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Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

KFC, “Kat’s fried chicken”, with barbecue sauce


You'll need

250 gm (1 cup) fine salt 80 gm (½ cup) honey 50 gm (¾ cup) black peppercorns lemons, halved 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley ½ bunch thyme 12 fresh bay leaves ½ head garlic, halved horizontally 2 chickens (about 1.5kg each) For deep-frying: vegetable oil 600 ml buttermilk To serve: Japanese mayonnaise   Barbecue sauce 1 onion, coarsely chopped 10 garlic cloves 2 small red chillies 40 ml olive oil 10 each thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs ½ bunch coriander 30 gm (¼ cup) smoked paprika 2 tbsp fennel seeds 10 bay leaves 1 tsp cumin seeds 6 cloves 200 gm brown sugar 200 ml tomato ketchup 200 ml apple juice 120 ml balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 orange 2 tsp hot English mustard   Spiced flour 375 gm (2½ cups) plain flour 150 gm (1½ cups) cornflakes, finely crushed 60 gm (½ cup) rice flour 2 tbsp each garlic powder and onion powder 1 tbsp sea salt 1 tbsp sweet paprika ¾ tsp cayenne pepper ½ tsp ground black pepper

Method

  • 01
  • Stir salt, honey, peppercorns, lemon, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and 8 litres water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until salt dissolves, bring to the boil then cool completely.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, remove wings and legs from chicken, then halve legs through the joint and set aside. Remove breasts from chicken, discard skin, halve breasts and set aside. Add chicken pieces to brine and refrigerate to brine for 8 hours.
  • 03
  • Drain chicken then rinse under cold running water for 5 minutes.
  • 04
  • Place chicken in a single layer in a large steamer basket, cover with a lid, place over a large saucepan of simmering water and steam breast meat for 10 minutes and leg meat for 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack placed on a tray and refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled.
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, for barbecue sauce, process onion, garlic and chilli in a food processor to a smooth paste. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion mixture and stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, process herbs and spices in a food processor to a smooth paste, add to pan and stir occasionally until fragrant (8-10 minutes). Add sugar, stir to dissolve, add 250ml water and simmer until reduced by half (10 minutes). Add remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a coarse sieve into a clean pan, simmer until thick (18-20 minutes), season to taste and refrigerate to cool completely. Makes 500ml. Barbecue sauce will keep refrigerated in a sterile container for 1 month.
  • 06
  • For spiced flour, combine ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  • 07
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Dust chicken pieces in spiced flour, dip in buttermilk, dust again in spiced flour, shake off excess. Deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until dark golden and cooked through (5-6 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm in oven while cooking remaining chicken. Serve hot with barbecue sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.
This recipe is from the August 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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