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Wednesday, 12 September 2012 18:08

Grilled Lamb with Smokey Eggplant & Dried Figs

PREP 25mins plus standing 
COOK 40mins


2 Eggplant  
2 tbsp Coriander seeds  
2 tsp Cumin seeds  
2 tbsp Olive Oil  
1/2 Onion, finely sliced  
2 Garlic cloves, crushed  
2 tbsp Tahini paste  
Grated rind and juice of 1 Lemon  
1 Birdseye Chilli, seeded, chopped  
1/4 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, plus extra to serve  
1/4 cup Mint, plus extra to serve  
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin Olive Oil  
1 tsp ground Turmeric  
4 x 180g Lamb Backstraps  
1 tbsp Sumac  
1/3 cup (50g) Pine Nuts, toasted  
1/4 cup (45g) dried Figs, halved

1 Preheat a barbecue on high. Cook eggplant, turning often, for 20 mins, until softened and coloured all over. Remove from heat and cool. Scrape or scoop eggplant flesh from skin, place in a sieve and drain for 15 mins. Discard skin.

2 Meanwhile, dry-roast coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan on medium-low heat for 2 mins, until fragrant. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, crush to a fine powder.  

3 Heat half of olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan on medium. Cook onion and garlic  for 4-5 mins, until soft and translucent but not coloured. Add half of spice powder and cook for 2 mins, until combined. Add eggplant and cook, stirring, for 2 mins, until combined. Cool. 

4 Blend eggplant mixture, tahini, lemon rind and juice, and chilli in a blender until smooth. Add remaining olive oil. Season with salt. Add parsley and mint. Blend for 30 secs, until smooth.  

5 Heat extra virgin olive oil, remaining toasted spice powder and turmeric in a pan on low for 4 mins, until fragrant. Cool. 

6 Season both sides of lamb with salt, pepper and sumac. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of turmeric oil and barbecue for 3-4 mins each side for medium-rare, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Rest for 2 mins before slicing.

7 Spread eggplant mixture over base of each serving plate. Top with lamb. Scatter over pine nuts and fig. Drizzle with remaining turmeric oil. Top with extra parsley and mint and serve. 


Published in Recipes
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:00

Roast Chicken Salad with Egg, Radicchio & Walnuts

PREP 25mins 
COOK 1hr


1 Lemon, quartered  
2 Thyme sprigs  
1.2kg (size 12) Chicken  
1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil  
2 Eschalots, peeled  
2 Garlic cloves, peeled  
4 slices flat Pancetta  
2 tbsp Raspberry or Red Wine Vinegar  
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil  
4 Eggs, at room temperature  
1 Witlof  
1 Radicchio, torn  
1/4 cup (30g) chopped toasted Walnuts

1 Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Place lemon quarters and thyme in cavity of  chicken and tie legs with string. Season with salt. Heat olive oil in a roasting pan on high. Cook chicken, turning, for 5 mins, until lightly browned. Place chicken breast side up in pan, transfer to oven and roast for 20 mins.

2 Baste chicken with pan juices. Add eschalots and garlic to pan. Roast for 20 mins, until chicken is browned. Place pancetta over chicken. Roast for 10 mins, until pancetta is crisp and chicken juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer. Transfer chicken to a platter. Rest for 10 mins. Pour juices from chicken into pan. 

3 Place roasting pan on medium heat. Use back of a fork to crush garlic and eschalots.  Add vinegar. Stir using a wooden spoon, scraping base of pan to dislodge any brown bits. Add a splash of water, if needed, to extract flavour. Strain juices through a sieve. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Season.

4 Meanwhile, heat a pan of water on medium, until simmering. Gently add eggs. Reduce heat  to medium-low. Cook for 5 mins. Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool. Carefully peel. Trim witlof and split each leaf down centre. 

5 Cut chicken into quarters. Thickly slice breast. Remove bones from thighs and legs, and break meat into pieces. Arrange witlof and radicchio in serving bowls and top with chicken. Scatter over walnuts. Gently open eggs and place on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Season. Break crisp pancetta into pieces and add to salad. Serve.  

