Raw Cacao, Ox Cheeks, Pork Rack, jointed wild Rabbit, Spatchcock, lamb leg, sashimi grade tuna, some pods of dried mexican chillis and a block of mexican chocolate are amongst the bounty of fresh australian produce that are teasing me this week.
My mind has gone on a number of wonka style adventures with these ingredients since they arrived yesterday.
Not knowing what else to do, I started tonight off with a basic raw-food sashimi dinner – thinly length-grated heritage carrots adorned with identically grated radish made the base of the plate with baby rocket sprouting from the bed whilst slivers of cucumber paved the edge. Thinly sliced tuna lounged across the vegetable garden with a fresh wasabi and dark soy stood by to marinade each slice with a salty and sinus shattering goodness. Fresh baby sugar snap peas were briskly tossed in some cooking rice wine with a dash of fish sauce to provide a pungent salty contrast to the sweet juiciness of the peas to which I added (after they cooled) a handful of sicilian style marinated sardines as a side salad which offered the unique experience of the fish being the breaker to the flavour of the peas, rather than the usual opposite effect.
Having completed dinner, I spent the last thirty minutes wondering what to make of all of these ingredients.
I took out the pork rack and after seasoning it with a mild sprinkling of salt and sugar, added 1 cup each of cloudy apple juice and Semillon Sauvignon, a squeeze of half a small lime, a mint leaf, 2 chopped pears and 2 chopped apples and sealed it all into an airtight container to marinade.
I also took out the ox cheeks. After cleaning away all of the excess fat, I sliced each cheek into two halves. I then ruined a whole bunch of ingredients as I smashed my mortor and pestle whilst being a little too passionate with my bashing of the ingredients … so out came the coffee grinder to finish the job instead into which I placed 1 teaspoon of hot smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder, 4 teaspoons of raw cocoa nibs, 3 walnuts and 5 chestnuts. They were ground to the consistency of, well, coffee grounds (funny enough!) and then coated each of the cheek peices. The pieces were then laid into a container into which 500ml of full cream milk was added then once again, the container was sealed and placed back into the fridge to marinade.
Sometimes, this is how it is, little ideas form as I go along and the final dish, well, it’s not always clear to me until I am done.
I’ll let you know in a few days how this all turns out.