My Kitchen by Pete Evans

  • Full Title : My Kitchen: Casual Home Cooking
  • Autor: Pete Evans
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741968283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741968286
  • Download File Format: epub


Bestselling author and chef Pete Evans brings cooking back to his home kitchen in My Kitchen. Focussing on casual home cooking as a lifestyle, Pete keeps it relaxed with fresh ingredients and flavors for every meal of the day. Featuring the dishes Pete loves to prepare for his family, My Kitchen offers all the inspiration you need to regularly cook simple, interesting meals that are bursting with flavour. Whether you want to create the ultimate seafood curry, a succulent steak with mint, lemon and chilli, or a classic lemon and lime cheesecake, My Kitchen is packed with fabulous meal ideas for the entire family.


About the Author

Pete Evans has built a reputation as a chef, restaurateur, television presenter and (his personal favorite) fisherman. He hosts a hit cooking show in Australia, My Kitchen Rules. His television work has also included daily food show Fresh, the series Fish, sixty episodes of Home for the LifeStyle Channel and a documentary, Cooking for our Princess Mary. Pete’s award-winning restaurants include Hugo’s Manly, Hugo’s Bar Pizza and Hugo’s Lounge in Sydney, as well as The Pantry in Brighton, Victoria.



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believe that even more important than the food is that guests feel comfortable and well cared for. Because then, and only then, can they really appreciate the great food that’s put before them.


The intention of this book is to provide home cooks with the ability to re-create the dishes we serve at Scarpetta. We have a lot of regulars who would love to know how their favorite dish is made. There are also lots of people who have read about Scarpetta or have seen something about it online or on TV and who would love to try our polenta with mushrooms, but who don’t live near one of the restaurants. For that reason, these recipes reflect almost exactly what it is we do every day in the Scarpetta kitchen. They have been edited for the home cook, but we have not skipped an element on the plate for the sake of simplifying the recipe or left out an ingredient just because it’s super seasonal or not available at all supermarkets. (You can get just about anything online these days.) That said, some of the recipes are drop-dead simple, and all of them should be doable for enthusiastic home cooks, with a few tips to keep in mind:

READ THE RECIPE START TO FINISH BEFORE YOU BEGIN COOKING. I know this is a truism for any recipe, but for these perhaps more so. Look closely at how much time the recipe will require. In the case of, say, marinating or brining, this is hands-off time, but you will need to figure out what needs to be done when and how much time you will need—some recipes require a day or more—before serving.

DO MOST OF THE WORK AHEAD OF TIME. Because we are a professional kitchen making hundreds of dishes a night, we have to be prepared. That means anything and everything that does not have to be cooked à la minute (French for “right now!”) is prepped earlier in the day. Some of these recipes include many components, but the beauty is that they can be made one day, two days, or even weeks before you have to pull the dish together. (Look for detailed make-ahead information within the recipe itself.) This actually makes entertaining easy, as you have done most of the time-consuming work ahead and can enjoy that glass of wine while you pull the meal together. You’ll find many of these make-ahead recipe components in The Scarpetta Pantry.

USE THE BEST INGREDIENTS YOU CAN AFFORD. High quality can cost more, but for a special occasion, it’s worth it.

INVEST IN A COUPLE OF KEY PIECES OF KITCHEN EQUIPMENT. We’re not all crazy modernist cooks in the Scarpetta kitchen, but there are a few items we can’t work without. They include a high-quality blender (we like Vitamix blenders) for making purées (a food processor just can’t do the job as well), an immersion (handheld) blender for froths, and a pasta machine for rolling fresh pasta dough. A spice grinder (you can use a coffee grinder dedicated to spices) will also come in handy. I also highly recommend investing in a stand mixer if you don’t already have one. Same with a mandoline; while you can use a chef’s knife for some of the recipes requiring vegetables sliced paper-thin, a mandoline makes the job so much easier. (And you don’t need a big, $200 stainless steel one, either. In our kitchen, we use the inexpensive Japanese ones that fold flat and can fit into a kitchen drawer.) One or two recipes call for a whipped cream canister, which may sound out there but is really easy to use and doesn’t cost a lot to purchase. That’s about it for anything specialized, but to make cooking more enjoyable, you will also want sharp knives, high-quality cookware, rimmed baking sheets, and a mix of good music in the background.

CONSIDER THE WINE. At Scarpetta, we take pride in helping our customers choose a wine that will go well with their dish. Many of the recipes included in this book include a wine pairing selected by Paolo Barbieri, master wine sommelier at Scarpetta Las Vegas. Not only is Paolo from Italy and an exceptional sommelier, but he also makes his own wine. He is good to have around.


* * *


WHETHER I AM HOSTING AN EVENT (OFTEN), or having friends and family to my home for a get-together (not as often as I would like), I know that what people want right away is a drink and a little something to nibble on. That’s what the recipes here are all about. These are the nuts, olives, dips, canapés, and hors d’oeuvres that set the tone for the rest of the night. At home, these are the bites you put out before dinner, while guests are gathering, catching up, getting acquainted.

