I know pork crackling isn’t really Turkish, but this combo was inspired by my visit to Turkey and it is such a cracking entree that it will be on the Maha menu for a long time to come. You could make your own pork crackling or buy it ready cooked from an Asian grocer or liquor store. Serve as part of a meze platter with plenty of crusty bread.
- 10 pieces beach banana (see Note)
- 10 pieces samphire (see Notes)
- 10 baby black cabbage (cavolo nero) leaves
- 10 leaves mache (lamb’s tongue)
- zest of ½ lemon
- 10 pieces crispy pork crackling
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling
- 2 French shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 12 oysters, removed from shell
- 25 ml white wine
- 200ml thickened cream
- sea salt , to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 1 hour
To make the oyster cream, place the olive oil in a cold, non-stick frying pan, add the shallots and garlic and cook over low heat for 6-8 minutes or until soft. Starting with a cold pan helps draw out the natural sugars and allow the garlic and shallots to sweat rather than fry. Stir in the oysters, then add the white wine and simmer until the wine has nearly evaporated. Add the cream and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a high powered blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste , then pass through a fine sieve into a shallow dish and refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold and slightly firm.
To serve, place the beach banana, samphire and green leaves in a bowl. Add the lemon zest and crumble in the pork crackling. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss gently to combine. Spread a little oyster cream in the middle of each serving plate and place the greens around the outside. Serve immediately.
• Despite their appearance, beach bananas aren’t seaweed, but rather a type of succulent native to the Gippsland region of Victoria. They impart a salty, fresh burst of flavour similar to the taste of the ocean. Available from select greengrocers. If unavailable, use samphire instead.
• The herb samphire, sometimes known as sea asaparagus, grows wild and in abundance along the southern coastline of Australia. It is a fleshy, smooth, much-branched herb with a woody base and bright green juicy leaves with a powerful scent. Available from select greengrocers.