Summer Entertaining Inspiration
Christmas time is all about gathering with friends and family – with food often been the centre of it all. As we busily prepare for our Christmas Day celebrations, we looked to Nour Executive Chef Paul Farag for some inspiration as to what to prepare this Christmas. Nour – based in Surry Hills Sydney, is built on a dream of presenting classic Lebanese flavours in a fresh, exciting way. We were SO excited to talk with Paul and learn more about his Christmas plans – as well as generously providing the recipes for his Christmas cocktail & 2 of his Summer dishes.
After a successful stint running Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery, chef Paul Farag moved to Surry Hills to head up the kitchen at Nour, as Executive Chef in September 2020.
The move has allowed Paul to cook food close to his heart, combining his Egyptian heritage with classical technique he acquired from past roles at Sydney’s Monopole, Four in Hand and Gordon Ramsay’s fine diner in London, Pétrus.
So Paul, how will you be spending Christmas?
This Christmas I’ll be driving to my partners family home in Batemans Bay. It’s usually a relaxed week of drinking and eating by the pool or local beach. I plan on visiting some local oyster farmer friends and sit in oyster sheds drinking the wine they produce.
What’s on the menu?
This year sees me bringing some middle eastern flair to Christmas; i’ll be doing a spiked Egyptian iced tea cocktail for the everyone – think a big jug of pimms, only hibiscus and rose vibes! Food wise, i’m always big on seafood & keeping it simple by cooking it on the bbq or in the pizza oven.
Spiked Egyptian Iced Tea Cocktail
1l boiling water
100 g Egyptian iced tea dried
1 bunch mint
1 punnet strawberry
gin of choice to taste – at least 200ml
Simply brew the water, tea and honey like tea. Put in the fridge to cool and add the mint, strawberry & gin.
Grilled king prawns with ras el hanout butter
1 kg green king prawns
400 g butter soft
ras el hanout spice 70 g
1 preserved lemon seeded
2 bunches flat leaf parsley
5 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp salt
4 lemons juiced
1 bunch fresh coriander
2 large heads fennel
Split prawns and de-vein, or ask your fishmonger to do (much easier).
In a bowl mix the softened butter with spices, salt and both lemon making sure to leave one lemon for when it comes off the grill.
Lightly oil the prawns and rub in with your hands, then shell side down add the prawns to the grill slowly adding the butter onto the flesh to baste and get a bit of flare up, no beer on this one fellas, I’m sorry.
Once the prawns are cooked, throw them back into a clean bowl with chopped herbs and add remaining butter tossing them to mix through.
simply, mix with your hands making sure to get some of that juice in the bottom with some bread!
These also make a great sandwich the next day with the prawn meat bound with a bit of mayo or even toum.
Day after salad
This is something I whip up usually the day after Christmas lunch. Adding protein is optional but I always over cater and add leftover trout or ham.
I have a little veggie patch that I can raid that has broad bean leaves, broccoli and radishes but you can use most greens that you have available.
2 heads broccolini with leaves if possible
300 g snow peas
2 nectarines cut into wedges
300g fresh curd or stracciatella
130g pine nut toasted
tbsp English mustard
120 ml olive oil
pinch of salt
sprinkle of aleppo pepper on top
Heat the BBQ or grill and char the broccolini. Remove the fibrous stem from the snow peas and also char-grill. Cut up some nectarine into wedges, you can substitute with apricot, peach or any stone fruit.
Make up the quick dressing by mixing the mustard and olive oil with a pinch of salt.
Toss everything together and place over the fresh curd.
If adding leftover meat this can be shredded and added to the mixed salad.
Sydney local or impending visitor?