I’ve been quite fortunate to grow up near some of the best beaches in the world. Heading down to the sand as a kid and digging in my feet in the hope to find pipis is a past time that conjures up some really great memories. It’s not something that I’ve really had a chance to do as much of over the last decade. But since a recent holiday to Byron Bay uncovered, I’d realised I hadn’t properly passed on this beautiful seashore foraging skill to my daughter.
I remember early on in my childhood being at Port Stephens with friends and family, making sandcastles, getting in the water for hours or having a dig with my brothers when we had the chance. Our incentive in finding pipis meant that were we successful in striking a payload we knew we were made me proud.
It was a blast getting her out there to find a few handfuls. We collected enough for a feed, and I gotta say, they were pretty fuckin delish-usss! So, with our 30-40 pipi haul, we made our way home to start prepping the little buggers. First things first though: You need to purge them of all the shit and grit inside them.
NB: For the following recipe, put aside a 2/3 Cup of the seawater to cook the Pipis in
PURGING the PIPI’S
Unless you’re Bear Grylls and enjoy eating shit sand, mud, and roadkill, you need to purge (cleanse) the pipis of all the crap inside them. It’s like giving them gastro, without it being contagious to you. I probably should have just said ‘detox them’.
- Make sure the container you are transporting home the pipi’s in, is big enough to hold twice as much seawater to pipis
- quickly clean pipi’s under cold tap water, cleaning any noticeable crap off if necessary
- sieve the saltwater to eliminate any grit and shit
- Place the pipi’s back into the saltwater and leave overnight
- the best place to get the saltwater is right near where you found your pipis
Pipis In Ocean Stock
This is a simple dish that takes advantage of using the ocean water the lived in
2/3 Cup of the seawater filtered through a napkin
Dash of white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1. In a small to medium pot, bring the seawater to the boil
2. Gently place the pipis into the water and cook them for a few minutes,
3. Take out each pipi when their shells open and set them aside. When all pipis are out of pot turn heat
to medium-low and reduce liquid by half
4. You can choose to stop right here and devour the pipis as is on toast…no? ok continue
5. Start off by adding 60g of the butter, 1/2 tsp of the pepper, the dash of vinegar and lemon juice. Make sure
you taste your lemon first to judge its flavour. It may be too sour or bitter, so taste and go easy
6. Have a taste, liquid should be lightly lemony with a hint of vinegar. Should still be able to have the body
of the ocean in the flavour. A little tangy
7. Add sugar if desired
8. Place pipis back in warm broth and gently stir
9. Gently plate up and pour liquor over pipis and finely chopped tarragon
10. Serve with a wedge of lemon and warm crusty bread
Over the years I’ve made a tonne of pumpkin scones. And to be honest, I tend to change a few ingredients here and there to match the type of pumpkin I’m using. If I’m using a butternut pumpkin (squash) for instance I may throw in a chai style spice mix or pumpkin pie spice mix. If I use a Jap pumpkin I will just keep it plain.
Look I know some people like their scones the same every time. Me, I like some to be airy and fluffy. Others I don’t mind a little more heavy and dense. It just depends on the occasion. That’s why I find a thing like scones such a strong dish, food, whatever you want to call it, to experiment with. Mainly because the initial ingredients are so minimal and cheap.
I will be adding more variations to the humble scone recipe board here. Because when I think of the number of varieties you can produce it boggles my fuckin head. And you know what they are every bit as good if not better than a cupcake. They just don’t get the rap they deserve.
This is one of my versions of pumpkin scones best served just out of the oven. Serve them up with the pumpkin blueberry jam in the picture. Also, add some clotted cream. The jam itself is worth making just to put over custard and icecream.
2.5 Cups Self Raising flour
2 tbsp icing sugar mix
70g Suet Mix
70g cold butter
1 egg (beaten)
1 Cups cold mashed pumpkin (drained of liquid over night)
good pinch of salt
1. If you have a food processor, place flour, icing sugar, salt, cold butter and egg in processor and
pulse quickly to combine to make a crumbly texture. Otherwise, combine it all by hand by rubbing between
2. Add suet mix and make sure its well combined
3. Add in pumpkin
4. Depending how dry your mix is, which will result from how much liquid came out of the pumpkin, add
enough lemonade to bring mix together. I f you make the dough too wet just add more flour when you turn
the dough out onto the board
5. DO NOT OVERWORK THE DOUGH!
6. Flour your clean bench and turn the mix out onto it
7. Knead just enough to form a 4cm high dough and either make cuts with a sharp knife or press out
with scone cutter. Avoid twisting the cutter, just push down so the scone rises straight up and doesnt
flop over. Also keep them close together on the baking tray to help them rise upwards not outwards.
