Two Good Cook Book: Food fight of a chef supergroup

Mexican stew with a twist: Danielle Alvarez's posole recipe.
Mexican stew with a twist: Danielle Alvarez's posole recipe.  Photo: Petrina Tinslay

A supergroup of big-name chefs, cooks and writers, including Yotam Ottolenghi, Danielle Alvarez, Hetty McKinnon, Thomas Keneally and Markus Zusak have thrown their weight behind The Two Good Cook Book.

The book, which will be published on November 1, will raise money for Two Good, the charity that began 10 years ago as an ad hoc Kings Cross cook-out for the area's less fortunate.

"We make meals, sell and deliver them in Sydney and Melbourne," writes Two Good founder Rob Caslick in the book's introduction. "With every meal purchased another is donated to a woman living in a shelter or safe house somewhere in Australia. We've donated more than 100,000 restaurant-quality meals that were designed by many of the chefs in this book, but what we are most proud of is that we employ and train women from these shelters to make the meals."

While this book is a cookbook, with recipes for soups and salads, pasta, braises, and sweets, its purpose is also to tell the story of Two Good and to celebrate the community around it.

"Since the early days of the soup kitchen it's been important to us to share a meal and engage with those at our table. To encourage the sharing of stories we are honoured and delighted to include essays and short stories by four of Australia's leading contemporary writers: Liane Moriarty, Markus Zusak, Charlotte Wood and Thomas Keneally, and stunning paintings by award-winning contemporary artist Zoe Young," Caslick writes.

"We encourage you to invite friends, family or co-workers to your table to enjoy good food and good stories."

'The Two Good Cookbook'.
'The Two Good Cookbook'. Photo: Supplied

Posole 

By Danielle Alvarez

Posole is a Mexican stew traditionally made with hominy (large chewy dried corn), but as this is tricky to find in Australia we've used chickpeas here instead.

INGREDIENTS

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110g guajillo chillies, stems and seeds discarded (see note)

600ml boiling water

8 garlic cloves, 4 peeled and left whole, 4 finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.5kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into 5cm cubes

olive oil, for pan-frying

3 bay leaves

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp dried oregano

1.5 litres chicken stock

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Optional garnishes

Shredded green cabbage, coriander sprigs, thinly sliced white onion, finely diced avocado, lime wedges, thinly sliced radish, corn chips, sour cream and cotija cheese (see note).

METHOD

Step 1

Toast the chillies in a dry frying pan over low heat until warm and fragrant, taking care not to burn them. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover with the boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes. Remove the chillies and reserve the soaking water.

Step 2

Place the chillies in a blender with about 500ml (2 cups) of the reserved water. Add the whole garlic cloves and a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Step 3

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat.

Step 4

Working in batches, add the pork and cook until browned on all sides. Return all the browned pork to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the bay leaves, cumin and oregano and stir to combine well. Add the chilli puree and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour or until the pork is nearly tender. Stir in the chickpeas and cook for another 30 minutes or until the pork is very tender.

Step 5

Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning if necessary. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with any or all of the garnishes.

Note: Considered a staple in Mexican cooking, guajillo chillies are dried mirasol chillies and are prized for their sweet, smoky flavour. If unavailable, use dried ancho chillies instead. Cotija cheese is a Mexican dry grating cheese made from cow's milk. If you can't find it, ricotta salata makes a good substitute.

Serves 4-6

Yotam Ottolenghi's Chargrilled zucchini & sorrel salad from The Two Good Cookbook, $40. Photography by Petrina Tinslay and styling by David Morgan.
Please credit photos Petrina Tinslay and styling by David Morgan

This vegetarian salad is a great gluten-free lunch option. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Chargrilled zucchini and sorrel salad

By Yotam Ottolenghi

If you can't find sorrel, you could use lemon thyme and a little spinach. And if you want to round it out with a little meat, it goes beautifully with grilled chicken.

INGREDIENTS

60ml (¼ cup) olive oil

40g baby capers, rinsed, drained and patted dry with paper towel

1½ tbsp pinenuts

5 zucchini (a mix of green and yellow, if possible), trimmed and cut diagonally into 1cm thick slices

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

20g finely grated parmesan

Salsa

60ml (¼ cup) olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

finely grated zest of half a lemon

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp coarsely chopped tarragon

½ cup shredded sorrel

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Step 1

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat, add the capers and fry for 2 minutes or until they have opened up. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Add the pine nuts to the pan and fry for 15-20 seconds or until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the capers. Discard the oil.

