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Recipes

Calamari with cannellini bean puree & chilli

Serves 4
PREP 15mins
COOK 5mins
 

2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
3/4 cup (185ml) extra virgin olive oil
8 small whole calamari
4 birdseye chillies, finely sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted, lightly crushed
finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
50g baby rocket

 

Tips- Remember the “tender/tough” principle with calamari. Cook it quickly and it will be tender, but go that bit further and it begins to toughen.

• Fresh is best; frozen calamari just won’t do. Ask your fishmonger to clean the calamari if you don’t know how.

• Try using the fennel and chilli oil in the recipe to flavour grilled fish or chicken. • Unlike wine, olive oils do not improve with age, so buy local and check the use-by date. 

 

1 Place cannellini beans, 1/2 cup of oil and 2 tbsp water in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season and set aside.

2 Clean calamari, remove tentacles (do not discard) and leave hoods whole. Rinse, drain and pat dry with paper towel. Place in a shallow bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp of oil. Scatter over chilli and toasted fennel seeds. Season well.

3 Heat a barbecue or chargrill on high until almost smoking. Cook calamari in batches for 45 secs each side, until golden. Transfer calamari and juices to a bowl. Add remaining oil, and lemon rind and juice. Toss to combine.

4 Spoon cannellini bean puree onto serving plates. Top with calamari, drizzle with juices and scatter over baby rocket. Serve.

Potato Gnocchi With Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4
PREP 30mins
COOK 25mins
 

1kg desiree potatoes
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 basil sprigs, plus extra small leaves, to serve
1/3 cup (80ml) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, diced
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour
2/3 cup (50g) grated parmesan

 

Tip- The secret to great gnocchi is not overworking the dough. Press the flour into the potato by folding and pressing again. This way it won’t end up a gluey lump.

 

1 Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 20 mins, until tender.

2 Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan on medium. Cook onion for 3-5 mins, until soft but not coloured. Add garlic and basil sprigs and cook for 30 secs, until fragrant. Add vinegar, sugar and tomato paste. Simmer for 5 mins, until thickened slightly. Add diced tomato and remaining oil and cook for 5 mins, until thickened slightly. Add cherry tomato and simmer for 3 mins, until just soft.

3 Drain potato. When cool enough to handle, peel. While still hot, mash or put through a ricer. Season with salt. Add egg and stir until smooth. Sprinkle half of flour onto bench and top with potato. Flatten potato to a 4cm thickness and sprinkle over remaining flour. Press mixture down with your fingers then fold it over. Repeat process until all flour is incorporated. Gather gnocchi mixture together. Press down with your finger, it should spring back or have a touch of resistance.

4 Divide gnocchi dough into four. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into long sausage shape. Cut into little pillow shapes.

5 Drop gnocchi into a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 1-2 mins, until gnocchi rise to surface. Drain and refresh under cold water. 6 Reheat sauce on medium heat. Add gnocchi and toss gently to combine. Top with parmesan and extra basil leaves. Serve.

Ginger chicken with water chestnuts & radish

Serves 4
PREP 20 mins plus chilling
COOK 15mins
 

2 eggwhites
700g chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced crossways
6cm piece ginger (half very finely sliced, half cut into thin matchsticks)
1/4 cup (55g) white sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1/3 cup (80ml) Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
1/3 cup (80ml) light soy sauce
1/4 cup (60ml) chicken stock
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
300g snow peas, trimmed
4 red radishes, thinly sliced
227g can water chestnuts, drained, finely sliced
3 cups steamed rice (from 1 cup raw), to serve

 

 

1 Use a fork to lightly beat eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Chill for 30 mins.

2 Heat sliced ginger, sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small pan on high. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10 mins, until syrup is thick and ginger is tender. Remove from heat.

3 Meanwhile, heat 4 cups water in a pan on high. Bring to boil. Drain chicken. Add to boiling water. Cook, stirring once, for 1 min, until white. Drain immediately. Pat dry with paper towel.

4 Combine cornflour, rice wine, soy sauce, stock, sesame oil and 1 tsp water in a small bowl.

5 Heat peanut oil in a wok on medium. Stir-fry garlic and ginger matchsticks for 30 secs, until fragrant. Add snow peas and stir-fry for 1 min, until bright green. Add chicken and stir-fry for 1-2 mins, until chicken is cooked through. Add soy sauce mixture and stir-fry for 30 secs, until heated through. Remove from heat.

6 Scatter radish, chestnut and candied ginger over chicken mixture. Serve with rice.

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