Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Prawn & Chilli Linguine

Tonight’s dinner was a complete no brainer, exactly the type of thing I love to cook up after a hard day in the office when all I want to do is put my feet up. I didn’t really need a recipe however followed Bill’s instructions from Sydney Food, minus the rocket which I really wanted but had mysteriously disappeared from my fridge. Perfect, I’ve been dying for this combination of garlic, chilli, prawns & pasta for a while now & I’m glad I finally got around to satisfying the craving.

Prawn & Chilli Linguine

250g linguine
4 tablespoons olive oil (I dint use half this much)
10 green prawns, peeled & deveined
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
25g butter
50g rocket, washed & dried

Cook linguine in rapidly boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain well. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add prawns, season with salt & pepper & cook for 1 minute. Add garlic & chillies & cook fro another minute. Add butter and reduce heat to low. Add the rocket & linguine & toss until pasta is well coated.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Festive Food Fair - Gingerbread Muffins

Anna at Morsels & Musings in Sydney has decided to host a Festive Food Fair event. I think this is a great idea & hopefully the event will provide inspiration for everyone during the holiday season & leading up to all of those glorious Christmas feasts. I have chosen a simple muffin recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Feast under the Christmas section of course. I managed to whip these up in the time it to me steam some rice for dinner – they are that simple. I made a couple of changes due to lack of the correct ingredients - all light muscovado sugar & no dark and all golden syrup failing the discovery of any black treacle down the shops. They were still absolutely lovely & I don’t think these compromised the flavour at all but who knows, maybe they would make them even better. These would be great for xmas brekky or just to have on hand if people are popping over at this time of year. Light & fluffy & ginger & spice just conjure up festive images don’t they?

Gingerbread Muffins

250g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarb of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg
50g dark muscovado sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
150ml full-fat milk
¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
4 tablespoons golden syrup
4 tablespoons black treacle.

Preheat oven to 200c. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin papers.

Combine the flour, bicarb, baking powder & spices in a large bowl. Whisk the egg in a large measuring jug then add the sugars, breaking up any large lumps. Add the milk and vinegar then measure in the oil with a tablespoon. Use the same oily spoon to add the syrup & treacle so they don’t stick to it. Whisk the mixture to combine and add to the flour mix. Stir until mixed but still fairly lumpy. Spoon into muffin papers & bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are dry.

Pan Fried Lemon Veal with Green Beans

After all the munching at the Age Harvest picnic yesterday a light dinner was called for so being Bill Granger crazy at t the moment, Michael knocked up this dish from Bill’s Food. I didn’t end up doing the beans as mine were in the fridge for longer than I remember & had horrible looking brown marks all over them so in the bin they went. Served with mash, absolutely simple & delish. The lemon & veal is such a fantastic combination of fresh flavour.

Pan Fried Lemon Veal with Green Beans

8 veal escalopes
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
300g baby green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
50g butter
2 tablespoons finely copped flat leaf Italian parsley
Lemon wedges, to serve

Season the veal with sea salt & black pepper.

Steam the beans in a steamer for 3 minutes. While the beans are steaming, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, add the veal and cook for about 45 seconds on each side.

Reduce the frying pan heat to low & add the lemon juice, loosening the residue from the base of the pan. When the lemon juice boils, add the butter & mix until the butter melts and the sauce is slightly thickened. Pour over the veal & sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with beans & lemon wedges.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Age Harvest Picnic at Werribee Park

On this gorgeous Melbourne day I headed out to the Age Harvest Picnic at Werribee Park with Michael & my parents. We got there at about 10 so we got a good park & a good spot to set up on the lawn. It’s a beautiful setting & there were heaps of stalls filled with goodies. You can see in my photo how packed it ended up being by about lunch time. Some of the treats I bought to take home were Basil infused olive oil from Barfold Olives, some very refreshing Ginger & green Apple Fruit Soda cordial – made to an ancient tradition with fresh fruit, no preservatives, colours or artificial flavourings, Goldfields ‘Kamarooka’ honey, lot’s of jams from Marcia’s Munchies, hand made with natural ingredients – they were all so good I couldn’t decide so bough them all cherry, raspberry, tangelo marmalade & apricot, Some quince paste & stunning Virtuous Vanilla plum jam from Olive Branch preserves – though I don’t know what was virtuous about it – I thought it was wicked! I also tried lots of great bickies & sweets which I didn’t buy any of as at the moment I’m too busy making my own all the time. I had a small tub of chicken & seafood Paella from The Paella Pan - who do paella party catering – sounds interesting & the dish was yummy, some fantastic ginger ice cream from Irrewarra Natural Ice cream & tried some of Micahel’s Red Duck beer – very refreshing also. I love these events & today was the perfect day fro it, even managed to escape with minimal sun burn.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Strawberry sour cream streusel cake

