Chef Andrew Blake shows people how to cook healthy fish and chips, spring rolls and pancakes

Acknowledgements

 

FLIP: You don't need to be a food connoisseur to have heard the name Andrew Blake. Andrew's life revolves around food. For the past 25 years, he's been a chef and restaurateur at some of the finest restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney. Andrew's desire to provide high quality, healthy food, for functions and events, led to the birth of Blake's Feast, one of Melbourne's leading catering firms. So, it's kind of like less fat and more flavour, which is almost a contradiction in terms, because so many people used to think that you did have to have the butters and the oils and things to carry the flavour, but you're saying, you know, the ingredient is the key.

ANDREW: Yes, yeah, yeah, there is. There's still a place in moderation for things like that, but I've got four kids, and I've become very aware of the food they consume.

FLIP: He's a man in demand, and luckily for us, he's found a bit of spare time to share some of his trade secrets on turning traditional fatty foods into the new, improved, fabulous feasts. First up the old fave, fish and greasies.

ANDREW: Okay, 25 years' ago, I would have done fish and chips like this, you know, in a batter, deep-fried - -

FLIP: Loads of fat.

ANDREW: Loads of fat.

FLIP: [Laughter].

ANDREW: New style, I'm going to do some grilled fish, some grilled - - I've got some beautiful yellowfin tuna. I'm going to make a Romesco sauce, which is very low fat, and I'm going to do some chips which haven't been deep-fried. What I'm going to do now then is I'm going to grill the fish, so a little bit of oil when the pan's hot. The fish really should be at room temperature. Bring it out sort of 20 minutes to 30 minutes before.

FLIP: Oh.

ANDREW: That way it cooks quicker.

FLIP: With the fish ready, it's time for the topping. The Romesco sauce is simple but sensational. It's just a matter of throwing all the ingredients in the processor, and giving it a quick whizz.

ANDREW: So, I'm just going to, very simply, plate that up there. Romesco sauce, just a nice, generous, blob on top.

FLIP: For the finishing touch, Andrew's created colourful, low-fat beetroot, potato, parsnip, and lotus crisps. Sensational. That looks absolutely wonderful.

ANDREW: Yeah.

FLIP: I hope it tastes as good as what it looks.

ANDREW: It will.

FLIP: Next on the menu, a superb substitute for the spring roll.

ANDREW: Yes, well spring - - everybody loves a spring roll, but what I'm going to do now, I've got a poached chicken rice paper roll. We've got carrot, dikon (?), we've got some iceberg lettuce, shiitake mushroom, some glass noodles and some mint, a bit of Hoisin sauce. No fat at all. Okay, that's done.

FLIP: That looks gorgeous. Now, shall I put this in?

ANDREW: Yes, put a couple of sheets in.

FLIP: That's the rice paper roll?

ANDREW: That's the rice paper.

FLIP: Into tepid water?

ANDREW: Tepid water, probably for about 20 seconds just to soften it up.

FLIP: So, Andrew, how's your cooking changed over the years?

ANDREW: These days it's very, very, simple. The ingredients are so much more accessible to everyone.

FLIP: You can't get much simpler than these. Each roll takes around 30 seconds to make. The ideal fast food.

ANDREW: It's something to really get the kids involved in, cooking as well, because if you can get them involved in cooking at an early age they become passionate about what they consume.

FLIP: Instead of using a peanut sauce, Andrew uses Hoisin sauce, from high-fat to no fat, the perfect substitute. So good.

ANDREW: Mm, mm.

FLIP: I'm having more. Are you allowed to double dip?

ANDREW: Absolutely. We're friends.

FLIP: So, last up, we have pancakes, but, Andrew, what's so healthy about pancakes?

ANDREW: Nothing, but my pancakes today are baby potatoes so there's no fat. There's just a little bit of starch in there, but very, very healthy, very, very, luscious.

FLIP: Let's get cooking.

ANDREW: Okay. I've made a potato pancake mixture already. Okay, that's the texture it should be.

FLIP: So lovely and thick?

ANDREW: Yeah, and it has to hold its shape pretty well, okay.

FLIP: How long do they need to cook?

ANDREW: They will need to cook probably for about two minutes the first side and for about a minute the second side, and then when they start to - - the bubbles start to appear, we'll turn them over.

FLIP: While the pancakes are kept warm in the oven, Andrew's sauteeing some seasonal mushrooms. Yummo.

ANDREW: Okay, now, to finish off, all we've got to do - - warm potato pancakes - -

FLIP: Oh - -

ANDREW: Out of the oven, and then we're just going to tip these just over the edge of the pancakes, and that's it. Very, very, simple, very, very, fresh.

FLIP: And, that's what Andrew's recipes are all about, simplicity and freshness. You can get a copy of these fabulous feasts by logging on to the Better Health Channel website. Mm, mm, that's absolutely fantastic.

ANDREW: Yes - -

FLIP: Anybody would think you know what you're doing.

ANDREW: Not bad for a young guy.

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Last updated: October 2015

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