Baked squid stuffed with bacon

Smoked paprika aioli


Lamb meatballs cooked with tomato, butterbeans and bacon

Pan-roast duck with grilled vegetables and eggplant currant relish

Baked squid stuffed with bacon, capsicum & herbs with smoked paprika aioli.

(Perfect with Richardson’s Chardonnay)

6 squid
1 tablespoon diced onion
3 cloves garlic minced
1 red chilli minced
100 mls olive oil
160g rindless bacon cut into matchsticks
100g breadcrumbs
20g roasted red capsicum diced
20g roasted yellow capsicum diced
2 tsp shredded parsley & basil
1 tsp thyme leaves
25g rinsed baby capers
3 anchovy fillets chopped
50 mls lemon juice
pepper & salt

Method: Sauté onion, garlic & chilli in olive oil, transfer to bowl. Fry bacon until crisp, add to onion, mix with rest of ingredients. If mixture is too dry add some more olive oil, add lemon juice & season with salt & pepper.

Spoon stuffing into squid tubes until nearly full, secure each end with tooth pick. Sear in olive oil then transfer to a ovenproof dish with a lid, add a splash of white wine & place in hot oven 180 degrees Celsius for approx 10 minutes.

Remove from dish, place on chopping board & cut into 4. Place on plate on top of braised fennel & dollop a spoonful of aioli on top, serve with wedge of lemon.

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Smoked paprika aioli

(Perfect with Richardson’s Chardonnay)

1 head of garlic
1/4 tsp salt
20mls lemon juice strained
1 egg yolk
20mls red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp Spanish sweet smoked paprika
160mls olive oil

Method: Wrap garlic in foil & roast for 30 minutes until soft. Squeeze garlic from cloves & mix to a paste with salt in mortar & pestle.

Transfer to a blender & blend with lemon juice, egg yolk, vinegar, pepper & paprika, slowly drizzle in olive oil until thick.

Braised Florence fennel
2 whole fennel bulb
100 mls white wine
20 mls olive oil
sprigs of fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
salt & pepper

Method : slice fennel bulb in half & cut out core, slice into slices, place in oven dish, add rest of ingredients. Cover with tin foil & bake for 30 minutes until soft.

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(Perfect with Richardson’s Sauvignon Blanc)


Whole snapper 500g
Pink grapefruit (4 Segments)
Butter 100g
Orange (4 Segments)
Lime 3
Lemons (4 Segments)
Coriander 50g
Limes (4 Segments)
Sea salt
Grease proof paper
Black pepper
Olive oil

For the fish buy them gilled, gutted and scaled to avoid more work.

To de-bone, fillet the fish on both sides leaving about an inch of meat on the head side and leaving the tail on one side. Do this by snipping the bone at the tail end just before it reaches the tail, use a scissors for this. You will also need to remove the pin bones. This can be done with with tweezers or fish pliers. Once all this is done wash the fish gently under cold water and pat dry then leave in the fridge until needed.

The recipe for the butter is enough for 10 portions, but it is easier to make it in larger batches. Cut the butter into dices and place in a blender or food processor and blitz until it turns a little pale in colour and gets bigger in volume. This makes the butter nice and light when melted rather than runny and greasy.

Zest and juice the lime, chop the coriander and add it to the butter and blitz again then season to taste.

Line the butter out on clingfilm, and roll into a cylinder then refrigerate. To store, the butter can be kept in the freezer to use again.

To use slice the butter into 3cm approx discs.

To cook the fish pre heat your oven to 180-190c.

Brush the fish with some good olive oil and season on both sides with sea salt and black pepper. On the inside place a few slices of the butter. Place a sheet of grease proof paper on a large baking tray and place the fish on this tray. Cook in the oven for 10-12 mins

Once cooked serve on a long plate with another slice of the butter on top and garnish with the citrus segments and some fresh coriander.

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Lamb meatballs cooked with tomato, butterbeans and bacon

(Michelle’s Pinot Noir will go well with the lamb and richness of the sauce.)