Today after brunch at my place, Megan & I headed over to visit Rach & her new baby Ethan, so of course it was a good excuse for me to bake & take something along. I tried out this recipe from a recent edition of Delicious, it was scrumptious if I do say so myself & everyone loved it. The strawberry puree inside the cake was intense but not overly sweet & went perfectly with the crumble, who doesn’t love a good crumble? Definitely a winner to be made again

Strawberry sour cream streusel cake

¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
320g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
240g chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1.5cm cubes
1 cup (240g) sour cream
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2tsp Demerara sugar

Strawberry Puree
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g strawberries, hulled
3 tbs strawberry jam

For puree, make a paste of cornflour and vanilla, add to blender with berries and jam. Puree until smooth, set aside.

Preheat oven to 170c. Grease a 23cm springform pan.

Combine caster sugar, flour, baking powder and bicarb of soda in a large bowl. Rub in butter with your fingertips until mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Remove ½ cup and set aside, then add sour cream, egg & vanilla to the main bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Using a little over half the batter, drop dollops in to pan. Pat batter across bottom of pan & about 2.5cm up sides, mix will be very sticky and somewhat uneven. Add puree, making an even layer across bottom of pan & leaving a rim of dough above it. Cover with remaining cake mixture.

Use a fork to combine reserved flour and butter mix with Demerara sugar. Sprinkle evenly over cake, then bake for 45 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool in pan, then serve.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Chocolate Truffles & Sugar High Friday!

For the latest Sugar High Friday the theme is truffles & the host is The Passionate Cook. Now I love truffles yet have never made them before so I thought I would start at the beginning & make some traditional French style truffles from Green & Black’s Chocolate Cook book. These are predominantly a chocolate ganache, dusted with cocoa powder. Apparently they were first called truffles as they looked like real freshly dug truffles of the fungus type! They are absolutely wickedly delicious, dense & rich in a very adult dark chocolatey way that I love and I feel even more guilty eating these as opposed to bought ones as I know exactly what went into them. Not too time consuming though you do have to start at least 3 hours or so before hand to get the required amount of refrigeration time. Also today in Melbourne it’s quite hot, up there in the 30’s, so I found I had to roll them in batches as the mixture started getting a bit melty after about 10 truffles, so I popped the mix batch in the fridge every now & then. Yum, now I have to try & give some away before I eat them all.

Micah’s Truffles

275g dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids, broken into pieces
250ml double cream
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g cocoa powder

Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Bring the cream to the boil & pur it over the chocolate. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted, trying not to create bubbles. Leave to cool for 2 minutes, then add the butter in 2 stages & stir in gently. Once the butter is incorporated, the ganache should be smooth & glossy with no oil slick on the surface. Set the mix in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.

Remove from the fridge about 15 minutes before you want to make the truffles, depending on room temperature. Put the cocoa into a bowl. Ensure your hands are cold & dry, then dust them with cocoa. Take teaspoonfuls of the ganache mix & roll the mixture in to a ball in your cocoa dusted hands. Drop each truffle in the bowl of cocoa, roll it around then toss between your palms to remove any excess powder. The truffles can then be returned to the fridge and kept for up to 2 days as long as they are stored in an airtight container. Serve straight from the fridge or at room temperature.

