As soon as I held Gourmet Traveller's new cookbook Menus in my hand I knew I had a very special book that would be treasured for many years to come. With nearly 200 recipes and stunning photography this is one book that should be in every aspiring chef's kitchen.
Gourmet Traveller have been sharing food inspiration for over 50 years and have published thousands of recipes and cooking tips in the magazine. Home cooks will find it easy to entertain family and friends from the menus and wine suggestions in the book.
Harvest lunch with Peter Gilmore
Winter feast with Sean Moran
Easter at 10 William Street
Après-ski with Three Blue Ducks
Christmas with Brigitte Hafner
Lunch at Hollywood hotspot EP&LP
Bondi clambake with the crew from The Bucket List
Asian banquet with Victor Liong and the team at Lee Ho Fook
As I mentioned before the photography in Menus is beautiful and as I flip through the pages I can't help but want to race to the shops and start cooking. Tonight I plan on cooking slow-roasted lamb with citrus and herbs!
As well as photos of the dishes there are also candid shots of people enjoying the meals from Menus. Personally, Menus makes me feel happy as a browse through the pages and look at the photos of people enjoying good food and company. I can picture those scenarios with myself and family/friends.
Gourmet Traveller Menus kindly let me share a recipe with Sydney Chic readers.
Grilled chicken with pickled watermelon salad (pictured above photo supplied)
Begin this recipe a day ahead to pickle the watermelon.
Prep time 25 mins, cook 1 hr 20 mins (plus cooling, pickling, marinating, resting)
2 chickens (about 1.8kg each), butterflied, backbone removed
160 gm light palm sugar, crushed
250 ml (1 cup) fish sauce
250 ml (1 cup) lime juice
150 gm (1 cup) spelt (see note)
600 gm watermelon, thickly sliced (reserve rind for pickle)
2 cups (loosely packed) mint
1 cup each (loosely packed) coriander, Thai basil and Vietnamese mint, plus extra to serve
Pickled watermelon rind
100 gm watermelon rind, thinly sliced on a mandolin
250 ml (1 cup) rice wine vinegar
165 gm (¾ cup) caster sugar
1 long red chilli, split
5 gm (1cm piece) ginger, thinly sliced
Crisp shallots and garlic
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
10 golden shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced on a mandolin
For pickled watermelon rind, place rind in a non-reactive container (see cook’s notes p279) and set aside. Stir vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, then set aside to cool. When cool, add chilli and ginger, and pour mixture over watermelon rind. Cover and refrigerate overnight to pickle.
Place chickens in a non-reactive dish and set aside. Pound palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice using a large mortar and pestle, then pour half the mixture over chickens and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 1 hour to marinate. Refrigerate remaining dressing until required.
Meanwhile, cook spelt in boiling water until tender (30-40 minutes). Drain well, spread on a tray and set aside to cool.
For crisp shallots and garlic, heat vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 160C, add shallot and deep-fry in batches, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden (1-2 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with garlic. Store separately in airtight containers until required.
Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat (or use a barbecue). Drain chickens from marinade and grill skin-side down until crisp (10-15 minutes), then turn and grill until cooked through (10-15 minutes). Set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Combine watermelon wedges, spelt, herbs and pickled watermelon rind in a bowl, drizzle with reserved dressing and toss to combine. Scatter chicken with crisp shallots and garlic, and extra herbs, and serve with pickled watermelon salad.
Note Spelt, a grain, similar to barley, is available from health-food shops and select delicatessens. If it’s unavailable, substitute freekah or farro perlato.
Wine suggestion Full-flavoured rosé made from grenache.
Menus retails for $59.99 at all good bookshops of www.magshop.com.au