Published in Recipes
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 02:00

Banoffee Pie

PREP 20mins plus chilling 
COOK 20mins


200ml thickened cream
2 tbsp pure icing sugar, sifted, plus 2 tsp extra
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour
1 egg
2 x 380g cans Caramel Top ‘n’ Fill
4 bananas
1/4 cup (35g) roasted hazelnuts, skins removed, roughly chopped
20g dark chocolate, grated

1 Using an electric mixer, beat cream and extra icing sugar until soft peaks form. Cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge until required.

2 Preheat oven to 190C or 170C fan. Grease a 4cm-deep 24cm loose-based tart pan.

3 Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and icing sugar until pale and creamy. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour and a pinch of salt until combined. Add egg and beat for 2 mins, until dough forms a ball.

4 Roll out dough between two 30cm sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Peel off top sheet of paper. Use remaining paper to lift pastry and turn into prepared pan. Peel off paper and use fingertips to gently press pastry into sides of pan. Using your thumb, press excess pastry over edge of pan to trim. Chill for 30 mins.

5 Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking weights, rice or dried beans. Blind bake for 10-12 mins, until starting to colour. Remove paper and weights. Bake for another 10 mins, until pastry is golden. Cool.

6 Fill pastry case with a 3cm layer of caramel. Peel bananas and slice into thick wedges. Arrange banana over caramel. Top with whipped cream and scatter over chopped hazelnuts and grated chocolate. Slice and serve. 

In each serve 1904 kilojoules, 8g protein, 22g total fat (13g sat fat), 56g carbohydrate (39g sugar), 2g fibre, 129mg sodium.

• To roast hazelnuts, bake in a 200C or 180C fan oven for 5 minutes, until coloured. Cool slightly, then place hazelnuts in a clean tea towel and rub to remove the skins.


Gary’s secrets 
• For a good sweet shortcrust pastry, add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients – it makes a difference to both the flavour and texture.

• Don’t store the baked pastry case in the fridge. It will affect the flavour and you’ll lose the lovely crumbly texture that makes this dessert so special.

• If you don’t like making pastry, combine crushed digestive biscuits and melted butter, then press the mixture into the tart pan to create a crust. Chill in the fridge until set.


Published in Recipes
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 02:00

Queen of Puddings

PREP 30mins 
COOK 40mins


225g unfilled sponge cake, halved crossways
150g raspberry jam
1 vanilla bean
2 cups (500ml) milk
5 eggs, separated
160g caster sugar
125g fresh raspberries 

1 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Grease a shallow 6 cup-capacity baking dish. 

2 Spread cut sides of cake with jam, then sandwich together. Cut cake into large cubes and arrange over base of prepared dish.

3 Using a small sharp knife, split vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrape seeds. Place vanilla bean and seeds, and milk in a medium pan on high heat. Bring just to boil. Discard vanilla bean.

4 Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and 50g of sugar in a bowl until creamy. Gradually whisk in hot milk until combined. Pour over cake. Place baking dish in a roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into pan to come halfway up side of dish. Bake for 30 mins, until custard sets. Cool for 10 mins. Increase oven to 240C non fan.

5 Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and a pinch of remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating constantly until thick and glossy. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm nozzle. Scatter raspberries over custard. Pipe meringue in large bulbs over pudding. Bake for 5 mins, until lightly browned. Spoon onto plates and serve.

In each serve 1280 kilojoules, 9g protein, 7g total fat (3g sat fat), 53g carbohydrate (46g sugar), 2g fibre, 160mg sodium.


Gary’s secrets 
• When making meringue, ensure the mixing bowl and whisk are clean, then rinse under piping hot water to get rid of any grease. Any trace of fat or yolk will prevent bubbles forming in the eggwhite and hinder aeration. You also need to bring the eggwhites to room temperature before whisking.

• Substitute torn jam sandwiches, sweet brioche or day-old croissants for the sponge cake in this dessert. Much like bread and butter pudding, it’s a great way to use up bits and pieces.

