Smoked Tomato Sorbet on Toast

1kg tomatoes
350 mls glucose syrup, appx
3 tbspns olive oil
1 tbspn red wine vinegar
Salt to taste

Puree tomatoes with oil and vinegar, then strain.
Measure amount of tomato juice and add half the amount of corn syrup. This will taste too sweet, but when frozen the sweetness will diminish.
Add salt to taste, remembering that the flavour of the salt will diminish on freezing too.
Add extra red wine vinegar if desired. Tomatoes vary in flavour so the balance of  salty, sweet and tart varies with each batch.
Freeze for at least 4 hours.
Form into quenelles using 2 spoons. You can find instructions here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXcIZ4aRHBU
Place on toasted Italian bread, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with basil.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Poached modified from Cooks Illustrated recipe


Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(Optional brine - 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoon sugar, 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled)
4 litres or quarts water

Method

Pound thick end of chicken breasts until about the same thickness as the rest of the breast.
(Optional) Place in pot with water and brine  Stand at room temperature 30 mins.
Heat over medium heat until 77 Celsius or 175 Farenheight, stirring occasionally to distribute heat evenly.
Remove from heat, cover and stand 17 - 22 minutes. Check thickest part for doneness.
Drain and use.

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly with Tamarind and Garam Masala

1 whole pork belly, skin on but bones removed
2 tablespoons bi carb soda (baking soda)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon vinegar
Sauce Ingredients
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 tablespoons bottled tamarind puree
1 teaspoon Masterfoods Diced Chilli
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Mix together bi card soda, salt and vinegar until a little thinner than toothpaste. Pat the pork skin dry and spread this paste all over. Leave for at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 mins.
Rinse the paste off with boiling water, and pat dry with paper towels.
Rub the pork skin with 1 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 150 C.
Combine sauce ingredients
Place sauce into a small, shallow baking dish. Add meat.
Add enough water so that the sauce comes up to the top of the meat, but not over the skin. This enables the meat to cook in a moist environment while the pork skin can dry out. You may want to place the baking dish on a baking sheet in case the sauce bubbles over the top.
Roast the pork for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for 10-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, turn the oven to 250 C (500 F).
Pour sauce into a saucepan and boil rapidly until thick and sticky.
Place pork on baking sheet lined with silicone (baking) paper and roast until skin crackles, around 10 mins. You may need to rotate the pork to prevent some areas burning before others have crackled.
Slice, and serve the sauce separately.


Best, crispiest, crunchiest pork crackling

This method reliably creates crunchy pork crackling. The aim is to first dry out the skin, and then blast it under high heat so it crackles. If the pork has been cryovacked the skin will be wetter than fresh pork and the result will never be as good. However, you can still get it to crackle. Sometimes I like to remove the skin and treat it separately from the meat. This way you can get rid of the fat that lies under the skin. The methods remain the same. This works for pork leg, shoulder or belly. There is no need to score the rind.

Mix together a paste a little thinner than toothpaste.
2 tablespoons bi carb soda
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon vinegar

Pat the pork skin dry and spread this paste all over. Leave for at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 mins.
Rinse the paste off and pat dry with paper towels. This is an easier job if you use boiling water to rinse, but it isn’t necessary.
Rub the pork skin with 1 teaspoon salt.

Roast the pork as the recipe indicates. Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for 10-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, turn the oven to 250 C (500 F). Replace pork and roast until skin crackles, around 10 mins. You may need to rotate the pork to prevent some areas burning before others have crackled. 

Asparagus Ham and Mascarpone Tart

2 puff pastry sheets
30g unsalted butter
2 tsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 onion, finely chopped
150g sliced ham
2 tsp Dijon mustard
250g mascarpone cheese
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, halved
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup shaved parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 trays with baking paper. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares, then lightly score a 2.5cm border around the edges of each square with a knife, without cutting all the way through. Place the squares on the trays and chill while you prepare the filling.
Melt butter with oil in a frypan over medium heat and cook onion for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until softened but not coloured. Cool slightly. Finely chop ham in a food processor. Add onion, mustard and mascarpone, then pulse to just combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread mixture within the border of each pastry square, then top with asparagus pieces, alternating tips and ends. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush pastry borders with egg, then bake tarts for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden and asparagus is tender. Top with parmesan and serve with a rocket salad if desired.