This dish is warming, hearty and very simple to make. I used canned beans as it makes it much quicker to prepare although soaking and cooking your own is far more admirable, and if you’d prefer to use another bean, or even chickpeas, it’ll still be delicious. Serve as it is with green vegetables, or with a generous scoop of buttery mash.

For 4-6

800g finely minced lean lamb
¾ teaspoon dried rubbed mint (or use 20 fresh leaves, shredded)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 scant teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated
½ cup flour
vegetable oil for cooking
8 cloves peeled garlic, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
200g fat bacon lardons
2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
750ml tomato passata
1 x 400g tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed briefly
chopped parsley for garnish

In a large bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients together with 4 tablespoons of cold water. Divide the mixture into 6 even sized portions, then each portion into 5. Roll these into balls and toss in the flour to coat.

Heat up a wide deep pan and add a few tablespoons of the vegetable oil then when hot add some of the meatballs – never crowding the pan. Cook them evenly all over and when browned remove with a slotted spoon onto a platter while you cook the rest, adding a little extra oil if needed. Once the last lot have been removed add the sliced garlic, rosemary and bacon lardons and cook until golden.

Add the onions and sauté over moderate heat until they soften then add the passata, a little salt, the butterbeans and 200ml water. Bring to the boil and stir well, then gently return the meatballs to the bubbling sauce. Turn to a rapid simmer, put a lid on the pan, and cook for 25 minutes. Taste for seasoning, then serve scattered with parsley.

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Pan-roast duck with grilled vegetables and eggplant currant relish

Duck and Michelle’s Pinot Nnoir are a prefect match – rich and juicy, flavoursome and lush.

Duck isn’t really so hard to cook, but if you have a problem sourcing it then you can serve this just as successfully with lamb instead.

For 4

4 duck breasts, score the fat side and remove any sinews
1 large eggplant
vegetable oil for deep-frying
olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
12 basil leaves, torn
12 asparagus, snap their ends off and discard
1 zucchini, discard the ends and slice on an angle ½ cm thick
3 Portobello mushrooms, sliced ½ cm thick
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a small handful picked flat parsley leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

Lightly season the duck on the flesh side with salt and pepper, and rub a little extra salt into the fat side. Cover with glad-wrap and leave at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Remove the stem from the eggplant and cut it into 2.5cm dice (you don’t need to get out a ruler and you don’t need to pre-salt it). Heat the oil to 180˚C and deep-fry it in several batches until golden, draining well on kitchen paper for a few minutes, then tip into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion and cumin in a few tablespoons olive oil until starting to caramelise - stirring often to prevent it sticking. Add the currants and cook a further minute stirring constantly - the currants will begin to swell a little. Add the vinegar and cook until it evaporates. Tip the mixture on top of the eggplant. Mix in the spring onions and basil and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the asparagus, zucchini and mushrooms with a little olive oil and season. Heat up a grill or griddle pan and cook the vegetables in batches to colour on both sides, then place in a large bowl and toss with the soy sauce, parsley and thyme and some freshly ground black pepper.

Heat up a fry-pan that’s large enough to hold the duck comfortably but chose one with a lid (you can cook the duck in the oven but this method saves having to turn it on). Place the breasts in, fat side down, without any oil and lower the heat to just above medium. The fat will soon begin to render from the breasts and will be entirely sufficient to cook them in. After 4 minutes move them around a little and check to make sure they’re not burning - you want them to colour golden brown - then place the lid on. After another 5 minutes, turn them over onto their flesh side and cook for a minute, then turn the heat off and leave to rest – at which point they will be cooked medium rare depending how thick the breasts are.

The degree of doneness is a personal one, just like steak or lamb but duck breasts really are best served medium rare. The trick is to make sure you rest them for at least 5 minutes before slicing them.

To serve, divide the grilled vegetables amongst 4 warmed plates, slice each breast into 4 and lay it on top, then finish with a dollop of the relish.

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