3 top Takapuna chef recipes to up your home cooking game

Here’s a great trio of fantastic recipes to try out this week. Hit morning tea running with a plate of delicious hot blueberry scones à la Zomer Café. On the dinner menu is Nanam’s famous Salmon “Binalot” served in a banana leaf with candied walnuts and salad. And for dessert, put your feet up and enjoy a classic Mexico margarita.

BLUEBERRY SCONES – ZOMER CAFÉ

They may look like muffins, but these delightful scones are something a bit different to try your baking skills on. Easy to make and a guaranteed hit fresh out of the oven.

Ingredients:
  • 115g cold butter
  • 260g flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 220g frozen blueberries
  • 120g cream
  • 1 egg
  • Brown sugar, for sprinkling
Method:

Preheat the oven to 210 °C.

Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl. You can use a kitchen mixer paddle attachment or your hands. Keep going until you can see no chunks of butter.

Next, add frozen blueberries to the mix and mix briefly to coat the blueberries.

In a small bowl, briefly mix cream and egg. Add to the above mixture and combine to form a lumpy dough. Do not over mix. This is quite a wet dough so you can go a bit hard on the flour while handling it on the bench.

Shape your blueberry scones. Grease spray your baking tray and line it with baking paper. Place the scones on the baking tray, brush them with some cream and sprinkle brown sugar on top.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and fully baked.

To check if it’s baked, insert a stick and see if any dough sticks to it, or lift the scone from the bottom – if the colour is still pale then bake for a couple more minutes then it’s up for grabs!

Zomer Cafe's Blueberry Scones

SALMON “BINALOT” (EN PAPILLOTE) – NANAM

Jess Granada from Nanam is sharing the recipe to her famous dish so you can create your own amazing Filipino-style salmon with candied walnut salad.

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • 100g shallots, chopped
  • 200g gherkins, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fermented soybean
  • 2 Tbsp fermented black bean
  • 50g spring onion, chopped
  • 4 thin slices of lemon
  • Dash of Vietnamese fish sauce, to taste

Fish:

  • 250g salmon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Banana leaf

Salad:

  • 30g white sugar
  • 60g roasted walnuts
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Mixed rocket and baby spinach greens
Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Season the salmon with salt, pepper and olive oil, and sear on the outside in a very hot pan then set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Lay down a piece of baking paper with a banana leaf inside (banana leaf adds fragrance to the dish and retains more moisture).

Put half of the marinade on the leaf, place the fish on top, then add the rest of the marinade on top of the salmon.

Close the baking paper using a bamboo skewer, bringing all the corners to the middle.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the temperature inside the parcel reaches 45 °C to 50 °C.

While the salmon is baking, cook a dry caramel in a pan on medium heat. Begin by adding the sugar, then the walnuts, and finish it with a pinch of salt, turning it to a very low heat until all sugars are all melted and caramelised – around 2 to 4 minutes cooking time.

Pour it onto flat baking paper to cool for 10 minutes, then chop it up and mix it with the leafy greens.

To plate, up open your salmon and serve on the banana leaf. Place the salad on top or on the side, and serve.

Chef Jeff Grenada with Nanam's Salmon Binalot
Nanam's Salmon Binalot dish

CLASSIC MARGARITA – MEXICO

Because life isn’t all about food. Sometimes you’ve got to feed the soul, and sometimes the soul wants a tequila-based cocktail.

Ingredients:
  • Salt
  • 2 fresh lime wedges
  • 20ml Cointreau triple sec
  • 45ml el Jimador tequila
  • 30ml lime juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • Ice
Method:

Tip plenty of salt into a saucer. Run a lime wedge around the outside top of your margarita glass, then roll the rim of the glass through the salt, taking care not to get any salt inside the glass.

In the smaller tin of a cocktail shaker, combine the Cointreau, el Jimador, lime juice and sugar syrup, then fill with ice.

Place the larger shaker tin over top of the small one and tap it to seal. Shake with both hands for 10 seconds. To release the shaker, hold with the large side facing down, tap the side of the large tin with your palm. This can be tough!

Pour into your glass, add lime garnish, and enjoy.

Mexico's classic Margarita

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