Huxtabook, by Daniel Wilson, is available in stores nationally from March. Published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $49.95. This is an edited extract.
Rice flour-crusted oyster po'boy with sriracha mayo
As I did my formal chef training in the United States, I'm well versed in the many different sandwiches they make there. These were one of the first po' boys to appear on a Melbourne menu, and they have now popped up in lots of places around town. I find them especially good when nursing a hangover.
4 small Vietnamese bread rolls
125g (1/2 cup) Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie)
3 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce (see note)
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
12 oysters, shucked and washed in salted water to remove any shell
rice flour, for dusting
1/2 iceberg lettuce, finely sliced
1. Slice the bread rolls in half, leaving one side intact, and warm them in a moderate oven.
2. Mix the Kewpie with the chilli sauce.
3. Heat about five centimetres of oil in a large saucepan to 180C. Test by dipping a wooden chopstick into the oil: the chopstick will sizzle when the oil is ready.
4. Dust the oysters in the rice flour and lower them into the hot oil. Deep-fry for one minute, or until just cooked through and crisp. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain immediately on paper towel.
5. Toss the lettuce through the kewpie chilli dressing and place inside the warm buns. Top each bun with three oysters and enjoy!
Note: Sriracha chilli sauce is a Thai sauce made from chillies, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. Most Asian grocers stock it.
Jalapeno and cheddar croquettes
These little guys have been probably the most popular bite at Huxtable. They're inspired by an American bar snack called the jalapeno popper (a whole jalapeno chilli stuffed with cheese, then crumbed and fried). Ours are creamy in texture and do really scream for beer! One is never enough.
250ml (1 cup) milk
35g butter, diced
65g plain (all-purpose) flour
1½ tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
40g (1/3 cup) chopped pickled jalapeno chillies
50g grated cheddar
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
250ml (1 cup) milk
160g (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
Plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
For the croquettes
1. Combine the milk, butter, flour and cornflour in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is very thick and the floury taste has cooked out. Make sure the sauce is very thick, otherwise you won't be able to roll and crumb the croquettes.
2. Spoon the mixture into a bowl. Add the jalapenos and cheese and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Refrigerate for at least four hours, until firm.
To crumb the croquettes
1. Whisk together the egg and milk. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl.
2. Roll the cold cheese mixture into 12 balls. Dust the balls with the flour, then coat in the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs. Put the croquettes back into the egg wash, then back into the breadcrumbs, to double-crumb them.
3. Place on a tray lined with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for about an hour to set the crumbs.
1. Heat about five centimetres of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 180C. Test by dipping a wooden chopstick into the oil - the chopstick will sizzle when the oil is ready.
2. Working in batches, deep-fry the croquettes for 1-2 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain immediately on paper towel.
3. Season with sea salt and enjoy hot, with a frosty beer.
Ice-cream and fudge sandwich
I have fond memories of being over at my neighbours, who always had ice-cream slices and pink wafers that fit to make a sandwich. This is my pimped version, which has the centre cut out to allow for chocolate fudge to be piped in. We have had this on the menu since day one and change the flavour with every batch of ice-cream made. The possibilities are endless — just start with the vanilla base and add whatever you like. We usually use dark chocolate fudge, but change it to white chocolate sometimes to complement the ice-cream flavour.
Note: The anglaise recipe must be prepared at least one day in advance of serving the ice-cream sandwich.
For the shortbread
300g plain (all-purpose) flour
pinch of sea salt
210g cold butter, diced
For vanilla Anglaise (ice-cream base)
500ml unhomogenised milk
500ml pouring (single/light) cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
15 egg yolks
1 heaped tablespoon liquid glucose
For dark chocolate fudge
90ml pouring (single/light) cream
90ml liquid glucose
1 tablespoon water
200g dark chocolate, chopped
For white chocolate fudge
50ml pouring (single/light) cream
75ml liquid glucose
2 teaspoons water
175g white chocolate, chopped
For the shortbread
1. Combine the sugar, flour and salt. Place the butter in a food processor with half the flour mixture. Pulse until just combined, scraping down the side as needed.
2. Add the remaining flour mixture and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Tip the mixture into a bowl and lightly knead to form a dough. Divide into two portions, cover with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to use it. Roll the dough out to about 5mm between two sheets of baking paper, then place back in the fridge, still between the paper, to rest for at least 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 160C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel the top paper layer from the dough, then use a 10cm ring cutter to cut out 10 discs.
6. Place on the baking tray and prick each with a fork a few times. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until just cooked and very lightly golden.
7. Leave on the trays to cool, then remove once set. Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place; the shortbread will keep for several days.
For the vanilla anglaise
1. Scald the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla pod and vanilla seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and glucose in a large bowl.
2. Slowly pour the scalded milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
Strain the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the anglaise becomes thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain immediately into a bowl set over an iced water bath, then stir frequently until cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once churned, spread out on a tray so the mixture is about 1.5cm thick. Freeze overnight.
4. The next day, cut out a disc of ice-cream, using a 10cm ring cutter. Now cut the middle from that ring, using a 3cm cutter. Place the larger outside ring on a tray lined with baking paper and place back in the freezer. Repeat until you have four discs with the centre cut out. (You can save the centre discs for topping other desserts.)
For the dark chocolate or white chocolate fudge (can be made several days ahead)
Make either the dark or white chocolate fudge, using the following method.
1. Combine all the ingredients, except the chocolate, in a saucepan and heat until simmering.
2. Place the chocolate in a food processor. Slowly add the hot liquid, while blitzing to combine. Once combined, scrape down the side and blitz for 1 minute more.
3. Pour the fudge mixture into a disposable piping (icing) bag. Leave to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use. The fudge can be made several days ahead, left in the fridge.
Note: Before cutting the end off the piping bag, squish the bag in your hands a little to burst the air bubbles and smooth the fudge.
Look through your shortbread discs and reserve the four best-looking ones to use as tops. Place the other four on separate plates, with the tray side facing upwards. Place an ice-cream disc on each one, then pipe the fudge into the hole in the middle of the ice-cream. Place the other shortbreads on top. If the ice-cream is really firm (depending how cold your freezer is), you may want to wait for 5 minutes or so before serving.
Most people use a fork and spoon to eat this dessert, but I think the best way to enjoy it is to pick it up!