Spring into barbecue season with Two Good Co's second cookbook

Perfect feast: Flat iron steak with greens and charred herb salsa.
Perfect feast: Flat iron steak with greens and charred herb salsa. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Two years ago, our social enterprise that supports domestic violence survivors and women's refuges released our first Two Good Cookbook, celebrating gathering around a table to share great food and great stories.

We only learned the meaning of the word "commensality" during the making of the book, but it is what we have unknowingly been practising for 15 years, since Two Good Co started life as a soup kitchen in Kings Cross.

"Commensality: fellowship at the table; the positive social interactions associated with people eating together."

Two Good's new cookbook.
Two Good's new cookbook. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

If our first book aims to celebrate the magic of commensality, our second exists to capture the yearning for authentic connection, and how we strive to achieve it around a table.

Two Good Co founder and CEO, Rob Caslick

Flat iron steak with greens and charred herb salsa

By Darren Robertson

Is there anything better than an awesome grilled steak and punchy salsa? This recipe came about when Robertson and his team at Three Blue Ducks were looking for a way to use up excess herb stalks. They discovered that by chargrilling the herbs they became less fibrous and imparted a lovely smoky flavour. There's no fancy equipment required for this recipe either; all you need is your trusty barbecue.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 1kg flat iron steak (see tip)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • greens of your choice (broccoli, broccolini, zucchini, kale), to serve
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Charred herb salsa

  • ½ bunch coriander
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch spring onions
  • finely grated zest and juice ½ lemon, or to taste
  • finely grated zest and juice ½ orange, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat a barbecue grill to high.
  2. To make the salsa, throw the herbs and spring onions on the barbecue and char until you start to see some burnt tips and black bits. Turn them over and char on the other side. Set aside to cool, then finely chop and place in a medium bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients and set aside, ready to go with the steak.
  3. Season the steak with salt, then grill, turning every couple of minutes, for 8-10 minutes for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. Remove and rest for a good 6-10 minutes, then carve. Season with a little more salt and plenty of pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your chosen greens and cook on the barbecue until tender.
  5. Serve the steak with the charred herb salsa and greens.

Tip Flat iron steak is an easy cut of beef to work with, and very quick to cook. Just make sure you give the steak a good rest before carving. You could also use skirt or flank steak here.

Serves 4

Gavurdag spoon salad

By Somer Sivrioglu

Istanbul-born chef Somer Sivrioglu (who runs Turkish eateries Efendy in Balmain and Anason in Barangaroo) made this colourful salad during a Two Good Co cooking class in 2020. The sumac and pomegranate molasses in the dressing give it a delicious tang. It's best served when tomatoes are at their peak.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 green or red bullhorn capsicums
  • 1 long green chilli
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, quartered, cores removed, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves picked and finely chopped (save a few whole leaves to garnish)
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 120g (1 cup) chopped walnuts
  • large handful of pomegranate seeds

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 60ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

METHOD

  1. Cut the capsicums and green chilli in half lengthways, remove the seeds and stalks, and finely chop the flesh. Place in a large bowl with the tomato, onion, mint, parsley and walnuts and gently toss to combine.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top, garnish with the reserved mint leaves and serve.

Tip This tangy dressing can be used on other salads. Make a double quantity and store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 4

Grilled eggplant, puffed rice, edamame and sesame sauce.
Recipes from Two Good Cook Book Two. Photo Petrina Tinslay. The Age Good Food.
Single print and online use only.
For Good Food, Nov 16, 2021
*Photo rotated*

This dish is perfect as a starter or light lunch on its own. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Grilled eggplant, puffed rice, edamame and sesame sauce

By Mike McEnearney

Chef McEnearney has always been a good friend to Two Good Co, cooking at our foundation dinner and presenting cooking classes for us. This dish is perfect as a starter or light lunch on its own, or as a more substantial meal with steamed rice. It also makes a delicious accompaniment for grilled lamb or chicken.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggplants
  • olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 6g (⅓ cup) puffed rice
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 100g frozen podded edamame beans, thawed
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • ¼ bunch coriander, leaves picked (optional)
  • good handful of purple shiso cress (or other type of cress), picked
  • squeeze lemon juice, plus extra wedges to serve (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt

Sesame sauce

  • 50g tahini
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1¼ tbsp light soy sauce
  • 150ml light olive oil

Pomegranate dressing

  • 60ml (¼ cup) pomegranate molasses
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 125ml (½ cup) olive oil

