Exclusive recipes from And for Mains..., Gaz Smith and Rick Higgins’ new cookbook

Seafood chowder; chicken thighs in a soy and mirin marinade; lamb neck meatballs with a New York-style ‘gravy’; jungle curry (that isn’t); and black-pudding strudel

And for Mains...: These recipes come from the new cookbook by Gaz Smith and Rick Higgins, with food photography by Katie Quinn

And for Mains...: These recipes come from the new cookbook by Gaz Smith and Rick Higgins, with food photography by Katie Quinn

 
Seafood chowder
Seafood chowder

SEAFOOD CHOWDER

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients
Olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
100g carrots, peeled and finely diced
100g celery, finely diced
200g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
4 garlic cloves, sliced
4 star anise
1tbsp coriander seeds
1.2 litres good fish stock (or from a cube is fine)
2 big pinches of fine sea salt
100g leeks, finely diced
150g smoked fish, cubed
100g cockles
100g mussels
100g fresh prawns
80g meaty white fish, diced
200ml pouring cream
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra juice to finish if you like
Good pinch of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Good pinch of finely chopped fresh dill
Good pinch of finely chopped fresh coriander
To serve: crusty bread

Method
1.
Get a nice big pot and heat a good glug of oil in it over a low heat. Add your onion, carrots, celery, spuds, garlic, star anise and coriander seeds and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Add your fish stock along with two big pinches of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, until the veg are slightly softened and the stock is starting to thicken (you can thank the starch in the potatoes for that). Add your leeks and let the whole lot simmer gently for 15 minutes more.

3. Raise the temperature to a high heat. Once your base is bubbling, throw in all your seafood and cook for 3 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium, then pour in the cream and cook for a further 2 minutes.

4. Take your chowder off the heat, add the lemon zest and juice along with all the chopped herbs, and stir to combine. You can also finish off each portion with an extra squeeze of lemon if you like. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Chicken thighs in a soy and mirin marinade
Chicken thighs in a soy and mirin marinade

CHICKEN THIGHS IN A SOY AND MIRIN MARINADE

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter

Ingredients
8 boneless, skinless free-range chicken thighs, cut into strips
Seasoned flour, for dredging
Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

For the marinade
1 red onion, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
Large pinch of coriander seeds (about 15 seeds)
20g cumin seeds
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
100ml red wine vinegar
100ml mirin
75ml soy sauce
70ml sunflower oil
2tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp honey
1tsp fine sea salt
2tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method
1.
Put all the marinade ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the marinade for serving.

2. Put the chicken strips in a medium-sized bowl and pour over the marinade. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.

3. When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 180 Celsius. You can also do this in a big saucepan if you’re really careful about it.

4. Put the flour in a wide, shallow bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Dredge the marinated chicken strips in the seasoned flour, then deep-fry until they’re golden brown, which should take 5-7 minutes.

5. To serve, drizzle the reserved sauce over the cooked chicken (obviously not the stuff that had raw chicken sitting in it for hours).

Lamb-neck meatballs with a New York-style ‘gravy’
Lamb-neck meatballs with a New York-style ‘gravy’

LAMB NECK MEATBALLS WITH A NEW YORK-STYLE ‘GRAVY’

Serves 4

Ingredients
600g minced lamb neck (ask your butcher for about 30% fat)
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk
25g panko breadcrumbs
100ml milk
1tbsp dried oregano
1tbsp garlic granules
1tsp sweet paprika
2 big pinches of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1½tsp fine sea salt
2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
4tbsp vegetable oil
To serve: 400ml New York-style “gravy” (see below for recipe) or tomato sauce

Method
1.
Mix together all the meatball ingredients except the vegetable oil in a large bowl. With clean hands, make golf-ball-sized meatballs from the mix – you should get around 15 balls.

2. Heat up the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.

3. It’s time to add your balls to the frying pan. You can cook them in batches if your pan is on the smaller side, but once the meatballs are in the pan don’t touch them for 5 minutes. If you do, they will fall apart in the pan. Once they’re nicely seared, you can turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes.

4. Add the New York-style “gravy” (see below for recipe) or tomato sauce to the pan. Pop a lid on the pan, turn down the heat to low and gently simmer for 25 minutes – don’t simmer for too long, as you want to keep the balls nice and juicy. If your frying pan can go into the oven, you can pop it in there at 180 Celsius for 15 minutes.

5. Serve these warm and on their own, with pasta or inside soft white bread rolls with some grated mozzarella melted on top. Whatever you fancy.