Roast Loin of Pork with Peaches

Seeing that Peaches have finally arrived in our shops I though it was about time I tried out this roast from Jamie Oliver’s Return of the Naked Chef. I know its 30 degrees out but when you have a craving for a roast what can you do? The recipe below is for 7 which I halved for the 2 of us – looking forward to some leftover pork sandwiches. This was a very tasty roast, the meat was very flavoursome & moist though I am a bit dubious about all of that butter & I only used half, think I will cut it in half again next time as don’t think that much is necessary & should still be tender & moist with not so much

Roast Loin of Pork with Peaches

1 x t rib loin of pork
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked & chopped
200g butter
salt & freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh peaches (or use 2 tins in natural juices if our of season), halved & stoned

Preheat oven to 220c. Score the skin of your pork about 1 cm apart through the fat nearly to the meat. With a knife carefully part the meat from the ribs. Scrunch your chopped thyme into the butter with the seasoning. Rub & distribute a little of the butter into the gap you have made between the ribs & the meat. Push in as many peaches as you can fit & pack the rest of the butter on top. To hug the meat & ribs together & hold the peaches in place, simply fasten some string around the pork loin in 3 or 4 places & tie firmly. Place in a roasting tray with any leftover peaches & other veg you wish to have with your roast. Cook for 50 minutes to an hour, allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Spaghetti Tetrazzini (Chicken & Mushroom Pasta Bake)

I made this dish from Jamie Oliver’s Italy a couple of weeks back & have hesitated in posting it. Frankly it was quite average, a bit on the oily side & not up to the standard that I expect from his recipes. It was still ok but nothing special. I don’t know if I did something wrong or not so would love to hear of anyone else out there who has also tried this one out & what they thought of it. Pretty much the only real difference between mine & the recipe below was that I omitted the porcini having none handy.

Spaghetti Tetrazzini (Chicken & Mushroom Pasta Bake)

20g/a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms
Olive Oil
4 Chicken Thighs, boned, skinned & cut into bite sized pieces (I bought thigh fillets)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely sliced
350g handfuls mixed mushrooms, cleaned & torn
200ml white wine
455g Spaghetti
500ml double cream
200g parmesan cheese grated
a sprig of fresh basil, leaves picked

Preheat oven to 200c. Put your porcini in a bowl & pur over just enough boiling water to cover them. Put to one side to soak for a few minutes. Heat a saucepan big enough to hold all ingredients, and pour in a splash of olive oil. Season the chicken with salt & pepper & brown gently in the oil. Strain the porcini, reserving the soaking water, and add them to the pan with the garlic & fresh mushrooms. Add the wine, with the strained porcini water & turn the heat down. Simmer gently until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the wine has reduced a little.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water according to packet instructions & drain well. Add the cream to the chicken, then bring to the boil & turn the heat off. Season well with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Add the drained spaghetti to the creamy chicken sauce & toss well. Add ¾ of the parmesan and the basil & stir well. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish, sprinkle with half the remaining cheese & bake in the oven until golden brown, bubbling & crisp. Divide between your plates & sprinkle with the rest of the cheese before serving.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Buttermilk pancakes with Caramelized fruit.

Sunday morning for brekky to use up my left over buttermilk from last weekend some more pancakes were in order, I found another recipe using buttermilk in Bill Granger Bill’s Food. Buttermilk is low in fat, there is not much sugar in the mix & it is served with fruit so I could even kid myself that I was being healthy once again. As with all of Bill’s breakfasts, these were great, seems l & easy too. The fruit was supposed to be plums which of course aren’t around yet so I used nectarines, these were nice & even gave a bit of a bitter tang for contrast, think sweet juicy plums would work even better. Oh & this week I halved the recipe & was still heaps for the 2 of us.

Buttermilk pancakes with Caramelized fruit.

250g (2 cups) plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
750ml (3 cups) buttermilk
75g unsalted butter, melted
unsalted butter, extra for greasing the pan

To serve

Caramelized fruit
Maple syrup

Stir the flour, baking powder, salt & sugar together in a bowl. Add the eggs, milks & butter & whisk to combine.

Heat a large non-stick frypan over medium heat & brush a small mount of butter over the base. For each pancake, ladle 80ml (1/3 cup) of batter into the pan & cook for about 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip & cook for another minute. Transfer to a plate to keep warm while cooking the rest.

To caramelize fruit, heat a frying pan over high heat, cut the fruit in half, remove stones, sprinkle cut side with sugar & fry cut side down for about a minute.

Serve in stacks with fruit, yoghurt & maple syrup.

