Chili Con Carne, Tortilla, Salsa, Guacamole

Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang

One of my favourite things to eat is chili!

I have grown up eating chili since I can remember.  As a kid, I remember eating our meals around a huge table which my grandmother would cook for.  I had aunts, uncles, cousins and sisters around that table, including my grandmother, who would share a chair with me.  As I ate, I remember the many condiments that accompanied every meal.  These included things like, finely chopped garlic and crushed white pepper in cane vinegar, fish sauce and chopped chili and garlic in a mixture of soy and cane vinegar all in little separate dishes for every one to share.  Amongst that were little, bright, shiny red chilies left whole.  These were for the “game” people, the slightly more chili crazy members of the family.  They would take one of these deadly, birdseye chillies and place it on the side of their plates.  They would break off a tiny bit of this deadly hot chili and add to their next mouthful of food.  I always cringed at the pain they put themselves through as they breathed in through their tightly gritted teeth then puckering their lips as they suck in air to cool their lips.  It was a slightly amusing ritual, mouthful of food followed by chili followed by their attempts to cool their lips and then a sip of ice cold water then back to the start.  They would do this over and over again with sweat beading off their foreheads and as soon as the last mouthful of food is consumed, they rush off away from the table and walk around to try and cool down.

I began eating chili by eating slightly tamer chillies than the deadly birdseye chili.  I slowly climbed up the “chili” scale, attempting the hotter chillies as time went on and my palate got used to flavour and the heat.  Now, I can eat chili just like the aunts and aunties I once watched in amazement as a child.  I love chillies in just about everything like pastas.  Some red sauces in pastas just need that heat especially in alioli sauces.  Curries must have chillies, and some refreshing tropical Asian salads must have chillies in them like a Thai Larb or Vietnamese salad with Nuoc Nam dressing.

In the Philippines, chili is a huge part of our cuisine but more as a condiment.  Mixed generally in soy and cane vinegar along with chopped garlic.  In dishes like sinigang, chillies are sometimes added half way through their cooking to impart flavours and once cooked the chillies suck in the flavours of the broth and become plump and flavoursome themselves.  The chillies are then fished out and added to fish sauce where the chillies are crushed and then used as a condiment for sinigang.  Usually we would add a few to stat with because it is a prized surprise for most Filipinos!

I love this recipe because you can control the amount of heat.  I love to use as many different chillies as I possibly can, the hotter the better.  The secret here is to make sure you saute the vegetables off well to get the natural sugars to come out.  Secondly, seal the meat “hard” on a really hot pan and thirdly, cook the chili for as long as you can, adding water to the pot if it gets too dry.  The longer you cook it the better.  And no secrets here when I say it, but make it two or three days in advance.  The longer you allow it to sit, the better the flavours get, allowing it time to develope just like you do with curries, casseroles and other braised dishes.

Enjoy this recipe and in following recipes, I will show you how to use the chili in other ways!

Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang

Chili Con Carne, Tortilla, Salsa, Guacamole

Serves 8

For the Con Carne

2kg Lean Beef Mince

100ml Vegetable Oil

2 Brown Onions – finely diced

1 bulb Garlic – finely chopped

5 Large Red Chillies – finely sliced

3 tblsp Ground Cumin

4 tblsp Chili Flakes

2 tblsp Chili Powder

1 tblsp Smoked Paprika

2x140gr Tomato Puree

2x800gr Tin Chopped Tomatoes

Sea Salt – to taste

Ground White Pepper – to taste

For the Salsa

4 Large Ripe Tomatoes – diced 1cm cubes

½ Red Onion – peeled & diced ½ cm cubed

1 Bunch Coriander – finely chopped

2 tblsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Sea Salt – to taste

Ground White Pepper – to taste


4 Avocados – peeled, slightly mashed with a fork

½ Red Onion – peeled & diced ½ cm cubed

1 Lemon – juiced

1 tsp Tabasco Sauce

Sea Salt – to taste

Ground White Pepper – to taste


For the Tortilla

16 Tortilla Wrappers

1 Cup Grated Cheddar

½ Iceberg Lettuce – finely sliced

1 Cup Sour Cream


For the Con Carne

  1. Heat up a large pot on high heat for one minute, then add a third of the vegetable oil
  2. Place half the minced meat into the pot, seal and lightly brown the meat, set aside.  Repeat with the remaining meat
  3. Heat the pot once again on high for thrity seconds and add the remaining vegetable oil
  4. Add the onions and sauté, continuously stirring for one minute then add garlic and sauté for another minute
  5. Add the chopped fresh red chillies and sauté for another minute
  6. Add the cumin and stir through then chilli flakes, chili powder and smoked paprika and stir through
  7. Add the tomato paste and cook whilst stirring for another minute, cook out the puree
  8. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil then once at simmer, add the sealed meat and stir through
  9. Cook for one hour on really low, making sure to stir it every 5 minutes or so

10. Season to taste

For the Salsa

  1. Place tomatoes, red onions and coriander in a bowl and mix thoroughly
  2. Add EVOO and season to taste



  1. Place the avocados, lemon juice and red onion a bowl and mix through
  2. Season to taste then add the Tabasco sauce

For the Tortilla

  1. Toast the tortilla on a dry pan.  If you are doing large batches, toast then place it on plate then cover it with a towel moistened with warm towel
  2. Place con carne on the tortilla, cheese, salsa, lettuce and sour cream

Make cooking easy but tasty.  Use this recipe and I’ll show you what you can do with the let overs in the coming editions.

Photo by Jn Pang

Photo by Jn Pang


Baked Chili Beef Ribs



Photo by Jun Pang

Secondary cuts of meat are trendy these days.  Whether it be lamb, pork or beef, secondaries have come around from the past to be trendy once again.  In the past, it was almost a necessity to use secondary cuts of meat  and offal for survival.  The harsh financial times of the past forced a lot of people to be creative with cheaper cuts of meat.  Stories told by grandmothers, telling us about cooking pigs head, ox tails and trotters; ribs, shins and belly seemed so unreal when we were younger.  We could never imagine eating such things because our generation is so used to juicy, primal cuts of meat.  These days, chefs have trended towards creating dishes with secondaries more and more not to make more money (because they are cheaper) but because punters are taking to liking the wonderful creations that chefs come up with using bits of meat that would other wise be used for mince perhaps.  The cooking methods for these secondary cuts is usually long, this is to extract as much flavour from the cut and to break down the tougher muscles.  Cooking methods like braising, slow roasting, confit and these days, sous vide (where it is becoming a regular cooking method for chefs).  As a result of slow cooking, I believe that it produces a tender, tastier, juicier end product.

In America, beef short ribs have been around for years and in my eyes, they are the best at creating some pretty tasty BBQ dishes.  A dream of mine is to one day visit America’s South where barbecuing or “cook outs” (as they would call it) is an art.  So much to learn because barbecuing is not a one day, last minute event in America.  Barbecuing is whole day process, with a couple of days worth of preparation before hand.  Most BBQ enthusiast prepare their own meat, rubs and even wood chips and some even come up with their own contraption for a BBQ, now thats dedication!

As a result of their dedication to the BBQ culture, they have come up with some sensational wet and dry rubs, basting liquids, sauces and glazes.  The art of barbecuing is almost a life long passion or in some cases an obsession. If you think about it, to be really good at some thing, you have to spend a hell of a lot of time trialing, practicing and testing flavours and techniques.  The ingredients are important but also their equipment and “fuel” adds to the final product.  Gallon tanks cut in half using Argentinean wood coal chips or hickory adds smokiness and the gallon tank acts much like an oversized Webber BBQ – brilliant really!

I love using beef short ribs mainly for their flavour.  I have talked so much about them in past blogs so I won’t harp on at why I love them so much but in short they are  tasty, versatile and if prepared correctly, coupled with Australia’s love of the great outdoors and the trusty BBQ grill, I think more and more as time goes by, we will start to see more short ribs been “chucked” on the barbie – hopefully!

