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Katie Quinn Davies

Katie Quinn Davies

Sat, Mar 2, 2013, 00:00

Brunch, Sydney-style, with recipes from an Irish food stylist, cook and photographer

Katie Quinn Davies grew up in Ireland but left Dublin in 2006, heading to Melbourne and later Sydney with her Australian husband, Mick.

A former model and graphic designer, she switched careers four years ago, becoming a food stylist and photographer. “I got up early each morning for a year, bought ingredients the night before, and practiced styling food items which I had read were difficult to master – burgers, sandwiches, lasagne, ice-cream. I gave them all a shot – and failed a lot – but persevered and each time I got better and better.”

Photographic agency Getty Images took 50 of her early photographs, and she has since worked for titles including Delicious, Martha Stewart Living, Food + Wine and Conde Nast Brides.

Her blog, What Katie Ate – voted best for food photography by the US magazine Saveur – has a worldwide following, and she has just published her first cookbook, a handsome chunky volume that she spent a year writing recipes for, as well as styling and shooting the images herself.

Now that we’re all making our own burgers, here’s Katie’s spiced up version, plus a tomato and pepper soup with goat’s cheese croutons, a gentrified Aussie pie, and raspberry friands you can whip up in no time.

Marie-Claire Digby

COLM’S SOUP

14 large vine-ripened tomatoes, halved lengthways

olive oil, for drizzling

2 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

sea salt and black pepper

4 red peppers

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 long red chilli, finely chopped

1/2 tsp good-quality smoked paprika

1 large handful basil, roughly chopped, plus a little extra to garnish

thyme leaves, to garnish

Goat’s cheese croutons

1 crusty French-style baguette, thickly sliced

450g good-quality soft goat’s cheese

Preheat the oven to 120 degrees/gas 1.

Place the tomato halves, cut-side up, on a baking tray. Drizzle each half with a little olive oil, top with a slice of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Roast for two hours or until the tomatoes are soft and caramelised.

Meanwhile, using tongs, hold the whole peppers over a naked gas flame on your hob, rotating them occasionally and taking care not to burn yourself, until the skins are charred all over. (You can achieve a similar result by charring the peppers on a barbecue or chargrill pan or in a hot oven.)

Place the peppers in a large bowl, cover with cling film and set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the charred skin. Cut away the core and white inner membrane and discard the seeds, then cut the flesh into large pieces and place in a large heavy-based saucepan, along with the roast tomatoes.

Add the tinned tomatoes, chilli, paprika and roughly chopped basil to the pan and season with salt and pepper.

Using the empty tomato tin as a measure, add two full tins of cold water. Mix together well, then simmer over a low-medium heat for an hour or so or until the soup has thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat, leave the soup to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a blender and pulse until smooth (or blend in the pan usinga hand-held blender).

Return the soup to the pan and reheat gently. Taste and season again if required.

To make the croûtons, toast the bread slices under a hot grill. Spread thickly with goat’s cheese, then grill again until the cheese is warmed through and slightly softened.

Ladle the soup into bowls and place a goats cheese croûton on top. Scatter a few thyme and extra basil leaves over, then add a final grinding of black pepper and serve piping hot.

BEEF AND BACON PIES

Makes 24

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

5 rashers free-range bacon, fat and

rind removed, cut into strips

500g lean minced free-range beef

3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp barbecue or brown sauce

1 heaped tsp curry powder

1 heaped tsp freshly grated nutmeg

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

250ml beef stock

1 heaped tbsp plain flour

2 sheets good-quality puff pastry

1 free-range egg, mixed with 1 tbsp milk

handful poppy seeds

Rich shortcrust pastry

600g plain flour

250g unsalted butter,

chilled and cubed

1 free-range egg

1 tbsp iced water

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees/gas 7. Grease the holes of two of the 12-hole mini-muffin tins, and the underside of the holes of the other two tins.

To make the pastry, put the flour and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat at low-medium speed for 5-6 minutes until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the egg and water and beat until the pastry forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface, then knead gently for five minutes, forming the dough into a ball as you go. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry to a thickness of three millimetres, then cut out 24 seven centimetre rounds and use these to line the mini-muffin tins. Prick each base with a fork once or twice, then place the empty mini-muffin tins on top to act as a weight for blind baking. Freeze for 30 minutes, then blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees/gas 6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, then add the bacon and fry until the bacon is lightly browned and crispy.

Add the beef and cook for five minutes or until browned. Add the Worcestershire sauce, barbecue or brown sauce, curry powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Add the beef stock and cook for five minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top and stir it in. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Fill the pastry cases with the cooled meat mixture. Cut out 24 puff pastry rounds about four centimetres in diameter and place on top of the filled pies. Crimp the edges using a fork, if you wish, then brush the tops with the egg and milk mixture and sprinkle over the poppy seeds. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown.

CHILLI BURGERS

Makes 6

6 crusty bread rolls, halved and toasted

1 head lettuce, leaves rinsed and dried

2-3 large vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced

6 free-range eggs, fried (optional)

Beef patties

1 kg lean minced free-range beef

1 large onion, finely diced

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp hot English mustard

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the beef patties, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine thoroughly using clean hands. Form the mixture into six burgerpatties, placing them on a plate lined with kitchen paper as you go. Cover with cling film and chill until required.

Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan and cook the patties until browned on the outside and cooked to your liking – I prefer them medium-rare. Serve on lightly toasted bread buns with lettuce and tomatoes. If you like, finish with a fried egg.

RASPBERRY FRIANDS

Makes 18

10 free-range egg whites

300g unsalted butter, melted

175g ground almonds

370g icing sugar, sifted,plus extra for dusting

100g plain flour, sifted

2 x 125g punnets raspberries, plusplus extra to serve

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/gas 6. Lightly grease 18 holes of two silicone friand moulds or nonstick friand tins.

Whisk the egg whites for a few seconds just to lightly combine; you don’t need to whip them into peaks or anything like that. Add the butter, ground almonds, icing sugar and flour and beat lightly to combine well. Pour into the prepared moulds or pans, filling each hole two-thirds full.

Place two or three raspberries on top of each friand and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Dust the friands with icing sugar and serve warm, with extra raspberries if you like.

What Katie Ate, by Katie Quinn Davies, is published by Collins on February 28th , £25. See whatkatieate.com

Domini Kemp’s Eat In column returns next week

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