Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chorba Bissara - Moroccan Broad Bean Soup

Weekly soup time! Once again, i've gone for a simple recipe. In fact, the recipe i've based this on only has 5 ingredients! But i've jazzed it up a little to suit my tastes and create a slightly more complex flavor. As the weather begins to get warmer i'm squeezing in my hearty purees whilst i can! Coming soon, gazpacho!

Trung Chien Thit Bam - Pork Omelette with Preserved Radish

The more i delve into the cuisine, the more i love Vietnamese food. I think i've only ever been to a few Vietnamese restaurants in my life, and far to many of those were 'Chinese/Vietnamese' hybrids, or dodgy cafes on Swanston St, Melbourne where the food is as Authentic as your average butter chicken.

From my favorite cookbook-of-the-moment, Secrets Of The Red Lantern, comes this beautiful Vietnamese omelette. I think it's the Cai Po or preserved radish that gives this dish it's special, subtle but delicious flavour. You can buy this ingredient at Asian supermarkets (or sucker your Singaporean friend into buying it for you, thanks Darryl!)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tom Rim (King Prawns sauteed with tomato, fish sauce and black pepper)

The other main that i decided upon for my little dinner party last night was Tom Rim, a Vietnamese dish that i found in one of my favorite cookbooks, Secrets of the Red Lantern. Tweaked a little to my tastes (though not the spice-fearing tastes of one of my guests, Darryl), these prawns are fresh, lively and have a warming linger of chilli heat.

Crisp Pork Belly with Caramel Vinegar

 Last night i had a few friends over for dinner. I decided to go with an Asian-oriented theme, and i knew that one of the essential foods i must cook had to be pork belly. I've been sitting on this recipe for a little while now, which i believe is derived from a Bill Granger one i saw on the website Cuisine.

Nothing is more deliciously savory that crispy, fatty, and luscious pork belly, and the rich saltiness of the meat in this dish is well balanced by the sweet-sourness of the caramel vinegar sauce over the top. For anyone that has indulged in the crisp pork hock @ the fantastic Longrain restaurants, this dish is quite similar in taste.

Wonton Soup

On my first overseas trip, i visited Hong Kong with my dad, and was delighted to discover the world of dumplings. Xiao long bao, har gow, siu mai... the list went on, but one of my favorite dishes grew to become wonton soup: a beautiful light chicken broth, bobbing with succulent wontons.

Here in Melbourne the quality of wonton soup, and in particular the wontons themselves, varies considerably. This recipe, which i have tweaked from an original by one of my favorite foodblogs, Rasa Malaysia, uses only prawns and no pork in the wontons, for a wonderfully crunchy burst of flavour contained in the little parcels. I was particularly proud of the broth as well, which came out magically similar to the ones i had tasted in Hong Kong.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Middle Eastern Lemon & Chickpea Soup

In the search for my weekly soup to cook and take to work, i seem to be making soups of less and less ingredients! This one is very simply flavored, with the impact of the lemon zest and juice taking it to a different level. The spinach is integral in filling out the dish and providing a textural difference.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef on Vermicelli Salad

I looooove Vietnamese food! It's such a shame that if you live in a Whitewashed suburb, procuring all of the herbs required for a Vietnamese feast can be a difficult, not to mention expensive, proposition. Thankfully, we have a nice herb garden at my parents house, rife with mint, coriander and my favorite, Vietnamese mint! Vietnamese food is fresh, healthy and light- but once you start on it, you will crave it forever. This is another recipe from the Nguyen family of Red Lantern fame, and once again, it is impeccable. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thai Pork Red Curry

So first recipe inspired by my trip to Thailand is this red curry. A lot of the food i had in Thailand, i thought we had pretty good representation of here: pad thais, curries, the Thai salads. But the red curries in Thailand were so much better than what you can get here! Unfortunately it's a lot of work to produce the fresh coconut milk that makes them taste so special, so tinned will have to suffice. Don't use paste from a jar- it lacks the depth and subtlety of character that a fresh paste has.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fettucini with Chilli Prawns

A quick and easy Sunday night dinner, fettucini with Chilli prawns. This recipes really only takes as long as it does for the pasta to cook! I think that chilli pairs wonderfully with any seafood.

Italian Country Soup with Pancetta & Cannelini

Back to my weekly soup regime! It's becoming difficult for me to find soups that will keep me interested, that are good for freezing and taking to work! But i managed to find another gem, in this Italian Country Soup. What really makes this recipe shine is the pork flavour of the pancetta which penetrates every mouthful with a delicious salty richness.

Chocolate, Raspberry & Marshmallow Wheels

So i'm back from my jaunt over to sunny, humid, Thailand! Great trip, had a blast, got to see some amazing food (and scoff it down). Except some Thai recipes coming very shortly!! (Red curry coming up on Tuesday for starters).

Coming back, i was craving some good old fashioned Aussie food. And what could be more Aussie, nostalgically so, than Wagon Wheels!

This came out a little different looking but they really do taste identical to the Wagon Wheel we'd all be so familiar with if we grew up in Australia. Cakey biscuit filled with marshmallow and jam, topped with smooth dark chocolate. Very indulgent!


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