NEW YORK-STYLE “GRAVY”

Ingredients
2tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1tsp chilli flakes (optional)
500ml red wine (plus a bit for the chef)
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
120g good-quality tomato puree (I like Mutti)
500ml beef stock
Pinch of dried oregano
5 big pinches of fine sea salt
5 big pinches of freshly ground black pepper
300g Italian sausage, left whole
200g pork ribs
Big pinch of fresh basil leaves, torn

Method
1.
Put your biggest pot on a low to medium heat. Add your vegetable oil, then add the onions and garlic and sweat for 8-10 minutes. Add your chilli flakes here too if you’re using them.

2. Pour in your red wine and bring it to the boil. Drink 250ml of red wine yourself because ... well, you opened the bottle, didn’t you? You don’t want to let it go to waste. Reduce the wine in the pan by half, which should take 5-6 minutes.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock, oregano, and salt and pepper. Chuck in your whole sausages and pork ribs. Turn down the heat, cover the pot and simmer the whole lot very gently for 60 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes more. Smile as your house fills with the scent of warm, sausagey, tomatoey goodness.

4. When you think it’s done, check the seasoning, then fish out the whole sausages and pork ribs. Finish it off with a big pinch of torn basil leaves.

Jungle curry (that isn’t)
Jungle curry (that isn’t)

JUNGLE CURRY (THAT ISN’T)

Serves 4

Gaz says: A jungle curry doesn’t have coconut milk or dairy, and this one, um, does. The problem I had is that my version without coconut wasn’t very good. I wasn’t happy with the background spices, but as soon as I added
a bit of coconut milk it was amazing. It just brought everything together.

Ingredients
4tbsp sunflower oil
600g pork belly meat, cut into 2.5-5cm cubes
2 aubergines, skin removed and cut into chunks
2 heaped tablespoons red curry paste (I like Mae Ploy)
50g garlic, minced
30g fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 star anise
1tbsp coriander seeds
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
50g golden raisins or sultanas
1 litre beef stock
200ml coconut milk
3 dried lime leaves
1tbsp tamarind paste
Fine sea salt
To serve: Boiled basmati rice

Method
1.
Add the oil to a large nonstick pan or pot over a medium-high heat. Add the cubes of pork and fry for 5-6 minutes, then add the aubergines and fry until the aubergines are light golden brown.

2. Spoon in the red curry paste and allow it to sweat in the pan. The key here is to keep it moving – try to spread it evenly around the entirety of the pan. The more of the base of the pan is covered with the paste, the tastier it will be.

3. Add your garlic, ginger, star anise and coriander seeds and combine well. After 2-3 minutes, once the spices have all sweated down and are working through the veg and pork, add your tinned tomatoes, then the raisins or sultanas, followed by the beef stock. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the coconut milk, lime leaves and tamarind paste. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 3 hours. Season with salt to taste. Serve with boiled basmati rice.

Black-pudding strudel
Black-pudding strudel

BLACK PUDDING STRUDEL

Serves 2-4

Ingredients
3 sheets of filo pastry, roughly A4 size, thawed
60g butter, melted
Handful of panko breadcrumbs
250g soft black pudding (a boudin noir or Inch House pudding; see the chef’s tip)
Splash of cream (optional)
1tsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3tbsp apple chutney or red-onion marmalade

Chef’s tip: Most black pudding that you find in the shops is quite stiff. If you can’t find a boudin noir (which is a little looser), then mix your pudding with a splash of cream to get a more malleable texture.

Method
1.
Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius. Line a baking sheet with nonstick baking paper.

2. Lay the first sheet of filo down flat on a clean, damp tea towel. Brush the sheet liberally with melted butter and a scattering of breadcrumbs. Put the second sheet of filo next to the first one so that the two shorter ends are overlapping a bit, almost like you’re making one long sheet of filo pastry, and give that one a buttery brush and the breadcrumb scatter too. Put the third sheet of filo on top of the other two where they’re overlapping to reinforce the middle.

3. Crumble the pudding into a bowl and add a splash of cream if necessary to get it to the consistency of raw sausage meat.

4. Put the pudding in a line at the bottom of the long side of the sheet, about four-fifths of the way down. Leave a 4-5cm border clear at the bottom of the pastry and to the left and right of the pudding.

5. Sprinkle the pudding with your parsley, then add the apple chutney or red-onion marmalade on top. Spread it out as best you can.

6. What you’re basically doing now is rolling up a big jam roly-poly … of sorts. Give your hands a wash, because you want the pastry to be rolled very cleanly and you are most likely a filthy dirt bird. Fold the bottom line of the pastry over the pudding, then roll it all up like a meaty roly-poly.

7. You should have about a 3cm border to either side of the pudding parcel. Trim these down if they’re bigger, then fold them over the pudding section. Transfer to the lined baking tray, seam side down.

8. Brush generously with more melted butter and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until it’s golden brown and crisp.

And for Mains... by Gaz Smith and Rick Higgins, published by Nine Bean Rows Books, is available to order online from andformains.ie, €39.95

Read Chef Gaz Smith: ‘I put my house deposit on the line for this’

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