Published in Recipes
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 16:00

Raisin & Sherry Truffles

PREP 20mins plus standing 
COOK 5mins


250g good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, grated
1/3 cup (55g) raisins, chopped
2 tbsp black or sweet sherry
1 cup (250ml) pure cream
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cup (100g) dutch processed cocoa 

1 Place chocolate, raisins and sherry in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2 Place cream and vanilla bean in a small pan on medium heat. Bring to boil. Remove bean. Pour boiling cream over chocolate and fruit mixture. Stand for 1 min. Stir with a spatula until well combined. Scrape any mixture off sides of bowl. Set aside for 40 mins, until starting to set.

3 Stir mixture quickly, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hr, until firm.

4 Sift half of cocoa onto a clean work surface or a baking tray. Scoop rough spoons of chocolate mixture onto cocoa. Sift over remaining cocoa (right) and, using a spoon, roll truffles to coat. Use two spoons to transfer to a plate lined with baking paper. Chill until ready to serve. Remove from fridge 20 mins before serving.

In each truffle 593 kilojoules, 2g protein, 11g total fat (7g sat fat), 8g carbohydrate (6g sugar), 2g fibre, 25mg sodium.


Gary’s secrets 
• Dutch processed cocoa is unsweetened cocoa that has been mixed with bicarbonate of soda to neutralise its acidity. It’s more soluble than the regular kind, as well as darker and milder, so it gives these truffles a wonderfully delicate finish.

Published in Recipes
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 16:00

Ricotta & Spinach Tortellini with Tomato Sauce

PREP 25mins 
COOK 15mins


190g Spinach, trimmed  
1 Quantity Pasta Dough (see below), rolled out to second-last machine notch  
150g Fresh Ricotta  
Grated rind and juice of 1/2 Lemon  
1 Egg, lightly beaten  
2/3 cup (50g) grated aged Pecorino or Parmesan  
Tomato Sauce  
1 Eschalot, finely sliced  
2 Thyme sprigs, leaves only  
1 Garlic clove, sliced  
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil, plus extra to drizzle  
1 tbsp Tomato Paste  
400g can chopped Tomatoes  
2 tbsp Baby Capers, rinsed, drained  
2 tbsp finely chopped Flat Leaf Parsley, plus extra to serve

1 Wash spinach under cold water. Place spinach, with water clinging to leaves, in a saucepan on medium heat. Cover and cook for 1-2 mins, until wilted. Drain and cool. Squeeze excess water from spinach, then finely chop.

2 Using a 10cm cutter, cut 20 rounds from pasta sheets. Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.

3 Mix together spinach, ricotta and lemon rind and juice. Season to taste. Place 3 tsp of ricotta mixture in centre of each pasta round. Brush edge of half of one pastry round with egg, fold over to enclose filling and press edges together to seal. Bring points of tortellini together, turning tortellini in on itself. Brush points with a little egg, then stick together. Repeat with remaining pasta rounds and ricotta mixture.

4 To make tomato sauce, place eschalot, thyme, garlic and 1 tbsp of oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Cook for 2 mins, until eschalot begins to soften. Add tomato paste and chopped tomato and simmer for 6-8 mins, until sauce begins to thicken. Add capers, remaining oil and parsley. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

5 Cook tortellini in a large saucepan of salted boiling water on medium-high heat for 3-4 mins, until just tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove from water and drain well. 

6 Divide sauce between four serving bowls and top with tortellini. Drizzle with a little extra oil and scatter over grated pecorino and extra parsley. Serve.  

Gary’s secrets 
 • These tortellini can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Dust them with fine semolina or polenta to prevent the bases softening and sticking, place on a floured baking tray and refrigerate until needed. 

• Forget the old wives’ tale that says when cooking pasta you should add a dash of olive oil to the boiling water to stop it sticking together. Instead, simply use plenty of salted boiling water, cook until al dente, then drain and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil when serving.




Fresh Pasta

PREP 20mins plus resting 
COOK 5mins

1 1/3 cups (200g) Italian “00” plain flour  
Pinch of fine Sea Salt  
2 x 59g Eggs  
1 tsp extra virgin Olive Oil 

1 Place flour and salt in a food processor. Turn on motor and add eggs one at a time  and process until combined. Add oil and process until dough is crumbly and not quite coming together.