METHOD

  1. Light a charcoal barbecue and let the coals burn down or preheat a barbecue grill plate to high.
  2. Brush the eggplants very lightly with olive oil, place them directly on the coals or grill plate and cook, turning often, until they are black and blistered and the flesh is soft. (If the eggplants have coloured too quickly but are not yet soft in the middle, finish them off in a preheated 180C oven.) Remove and cool to room temperature. Peel off the blackened skin and cut the eggplants in half lengthways.
  3. To make the sesame sauce, whisk together all the ingredients and 1¼ tablespoons water in a medium bowl. Set aside. For the pomegranate dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Toast the pumpkins seeds in a frying pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool. Repeat with the puffed rice, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
  5. To serve, dollop some sesame sauce onto each plate or one large share plate. Place the eggplant on top, cut side up, and drizzle with the dressing.
  6. Toss together the pumpkin seeds, puffed rice, sunflower seeds, edamame, spring onion, herbs, lemon juice, salt and a drizzle of olive oil, then place on the eggplant.
  7. Scatter with toasted sesame seeds and serve with extra lemon wedges, if desired

Serves 4

Petrina Tinslay – Fri, 12. November 2021 3:48 PMSpiced barbecue chickenSpiced barbecue chicken.
Recipes from Two Good Cook Book Two. Photo Petrina Tinslay. The Age Good Food.
For Good Food, Nov 16, 2021
*Photo rotated*
Single use

This butterflied chicken is loaded with herbs and spices. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Spiced barbecue chicken

By Colin Fassnidge

Who doesn't love a barbecue chicken? Chef and television personality Colin Fassnidge amps up the flavours here by rubbing an aromatic herb and spice marinade into the skin before it hits the grill. It's not hard to flatten or "spatchcock" a chicken, but you can certainly ask your butcher to do this for you.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 x 1.5kg free-range chicken
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ bunch oregano, leaves picked
  • 2 rosemary springs, leaves picked
  • ½ bunch thyme, leaves picked
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 bird's eye chillies, trimmed
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated, lemon cut into wedges
  • 2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add the coriander seeds and toast until fragrant. Remove and set aside to cool, then repeat with the cumin seeds. Using a large sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut down each side of the chicken's spine and remove it. Use a small knife to remove the wish bone.
  2. Flatten the chicken with the heel of your hand and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic, chilli, lemon zest, coriander and cumin seeds, vinegar and olive oil in a blender (or use a stick blender or mortar and pestle) and blend until smooth. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, then cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Take the chicken out of the fridge 1 hour before you are going to cook it. Preheat a barbecue to medium.
  5. Place the chicken, skin side down, on the barbecue for 3 minutes to allow the skin to char. Turn it over, then close the lid and cook for a further 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. To check that it's cooked through, pierce the thickest part of the thigh and make sure the juices run clear.
  7. Chop the chicken into eight pieces and serve with the lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Serves 4

Two Good Cookbook 2 Portuguese custard tarts.
Recipes from Two Good Cook Book Two. Photo Petrina Tinslay. 
For Good Food, Nov 16, 2021
Single print and online use.

Everyone loves a golden custard tart. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Portuguese custard tarts 

By Two Good Co

Portuguese custard tarts are one of the most popular items to come out the Two Good Co kitchen, particularly with our staff! We flavour ours with orange zest, which gives them a unique taste. Because the weight of the egg yolk varies from one egg to another, it's important to weigh them to ensure the perfect ratio in your custard. For best results, make the custard two days ahead (see tip).

INGREDIENTS

  • 160g egg yolks (from 8 or 9 large eggs)
  • 40g cornflour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 365ml pouring cream
  • 390ml milk
  • canola oil spray
  • 3 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry (see note)

METHOD

  1. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest in a bowl. Add the cream and milk and stir to combine, then cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220C. Generously spray two 12-hole regular muffin times with canola oil.
  3. Using an 8cm round pastry cutter, cut the puff pastry into 24 rounds and place in the prepared muffin holes. Make sure you press the pastry right into the edges and remove any air bubbles.
  4. Very gently stir the custard with a spoon to lift the cornflour and sugar off the base of the bowl without incorporating any air into the mixture. Pour the custard evenly into the pastry cases, taking it right to the top.
  5. Bake, turning the tins halfway through, for 14 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the custard has puffed up and browned in parts on the top. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm from the oven if possible, or at room temperature. These are best eaten on the day of baking, otherwise the pastry will become soggy.

Note The quantity of pastry needed may vary if you use a roll of puff, but don't use butter puff as it will puff up too much and tip the custard out.

Tip The resting time allows any air bubbles to escape, ensuring the custard is perfectly smooth. You can still make the tarts without resting the custard, but the consistency won't be quite a silky.

Makes 24

This is an edited extract from Two Good Cookbook Two: Recipes for Resilience. Published by Two Good Co & The Cru. RRP $45. Available from Two Good Co, twogood.com.au, and leading Australian bookstores. Buy now