Monday, 10 November 2008

Magic Robot Re-Booted

To Oscar in Port Fairy

The crunchy peppery stuff as you call it in the blood orange salad was radish fruit or seed pods that are delicious when young and moist. We let some of the garden produce go to seed and have found over the years that young seed pods are invariably excellent.

To Hamish in Springvale, yes I know discarding the first oyster water is controversial and Robot is pleased that you are now shucking like a pro.
With your mussel question Robot de-beards them by pulling the beard towards the pointy end thus using the shell as a cutter. If you pull the beard towards the big end you risk disembowelling the creature and killing it. Glad to see Dr.Karl K has debunked the myth that an unopened cooked mussel is not good. But he reinforces that a mussel that does not close is not worth cooking.

To Rhonda from Shepparton

The Tarama recipe came from a Greek deli that used to be in Lonsdale Street Melbourne in the early eighties. It is essentially a fish egg mayonnaise that I was told by the owner of the shop was served for best occasions only as it has no bread, potatoes or indeed any other filler. Robot also likes the ones with bread and potato but prefers this version
Secret revealed.
Take 1 table spoon of Tarama [usually salted grey mullet roe or cod’s roe]
1 tablespoon of raw chopped onion.
Only best fresh onions will do [not that you would use anything else], and one tablespoon of lemon juice.
Wizz them up in the food processor or mortar and pestle and drizzle and whisk in some good vegetable oil till nearly all the little dots of roe disappear. The mixture will be really thick like an aioli. Now the best bit, add 2 tablespoons of cold water and wizz again and to finish add a good extra virgin olive oil till all the dots of roe disappear. The water gives the mayonnaise a surprisingly light texture. These salted fish eggs hold and emulsify much more oil than hen’s eggs so a little salted roe goes a long way. This keeps for only about 2 days as the onion starts to breakdown.
Many other fish eggs and other entrails can be used for very exciting emulsions.
Or if you wish to be adventurous try sea urchins?

Or how about salmon roe? with just a touch of smoked salmon this gives a glorious pink fluffy paste excellent on a Christmas menu which segues perfectly to Mike….

To Mike from Geelong

The new Christmas class menus will be different each week otherwise we would just get too bored teaching and eating the same dishes week after week. A typical menu could include a simple home made Turkey ham that could be used hot or cold?
Some crayfish dishes that make the most of the whole animal like crayfish spring rolls, pork without a lot of hot fat [we’ll leave that for the hot fat footy snacks later]
Light but interesting salads, samphire for all the neophiliacs, black and red currants,
Oysters, ice creams, crab?
But mostly the classes will try to settle the anxiety factor leaving the cook with more than just the cooking sherry for assistance. Yes a good list of contacts for supplies also given.
The menus are equally suitable for any summer entertaining for all the Santa sceptics and the “happy holiday’ crowd.

To Desmond in Warnambool

The Pavlova roll is quite simple, recipe below. For the rolling just score the pav in lines to allow the pav to crack evenly when rolling on the baking paper.

Recipe originally sourced by Angela from Lorraine Robbins so all royalties to Lorraine please.
Serves about 10
4 large egg whites
250g white sugar
Half a cup of corn flour
1 table spoon of vinegar
125g boiling water

Whisk all up in a mixer with the balloon attachment till thick
Then slowly add another 125g of white sugar whisking on high.

Cook on baking paper at 130 celcius for one and a half hours.

Cool on rack score and roll.

We use a jamine tea or star anis crème Anglaise for filling with some cumquat syrup on top.

To Edwina from Cyberspace
We are still working on a replacement architectural solution to your son’s aversion to gingerbread.
And finally to Janet in the Private Room
The international man of mystery who arrived in the Mixmaster Bilong Jesus Christ was indeed a very happy camper. Name withheld as a privacy policy applies.

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