Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Potato patch

Met some key players in my PhD this arvo, they think I should go to South Australia to see the potato farm where I will be getting my test potatoes from.. I have no idea how they're planted, what they look like when mature, harvesting etc.. Prof thinks it'll be good for me to go.. I think so too.. it makes the study a lot more interesting when you have a picture, experience and farming to go with it! =)

Also.. there's talk of going to Holland to see how the geneticist selectively cross potato cultivars for the optimum phenotype.. OOO Dave's getting too excited. Its going to be work there too honey!

So much to learn about the humble spud.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Italian Deli Shopping

Found it very exciting to have an Italian deli just across a street from us so I decided to do a little snooping and shopping. Inspired by a recipe by Fratelli Fresh and envied how they could make something so simple so tasty, I decided to give this prawn orecchiette recipe a go.

Mega sized prawns I found in the fish markets
Gathered my ingredients.
All I had to do was blend a few cloves of garlic with two fresh red chilis, squeeze a cup of fresh lemon juice, peel the prawns and dice them and I was ready.

First I put my orecchiette on boil.

In a fry pan, heat up a tblspn of olive oil and stir fry the prawns til they're lovely and coloured. Add some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and mix it around. Remove from heat.

Add more olive oil and then add the garlic chili blend. Fry til fragrant. Add the lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Add the prawns back into the pan and toss through cooked pasta.

And I never thought I'd say this but add a good handful of finely chopped parsley. Grate some parmesan on top and serve. Its amazing how the garlic-chili-lemon combo works.. oo so tasty.

And while I was in the deli, I couldn't resist but pick up some proscuitto and baby boncocinni

Hand a white peach in the fridge so I tossed it together with some mixed greens, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Wonder what I'll try next !

Monday, April 05, 2010

Beef Cheeks & Lamb Cutlets

After a vego post, I've got some meat dishes

Discovery of beef cheeks, it beats whatever other cheap cut of braising meat for a slow-cooking.
Don't know if its all the muscle tissue that breaks down that makes the meat have such a good mouth feel and moistness

I must say it looks strange, my vet friend told me beef cheek classifies as offal.. I see it as meat with little islet shapes on it, kinda like liver.

I used it in a great boeuf bourguignon, adapted from Julia Child's recipe easily goggled on the net. Essentially its a stewing cut of beef cooked for a long time in a full bodied red wine (thank God for aweseom $5 cleanskin shirazes sold in Australia) + beef stock + bacon + carrots + bay leaf etc..

Topped off with butter sauteed mushrooms and steamed greens. Best served with creamy mash! Yum!
Lamb cutlets, Glenmore meats near Wentworth park in Ultimo sells the cutlets cheaper than Coles. Get frenched ones i.e trimmed of all the cartilage & fat has been cleaned off the bone. When you get an fresh good cut of meat, all you need is some sea salt and cracked pepper to season and you're ready to go.

I've panned fried them for medium rare and served it with mushroom risotto and a balsamic rocket salad.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yummy Vego Meals

Dave and I decided we want to do vego once a week, apparently Michael Pollan (author of the omnivore's dilemma said that it would help the environment even just with not eating meat once a week).

So here I go:

Arborio rice, brown swiss & button mushrooms, leek and a sprig of thyme

Pumpkin, pinenuts & baby spinach
Caramelised roasted pumpkin

Risotto cooking on the stove

Our dinner:
Oven roasted pumpkin, pinenut & baby spinach salad with balsamic vinegar dressing served with mushroom risotto. (there's parmesan on it cos its not vegan but vegetarian)

And on another night, I got lazy so I just made a mushroom and corn kernal soba. It was actually really fresh & light. Didn't miss the meat. Or cos mushrooms possess what they call the umami taste, the fifth taste associated with savouries & glutamates.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fresh Fish

"Hey I've got a surprise for you"
- Alex from the lab led me to the little bar fridge we had at work and pulled out a glad-wrapped item.

" A fish??" - me
" yep, caught it this morning" - Alex
"Wow!!!" - me

Was super excited as I told dave I had something special for dinner, first time someone ever gave me their catch.

Thought of thousands of ideas how to cook it and in the end settled for - its fresh so it probably doesn't need much. Rub of salt and olive oil.

Pan fried and served with a wedge of lemon and of course a dollop of awesome peranakan chilli from Singapore!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mains-Veal Cutlets and Gumbo

Mains I served up during the Christmas holidays...

From the masterchef cookbook, veal cutlets and tarragon chips with mushroom sauce

Start with fresh ingredients... lovely pinky veal cutlets.First time using tarragon... with thinly cut potato chips

Dinner is served!

The next thing I try is from Jamie's America after Dave reminded me countless times that I promised to make him gumbo.

First I fried the spicy italian sausage to get the oils out before setting them aside.

Using the oils, add plain flour and keep frying and stirring until peanut butter coloured or browner.. this is called the roux.... fascinating concept of using the fat from good sausages and mixing it with flour to make this tasty paste.

Then add the "holy trinity" of gumbo, onions + celery + capsicum
Added okra (ladies fingers) as a natural thickener for the gumbo
Fresh prawns, peeled and deveined

Last in are the chicken and prawns. Once they are cooked, it'll be ready to serve, serve with rice or a crusty bread roll

Perfectly matched with a James Squire golden ale

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sweet pastry treats

I attempt sweet shortcrust pastry for the first time these holidays, usually I take the lazy way out and use the pastry sheets readily available from the supermarket all nicely rolled out for you.

Recipe from Jamie Oliver's America as I attempt to make also for the first time: bourbon pecan pie

Step 1: To rub in the 125g of cold butter cubes into my mixture of 50g icing sugar +250g plain flour until it resembles bread crumbs

Step 2: Scraped some vanilla seeds out of a fresh pod and added it to the pastry
Step 3: Then add an egg and a splash of milk and work it into a ball of dough

Step 4: Work it then wrap it in some clingfilm and rest it in the fridge for 30min
Step 5: Fun time! Rolling it out and into my tart tin. Approximately 0.5cm thin and pricked the base before putting it in the freezer for another 30mins.Had extra pastry so I made two more little tartlets.
Here they are after baking blind in a 180 degree oven for 10mins

Looks so rough and rustic .. not very pretty

For the little tarts - lemon curd filling

1 egg + 20g caster sugar +30mL pouring cream +25mL lemon juice and mix over simmering water

Until its curdy, then cool in the fridge
Scoop into my bake tartlet cases which then got gobbled down by Dave really quickly
What happened to the big case

- 175g brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon whisked together

then add 200g ground pecans, 100mL molasses, 50g unsalted butter and 50mL bourbon

Mix well then throw in 250g of whole pecans

Add to my baked pastry case then bake for 25-30min

Yummy served with freshly whipped cream

About Me

" One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple - Psalm 27:4