MasterChef winners Karena and Kasey Bird write a fortnightly food column in Living.

Kasey and Karena: Favourite recipes from our new book

Favourites from our travels feature in our new book.
Scallops with vermicelli. Photo / Deborah Aspray
Scallops with vermicelli. Photo / Deborah Aspray

This week we let you have a sneak peek at two of our new recipes, extracted from our new book, Hungry out on November 22.

One is based on a memorable seafood meal we enjoyed in In Yantai, China, the other one of our favourite Italian desserts. When we were in Rome we had tiramisu almost every day. It means "pick me up" in Italian, so we used that as an excuse to have one for breakfast some mornings. Here is the version we make at home for Dad. It is pretty classic, just how we like it.

Scallops with vermicelli

Serves 4

1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp butter
12 scallops, skirts removed
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4cm piece of ginger, chopped
1 large red chilli, seeds removed and chopped finely
2 spring onions, chopped
150g vermicelli, cooked as per packet instructions

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the oil and butter.

Dry the scallops on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Cook scallops in the pan for 30-60 seconds on each side, depending on how big the scallops are. Remove scallops from the pan and set aside.

Discard the oil and butter from the pan and wipe clean with a paper towel. Place back on the heat and turn it down to medium. Add the peanut oil and fry the garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onions. Cook for about 7 minutes, making sure to not let the garlic brown.

Add the cooked vermicelli to the pan and heat the noodles through. Serve the scallops on top of the vermicelli with some of the garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onion on top.

Tiramisu

Serves 4

SABAYON
6 free-range egg yolks
1 cup of sweet marsala or port
1/3 cup sugar

TRIFLE
450g mascarpone
1 cup sugar
1½ cups cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp icing sugar
1½ cups strong espresso, cooled
Lady finger biscuits or sponge cake, cut into chunks
Cocoa and coffee beans to serve

Place all of the ingredients for the sabayon in a heatproof bowl and whisk together until well combined. Use a pot that fits the bowl comfortably, add water to it and bring it to a boil. Place the bowl on top of the boiling water and whisk constantly, making sure the whisk reaches right to the bottom so the bottom mixture doesn't cook too quickly.

Whisk for about 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken and looks like lightly whipped cream. It should have tripled in volume. Remove from the heat.

For the trifle, beat together the mascarpone and sugar with a cake mixer until very smooth and you cannot feel the sugar crystals when you rub some of the mixture between your fingers. In another bowl, whisk together the cream and vanilla and whip until soft peaks form. Mix the cream gently with the mascarpone, making sure not to beat the air out too much.

Mix the icing sugar with the espresso and place in a shallow dish. Quickly dip the lady fingers or sponge into the coffee. Place a layer into the bottom of your serving glass.

Pour over a layer of the sabayon then top with another layer of the lady fingers or sponge. Top with the mascarpone mixture. Dust with cocoa and garnish with coffee beans.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. This is also very good eaten the next day - if any survives.

WIN

To celebrate the publication of Hungry, by Karena and Kasey Bird, Sunday Travel has five advance copies, along with five copies of their first cookbook, For the Love of ... to give away (each winner will receive one copy of both books). Go to winwiththeherald.co.nz and enter the keyword HUNGRY to be in the draw. Competition closes 11.59pm on Wednesday, November 9.

- Spy.co.nz

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