2 Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead for 2 mins, until firm and elastic. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 mins.

3 Set rollers of a pasta machine at widest opening. Divide dough in half. Using your hand,  flatten one piece of dough then roll it through machine. Fold it into three or four, like folding a letter for an envelope. Give it a quarter-turn and roll it through machine again. Repeat three times until smooth and elastic, with a satin glow. Repeat with remaining dough.

4 Reduce opening of machine by one notch and roll pasta sheets through one at a time. Repeat, reducing opening of machine by one notch each time, until you reach second last notch. Lay pasta sheets on clean tea towels. Set cutter on machine to 3mm wide and roll pasta through to make linguine, or cut to 6mm for tagliatelle, 8mm for fettuccine or 2cm for pappardelle. 

Gary’s secrets 
• You can use ordinary plain flour to make pasta but for professional results, it’s best to use Italian “00” (double zero) plain flour. In Italy, flour is graded according to how finely it is milled, and “00” is the most finely ground. Only the bright white centre of the wheat grain is used to make “00” flour, so it’s the finest and whitest available.  “00” plain flour is sold in many large supermarkets, as well as gourmet food shops and delis.  

• A pasta machine is essential, unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of time rolling the dough  by hand. Decreasing the thickness as you pass and fold the pasta through the machine ensures  an even texture – it’s called “laminating”, and it makes the dough easier to work with when  making hand-shaped pasta, such as tortellini. 

Published in Recipes
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 06:00

Spotted Dick

PREP 20mins plus cooling 
COOK 2hrs


11/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups (105g) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 cup (135g) prepared suet mix
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
3/4 cup (120g) sultanas
3/4 cup (100g) currants
finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
2 eggs
1 cup (250ml) milk
1/2 cup (175g) golden syrup, plus extra to serve
custard, thick cream or ice-cream, to serve

1 Grease and line base of a 5 cup-capacity pudding basin. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs, suet, sugar, 1/2 cup of sultanas, 1/2 cup of currants and lemon rind. Whisk together eggs, milk and lemon juice in a separate bowl or jug. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

2 Pour golden syrup into base of prepared basin. Top with remaining sultanas and currants. Spoon pudding mixture into basin. Make a pleat in centre of a sheet of baking paper and a sheet of foil. Cover basin with paper, then foil and secure with kitchen string. 

3 Place an upturned heatproof saucer in base of a large saucepan. Place pudding basin on saucer. Pour enough water into pan to come halfway up side of basin. Cover. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low. Steam, covered, for 2 hrs, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove basin from pan and cool for 15 mins. Turn out onto a plate and drizzle over extra golden syrup. Cut into slices and serve with custard, cream or ice-cream, if you like.

In each serve 1993 kilojoules, 5g protein, 16g total fat (8g sat fat), 79g carbohydrate (50g sugar), 3g fibre, 314mg sodium.

• Prepared suet mix is available in the baking section of supermarkets.
• Securing the baking paper and foil over the pudding basin can be a little tricky, so ask a family member or friend to help you hold them down while you tie and tighten the string. It’s important to pull the string as tightly as possible, to ensure that the pudding cooks evenly.


Gary’s secrets 
• Butter or margarine can be used instead of the suet mix in this recipe. I often use butter at home and it works to lighten the pudding.

• Chopped dried fruits, peel and nuts such as macadamias and hazelnuts are lovely additions to this pud.

• You can use this recipe to make individual puddings in 1 cup-capacity ramekins or pudding moulds. They only take one-third of the time to cook.

Published in Recipes
Sunday, 09 September 2012 12:00

Comfort Food

Comfort Foods By Gary MehiganAcclaimed chef and TV personality Gary Mehigan, brings us the food he loves to eat, sharing his take on old classics and introducing new favourites, elevating them to new heights by giving them a restaurant-quality edge.


Comfort Food is a compilation of recipes that showcase Gary's take on comfort food with a twist, including recipes for slow-braised beef cheeks with onion marmalade and mashed potato, crumbed pork cutlets with roast quince, pan-fried swordfish with lentils and caramelised onion, and lemon curd mousse with gingernut crumble.


