Chef of the Month: Curtis Stone

Move over, Jamie Oliver – Curtis Stone is my new hottie celebrity chef. Ever since he appeared in MasterChef Australia 2009, I have always been intrigued to find out more about this Aussie chef.

Curtis Stone is a ‘young gun’ Australian Chef, born in Melbourne, classically trained in London under the legendary Marco Pierre White. He is the face of a new generation of Chefs. Curtis is an author and presenter of the globally successful cooking/lifestyle program ‘Surfing the Menu’ and has one of America’s most popular reality/cooking shows titled, ‘Take Home Chef’. His success in the US has been phenomenal, with People Magazine voting him as one of the sexiest man alive. Well deserved recognition, but don’t you ever get cocky on us Curtis! LOL. Nah he’s a humble pie ๐Ÿ™‚

The Celebrity
Curtis’s introduction to the States has been a huge success, with recent guest appearances on Oprah, The Today Show, Martha Stewart, The Biggest Loser, Fox Morning Show, Ellen DeGeneres and Entertainment Tonight to name a few. Curtis is also on this season of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice“… where I drool on him most.

The Chef
From the Grill Room Curtis proceeded to the Mirabelle as Sous Chef and played a large part in creating the ‘Mirabelle Cookbook’. He worked there for a further year and during his time there the restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star. After winning Marco’s trust and respect he was made Head Chef at another one of Marco’s flagships the critically acclaimed Quo Vadis. A Soho institution since 1926, Karl Marx lived upstairs and the previous owners included Peppino Leonie and Damien Hirst. It was during Curtis’s four year stint at Quo Vadis that he was approached by a publisher to be included in a book about London’s finest chefs. This book ‘London on a Plate’ led to an agent and a number of opportunities within the media along with an ever increasing waiting list at the restaurant.

Curtis, it’s NOT just because you’re HOT.. but you are an inspiration. I love watching you cook and I like your style. I love the flavors in your food, and after watching all those videos online I feel I need to grab all your cook books for my collection!

For all you want to know about Curtis Stone, and to watch his videos and look up his recipes, head to www.curtisstone.com.

GARY’S SAUCY PASTA & MEATBALLS

taken from Australian Good Food May 2010 Issue
Recipe by Gary Mehigan, MasterChef Australia Judge

Kimba’s Review: I thought I’d try something different. Something that’s non-Asian, lol. Something that screams “Italiano!”. And guess what was on the cover of my new copy of Australian Good Food magazine this month?? Gary Mehigan’s favorite Italian comfort food! I had to try it. I was never really good at this whole Italian cooking thingy, so I had to just try it. Also for the variety of my blog.. it is after all Kimba’s World Kitchen and I aim to feature / try out dishes from all around the world ๐Ÿ™‚ The result of this experiment… my first thought “WOW, these MasterChefs know what they’re doing!” Heheheee. The meatballs were DELICIOUS! Who would’ve thought a simple thing such as carrot puree would make such a difference to its taste.. and the added parsley! Sumptuous! The rest naturally happened… and I can happily say that I have learnt a great classic, traditional Italian dish today.ย 

Ingredients:
1 small carrot, finely gratedย 
30g unsalted butter
400g veal mince
400g pork mince
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
100ml chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
375g pasta
Shaved / grated parmesan to serve

Place carrot, butter and 100ml water in a medium saucepan on low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins, until carrot is soft. Place in a food processor and process until a puree forms. Cool.

Mix minces, breadcrumbs, carrot puree and parsley, if using, in a large bowl. Season well. Using wet hands, shape mixture into meatballs.

Preheat oven to 185C or 165C fan. Heat oil in an ovenproof saucepan or flameproof casserole pan on high. Cook meatballs, turning, for 4-5 mins, until browned all over. Remove from pan. In same pan, cook onion and garlic for 2-3 mins, until soft. Stir through tomato, stock and tomato paste. Return meatballs to pan. Add thyme and bay leaves. Season, reduce heat to medium and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and bake, stirring occasionally, for 45 mins, until thickened.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet directions. Drain.

Toss to combine meatballs and pasta (Kimba’s Note: My photo above wasn’t tossed, just spooned on top of cooked pasta). Top with grated cheese and serve.

SIO BI / SIU MAI Recipe (Minced Pork Parcels)

Kimba’s Review: Call it Siu Mai, or Dim Sim, or Dim Sum, I will always call it Sio Bi because that’s what it is where I come from! From the city of Kuching, in the state of Sarawak, in Malaysia… I have always loved my little Sio Bi(s) from the open air markets, hawker stalls and food court. There is something about the authenticity of Kuching Sio Bi, and so far, I have NOT found anything similar or comes even close to what it tastes like in Kuching. Yes, they’re all different in Melbourne and I can’t say they’re bad.. just different. BUT when I tried this guy’s recipe myself at home tonight – I was pleasantly surprised! THIS IS IT! The closest I can get to Kuching Sio Bi! All homemade! And surprisingly easy to make! Hubby and I finished approx. 30 Sio Bi(s) between the two of us in less than 10 minutes! It was DELICIOUS, so I feel I just HAVE to blog this recipe, credits to the originating blog where I got the recipe from!

