Watermelon and pomegranate  salad with whipped feta

Watermelon and pomegranate salad with whipped feta

The perfect summer salad for the festive season from one of Australia's favourite chefs, Matt Moran. Guaranteed to add colour and cool to your festive offerings!  Matt says he loves the salty-sweet combo of this salad – it’s the perfect cool down on a hot day. From Matt Moran's Australian Food by Matt Moran. Murdoch Books. RRP $45.

Lebkuchen

Lebkuchen

This traditional German cake was invented by monks in Franconia, Germany in the 13th Century and resembles gingerbread. It is a perfect end of year treat for festive occasions that offers something a little bit different to puddings and pavlovas. From Rita Newell, who has been baking this recipe since the 1950s. 

Peach Wedges Dipped In Chocolate

Peach Wedges Dipped In Chocolate

This recipe from Summerfruit Australia is only a little naughty! (How naughty can you be if there is fruit involved!?) A perfect dessert for hot days and nights that can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a cool treat.  

Ratatouille with Orzo

Ratatouille with Orzo

This delicious vegetarian recipe is from well-known New Zealand chefs, Michael King and Lisa King. From the cookbook Food for Good. Funds from each book purchased go towards a social enterprise initiative called Eat My Lunch which benefits children from low-decile schools in New Zealand. 

Namkeen Lassi (Yoghurt drink)

Namkeen Lassi (Yoghurt drink)

This delicious cool, dreamy and spicy concoction is from acclaimed Indian chef, Madhu Arora, who runs Ma Indian Cooking.   Madhu says many of the recipes she teaches are based on those handed down over the generations. Madhu's classes integrate various regional cuisines, principles of Ayurveda and a holistic cultural experience. This lassi drink is a savoury version but is still very refreshing.

Sponge Drops

Sponge Drops

“I adore sponge drops,” well-known Kiwi chef, Al Brown, writes in Eat Up New Zealand, a cookbook celebrating the Pacific country’s culture and food. Brown serves as a culinary ambassador for NZ Trade and Enterprise. He credits friend Ngaire Callaghan for sharing the secrets to this recipe that we reproduce here courtesy of Eat Up New Zealand. Publishers, Allen & Unwin (RRP A$49.99).

Chole (savoury chick peas)

Chole (savoury chick peas)

This soft and buttery chick pea recipe is from acclaimed Indian chef, Madhu Arora, who runs Ma Indian Cooking.   It is a wonderful part of any Thali vegetarian platter. Madhu says many of the recipes she teaches are based on those handed down over the generations and her grandmother’s recipes are particularly special to her. Madhu's classes integrate various regional cuisines, principles of Ayurveda and a holistic cultural experience. "Ahimsa" which means non-violence on every level, is one of the key cultural principles which has inspired her cooking and classes. 

 

Pan-fried Duck

Pan-fried Duck

This recipe, by Tony Cui, of Lane Cove's Suzie's Restaurant, is influenced by his experience in some of Sydney's most highly-acclaimed restaurants. Tony says his experience growing up in China opened his eyes to enjoying a multitude of cuisines as, with both parents so busy working, he was encouraged from the age of 12 to eat out every day.  

Upside down apple cake

Upside down apple cake

This recipe is from Saranne Chait, Catering Manager at Sydney's Montefiore Home. Saranne is a well-known cookbook writer and caterer who was a household name in South Africa's Cape Town. This recipe offers an indulgent twist on classic Rosh Hashanah ingredients. On Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, sweet foods are eaten to symbolise sweet and good things to aspire to.  Photo credit: Nadine Saacks.

Pickled Paw Paw Relish

Pickled Paw Paw Relish

This unique and delicious relish was created by caterer, Bernadette Kennealy from Bern the Chef. It is based on a traditional Polynesian recipe and Bern has added two of her favourite ingredients - lime leaves and coconut vinegar. She says people "go nuts" for this relish. Bern says that her Irish Australian roots are open to the new flavours of Australia and she sources the lime leaves from local sources. 