This recipe instructs you to bake the ribs once it has been braised but try finishing it on a charcoal BBQ or a Webber to intensify the glaze a bit more and to also get that smokey flavour.  You end up with the meat slightly crispy on some edges with intense flavours of sweet, spicy and tangy and at the “meaty” bits of the ribs, you get a super juicy, tender cut of meat with sticky, sweet, smoky, chili flavour that people will just devour, leaving them sucking the bone clean.

This will not go down as a normal backyard BBQ, it will become legendary with your mates.  Stories will be told about your BBQ’s!


Baked Chilli Beef Ribs

Serves 8


3 ½ Kg Beef Ribs – meat & rib bone weight

½ Cup Siracha Chili Sauce

½ Cup Korean Chili Paste

½ Cup Light Soy

¼ Cup Honey

½ Cup Ketcup Manis

½ Cup Shaoxing – Chinese cooking wine

1 Cup Apple Cider

¾ Cup Brown Sugar

4 tblsp Garlic – peeled & pureed

1 Onion – peeled & finely chopped

2 Litres Chicken Stock



  1. Make a marinade of Siracha chili sauce, Korean chilli paste, light soy, honey, ketcup manis, Shoaxing, apple cider, brown sugar and garlic then marinate the beef ribs over night
  2. The next day, pre heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius
  3. Place the ribs along with the marinade into a baking tray
  4. In a pot, place onions and chicken stock into a large pot and bring to boil
  5. Cover the ribs with boiled chicken stock, then cover the baking tray with tin foil
  6. Bake at pre heated oven for 1 hour or until the meat falls off the bone
  7. Carefully place the liquid in a pot and bring it to boil then to a simmer, reduce until the consistency of warm honey
  8. Baste the ribs with reduced liquid and bake for another 5 minutes to finish


I grew up eating Filipino food and many of the dishes have created great life memories for me and Sisig is one that stands out.

The first time I had Sisig was when I visited the Philippines as an adult.  My friend and I thought it would be a great life experience to visit the Philippines on our way to Ireland.  We spent two weeks in Manila, the capital of Philippines with my uncle and cousins.  It was then that I was introduced to Sisig and the delicacies of Filipino bar food.

I remember the night well, we were taken to a night club but to me, it looked like a huge tin shed with a bar and a dance floor.  The place was mainly outdoors and to the back of the this tin shed was what seemed to be a make shift kitchen with guys dressed in casual clothing with a tea towel in hand waiting for an order.  We sat on a one of the huge wooden communal  tables and waited to be served.

I remember it being a balmy night.  I remember thinking how far we were from the civilized world of little ol’ Adelaide, thinking how very different this “night club” was to ours at home.  I remember ordering San Miguel beer and immediately thinking how awesome this beer was and how unlucky that we didn’t have it in Adelaide.  I also remember how my cousin’s friend ordered all the food that night with caution because he knew that most of it was so different to the food we usually eat in Australia and boy, I was amazed at how fast it all came out once he ordered and I remember the smell that filled the room once the food was placed on the table.

Filipino men like to drink beer with food readily available.  When these guys get on the sauce, it seems they anchor down and do a proper job at it.  Food must be served at these sessions.  Now, I don’t know if traditionally the women cook or if it is expected they cook, but when ever I have drinks with my Filipino male friends in Australia, food just miraculously appears, discretely served by their Filipino wives.  Sisig was one of those dishes or pork in general cooked in many different ways.  What ever meat it is, it’s usually crispy, salty and served with a dipping sauce that consists of chillies, vinegar and soy or a combination of all or some of those ingredients.  Smart really (for the men who drink at these bars and for the people who own the bar) salty, sour and crispy snacks are the best if you want drink alcohol, because the flavours almost induces more drinking.

