Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Anyway, again I made 3 dishes from the theme.
Pork Vindaloo - Goan Style Hot and Sour Pork (Madhur Jaffrey)
Sweet Corn and Potatoes with Mustard Seeds and Mint (Madhur Jaffrey)
Eggplant Pickle (Charmaine Solomon )
Sweet Corn and Potatoes with Mustard Seeds and Mint
Of the 3 recipes, this is my favourite. Made it on a Friday night after a couple of drinks at work- it was quick, easy and satisfyingly carb rich with delicious fresh flavours. And it is pretty healthy too. If you’re on a diet, apparently you can substitute water for the coconut milk.
Serves 2 as a main meal
3 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
150g potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
200g ripe tomatoes, cut into fine dice
4 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
3 tbs mint , finely chopped
1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped (I left the seeds in, but if you want it milder, take them out)
Fresh corn kernels measured to the 450 ml level in a measuring jug (you could use frozen to be even quicker)
85ml coconut milk
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin seeds
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in mustard seeds and cumin seeds, as soon as they start to pop, add garlic and potatoes. Stir and fry until potatoes are lightly browned.
Add the tomoatoes, fresh coriander and mint and green chilli. Stir and fry for another couple of minutes.
Cover and turn heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes- or until the corn is cooked.
Uncover, add some black pepper and the ground cumin.
Stir through, check for seasoning and serve.
2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 dried hot red chillies
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 ½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
10 tbsp vegetable oil
200g peeled and sliced onions
900g boneless pork, from the shoulder, cubed into 2.5cm cubes
2.5 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
Whole head of garlic with the cloves separated and peeled
1 tbsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
Grind the cumin seeds, red chillies, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, black mustard and fenugreek seeds in a coffee grinder- put in a bowl. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pan and put on medium heat. Fry the onions till brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and put them into the container of an electric blender with 2 – 3 tbs water. Puree. Add the pureed onion to the ground spices (This is the vindaloo paste- it can be frozen at this point if you want to make it ahead of time).
Use a blender to puree the ginger and garlic- again adding a couple of tbs of water.
Heat the pan again to medium heat and brown the pork in batches. Remove all the pork. Add the ginger-garlic paste to the pan, fry off the paste for a minute or two, then add the coriander and turmeric. Stir.
Add the meat with any juice that has accumulated and the vindaloo paste as well as 250ml water.
Bring to the boil and the lower heat to gently simmer for an hour- stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Serve with rice and raita (I used just plain greek yoghurt- as this dish is pretty hot, depending on the chillies you are using).
I made this to give friends and family, this made 2 nice medium size jars, with half a one left over that I’ll use myself. This would be delicious served with curries, but would also be nice to spice up a ham or cheese sandwich.
12 dried red chillies
4 tsp chopped garlic
3 tsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
1 ½ cups oil
3 tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup vinegar
2 tsp. garam masala
Wash eggplants and slice crossways. If eggplants are very large, you can also cube them.
Soak chillies in hot water for 5 minutes.
In a blender, combine chillies, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds and some of the chilli water and puree. Combine with the turmeric.
Heat the oil and fry the blended mixture for a few minutes, then add the eggplant. Cover and cook on low heat till the eggplant is soft, stirring now and then.
Add salt, vinegar, sugar, and simmer till thick, stirring to prevent burning. Stir in garam masala, remove from heat and bottle.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
(Rainbow trout, smoked salmon mousse). The trout was perfectly cooked, the salmon mousse perfectly cooked- the topping of lemon, baby basil and caviar creating variety and delight.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Cookbook Used: Marie Clair Flavours
Roast lamb with preserved lemon (served with Sicilian Broad Beans)
Fresh salmon and lime cakes (served with fresh beans and lemony onions)
Spaghetti with lime and rocket
All three were delicious, and as with most of the Marie Claire Flavours recipes, all three are easy and quick to prepare.
My favourite were the salmon cakes, so let me start there. They combine the lovely flavour of kaffir lime leaves in the cakes themselves and tart and tangy lime juice in the dipping sauce.