With over 90 recipes, lively kitchen notes and beautiful photography Comfort Food is the perfect introduction to good, simple, honest food and the kitchen wisdom of one of Australia’s most generous and passionate chefs.


Gary Mehigan’s incredible warmth and ability to share his well-honed knowledge in an accessible way brings the chapters to life, including Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch; Starters; Pasta, Pizza and Risotto; Poultry and Meat; Seafood; Sweets and Basics.


Comfort Food is sure to be a much-loved and well-used cookbook in the kitchens of Gary’s huge fan base across Australia.


‘When I started thinking about writing this book, I decided to include the first dishes that sprang to mind, trust my instincts and provide recipes that I love to cook myself – in other words, my comfort food’ Gary


Gary Mehigan is an award-winning Melbourne-based restaurateur with two decades of experience as a chef. After starting his career in London where he trained in the kitchen of world-class restaurants including The Connaught and Le Souffle, he moved to Melbourne in 1991, where he worked in a number of prominent restaurants such as Browns, Burnham Beeches Country House and Hotel Sofitel. He opened his first restaurant, Fenix, in 2000. He is now a household name across Australia due to his role as a judge on Masterchef Australia and Celebrity Masterchef Australia, and his co-hosting roles on Good Chef Bad Chef and Boys Weekend.


Buy Online at Penguin Books



Published in Books
Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:00


Who would have thought a Chef being an Ambassador for a Bank, but it makes great sense. Gary is a business person who saw the programme as a great marketing tool for his own restaurants.

Gary has been a Citibank Customer for 10 years and is now the ambassador of the Citibank Dining Program.  

'It feels great to be ambassador for such a great program. Citibank's Dining Program means you can enjoy a great night out with a free bottle of award winning wine. Free wine? I'll drink to that!'  

Gary is excited and pleased to be involved with a bank, that is thinking about interesting and innovative ways to reward their customers.

Behind the Scenes - 1min 15secs

TVC 45sec

TVC 30sec


Published in Brands
Saturday, 01 September 2012 22:00

Lantern Cookery Classics

Lantern Cookery Classics Books‘In the spirit of the immensely popular Penguin Modern Classics we have invented Lantern Cookery Classics – a must-have selection of books to collect and give and make dirty in the kitchen. These books showcase the stand-out recipes of our Lantern cookery authors and are a great edit of the best of our talent.’ Julie Gibbs, Publishing Director, Lantern

So recognisable that they need no introduction other than their first names, Stephanie, Matt, Kylie, Gary, George and Maggie are some of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. Now anyone can have these culinary heroes at their fingertips in the kitchen thanks to the new Lantern Cookery Classics.

Set to become an indispensable resource on the kitchen bookshelf, each of the Lantern Cookery Classics is a hand-picked selection of the very best recipes from Penguin’s leading chefs and much loved authors.

Discover the joys of cooking (and eating) Maggie Beer’s famous Rhubarb Crumble; the secrets to Matt Moran’s Tuscan-inspired Prawns with White Bean and Hazelnut Salad; and Gary Mehigan’s mouth-watering Frangipane filled Plum Tart with Pistachio Crumble. Learn how to recreate George Calombaris’ infamous Best-ever Spaghetti Bolognese (with seventeen ingredients!) and cook up a Chinese banquet with Kylie Kwong’s recipe for Blue Eye and King Prawns with Lemon and Honey Onions. Stephanie Alexander shares delectable recipes such as Warm Sauté of Zucchini, Pine Nuts and Currants with many of her included recipes being photographed for the first time since being published in her ground breaking tome, The Cook’s Companion.

Presented in the iconic and uber-stylish Penguin Classics livery, each Lantern Cookery Classic features more than sixty recipes, all photographed by leading food photographers. For fans of timeless food, these books are a celebration of Australia’s leading food identities.

Iconic and collectable, the Lantern Cookery Classics are a thoughtful selection of the best-of-the-best recipes to treasure and cook from every day.

Buy Online at Penguin Books

Trailer - 0min 44secs

Published in Books

How to stay connected with Gary Mehigan


Gary Mehigan is represented by Chefsink. For media enquiries please contact Justine May
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