When David Jones throws a Mystery Box challenge at me + Hampers Giveaway!

What’s inside the box? During my time on Masterchef, I have to say that Mystery Box challenge was definitely my favourite challenge of them all. I think it is the only challenge that I can actually show my creativity and flexibility by coming up a dish right on the spot with the only ingredients and time frame given. So I was actually quite excited when David Jones wanted to send me a hamper and asked me to come up with a recipe by using the items inside the hamper, I suddenly felt like I was being thrown back at the Masterchef kitchen once again. This year David Jones’ hamper range is bigger and better, I was amazed by how fancy some of the hampers are. In fact, some of them don’t even look like hampers anymore! There are hampers come in picnic baskets with full cutlery set and picnic rug, then there is a champagne ice bucket filled with goodies, one comes with a full BBQ tool set, but most fancy of them all, has to be this treasure chest. It is sexy no? I would be so stoked to receive a hamper like this one. I just love hamper that doesn’t use the woven basket wrapped in cellophane anymore, because at least this treasure chest is useful in many ways. There are two hampers that comes with this beautiful treasure chest, one is the Treasured Delights (RRP $299.00) and the other one is the most extravagant hamper of them all – Opulence (RRP $1000.00), it is full of luxury indulgence inside from Moet Chandon, Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal Scotch Whiskey, chocolate, cocktail set and...

Beer Battered Chicken Katsu

I love fried chicken, I won’t lie. It’s a big statement and my artery swears by it. I think if you have followed by instagram and this blog long enough then you would have noticed that my fried chicken obsession is like Conchita Wurst, “It’s unstoppable!” If I have to choose my ultimate bar snack, I would go for fried chicken, hands down. And of course, the best way is by washing them golden crunchy poultry masterpiece down with some cold beer, very very cold at -2C to be exact. That’s right, this summer in Australia is going to be a scorching hot one and you are possibly thinking a cold beer might just be the best invention of the human kind, ever. Asahi is thinking exactly the same thing and opened a pop up bar in the heart of Sydney where you can literally ‘chillax’ with a glass of Asahi Super Dry, chilled to -2 degrees for the extra smoothness. First thing first, we need some fried chicken to go with the beer, pronto! Japanese beer pairs with Japanese food, hence I decided to whip up some beer battered chicken katsu. Yep, beer battered, with Asahi super dry of course. I was thinking what can I do to make chicken katsu even more evil and crunchier? I have always loved the crunchy batter on the fish n chips, so I thought if I combine both battered and crumbed methods together, I should be able to create a SUPER CRUNCHY fried chicken. BOOM! I kid you not, these beer battered chicken katsu fingers are seriously the most A-H-M-A-Z-I-N-G fried chicken I’ve ever tasted, even if I...

Bacon Lattice Desktop Wallpaper and Bacon Kaboom! Recipe

You had me at B-A-C-O-N! Who doesn’t like the first thing you see when you turn on the computer in the morning is BACON? As I know some of you were drooling over this bacon lattice image from the cover of my new cookbook MAN FOOD, so I thought I will share it with you all. Now you can download the high res image and save it as your desktop wallpaper! And better still, prank your workmates by baconising all their desktops with this wallpaper! The look of their faces when they come back from lunch break to see their desktops are now covered in bacon will be priceless. Download bacon lattice desktop wallpaper here. How to make Bacon Kaboom! And if you are feeling inspired, we even going to give you the recipe of Bacon Kaboom!, one of the most notorious recipes in the book before the launch so you can have a little taste what to expect inside the book! I will show you step-by-step on how to make the bacon lattice and then turns it into a man-size meat loaf that packs quite a punch inside. Trust me, you want to make this at least once in your life. Bacon Kaboom! Ingredients 1 kg minced pork 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon ground white pepper 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon dried sage 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 15 bacon slices 2 tablespoons olive oil 80 ml smoky barbecue sauce 125 g shredded cheddar 1 gherkin, halved lengthways 2 jalapeño chillies, thinly sliced Method Put the pork in a large bowl, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, sage and cayenne pepper. Using...

Nectarine Frangipane Tart

Edible flowers are the best. I was craving for stone fruit badly, and don’t ask me how, but I managed to find some nectarines and paid high price for it. I know, I know, I am a naughty boy and not adhere to my own rule, as I always encourage people to use seasonal local produce. My bad, but I can assure you that it doesn’t happen every often, especially when you have to pay triple the price. If I have to do this tart again, I probably will use cheaper ingredients like apple, pear or even persimmon since they are in season at the moment. This recipe is actually from my first cookbook, Have You Eaten? and I just adapted with a few changes. I used nectarines instead of peaches, and also a crunchy short crust pastry instead of Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry. I wasn’t intended to have a super crispy pastry but I like how a mishap turned into a success story! So, let’s talk about the pastry, it turned out to be much better than I expected, flakey, buttery AND crunchy at the same time. I actually simply used a sweet shortcrust pastry recipe that I am familiar, and usually I will just pour the cold water into the processor without measuring the exact quantity and obviously this time I poured a little too much and the dough became a little too soft. Hence, I tried to laminate the pastry with a little bit more flour tried to strengthen the gluten, eventually I got a dough that I able to work with. Surprisingly, the excess water, the...

Mini Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarts

If you haven’t followed my instagram (@billy.law) already, then you might have missed out on the little sneak peek of my upcoming cook – “MAN FOOD” which due out in August! And I reckon you are going to love this book. Think bacon, salted caramel, deep fried, chocolate, and did I mention bacon? Yes, even the book cover is covered in bacon! Apart from bacon, I do have a soft and chewy spot for salted caramel. That sweet, dark brown, glossy toffee caramel with the hint of saltiness from the sea salt flakes, I can simply eat it by the spoonfuls. Despite the salted caramel is dead easy to make, I forbid myself from making them too often at home, as they are irresistibly dangerous with high calories. So I only whip them up for special occasions. I made these mini chocolate and salted caramel tarts along with the mini lemon meringue tarts for a friend’s 40th birthday. Well I consider him as a friend even though we only met about three times over the last 3 years. I just thought edible gift is a better option for someone who you hardly know, rather than picking up a present from the mall which is probably meaningless to him. But then, I hope my kind gesture didn’t send the wrong impression to him, I was just being a nice person.       Mini Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarts 120g dark chocolate, 65% sweet pastry (makes 20-24 mini tarts) 125g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes 30g caster sugar 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting pinch of salt 4 tablespoons chilled...

Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts

I really should have done this earlier, I wish I had thought about doing it when I first moved up to Central Coast seven years ago. However, it is better late than never, I am actually very glad that I did it and absolutely loving it. And, what I am referring to, is my humble little veggie garden. I think a lot of people are intimidated by the words “veggie garden”, so did I. First thing that came to mind was – I will need a big space in the backyard to set one up; and since our house has no backyard but only maybe 3 metres wide of useless grassy area between the walls and the fences; so to have a veggie garden was never a priority in our to-do list. The Pom even bought me a raised garden bed frame for my birthday many years ago and it just sat outside in the garden, looked more like an abandoned coffin, as you can see below… However, in November last year, we started to turn things around and make it happen. We picked up the shovels and ordered a few tonnes of soil, gravels and lots of chicken poo; the veggie garden finally taking shape and within weeks, we had a few sprouts poking their heads out of the soil. Few months on, I didn’t really look after it that often but only with the occasional organic pesticide oil sprays and fertilised it with seasol, and just let the mother nature did its job and now I have a thriving veggie garden that I couldn’t be any happier. So far, I’ve picked zucchini flowers,...