Cajun snapper on corn & sun dried tomato risotto

For the main course I made this delicious snapper from A Slice of Port Douglas, starfish restaurant & bar. I’ve made this heaps of times before & it’s really delicious & I love the Mexican take on the risotto. Snapper too would have to be one of my favourite fish & the Cajun spices are not messing with it too much. I used coriander in my sauce as I can never find chervil and it works fine.

Cajun Blackened Snapper fillet on corn and sun dried tomato risotto drizzled with a chervil vin blanc sauce

750g snapper fillets
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon oil

Corn & sun dried risotto

2 corn cobs, kernels removed
4-5 cups fish stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Arborio rice
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon tumeric powder

Chervil vin blanc sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 spring onion, finely chopped
½ cup white wine
½ cup fish stock
2/3 cup cream
drop worchester sauce
1 tablespoon chervil

Cut down the corns with a sharp knife to remove the kernels. Dry fry over medium heat shaking the pan regularly until kernels turn golden brown. Place stock in a large saucepan & bring to the boil, reduce heat & keep at a simmer. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy based saucepan. Add rice and stir for 1-2 minutes or until transparent. Add 1 cup of stock to the pan & stir continuously over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly for 20 minutes. Add kernels, tomatoes & tumeric & mix well to combine. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until rice is cooked.

To make the sauce, heat butter in a saucepan. Add spring onion & sauté for 1 minute. Add wine, stock & cream & simmer until sauce is cream but not thick. Season with salt, pepper & Worchester sauce. Remove from heat & add chervil & mix well to combine. Keep warm.

Coat the snapper fillets with the Cajun seasoning. Pour oil into a very hot pan , place fillets in & cook for 2 minutes one side then turn over, reduce heat & cook for approx 2 minutes n the other side until cooked.

Serve Fish on top of risotto with sauce drizzled over.

Note – Chervil can be substituted with Chinese parsley or fresh coriander in the sauce.

Banana Semi Freddo

Last night I had a couple of friends over for dinner, nothing lavish but a good excuse to try out some new food anyway. I am going to start with dessert just because it looked so good (in my opinion anyway). I have been loving ice cream & chocolate at the moment & had never made a semi freddo before so thought would give this recipe from Ben O’Donoghue and Curtis Stone’s Surfing the Menu a go. I t was pretty simple to make though did take quite a few bowls & in order to freeze you need to start this quite a few hours ahead or even the night before. The upside of this of course is that when you are ready to eat you just whip it out & serve, no fiddling around while the guests are there. Everyone loved the fact that it was full of fresh bananas & all in all it went down pretty well, nice to serve something a bit different for a change too

Banana Semifreddo

10 free range egg yolks
100g warmed honey
3 tablespoons rum or banana liqueur
4 tablespoons caster sugar
3 large ripe bananas
5 egg whites
500ml pouring cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped
55g unsalted roasted peanuts (other nuts may be used), finely chopped

Line a loaf tin or a glass pudding bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to chill.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the honey, rum and half the sugar. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is light & fluffy and doubled in volume.

Mash the bananas with a fork, add to the egg mixture & stir to combine. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff. Fold into the banana mixture. Whip the cream to soft peaks & fold into the banana mixture. Add half the chopped chocolate. Spoon into the lined mould & freeze until set.

Melt the remaining chocolate by placing it in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Unmould the semifreddo onto a serving plate. Using a spoon, drizzle half the chocolate over the top in a criss cross pattern, then sprinkle with the peanuts. Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top. Return to the freezer until required.

About 15-20 minutes before serving, transfer to the fridge to soften.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gingery Hot Duck Salad

Last night for dinner we had one of my favourite Nigella Lawson dishes, Gingery Hot Duck Salad. The recipe comes from Nigella Bites & is under the chapter, temple food – what Nigella describes as ‘soothing, pure, would be restorative food I make for myself after one binge or late night too far. Temple as in ‘my body is a ‘’. Now obviously in my condition I haven’t been binge drinking though I did spend the day snacking on cheese, crackers, dips & bread & the like while watching the races so was definitely in need of something good & light.

I was a bit tired too after all that eating & race watching so Michael was kind enough to make this for me this time which also proves how easy peasy it is! Lovely flavours that work oh so well together & a lovely touch of chilli to add some spice aswell. You must try it

Gingery Hot Duck Salad

1 duck breast
2 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of half lime & juice of half orange
1 chilli, finely chopped
1cm ginger, grated
few drops of sesame oil
Baby spinach, mixed lettuce, etc to serve

Grill or fry the duck breast, fat side down, until cooked the way you like it.