Fresh salmon and lime cakes
500g salmon fillet, skin removed
1 egg white
3 tablespoons rice flour
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 tablespoon grated ginger
(recipe calls for 1 tsp wasabi paste- I left this out as Rusty and I both hate wasabi)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Oil to shallow fry
Lime dipping sauce
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
Remove any bones from the salmon and chop into 5mm dice. Combine with the egg white, rice flour, lime leaves, ginger, (wasabi), and parsley
Heat oil over medium heat. Place 2 tbsp of the mixture into the hot oil, flatten out and cook till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm while you cook the rest.
For the dipping sauce, combine the ingredients and stir till the sugar is dissolved.
I served this with fresh beans and lemony onions. Soaking red onions in lemon juice overnight changes their flavour and texture- making them mild and delicious. So combine 1 sliced red onion with lemon juice, pop in the fridge over night and use to spice up steamed vegetables or with simple salads. (Courtesy of Taking Tea in the Medina, by Julie le Clerc).
Spaghetti with Lime and Rocket
So simple and quick, this was the perfect worknight meal. Rusty was pretty skeptical about pasta and rocket (he thought it sounded as exciting as lettuce soup)- but succumbed to the great combination of flavours.
1 tbsp olive oil
Lime rind from 1 lime
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp. capers, rinsed
6 slices of prosciutto, chopped
100g rocket, torn
3 tbs lime juice
80 g soft feta marinated in feta (I used Persian Feta from the supermarket)
Cook the spaghetti as per the pack instructions and drain.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Lightly sauté the lime rind, garlic, chilli and capers- for around 1 minute or until aromatic
Add the prosciutto and cook for another couple of minutes- till the prosciutto is nice and crispy.
Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat and heat through.
To serve, toss through the rocket and lime juice and pile into serving bowls. Top them with feta and some of the marinating oil and cracked pepper.
The lamb doesn’t really count, as I made this on the Sunday night before the challenge started (through winter we have a roast every Sunday night, and though its getting a bit warm, we just can’t break the habit). This was delicious (though I overcooked the lamb a bit!). Lamb was sourced from Vic markets (as was the salmon above) and was tender and tasty!
Roast Lamb with Preserved Lemon
1 leg of lamb – about 1½ kilo (recipe recommends tunnel boned- I didn’t get this, but inserted a slit down the bone with a big sharp knife for the stuffing)
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon
¼ cup fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves sliced
½ tablespoon cracked pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°.
Trim the lamb of any excess fat
Combine the preserved lemon, oregano, garlic, pepper and oil in a bowl.
Stuff the cavity of the lamb with the filling.
If using a tunneled leg, tie together with kitchen twine and place on a rack in a baking dish.
Bake for 45 minutes for a quite rare roast, or longer until cooked to your liking.
Serve with mashed potatoes and minted peas.
Or with Sicilian broadbeans as I did. At the Vic markets last weekend, I saw broad beans for only $3.99 a kilo so I grabbed a kilo to make this- an old favourite I sourced off the internet ages ago.
Sicilian Broad Beans
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 tbsp chicken or vegetable stock
350 g broad beans (about 1 kilo still in the bean)
350 g fresh peas
4 small artichoke hearts, cooked, quartered and marinated (I use the ones from the jar)
4 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season
Pinch grated nutmeg
10 leaves fresh mint
Sauté onion till transparent
Add all other ingredients except the mint.
Simmer gently for 30 minutes
Stir in the mint and cook for 5 more minutes
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup self raising flour
150g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup almond meal
Sticky orange topping
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean, split
2 oranges, very thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 16 degrees
To make the sticky topping, dissolve the sugar in the water in a saucepan, add the vanilla bean and the oranges and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract for about 10 minutes or until its thick and pale and has tripled in volume. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold through. Fold through the butter and the almond meal.
Pour the orange mixture into the cake tin. Then pour the dough on top.
Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Turn out onto a platter to serve.
(Recipe courtesy of Donna Hay)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Address: Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065
Phone number: 0414 339 792
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
And my new favourite apperitif- Cosmopolitan Champagne Cocktail
Combine 3tbsp fish sauce, 3 tbsp rice vinegar and 125 ml water and 2 tbsp sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir well and cook until just below boiling point, then allow to cool. To serve, finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and 1 birds eye chilli and stir through with 2 tbsp lime juice (makes 250 ml.)
250 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp oil
2 lemon grass stems, white only finely chopped
½ onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
Birds eye chilli, sliced
Tbsp oyster sauce
Tbsp fish sauce
Tsp corn flour
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Handful fresh coriander
Put the wok back on medium heat, add the oil and gently fry the lemon grass, onion, garlic and chilli. Once golden, add the mussels and increase the heat. Toss through the oyster sauce and fish sauce, then add 125 ml of the reserved cooking liquid.
