If you can’t find white truffle oil, black truffle oil will work just as well in this fabulous savoury bar snack.
Serves 4 as a snack
2½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
150 g (5½ oz/²⁄³ cup) good-quality popping corn Popcorn coating
4 teaspoons white truffle oil
80 g (2¾ oz) parmesan cheese, finely grated
½ bunch chives, chopped
For the popcorn
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium–high heat. Add three or four popcorn kernels and cover the pan with the lid.
When the kernels pop, add the remaining kernels in an even layer. Cover and lightly shake the pan. When the kernels begin popping, slightly open the lid to release the steam, so that the popcorn is dry and crispy. Leave the pan for about 20 seconds, then take off the heat and continue to shake lightly until the popping stops.
Transfer the popcorn to a bowl immediately.
For the coating
While the popcorn is still warm, drizzle with the truffle oil and scatter the parmesan and chives over. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Makes 24–30 toasts
Preparation 30 minutes Baking 10 minutes
Rosemary & garlic toasts
1 sourdough batard
olive oil, for drizzling
4 rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Smoked trout & horseradish cream
1 smoked river trout, weighing about 200 g (7 oz)
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons bottled horseradish
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
thyme sprigs or chopped chives, to garnish
thin lemon zest strips, to garnish
Goat’s cheese, red capsicum jam & basil
180 g (6 oz) soft goat’s cheese
3 tablespoons Red capsicum jam (see below)
1⁄2 bunch (60 g/21⁄4 oz) basil, leaves
picked and roughly chopped
For the rosemary & garlic toasts
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Cut the bread into thin slices, about 5 mm (1⁄4 inch) thick, then cut each slice into four pieces. Spread the slices on the baking tray. Drizzle very generously with olive oil, then sprinkle with the rosemary and garlic. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden and crunchy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then store in an airtight container until required; they will keep fresh for up to 1 week.
Lay the rosemary and garlic toasts out on your workbench. For the smoked trout topping, take the skin and head off the trout, and remove all the bones. Place the flesh in a bowl and check again for any very small bones. In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, horseradish and mustard, then adjust the seasoning. Top all or half of the toasts with the horseradish cream and a few lovely, velvety, smoky pieces of trout. Garnish with thyme or chives and lemon zest strips.
For the goat’s cheese topping, simply smear half or all the toasts with the goat’s cheese, add a small dollop of capsicum jam, then garnish with the basil.
Arrange your toasts on a platter, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Red capsicum jam
Makes 2 x 500 ml (16 oz) jars
Preparation 10 minutes Cooking 15 minutes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 red capsicums (peppers), roughly chopped
2 red onions, roughly chopped
4 long red chillies, chopped
250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes
100 g (31⁄2 oz) sugar
50 ml (13⁄4 fl oz) fish sauce
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Sauté the capsicum, onion and chilli for 5 minutes, or until softened and slightly caramelised.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Add the sugar and the fish sauce and simmer for 30 minutes, until thickened. Leave to cool slightly, then purée using a food processor.
Ladle into sterilised jars and seal. The jam will keeps in the pantry for 6–12 months. Refrigerate after opening and use within 1 month.
I’ve based the flavourings in this dipping sauce on yuzo kosho, the tongue-tingling Japanese citrus paste made from pounding green chillies with salt and yuzu skin. Brushed on grilled meats or spooned into ramen or hot pots, its spicy floral taste is an epiphany. You can buy jars from Asian stores, but I’ve riffed a homemade version using lime zest and jalapeño, swirled here into a creamy buttermilk base.
PREP 10 MINUTES
COOK 45 MINUTES
2 large sweet potatoes, skin on
2 tbsp vegetable oil
CREAMY CHILLI SAUCE
1 garlic clove, sliced
½ tsp sea salt
1 thumb-sized jalapeño or other green chilli, sliced
1 tbsp yuzu or lime juice
thick zest 1 lime
60 ml (2 fl oz) mayonnaise
90 ml (3 fl oz) buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) or 130°C (250°F) fan forced.
Thinly slice the well-scrubbed sweet potatoes lengthways on a mandoline, about 2.5 mm (1/10 inch) thin. They should be thicker than you might think as they will shrink and become crisp. If they are too thin, they can burn in places before they are cooked.
Rub both sides of the crisps with the oil and place on one very large baking tray or two smaller ones. Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp. You may want to swap the two trays (if using) around halfway through the cooking time. In the last 10 minutes or so of baking, flip over the potatoes so that they completely dry out.
Remove the crisps from the oven, sprinkle with sea salt and leave to cool on the tray. If not eating immediately, place in a tin or sealed container and line the base with baking paper so it absorbs any moisture to keep them crisp.
To make the creamy chilli sauce, in a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, salt, green chilli, yuzu or lime juice and lime zest until they form a paste. Scrape into a small serving bowl and add the mayonnaise and buttermilk. Stir to combine.
Serve the creamy chilli sauce with the potato crisps.
This is also a perfect dip for the Miso kale crisps on page 14, some steamed edamame or fresh crudités.
Sharing Plates by Luke Mangan
In the Kitchen by Simmone Logue
My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce