culinary considerations

Grilled haloumi in rosemary oil, with asian greens, and crusty bread. So good, but so bad…

Gnocci with pumpkin, broccoli, chorizo, parmesan and parsley.

A ‘trial’ selection of cakes for the engagement party.

Roo kebabs, cous cous and veggies.

Anzac biscuits.

The roo-ragu in process.

Salad with new $1 placemats. yay.

Roo-ragu, made by Paul. Dear lordy it was good.

Carrot, pumpkin, zuchinni and two cheese risotto.

Blue swimmer crab about to be fried up with chilli, corriander, garlic, ginger, soy and oil. And eaten with soba noodles, Vietnamese mint, mint, corriander, Chinese broccoli, carrot and bean sprouts.

West-side Japanese feast.


Curried chicken and carrot pastries and green beans.

Kanelsnegle. Or little delicious cinammon and cardamom buns.

Duh. Fruit salad.

Veggie baked rice and greens. Eggplant cut into small cubes, carrot cut into cubes, 2 tomatoes, ras el hanout. rice cooked in stock, pepper, salt. Combine all ingredients. Slap into tray. Top with cheese, bake, eat.

Pad thai….it was so delicious. No recipe needed, just a good sauce, lots of fresh vegies, Vietnamese mint, corriander, and roasted chopped peanuts.

A delicious feast at parents house. BBQ’d corn, salad, steaks, bread, carrots, remoulade, chicken shazliks with vegetables on them (yummy) and a really good smooth red wine.

A craving for sausages on a 34 degree day is what tabletop barbeques are made for.

Angus beef sausages, mash, onions, beans and tomatoes and olive sourdough roll.

Oh, and don’t worry, I did eat the missing half too.

Breakfast made with by and for love.

Lasagne….SO good.

Breakfast at the beach.

Things to do with healthy things, like low fat Greek yoghurt.

Make them into muffiny-friands with blackberry…

and them give them to the neighbours…

Ginger cake with cinnamon icing and big fat chunks of caramelized ginger, in the background choc fudge brownie. From Red Hill Caterers. Who bizarrely wrap all cakes on display in glad wrap. Pity they look so vile, because they were delicious.

Delicious Thai food in the most surprisingly awful surrounds at Rye. Lycra, fat legs, loud music, lipstick on glasses, not enough glasses, incompetent child-labour wait staff…fun times.

Pavlova with strawberries, blueberries and passionfruit syrup. Oh, and HAND BEATEN cream. That’s right, a pavlova of love.

Delicious iced-coffee at 3 Sisters in Sorrento. I wished it to be warmer so it would feel right, but it was delicious anyway.

Rigatoni putanesca with prawns and a great chragrilled flavour, Conti in Sorrento. Hungrilly consumed after head waiter kicked a bunch of drinkers off a table under the guise that it was ‘reserved’ by us…


9 small potatoes, one carrot, two onions, pink salt, lots of butter, garlic and rosemary soup with defrosted bread and cleanskin white wine. Dinner of champions.

Locally farmed eye fillet. Cooked to perfection. Red wine jus, truffled potatoes and mushroom on the top, finely cubed and almost caramelised in cooking, some delicious but forgotten sauces.

Spanner crab, red quinoa, cherry tomatoes, parmesan foam, melon balls, bits of broccolini entre. Hearty, but maybe a bit much going on.

Amuse bouche at La Petanque. Blini, salmon, creme fraiche and cress. Simple, but well done. Handbag to small to nick spoon. I contemplated it in detail.

Roast chicken, coleslaw and greek salad, champagne dinner.

The salmon pizza, which I had to test to, uh, make sure it wasn’t poisoned?…

Moroccan lamb pizza with some kind of addictive dressing.

Fish and chips on the beach. Flake (so good, so bad…), blue grenadier, grilled prawns and fried scallops.

