Karen Martini

Karen Martini

Food editor

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Karen Martini is a Melbourne-based chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter. karenmartini.com

Harissa

Karen Martini's harissa.

Harissa, basically a chilli paste with ground spices, is an essential condiment in my father's birthplace of Tunisia and across north Africa.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 14 10:07:23 EST 2013

Brik pastry with tuna, egg, spring onion, mint capers

Brik pastry with tuna, egg, spring onion and mint capers.

When I was a child this was a special snack that my Meme used to make on a Sunday morning, basically a fancy Tunisian jaffle.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 14 10:05:44 EST 2013

Hummus

Hummus.

Be a bit picky with your chickpeas for this. New-season dried chickpeas will require less soaking and cooking, and will have much better flavour; that packet at the back of the cupboard might never...

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 14 10:05:08 EST 2013

Mild at heart

Brik pastry with tuna, egg, spring onion and mint capers.

Tunisia-inspired recipes including harissa, hummus and tuna and egg-filled brik pastry.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 14 03:00:00 EST 2013

Mild at heart

Hummus.

Tunisia-inspired recipes including harissa, hummus and tuna and egg-filled brik pastry.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 14 03:00:00 EST 2013

Crab samosas

Crab samosas.

These are slightly more luxurious and delicate than typical samosas, though the portions are generous. Roll out the dough thinly to ensure light and crisp pastry.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 07 09:59:16 EST 2013

Slow-baked lamb shoulder with garam masala

Slow-baked lamb shoulder with garam masala.

This method of cooking lamb is divine, producing full-flavoured, unctuous meat that takes on the fragrant spices. Serve simply with spiced potatoes or lentils and a little rice.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 07 09:59:19 EST 2013

Garam masala

Garam masala.

The roasted spices will perfume the house while you're making this, from the woody and rich notes of cinnamon and mace to the distinctive citrus floral top notes of green cardamom, making it...

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 07 09:59:10 EST 2013

Warm ways

Crab samosas.

Like any spice mix or paste, some versions of Garam masala are better than others, and the one you make yourself is always the best.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 07 03:00:00 EST 2013

Home-made spice

Garam masala lamb shoulder.

Like any spice mix or paste, some versions of Garam masala are better than others, and the one you make yourself is always the best.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 07 03:00:00 EST 2013

Vanilla and fig-leaf panna cotta with scorched lemon syrup

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This may seem unusual, but fig leaves impart the same smoky notes that make figs distinctive. You could substitute a sprig of rosemary.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Apr 30 15:14:20 EST 2013

Duck breast, beetroot and chickpea salad, scorched lemon vinaigrette

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This is a restaurant-style main course, but if you already have the scorched lemon syrup you can easily have this on the table in less than an hour.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Apr 30 15:09:04 EST 2013

Scorched lemon syrup

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The bitter-sweet marmalade tang of this syrup adds a great accent to creamy desserts and elevates a scoop of vanilla ice-cream into something special.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Apr 30 15:02:50 EST 2013

A drizzle of saucy citrus magic

Duck breast, beetroot and chickpea salad, scorched lemon vinaigrette.

Karen Martini's restaurant-style main course, roasted duck breast with a chickpea salad. Pre-make the syrup and it can be on the table in under an hour.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Apr 30 03:00:00 EST 2013

A drizzle of saucy citrus magic

Vanilla and fig-leaf panna cotta with scorched lemon syrup.

The bitter-sweet marmalade tang of this syrup adds a great accent to desserts, sauces and savoury dishes.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Apr 30 03:00:00 EST 2013

Pear tart with thyme, gorgonzola and walnuts

Pear tart with Gorgonzola and walnuts.

This dish makes a great entree or appetiser, or it works well after the main meal as a cheese course. You will need a quantity of rough puff pastry (see method).

Cook | Karen Martini | Thu Apr 25 16:09:39 EST 2013

Apple and cherry pies

Apple and cherry pies.

These flaky little pies are delicious straight from the oven with a dollop of creme fraiche, or warm with hot custard. You will need to prepare a quantity of rough puff pastry.

Cook | Karen Martini | Thu Apr 25 16:04:28 EST 2013

Rough puff pastry

Rough puff pastry.

Rough puff pastry is simple to make and a great recipe to have in your repertoire. It doesn't have as many flaky layers as regular puff, but it's a rich, buttery pastry that crisps up well in the...

Cook | Karen Martini | Thu Apr 25 15:57:21 EST 2013

Diamonds in the puff

Apple and cherry pies.

Rough puff pastry is simple to make and a great recipe to have in your repertoire.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Apr 23 03:00:00 EST 2013

Vietnamese braised beef with lemongrass and star anise

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This is my version of the classic Vietnamese beef stew bo kho. It's one of those relatively simple dishes with almost endless subtle variations that would, I imagine, be the subject of fierce debate...

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Apr 17 15:20:31 EST 2013