Step 2

Heat a chargrill pan over high heat. Place the zucchini slices, salt, a good grinding of pepper and the remaining olive oil in a bowl and toss to coat. When the pan is very hot, grill the zucchini in batches for about 45 seconds each side. You want both sides to have dark grill marks but the zucchini should still have a good bite. Transfer to a bowl.

Step 3

To make the salsa, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Step 4

Add the salsa to the grilled zucchini and toss well. Spread out on a platter and sprinkle over the fried capers, pinenuts and parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Rainbow gado gado salad from The Two Good Cookbook, $40. Photography by Petrina Tinslay and styling by David Morgan.
Please credit photos Petrina Tinslay and styling by David Morgan

Gado gado, with extra colour. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Rainbow gado gado salad

By Sarah Wilson 

INGREDIENTS

8 eggs

450g (3 cups) finely shredded red cabbage

100g (1 cup) finely shredded raw beetroot

400g (4 cups) finely shredded raw pumpkin

400g (4 cups) finely shredded raw carrot

toasted peanuts and coriander leaves, to serve

Dressing

200g (¾ cup) tahini

80g (¼ cup) red miso paste (or 160 g/½ cup white miso paste)

3cm knob of turmeric, peeled and finely chopped (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

60ml (¼ cup) lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Step 1

To make the dressing, place all the ingredients and 125 ml (½ cup) hot water in a blender and blitz until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, then transfer to an airtight container or jar and refrigerate until needed. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week; add a little extra water and shake before each use.

Step 2

Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, lower the eggs into the water and simmer gently for 6½ minutes. Remove and immediately refresh under cold running water. When completely cold, carefully peel the eggs and cut them in half just before serving.

Step 3

Divide the shredded vegies among four bowls. Top each bowl with four egg halves and a good drizzle of dressing. Scatter over the toasted peanuts and coriander leaves and serve.

Notes The grating attachment on a food processor makes fast work of shredding the vegetables in this salad. If you want to make it vegan, just omit the eggs. For a satay-style dressing, whisk together ¼ cup each natural peanut butter, white miso paste and coconut milk.

Serves 4

Spiced sweet potato, Puy lentils & rocket with honey-roasted walnuts from The Two Good Cookbook, $40. Photography by Petrina Tinslay and styling by David Morgan.
Please credit photos Petrina Tinslay and styling by David Morgan

Nutty and sweet all at once. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Spiced sweet potato, Puy lentils and rocket with honey-roasted walnuts

By Hetty McKinnon

INGREDIENTS

2kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground allspice

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

250g (1¼ cups) Puy lentils, rinsed

2 good handfuls of baby rocket leaves

1 cup soft herb leaves (mint, flat-leaf parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives, dill or coriander), finely chopped

50g parmesan, finely grated (optional)

Sweet vinaigrette

2 tbsp honey

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

80ml (⅓ cup) red wine vinegar

125ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Honey-roasted walnuts

2 tbsp honey

¼ tsp dried chilli flakes

½ tsp ground turmeric

pinch of sea salt

200g (2 cups) walnuts

METHOD

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Step 2

Combine the sweet potato, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and allspice in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Spread out in a large roasting tin and roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and starting to turn golden.

Step 4

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add the lentils, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still have a bite to them. Drain.

Step 5

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir it through the lentils while they are still warm.

Step 6

For the honey-roasted walnuts, combine the honey, chilli flakes, turmeric, salt and just enough water to make a thick paste in a bowl. Coat the walnuts in the paste, then spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast for 15 minutes or until the walnuts are crunchy and almost dry. The nuts will stay a bit sticky, which is fine.

Step 7

Place the sweet potato, lentils, rocket and half the soft herbs in a bowl, season well and toss to combine. Scatter over the walnuts, parmesan (if using) and remaining herbs and serve.

Serves 6

Recipes, images and stories from The Two Good Cook Book, $40, which will be published on November 1. Photography by Petrina Tinslay and styling by David Morgan.