Hot & Spicy Rib Accompaniments
Brilliant Butters for Corn on the Cob
There are several ways to cook your corn on the cob and the most simple of course is to simmer in boiling water until tender. I love to bbq mine, the little charred kernels from the flame are the best bits! You can remove the husk completely then cook over a medium flame turning often till tender and slightly charred. Baste with your favourite brilliant butter recipe – a great trick from Thailand is to insert a long thick kebab stick into one end for easy turning! If you want to cook them in the husk straight onto the bbq then it is a good idea to soak them in cold water for 10 mins to prevent the husks from burning. They should take approx. 30mins to cook.
Mango Chutney + Lime Butter
In a bowl combine 150g softened butter, 1-2 tbsp good-quality Mango Chutney and the juice of ½ a lime. Roll up into a long cylinder with baking paper and chill – slice into discs to serve on top of your cob or place in a serving bowl and smear over the cob with a knife.
Gorgonzola + Quince Jam butter
In a bowl combine 125g softened butter, 80g gorgonzola roughly chopped up into small pieces [at room temperature] and 2 tbsp good-quality Quince Jam. Roll up into a long cylinder with baking paper and chill – slice into discs to serve on top of your cob or place in a serving bowl and smear over the cob with a knife.
Mixed Herbs + Garlic Confit Butter
To make the garlic confit place in a heavy based medium sized pot 15-20 peeled garlic cloves and cover with canola oil by at least 5cm. Place on a very low heat and gently simmer, stirring often for 10-15 mins until the cloves turn a lovely light caramel colour. When pressed with the back of a wooden spoon they should be extremely soft. Remove from heat and set aside, the oil can be reserved for cooking and salad dressings.
In a bowl combine 150g softened butter, 1 tbsp each of freshly chopped chives, dill, Italian parsley and basil. Add the juice of ½ a lemon and 6 finely chopped garlic confit cloves. Roll up into a long cylinder with baking paper and chill – slice into discs to serve on top of your cob or place in a serving bowl and smear over the cob with a knife.
Green Papaya + Pineapple Mint Salsa Salad.
This is a really refreshing salad that compliments the Hellers Hot + Spicy Ribs, it has a sweet tang with a kick of lime and mint which balances it out beautifully.
Start by preparing a pineapple, remove the entire husk then cut into quarters through the top. Remove core and then flat side down cut into thin slices through each quarter. Place in a large bowl squeeze ½ a lime over it and give it a toss. Now do the same to 1 green papaya. Peel, deseed and shred it [julienne] and add to the pineapple. Add ½ a red onion finely diced, 2 spring onions thinly sliced on a diagonal, 3-4 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves and 1 large handful each of freshly chopped mint and coriander.
Finish with a squeeze of the remaining lime and add another if you think it needs it. I don’t like to add any oil to this salad as it keeps it clean and fresh on the palette. This salad can be made a few hours ahead of time, just add the baby spinach leaves and more fresh herbs before serving.
Iceberg w Crispy Bacon, Parmesan and Homemade Ranch Dressing
This is a very simple and tasty salad that relies on great presentation.
To make the ranch dressing place 2/3 cup of buttermilk and ½ cup of good-quality mayonnaise [I like to use Best Foods Mayo] into a small bowl. Add a handful of freshly chopped Italian parsley and a small handful of freshly chopped dill, 1-2 garlic clove minced the juice of ½ a lemon, sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Mix well together and set aside in the fridge.
Now grill 8 pieces of Hellers streaky bacon until crisp and golden, cut into finger width strips and set aside.
Take a whole iceberg lettuce and thump it on the bench core side down. This is a great trick to remove the core – now just grab it, wriggle it and pull the core loose. Cut the iceberg in half from top to bottom and place it flat side down. Thinly slice across both halves [top to bottom] and then carefully transfer the lettuce [in the shape it has been cut do not break it all up] to a long rectangular platter or similar shaped wooden serving board. Gently pull it apart so that it remains rectangular but has some gaps between each slice.
Sprinkle the crispy bacon generously all over it stuffing it between the ‘cracks’ of lettuce and then drizzle generously with the ranch dressing. Finish by sprinkling generously with large parmesan shavings, finely chopped Italian parsley, a squeeze of lemon, sea salt and a twist of crack pepper.
Warm Potato Salad w Pea Crème and Pickled Mustard Seeds
When in season this salad is amazing if you can use fresh peas and jersey bennies but equally as good all year round with normal gourmet potatoes and frozen peas.
To pickle your mustard seeds place in a small saucepan 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 50g yellow mustard seeds, 1 star anise and 40g caster sugar. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally till the seeds are tender, set aside to cool.
Boil 1kg of waxy potatoes [little gourmets and jersey bennies are ideal] skin on or scrubbed till just tender. Drain, cool slightly and cut in half then place into a large bowl.
In a small handheld food processer place 1 cup of cooked peas, 200g crème fraiche and the juice of ½ a lemon, blitz till just smooth [however I quite like a few lumpy bits!]. Taste and season adding more lemon juice if you wish.
To the warm potatoes add all the pea crème and 2-3 drained tbsp of pickled mustard seeds tossing together gently. Add a small handful each of freshly chopped Italian parsley, chives and tarragon leaves fold through the potato salad and check the seasoning once more.