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Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection tableware by Robert Gordon

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"This dish is Lebanese-peasant done fancy with all the peasant-style flavours you'll find in Lebanese cooking, but with a beautiful piece of fish added," says Bacash. "The trick to not overcooking fish is to be aware that it cooks from the outside inwards and the centre should only cook until it's warm, not hot. If it gets hot in the middle, it will become overcooked from the residual heat. It takes a little practise getting to know this - be conscious of the inside of the fish and not the outside. Until you get it right, you can always get a little paring knife and peek inside the flesh when you think it's ready; it won't damage it too much."

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"Texas is world-renowned for barbecuing a mean brisket, the flat and fatty slab of meat, cut from the cow's lower chest," says Stone. "Cooking a simply seasoned brisket low and slow on a smoker (or kettle barbecue when barbecuing at home), gradually rendering the gummy white fat while simultaneously infusing smoky flavour into the meat, is a labour of love. Although time-consuming, briskets are not difficult to cook. And while you'll note that this one takes a whopping 12 hours to cook, don't be alarmed if your brisket needs another hour or so - this timing is an approximation, and greatly depends on the size of your brisket and heat of your barbecue." The brisket can also be cooked in an oven (see note).

Mussels ‘spanakopita’


You'll need

50 ml vegetable oil 12 large black mussels, scrubbed, beards removed 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced ½ garlic clove, thinly sliced 200 ml white wine 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock 1 tomato, seeds removed, diced 40 gm canned chickpeas, drained To serve: white anchovies (optional, see note)   ‘Spanakopita’ 50 ml olive oil ½ onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 300 gm baby English spinach 80 gm each of ricotta and feta, crumbled

Method

  • 01
  • For ‘spanakopita’, heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté onion and garlic over low heat until soft and translucent (4-5 minutes). Add spinach and cook until just starting to wilt (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, transfer to a colander and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl and cool, then add cheeses, combine well and season to taste with sea salt. Set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add mussels, shallot, garlic and wine, then cover and cook over high heat, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (3-4 minutes). Drain mussels, reserving 100ml cooking liquid and discard any unopened mussels. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold (1 hour).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Fill each mussel with a tablespoon of ‘spanakopita’ mixture, then close shells and tie firmly shut with kitchen string.
  • 04
  • Heat reserved mussel stock, chicken stock, tomato and chickpeas in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mussels and bring to a simmer, then bake, covered with lid, until heated through (5-6 minutes). Serve immediately with white anchovies, if desired.
Note White anchovies are available from select delicatessens.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

A Mornington Peninsula chardonnay, such as the 2006 Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Vineyard.

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