Most days I require a good pinching to ensure that I am awake and not dreaming this amazing life. Last Wednesday I needed a whole tube of arnica cream to soothe my bruised flesh for it was possibly the BEST DAY OF SCHOOL EVER. Our morning class with Professor Barny Haughton was to make lunch. We had access to one of the kitchens in the ALMA culinary school next door, and working solo or in groups, we all prepared a dish of our choosing.
Out of all the incredible classes in the last few months, taught by professional wine, cheese, cured meat and chocolate tasters, nutritionists, journalists, marketers, sociologists, anthropologists, food activists, food scientists, food policy experts, food technicians and food historians, this was my favourite. This class reminded me that I'm here because I love to prepare and share food with people I care about.
My Filipina-American classmate and I made these...
Australipino Sausage Rolls
1kg of minced/ground pork
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1/2 a white onion, very finely chopped
1/2 a fennel bulb, rough outer leaves removed and finely chopped
Grated rind of half an orange
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup of milk
3 sheets of pre-made puff pastry
Over a medium heat sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the fennel and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the orange rind. Cook gently for a few minutes to combine the flavours and remove from heat. When the onion mixture has cooled a little, add it to the minced pork along with the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and combine with your hands. In a separate bowl beat the egg and stir in the milk to make an egg-wash.
Unfurl your puff pastry on a clean board. If it's a square shaped, cut in half to create two long rectangular pieces. If it's round, cut in half and reshape the ends to create a rectangle. Using your hands, make a sausage like shape with the minced pork mixture along one side of one of a pastry rectangle. Apply egg-wash to the opposite side using a brush or your fingers. Roll the pastry over the meat and press along the join. Brush the top of your roll with egg-wash and slice into pieces - about 5cm long for party-size, or about 15 cm long for lunch-size sausage rolls. Score the top of the pastry by making a shallow cut with the tip of your knife once or twice, depending on the size of the roll. Repeat with the remaining pastry rectangles.
Bake at about 180 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until the pastry is nice and brown and meat is cooked. Serve with Australipino tomato sauce.
Australipino Tomato Sauce:
1 can of tomatoes
1/2 a white onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp castor sugar
Salt to taste
Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes before adding the can of tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have reduced to a nice thick saucy texture. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or a fork. You can also put this mixture in the blender if you prefer a perfectly smooth sauce. Add the sugar, salt and orange rind and simmer for a couple more minutes. Check the sauce to make sure the balance of salty and sweet is to your taste. Serve warm or chilled with your Australipino Sausage Rolls.
For a full pictorial of all the student meals, see Catherine Down's brilliantly titled blog Ciao Down.