Comments (14) | Tuesday, September 29, 2009
5 food bloggers were chosen from Melbourne, by Nuffnang. It was a great opportunity to meet Matt Preston, and learn about salamis of the world.
It was also a great setting to meet fellow bloggers, Adrian from Food Rehab, Sarah from Sarah Cooks, Penny from Jeroxie, and catch up with Rilsta from My Food Trail.
We began with a few canapés whilst mingling with the other guests:
Matt spoke for a bit about salami, and often spoke about methods and ingredients he uses when he makes his own salamis. He then introduced Gerhad, the Fleischmeister. Fleischmeister is a German word for meat maker. The Fleischmeister qualification can only be obtained in Europe. Gerhard was originally Austria, but has been in Australia for 10 years. He has been working for Don for quite some time, and when I asked him if he had a favorite salami, he couldn't put is finger on just one. Dealing with salami is like dealing with numbers for an accountant; it's just what you do every day.
After more salami discussions we were served the main course. There were two options for mains listed, fish and steak. I was hoping I would get the steak, but I figured, since I normally don't get what I want when the menu is served alternating each personI wouldn't get my hopes up.
I was so happy when I received the steak:
My steak was cooked just how I like it, medium rare. The apple rosti was a fantastic accompaniment, but the chorizo was substituted for pancetta, but still delicious.
Some people then left, and the rest of us were ready to tackle the hard task of dessert. With two options on the menu, I was hoping for the sticky date pudding. I got lucky, and my wish came true:
We tried the panacotta Sarah was originally served, and were so relieved we weren't served it. It really wasn't my thing. It looked pretty, but give me sticky date any day!
At the end of the luncheon we all received goodie bags to take home. Filled with salamis, an apron and other random goodies.
Don't forget to check out Rilsta's review, and awesome photos. Adrian's review has videos of Gerhard & Matt talking sausage and interview with Matt. Sarah's review here, & Penny's review.
Don't forget, Celebrity Masterchef starts Wednesday 30 September & Matt's book, 'Cravat-a-licious' comes out on Thursday 1 October 2009.
Comments (5) | Friday, September 25, 2009
You know a place is worthy of trying if Matt Preston has eaten there before.
Katie and I decided it was time we caught up on all the gossip with each, other over some pho. I asked Katie to choose the place as I was flat out and suffering from man flu; thus affecting my ability to think straight.
I picked Katie up, and we plotted our destination in the car GPS.
Like many of the restaurants on Victoria St, Richmond; they have classic 70s décor. Co Do did have freshly painted, vibrant walls, which made the place feel a little less 70s than the usual. However, mirrored walls were still a prominent feature.Not to mention the Vietnamese karaoke playing on the TV.
We also shared some vegetarian spring rolls. I found the filling to be a little mushy. They tasted alright, but they weren’t as traditional as I was hoping for. I only just realised, I forgot to photograph them! So just use your imagination...
The broth was pretty tasty, not as good as my usual pho haunt, but still very good. A good serving size too.
With the meal costing $14 each, we were very satisfied, and even had leftovers.
There is a VERY extensive menu. I remember flicking through numerous pages, even though I knew I was having pho. I’d go back to try other dishes.
Comments (8) | Thursday, September 24, 2009
Last night, my mum’s boss took us all out for dinner. He does this from time to time, and it’s a nice way for us all to socialize and hear about any dramas happening in the office.
We have dined at many different locations, including; Carlton, St Kilda, Brighton and Richmond. However, this time we stuck a little closer to home, and hit up a local shopping centre. I had already checked out the menu online during the day, so I knew what I was ordering.
We ordered drinks, and mum’s boss ordered a tomato juice. He requested it be laced witht and worcestershire sauce. The waitress checked with us shortly after delivering the juice to see if it was to his liking. Little touches like this can really make you appreciate friendly staff.
Lightly toasted house made bread accompanied with our chef’s selection of dips.
We started with dips to share. We dined on; avocado, spicy capsicum and roasted eggplant. The Baba Ghanoush (roasted eggplant) was by far my favorite, followed closely by the spicy capsicum.
The bread was fresh and crisp, not oily at all.
A generous 350gm steak, char-grilled to your liking and coated with a red wine jus, accompanied by field mushrooms on a potato mash.
Braised with root vegetables, served over a creamy potato mash with its own sauce.
