When the cardiologists kitchen wanted to talk to me about my time in Australia, I was inspired to create a dish.
Earlier this year I spent some time in Perth in Australia. Food Culture out there is fascinating. The lack of food history has actually made for a fascinating melting pot where chefs and cooks don’t feel there are any rules.
Australia has a very outdoor living culture. The weather is always hot so healthy lighter food comes naturally.
I was very inspired and encouraged by the range of healthier eating options. It wasn’t how i see it in the UK. I don’t want to pay £4 for a kale smoothie, and I don’t really understand goji berries which at times feels like where we’re at. It’s a generalisation of course but I am always far more inspired in the UK by a good coffee shop or bar.
There is a chain of cafes in Perth called the health freak cafe.
They had a menu which looked vibrant and tempting. Its ethos was great and tied brilliantly into the thinking of the cardiologists kitchen. It was heavy on eggs and happily sold a burger with sweet potato fries.
Its biggest sell to me was something called ‘cocowhip’ which you can buy all over the city. In essence it is coconut water sorbet served soft like mr whippy. In essence, guilt free ice cream for breakfast… in my world, you cant go wrong with that.
I don’t have a soft serve machine as you can imagine so I wanted to look away from this side of things and look towards the melting pot of cuisines you find in Australia. I wanted to put together ingredients I found in Perth and make something I know people in the UK can access.
I wanted to put together a dish that celebrated great British ingredients which nods to far away lands as well as balancing it to make for happy hearts.
Wasabi is a fascinating ingredient. It’s widely used in Australia, coming from the influence of Japan.
In Dorchester, The Wasabi Company are growing fresh wasabi. Their story is fascinating and it was great to meet them.
Its taste is so different to that of the pastes you can buy in the UK, and its something I have always wanted to work with.
When I was in Australia I ate a lot of shellfish. Chilli mussels is a staple dish in Australia, cooked with a rich tomato sauce and fresh chilli. I had a go at cooking this in 40oc heat in January.
So for my dish I wanted to bring together these ingredients to make a fresh and vibrant shellfish dish that I think you will love!
Cornish Mussels steamed with UK Wasabi, Wiper & True Pale Ale, Lime, Coriander & Watercress. Avocado toast on the side.
For the Mussels
1 shallot (finely diced)
a bunch of fresh coriander
the zest of 1/2 lime
small handful of watercress leaves
1/2 Bottle of Pale Ale (I opted for a beer by Wiper & True called ‘Small Beer’
1 whole wasabi root (grated)
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
small handful of watercress leaves
approx 300g of live mussels (cleaned and de-bearded)
Start me frying off the onions in a sauce pan with a little oil and the stalks from the coriander until soft and then add all the other ingredients except the watercress and coriander leaves. Bring to the boil and then cover. Cook on a medium heat until the mussels open. Any that don’t open you want to throw away. Once opened, drain the mussels and set aside. Add the watercress and coriander into the sauce and blitz with either a stick blender or food processor depending on what you have. If you have neither, don’t worry just chop up the watercress and coriander and throw it in! Season to taste.
Add a squeeze of lime and throw the mussels back in.
For the avocado toast
A couple of slices of your favorite bread (a sourdough is best, Bertinet’s is great!)
1 ripe hass avocado
fresh red chilli to taste
splash of rapeseed oil
Toast the sourdough. De-stone the avocado and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. add the lime juice, red chilli and season to taste. Drizzle rapeseed oil onto the toast and then spread on the avocado.