Sisig is no different.  It is made mainly from pigs head, every bit of the head from the snout to the ears, cheeks and even the brains.  It also has pig livers and if you have the luxury version, people may add pork belly to it.  Simply put, the head is boiled for a long time then char grilled until almost black, picked and chopped into a small pieces.  Chopped, grilled livers are added to it and then finished by binding it together with the pigs brain and dressed with a vinegar and soy based dressing then served on a sizzling plate and finished with a raw egg on top and  calamansi, a type of citrus used in a lot of Filipino cooking.

Sounds interesting huh?  But let me just add, I served this little beauty to 240 guests at a gala dinner not so long ago and a lot people commented positively on the dish, mind you, they didn’t know what they were eating!!  But that’s not the point, they enjoyed it because it is a tasty meal.  Crispy pork bits bound with gooey egg, cut through with the freshness of the calamansi juice.  Salty, sour, hot and tangy at the same time, perfect beer snack.  As one of the ladies at the function mentioned, it is a type of “Filipino Dude Food”, and you know what, I like that because as she mentioned that, I thought back to the first time I had sisig and that description fit perfectly well.

This is a a bit of a process but well worth the effort.  Be the first to discover this flavour, it is unique and enjoyable.  This type of food will take off, I know it.  Even though it’s classified as offal, the flavours are just too good and Aussies love a “good thing” especially if it goes well with beer. Every time I have made Sisig and served to “unsuspecting” diners, they have always come back with positive reviews.  This will be the next wave of “dude food” in Australia.

I have blogged this before, look into “Cooking Lessons” for step by step tips on this recipe.  That’s how much I love this dish, I just had to re-blog it!

Sisig – served on a hot plate with calamansi & raw egg


1 Whole Pigs Head

1 Pigs Brain – vacuumed sealed or sealed in sandwich zip lock bag

2 Onions – finely diced

1kg Pork Livers or Chicken Livers – cleaned and de-veined

8-10 Birds Eye Chilli – sliced

2 Cups Cane Vinegar

½ Cup Soy

3tblspn Sugar

2 Bay Leaves

4 Spring Onion Stems – finely sliced

1 Whole Egg


Black Pepper


  1. Boil the pigs head, the meat off of the head in water, black pepper and bay leaves until tender, approximately 1 hour
  2. Boil the livers in water for about 20 minutes along with the brains.  Strain, then set aside to cool
  3. Make the sauce by mixing the chilli, 1tablspoon f the chopped onion, vinegar and soy and seasoning with salt and black pepper, balancing with the sugar
  4. Once the meat is tender strain the meat until dry then BBQ or grill it along with the pigs head and livers. Grill them until the livers are evenly browned and the pig meat crackles on the skin side and browns lightly on the meat side.  Smokey flavour is the key with out burning
  5. Allow the mat to cool slightly so you can handle it, and pick the meat off the bone.  Leave the eye
  6. Finely chop the meat into small bits, leaving small chunks
  7. Place the chopped meat into a bowl ad add the remaining onions and mix through with your hands
  8. Do the same with the remaining chillies
  9. Add the sauce and mix through thoroughly

10. Add the brain by crumbling it into the mixture, breaking it into small pieces

11. Heat up a heavy based pan until it smokes slightly then add the pork meat mixture

12. Cook until starts to brown, stirring continuously.  Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan every time it starts to stick, this is the flavour of the sisig

13. Once crispy, heat up a Chinese hot plate until smoking hot and add the sisig to the plate

14. Crack one egg on top and sprinkle with chopped spring onions

Richard Gunner Fine Meats Beef Ribs w Chipotle Sauce

Picture by Martine Robert of

Well, here it is guys, the recipe for the tender RGFM beef rib with chipotle sauce.

One of the other dishes that went down well for the 2012 Eat.Drink.Blog dinner were these awesomely tender beef ribs with chipotle sauce.  I have a deep fascination with secondary cuts of meat, I love them.  Growing up, I hardly saw primary cuts being served on our dining table at home.  My mum or my grandmother would cook with predominantly secondary cuts like ox tail, ribs, beef tendons etc.  Beef ribs was used in a Filipino dish called sinigang; my mum would use either pork ribs or beef ribs, either way, it was braised in a stock flavoured with tamarind for hours until the meat is so tender it almost falls apart especially when you try to sneak one out of the pot, which was often for me because I would always try and pinch one out of the pot before they were served.

