Month: March 2014

Quirky Offerings


This week I had the pleasure of dining at someones else’s dining table  – how nice to be a quest and eat some delicious food that didn’t come from my own kitchen.

As I sat down to eat I spied this very special creation and I thought to myself oh Yum a delicious creamy cake.

So naughty that I was thinking about desert before main course and I love a cake with cream!

How surprising to find it wasn’t cake at all but a big piece of watermelon covered with cream and marscapone mixed together and lots of berries for decoration.

This way we had a healthy (mostly) desert without the calories.

It did make me realise how much we eat with our eyes !!!


Steamed Ocean Trout


With the last of Melbourne’s warm weather we have been enjoying salads with delicious Ocean Trout and sometimes, chicken or Lamb combined with couscous, or quinoa, or simply a variety of salad leaves.

This week we steamed ocean trout at 60c instead of the 85c or 100c temperature that one might normally cook fish at. Ocean Trout has a subtler taste than Salmon and I prefer it, but Salmon can also be substituted. Steaming fish at a lower temperature makes for a more softer texture and more importantly a sweeter taste.

If you see white beads of protein form on the fish then your cooking it too quickly and too hot. I steamed the Ocean Trout at 60c for 15 minutes and you can see from this photo how succulent it is.

I combined the fish with red and white quinoa, lots of fresh herbs such as coriander,mint and a smattering of fresh green chilli for a bit of bite. We also added cooked shallots for that sweet onion flavour. The salad was finished off with a lemon juice, olive oil dressing.

I have also seen Kimchi added for an added texture and some extra chill flavour – give it a try !

Great pho

Last week Carey and I went to Sunshine for Pho – pronounced phar (Olivia and Zoe don’t believe it could possibly be called that )
We started with a beef flavoured pho with strong accents of cassia bark also known as cinnamon.
With a choice of beef or chicken or both we waited patiently to receive our first bowl  of pho . We also had the owner of the establishment talk about their unique pho making recipe – the making of beef stock and which kind of meat – I was hoping to learn the secrets but alas I learnt to just enjoy the soup !

The interesting pho was served at the next establishment – it was pho with sate !! The meat was beef  ( a little dry and tough ) but I would have preferred chicken.

Tips for making any great soup or pho are
1 . Stock making with bones are essential. If using chicken wings roast them first and then cover with water . A little amount of onion ,Celery , carrot
Some herbs as thyme , parsley, bay leaf – cover and steam gently for at least one hour

2 . Remove fat from the stock the next day before adding to the soup

3 . Simmer gently fresh vegetables in stock before adding any meat
4. Meat should be added for the last part of cooking unless a ham hock or meat on the bone is added
5 . Taste for seasoning – it may need more salt , sugar , vinegar or chili in pho

6. Lastly add noodles and fresh herbs for pho


Rickshaw Run in Footrcray


During the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival we participated in the Rickshaw Run Held in Footscray. Here we are with Bianca whose

task was to take us to the five different destinations .

We started with oysters and met up with Kenny who writes a fabulous blog. http:// <

Our next stop was to a new little eatery located in Little Saigon- for very tasty spring rolls, Steve’s favourite stop was at Sen where we learnt how to make rice paper rolls – yum.

Phong Dinh despite having no customers made us the most delicious Pho or Chicken noodle soup – I was full at this stage but managed a delicious rice pancake with prawns followed by barbecued pork ,a speciality of North Vietnam served up with lots of fresh herbs, lettuce and rice noodles at Sapa Hills.

It was a fun fabulous event with delicious food – How Perfect !!


Fig Delights


The Figs this year have been sweet, juicy, subtle in flavour but still delicious. I can happily snack on them any time but they make the best addition as part of a salad menu or part of a charcuterie. They marry well with those beautiful cured cold meats and terrines.

Here they are simply served with fresh feta cheese, basil and a good drizzle of very good balsamic glaze.

This week they appeared in a great recipe combining Kataifi greek style pastry. This pastry is simply shredded phylo pastry sold in the refrigerator section of some supermarkets or deli.Easy to use and inexpensive to purchase.

It is a Greg Malouf recipe from his latest cookbook Arabesque.

To look at the photo, one would think this entree would take so much work but voila it was so simple but yet so delicious .

Simply cut a cross in the top of the fig, wrap in prosciutto, take the kataifi pastry and wrap some strands around the base of the fig – it almost looks like a bird in a nest !!

Bake at about 180c for 10 minutes until the pastry colours , remove serve with marscapone or feta (marinated) and a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar.

Easy but a tasty start to any meal.