The shanks were divine. The meat just simply fell of the bone, and the sauce was extremely tasty. A generous portion size with two massive shanks, unlike a previous dining experience at Credo. These shanks were well worth their money.
Montanias famous BBQ ribs served with Greek salad & chips.
I have been craving ribs ever since watching the Food Safari episode on USA food. Luckily, these ribs did not let me down. They were ribs on steroids! There was far more meat than bones. This was not a problem, but I had to share the last one and half ribs with the rest of the table, or else I would have become morbidly obese.
The BBQ sauce was really something special. I guess they aren’t their famous ribs just for the portion size. The chips soaked in the smoky BBQ sauce was just the icing on the cake. The salad, TOTALLY unnecessary, but I guess that what makes the dish some what healthy.
I was given a bones dish and a finger bowl, but since there was so much meat, I didn’t need to get my fingers messy; a knife and fork did the job quite well.
Flamed in Contreau with a rich toffee sauce, garnished with a dollop of cream and crisp toffee.
I told her she couldn’t order the crepes since she had them as part of her main meal, but she wanted to try them regardless.
WOW. They were so good! I’m glad we shared though, there is no way I could eat this on my own. Deliciously sweet with plenty of strawberries inside and outside. It’s fair to say, we were quite stuffed after this.
You can stop for a meal, or just a coffee and cake. In the warmer months, the French doors open onto the outdoor dining area.
I’m looking forward to going back to try the other yummies on the menu.
Comments (4) | Wednesday, September 23, 2009
So I know I haven't been posting as much as usual. There are a few factors:
- No material due to lack of social life
- No baking due to being too busy / lazy
- Recently contracting man flu, thus feeling like I've been dying
So, I thought I'd blog about the goodie bag I received at my boss' wedding over the weekend.
It was a beautiful church service, with a very punctional bride. The bride was infact 30 minutes early, and had to circle the block to waste time!
At the end of the lovely ceremony, each guest received a goodie bag on the way out, when congratulating the lovely couple and their family. It was a total surprise, most welcome though, as most of us were hungry!
An apple juice prima, and a sweet bread roll with ham and other stuff I couldn't put my finger on. It's an Asian thing, so some of the Aussie guests might not have enjoyed it as much.
Congratulations again to Victor & Venny!
Comments (12) | Thursday, September 17, 2009
I bought the Gourmet Traveller chocolate cookbook from a bargain book store for $6 a while ago, back when I went trekking for my first real souvlaki. The recipe for these cookies in the book pretty much sold me; chocolate + hazelnuts = awesome.
My biscuits look TOTALLY different to the picture in the book. The picture in the book shows nice little dainty, chic café looking bites, and mine turned out like chocolate ripples with a chocolaty centre. I followed the recipe to a tee, and I even rolled smaller sized balls than the dictated 1 tablespoon measurement, and I still ended up with morbidly obese looking cookies! Alas, they tasted very nice so it didn’t matter.
I was expecting more of a melt in your mouth kind of sensation when biting into these, but they were just like any other cookie, and didn’t really have that melting effect. I would make them again though, a classic combination that has never let me down.
250g unsalted butter, softened
110g icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
105g hazelnuts, roasted, peeled and finely ground
125g dark chocolate, chopped
30g unsalted butter
75g hazelnuts, roasted, peeled and finely ground
1. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, then add vanilla.
2. Stir together flour and cocoa and stir into butter mixture with ground hazelnuts until mixutre is well combined.
3. Take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and using your hands, roll into balls, then place on baking paper-lined oven trays and flatten slightly with your fingers.
4. Refrigerate biscuits for 2 hours or overnight, then bake at 180°C / 160°C fan-forced for 15 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the filling; melt chocolate and butter in a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, then remove from heat, add ground hazelnuts and stir to combine well. Spread a little filling onto half of the cooled biscuits, then top with remining biscuits. Leave in a cool place for filling to set.
Filled biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes about 60, but ingredients can be halved to make fewer biscuits.
Comments (7) | Sunday, September 13, 2009
So we headed up to the Dandenong Ranges to a restaurant I have always eyed off when driving through, Credo. Always looked a bit special from the outside, and the menu online sounded nice, so this seemed like the best option.
Credo had quite an extensive menu. I was actually surprised how many dishes there were to choose from. Breakfast is served until 4pm on Sunday, or you can order off the lunch /dinner menu.
Drinks took a while to arrive to our table as the wait staff were too busy catching up with people at the counter.