Midnight pre-driving down to the beach pikelet craving…Eaten with left over apple sauce and maple syrup…

The Christmas Day lunch table. Peppers stuffed with riacotta, ham, salads (so many salads!), rice, turkey, lamb, bread.

Big prawns and cocktail sauce at Christmas Day.

The desert table. Summer pudding, ris-al-amande, cassata, chocolates, wine, biscotti.

Pork, sauerkraut, carmelised potatoes, broccolini, apple sauce and prunes. Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas roast pork with crackling prepared by mumsy.

The finished product.

Baked.

Christmas neighbourly baking gifts. Pre baking.

Apple sauce to go with the roast pork for Christmas Eve dinner.

Gingerbread….

Snapper stuffed with Vietnamese min, basil and coriander, coconut rice and snow peas and sprouts.

The makings of a good pho.

Croissant and pain au chocolat form De Chiroco…

Breakfast. Bacon, eggs, mushroom, garlic tomatoes and bread from De Chiroco.

Make it yourself tiarmisu. With home made sponge finger pillows dipped in dutch cocoa, tia maria, marscapone vanilla creme, espresso.

Tender, if a little over cooked, lamb with a zesty red wine jus and lentils. Carrots and pea paste. This was such a huge serving…

Salmon steak with herb butter, huge prawns and some kind of tomato thing.  The steak was enormous.

Entree of scallops, prosciutto, pumpkin mash and something which I forget. Smoky and plump.

From a new favourite, Svago on Lygon st.

Italian food with a Scandinavia  decor, and a German waiter who pours insanely generous glasses of wine.

There’s something nice about being the only patrons in a new restaurant and chatting to the chef.

Bread rolls midway through their second rising ready for oven.

Dinner table set for unplanned dinner guests. Fun times were had.

Lunch, gluten free veggie burger, salad and relish.

Breakfast. Homemade bread, nutella, blueberries.

Cherries.

Parma ham, baguette and St Marcellin cheese. Eaten on a picnic with lettuce, cherries, strawberries, white peaches, champagne and chocolate…

Wine spritzer on the balcony overlooking a man-made lake and golf course at Sanctuary Lakes. It’s basically a pretty housing estate for rich people.

Dinner of chicken, basil pesto and avocado pene, salad and lots of parmesan.

Hotdog with pickles, mustard, tomato sauce and fried onions…Yum!

Jammy and amazingly tender lamb shanks. Tomato based with red wine and juniper berries. Gratin Dauphinois with beans.

Alice’s swordfish fillet, white bean and miso puree, potatoes, cucumber and wakame salad at Tsubu.

Crispy gingery gyoza with mustard dipping sauce at Tsubu.

Bacon and scrambled eggs on the last piece of runty crust toast…

Cointreau chocolate truffle, dark chocolate truffle and salted caramel from Koko Black.

Chowder. An excessively good one. Baby squid, scallops, massive clams, green lipped mussels and fat prawns. Potato, carrot, cream, fish sauce, veggie stock, water, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper. Served with salad.

Bacon, poached eggs, spinach, tomatoes and mushroom.

I am spoilt.

Chinese broccoli, bokchoi, 3 mushrooms, carrots and coconut rice. Cider.

Homemade burger.

Baked eggs.

I can mixed beans, I can diced tomatoes, 1/4 diced onion, 1 diced garlic clove, 1 large carrot cut in slices, oil, salt and pepper, 3 eggs, veggies, grated cheese for top, toast.

Simple and amazingly tasty dinner (or breakfast).

Fry off the garlic, onion and carrots until golden and a bit soft. Season. Put tin of beans and tomatoes into bowl, add the things from the frypan, stir. Put into a baking dish. Place in oven until hot and bubbles appear. Take out, crack 3 eggs onto surface gently. Place back in oven and bake/grill until eggs are almost cooked. Sprinkle cheese over, remove, serve with veggies and toast.

Saturday night diner. Penne with broccoli, asparagus, parsley, cherry tomatoes and a creamy white wine mustard caper sauce.

