Three course menu from the heart of Yamba
Invited some friends over for dinner but have no idea what to cook? Don't despair. Pour yourself a drink (with lots of ice), slip on your apron, and give our 'Tastes of Yamba' three course menu a go, complete with a pre-dinner cocktail to lubricate conversation.
The recipes come from some of Yamba's top foodies and of course celebrate local produce. Your friends will be well impressed with the banquet you lay before them. And don't worry - this isn't 'Masterchef'. The recipes are designed for home cooks - not sous chefs, so go on. Give it a go.
Recipe from The Italian on the Hill
This classic Italian ‘aperitivo’ is delicious, and easy as 1-2-3!
1 part soda water (30mL)
2 parts Aperol (60mL)
3 parts prosecco (90mL)
Pour the prosecco, Aperol and soda water into a large wine glass and swirl.
Fill the glass with ice, garnish with an orange slice and enjoy. Salute!
Addictive Harlequin Dip
Recipe from Nicholson Fine Foods
This easy party dip is sure to impress family and friends, and uses two signature products created by Yamba’s own Nicholson Fine Foods.
• 100g good quality mayonnaise
• 100g sour cream
• 100g soft cream cheese
• ½ small/medium red onion, chopped finely
• 2 tbsp green herbs, parsley, dill, chives, chopped roughly
• 3 tbsp baby capers drained
• 2 heaped tablespoons Red Capsicum Garnishing Pearls by Nicholson Fine Foods
• 75 ml Mango Finishing Vinegar by Nicholson Fine Foods
In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese until soft. Add the sour cream, followed by the mayonnaise, and stir through. Spread the mix onto a serving plate, keeping it ‘hilly’ and a little lumpy for texture. Next, sprinkle the red onion over the top, followed by the capers and chopped herbs. You might want to do the next part at the table to add a bit of flair: scatter the Red Capsicum Garnishing Pearls around, then lightly pour the Mango Finishing Vinegar to create a river which flows through the valleys of the dish.
Serve with biscuits, bread, corn chips or crackers. Just take your pick and have a dip!
Spaghetti Alla Nerano
Recipe from The Italian on the Hill
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this delicious pasta recipe- when made correctly, it packs a serious flavour punch.
Like most authentic Italian dishes, the quality of ingredients used is extremely important. Yamba Farmers' Market on a Wednesday morning is a great place to source fresh local ingredients.
• 400g good quality spaghetti
• 800g zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
• 160g parmesan cheese & 40g pecorino cheese, both grated
• 2 or 3 garlic cloves
• A few basil leaves
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
Fry the zucchini slices in oil until lightly browned. Keep the heat fairly high and fry in single-layer batches, ensuring there is plenty of space between the zucchini rounds. Avoid browning too much, as the zucchini can become bitter.
As they are done, remove with a slotted spoon, and lay the fried slices on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt well, and add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente (at least one or two minutes less than the cooking time stated on the packet).
While the spaghetti is cooking, add olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and sauté lightly until golden.
Drain the pasta when it is done, but keep a ladle or two of the pasta water to the side.
To your frypan, add the zucchini and then the pasta, followed by a small ladleful of pasta water. Keep some zucchini on the side to use as a garnish if you like. Mix well for a minute or so, to coat the pasta in the oil and spread the zucchini evenly through the mix.
Add the grated cheese, and over gentle heat continue mixing until it has melted into a creamy, smooth sauce. You may need to add more pasta water as you go, just a little at a time, in order to keep the mixture smooth and creamy. You are aiming for the spaghetti to be evenly and lightly coated. Add some torn basil leaves while still on the heat. Mix through.
Garnish with cracked pepper, the remaining zucchini slices and a basil leaf. Serve immediately.
This dish is best enjoyed with a chilled glass to two of Fiano or Pinot Grigio white wine.
Clarence Valley Carrot Cake
Recipe from Kitchen to Table
There’s no doubt about it, Meredith’s carrot cake is a crowd pleaser.
Taking advantage of locally available ingredients, the Kitchen to Table owner has created a dish that is moist, spicy and wholesome.
Serves 8-10 (or less depending on how much you love cake!)
• 150g plain flour
• 120g wholemeal plain flour
• 1 tsp bicarb soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 3 tsp Herbies ‘Fragrant Sweet Spice’
• 200g brown sugar
• 400g carrots, peeled & grated
• 100g pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
• 3 eggs
• 250ml macadamia oil
• 250g cream cheese
• 50g butter, softened
• 50g icing sugar, sifted
• 50g pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C (170C fan forced). Grease and line a 24cm springform cake pan.
In a large bowl mix both flours, bicarb soda, baking powder, spice mix and brown sugar. Add grated carrots and chopped pecans and mix well.
Whisk the eggs and oil together, then add to the carrot mixture. Stir until everything is well combined, taking care to avoid too many lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden and firm to the touch.
For the cream cheese icing, combine all ingredients and beat until light and creamy. We use a food processor to do this, but a stand mixer or electric beaters would also do the job.
To make the cake gluten-free, substitute the flour for 270g of Monica’s gluten free flour mix, available at Kitchen to Table. Increase the number of eggs used from three to four.