Food is all about bringing people together – sharing a meal, trading stories, passing dishes from one hand to the next. And Dine for Lanka, a campaign dedicated to helping victims of the bombings in Sri Lanka earlier this year, continues to use food in support of its cause.
Serendipity is a cookbook of recipes from some of Australia’s top industry players, including Sri Lankan chef Rishi Naleendra (of Michelin-starred Cheek by Jowl in Singapore); former Masterchef judge Matt Preston; chef-restaurateur Shannon Bennett; and chefs from some of the country’s best restaurants, including Brae, Embla, Lesa, Indu and more.
“This is made in the style of a bisque but with some hints of Southeast Asian flavours,” Allen tells Broadsheet. “It’s made with some of my [favourites] from Australia: marron heads, barramundi bones and Tasmanian mountain pepper.”
Proceeds from the sale of Serendipity will go to charity Kind Hearted Lankans, which will use them to provide support to victims of last April’s Easter bombings in the island nation.
Buy the cookbook here.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Coconut and cauliflower puree
500ml coconut cream
Grapeseed oil, as needed
Finely chop the cauliflower florets and sweat in grapeseed oil on a low heat, without colouring, until tender.
Add the coconut cream and cook until combined and the cauliflower is cooked through.
Blitz in a blender on high speed until silky smooth.
Transfer to a bowl sitting on an ice bath to cool. Reserve in refrigerator.
8 marron (can use yabby or lobster as alternatives)
Salt, as needed
Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and season with salt.
Remove heads from the marron and reserve for later. Skewer the body through the intestinal cord, then blanche in hot water for 55 seconds and place into an ice bath. Allow to cool completely.
Remove skewer from the marron and carefully crack the shell off the tail. Re-skewer the marron to ensure it doesn’t curl up during cooking.
Store in the fridge wrapped in a towel then vacuum seal or store in an airtight container to prevent oxidisation.
Remove the coral (red or orange membranes in the marron head) with a spoon. Reserve for later.
Marron and saffron paste
15g fennel seeds
15g coriander seeds
15g mountain pepper seeds
5g celery seeds
80g shallots, peeled and chopped
80g carrots, peeled and chopped
100g fennel, peeled and chopped
60g garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
80g galangal, peeled and chopped
3g bird’s eye chillies
1 kefir lime, peeled
90g lemon grass, white part only, bruised and chopped
200g grapeseed oil
In a pan, dry roast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns. Once cooled, grind spices into a powder.
Combine all the ingredients except the oil together and puree with a stick blender. Gradually pour in the oil until you have a smooth paste, adding some hot water if needed.
700g marron and saffron paste
500g blue mussels
300g fish bones
300g marron heads
400g tomatoes, chopped
150ml white wine
4L chicken stock
10 kaffir lime leaves
250g grapeseed oil
Salt, as needed
Steam the mussels open with the white wine. Remove the mussels and discard the shells. Strain the mussel-wine liquid and combine with saffron. Let steep on low heat until infused.
In a large pot, heat the oil until smoking. Add the marron and saffron paste, salt and the kaffir lime leaves. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20–30 minutes or until the paste has lost its raw taste.
Add the steamed mussels, fish bones, marron heads and tomatoes, then continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Pour the chicken stock and saffron-mussel-wine liquid into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the marron heads, then put the curry through a mouli and pass through a fine sieve.
8 marron tails
Cauliflower and coconut puree
Butter, as needed
Creme fraiche, as needed
Reduced white wine, as needed
Heat a small amount of butter in a saucepan. Add a spoon of the marron coral and cook for around 10 seconds with 200ml of marron curry sauce. Season with a little butter, crème fraiche and some reduced white wine. Set aside.
Cook marron in a clean pan over medium heat until done. In a separate pot, heat the coconut puree.
Place a spoon of puree in the centre of a warm bowl. Place the cooked marron tail directly on top. Serve with a 3–4 tbsps of finished curry sauce.