Mix the cornflour with tbsp of water and toss it through the mussels to thicken up the sauce. Season with salt, pepper and sugar and serve, garnished with coriander and lemon.
Chargrilled Beef on pawpaw salad
2 handfuls shredded green pawpaw
Small handful mixed Vietnamese herbs (perilla, Vietnamese mint and basil)
Tbsp fried Asian shallots
Tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained
3 tbsp Fish Dipping Sauce
2 tsp pickled chilli
2 crushed garlic cloves
2cm piece of ginger, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp vegetable oil
Add the steaks and marinade a minimum of 2 hours in the fridge.
Chargrill the steaks over medium high heat to your preference, then rest the steaks for 5 minutes. Reheat the steaks on the chargrill, then cut into thin slices.
Serve with a salad of green pawpaw, mixed herbs, shallots, shrimp and dressed with dipping sauce.
6 spring onions – white part bashed, green part finely sliced
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp. minced ginger
125 ml fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp caster sugar
Litre of vegetable oil
2 litres of chicken stock
Cut the legs in half through the knee joint and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours.
Remove from the marinade (keep the marinade for later) and dry the duck with a paper towel.
Heat the oil in a wok and deep fry the duck pieces for 3 – 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from oil, place in a single layer in a saucepan. Add the reserved marinade and cover with stock by 2cm.
Bring to the boil, skim off impurities and excess oil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer.
Cook for 1 hour.
Garnish with sliced spring onion greens and serve with jasmine rice.
Crush 6 garlic cloves in a mortor. Clean a whole chicken under water- place chicken in saucepan with 6 litres of water and bring to the boil. Skim for 10 minutes to remove impurities, then add garlic + 8 spring onions and a 4cm piece of ginger sliced up. Cook for 2 hours.
Each individual recipe is really easy to make- typical Vietnamese- just simple fresh ingredients- it lets the food speak for itself- so go ahead and try.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
So when we have visitors from Sydney, as we did this weekend, I feel a strange responsibility to my adopted hometown to show it in its best light. So choosing a restaurant for a Saturday night "double date" should be hard right- well no, its not- because I've got the Panama Dining Room- and it has never let me down.
So on Saturday night, we set off in a cab bound for Smith Street, with Sydney friends in tow. Stepping out across from the inauspicious entrance and going up the stairs, we all marvel at how Melbourne's delights are hidden in such a curious way.
Every time I step into the dining room - a turn of the century furrier's warehouse, with enourmous semi-circular gabled windows along two walls with a great view- I like to reimagine it as my apartment- an open plan kitchen where the bar is- I'd probably leave the pool table where it is...well anyway, its a fabulous space, and usually full enough to generate a pleasing buzz. The kind of buzz that makes you feel like you're part of the city...
But the best part is the food- and Saturday did not disappoint.
The highlight was definitely Frizz's perfectly cooked pork- that thin line of perfect golden crackling skin, but the rest of us did alright with succulent, moist rabbit loins succulent and chicken pie- all exquisitely cooked and flavoured.
Deserts were great- I shared a lemon custard with citrus salad with Rusty- tart and creamy, the custard was perfect. The Frizz and FC had chocolate mousse- an absolute delight...
Another highlight (sorry, it felt like just one after the other!) was definitely the cheese plate- we decided we would each pick one- and each of us wanted a different cheese, so we just got all 4- served at room temperature they were absolutely divine!
Commencing the evening with brilliantly mixed cocktails (I had a gimlet, the boys had martinis of various complexions) and complemented by an extensive winelist and a sommelier who knows his wine and food, the overall culinary experience can hardly be faulted.
For anyone into detail, here the cheeses we enjoyed with their descriptions from the Panama website.
GABRIEL COULET ROQUEFORT This blue made from raw ewe’s milk is matured in caves in Southern France. This artisan cheese has a strong salty flavour yet is rich and creamy
BRILLAT-SAVARIN A rich cow’s milk cheese from Normandy in France. Made with whole milk and enriched with extra cream. It has a dense creamy texture similar to that of ice cream.
