My Favourite Condiments

food photographer sydney & melbourne

Photography by Sydney food photographer Omid

Recipe and styling by Sydney Food stylist Jane Collins 

Growing up in  our household we had  plain dinners and I always wondered where the sauces whereon my dinner plate ?  We had simple meals and I often missed the deliciousness of mopping up a sauce at the end of a meal with a thick sliced of crusty bread. As I developed a love of cooking and eventually moved into training as a chef , I found that the sauces were the most important part of the meal for me. I was once told by my head chef that the Protein  was just the carrier for the sauce. I loved that and I still believe that to this day. Even something as simple as having mayonnaise on a sandwich with a hint of chilli jam will do the trick.  Here are a few that have stuck with me both for flavour and ease of cooking.

These are my three go to condiments, they go with almost everything and anything.

Tomato concasse ( front right )

1 kg  tomatoes (really ripe ones in season are the best for this sauce)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 sprigs thyme

1 Heat a small saucepan to medium high heat and add  1 tablespoon of the olive oil, cook onions for 2 minutes, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, red wine vinegar and remaining olive oil and thyme leaves. Simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes till reduced. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Chilli jam ( back left and right )

Makes approx – 1 litre
Prep time – 10 minutes
cooking time – 1 hour 20 minutes

4 large red capsicums, seeds and membrane removed
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
2 small red chillies
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup malt vinegar
1 ¾ cups white sugar
2 tsp sea salt

1 Place red capsicums, onion and chillies in the bowl of a food processor, process in short bursts till smooth.
2 Place into a medium saucepan over medium high heat with 1 cup water, and both vinegars.
3 Cook for 15-20 minutes, add sugar, sea salt and reduce heat and simmer for an hour, till sauce is thick and syrupy.

 sizzle tip– great on chicken , fish and even on a ham sandwich

Peach apple and maple chutney  ( front left )

Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time – 25 minutes
Makes about 2 cups

400g red apples approx 2, chopped
1/4cup low gi cane sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1star anise
1 stick rosemary
500g fresh peaches, chopped
1 lime, juiced

1 Place apples, sugar, maple, star anise and rosemary with  1/4 cup water  into a medium saucepan over medium heat simmer for 10-15 minutes till soft .
2 Add peaches reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Cool completely, add lime juice. Cool completely before spooning into sterilised jars.

 sizzle tip-  serve with roast pork, or chicken.

Homemade Sausage Rolls

food photographer Sydney & Melbourne

Photography By Sydney food photographer Omid

Recipes and Styling by Sydney food stylist Jane Collins 

Need something really tasty for a BBQ this weekend? Try these, they are  so simple to make, and  you will have to hide them from the kids !

I usually serve them with my tomato concasee which is such a versatile  sauce that you should make a big batch and keep it in  the fridge… it keeps for a few weeks, but I promise you it may not last that long.  This sauce I originally learnt how to make when I was an apprentice chef in Sydney, at Watermark Restaurant on Balmoral beach. It was a modern Asian cuisine, and so we mixed a lot of  French classic sauces with Asian flavours and  we used it on everything… I still love making this sauce when tomatoes are cheap and in season, as they have the best flavour then. Use the best quality red wine vinegar that you can get your hands on, as it will shine through in this sauce.

Home made sausage rolls

Prep time – 20 minutes

Cooking time -25 minutes

Makes  approx 48

500g pork mince

500g good quality sausage mince

1 onion ,  finely chopped

2 cloves garlic,  finely chopped

1 cup fresh bread crumbs , plus extra to sprinkle

1 egg, beaten, plus 1 extra for egg wash

1 Tbsp chopped  fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp chopped  fresh oregano

4 sheets frozen  puff pastry sheets, thawed

1 Preheat oven to 180 c . Line a couple of large trays with baking paper .

2 In a large bowl combine the minces, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg and herbs. Season with  sea salt & cracked pepper. I usually test the mix so  I know it’s tasty before rolling into pastry. Heat a small frypan over medium heat and cook a little piece of the pork mix . Let it cool .. Taste it and adjust seasoning if necessary.