Let it rest while you mix the fish sauce, lime & orange juice, chilli, ginger & sesame oil in a bowl. Pour any juices that the duck has made into a bowl, then carve the meat on the diagonal into thin slices. Toss the duck into the bowl & stir everything well. Serve on top of mixed leaves.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Coconut Bread

This morning for brekky carrying on with my sweet theme I made this recipe from Bill Granger’s Sydney Food. It is described as ‘never to be replaced’ on the menu at Bills. It is a Jamacican bread intended to be served with salt-fish relisg. Lime marmalade goes well too & it keeps well sliced in the freezer. Can be served toasted, buttered & dusted with icing sugar. Sounds very different & was incredibly easy to prepare. The end result was delicious, though to me it is more of a cake then a bread, much in the same way banana bread is really a cake. I had a piece nice & warm from the oven which was perfect & then tried one buttered & dusted with icing sugar, this was good too but to be honest I don’t think it needed the extra’s. I’m yet to try it toasted, sure will be great too.

Coconut Bread

2 eggs
300ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 ½ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar
150g shredded cocnut
75g unsalted butter, melted

To serve
Icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180c. Lightly whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together.

Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, add sugar & cocnut and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in the egg mixture until just combined. Add melted butter and stir until mixture is just smooth, being careful not to overmix.

Pour into greased and floured 21 x 10cm loaf tin & bake for 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes and remove to cool further on a wire rack. Serve in thick slices, toasted, buttered & dusted withicing sugar. Makes 8-10 thick slices.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Steak & Guiness Pie

For dinner tonight another favorite from Jamie Oliver, this time from Happy Days. The thing I love about this dish is it’s so easy & can be prepared ahead of time ready to just pop into the oven later.

Steak & Guiness Pie

680g stewing beef, diced
sea salt & fresjly ground black pepper
2 heaped tablespoons flour
Olive Oil
1 onion, peeled & roughly chopped
4 sticks celery, washed & roughly chopped
2 parsnips, peeled & roughly chopped
1 handful of fresh mixed herbs (ie rosemary, thyme & bay)
565ml/1 pint Guiness
2 x 400g rins tomatoes
1 x 500g pack puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Season your beef generously with salt & pepper, sprinkle with flour & toss around until coated. Heat 2 or 3 glugs olive oil in a large casserole-type pan & fry your meat until golden brown. Add the onion & fry for another minute, then add the carrot, celery, parsnips & herbs. Fry for a further 4 minutes then pur in your Guiness. Add the tomtoes & rbing to the boil, simmer for around 2 hours or until the meat is really tender, season to taste. At this stage you can move to the fridge until ready to serve, this will also intensify the flavour.

To make the pies, preheat oven to 190c. Put your meat filling into a dishor dishes (if making individual pies). Cut your pastry into circles about 1cm bigger than the top of your dish(s). Brush the rims with beaten egg, place the pastry on top squash the excess down the sides to secure. Lightly score the top of the pstry in a criss cross pattern & brush with the remaining beaten egg. Bake for 45 minutes until golden & Bubbling.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Lemon Souffle Cakes

This morning for brekky I felt like a sweet treat as I do most days now, having gone from a savoury person to a sweet person during my pregancy. It used to be I would always choose a delicious savoury treat before heading anywhere near a sweet yet nowadays all I want is sugar & chocolate, I could seriously eat sweets for dinner these days & I have to sheepishly admit I might have done once or twice too! So for inspiration I looked to Bill Granger who as I have said before seems to have the most mouth watering breakfats rcipes. Today’s recipe was from Sydney Food. The pancakes were light as promised & the citrus tang was fantastic, the only ptoblem was the recipe said it was for 4 though Michael & I ate the whole batch – their really weren’t that many and Bill even claims they are low in fat so cant be all bad to eat that many!

Lemon Souffle Cakes

¾ cup buttermilk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vamilla essence
25g unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons caster sugar
a pinch of salt
2 egg whites

To serve
200g strawberries, halved
1 tablespoon honey
icing sugar

Place buttermilk, egg yolks, lemon juice & zest & vanilla essence in a bowl & stir until combined. Add in the melted butter & mix well.

