I love Melbourne.
I’m not at all surprised that it’s been voted the world’s most liveable city.
The thought that”s been put into the design, infrastructure and architecture is obvious.
Driving around Melbourne I often hear myself commenting on the thought that has gone into the layout of the city.
Comments that seem alien to my own ears.
I mean, since when do I notice a city’s infrastructure?!
But that’s my point.
Even I notice that Melbourne has a vibe! A feel good vibe!
But for me Melbourne means more than that.
I love Melbourne because it’s where my husband and I go to catch up.
With three children, it can get hard to just finish a conversation.
So Melbourne is where we go a few times a year to catch up and fall in love again.
We only stay for the weekend and that’s enough for us, any longer and we start missing the kids.
The first thing we do when we arrive in Melbourne is head straight to our favourite restaurant.
Lunch at Movida’s signals that we are really here!
And it’s time to relax, talk, laugh and eat.
I was eager to recreate a bit of the Melbourne vibe back home in Sydney.
I’ve been wanting to try this recipe ever since watching Movida’s owner, Frank Camorra, cook it on television show, Masterchef.
Once I started cooking, the familiar aromas started to fill my kitchen.
Chorizo, sherry, paprika, capsicum…
Oh! It brought back so many wonderful memories!
Melbourne was alive and kicking in my kitchen.
The views from our hotel room at St Kilda…
I could see it, taste it, hear it and smell it.
All thanks to these little balls of bliss!
(As it appears in the MasterChef book, Volume Two)
150g (1 cup) plain flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
100g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, to deep fry
MOJO PICON SAUCE
2 large red capsicum
250ml (1 cup) olive oil
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs fennel seeds
1 1/2 tbs sweet paprika
1/2 tsp hot paprika
100ml sherry vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
5 x 200g desiree potatoes
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 onion, finely diced
1 chorizo sausage, 125g, peeled, crumbled
75ml Fino sherry
1 good pinch sweet paprika
1 small pinch hot paprika
1 clove garlic
1 egg yolk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
80ml (1/3 cup) sunflower oil
1 tbs lemon juice
60ml (1/4 cup) tomato sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
1. To make mojo picon sauce, preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. Put capsicums in a small roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tbs of the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 45 minutes or until blistered.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave for 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin, membrane and seeds and roughly chop flesh.
- Meanwhile, roast cumin in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute or until fragrant. Cool slightly. Using a mortar and pestle, grind cumin very finely and strain through a fine sieve. Repeat with fennel seeds.
- Mix capsicum in a food processor with ground cumin and fennel. Add the sweet and hot paprikas, vinegar, garlic and remaining oil. Puree until smooth,
2. To make potato croquettes, put potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and peel off skin. Push through a potato ricer into a bowl. Add the olive oil and season to taste. Set aside.
3. To make chorizo filling, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook onion for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add chorizo and cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Add sherry, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Add sweet and hot paprika and cook until sherry has evaporated.
- Cool slightly, then chop coarsely in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and put in fridge to cool.
4. To make brava sauce, chop garlic with a pinch of sea salt and crush to a smooth paste. Whisk the garlic paste, egg yolk and mustard until well combined. Whisking continuously, gradually add the oil, a drop at a time at first, then in a thin stream until thick and emulsified. Whisk in the lemon juice, tomato sauce and Tabasco and season with sea salt.
5. Roll 2 heaped tbs of the potato into a ball. Using your index finger, make a small hole in the potato. Fill with 1 tsp of the cooled chorizo filling. Close the potato mixture around the filling and shape into a smooth ball. Repeat with remaining potato and filling.
6. Coat potato balls in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Dip in egg, allowing excess to drain off. Coat well in the panko. Place onto a large plate or tray and refrigerate until ready to cook.
7. To cook, fill a deep fryer or saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 180 degrees celsius (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Cook bomba in batches for 4 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season with salt.
8. To serve, place a small amount of brava sauce onto serving plates and place bomba on top. Drizzle with more brava sauce and top with a little mojo picon. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.
* My only suggestion would be to make half the amount of Mojo Picon Sauce. The above recipe produces a huge amount of sauce!