Dec 17, 2012 12:41PM

An Oyster Christmas Breakfast with Mitch Orr

The 'Young Chef of the Year' tells us about his Christmas traditions and shares some recipes to DIY.
Mitch Orr shot by Radge

Mitch Orr, chef about town, comedic Twitter presence and one-time Cleo Bachelor of the Year nominee, lets us in on his ultimate Christmas breakfast/brunch. Awarded the 2010 Good Food Guide Josephine Pignolet 'Young Chef of the Year' award, Mitch's many accolades since then include appearing as a special guest on Masterchef and being profiled by The Huffington Post, who says that he "presents a progressive futurist vision for the food scene in Sydney". Previously holding post as co-Head Chef at Duke Bistro, Mitch now works at Italian restuarant Buzo:

Christmas is one of the best days of eating on the calendar. Everyone knows they have a lot of good shit scheduled to eat, some good nap time put aside, and leftovers to help with the innevitable laziness over the next couple of days. 

I grew up in the west; my parents still live in the same house. When you move out of the hood and the friends you grew up with don't, it results in you not seeing them much, so Christmas is an important time for me.

Everyone has a jam-packed day on the 25th, but luckily my friends all celebrate in different ways — some on Christmas eve, some do Christmas lunch, some do dinner. This means that I can guilt everyone into dropping by my mum's house at some point to catch up and be fed a lil extra.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and everyone is already up early to open presents, so there is really no excuse not to come by, have my mum ask you a million question about your life, maybe bring me a present and then mosey on to your family responsibilities, having already eaten more than enough for the week.

The BBQ is your best friend on Christmas and when cooking for big groups.  If you can't cook it on the BBQ you're really not trying hard enough.

Menu:
Fried eggs
Bacon
Caramelized onions
Mushrooms
Grilled tomatoes
Sausages
Prawns
Cured Salmon
Fruit

Toast
Champagne
Juice
Vodka
Gin

Recipes:

Cured Salmon
Two sides of salmon

Cure mix ingredients
500g good quality fine salt
500g brown sugar
30g fennel seeds
2 cinnamon quill
30g celery seeds
5 star anise
Zest of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 orange
6 sprigs of thyme

Method
1) Mix all the cure mix ingredients together. 
2) Cover the base of a tray with the cure mix.
3) Lay the fish skin side down in the tray, sprinkle the rest of the cure mix over the top of the fish, ensuring it is completely covered.
4) Leave the fish in the cure for 8 hours, it should now be nice and firm. 
5) Remove from cure, rinse any salt mix off and pat dry with paper towel.
6) To serve, slice the fish thinly off the skin, starting at the head side of the filet and working down.
7)Dress with a little olive oil and lemon juice.

Mushrooms

Ingredients
2 punnets oyster mushrooms
2 punnets namenko
2 punnets shitake
2 punnets black funghi or woodear
2 punnets shemiji
2 punnets swiss brown
2 packets enoki
2 punnets white funghi
100g toasted sliced almonds
1 bunch of majoram
Handful of bonito flakes
40 ml soy sauce
20ml mirin
100ml shiro dashi
Butter

Method
1) Prepare all the mushrooms, remove all the stalks and save them — slice the shitake thinly, chop the swiss browns, keep the enoki long, the shemiji in caps, slice the black funghi thinly or leave the woodear as they are, tear the oyster, break the white funghi into chunks.
2) Place all the stalks into a pot with 500ml water and the bonito flakes, dashi soy sauce and mirin, bring to the boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid, check the seasoning and adjust with soy and mirin if needed.
3) Sauté the mushroom in a hot pan, with a little oil and butter, starting with the firm mushrooms first adding the softer ones last so they cook evenly. Remove from the pan.
4) To the hot pan add the mushroom stock and a big fat chunk of butter and boil until emulsified. It should be nice and thick and shiny. Pour over mushrooms, top with majoram and toasted almonds.

Introduction: Ingrid Kesa
Mitch Orr

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