SEVRE & BELLE CAPRIFEUILLE This log shaped goats cheese is ripened using a geotrichum mould giving it a slightly yeasty flavour. Typical of cheeses from the region of Poitou-Charentes in central France.
LE NAPOLEON A rare hand made single dairy ewe's milk cheese from the Central Pyrenees. Slow ripened in cold humid conditions it develops a condensed nutty texture and rounded caramel flavour.
THE PANAMA DINING ROOM AND BAR
Level 3/231 Smith St, Fitzroy Phone: (03) 9417 7663
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Nam Prik Pow
4 tbsp oil
3 tbsp chopped garlic
3 tbsp shallots
3 large red chillis deseeded and chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups vege stock
1tsp nam prik pow
2.5 cm lemongrass, sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves roughly torn
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
60 g oyster mushrooms
2 – 3 small red chillies, slightly crushed
Coriander leaves to garnish
Nam Prik Pow – fry all ingredients except sugar and salt in the oil till golden brown. Pound all ingredients together in a mortar and pestle.
Bring stock to the boil and stir in Nam Prik Pow. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring well until the mushrooms are just cooked.
Pour into serving bowls and garnish with coriander.
3 garlic cloves
3-4 hot chillies (fresh or dried)
1 lemongrass stalk
1 dsp cumin seeds
1 dsp coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 tbsp sunflower oil
450 g beetroot, peeled and cubed
5 baby eggplants, quartered (or one normal eggplant)
300 ml coconut milk
Salt and pepper
125 g cashew nuts
Fresh coriander to garnish (optional)
Dry roast the cumin, coriander and fennel for a few minutes and grind to a powder.
Heat the oil, when hot, add the onion paste and cook briskly for a few minutes, then add the spices, stirring continuously. When the spices and paste are nicely combined, add in the beetroot and eggplant and fry for a further couple of minutes- stirring constantly.
Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the veges are nice and soft.
Add the coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, dry roast the cashews to golden brown.
Serve with rice and garnished with coriander and cashews
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Ingredients (makes 12)
225g caster sugar
Finely grated rind of ½ orange
50 ml milk
100g plain flour
80g hazelnut meal
1tsp baking powder
1 egg yolk
2 blood plums, thinly sliced
20g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Beat 80g butter, 165 g sugar and orange rind in a mixer until pale and creamy (3-4 minutes).
Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Scrape down sides and add milk and beat to combine.
Stir in flour, hazelnut meal and baking powder. Spoon into 12 buttered cupcake moulds. Smooth tops and set aside.
Process ricotta, the egg yolk and 40g sugar in a food processor until smooth and divide among the moulds. Top with plum slices (or any other fruit).
Combine chopped nuts, remaining butter and sugar in a small bowl, rub together with your fingers, then scatter over plums.
Bake until risen and golden.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
We were at the Footscray markets last week, and I love to try out things I don't know, this time I think though I took that step too far out of my comfort zone. I think I've found another ingredient I don't like - bitter melon.
The recipe I used comes from a fantastic book called "Secrets of the Red Lantern- stories and Vietnamese recipes from the heart" by Pauline Nguyen. If you've ever been to Sydney's successful Red Lantern restaurant on Crown Street in Surrey Hills, you'll know why the book is so awesome- Pauline is the chef, Luke Nguyen's sister.
Every other dish I've made out of this book has been delicious- so its not the recipe, but the overwhelming bitterness of the bitter melon. What I did think I might try is the same recipe but replacing the melon with choko or capsicum...any other ideas of what to replace it with would be very welcome!
But here's the recipe just in case for anyone who does like this rather unusual vegetable.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
There was so much cheesiness- mainly in costuming and music (the medieval Bonnie Tyler look-alike and her side-kick cruising around singing mashed arias was priceless) and their attempt at appealing to female sexuality (well, I think that's what it was) - a woman and a ridulously buff bloke on ribbons looking longingly at each other and swinging around in the air - had me in stitches.
But yeah, you did have to marvel at their physical ability (although the bird who stands on one hand was pretty dull after the first 25 seconds of ooh aah) and I love the energy and showmanship of the whole thing.
Most of the buzz around the office this morning ( a bunch of us from work went along) was about the size of the juggler's package and how many seconds prior to the rest of his body this particular part of his anatomy hit the floor when he did the splits.