These ribs were cooked much the same, just finished differently.  The thing with secondary cuts is that it is packed full of flavour, intense flavours actually.  The draw back is that, to extract these flavours you have to slow cook them at low temperatures for hours to infuse flavours, develope flavours and tenderize the cut of meat.  Secondary cuts are working muscles so it’s tougher if you don’t treat it right.  Tenderizing can be done in several ways, slow cooked on a BBQ, braised, oven braised, slow roasted and the list goes on, it just depends on the final outcome you want.  In this case, I have slow braised it in a beef stock for a few hours on low temperature making sure I develope flavours and also tenderise the meat by cooking it for a long period of time breaking down tendons and connective tissues into gelatinous goodness.

Chipotle sauce is something else!  I love chillies and I fell in love with chipotle sauce because of its smokey flavour.  It’s different, it’s earthy and smokey.  I  came across it when I was trying out a recipe for a mole sauce, a spicy Mexican chocolate sauce.  I accidentally picked up the wrong chilli and from there, I was hooked.

Chipotle is a smoked jalepeno.   Jalepeno chillies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and simply smoked until it becomes this dark, almost blackened chili.  It comes in several ways but the most common is dried or in adobo sauce.  Like Filipino adobo, made with vinegar and soy, Mexican adobo (adobo means sauce) is similar but with out the soy sauce and the Mexican version is  made with a few more spices.

This is my interpretation of the chipotle sauce.  I added a little smoked capsicum in the recipe to boost the smokey flavours and roasted tomatoes to make it more dense.  I sometimes add butter to finish to give it the richness and nice glossy finish to the dish.  The honey is there to give it the “sticky” texture and helps make it really caramelized when roasting.  Try it as a glaze for the beef ribs but if you cool it down, you can add it to mayonaisse and use it as a condiment to say, slow roasted pulled beef rib slider with slaw or pulled pork with crackling slider and avocado.  Mate, if that doesn’t get the juices flowing, I don’t know what will??

I also have to mention how lucky we were to have Richard Gunner supply all of our meats for this event.  We use RGFM meats in the restaurant because one, they’re from our great state of South Australia and secondly, Richard Gunner meats are definitely one of the best going around.  Full traceability and we love that he is so passionate about all his product that he can back it up.  If you have some one with the type of passion and commitment to their product like Richard has, go with them, because chances are they’ll never let you down and boy did that man deliver on the night or what; with both the beef and the lamb that we cooked on the spit.  I’ll take some credit for the cooking but some would have to go to Richard for supplying an awesome product.

Picture by Martine Robert of

Roasted Beef Ribs with Chipotle Sauce

Serves 8

For the Ribs

2.5kg RGFM Beef Ribs – leave as whole racks on the bone

8litres Water or Beef Stock if Available

1tspn Black Pepper Corns

1 Onion – peeled and quartered

1 Garlic Bulb – halved

1 Bay Leaf

For the Chipotle Sauce

300ml Vegetable Oil

4 Brown Onions – peeled and chopped into small cubes

2 Garlic Bulbs – peeled

1tsp Cumin Powder

1tsp Dried Thyme

5 Tomatoes – roasted whole until slightly coloured and soft

5 Red Capsicum – blackened on open flame, peeled & deseeded

1 x 420gr Tin of Chipotle in Adobo

¼ Cup Honey

Sea Salt –  season to taste

White Pepper – season to taste

(200gr Butter – optional)

250ml Mayonnaise – if using as a mayo


For the Ribs

  1. Pre Heat oven at 180Degrees Celsius
  2. Place 8 liters of water (or stock) in a large pot along with the black pepper corns, chopped brown onions, garlic and bay leaf to make a cooking stock
  3. Take the stock up to boiling point then down to simmer for about 20 minutes
  4. Add the beef ribs into the stock and simmer in the stock for 45 minutes to one and a half hours or until the meat starts to gently fall off the bone
  5. Strain the beef ribs and allow to drain in a colander.  Reserve the stock for later use
  6. Place the ribs on paper towel and dab them dry, place on a wire rack, meat side up with roasting pan underneath ready for roasting

