At Harvest | 27 April, 2024

Hot smoked salmon with puntarelle and apple salad. Pork chops with grilled mixed brassicas. Brisket with braised butter beans. Sausages, eggs, and mushrooms. It’s a cooking edition!

It’s important for us that the Harvest community knows that the Operations Team walks the walk. We’ve got a little idea in the works, and it requires more cooking and writing about cooking. Here, like in any good kitchen, we’re iterating that process. So, feast your eyes and wrap your laughing gear ’round this. Here we go.

Hot smoked salmon with puntarelle and apple salad.

Puntarelle is a type of chicory. It’s very bitter and requires soaking in ice water. It has a short season, but, when in season, it is a prized delicacy of historical and present-day Romans. Slice the hearts thinly, lengthways, and soak them in ice water for a few hours. Drain, then toss that goodness with some sliced sour apple and chopped tarragon, and give it a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Excellent. Grab a portion (or a whole side!) of Ben’s salmon with its rich, smokey goodness. Give that a little warm in a gentle oven. Meanwhile, boil some potatoes until they’re fork-tender. Then, foam some butter, add plenty of chopped chives and a clove of garlic you’ve grated. Chuck the spuds in the chive-infused butter and give them a good coating. They’ll bust up a little and create a sort-of sauce that adds a creamy and soothing element. Delicious.

Pork chops with grilled mixed brassicas

This one is great because, guess what, it’s all on the BBQ! Plus, it’s getting hard into brassica season, so it’s on-point right now. It’s Fork it Farm week, so grab some pork chops, fillets, or your preferred cut. Once you’ve seasoned and seared the pork until you have a crunchy crust, rendered fat and an internal temp above 65 degrees, set them aside to keep rest. Then, into that fatty goodness left on the BBQ, chuck your brassicas. We went for brusso’s, chard, silverbeet and, wait for it, our leftover puntarelle leaves. Slice them all thinly and char them over medium heat. As the brassicas cook, they become tender-crisp, releasing their natural sweetness. Once they’re cooked to your liking, serve them alongside the seared pork chops. So easy, and legitimately this dish requires only some seeded mustard and a squeeze of lemon to round it out!

Brisket with braised butter beans

Will you remember us harping on about Scotty’s brisket pre-packs? Well, we can tell you the shelf life is excellent because we busted them out this week after 3 weeks in the fridge, and it was as tender and perfect as the day it was smoked. Brilliant. We warmed it up gently in some butter and some Kansas City BBQ sauce at the last minute. It took 3 minutes, max. For the beans, just as easy.

Sauté off some onion, garlic and diced carrot in butter. Add plenty of chopped rosemary and cook it out briefly to release the flavour. Add a can (or two for more than two people) of drained butter beans. Cover them with stock, and simmer the stock to reduce by half. Remove from the heat, and once cooled a little, start whipping in obnoxious amounts of butter. Like, two tablespoons per can. Don’t worry, the starch will help protect the emulsion. Add a small amount of chopped parsley and plenty of cracked white pepper. We’ll also accept RSL-grade ground white pepper… delicious. Top the beans with the brisket, and add some diced leftover potatoes from the salmon dish that you’ve grilled up to crispify. Spoon over the buttery BBQ sauce you warmet the brisket in. Melt into comfort food heaven.

Sausages, eggs, and mushrooms

Leave the sausages out for a vegetarian option. Otherwise, this one is as straight up and down as it sounds. Just make sure you’ve got fresh eggs, high-quality sausages and plenty of those cute little chestnut mushrooms. Or some foraged slippery jacks or wood-blewits. Careful with foraging mushrooms though. If you’re opting for the sausages, do them in a pan first, with a small amount of olive oil. While they’re resting, sauté your mushrooms in the delicious fat.

Unsure how to poach an egg? No worries.

To poach an egg perfectly, boil a deep pot of water to a gentle simmer. Add about 10% white vinegar. This helps the egg whites to coagulate more quickly. Crack a fresh egg into a small bowl or ramekin. Then, using a spoon, create a gentle whirlpool in the simmering water. This motion helps the egg whites wrap around the yolk neatly. Carefully slide the egg into the centre of the whirlpool, cooking undisturbed for about three and a half minutes for a soft, runny yolk or longer if you prefer it firmer. Use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg from the water and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess water. Finally, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. Bam.

The 25th Symposium, and still no Chris.

It was brought to our attention that we neglected to include a link to the 25th Symposium of Australian Gastronomy last week! Shame on us. You can book tickets, view the program outline, and read about the keynote speakers on the website. Ticket sales are going fast! Take advantage of this probably once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch this event in Launceston.

There is still no Georgetown Seafoods, but we’ve run out of mythical sea creature analogies. Rest assured that we have corresponded with him and he is alive and intending to come back to Harvest as soon as he has a boat that allows him to catch the seafoods for which he is known and beloved.

Thanks for reading! Happy cooking. See you tomorrow.

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