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Twice-cooked sticky pork belly salad

1/4 chinese cabbage, finely sliced
1 cup trimmed bean sprouts
1 bunch baby radishes, trimmed, finely sliced
1 bunch coriander leaves picked
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
1 kg piece boneless pork belly
About 2 litres of general stock
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
2 tablespoon brown sugar
Lime wedges, to serve  


In a heavy-based saucepan, cover pork with stock. Simmer gently, covered for 2-3 hours, until pork is tender.

Remove pork, then strain and reserve stock. Pat pork dry with paper towel.

Cut pork into 25cm cubes. In a wok or deep-frying pan, heat oil on high until surface shimmers. Deep-fry pork in 2 batches, 2-3 minutes each, until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel.

Add sugar and 1 cup reserved stock to wok. Simmer, stirring, 3-4 minutes, until reduced by half. Return pork to wok, toss.

To make salad: In a bowl, toss all ingredients together. Place pork on salad and drizzle extra sauce over. Serve hot with lime wedges.

Notes: Put poached pork overnight in the fridge for a crisper result.  

Revamping Easter

It might be over yet you can hang onto the glory of the hot cross bun for just a little longer with this warm rich pudding.

2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 medium pears, peeled, cored, sliced
1 1/2 cups milk
300 ml cream
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways, seeds scraped
4 leftover hot cross buns, thickly sliced
4 eggs
2 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ice-cream or cream, to serve


Preheat oven to moderately slow, 160°C, lightly grease a deep, 6-cup ovenproof dish.

In a medium frying pan, combine brown sugar and water, Heat on low, stirring, until sugar dissolves.

Add pear slices and simmer, uncovered, 3-5 minutes, until just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

In a medium saucepan, bring milk, cream and vanilla bean to boiling point. Remove from heat. Set aside, covered 5 minutes. Discard vanilla bean.

Arrange bun and pear in alternate layers in prepared dish. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, caster sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Gradually beat in warm cream mixture.

Strain egg mixture carefully over bun and pear. Place dish in a large baking pan, adding enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.

Bake 55-60 minutes, until set. Serve with ice-cream or cream.

Marinated Lamb Cutlets

Marinate lamb cutlets in sweet chilli sauce for up to eight hours or overnight in the fridge.

Remove from fridge and cook on the BBQ. Remove once the sauce is crispy. Serve with BBQ asparagus and peppers outside in the autumn sun.

Australia Day Cake


250 g unsalted butter, softened

220 g (1 cup) sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 small packet of vanilla powder

3 eggs

450 g (3 cups) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

250ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3-4 oranges)

Icing sugar and chopped or flaked almonds, to decorate (optional)

Fresh flowers from the garden


Preheat the oven to 175˚C. Line and lightly grease a 25 cm round cake tin.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl until pale, light and fluffy - about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. 

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together then add to mix alternately with orange juice, finishing with flour.

Make sure all the ingredients are incorporated well and form a thick cake batter, but be careful not to over mix or the cake will lose its light, fluffy texture.

Pour half the cake batter into the greased tin.

(Optional) Wrap a gold coin in foil ($2 usually works best as it is smaller) and drop it into the cake tin.

Cover the remaining cake batter and spread evenly with a knife or spatula. This will ensure you don't know where the lucky coin is hodden once it's baked! Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpic insterted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to sit and cool (about 20 minutes). The cake should be warm when you remove it from the tin but not hot to touch. Place a large flat plate on top of the cake tin and flip so the cake upside down onto the plate. 

You can decorate this anyway you like but try dusting with icing sugar and chopped or flaked almods or a bunch of fresh Australia flowers from the garden. 

Crunchy Noodle Salad


1/2 wombok (Chinese Cabbage), finely shredded

2 carrots, peeled, cut into long thin strips

100g snow peas, thinly sliced lengthways

3 radishes, thinly sliced

2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled into ribbons

100g packed of crunchy noodles

3 green shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally

Black sesame seeds, to serve (optional)


250g (1 cup) mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons hot English mustard

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jug and stir to combine. Cover and place in the fridge to develop the flavours.

Once cooled, remove from fridge and start layer glass bowl such as trifle dish.

Layer the cabbage, carrot and snow peas. Drizzle with the dressing. Top with laters of radish and cucumber. Spirink;e with cruncy noodles, shallots and sesame seeds.

White Chocolate, lime and ginger mousse tarts

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with these refreshing zesty tarts.


90 grams white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely 2/3 cup thickened cream

1 egg yolk

3 teaspoons finely grated lime rind


Make ginger pastry as recipe directs. (See below)

Grease 10 x 8cm (3¼-inch) round loose-based flan tins.

Divide pastry into 10 portions; roll each portion between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line tins. Lift pastry into pan; press over base and side, trim excess pastry. Prick base all over with fork; place on oven trays. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Bake pastry cases about 20 minutes. Cool.

Melt chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir egg yolk and rind into chocolate, then fold in cream.

Spoon chocolate mousse mixture into pastry cases. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.  

Ginger Pastry

Sift flour, icing sugar and ginger into a large bowl; using fingertips, rub in butter until mixture is crumbly.

Mix in egg yolk and enough of the water so that ingredients just come together. Knead dough lightly on floured surface until smooth.

Enclose in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

You can also make this pastry using a food processor: Process flour, icing sugar, ginger and butter until crumbly. Add egg yolk and enough of the water to make ingredients just come together. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.

Ingredients for pastry 

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

125 grams cold butter, chopped coarsely

1 egg yolk 2 teaspoons iced water, approximately