Sift flour, baking powder, caster sugar & salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center & gradually stir in the buttermilk mixture until the dry ingredients are just moistened, being careful not to overmix.

Place ht egg whites in a dry, clean bowl & beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, using a large metal spoon.

Melt a small portion of butter in a non-stick frypan over medium heat and drop 2 tablesppons of batter per cake into the pan. Cook iuntil golden brown on the underside & looking dry at the edges, flip & cook the other side.

Toss the fresh strawberries with honey & a light dusting of icing sugar. Dust the cakes with icing sugar & serve with berries.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Retro Brekky on Brunswick Street

Today Michael & I headed out to Bruswick street for a bit of brekky & a wander. We ate at Retro which I have walked past hundreds of times yet never eaten in before, it always looks so inviting, I love the retro outfit of the place.

To start with I was a bit dissapointed in the limited breakfast menu, they had the usual toasts, cerals & various egg combo's, all featuring poached eggs, ie, florentine, benedict, big brekky, no scrambled, omelettes or anything else interesting. With the amount of cafes out there doing good breakfast at the moment I like to see a menu with a bit more creativity thrown in. Having said that I ordered the poached eggs & bacon on toast with hollandaise & a hash brown on the side. Being pregnant I'm not supposed to eat runny eggs so I ordered my poached eggs non runny & they did manage to cook them perfectly, no runniness yet not overdone at the same time. The sauce was nice, hash brown good though I suspect forozen & the bacon was good too. All in all a good breakfast but not outstanding. Great space to catch up with friends in though as it has a great feel & lots of big tables & couches & I noticed they even had high chairs & room for prams so will have to keep in mind for the future.

413 Brunswick street
9419 9103

Malted Milk Cookies with Chunks of Dark Chocolate and Malteser Smashings

Today I needed a chocolate cookie hit so I made this batch from a recipe that I found at from Helen at Grab your fork some time ago, as promised they were delicious, very moorish & I will be trying my best not to eat the entire 25 by tomorrow!

Malted Milk Cookies with Chunks of Dark Chocolate and Malteser Smashings

Based on Donna Hay's double choc cookies from Modern Classics Book

2250g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup malted milk powder
200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
100g Maltesers, smashed in the bag

Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs gradually and beat well. Add flour, baking powder, malted milk powder, chocolate and Maltesers and mix well. Place large tablespoonfuls of mixture onto baking trays lined with baking paper or greaseproof paper. Ensure there is plenty of room between mounds to allow for spreading (I did about five per tray). Bake at 150C for 20-25 minutes (depending on how soft/crispy you like your cookie).

Makes about 25.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Parmesan Crusted Blue-eye and braised potatoes with peas

Last night I cooked up this very tasty dish from Bill Granger’s Bills Food. It was really good & pretty easy to prepare though I would recommend getting the potatoes on to steam while coating the fish. Also don’t salt the potatoes too much as the stock is already salty to begin with. Yum! I’m really loving Bill’s recipes at the moment & will be trying out lots more soon, particularly the brekky ones which I believe he is famous for!

Parmesan Crusted Blue-eye and braised potatoes with peas

75g (I cup) fresh breadcrumbs
45g (1/2) cup finely grated parmesan
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
125g (I cup) plan flour
4 blue-eye or other firm white fish fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
25g butter

Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt & pepper in a bowl. Crack the eggs into a bowl & beat lightly together. Place the flour and some salt & pepper in a bowl. Dip a fish fillet in the flour, then in the egg and finally, in the breadcrumb mixture. Continue until all the fish is done this can be done in advance & fish refrigerated for up to 2 hours before cooking),

Heat the oil & butter in a large non stick frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the fish & cook gently for about 2 minutes on each side, turning once, until lightly golden. Serve with the braised potatoes

Braised Potatoes with peas

8 Kipfler potatoes, peeled & steamed until tender
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, finely sliced into rings
155g (1 cup) green peas
250ml (I cup) chicken stock
15g butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Slice the potatoes into discs. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium pan over medium heat and fry until soft, but not brown. Add the peas & toss well. Add the stock, bring to the boil & simmer for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add butter, salt & pepper & stir to combine.