Monday, January 25, 2010


Añada was recommended to us sometime ago by a waitress at the Panama Dining Room- who seeing how much we love the PDR pork belly, suggested we might like Anada's. Well she was right, we loved the Añada pork belly, meaty, sweet and with a crisp lining of crackling, on a bed of smoky eggplant. But that wasn't all we liked.
Food is served tapas style- they have a broad range of tapas and "raciones- larger dishes also designed to share. If choosing is too hard, they also have 2 Banquets and chef does the choosing for you. The couple next to us were doing the banquet and the dishes were a great selection (and included the pork belly!)
We had a 4 different tapas and 4 Raciones to share- every dish was a delight!
Pork empanadilla- crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a deliciously Asian feel to the flavours
Manchego and quince- which essentially is what it is- but was served at a perfect room temperatures that gave the flavours full flight
Roasted quail was crispy and served on a bed of the most divine tabbouleh I have ever tasted- using more grain than herb and incorporating pomeranate seeds for quick bursts of tart flavour.
Moving on to the raciones, as well as the pork belly, we had the vine wrapped sardine- a crumbling delight of flavours with pistachios in the sauce- divine- this happened to come out with the heirloom tomato salad whose sweetness and basil flavours complemented the sardine beautifully.
Our absolute favourite though was the Crispy Goat- it was indeed very crispy with the strong goaty flavour really coming through and served on a lovely rustic hommos.
For desert, we shared Lavender Curd and honeyed figs- the lavender curd was different to anything I've tried before- perfect for anyone who doesn't like deserts too sweet, it had the delicate flavour of lavender and was served with perfectly ripe figs drizzled in honey- divine!
Coffee was great as well. Fantastic wine list with lots of Spanish and Portugese wines to try- we enjoyed a Crawford River rose with dinner. I then had a tempranillo- which was, like all their reds according the menu, served at 15%- the perfect temperature for a warm Melbourne evening!
I loved the buzz of it- the place was packed and it is not the biggest space. It would have been nicer though to have had the opportunity to spread out just a little more perhaps. The wait staff were efficient, friendly but not too in your face.
Value wise, to my mind its more of a special occasion budget- for the 2 of us including wine, coffee and desert, we paid just over $140.
Anada do 2 sittings a night 6pm and 8.30pm- bookings highly recommended!
Añada has certainly gone into my Top 5 favourites in Melbourne!
(03) 9415 6101
197 Gertrude St
Fitzroy, 3065

Añada on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Cool Cooking Challenge

Cooking Challenge:

Cool - yummy gazpacho
Initially we thought that the "Cool" challenge was perfectly time- the 40 degree days of last week were perfect inspiration for a cooling meal- and the family picnic planned for Saturday was the perfect opportunity to serve up some cool dishes.

Well, as it so often does, Melbourne turned the cool itself and our picnic was held ona 23 degree day with intermittent rain- despite this, we soldiered on and had a lovely cool recipes went down a treat!

Again, I used Charmaine Solomon- I just love her recipes- and actually doing this challenge, I'm realising I don't have that many cookbooks- I may have to buy some more to add variety- or start using my Gourmet Travellers for the challenge- hope nobody minds!
Anyway, the dishes I selected were a gazpacho and a strawberry soup.

Both these dishes demand the best and tastiest ingredients, but if you choose good strawberries and good tomatoes, you will be richly rewarded, both recipes are delicious!



1 kg ripe tomatoes

2 green cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced

2 small onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 green and 1 red capsicum, finely chopped

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 cup fine white breadcrumbs made from crusty bread

3 cups cold water

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tsp sugar

3 hard-boiled eggs

olive oil spray to fry croutons

1 cup finely diced bread

Put aside 1 cup of the tomatoes diced, 1 cup of cucumber and half the chopped onion and capsicum for garnish.

Peel, seed and chop the remaining tomatoes. Combine in a food processor with the remaining cucumber, capsicum onions plus the garlic and the breadcrumbs and process till smooth.

Turn into a bowl and mix in the water, vinegar, olive oil and seasonings. Taste the mixture and add sugar if necessary.

Dice the eggs and put in another garnish bowl.

Use some olive oil spray in a pan, and lightly fry the diced bread until golden (we used a mix of white and black rye bread to add interest) and put in a bowl. Drain on absorbent paper.

