Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thai Style Pomelo Salad

One thing that drives me absolutely insane with supermarkets and markets in Melbourne (and maybe it is everywhere else too!) is the unreliability that when you go there, the food you want will be there! And it's not just with the seasonal exotic produce either. Sometimes, you want scallops in the half shell and they're not there, or coriander, and it's not there. What's wrong with you people!!

Pomelo is one such case, though granted, i doubt it sells much in Melbourne. Before i went to thailand I'd never eaten it before, but now i keep my eye out in south east asia for it whenever i'm there. For the uninitiated, pomelo tastes much like a less intense version of a grapefruit. But it's not about the flavour so much as the texture, to me. Beneath the giant fruit's skin (they're like bowling ball size!) is a grapefruit sized mass of segments, each segment containing little balls of juice!It's truly a delight to eat.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Australia Day Lammies

I am proud to be an Australian. I think that my county is a beautiful one, with beautiful landscapes, animals, cities, waters, flora, food and people. Some of my favorite things about Australia include:
  • Our flag. I really like the Aussie flag. I guess the powers that be said that if we're getting a really bad national anthem, we should get a nice flag to compensate. 
  • Australian bluntness. I could not imagine calling my boss 'sir' at work. Or having to hide my opinions and defer to the natural order of seniority. Aussies tell it like it is. Go us! 
  • Multiculturism. Being a closet asianophile (maybe not so closeted) i love that we have such diversity in our city centres. This is something we need to realize and embrace, because at the moment, we're not doing a good job here. 
  • Australian food. Tim tams. Vegemite. Lamingtons. Cherry Ripe bars. Pavlova. Meat pie and sauce. Barbeques. Not only to we have all of these daggy things, but we have amazing examples of every other cuisine, all over the place.

This recipe is what Australia Day would be all about... if it were designed by the gay director of a Rock Eisteddford act.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rich Tomato & Capsicum Gazpacho with Garlic Croutons

Some people really don't like the idea of cold soups, but once you try them, you'll love them! The important thing to remember is that seasoning for cold soups is different - your sensitivity to sourness and salt is reduced, so you need to be a bit more heavy handed with these ingredients. It's so refreshing on a summer evening to tuck into a refreshing chilled soup, particularly utilizing the delicious juicy red tomatoes that abound at the moment.

Finely Chopped Tuna on Rice

I've been on a slight health kick lately, probably subconsciously linked to new years resolutions! But also, the summery weather has just been calling out to me for fresh produce and evening jogs through Hawthorn. So despite the posting of sweets and other goodies, my diet has been largely composed of veges and unprocessed foods. Like this!

Before cooking this dish i had been going weeks with a craving for tuna sashimi. But how does one make an entire meal out of raw fish? An appetizer alone was not going to satisfy me, and when i tried to get a table at Kenzan@GPO there was no seats available!

Fear not, i found this fantastic recipe from Neil Perry on the Cuisine website. This i believe is the first Neil Perry recipe i've ever cooked (well, adapted), and i am happy to say that i'm not in the least disappointed. This meal was so fresh and zingy, and really luxurious but healthy at the same time. Highly recommended to anyone who likes sashimi and a bit of spice!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Butterscotch Blondie Bars

Palak Paneer (and how to make paneer)

I made cheese! Wohoo! I love activities where in cooking where i can make the components that you're so used to buying ready made. It adds another level to the care and control you have over a dish. And in this case, paneer is so cheap and so easy to make, I'm sure it, or other home made cheeses, will appear in other recipes down the line.

Palak Paneer is a vegetarian curry using paneer instead of meat, and with spinach as the basis for the sauce. Paneer has a taste and texture similar to firm ricotta (in fact this whole dish rings of cannelloni filling to me); as such, it acts in this dish as a conveyor of the sauce's flavor rather than as a distinct flavoring element of its own.

Happy cheese making!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cauliflower Steaks with Baked Fennel & Red Pepper Sauce

My vegetarian recipe for the week! This recipe is a combination and tweaking of a couple of recipes i saw on Bon Appetit. I happen to love cauliflower, red peppers and fennel! So this 'salad' of sorts in a combination of a few of my favorite veges. I guess in the end it's not really a summer salad, but it was still delicious on a crisp Melbourne summer eve.

On a side note I'm totally jealous of the skills of an awesome person i recently met named Kai who is taunting me with photos of batches of macarons he is making seemingly with incredible ease! Whilst these delicious treats are something i still haven't quite mastered, his macarons are shop-worthy perfections, and tonight he sent me images of... salted caramel macarons!

It's not fair. I'm going to see if i can coax a guest post out of him so he can share a few of his secrets.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti Dipped in Dark Chocolate

I've joined a new team in my company, and the best way to a new team's heart is through their tummies! I've already brought in some of my mini mudcakes topped with mocha icing, and this is my second goodie to bring in. 

Spicy Roast Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice

I've been eying this recipe for some time, ever since i saw it on Pig Pig's Corner, which made it look utterly delicious. Despite some westerners (my mum!) not liking the sound of 'glutinous rice' this dish was one of the best i have made in a long time. Tender, spicy morsels of chicken with a sweet sticky rice stuffing, drawing in so many oriental flavors. I had yumcha for lunch today and even then i was still eager to eat this dish for dinner! I think I've found a new Pot Luck staple....

You will need to start this recipe the day before! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Baked Potatoes with Italian Pork Sausage and Mushrooms

In my happy new little home, i am lucky enough to be able to walk to my workplace every day. That much is great! What is not so great is the walk home, particularly if i don't have anything exciting planned in my fridge to cook or eat that evening! To get to my house, i have to trudge through the numerous cafes, takeaways and restaurants that line both sides of Glenferrie Road. There's no escaping it! The kebab shops, the Vietnamese, the dumplings, the McDonalds (guilty pleasure), all taunting me with their delicious scents. But the most interesting scent comes from Spud Bar. Every time i walk past and peek in at the slightly hippie looking staff, and the chino'd guys eating in there (gross generalization yes, so sue me) i can smell the scent of baking potatoes and I'm immediately transported to my teens, working in restaurants serving up buckets of baked potatoes and wedges. Its not even a delicious scent to be honest, but it's attached memories to me that i will never forget.

Anyways, here is my rendition of the baked potato.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

'Streetcart' Chicken & Rice

So, shame though it may be, I've never actually been to New York. This dish, however, gets its name from the New York street carts that reputedly serve up this delicious dish to hungry fans on NYC sidewalks.

I'm glad to see the Food Truck concept finally making it's way to Melbourne. Melbourne streets have been devoid of food stalls for years now, after the last of the late night hot dog stands was sent packing. But now i believe food trucks creep around, particularly the Collingwood areas. I can only hope they'll come to Hawthorn one day!

Anyways, this recipe which i found from here,  is a deliciously fragrant, garlicky and spiced mixture of slightly smokey meat and soft, fluffy rice. The original recipe for the sauce was too sweet for me, so i omitted the sugar.


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