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Oct 19, 2017

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Slow Food
by Toby Puttock
Magazine Issue: AUS/NZ Issue Three

Take your time, think a lot, pour yourself a glass and enjoy a dose of slow food cooking by our very own superchef Toby Puttock.

"Slow food to me is the whole deal; a morning's work just to eat lunch, shopping for the vital ingredient, long preparation times, perhaps a glass of wine and a chat whilst preparing the mise en place. Most importantly a whole lot of love goes into the making of the meal. With this, I consulted one of my best mates' Cordell Khoury, who also happens to be my partner in the kitchen at Termini. He suggested we make a day of it at his family's beach house. We packed up the car and hit the coast for an extensive cook'n'chat session. And this was the result. Three dishes, six hours of preparation, eating, drinking, going off, all peppered with a heap of fun. Enjoy."

Risotto Milanese

This risotto is the signature risotto of Milan (hence the name). The main ingredient is saffron which belongs to the lily family and grows only to about 15cm high. True saffron, has purple flowers. The first reference to saffron cultivation dates back to 2300 BC. Its origins are most probably Greece or Asia Minor where forms of the spice are known in the wild state.

What you need
(serves four)

350g of vialone nano rice
15g of onion
900g of stock
50g of white wine
1g of saffron
80g of butter
50g of parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

What to do
In a large and low casserole pot, saute the onion in a little butter. When the onion starts to become transparent, add the rice, stirring constantly, until it too starts to become transparent. At this stage moisten with the sauvignon and boiling stock until the rice is covered. When necessary add some stock. After around 10 minutes (when the rice is al dente) remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan, butter and season to taste. At this stage I always put a lid on the pot, which causes the rice to swell up with the steam trapped inside the pot. Serve immediately.

If you really want to get authentic, ask your butcher for some bone marrow. About 10 minutes before the rice is ready place the marrow on a metal tray and into the oven, where it'll turn brown. At this stage the marrow should pop out from the bone. Now just place the marrow on top of the finished risotto and serve.

Pork Shoulder, Porcini and Lemon Farce with Chateau Potatoes

This is a mish-mash of different dishes I've learnt in my different cooking experiences. The pork is a variation of a dish I once made in London at the River Cafe, the potatoes I learnt at school during my training and the sauce is the result of the whole dish. It's a classic roast -- Sunday lunch style.

What you need
(serves four)

1kg of pork shoulder
20 slices of copa (or prosciutto)
250g of dried porcini (fresh if available, but then you will need closer to 400g)
1 lemon
1 bunch of thyme
100g of prosciutto fat
2 cloves of garlic
2 medium potatoes

What to do
Place the dried porcini in a bowl covered with warm water. With a sharp knife, butterfly the shoulder of pork. Dice the whole lemon and prosciutto fat into small pieces and blitz along with 150g of the porcini. This should give you a creamy consistency. Using a palette knife smear this farce or stuffing over one side of the pork. Season well.

Lay out your copa (or prosciutto) in a large adjoining square and place the filled pork in the centre. Roll the pork in the copa so that it's totally encased. With some butcher's string truss the wrapped pork so that the copa doesn't fall off during cooking. Seal the encased pork in a frying pan with a little oil and then place on a baking tray covered with foil and cook in a pre-heated oven on 200 degrees celsius for around 40 minutes.

Meanwhile peel and slice each potato lengthways into four pieces. With a small knife turn each potato so it has seven sides and looks like a barrel. Place in a small pot with cold water and bring to the boil. Test if they're cooked by sticking a small knife in them and once they are, brown the potatoes in frying pan with a little butter. When the pork is ready, remove the string and slice about one centimetre thick. Serve immediately with the potatoes, the excess porcini and a little of the porcini juice.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Never underestimate the old bread and butter pudding. This dish is a regular at Termini, although Cordell always replaces the bread with croissant. It's addictive, simple and the perfect way to really bloat yourself after a huge meal.

What you need
(serves four)

2 croissants
2 T of sultanas
Strawberry jam
Creme anglaise
50g of butter and extra for greasing the moulds

What to do
Gently break the croissant in half and spread it with butter and strawberry jam. Butter a couple of souffle moulds and break the croissant into pieces that will fit into the moulds. Layer a piece of croissant with a sprinkling of sultanas. Repeat this process until the moulds are full. Finally, pour the creme anglaise over the top. Place the filled moulds on to a baking tray and into the oven at 200 degrees celsius until the tops are browned. Run a small knife around the outside of the moulds to remove the puddings. Serve in a bowl with more warm creme anglaise, or my favourite, vanilla ice-cream.

For a dose of Toby in the kitchen, book yourself a seat at Termini in Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, 03-9537-3465.

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