Nasi lemak with vegetable curry. Spicy, creamy, nutty and just plain good.

Build your own bento box at place near work. Fluffy rice, bean shoots and carrots strips with tangy sauce. Potato and capsicum salad, broccoli and cauliflower salad, teriyaki chicken.

Freaky mutant twin bodied strawberry. Devoured on muesli and yoghurt this morning.

Roasted fresh beetroots. With balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oil. Can’t wait to eat these…

Lunch. Homemade zelnik (? – basically Macedonian Spanakopita) in leek and spinach and salad of cherry tomatoes, capsicum and celery.

Fish chowder. Had a craving. Disappointing that you can only buy one type of fish stock at my local. It was ok, but clearly there is a gap in the market..

Two pieces of white fish (I use the Hoki skin on fillets from Aldi) chopped into 3cm wide bits. I defrosted it a bit so I could cut it, but frozen is ok.

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1cm thick round slices

3 potatoes, cut into 3cm thick cubes

1 cup frozen peas

1 handful parsley

1/2 onion diced finely and 1 clove garlic crushed

500ml fish stock

500ml water

oil, salt, chilli, pepper.

100ml cream

Fry off onion, garlic in oil.

Add potatoes and carrots and fry a bit more.

Add stock and chilli. Cook until half cooked potatoes and carrots.

Add fish.

Cook a bit more. Keep adding water if needed. Fish will swell up with stocky goodness.

Add peas, parsley and cream when almost done, season with salt and pepper.

Serves with bread. Dip bread in soup. Yum.

Possibly the best fruit salad I haven’t made. Fresh blueberries, strawberries, orange segments (you know you’re onto a good thing when the creator can be bothered segmenting the citrus), grapes and a blob of natural yoghurt.

The aftermath of an insanely good Belgian chocolate croissant. Gooey goodness.

Salmon, toast soldiers, boiled egg and creme fraiche. Zen.

Stir fried tofu and vegetables with chilli peanut chicken from the local takeaway that boils chillies in chilli soup, and then adds more chilli….

Stewed apple and honey porridge. Eaten in dressing gown with cat on lap before a morning of house cleaning.

Lamb souvlaki at midnight. So good.

Cured trout, some kind of delicious mayonnaise and an assortment of other unknown delicious bits. I hate micro-herbs.

Phenomenally good and fat, so fat, scallops on chorizo and lentil salad with celeriac puree. Montalto Winery.

Deconstructed vegetable ravioli with almond milk foam.  Montalto Winery.

Seafood pizza, (with big fat prawns, scallops, fish and mussels) and salad. Infront of ‘City Island’ dvd. Odd.

A delicious burger in a delicious location.

Salmon salad on the beach, 8kms picnic walking with a wool mini dress, with a bottle of sauv blanc and metal cutlery.

An ice-cream the size of my head…Who was I to tell her about daily recommended intakes of dairy? Keep scooping…

Note to self: when making cupcakes for Friday Morning Tea at work, do not delude self into thinking the plate will make it to work without being somewhat lighter…

Risotto. Red wine, capsicum, cheese, tomato, 3 mushrooms, cheese, broccoli, cheese. mmm.

Meatballs. 500G mince, 1 egg, 1/4 finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, rosemary, 2tbsp flour. Mix, fry in oil. Eat with salad,caramelized onions, potatoes and a glass of red.

Spring afternoons. Pims, dry, strawberries, grapes, mint, pineapple juice, ice.

I am a recent convert to espuma. It was intense raspberry foam. Chocolate molleaux, raspberry espuma, chocolate sauce and crushed pistachio thingy, Koko Black.

Saturday afternoon tea. Fruit, coconut bun from Breadtop, coffee. These buns are so good. Fluffy bready-pastry, and a sticky coconut remonce. mmmm. remonce…

Pho. Saturday lunch. Leftover chicken added.

This really was a stunningly good and dleicious quiche. Not sure why, but I suspect it was the extra dollop of cream that fell in when the cat distracted me by sticking his head in a glass of water and tipping it all over the floor.

