What started out as a weekly meeting between five food-obsessed friends from Sydney has turned into a huge online following, celebrity fans (including the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson) and two bestselling cookery books. Now 10 years on, the Monday Morning Cooking Club has published its third book, It’s Always About the Food, featuring recipes handed down through generations.
Standing Rib Roast with Horseradish Crust by Michele Wise
2 kg standing beef rib roast (prime rib of beef)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
16 French shallots, peeled
4 potatoes or parsnips, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
60ml olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
45g horseradish, grated fresh or prepared
8 sprigs thyme, leaves only
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Place a large roasting pan in the oven to heat up.
To make the horseradish crust, in a bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, horseradish, thyme, salt and pepper and spread over the beef.
In a separate bowl, toss the carrots, shallots and potatoes or parsnips with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the hot roasting pan from the oven and carefully place the beef in the pan, bone-side down. Scatter the vegetables around the beef.
Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and continue to roast for about 1 hour (total cooking time) for rare, 1¼ hours for medium–rare and 1½ hours for medium. The cooking time depends on the size of the roast but a good guide is 16 mins per 500g (1lb 2oz) for rare, 20 mins for medium and 24 mins for well done.
Remove the pan from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow the beef to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with the roasted vegetables.
Mandarin Cake with Marmalade Syrup by Kathy Miller
4 thin-skinned mandarins
(about 480g/1lb 1oz in total)
300g caster sugar
300g ground almonds
1 tablespoon baking powder
whipped cream, to serve
1.5 litres (6 cups) water
690g (3 cups) caster sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
Line a 22 cm (8½ inch) spring-form cake tin.
Wash all the fruit very well; do not peel. To make the fruit purée for the cake, put the mandarins and lemon into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over low–medium heat for one hour or until the fruit is soft. Drain and allow to cool.
Cut the fruit in half and remove all the seeds. In a food processor or blender, purée the fruit (with the skin) and set aside.
While the fruit is cooking, make the marmalade syrup. Thinly slice the mandarins and limes, remove and discard any seeds and place in a heavy based medium saucepan. Add the water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, for one hour or until the fruit is soft. Add the sugar and simmer for at least one hour or until a rich syrup forms. It should reduce to 2 cups. Strain off ½ cup of the syrup into a heatproof jug, add the brandy to the strained syrup and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). In an electric mixer, whisk the eggs until creamy and light. Add the sugar and continue to whisk for a few minutes. Add the ground almonds and baking powder and whisk for a minute to combine. Fold in the fruit purée and pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and prick the top all over with a wooden skewer. Pour the strained syrup over the top of the cake. Decorate with the peel from the marmalade syrup. Allow to cool in the tin. Serve warm or at room temperature with extra syrup on the side and whipped cream.
Teaspoon sea salt
Teaspoon ground black pepper
6 150g snapper fillets, cut into 4
150g potato flour
4 tablespoons za’atar
4 tablespoons ground sumac
1 teaspoon sea salt
125ml vegetable oil
finely grated zest of 1 lemon, to garnish
coriander leaves, to garnish
Coriander and chickpea salad
1 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches coriander, roughly chopped
150g pine nuts, lightly toasted
60ml lemon juice
60ml extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 fresh bird’s eye chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
sea salt and ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
To make the salad, toss the chickpeas with the olive oil on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool slightly. In a bowl, toss together the coriander, pine nuts and chickpeas.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper and whisk together well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
To prepare the fish, in a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Add the snapper fillets and allow them to sit for a few minutes. On a flat plate, mix the potato flour, za’atar, sumac and salt. Lift the snapper pieces out of the egg mixture and coat on both sides with the flour mixture.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat until the oil is hot. Add the snapper pieces and fry for about one minute on each side or until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.
To serve, spread the salad on a wide serving platter and scatter the snapper pieces on top. Garnish with coriander and lemon zest.
It’s Always About the Food by Monday Morning Cooking Club, published by Harper Collins, is priced £23 (hardback). Available now.