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