Mushroom, zucchini, carrot, silverbeet, cheese, quiche.  (I piece shortcrust pastry, bake first, chop leftover stumps of veggies, fry off, season, crack 5 eggs, cream, splash of milk and grated Parmesan and tasty cheese into bowl, mix in veggies, whack into pasty, bake.  Serve with salad and Riesling.

Sunday roast lamb….with rosemary and garlic, sweet potato mash and green beans, and some fennel, zucchini, pear and grapefruit (YUK!) salad, which I ate.  Because I am a good person.

Sunday breakfast.

A simple dinner. Omlette with 3 eggs, two cheeses, carrots, capsicum, zucchini, garlic, onion and broccoli on rye bread with a glass of sauv blanc.

Steak from the market, garlic silver beet (I loathe washing this stuff…it takes longer to wash than it does to sautee) and pomme noisette. YUM!

Defrosted frozen raspberries in a tea mug, on my desk. Yep, a classy 4pm treat….

Camembert and crackers. Dinner making snack.

Green curry with fish, carrots, cauliflower and other things, with coconut rice.

Delicious Indian takeaway. Chicken jalfrezi, vegetables, tandoori chicken, naan and special rice.

Homemade salmon, cream cheese, caper and home grown baby spinach baguettes. From a backyard on the beach. With strawberries and champagne.

Afternoon tea on Wedgwood. Custardy vanilla slice and blueberry muffins. Coffee decanted in a real coffee pot. Hoorah.

Breakfast in the sun (which incidentally almost burned a hole in my head. Thanks ozone layer) at the beach. Once is scraped the majority of the sauce off, it was actually rather delicious.

Dinner. Porterhouse (well, half a one…it was half a cow!)  onions and oyster mushrooms, snow peas, broccoli and cajun potato chips. With a really nice glass of red too. A particularly surprising $12 bottle)

So much eating….

Tuna pasta bake.

Salados.

Vegetable masala curry and brown saffron rice.

Honey chicken. So good. But so bad. But so good. Chicken in dessert format.

San choy bao.

Custard apple thickshake….

Longan juice.

Friday night. Cointreau soda on ice.

Saturday morning loveliness.

Chocolate bread twist thingy from Breadtop.


Rather amazing deconstructed Key Lime Pie, from Le Chien. It had sticky Italian meringue, homemade pastry and a zingy raspberry thing. All good, until they added 4 items that weren’t ours to the menu…we got refunded, but they kept the tip…

Another stirfry. Broccoli, bokchoi, carrots, green capsicum, tom yum paste, garlic onions and rice cooked in my new rice cooked that I got from the ‘free things’ table at work. hurrah!

Food from the social club ethnic food lunch at work.

There was a Persian eggplant dip with mint and caramelized onions and a Malaysian eggplant curry too.

Rather amazing home-made backed beans with thyme and pork belly….and an equally great pot.

Moroccan chickpea spiced sweet potato soup, inexplicable served with croutons.

Zucchini fritters with cheese.

Dinner. Spaghetti bolognaise (did I mention how much I love having a freezer again? Full of ice-cream, and mince meat), baby spinach, a pile of parmesan and shiraz.

A box of brownies for Ethnic Lunch day at work…Um, American? Time poor and exhausted. Brownies are a breakfast food, right?

Asparagus, lentil, tomato, onion, garlic, mushroom, parmesan and herb risotto.

Totally amazing coconut and lychee clafouti.

1/2 cup plain flour, pinch of salt, 1/3 cup caster sugar. Stir together. Make a well. Mix in 4 lightly beaten eggs, vanilla essence, 25g melted butter and 200mL coconut milk and 50 mL milk. Mix until a batter. Pour over lychees in a greased and lightly sugared pan. Bake.

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni from David Jones food court, cooked in pancetta and Roma tomato sauce….

