On a chilly Sunday afternoon, we gathered together, welcomed by the smell of hot pulled pork chipotle pies, glasses of Brown Brothers Tempranillo and the click of Emily Fitzgerald’s Nikon D800.

Fitzgerald is not only a food photographer, stylist and founder of the blog Adeline & Lumiere, but an incredible cook. And when we say incredible, we mean mouth-watering, hold-your-stomach-in-pain-because-you-just-ate-five-servings incredible.

The perfect way to try out her culinary creations is when you’re catching up with friends on a night that’s too cold to leave the house. Invite them over for a dinner party and cook your way through these recipes. And yes, that simple lemon meringue pie does taste as good as it looks.[fold]

Beetroot, Goat's Cheese & Candied Walnut Salad

What you’ll need:
2 bunches baby beetroot, trimmed
Olive oil, to grease
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup walnut halves
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
2 bunches rocket leaves
80g goat's cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place beetroot on a baking tray, prick with a fork and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, let cool, peel skins and halve.

2. Meanwhile, brush a wire rack with oil and place over a sheet of baking paper. Place sugar in a non-stick fry pan and place over medium heat. Let it cook without stirring and once the sugar begins to melt, tilt the pan around to catch all sugar crystals. Be very careful with the sugar – it’s hot! Once the sugar has melted, add walnuts and cover in the melted sugar. Place onto the oiled wire rack and once cooled, separate and sprinkle with a little salt. Let cool.

3. Place rocket and beetroot into a large bowl and sprinkle with goat’s cheese. Combine oil, vinegar and mustard in a jug and drizzle over the salad adding the candied walnuts last.

Pulled Pork Chipotle Pies

What you’ll need:
1.5kg pork loin
400g crushed tomatoes
1 bottle White Rabbit Dark Ale
2 large potatoes, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
250g peas
2 tbsp corn flour
puff pastry
1 egg

For the pork rub:
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2–3 chipotle chillies (tinned)
2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin
1tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp garlic powder

1. Place the slow cooker on low and pour a can of tomatoes into the base of the dish. Meanwhile add all rub ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Place the pork into the bowl and cover the entire surface with the rub, then place it into the slow cooker with the fat facing upwards. Pour and spread the remaining rub over the meat. Slowly pour the Dark Ale into the side of the slow cooker (not directly on the pork as you don’t want to wash off the rub). Place the lid on top and let cook over night or for 12 hours.

2. Once the pork has cooked for 12 hours, take the fat off the meat (it should peel off easily with tongs). Place the pork in a large bowl and pull the meat apart with two forks. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and place on medium heat. In a small glass, add corn flour and a little water and mix well. Pour this into the sauce and mix through. Cook well, stirring continuously for 10–15 minutes until thickened.

3. In a large pot, use a good glug of olive oil, add onion and let brown. Next, add carrots and potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until carrots are soft. In the same pot, add sauce and the pulled pork and mix thoroughly. Lastly, stir peas through the filling and then let the mixture cool.

4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Once the mixture is cool, take your pie tin (or ramekins) and brush with a little melted butter or oil, then line them with puff pastry. Spoon enough pulled pork mixture level with the top and add the pastry topper. Brush the top of the pies with a beaten egg and place in the oven for 20–30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a tomato relish.

The pulled pork for this recipe should ideally be cooked over night. The sauce will need to be made in the morning, as it will take at least 4 hours to cool.

Simple Lemon Meringue Pie

What you’ll need:
95g butter melted
200g ginger nut biscuits
1 tbsp lemon zest (roughly two lemons)
150ml lemon juice (3 lemons)
3 large egg yolks
400g condensed milk
3 egg whites
80g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Crush ginger nut biscuits in a large bag with a rolling pin (or blitz with a food processor). Place biscuits in a bowl, add melted butter and mix well. Pour butter-crumb mixture into a tart tin and press the mixture down firmly and evenly around the base and sides. Place the tin in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until just golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, add egg yolks and lemon zest to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Add condensed milk and whisk for further 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and mix until just combined.

3. Once the base is golden brown take it out of the oven and pour the lemon mixture into the base. Place the pie back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until it feels slightly firm to the touch.

4. Meanwhile, in a spotlessly clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time ensuring it’s mixed in well. Once all the sugar has been added, beat until stiff peaks form and the sugar has dissolved. Spread the meringue over the lemon filling and place back in the oven for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before serving.

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