Some of Sydney’s greatest eats aren’t the ones that are the most talked about in the inner city, they’re the ones tucked away in the suburban pockets. They’re dishes that migrants have recreated to remind them of their cultural origins. From the Vietnamese community in Cabramatta to the Middle Eastern community in Auburn and the diverse regional Chinese cuisine available around Haymarket and Chinatown, it’s exactly why at I Ate My Way Through, we love running our food tours and events; it’s such a privilege to be able to use food as a common ground to connect people from all walks of life. I was most excited when Stockland invited me to join celebrity TV chef, cookbook author and their new ambassador, Miguel Maestre at Stockland Wetherill Park, for the launch of the ‘A to Z of Mmmm’ campaign which follows this same philosophy.
Miguel best summarised the campaign, “Australia is such a fantastic country for food, with a vibrant mix of cultures, great availability of fresh ingredients and just so much passion to try something new. I hope to inspire Aussies to expand their food horizons this year and add a little more ‘mmmm’ to their weekly meals – whether it’s a new ingredient they have never tried before, visiting a new local restaurants or cooking up a storm at home using one of my A to Z of Mmmm recipes.”
We were serenaded with live music and feasted on a multicultural-inspired menu of kingfish ceviche, lamb kofta with beetroot pita, chorizo stuffed chicken with white bean salad and baba ganoush, tomato caprese with burrata and bread.
Described as a slap on the face (from the kick of the chilli) and a kiss on the lips (from the sweetness of the sweet potatoes), Miguel’s Peruvian ceviche definitely lived up to the description. The citrus acid in the dressing only ever so lightly cooked the fish, keeping it deliciously fresh with a good bite. The flavours were vibrant and tantalising. Stay tuned for this recipe on the blog soon!
I was then invited on stage with the charming and hilarious Miguel. Together, we whipped up pita bread from scratch! While this was cooked on an electric hot plate (given the circumstances of being an indoor media event), I could just imagine the sensational aroma if it were grilled on a charcoal BBQ.
Making pita bread from scratch may sound intimating but it couldn’t be easier with a good old food processor doing the work! I love the ingenuity of adding beetroot for colour and flavour, and wow, what a difference a pinch of paprika makes!
While there’s nothing wrong with barbecuing lamb cutlets, the kofta recipe will spice up the way you normally serve lamb. Hosting a BBQ soon? Get ready to impress your guests because Stockland have kindly given me permission to reproduce this recipe for you below!
- 1 beetroot peeled & roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp milk
- 600g self raising flour
- 1 tbsp maldon salt
- 1 pinch baking powder
- 500g natural Greek yoghurt
- 1 pinch paprika
- 1 zest lemon
- ¼ bunch thyme leaves only
- 500g lamb mince (good quality)
- 4 tbsp ras al hanout spice mix
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- 250g Greek yoghurt
- 2 baby cucumbers, deseeded & grated
- ½ bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- ½ lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch sumac
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 tbsp ras al hanout
- splash extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon juice
- Using a food processor add beetroot and milk and process until smooth.
- Add flour, salt, baking powder, yoghurt, paprika and lemon zest and mix until combined into a doughy consistency, add more flour if needed. Knead for 2 minutes onto a floured surface until elastic and smooth.
- Cut dough into 10 small pieces, roll out into 10 thin circles. Grill on BBQ hot plate. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix lamb mince and spices together until well combined using your hands.
- Spread a thin layer of raw kofta mix onto 1 side of the beetroot pita bread. Add a splash of olive oil to the BBQ plate and cook the pita bread with mince facing down until meat is crispy and brown.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Mix kale leaves with ras al hanout spice, olive oil and lemon juice. Grill on the BBQ until edges are slightly charred.
- Serve beetroot pitas with kale, tzatziki and a lemon wedge.
Sticking to the theme of flavours inspired from around the world, our taste buds were taken on a journey to Italy with creamy burrata cheese served on a colourful salad of heirloom tomatoes and micro herbs; to the Middle East with one of the best renditions of baba ganoush I’ve ever had (yes, I will be sharing the recipe soon!) and then to Spain via a sumptuous chorizo stuffed chicken that was wrapped with jamon.
The A to Z of Mmmm will also see The Living Room host Miguel Maestre visit a number of Stockland shopping centres across the country over the course of the year, with his first stop at Stockland Merrylands on 4th March. Miguel will also launch a web content series, going behind the scenes to meet local food retailers in Stockland shopping centres to discover their food secrets. The first episode goes live today at www.stockland.com.au/food.
This post was made possible thanks to Stockland