Fruit salad of pineapple, USA cherries, strawberries, apple, passionfruit and lychee for afternoon tea.

Mwah ha ha… (this was INCREDIBLE) I have never smelt any beverage with so remarkable a fragrance. And the taste!

Delicious green prawn curry from Chang Mai Thai. The larb gai was spicy spicy, but this was delicious.

Delicious healthy mushroom meatloaf thing with tzatziki real meat, veggies.

Dessert cakes – pastry shells, vanilla cream, raspberries and toasted almonds.

Dinner, of rice, tofu marinated in fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey, lime juice and oil. Stir-fry of much the same ingredients as all my stir fry’s. Yum.

Fluffy apple cake with salted caramel glaze…Made without a recipe, which called for some finger-crossing, but turned out remarkably well.

Approximately 75g butter, 150g caster sugar (beat together till foamy), add 2 eggs, mix, blend in 1/5 1kg bag self-raising flour, 100ml milk, vanilla essence, 150g par-cooked apple cubes in lemon juice and cinnamon. Bake. Glaze with 2 large tablespoons salted caramel spread from here.


Last night’s dinner. Stirfry of bok choi, mushrooms (which were really good, they must’ve been happy mushrooms), capsicum and snowpeas. Rice cooked in chicken stock and delicious pork fillet, from this recipe, with added cajun seasoning.

Sunday lunch at my grandma’s. Macaroni cheese, warm vegetable salad, meatloaf and delicious coconut cake.

Last night’s dinner of baked eggplants with Moroccan spice, rice, eggplant pulpy-bits, carrot, chicken, paprika, beans, mushrooms, onion and garlic.

Last night’s dinner. Chicken breast with bok choi, carrot, mushrooms, onion, garlic, beans and laksa mix. Served with udon noodles.

Also made a dangerously good cocktail of blended lychees and lychee juice, coconut cream, vodka, cointreau and passion fruit. Is it summer yet?

Willy Wonka’s in South Yarra; Burch and Purchese.

The ingredient wall.

A slightly shell-shocked expression…

The masters at work. Making macaroons, in this case.

Heaven in a jar – hazelnut chocolate paste with salted caramel on top. I bought the solid salted caramel jar.

The cakes. Each has about 7 ingredients and 7 textures in it. None of which are normal, but all amazing.

BANANA, CARAMEL, RUM

caramelised white chocolate & vanilla mousse /macadamia spiced speculaas / caramelised banana cream / passionfruit jelly /ascorbic rum jelly / caramelised milk solids / passionfruit curd / chocolate velvet spray

ROAST PUMPKIN, MILK CHOCOLATE, MAPLE SYRUP, BACON

spiced chocolate cream / crunchy bacon & pecan meringue / roast pumpkin mayonnaise / maple syrup jelly spheres / milk chocolate mousse / chocolate velvet spray.

Half of a ‘Passionfruit cloud’….

In a not-really-all-that-unusually immature moment at the Asian grocers…

and then these, became lychee coconut cocktails and corn fritters.

Roasted fresh beetroot and garlic side dish thingy.

Note to self: white laminex does not like beetroot.

Dinner. Steak, corn, asparagus, onions, mashed potato, red wine.

Monday mornings.

Fruit platters I made for work morning tea. Everything tastes even better when geometrically arranged.

Everything tastes better when it’s on fire.

Dinner. Omlette with parmesan, Brussel sprouts, leftover panfried vegies

Soup. Leek, parsnip (eugh), carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, pork belly, spinach, bay leaf, rosemary. Partially cooked.

Last night’s dinner.

Homemade bread.

Salad with tiny, tiny cherry tomatoes.

Cajun spiced trevally.

Pan fried sweet potato, carrot, capsicum and onion. Served with rice.

Alas. Not mine, but made a good photo. May it rest in peace.

Steak, broccoli, potatoes, field mushrooms and onion….mmm

Manhattan Seafood Chowder, Chowder House, Hepburn.

Amazing. Full of seafood, but a bit on the salty side.

