LIGHT ‘N’ EASY

Danielle Peita Graham

Corn Fritters with Avocado Salsa

Deep-Fried Whole Fish with Chilli & Tomato Dipping Sauce

Roast Lamb Shoulder with Asian-Style Mint Sauce

Potato Salad with Cucumber, Carrot & Egg

Prawns with Miso Butter

Simple Green Salad

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This article first appeared in haven, The Edge Malaysia, on Issue #82 December 2016 - February 2017.

 

There is something immeasurably joyful and celebratory about a table groaning under the weight of a home-cooked holiday feast. Here, fresh from the success of her first and recently launched cookbook, On the Table at Home, mother, model and author Danielle Peita Graham shares with Haven all the recipes you need for a merry meal this season.

 

“Home cooking is something I am passionate about,” says Danielle Peita Graham. A celebrated model and newly minted author, the Sino-Irish beauty recently launched her first cookbook, On the Table at Home, to great acclaim in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. “I wanted to share the greatest gift my family has given me — a love of good food and a passion for cooking with heart and soul,” she says of the publication of her first book, a dream she had harboured since her teens. “On the Table at Home is my way of sharing my love of the delicious home-cooked food I make for my family and friends all the time.” 

With the holidays looming, what better way to celebrate than with a home-cooked feast put together from just a small selection of the recipes featured in the book? “There’s nothing better than sitting down to a home-cooked Christmas lunch,” smiles Graham. “I grew up eating both Asian and Western dishes all the time, so I like to mix things up … to have an East meets West vibe, showcasing a little bit of this, a little bit of that.”

Sharing six recipes from On the Table at Home with Haven, Graham acknowledges, “This isn’t your typical Xmas lunch. It’s a more casual menu so the lamb shoulder helps to make it feel decidedly more festive and decadent. Chicken is, of course, a safe option — everybody loves a good roast chicken — but lamb always feels more of a treat, not to mention being such a really nice thing to share. I get my lamb from Ben’s Independent Grocer. All the dishes featured go really well together and, given our tropical climate, I like a lighter touch to the holiday meal. All you need to do is dress up the table a little and you’re all set!”

 

 

The menu Danielle Graham's Tropical Xmas Luncheon

 

Corn Fritters with Avocado Salsa

 

Serves 4-6

2 corn cobs

1 free-range egg, whisked

¼ cup grated cheddar cheese

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup plain (all-purpose) flour

2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons salted butter

 

Avocado Salsa

1 avocado, cubed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon white sugar

1 long red chili, finely chopped

½ small onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon coriander, coarsely chopped

½ red capsicum, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

 

1. To make the Avocado Salsa, gently combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Stand the corn cobs upright on a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, slice off the kernels. Discard the cobs and put the corn kernels, egg, cheese, spring onion, plain flour, cornflour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Combine well and bring together as a batter.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter and when it starts sizzling, add several tablespoons of the batter at a time, without overcrowding the pan. Cook for two minutes on each side or until lightly browned and crispy. Transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

4. Serve the corn fritters on a platter with the Avocado Salsa on the side.

 

 

Deep-Fried Whole Fish with Chilli & Tomato Dipping Sauce

 

Serves 4-6

1 whole snapper or sea bass, approximately 800g, cleaned and scaled

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour

2 spring onions, finely julienned

1 long red chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon coriander leaves

 

DIPPING SAUCE

½ garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped coriander root

½ teaspoon white sugar

½ teaspoon salt

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon finely-chopped long red chili

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

 

1. To make the Dipping Sauce, use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, coriander root, sugar and salt to a rough paste. Add the tomatoes and gently pound until you have a rough texture. Add the chili, lime juice and fish sauce and mix well. Set aside.

2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel, place on a chopping board and use a knife to make four shallow slits along both sides of the fish.

3. Pour the vegetable oil into a wok to half-fill it and heat over high heat for three minutes, or until the surface starts to shimmer.

4. Spread the flour over a plate and gently dust the fish with it. Carefully add the fish to the pan and cook for four minutes. Gently turn the fish over and cook for another four minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

5. Transfer the fish to a serving plate and scatter over the spring onion, chili and coriander leaves. Drizzle over a little of the Dipping Sauce. Serve immediately with the remaining Dipping Sauce on the side.

 

 

Roast Lamb Shoulder with Asian-Style Mint Sauce

 

Serves 6-8

2 kg lamb shoulder, bone in

3 tablespoons fish sauce

3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

¼ cup chopped mint, to garnish

1 tablespoon finely julienned red chili, to garnish

1 tablespoon finely julienned spring onion, to garnish

 

ASIAN-STYLE MINT SAUCE

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons peanut oil

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon fish sauce

3 long red chilies, deseeded and julienned

3 spring onions, thinly sliced on an angle

1 cup mint leaves, torn

 

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking dish with baking paper.

2. Put the lamb in the baking dish and add two cups water. Cover the dish tightly and securely with foil. Place in the preheated oven and cook for two hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.

3. Meanwhile, to make the Asian-style Mint Sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

4. To make a glaze for the lamb, combine the fish sauce and sweet chili sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

5. When the lamb is cooked, remove the foil and brush the glaze over the top. Increase the heat to 200°C and return the lamb to the oven, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, or until the glaze caramelises.

6. To serve, transfer the lamb to a serving dish and pour the cooking juices over it. Garnish with the chopped mint, chili and spring onion, and serve with the Asian-style Mint Sauce on the side. 

 

 

Potato Salad with Cucumber, Carrot & Egg

 

Serves 4-6

1kg unpeeled new potatoes

2 Japanese cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthways

1 large carrot, quartered lengthways, then cut into 5mm slices

½ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon white sugar

2 boiled free-range eggs, peeled and cut lengthways into quarters

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill

 

1. Put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, put the cucumber and carrot in a small bowl. Sprinkle the salt over and toss to combine. Set aside for two minutes then use your hands to squeeze out the excess liquid. Set aside.

3. Put the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

4. Drain and halve the potatoes, and add, while still hot, to the mayonnaise mixture. Mix to coat the potatoes well. 

5. Add the cucumber, carrot and egg to the potato mixture and combine well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, scatter over the dill and serve.

 

 

Prawns with Miso Butter

 

Serves 4

2 tablespoons white miso paste

100g unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

12 raw king prawns, washed (heads, tails and shells intact)

 

1. Put the miso paste and butter in a small bowl and mix well with a spoon. Set aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the prawns in a single layer and cook for two minutes or until golden. Turn the prawns and add the miso butter to the pan. Allow the butter to melt and cook the prawns for one minute or until cooked through. Spoon the foaming butter over the prawns to cover them and toss to combine. Transfer to a plate, spoon over the butter and serve.

 

 

Simple Green Salad

 

Serves 4

1 baby butter lettuce

2 spring onions, thinly sliced lengthways

 

DRESSING

1 French shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

1. To make the dressing, put the shallots, mustard and lemon juice in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. Gradually add the olive oil, whisking to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Set aside.

2. Separate, rinse and drain the lettuce leaves using a salad spinner. Tear the larger leaves into pieces, leaving the smaller ones whole, and place them all on a large plate. Pour over the dressing and scatter over the spring onions. Serve immediately.  
 


On the Table at Home (ISBN 978-0-646-95712-8) is available for sale in Malaysia at Ben’s Independent Grocers, Borders and Kinokuniya. In Hong Kong, it may be found at Bookazine, Kelly and Walsh, Eslite, Commercial Joint Press, Chung Hwa and Swindon Bookstores. (www.onthetableathome.com) You can also follow @onthetableathome on Instagram.