I ordered the kangaroo as it seemed like a nice change to the usual dishes I would order. The kangaroo was overcooked, a bit dry. The pomegranate molasses was nice and tart, teamed with the sweet potato mash and beetroot chips it worked well. The mash itself was a bit bland though.
My other choice was going to be the lamb shanks; mum ordered them so I got to have a little taste. They were alright, I was expecting more flavour from them.
As to whether I would go back or not, I’d probably have to say no. Unless it was with a group of friends that really wanted to go there. Food wasn’t the best, I much prefer The Ranges up the road.
Anyway, we went back to Grandma's house to pig out on a slice of cake:
Comments (10) | Thursday, September 10, 2009
Would you pay £50 for a cup of coffee?
How about if that cup of coffee contained cat poo?
Well now at the Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square, England, you can buy a shot of expresso cat poo coffee. But me? I think I'll pass, I'm not a big coffee person anyways... or cat poo person for that matter.
Comments (6) | Tuesday, September 8, 2009
For Father's Day this year I cooked dinner for my dad instead of buying him something that would sit around collecting dust or serve no purpose.
Luckily he LOVED it. I didn't tell him what was it in, until he was having the leftovers for lunch the next day, and even that didn't even put him off!
It was delicious, nice middle eastern-y style flavours with with the lamb and all the spices. I love meatballs, and this was no exception.
Nepalese Meatball Curry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
750g lamb mince
1 egg yolk
1 fresh long red chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons stale breadcrumbs
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 cloved garlic, crushed
3cm piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh coriander root and stem mixture
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1. Make curry sauce: heat oil in a large saucepan; cook onion, garlic and ginger, stirring, until onion softens. Add coriander mixture and spices; cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add undrained tomatoes and stock, simmer, covered, 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large frying pan; cook onion, garlic and ginger, stirring, until onion softened. Cool 10 minutes.
3. Combine the mince; whole egg and yolk, chilli, spices, coriander, breadcrumbs and onion mixture in a large bowl; roll level tablespoons of the lamb mixture into balls.
4. Heat remaining oil in same pan; cook meatballs, in batches, until browned all over.
5. Add meatballs to curry sauce; cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Stir juice into curry off the heat.
Comments (11) | Monday, September 7, 2009
Ok, so I wanted to do a post, but I don't really have anything to blog about, so you will have to excuse the low quality iPhone photos and the lack of content.... and well I probably should have taken more photos, but I didn't expect to blog about Australia's first Costco.
So what is Costco?
"Costco is a membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing our members the best possible prices on quality brand-name merchandise. We provide a wide selection of merchandise, plus the convenience of specialty departments and exclusive member services, all designed to make your shopping experience a pleasurable one.
We are confident in the quality and value of our products, and we stand behind them with our guarantee of satisfaction." - Taken from the Costco website.
So you need to pay a membership fee....to shop. But my goodness, the things you can buy at Costco will blow your freaking mind! I went with my mum, who had been to Costco in America before, and Hamish, who had also been to Costco in America but had the all important membership card.
Costco stocks well known brands, but their homebrand is known as "Kirkland". You can wonder through all the isles with your massive trolley which can fit 2 children in that top foldy downy bit. Everything from pots, office stationary, cubby houses, books, dvds, CK jeans, Tommy Hilfer polos, designer fragrance, flowers, nuts, alcohol, fresh seafood, fresh produce, freshly baked goods, platters, kayaks, laundry and toilet supplies... and the list goes on. Just remember, most of the time you will have to buy in bulk.
It was good fun, looking forward to going back. I will take better photos next time I do though! Will be looking there for my cookbooks and dvds first, I could have saved $30 on a book I recently bought!
Comments (11) | Thursday, September 3, 2009
No prizes for guessing what's in this box...
Well, all the flavours I listed that I wanted to try in my previous post about them were all available, so I scooped them up and took them home.
So, what did they all taste like?
Blackcurrant: a little tart and delicious. Reminded me a bit of the passionfruit one, full of flavour.
Coconut: very coconut-y with lots of dessicated coconut flakes. Reminds me of my mum's coconut ice.
Rose: very flowery! I thought I was eating potpourri with it's strong flowery flavour.
Peach: tasted like canned peaches, just not as healthy. Not bad, it's on the top side of the like scale.
Permission must be granted before using any images or text from this website.
Feel free to contact me:
ironchefshellie [at] gmail [dot] com