For the Chipotle Sauce

  1. Heat up a large deep pan and add the vegetable oil on high
  2. Add the onions and garlic in the pan straight away
  3. Take up the heat and stir as the oil gets hotter.  You want to cook it so as that the oil heats up slowly, slowly browning the onions an garlic evenly.  Do not leave the pot and continuous stirring at all times until golden brown
  4. Once browned, add the cumin and thyme and stir in
  5. Then add the roasted tomatoes and roasted, peeled red capsicums and stir in.  Cook until the both the ingredients break down
  6. Add the tinned chipotle and the juice from the tin then bring to simmer and continue to simmer for about another 15 minutes
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  8. Blitz the sauce to a smooth paste using a hand blender
  9. Add the honey and continue to blitz until smooth (add optional butter)

To finish

  1. Brush the ribs lavishly with the chipotle sauce
  2. Roast at pre heated oven for 15 minutes basting every 5-8 minutes with remaining sauce.  You can achieve a smokier flavour if cooked in a Webber at the same temp and timings
  3. Before serving, finish on charcoal grill for extra smokey flavour (normal BBQ grill would be fine).  If cooked in a Webber, omit this stage
  4. Serve with chipotle mayonnaise and simple garden salad

For the chipotle mayonnaise

  1. Place ¼ of the chipotle sauce in a mixing bowl and cool right down the fridge for about 30 minutes
  2. Mix this with the mayonnaise until evenly mix thorough

Grilled Corn with Roasted Garlic Aioli & Parmesan

It never ceases to amaze me that the simplest thing is often the most enjoyed by many people.  I guess I have had my head in the clouds for far too long, thinking that top end food is the key to success in this field but I am constantly reminded that people just want “good food”.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of cooking for Eat.Drink.Blog conference.  I nervously cooked for seventy odd bloggers.

When I was approached to cook for this event, I didn’t really think about the bloggers, I was more thinking about having fun with the food, cooking the food I enjoy cooking and more importantly, cooking the food I enjoy eating!  My mind raced away with so many ideas but in the end I was hooked on a South American fiesta.  I have never been to South America and it is a wish of mine to one day do a food safari there but I have tasted so many flavours from that part of the world.  I have been taught by people from these countries how to cook these things authentically and only stayed within the “flavour” realms I know and was comfortable in.  But I had a vision – fairy lights on the pool deck, an outdoor fiesta away from the stiffness of a restaurant, open to the elements, with shared platters of Latin American flavours, lamb on the spit, meat off the grills and the theatre of it all being done right in front your eyes!  I imagined the smells, the noise and all of it being played out in front of guests mingling and enjoying the atmosphere and I  was instantly excited at the idea of cooking this “fun” meal.  I thought about me, I thought about how much fun I was going to have, to be free to cook, until that night  when I had to actually cook!  I was so stressed out.  It dawned on me that I was cooking for people who “write” about food and have probably been to millions of these things and upon realising this, the pressure was on!

So many things went through my head, what if they don’t like it, what if I don’t say the right thing, what if I mucked it up and so on and so on!  I have cooked for presidents, princes, movie stars and rock stars and never have I been more nervous.  In my mind, it was like having seventy food reviewers about to review my restaurant but instead of waiting for that review in weeks time to be published, it would be written about and  published with every bite they take, horrible thought for a chef!  WORST NIGHTMARE!  But alas, the night was actually fun.  People enjoyed them selves and more importantly the food.  I met passionate foodies with so many stories to share and for an amateur blogger like me, I was keen to find out more about their expertise, I could only wish that perhaps next time I will be a guest at this function (that was a hint by the way).

This is the a recipe of the grilled corn served that night.  As mentioned, it is easy but very tasty.  I hope you enjoy it as much as the bloggers did!