Ingredients:
300g minced pork
200g prawns (peeled and chopped finely)
4 pieces water chestnuts (chopped finely)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp corn flour
30 pcs wonton skin

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (except wonton skin). Let it rest for an hour. Put about 1 tbsp of ingredients into each wonton skin, fold the edges, and place in a greased steaming rack. Steam for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Serve with sweet chilli sauce. You can make these in batches, and freeze them for up to a month.

FRIED VERMICELLI / FRIED BEE HOON Recipe

Kimba’s Original Recipe (although you really don’t need a recipe cause it’s so EASY!)


Kimba’s Review: The great thing about Fried Bee Hoon is that it is so easy, and so simple, and it is almost ALWAYS a success. You just can’t go wrong! But I suppose there could be some cooks out there who is maybe just not used to Asian cooking and therefore just needs a bit of guidance to get started… so here’s a basic recipe. The rule with Fried Bee Hoon is that there IS no rule. You can add whatever you want to it, and play around with the sauces to suit your taste. You can even fry the whole thing w/ just Maggi chilli sauce if you like! (I know I love eating Fried Bee Hoon w/ Maggi Chilli Sauce, even if the whole thing’s already full of flavor, hehe)

Ingredients:
1 packet of rice vermicelli
3 garlic cloves, chopped
200g chicken thigh fillets, chopped into small chunks.. like really small, lol.
70g dried shrimps (hae bee), pounded
Cooking oil
2 carrots, chopped
Green peas
Corn kernels
Mixed veggies
3 eggs
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Salt and pepper
Fish sauce
Chicken stock

To prepare the rice vermicelli, soak in room temperature water for 10 minutes or until it is tender. Drain and set aside.

To prepare the eggs for garnish, beat the eggs in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Fry on a flat pan to make a thin omelette. Place it straight onto a chopping board, wait a few minutes for it to cool, then cut into thin strips and set aside.

Heat large wok and add oil until it is hot. Fry garlic until it is brown and fragrant.

Add chopped chicken and dried shrimp.. fry until chicken is cooked. Add carrots, peas, mixed veggies and stirfry for a few minutes. Add vermicelli noodles and stir for a few seconds, then gradually add soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt and pepper to taste, fish sauce and chicken stock… sorry I don’t really have exact measurements for these!! You sort of have to “splash and taste” as you go… good luck!

Oh yeah.. serve on a plate and garnish with the strips of fried egg for the added yummyness.ย 

CHICKEN & APPLE POT

taken from “Delicious Casseroles” by Parragon Books 2007
Serves 4

ย 
Kimba’s Review: I thought I’d start practicing for winter by trying a casserole dish, yet not your typical casserole. I picked this one because I love apple-y or apricot-ty cooked chicken… and this recipe looked delicious in the book! It turned out exactly what I imagined it would be. My little surprise was the caramelized apple… so delicious!! I would eat it on its own! Hahahahaa.. anyway, enjoy!

4 Chicken Marylands
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups clear apple juice
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 baking apple, cored and cut into quarters
2 bay leaves
1-2 tsp clear honey
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 tbsp butter
1 large or 2 medium eating apples, cored and sliced
2 tbsp raw brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 190C. Lightly rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat the oil in a deep skillet and cook the chicken over medium-high heat, turning frequently for 10 minutes, or until golden all over and sealed. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to an ovenproof casserole.

Add the onion and celery to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Gradually stir in the apple juice and stock, then return to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Add the cooking apple, bay leaves, and honey and season to taste.

Pour over the chicken in the casserole, then cover and cook in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler to high. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Line the broiler pan with kitchen foil. Brush the eating apple slices with half the butter, then sprinkle with a little sugar and cook under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized. Turn the slices over. Brush with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining sugar, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Serve the stew garnished with the apple slices and mint.

Sambal Oelek Chilli Prawn Omelette

Kimba’s Original Recipe


Kimba’s Review: This is a great idea for a simple Sunday lunch. Although, it’s not for the faint-hearted, lol. My hubby said he “nearly died” because it was so hot. Well, if you love spicy food – this might be just the dish for you. So simple and easy to make. You can always reduce the amount of sambal oelek to make it mild, so everyone can enjoy this recipe. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

300g large prawns
2 onions, chopped into rings
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
5 eggs
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek (use less if you need to make it mild)
1 tablespoon sugar

Peel and devein the prawns and cut each prawn along the back so it opens like a butterfly (leave each prawn joined along the base and at the tail, leaving the tail attached).

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add salt and pepper to season.

In a wok, heat oil and fry garlic and onions until garlic is brown and onion softened.

Add prawns and stirfry for a few minutes.

Add the sambal oelek and sugar and stirfry for a few more minutes.

Add the eggs and cook until the omelette is firm. Serve immediately, garnish with a pinch of coriander leaves.

BEST EVER BANANA BREAD RECIPE

taken from the inside of my banana bread dish ๐Ÿ˜‰


Kimba’s Review: I don’t bake as much as I cook, so this is easily my favorite recipe because it is so easy and so yummy! Whenever you have browning bananas, what best to do with them than to bake a banana bread? The recipe is very simple:

Preheat oven to 160C. Cream 125g butter and 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar together with electric mixer. Add three eggs, beating well between each one. Fold in 1 3/4 cups self raising flour and 75g pecans. Stir in 3 mashed bananas, 1/2 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until combined. Pour in and bake for 1 1/4 hours or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Rest for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack. Delicious right now, or toasted tomorrow.