When we do events, we’ll often set a long table against one wall and center a dramatic bouquet of flowers on it, which helps draw attention to the table. Wine and wineglasses go at one end and, at the other, some cheeses, a bowl of Herbed Potato Chips, Spiced Almonds, and Warm Olives. This setup not only lets guests nosh on something immediately, but it also creates a natural meeting place.

All of these assaggini (“small tastes”) pack loads of flavor and texture into a single balanced bite. Some are easy to make. Others take more time and effort but, like most good things in life, are worth it.



















These almonds, which pack a little more heat than most people expect in a bar nut, pair well with cocktails. We make them in 20-pound batches; you may never have a need for that many nuts in your life, but know that you can easily multiply this recipe. The egg white helps the spices adhere to the nuts. You want to use just enough to make that happen but not so much that the spices clump.


Grapeseed or canola oil, for the baking sheet

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons sweet paprika

1½ tablespoons cayenne pepper

1½ tablespoons whole star anise, broken into pieces

1 large egg white

1 pound (3 cups) whole almonds

* * *

Heat a convection oven to 350°F or a conventional oven to 375°F. Very lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, paprika, cayenne, and star anise.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the almonds and toss well to coat. Sprinkle the spices over the almonds and toss well to coat evenly. Transfer the almonds to a colander set in a clean sink and shake gently to remove excess spices.

Spread the nuts out on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake, stirring about halfway through, until nicely toasted, about 25 minutes. Remove the almonds from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.

Remove the pieces of star anise and discard. Use your hands to lightly separate clusters of the almonds, then return the almonds to the cleaned colander and gently shake to remove any excess spice. Serve right away, or store airtight for up to 2 days.


Sure, you can put out just a plain bowl of olives, but why would you do that when you can easily boost their flavor by infusing them with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and crushed red pepper? Not only that, but a bowl of these olives contributes a wonderful aroma to the table. People always comment on it.


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, lightly smashed

⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 cups mixed olives, such as Cerignola, Taggiasca, Gaeta, and Picholine

* * *

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper until the garlic starts to sizzle. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the olives, lower the heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the olives are warmed through and have absorbed the flavors, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.


If you’ve ever been to Italy, then you know all about fried artichokes. I can’t get enough of them when I am in Rome, but I sometimes find that the ones I’m served are too brown, with a flavor that’s bitter from spending too much time in the oil and a texture that’s not as supple as I would like. This recipe keeps intact the essence of the dish but elevates it for a better overall experience. The secret is frying the artichokes twice: first at a lower temperature and then at a higher temperature. The first fry makes the artichokes tender without overcooking the exterior. The second fry crisps and browns them to perfection. You can do the first fry (called a “blanch”) several hours ahead of the second.


Grapeseed or canola oil, for frying

30 baby artichokes, preferably purple

Kosher salt

12 fresh basil leaves, preferably a mix of opal and lemon

Lemon Yogurt (recipe follows)

* * *

Attach a candy/deep-fry thermometer to a deep, wide pot, and fill the pot with enough oil to come about halfway up the sides of the pot. Heat the oil to 275°F.

In batches, lower the artichokes into the oil and blanch until a metal cake tester or thin metal skewer can easily be inserted into the heart of the artichoke, 7 to 12 minutes. Using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool. Reserve the oil off the heat. Peel the outer leaves off, pulling downward to peel the stem. With the stem side up, flatten each artichoke, moving it in a circular motion on the baking sheet until the leaves open up. Refrigerate the artichokes until ready to fry the second time and serve. (The artichokes may be blanched 1 day ahead of serving; refrigerate until ready to use.)

To serve, heat the reserved oil to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. In batches, gently lower the artichokes into the oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towels and season with salt. Drop the basil leaves into the hot oil for a few seconds to crisp them, and transfer to the paper towels.

Spread some of the Lemon Yogurt on each serving plate and divide the artichokes among the plates. Top with the fried basil and serve immediately.


Delicious with fried artichokes, this tangy yogurt would also go well with fried calamari or just about anything else deep-fried or panfried, for that matter.


1 cup plain full-fat yogurt, preferably sheep’s milk

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

* * *

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper, and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature, then remove the garlic so it doesn’t overpower the other flavors. Cover and refrigerate if not using right away. (The yogurt may be made 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate it, but let it warm a bit at room temperature before serving for the best flavor.)


Soft and supple slices of paper-thin raw beef drizzled with a little olive oil and served on a crisp cracker—the simplicity of this bite is part of its beauty. For the best results, buy the highest quality of beef you can afford. I recommend Australian Wagyu because its marbling means that the raw meat practically melts in the mouth when served at room temperature.


8 ounces high-quality, well-marbled sirloin strip

Parmesan Crackers (recipe follows), reheated in a low oven if necessary

Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, halved and seeded

1 to 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing

* * *

Cut the sirloin into 8 equal pieces. Put one piece between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until paper-thin. Repeat with the other pieces, then cut each piece of carpaccio into 5 pieces. Place one piece of carpaccio on a Parmesan Cracker, allowing it to fall and fold naturally. Season with a tiny pinch of sea salt, a smidge of black pepper, and a couple of drops of lemon juice. Using a vegetable peeler, shave a thin slice of Parmigiano-Reggiano onto the beef. Top with a pinch of microgreens and a light drizzle of olive oil. Repeat until you have used up all the beef; you may have extra crackers. Serve immediately.



1¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons finely freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3 tablespoons ice water

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

* * *

Heat a convection oven to 325°F or a conventional oven to 350°F. Put the flour, salt, and black pepper in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and ½ cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and pulse until the dough looks sandy. Add the ice water and pulse until the dough just comes together. Remove the dough from the food processor and, if using the chives, knead them in by hand.

Put the dough on a piece of parchment paper, put another piece of parchment over it, and roll the dough ⅛ inch thick. Remove the top sheet, trim any jagged edges, and transfer the dough on the parchment to a rimmed baking sheet. With a pizza cutter, divide the dough into 1 × 2-inch rectangles (press just hard enough to cut the dough and not the paper). With a fork, prick each rectangle a few times. Bake for 10 minutes, then take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the crackers with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

The crackers are best served warm, but they can be made 1 day ahead. Let them cool completely on the baking sheet before storing airtight. Reheat in a warm oven before serving.


Homemade potato chips are so easy to make and so much better than bagged, especially when they’re fried with garlic and fragrant herbs like rosemary and sage. It’s hard to say what I like better: the crisp chips or the fried herbs, which, though they hardly look different when fried, will shatter in your mouth in the most pleasant way. Make these chips for friends, and you will be regarded as a hero. While I prefer my chips skin on—I think they look sexier that way—you can peel the potatoes, if you prefer.


2 large russet potatoes, skin on, well washed

Grapeseed or canola oil, for frying

¼ cup fresh sage leaves

¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 cloves garlic, sliced paper-thin

Kosher salt

Crushed red pepper

* * *

Fill a medium bowl with cold water. Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes into very thin (1⁄16-inch) rounds. As you slice, transfer the potatoes to the water and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Attach a candy/deep-fry thermometer to a deep, wide pot, and fill the pot about halfway with oil. Heat the oil to between 300°F and 325°F. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and spread them out on paper towels to absorb excess water.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with dry paper towels. Carefully add a handful of the potatoes to the oil; the oil will bubble furiously. Fry, turning the potatoes occasionally, until the oil stops bubbling and the potatoes are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add a portion of the sage, rosemary, and parsley and a portion of the garlic and fry for another 10 to 15 seconds. Using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer everything from the oil to the baking sheet. Immediately season with salt and a tiny pinch of crushed red pepper.

Repeat with the remaining potatoes, herbs, and garlic, kosher salt, and crushed red pepper. Let the chips cool to room temperature, then transfer to a large bowl and serve.


An aperitivo is a pre-meal drink crafted to whet your appetite. Campari, that iconic Italian red spirit, on the rocks, is the most basic and classic aperitivo. And it’s an ingredient in one of Scarpetta’s signature cocktails, the San Remo, a stimulating blend of citrus, bitter, and bourbon. To make it, combine the following in a mixing glass: 2 ounces Carpano Antica, 1 ounce Campari, ¼ ounce St-Germain, ¼ ounce Maker’s Mark, 1 ounce orange juice, and the juice from ½ lemon and ½ lime. Top the mixing glass with ice, shake, strain, and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist. Easy enough, but do as we do and pay attention to the details: Make sure to use fresh ice, not the stuff that’s been in the freezer for years. And serve the drink in a good glass, one that feels balanced in your hand and holds the right amount of liquid. We serve the San Remo in an Schott Zwiesel Iceberg Double Old Fashioned glass, which has a straight side and a thick base that makes drinking out of it a pleasure. It’s the little things.


Gougères, savory little cheese puffs, may come from France, but I give my bite-size ones an Italian accent by flavoring them with Parmigiano-Reggiano and filling the profiterole-like ball with a basil purée. When we serve these at a party, we layer the serving tray with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and grate even more of it over the gougères. It not only looks cool, but the texture of the grated cheese against the warm gougères is really great.


1 cup whole milk

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

6 large eggs

¼ cup finely freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling

Basil Purée

* * *

Heat a convection oven with the fan on low to 350°F (if the fan does not have low speed, don’t use it) or heat a conventional oven to 375°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup water, the milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the butter has melted and the mixture has just come to a boil. Immediately add the flour all at once while stirring constantly until a dough forms and pulls cleanly from the sides of the pot.

Transfer the dough to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the dough is cool enough to combine with the eggs without cooking them, about 1 minute. Add 1 egg and mix on low speed until it’s well blended and the dough is smooth again. Repeat with the rest of the eggs until all are incorporated. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix until incorporated.

Using a pastry bag with a plain tip, pipe the dough into cherry tomato–size mounds on the baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Alternatively, use a mini ice-cream scoop or 2 tablespoons to drop small mounds of dough onto the sheets. (The gougères can be frozen at this point. Freeze them on the baking sheet until rock-hard, then store airtight in a freezer bag. Before baking, space frozen gougères out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and thaw for 1 hour at room temperature before


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