Grilled Corn with Roasted Garlic Aioli and Parmesan

Serves 10

Grilled Corn

20 Corn on the Cob                   steamed for 15minutes husk on

For the Aioli

2 Whole Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

1 tbspn Dijon Mustard

¼ Cup White Vinegar

500ml Vegetable oil

¼ Cup Garlic Cloves                peeled

3 Limes                                       juiced

Sea Salt

White Pepper

To Finish

200gr Parmesan Cheese

1 Bunch Coriander                  finely chopped

6 Limes                                     cut into cheeks or wedges


For the corn

  1. Once you have steamed the corn, pull the husks back and tie them back using raffia, clean off the corn “hairs”
  2. Grill on the char grill until evenly darkened, slightly black.  Try not to grill the husks and make sure the husks are always wet, so it doesn’t burn
  3. Once grilled, place on a platter ready for the aioli

For the Aioli

  1. Pre Heat oven at 180 degrees Celsius for the garlic
  2. Meanwhile, place the eggs, egg yolks, mustard and vinegar into a mixer and blend on high for about 30-45 seconds
  3. Slowly add or “stream” the oil into the mixer whilst it is still on high speed.  Add about 50ml then allow it to blend for another 30-45 seconds with out adding any more in
  4. Once the added oil is fully emulsified, add the rest by slowly “streaming” it in.  Adjust more or less oil depending on the thickness of the end product (some eggs are bigger, fresher etc which will change the amount of oil needed) then turn it off in readiness for the garlic
  5. Heat up an oven proof pan for 1 minute on high
  6. Add a little oil and brown the garlic evenly on all sides
  7. Place into the oven and roast until almost black
  8. Cool then puree in mortar and pestle
  9. Add the garlic to the mayonnaise then blend until evenly mixed through
  10. Finish by adding freshly squeezed limes and check seasoning
  11. Place the aioli in a squeezie bottle

To Finish

  1. Squeeze the aioli over the corn relatively high up to form thin a strip and zig zag all over the corn until well covered
  2. Micro-plane the parmesan into whispy thin shavings all over the corn until completely covered
  3. Sprinkle the chopped coriander on top of that
  4. Serve with lime cheeks or wedges

Baked Sour Dough with Brie and Chive Butter, Green Tomato Chutney

Photo by Jun Pang

So, we have been through compound butters before.

If you can’t remember, a quick re-cap.  It is basically “flavoured” butter.  Simply put, you take softened butter, place it in a mixer and add flavourings such as nuts, herbs etc.  Depending on what you are going to use the butters for will depend on the ingredients you put into the butter for flavour.  For example, chopped herbs with lemon zest will go great with flavouring fish, a little bit of Jus (refined juices from a roast, most home cooks would call it “gravy”) and some type of fruit jelly with chopped herbs would go great with grilled beef and so on.

Most compound butters acts as a sauce in essence.  This type of compound butter is the flavouring agent and adds moisture to the bread.  The butter used for “garlic breads” is a type of compound butter.

I have added cheese to this butter for an extra element of flavour and goes well with aged sour dough bread.  If you exchange the cheese from brie to a blue cheese or a “stinky” wash rind cheese like a talegio, then you can perhaps use that in pastas.  Simply blanch pasta, a fusili perhaps, add to a heated pan with a little normal butter, add garlic and broccolini, toss the pasta through then finish with knobs of this “stinky” cheese  compound butter with lashings of herbs and you have a flavoursome and quick meal.

Make plenty of this butter as mentioned in prior blogs and freeze it in small batches and when ever you have limited time to make a meal, take a protein, add this on top and simply bake in the oven, grill or toss through a heated pan and there you go, a meal in seconds.

The chutney can also be used in many ways.  In this recipe, the acidity from the green tomatoes simply counter balances the richness of the compound butter, really smoothing out the palate.  The vincotto is also great for sweetness with a type of “prune” flavour  finish.

This dish does act as a great starter to a meal but it can also be a meal in its self.  Add some sliced parma ham, some dressed rocket and you have a complete and appetising light meal.