8. Bake in 180degC taking out after 8 mins to glaze with milk wash
MILK WASH - 80ml Milk + 1 tsp Icing sugar
9. Cook for a further 10-15 mins or until golden
10. Eat while hot
Blueberry Pumpkin Jam
1/2 Cup mashed Pumpkin
dash of Vanilla essence
small piece cinnamon
1 Star Anise (optional)
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1. Place all ingredients into a a small pot and bring to a boil
2. Immediately reduce heat to medium low stirring frequently and simmer
reduce until thickens or reduced by half
NB: A few things to bare in mind with changing up the ingredients to scones.
Find a standard dough mix that you are really happy with first, and then start changing a
little something each time, making sure to a keep a record of what you have done.
For instance, should this recipe be you be your starting point, know first what each
element brings to the table. Egg will give them a richer less flat taste and provide a less
dense scone. Lemonade would give a little aeration. Different fats will provide hugely
different results and flavour. No fats on the other hand will give a dense more bland;
Italian '00' flour will give a airier result from the high sifting of the flour, compared
to standard flour. The world of variations are endless.
Go hard and discover a few
#73: I lived with my Nanny and Poppy in SCONE NSW
#50: Their last name was KING
#972: I was destined to be the KING of SCONES
#637: I still have to explain to fuckers that the town is pronounced SCONE like sk-OWN and the
SCONE you eat sounds like sk-ON... How fuckin hard is it!
No matter what time of the day it is or what meal you’re at, some form of egg on toast dish is welcome to dance on my taste buds. This here is tangy-sweet sauteed silverbeet on sourdough toast topped with a butter-poached egg, some beautiful soft goats cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil. That should be enough to get your mouth wetter than ya Granny’s panties at a Tom Jones concert.
There’s something so satisfying breaking into that glistening orange blob on top and watch it ooze like lava over the chard and toast below.
Make sure the eggs are fresh, the bread just been baked and the silverbeet’s just been picked. If not… fuck it, it’ll still taste wicked!
good slice of sourdough
large handful of silverbeet
2 cloves of garlic finely diced
soft goats cheese
150g grass fed butter for poaching
2 tsp brown sugar
Extra 80g butter
salt & pepper
1. On medium to high heat, melt butter in small frying pan or pot
2. In a separate frying pan melt extra butter and a small splash of olive oil
3. When it gets hot, saute garlic, Dont let it burn!
4. Add Silverbeet with brown sugar, a dash of worcestershire sauce and dash of water.
Place on a lid and let cook for 3 minutes
5. Take off lid and season with salt and pepper. Whilst off the heat add the rest of the butter.
Toss to coat. Keep warm, set aside
6..Poach egg/s in butter
7. Toast the Sourdough. When done, place on serving board
8. Top with the silverbeet and the egg/s
9. Drizzle with truffle oil and crumble over goats cheese
10. Season and dig in
One of my big fuck-offs with this so-called new age of gastronomy is the term ‘de-constructed’. Especially when the local pub or tavern has just undergone a reno and they’ve replaced the old cook Boris for some spritely go-getter chef to bring a little class to the place. And now I’m there wanting my usual greasy burger for lunch and this twat wants me to assemble the bastard myself? WTF! Plus charge me double and call the shit de-constructed!
Don’t get me wrong, there are amazing chefs out there that know the sophisticated art that is true food de-construction. Chefs that can pull apart the components of a classic dish and rearrange and present them in such a way that one can only look on in awe at the sheer wizardry it took to create it. You’re eating art.
When I order bruschetta as my starter at any one of my fave Italian restaurants, I often end up wishing I had of just ordered a tonne of it in a bowl with a 10 foot long crusty French baguette. Then I think, fuck I could have just ditched the need for scallopini stayed home and made it myself, and enjoyed it in front of the idiot box. And save $15.90.
So this is how it goes down when I’m at home. It’s not de-con, its merely just going heavy on the ingredients with a good loaf of bread and enjoying the vinegary, tangy, sweet, olive oily crusty party in my mouth.
This for me is one of those perfect snacks that hits a bullseye on all the flavour profiles in one bite, especially when I’m enjoying the footy.
Grab a bowl. Fill it. Devour it. Enjoy. Oh, and don’t forget the baguette!
You will need:
- 2 Tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 C pitted Kalamata Olives C
- 1 small Spanish Onion diced
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Maldon or Kosher Salt
- a little lemon juice (optional)
Throw the tomatoes, olives and onion into a bowl season with a good pinch of salt and give it a toss, stir, mix, whatever. Add a splash of oil and a splodge of balsamic and mix again. Add pepper and check if more salt is needed. Let stand for a few minutes to get the flavours fusing. Grab the butter, tear apart the bread and dig in! Squeeze over some lemon if you’re in the mood.
PS. You can also add a little sugar or stevia at the beginning if desired. Play with the quantities and have fun with it.
Let me know how you go!