3 Lay a piece  of puff pastry on a clean work surface, cut in half and place 1/8  of mixture  down the length of the pastry, forming into a log shape. Brush a little of the extra egg wash on one side and fold over to enclose.Brush with  egg wash  (see tip ).Sprinkle with a little extra breadcrumbs.

3 Score at intervals  along each roll . Continue with remaining  mix and pastry. Place on trays with a little room to allow for puffing.

3 Cook for 20-25 minutes till golden and cooked through. Swapping trays half way through – (if your oven is like mine and has a hot spot  at the top , change the trays around, so you cook the rolls evenly ) Cut the rolls through and serve with my tomato concasse ( just a fancy tomato sauce , but so good !! ) I use it on everything !

Sizzle tip- egg wash is just an egg lightly beaten with a splash of water or milk. Brush it onto of the pastry for a crispy golden top.

For chicken satay rolls –  substitute pork mince for chicken mince and add about 1/4 cup  pre made satay sauce,use 1/4 cup coriander leaves instead of thyme and oregano . Serve with natural yoghurt .

Tomato concasee

1 kg  tomatoes (really ripe ones in season are the best for this sauce )

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped finely

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 sprigs thyme

1 Heat a small saucepan to medium high heat and add  1 tablespoon of the olive oil, cook onions for 2 minutes, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, red wine vinegar and remaining olive oil and thyme leaves. Simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes till reduced. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

BBQ Ribs

Photography by Sydney Food Photographer Omid

Recipe and styling by Sydney Food Stylist Jane Collins 

I usually cook these in the oven the day before and finish them off on the grill. These ribs are amazing, even my fussy (and single column list of foods )children eat these!

These are rich in chilli flavour, tone down the chilli content to your liking.  I usually end up  making a big batch of the dry mix , and keep it sealed in a clean dry  air tight container … I promise you  will be  tempted to use this rub on other meats as well, it livens up any chicken breast. Keep it in a dry cool place and you can save time on the mix and measuring of the dry ingredients.

These take a bit of time in the oven, so its usually a weekend item on the menu. You can cook them the night before, or on the day of the party / or bbq and just heat them up on the bbq Grill  basting with the bbq sauce.

Oh and while you are at it , make a big batch of that BBQ sauce as well…

These are the beef version, but I also make these as pork American style ribs as well.

BBQ Ribs

Preparation time-25 minutes

Cooking time  2 hours 20 minutes

Serves 6

2 racks beef ribs ( or you can use American  pork ribs about 2 2- ½ kgs )

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp celery salt

½ tsp dry mustard

½ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

BBQ sauce

1 Tbsp butter

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup tomato sauce

¼ cup golden syrup

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup water

2 Tbsps brown sugar

1 Tbsp chilli powder

1 Tbsp mild American mustard

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp salt

1 Preheat oven to 180°c. For rub, in a small bowl stir together brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, celery salt, dry mustard, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle rub evenly over both sides of ribs, rub in with your fingers.

2 Wrap each rib rack in foil and place onto a roasting try. Cook for 2 hours till tender. Drain fat if any and unwrap from foil.

3 For sauce, heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add onions and cook for 5 minutes or till tender. Stir in tomato sauce, golden syrup, vinegar, water, brown sugar, chilli powder, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or till sauce has thickened.

Source: BBQ ribs | sizzleandswirl

Cloudy Apple & Vodka Martini

Photography by Sydney Food Photographer Omid

Recipe and styling by Sydney Food Stylist Jane Collins 

Cloudy apple Martini

prep time – 5 minutes

serves 6

100ml cloudy apple syrup or cordial

240ml vodka

500ml soda water

ice to serve

2 limes, halved

red currants to serve

2 Tbsps caster sugar

1 Combine apple syrup with vodka and soda water. Add ice to glasses and pour in vodka mix, squeeze in lime juice and serve with sugared red currents. Garnish with micro mint.

2 To sugar red currents, sprinkle sugar onto  a flat plate and toss in the red currents. Serve with Martini.

Source: cloudy apple and vodka martini | sizzleandswirl

Classic Pavlova with Strawberries & Cream

food photographer Sydney & MelbourneSource: classic pavlova with strawberries & cream | sizzleandswirl

Photography by  Sydney Food Photographer Omid

Recipe and styling by Sydney Food Stylist Jane Collins 

Classic Pavlova with cream and strawberries

Pavs seem to make a special appearance at Christmas time……there are rolls, layered disks, classic and flavoured with chocolate, nuts, fruit. I love the classic version, and if you do it well, it will become a family favourite all year round.This is like the one my mum  makes. She loves it with simple fruit, such as strawberries, but the list is endless for the toppings.