Pani Puri

Pani Puri

Pani Puri means "water bread" and is a popular street snack in India. The fried puffy outside cradles a tangy spicy mixture which can be balanced with chutney. There are many different fillings and chutneys which can be used but our recipe from Shruti Joshi would be hard to beat!

Turkish Lentil Soup

Turkish Lentil Soup

Chelsea Abraham from Bespoke Catering offers this scrumptious Turkish Lentil Soup, handed down from her grandmother. A vibrant orange from the red lentils, it can have added pizzazz with haloumi and/or fried onion. And, of course, traditional toasted Turkish bread makes it extra delicious! 

Za'artar Bread

Za'artar Bread

Melanie Karagezian from Cafe Geo in Lane Cove, NSW, makes an incredible Middle Eastern-based Za'artar bread inspired by happy memories of her childhood. Melanie says this is a popular Armenian and Lebanese dish but the aromatic Za'artar spices add to many dishes from the Middle Eastern region. This vegetarian dish is very versatile as a breakfast, lunch or snack wrap.  

Poached Illawarra Plum Sauce

Poached Illawarra Plum Sauce

As well as providing a bounty of bush tucker, this ancient species - the Podocarpus elatus or Illawarra Plum Pine - makes a fantastic screen. Although it is slow growing the end result is worth the wait. Podocarpus elatus is diocesous - which means it needs a pale and a female plant to produce fruit. This plant is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Thanks to Sydney Wildflower Nursery and Narelle Happ. 

Mirzaa Ghasemi

Mirzaa Ghasemi

This deliciously salty and smokey Northern Iranian dish is incredibly versatile. With eggplant as the star, it can be served during lunch, dinner, or as an entree. It can also be edited to be a vegetarian option. Thanks to Marjaneh Ghafari.

Halva

Halva

This delicious recipe was submitted by Azadeh Zolfigol.

Milk pudding (Mahalabia)

Milk pudding (Mahalabia)

This recipe, submitted by talented Lebanese chef, Saida, is short and sweet but perfect for a crowd.  Adjust the quantities depending on your (and others!) needs.

Baklava

Baklava

This sweet pastry is always a crowd-pleaser. Known for its multiple layers of fillo, chopped nuts and syrup, it is a popular treat in countries such as Lebanon and Turkey.  Thanks to Saida and Culinary Tales. 

Molokhia with chicken

Molokhia with chicken

This delicious dish from FoodFaith gardeners, Samaher Choukchouk and Mona Maarabani, features the star vegetable, molokhia, which is often referred to as Egyptian spinach. It has its roots in Middle Eastern, East African and North African countries and is a perfect hearty dish to start a family meal or can feature on its own on cold winter nights. The vegetable has a certain glutinous texture.

Daddhojanam /              Yogurt Rice

Daddhojanam / Yogurt Rice

This fragrant recipe, from Neelima Paravastu, is special to the Hindu faith in India, and has been handed down over generations. It tastes delicious by itself, but can be eaten with pickles such as mango or lime or with fried potatoes.

Blackcurrant and Apple Crumble

Blackcurrant and Apple Crumble

This delicious dessert comes from Lane Cove local Wendy Fare who remembers happy days cycling out to farms in Norfolk, England, to pick blackcurrants.

PAELLA VALENCIANA

PAELLA VALENCIANA

Paella is often called Spain’s national dish. An Australian, Leno Lattarulo, from Melbourne, was recently awarded the world title of “Best Paella Outside Spain” at the prestigious Concurs International Paella Competition. Leno is chef and owner of Melbourne’s Simply Spanish restaurants and has let us in on some of the secrets of a winning paella. You can find the recipe here and the story behind its creation. Thanks to Concurs Internacional de Paella Valenciana for the recipe.

American Glazed Graham Crackers

American Glazed Graham Crackers

A recipe from Laura Hemmelgarn, the mother of our American intern, Jane Hemmelgarn. This simple recipe has been passed down from Laura's mother-in-law and involves very few ingredients and can be made in no time at all.

Aunt Barbara's Cookies

Aunt Barbara's Cookies

Laura Hemmelgarn comes from a big Italian family that loves to celebrate with food. At the end of a meal, the dessert that was most often found on the table was her Great-Aunt Barbara's cookies.