Salmon, kingfish, mussels, pippis, smoked cod, celery, carrots, potato, prawn and chives…

Finished!

Friday night dinner at parents. Chocolate fudge, raspberry and passion fruit cake thingy. mmmm.

It’s called a ‘Dark Chocolate Nemesis’. What’s not to like? She said it came with ‘a’ blueberry. I asked if that meant just the one, she said yes, I asked for the plural, and got it.

Breakfast and Beer, Daylesford.

My new favourite cafe has a charming French man, Orangina, macaroons, and wooden boards of yummy things with a choice of breads for $12. And damn fine coffee. Pit ’bout the music though.

a snack I made to tide me over to going out for dinner with pals

Some of the cakes of Christmas and New Years (most were eaten too quickly to be photographically evidenced.)

Pasta is an easy type of food you can make when you take holidays and can’t be bothered cooking.

things you will need

to eat

half an onion

a clove of garlic

enough pasta

three tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

half a zucchini

2 small carrots

a handful of green beans

parmesan cheese

olive oil

salt

pepper

oregano

thyme

to use

two saucepans

a sieve

a knife

a cheese grater

some bowls

Wash the carrots, beans and tomatoes

Put some water on to boil in one of the sauce pans, and add a bit of salt

Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in the other saucepan

Peel and chop the onion into small pieces

Peel and chop the garlic into even smaller pieces

Chop and crush the tomatoes into small pieces and a lot of juice

Chop the zucchini and carrot  into small cubes

Add the garlic and the onion into the saucepan and fry until golden

Add the tomato paste, herbs and seasoning.

Add the carrot, zucchini and tomatoes and cook until translucent and saucy (20 mins)

Cook the pasta

Add the green beans 5 mins before serving.

Drain the pasta.

Add the sauce and cheese.

Eat.

Brunch is a good thing that happens when you take holidays.

things you will need

to eat

half an onion

a clove of garlic

5 eggs

100ml milk

teaspoon butter

grated cheese

5 mushrooms

3 slices ham

1 large handful green beans

quarter of a red capsicum

oregano and thyme

salt and pepper

toast

to use

frying pan

saucepan

a vegetable steamer

a bowl

a knife

a cheese grater

spatula/flipper

plates

cutlery

Wash and dry the beans, mushroom and capsicum

Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl with the herbs, salt and pepper

Chop the capsicum and onion into small pieces, and the garlic into even smaller pieces

Cut the ham into small squares.

Put some water in a steamer and boil

Grate the cheese

Add butter to the pan and fry the garlic and the onion until golden

Add the capsicum, mushroom and ham and cook for 5 mins

Add the beans to the steamer

Pour the egg mixture over the things in the fryingpan

Cook until the edges turn op and the top has started to cook.

Flip over.

When totally cooked, put the cheese on one half, and then fold the other half over the cheese.

Serve with the green beans and toast.

Banana muffins

Chicken Uganda

(which I doubt is in any way remotely Ugandan, but we’ll go with it anyway…)

From the kitchen of Paul

This recipe is very good with boardgames, red wine and terribly competitive comrades.


You will need.

chicken – various pieces of your choice, thighs are good
1/4 cup oil – I think the original recipe uses peanut oil, but Paul uses olive
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. curry powder
1 large onion, sliced
1 large red capsicum, sliced
1 large, thin-sliced tomato
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup warm water
rice
You should do.
Brown the chicken pieces in oil; remove from heat.  Add salt and curry powder to the drippings, stirring for 1 minute.  Add onion, pepper and tomatoes, cover, simmer for 5 minutes.
Return  chicken to pan, cover, simmer for 30 minutes or till tender.  Cook rice.  Blend the peanut butter and warm water and stir into the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir till sauce thickens.  mmmmmmmm  one of my all-time favourites!!!!  I’ve experimented, with mixed success, adding hot spices to the mix.  it works…
Midway through the demolition of some chicken Uganda.

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