Do you like it with lots of mallow ? Pile it really high to get the most mallow … Cool completely in the oven before dressing with cream and strawberries, don’t worry if the pavlova shell cracks, its all part of the charm and rustic nature of this dessert.

 

 

Serves 8-10

Prep time 10 minutes

Cooking time 1- 1 ¼ hours

 

6 egg whites

1 ½ cups caster sugar

1 Tbsp corn flour

1 Tbsp malt vinegar or white vinegar

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract or scraped beans from 1 pod

600ml thickened cream

250g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped

Icing sugar to dust

 

 

 

1 Preheat oven to 180°C, or 160°C fan. Line a circular tray (the pizza trays with the holes in the base are really good for this) with baking paper.

2 In a large bowl beat egg whites with an electric beater for 4-5 minutes on medium speed till soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat on high speed scraping down the sides between additions, beating till thick and glossy. With a large metal spoon fold in corn flour, vinegar and vanilla. Stir till combined.

3 Pile the meringue really high in the centre of the prepared tray with a diameter of about 12-15 cm. Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C, or 100°C fan forced. And bake for 1 hour- 1 ¼ hours, till the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Turn off oven and leave door ajar. Cool completely in the oven.

4 Beat cream with electric beaters, on medium speed till thick.

5 Spread pavlova with cream, top with chopped strawberries, and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Not your average Burger

Source: Not Your average burger | sizzleandswirl

Photography by Sydney food photographer Sydney food photographer Omid

Recipe and styling by Sydney food stylist  Jane Collins

This burger was unbelievable- originally I just made it to “look “ good as the food stylist in me was taking control… but as I combined all those flavours and textures everything just came together and it tastiest incredible. The hummus was a hit ! and even made it feel a little healthy..

The hummus by the way is so good I never buy store bought any more-  I always have a can of chickpeas in the pantry with a jar of tahini and you can whip a batch up no problem.

Not your average Burger

Makes-4

Prep time- 20 minutes

Cooking time- 30 minutes

2 slices fresh sourdough bread, crusts removed

¼cup cream ( pure )

500g premium beef mince

2 eshallots , finely chopped -the small purple ones

1tsp lemon zest

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

Oil for frying , such as peanut, or rice bran oil

½cup plain flour

¼cup -½ cup soda water

1onion, sliced into 5 mm thick rings

1 tbsp olive oil

4x wholemeal rolls, split in half

½ cup home-made hummus  recipe below

2 kumato Tomatoes, sliced ( or just regular ones )

100g Micro herbs / lettuce greens

1/4 cup Chilli jam

1 Place  bread and cream in a  large bowl and allow to soak,  break it up with a fork, add  mince , eshallot, lemon zest, rosemary, and
season to taste with sea salt and cracked pepper. Make into 4-6 patties, depending on the size of your rolls. Chill till required.

2 Heat oil in a  deep sauce pan  till a piece of bread sizzles on contact.
Combine flour and enough soda water to make a thick batter, season with sea salt & cracked pepper. Dip onion rings into batter, and drain off the excess. Cook a few at a time till lightly golden. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.

3 Heat olive oil a non stick medium fry pan to medium high heat and cook patties for 3-4 minutes each side till golden brown and cooked through. Set aside.

4 Lightly toast rolls, spread with hummus and with some micro herbs, top with pattie, sweet chilli jam, tomatoes, onion rings, more micro herbs.Squash down and enjoy…

My home made Hummus

Makes 2 cups

easy as and 5 minutes to prepare

400g chick peas, rinsed & drained

1 clove garlic, peeled, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp tahini

1 lemon , juiced ( ¼ cup juice)

Salt & pepper

1 Place all ingredients into a  food processor for 2-3 minutes  with 1/3 cup water till creamy & smooth.  Use as a dip, or on sandwiches. Or combine everything in a deep bowl and use a hand held blender to process till smooth.