Photo by Jun Pang

Baked Sour Dough with Brie and Chive Butter, Green Tomato Chutney

Enough for 4 people

1 Sour Dough Loaf

For the green tomato chutney:

1kg Green Cherry  Tomatoes

300ml Cider Vinegar

400gr Brown Sugar

1 Brown Onion – diced

1 Cinnamon Stick

5 Star Anise

For the compound butter:

300gr Brie – softened

200gr Butter – softened

1 Bunch Chives – finely sliced

To Finish:

2 Punnets Baby Herbs


Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)


For the green tomato chutney:

  1. Place the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, onion, cinnamon stick and start anise in a pot.  Cook for about 3 hours on low heat, continually stirring until it breaks down and looks and states like a chutney.  May need to adjust sugar quantity depending on the tomatoes.

For the compound butter:

  1. Place the butter and brie in a mixer and mix using a paddle on low until it blends together.  It does not have to be super smooth, then add the chopped chives.
  2. Cut deep slits into the loaf on a slight angle but do not cut through.
  3. Butter the slits with the brie butter and cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius in an oven or Webber for about 10 minutes.

To finish:

  1. Serve with tomato chutney on top and garnished with herbs.
  2. Drizzle the vincotto and EVOO for dipping.

Vincotto – is cooked grape must.  Simply put, it is the residue that is left from pressing grapes then that residue is cooked for a long period of time until it is slightly caramelised.  The end product is thick, dark (almost black) liquid, similar to reduced balsamic.  The flavour is much like prunes but it can also be infused with flavourings such as fig and orange on production.  Great to finish a dish such as duck with high level of sweetness but can also be treated much the same way as a vinaigrette, emulsified with EVOO, salt and pepper and used in many salads.

Great Chefs of Adelaide Luncheon – Behind the scenes

Video by Jun Pang & Sunny Wu

This is a behind the scenes look at what it takes to pull off a function for  280 people.

This function is a fund raiser for a function called, Great Chefs of Adelaide.

For over 17 years, Adelaide has rounded up up and coming, talented chefs or chefs who have done well in their field to be part of a long standing list of legendary chefs to cook for and raise money for Anglicare.  This list is made of very talented past, present and future great chefs of Adelaide and this year I was lucky enough to be part of that list for the second time.

Every year the food is themed and this year it was themed around a “Journey Through Asia”.  For 2012, the list of chefs is headed up by Simon Bryant, my ex boss, friend and ABC’s chef part of “The Cook and the Chef”.  Simon headed the day with his amuse bouche of garfiish sashimi, representing Japan

The day was started by Pang Ming, owner and head chef of the Adelaide’s iconic Chinese restaurant, Ming’s Palace.  Ming kicked it off by welcoming guests with his dumplings and his ever famous, Chinese roast duck and hoisin pancake rolls.

Entree was served by my team and myself.  Representing Philippines, I cooked up a share platter of food, family style, as I would eat it at home.  Described as “Filipino Dude Food”, it was a mixture of street food and family style/home cooked Filipino food.  We served up chicken and pork adobo with garlic fried rice, lechon kawali and sisig.  Surprisingly, it was well received by the guests and I’m proud to say, it was a great moment to feed so many people “my” food, introducing a lot of people in that room to something they would never had eaten before, which gives me the idea of perhaps putting more Filipino food on the menu!!

The next course was served up by Jordan Theodoris.  Greek chef who worked with David Thomson learning the flavours of Thailand.  Jordan cooked up tender beef ribs braised in fragrant coconut cream and served with aromatic Thai style shredded mango and herb salad.

The last course was served up by Poh Ling Yeow.  Poh is Chinese Malaysian who was a runner up of “Australian Master Chef” and the host of her TV show, Poh’s Kitchen.  Poh served up sticky pandan rice with mango sorbet.
This video shows you what happens behind the scenes of a commercial kitchen, the stuff you wouldn’t usually see when you are the guest being served.  It is a short video but a great insight.

Some of the chefs

Poh with our pastry chef Jon McKeigue

Sisig, my version of “Filipino Dude Food”