By day, McConville leads a team of 11 marketing and digital specialists and graphic designers at Australian Outdoor Living’s head office in Adelaide.
Out of hours, he is passionate about good food and wine, and loves cooking.
McConville has lived and worked in more than 19 different countries. He previously owned and managed a tourist bar and restaurant in Quito (the capital of Ecuador), and worked as a tour director for a leading UK travel company.
He says his favourite cuisines to prepare include Italian, Vietnamese, Indian and Mexican. Below, he gives more insight into his kitchen habits and shares a recipe for vegetarian bean burgers with chimicurri sauce and homemade tortillas.
In the kitchen I am …
Experimental and adventurous. I love to cook by taste and flavour instead of following a strict recipe. I enjoy preparing and eating a variety of different foods and cuisines.
The fridge is nearly empty – what do you do cook for dinner?
For main meal, an Italian pasta and sauce – either puttanesca or arrabiata. If there’s no ready-made pasta left in the house, I would make it myself.
For a quick, easy and delicious side dish I would grill some leftover vegetables on the barbeque.
The most useful cooking tool is …
It would definitely be the backyard barbecue. From grilling fresh vegetables and vegetarian patties, to chargrilling sweet summer fruits like peaches and pineapples for desserts, there’s nothing better than cooking a tasty meal on the grill and enjoying it with family and friends in an alfresco setting.
What are your three essential grocery items?
Eggs, flour, and herbs and spices. You can almost always make something out of these ingredients, whether it be a main meal or dessert. They help form a good base for a number of recipes.
How did you learn to cook?
My mum – she’s a great cook and involved me in the process from an early age. She got me hooked on different flavours and helped developed my passion for food.
What is your favourite restaurant and why?
At the moment, I’m loving 2KW in the city. It’s a great location with a buzzing atmosphere and spectacular views. The food is exceptional, with a nice range of healthy vegetarian options.
Mai’s Kitchen, which serves Vietnamese food very close to the Australian Outdoor Living headquarters in Angle Park, is also a favourite. It has a huge vegetarian menu and the choices are endless.
Favourite recipe – Veggie Bean Burgers
Note: there are three components to this recipe.
1 clove garlic
½ small onion
½ red capsicum
One 400g tin kidney beans
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup breadcrumbs or 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp dried coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp oregano
1 handful fresh coriander
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Dice onion and fry with garlic, cumin and dried coriander in oil until the onion softens (about 2 minutes).
- Put fresh coriander in the blender and blend until finely chopped. Add capsicum and blitz for a few seconds until chopped into small pieces.
- Add beans, breadcrumbs (or flour), dried oregano, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper and salt and blend until well mixed.
- Remove mixture and scrape into a bowl and add corn and mix with hands (if the mixture seems too sticky add a little more flour or breadcrumbs).
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Mixture can be left in the fridge until ready to cook.
- When ready, take enough mixture to fit the palm of your hand and mould into patty shapes.
- Place on barbecue hotplate and cook both sides until brown.
South American Chimichurri Sauce
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp hot-red pepper flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
Blend garlic and herbs as fine as possible in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and process to mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (The sauce can remain up to a week in the refrigerator in a sealed container.)
170g of flour
85g of warm water
20g of oil
½ tsp of baking powder
- Combine all ingredients into mixing bowl until mixture is the same consistency throughout.
- Knead for 5 minutes, roll into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes in the fridge.
- Remove from fridge and take a palm-size portion of the dough and make into a ball.
- Roll out flat with a rolling pin so you end up with a flat round tortilla.
- Cook on the griddle section of barbecue for around1 minute each side or until lightly browned.
Place cooked veggie patty in a warm tortilla and dress it with chimichurri sauce, Greek yoghurt, chilli sauce (optional), avocado, spinach and rocket. Enjoy!
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