Saturday, October 31, 2009
So, what did I cook? I decided to include a couple of french classics as well as some of my own dishes with a french twist. I consulted my trusty beaten up copy of Larousse Gastronomique for inspiration and came up with the following menu.
Spinach, cheese and chive souffle
Watercress and radish salad with toasted hazelnuts and garlic prawns (served with a Dijon dressing)
Coq au vin with potato galette and sauteed asparagus
Rhubarb and strawberry meringue parfait
I have never cooked a souffle before so I was a bit nervous about it. I have never been someone who really uses recipes - I prefer to cook by taste and touch and to let my instincts guide me. With a dish like a souffle however, you pretty much need to follow a recipie. I actually found it hard to do what I was told (I can already hear my mum saying - what's new?!) but the result was absolutely beautiful. Light as air and delicious. Unfortunately, in my haste to get the souffles straight from the oven to the table before they start to deflate, I forgot to take a photo of them. Sorry everyone. I do think that they deserve a blog entry of their own, so I will make them again and post the recipe and photos when I do (very soon, I promise!)
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This chicken is made super moist by making up a small amount of garlic butter that is put under the skin, so as it cooks it is infused by garlicky gorgeousness. You could use the same principle with chicken pieces if you like. The stuffing is quite light and fresh tasting and I didn't make any gravy to serve with this. It has enough great flavour by itself - just pour the pan juices over. Delicious.
Method: Combine the garlic and the butter well. Set aside. Rinse the chicken in cold water in and out, dry with a paper towel and set aside.
Combine all remaining ingredients to make the stuffing. Mixing it with your hands is the most effective method. Stuff the chicken with the stuffing.
Take the butter and gently push it under the skin of the chicken, taking care not to tear it.
Bake the chicken in a preheated oven at 240C for an hour and fifteen minutes. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Meanwhile, decades later we see Julie Powell (Amy Adams) trying to escape the soul destroying grind of her day job and her growing feeling of general malaise by retreating to her tiny kitchen in Queens to cook the recipes of a woman she idolises. Although Julie and Julia never meet, they are linked by their passion for food and the personal transformation that their culinary journey brings.
In my early 20's I sold most of my worldly possessions, including my 70's Holden Gemini (Beige with orange and chocolate brown racing stripes up the side - coooool!) packed my things into 2 suitcases and moved from Perth on the west coast of Australia to the big smoke - Sydney on the east. I rented a tiny bedsit on the edge of Kings Cross (for those non Australian readers, this is a notorious red light district in Sydney) with an even tinier "kitchen". (think cockroaches, bar fridge and about 40cm of bench space!) I spent the first couple of years in the city being very, very broke, so for entertainment I joined the Kings Cross Public Library. I decided if I couldn't afford to go out, at least I could read.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Oysters Three Ways
Oysters with Proscuitto & Maple/Balsamic Dressing :Whisk together equal amounts of good extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup with 1 clove crushed garlic. Season with pepper. Drizzle over oysters and top with strips of Proscuitto.
Oysters with Chilli Ginger Dressing :Whisk together equal amounts of rice vinegar and fish sauce (Nam Pla), a few teaspoons grated palm sugar, 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger, 1 teaspoon finely chopped red chilli, 1 tablespoon finely sliced spring onion. Spoon dressing over oysters to serve.
Fried Oysters with Chive & Wasabi Cream :Combine good quality, thick Greek style yoghurt with Wasabi (as much or as little as you fancy) and finely chopped chives. Set aside.
Whisk together 1 egg, soda water, a few tablespoons flour, salt and pepper to make a batter that coats the back of the spoon.
Dry the oysters with a paper towel and heat some vegetable oil for frying, Coat the oysters in the batter mixture and fry until golden. This will happen very quickly - be sure not to overcook them! Serve with the Wasabi Cream.
***About Coffin Bay Oysters:
For more info about luscious Coffin Bay Oysters, check out their website:
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Grilled Shaoxing Chicken with fresh pineapple and chilli salsa
You will need: (For the marinade - this will be enough for up to 4 serves of chicken)
1/4 cup light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 clove garlic crushed, 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine, 1 teaspoon finely chopped or minced chilli, A pinch or two of Chinese Five Spice, pepper, 2 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil. 1 chicken breast or thigh fillet per person.
(For the salsa - be sure to chop your ingredients quite small) Pineapple, cucumber (de-seeded), continental parsley, mint, fresh chilli, red onion, salt and pepper, a very small splash of flaxseed or olive oil.
Method: Combine all of the marinade ingredients with the chicken. Set aside and allow to marinate for at least 10minutes. (ok, so tonight I only did it as long as it took to make the salsa. Not the end of the world I assure you)
For the salsa, combine all ingredients well and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.
Grill or BBQ your chicken and serve with the salsa. Yum!