So from me, an 8/10 for an evening out- kept me super amused- in one way or another- for the whole night.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
3 tbsp olive oil
50g plain flour
1 egg yolk
2 brown onions
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 cinnamon quill
4 tomatoes- roughly chopped
1tbsp tomato paste
500g lamb mince
1 l. chicken stock
Zest of ½ an orange
To prepare the white sauce, heat the butter in a saucepan. Once melted, add in the flour and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until thick.
Stir in parmesan and egg yolk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Sautee onions and garlic in 1 tbsp oil for 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cinnamon. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste
Brown the mince in the last tbsp of oil. Once cooked, drain off fat.
Add the lamb mince to the tomatoes, and add stock and orange zest.
Simmer for an hour.
Starting with about a third of the lamb mix, layer it with eggplants, finishing with the mince.
Top with white sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes
3 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp dried marjoram
500ml of wheat beer
1 brown onion
Preheat oven to maximum heat.
Score the skin on the pork
Rub down the pork shoulder generously with caraway and marjoram
Lay pork skin down in a baking dish for 20 mins.
Remove from oven, flip so the pork is skin side up, add the beer, reduce the oven heat to 140 degrees and let it cook in the oven for 8 hours.
Remove pork, wrap in foil. Pour pan juices into a saucepan.
Sautee a finely chopped onion in a little bit of butter. Then add a tsp of corn flour and slowly add the pan juices to make your gravy.
Bavarian Bread Dumplings
10 slices stale bread (we used some stale Phillippas multigrain)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
3 slices bacon -- diced
1 small onion -- chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon marjoram
Cut bread or rolls, with crusts, into small pieces, put in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Pour lukewarm milk over bread and let soak for an hour. If there is excess milk in bowl at that time, pour it off. Fry bacon in skillet with chopped onion until bacon is almost crisp and onion is soft and golden. Toss in parsley and marjoram and saute 3 or 4 minutes. Add bacon, onion and herbs to bread mixture. Mix eggs in thoroughly. If dumpling batter is too soft to form, add breadcrumbs, a tablespoon at a time, until batter is firm enough. With wet hands or two wet tablespoons, form a test dumpling. Drop into boiling salted water and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This last 2 weeks in food hasn't been easy.
Week 1 I was on a roll and managed to save up enough points for a bottle of wine over the weekend.
Week 2 - and its still fun- appeals to my analytical side to trade off food and exercise.
Toughest challenge was facing down a lemon meringue pie at a work lunch this week- the pie won, and the points mounted- so unlike last week, I don't have a hell of alot left for alcohol this weekend- a major concern as hubby's black sheep sister is in town this weekend and the temptation will be great.
Not really sure that I am being as innovative as I could with healthy and cheap (in a points sense) meals- my lunch just now was called a Tuscan Bean salad- which sounds posh, but was really half a tin of cannellini, a little tin of tuna, half a red onion and some sage and parsley with no fat dressing- pretty uninspiring really- and the rest of the week has been Country Ladle soups (except for the Lemon Meringue Pie incident of course)- I need to get more creative!
Monday, May 4, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
These are the 3 restaurants at the absolute top of my wishlist at the moment- places I've never been but really want to try- based on hype and hearsay
Monday, April 13, 2009
Smoked trout fritter, garlic aoli
Smoked hock terrine, cornichons, toasted brioche
Rich flavours of the hock in the lightest of light environs- an absolute delight!
Sugar cured ocean trout, potato pancake, crispy bacon, horseradish cream
Breast of honey smoked duck, figs, walnuts, wild rocquette (to share)
The sweetness of the honey smoking and figs complemented the duck so well- perfectly cooked!
Chargrilled tuna, skordalia, grapes, capers, pine nuts, white anchovies
A perfectly cooked piece of tuna- the skordalia was brilliant (must get a recipe for that!).
I'm not going to attempt to describe the wines- as I am anything but an expert on wine, but their 2005 Pinot took my fancy (http://www.meadowbankwines.com.au/popups/wines/pinotnoir.htm)- some of our party really enjoyed the unwooded chardonnay http://www.meadowbankwines.com.au/popups/wines/chardonnay.htm.
But make your own call on the wines.
699 Richmond Road
CAMBRIDGE TAS 7170
T: +61 3 62484484
And for a really comprehensive list of Tassie restaurants check out Rita's bites http://pc-rita.blogspot.com/2006/04/restaurant-reviews.html