Serve soup with all the different garnishes.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Cooking

The Cookbook Challenge Week 6
This year, we volunteered to cook Christmas lunch for Rusty's family- 13 people, no pressure... With Rusty's mum doing the pudd, we could concentrate on entrees and mains- plus something to nibble between present opening and lunch proper. We were so lucky with the weather- at around 22 degrees it was perfect for a hot lunch with all the trimmings.

The cool thing was cooking it in my sister-in-laws kitchen- its large with a gigantic stove- an absolute dream/ fantasy for us!

The menu
Nibble: blue cheese and onion tart
Entree: Vitello Tonnato
Main: Roast Pork Belly, Baked Ham, Roasted Vegetables and Potato and Onion Croquettes with Pear and Fennel Mustard
The onion tart is the cookbook challenge piece for this week- all the other recipes were either made up, or sourced off the internet.
The critical part was getting the right ingredients and letting them do the talking. Saturday prior to Christmas was the Lancefield Farmers Markets- here we sourced the lovely vegetables from local suppliers. We also bought the cheese for the tart from Goldfields Farmhouse who sell at the markets - their delicious Welshman's Reef - a delicate mild blue stilton style cheese- we bought one block foreating and one for the tart - YUM! (Check them out at alot of the regional farmers markets, on their website or apparently at Provincial Fine Food Store & Café, 16 Grantham St., Brunswick West.

Luckily Rusty was able to take the 23rd off- and used this opportunity to get down to the Queen Vic markes before the mayhem to source the meat and some extra veg for the meal.
And a personal highlight for us were the roasted beetroots - the beets for which were harvested from our garden on the 24th.

Onion and Blue Cheese Tart
This was perfect for Christmas- as it virtually makes itself while you're preparing everything else (like peeling potatoes for 13 people!) and is a real crowd pleaser!
3 sheets of ready-prepared puff pastry

2 tbsp olive oil
4 brown onions, sliced
1 tsp grated lemon rind
200g soft bitey blue cheese
85g small olives
2 tbsp fresh thyme
black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Grease the baking tray and place the pastry on the tray to fit
To make the filling, caramelse the onions in the oil with the grated lemons- for a minimum of 20 mins over low - medium heat- I left mine on for an hour- they were so sweet!
Allow onions to cool.
Sprinkle the tart with the bue cheese.
Top with onions, olives, thyme and pepper.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

For the ham, Rusty used Stephanie Alexander's recipe off the Epicure website
Stephanie Alexander's Glaze for a baked ham
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugarcloves
1/2 cup white wine
Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking dish with foil. Mix zest, juice, mustard and sugar in a bowl. Remove skin (rind) from ham and score fat in a diamond pattern. Press a clove into the middle of each diamond
Spread half the glaze over ham. Place ham in baking dish and pour in wine to prevent ham sticking. Bake for about 40 minutes, basting once or twice with the rest of the glaze, until a rich shiny colour.
It was Rusty's touch to use a rosemary twig as the basting brush. Looked particularly cool!

The Vitello Tonnato recipe was courtesy of the Italian Made website (

2 lbs. butt tenderloin
3 cups white wine
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1 small onion
2 cloves
7 oz. tuna in oil
6 anchovy fillets
2 egg yolks, hard-boiled
2 lemons
1 squeezed
1 thinly sliced
2 cup oil
2 tbs. capers
1 tbs. white vinegar
Let the meat marinate in the wine, celery, carrot, chopped onion and cloves for one day. Remove the meat from the marinade, wrap and tie tightly in a cheesecloth and place in an oval pan just large enough to hold it together. Put back in the marinade and cook slowly for about one hour. Remove from heat and let the meat cool in its cooking juice.
De-grease and filter the cooking liquid. Blend the liquid in a food mill with the tuna, anchovies, 1 tbs. capers and egg yolks. Dilute the sauce with lemon juice, and vinegar, and whisk in the oil in a steady stream till you get a velvety sauce similar to mayonnaise. Slice the veal and arrange in a serving platter in the following manner: Spread a few tablespoons of the sauce on the platter. Add the veal a layer at a time, with sauce covering each layer. Sprinkle capers over and decorate the rim of the platter with the sliced lemon. Serve.