopped
salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
8 eggs
8 sheets brik pastry
2 egg whites, beaten
vegetable oil for frying
watercress salad and lemon wedges, to serve

1 Combine the tuna, shallots, herbs, garlic and capers in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Place a spoonful on top of a sheet of brik pastry, top with an egg, then brush the edges with egg white and fold over to seal.
2 Fry in hot (180°C) vegetable oil for 3 minutes, until crisp and brown. Drain well on kitchen paper, then serve hot with watercress salad and lemon wedges.

Serves 4

1 whole chicken (#18)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 white onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cm piece ginger, grated
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
400g green olives, pitted
juice of 2 lemons
125ml chicken stock
½ bunch parsley, chopped
½ bunch coriander, chopped
couscous and yoghurt, to serve

1 Chop the chicken into pieces, then toss in half the olive oil. Fry in a heavy-based enamelled cast iron saucepan set over a high heat for 3 minutes, until well-browned, then set aside.
2 Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices in the remaining oil for 3 minutes, until aromatic, then return the chicken along with the olive, lemon juice and stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook gently for 30 minutes, until the chicken is just firm.
3 Mix in the herbs, then serve with couscous and yoghurt.

Makes 24

3 cups semolina
2 Tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp fine salt
125g butter, melted
¼ cup orange blossom water
1 cup ice cold water
600g fresh dates, pitted
100g toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
400g honey

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the semolina, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl and mix well, then stir in the melted butter and rub well. Stir in 1 Tbsp orange blossom water and iced water and mix to a smooth dough.
2 Combine the dates, sesame seeds, butter and spices in a food processor and purée until smooth. Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll one out to a long log, then make a flat indentation down the centre. Place one quarter of the date mixture down the centre, then pinch the dough around.
3 Flatten gently and cut into diamond shapes. Arrange on lined oven trays and bake for 25-30 minutes until pale golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
4 Pour the honey and remaining orange blossom water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, then dip the biscuits one at a time. Drain well, then serve.

Serves 4

700g pippies, cleaned of all sand
1 cup beer
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and finely sliced
5cm piece ginger, cut into fine batons
6 cloves garlic, sliced
4 eschalots, finely sliced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp caster sugar
juice of 1 lime
3 tsp potato flour
2 long red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
½ bunch Thai basil leaves
¼ bunch coriander leaves
¼ bunch mint leaves

1 Set a large saucepan over a high heat. Once hot, add the pippies and beer. Cook with the lid on for 5 minutes, until the pippies open. Remove from the heat, strain the liquid and reserve.
2 In a wok over a high heat, fry the lemongrass, ginger, garlic and eschalots in vegetable oil for 2 minutes, until aromatic, then add the pippies, oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Combine the potato flour with 1 cup of the reserved pippie liquid, then stir in and simmer until thicken. Mix in the chillies and herbs, then serve.

Serves 4

1kg oxtail
¼ cup fine salt
2kg beef bones
2 heads garlic
4 brown onions
15cm piece ginger
¼ cup cassia bark
8 star anise
15 white peppercorns
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp aniseed
12 cloves
12 cardamom pods
1kg beef brisket
½ cup fish sauce
50g rock sugar
2 pandanus leaves, tied
600g flat rice noodles
200g beef sirloin, finely sliced
2 green shallots, finely sliced
coriander leaves, sliced chillies, Thai basil, bean spouts, fish sauce and lemon wedges, to serve

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Rub the oxtail with salt, then place in a glass bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 1 hour, then drain well.
2 Arrange the beef bone sin a roasting pan and bake for 1 hour, until well browned, then set aside. Place the garlic, ginger and onions on a second oven tray and bake for 40 minutes, until well-softened, then chop roughly. Scatter the spices on an oven tray and bake for 5 minutes, until aromatic, then wrap in muslin and secure with kitchen string.
3 Combine the oxtail, bones and brisket in a large saucepan with 7L cold water and set over a moderate heat. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and skim the surface several times to remove and floating sediment.
4 After 20 minutes, add the garlic mixture, spices fish sauce, rock sugar and pandanus leaves, then cook gently for 4 hours, until with brisket is very tender. Gently remove the brisket and oxtail and set aside to cool. Strain the stock through a fine sieve.
5 Blanch the noodles until tender, then divide between bowls. Top with sliced sirloin and shallots, then mix in flakes of brisket and pieces of oxtail. Ladle in hot stock, then serve with the full range of garnishes.

Serves 4

400g pork neck, diced
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 eschalots, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, sliced into wedges
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup pineapple, cut in to 1cm dice
6 green shallots, cut into 4cm lengths
4 sticks celery, sliced on the bias
juice of 3 limes
½ bunch coriander leaves
2 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
3 sprigs Vietnamese mint leaves
sliced chillies and lime wedges, to serve

1 Combine the pork, fish sauce, half the sugar, pepper cloves and garlic in a bow, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.
2 Fry the pork in a hot wok in batches in half the oil until just browned. When the final pork is being fried, return all the meat to the wok and add the eschalots and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, then set aside.
3 Return the wok to the heat and stir-fry the onion, tomatoes, pineapple, shallots and celery in the remaining oil for 3 minutes, until just softened, then mix the pork in again. Cook for 2 minutes.
4 Pour in the lime juice, remaining sugar and cornflour mixture. Simmer until thickened, then stir in the herbs and serve with sliced chillies and lime wedges.