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Do you get a chance to cook at home much?
I usually cook at home on Sunday and Monday nights, my weekend. Our oldest daughter Lalu is often the home cook. Her absolute go-to is rigatoni with vodka sauce.
What do you like to cook at home?
Often I cook dishes out of random leftover ingredients we have in the restaurant, at home or in the garden — zero wastage all the way. In summer, my go-to is salads, often in combination with barbecue. In winter, it’s hearty dishes, often pasta or some German classics.
What is your go-to meal when in a hurry?
That would be something like sourdough bread with a fried egg, radish, tomato, cucumber and pickles ... or a cheeseboard.
How do you deal with fussy/allergy eaters in your household?
Mila, our 7-year-old, is probably one of the fussiest eaters around. She is probably the reason we often cook pasta, as that is her absolute favourite. She does love desserts, so usually we can get her by saying "eat your veges or no dessert for you".
Last time we spoke you were getting into your garden. How is that going?
Yes, definitely something I like to do and wish I was able to spend more time with. Our fruit trees are flowering and the chooks just got back into laying, so that’s great and helps with the late-night sandwich.
What is always in your fridge?
Pickles, miso, mustard, cheese, horseradish, milk, a bunch of veges and fruit, butter, fruit juice, beer and wine.
What would we not ever find in your fridge or cupboards?
Baked beans, Marmite, spaghetti in a can, silverbeet, sweetener, luncheon, soup mix powders.
What advice would you give the home cook to make life easier for them?
Buy great produce, that already tastes great, and keep it simple.
If you can’t grow it yourself, support your farmers and always buy seasonal. Order online straight from the farm. When it comes to protein, spend the extra money for the better quality, organic chicken, fresh, local, sustainable fish and talk to your butcher to get tips and inspiration.
7g active dry yeast
10g malt extract
280g water at room temperature
360g pastry flour, sifted
1 tsp sea salt
120g grapeseed oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g pearl sugar (found in speciality section of supermarkets or online)
In a small bowl or measuring cup, proof the yeast with the malt and half of the water.
While it’s proofing, combine the flour, and the salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining water, grapeseed oil, eggs and vanilla. Once the yeast has proofed, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture and the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. It will be a very sticky dough. Resist the urge to add more flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator over night.
Gently stir or knead in the pearl sugar.
Heat your waffle iron, brush it with oil, and then cook a ball of dough (the size will vary based on the size of your waffle iron, I use about one-third of a cup of dough) until browned and cooked through.
Serve with anything you like: marshmallow, cinnamon sugar, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, kimchi, fried chicken, vanilla ice cream, bacon, maple syrup, banana or berries — or everything together!
Flounder with brown butter, almonds, capers, potatoes and salad
Prep time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
For the Flounder
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch black pepper; freshly ground
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
flounder whole, skin off, head off, sides
40g salted butter
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp baby capers
2 Tbsp chopped almonds
For the potatoes
2 large agria potatoes
salt and pepper
For the salad
2 heads lettuce or 1 bag washed lettuce
fine sliced carrots, cucumber, radish
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated horseradish
1 shallot diced
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
50ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp honey
50ml canola oil
25ml olive oil
a mixed bunch of herbs tarragon, chive,
parsley, dill and chervil
Start by cooking the whole unpeeled potatoes in lightly salted water for 10-15 minutes until just cooked. Strain off water and let the potatoes rest in the hot pot with the lid on.
In the meantime prepare the dressing, you can use pretty much any herbs you like, all depending on taste and availability, the more herbs the better. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz, check seasoning, strain through a chinois and set aside.
Leftover dressing will be OK to keep about a week in the fridge.
Peel the cooled potatoes and cut into thick slices.
To season the flounder
Heat the oil in a large, well-seasoned or non-stick frying pan, add the flounder and potatoes, lower the heat slightly and add 20g of butter, fry on a moderate heat for 4 to 5 minutes, turn over, and allow to cook through.
Lift the fish and potatoes on to serving plate and keep warm. Now wipe the frying pan clean, and add the remaining butter and allow to melt over a moderate heat. Once the butter starts to froth and smell nutty and it turns a light brown, add the almonds, lemon juice, capers and parsley.
Check the seasoning and pour the brown butter pan over the sole.
Mix the lettuce and vegetables with the dressing and serve on the side.