Recent Recipes

Eating Out: The Boathouse

Comments (15) | Saturday, January 30, 2010

Most of you will know The Boathouse's proud owner, Gary Mehigan from Masterchef Australia.
We had sampled some of the dishes at the Taste Festival last year, and were keen to go to the restaurant in Moonee Ponds to try more. We had signed up for VIP membership, which entitled us to a free meal upon going to the restaurant to collect our VIP cards. Hamsley had made a booking for the weekend before his birthday so that we could go and claim our free meals.

The Boathouse is set on the Maribyrnong River. Inside is decked out with lovely timber furniture, and lots of lush looking cushions. The french doors open out onto the large deck; which surrounded by lovely trees. We sat on the deck since it was such a lovely night, watching the sun set slowly as fitness freaks ran on by.

Since neither of us had been to The Boathouse before, we were unsure of whether it was table service, or if you had to order up at the bar. After Dave, the manager showed us to our table and told us he'd take care of our VIP membership we sat there for what seems like forever (to me).  I glanced on at other tables and saw waiters taking orders, so I figured we would just wait for menus to arrive. I couldn't wait anymore, so I went up and picked up two menus for us to look through.
After quite some time looking through the menu, Hamsley was wondering what the free meal included; as he was eye-ing off the $40 steak on the menu. He went inside to ask, but all we got was vague answers from numerous staff members. He finally tracked down Dave for an answer. We were told our VIP membership cards could not be issued today, but he would offer us a discount on a main meal. Some what disappointed, shortly after that a waiter did come and take our order.

Tumbler Pils - 300ml $5.00, 500ml $9.00

We both went for the beer on tap, an ale all the way from Salzburg (I got the tiny one).

Arancini with Aioli - $13.50

We ordered an entree of arancini. I have always wanted to make arancini, but the whole process of deep frying doesn't excite me. Hamsley had never had arancini before, as he asked me what it was when I put in a request for it. We both loved them. They were warm, creamy, crispy and went really well with the aioli. I could have happily ordered another plate and called it a night.

400g Rib Eye "Grain Fed" with Baby Potatoes, Apple and Mustard Chutney -  $40.50

Hamsley's steak was of a generous size. Although, to be honest; I was expecting a bit more on his plate for $40! The steak was cooked to perfection, and Hamsley did mention quite a few times that it was extremely juicy. It came with an epic steak knife to cut through the thick rib eye meat.

Zata Lamb Skewer with Freekeh, Parsley and Red Onion - $19.50

I was tossing up between this lamb kebab or a pizza. I didn't know what freekeh was, but I was in the mood for something meaty.
It came out nicely presented, and tasted fantastic. Something about mixing spices with lamb, and char grilling it makes it ever so tasty. The bed of freekeh and other ingredients made a very refreshing accompaniment to the succulent lamb skewer.

After it all, I'm still not sure how I feel about The Boathouse. The service at the start of the night left a lot to be desired, but was made up for later on when we dropped my tiny beer and it was replaced. The food was delicious, but possibly a bit over priced. I would like to go back to try other items on the menu, see what the service is like on a different occasion, and hopefully claim at least one of our free meals!

Boathouse on Urbanspoon

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Week 11: The Cookbook Challenge - Cherry Ripe Mud Cake

Comments (13) | Friday, January 29, 2010

 Week 11
Theme: Mixed
Cookbook Used: Food We Love
Author: The Australian Women's Weekly

I have a confession to make. I'm cheating this week (and my photos aren't that great). I was going to make rib-eye with espresso and mushroom for the 'mixed' theme... but I ran out of time, and I could have cooked something else, but I really don't have time or the energy to. So this is the cake I made for Hamsley's birthday this week. It was 'mixed' with love and brut force, using my arms.
I chose to make this cake as he said he liked Cherry Ripes when I was flicking through this cookbook, yelling out things that sounded delicious, he exclaimed; 'I like Cherry Ripes!'

This cake is not for anyone on a diet. Let's face it; if you are on a diet, you should be no where near cake to begin with. No matter how low fat you have convinced yourself it is.
Let's start with the first step: 250g butter, 2 cups of sugar, 200g dark chocolate, coffee and coconut milk..... last time I checked, no one lost weight living on foods like that.
However, I've never made a cake with coconut milk in it, so I knew it was going to be something special.

There was meant to be chocolate panels around the outside of the cake, but due to lack of time, and making this cake less fattening that it already was; I left them out. It would have looked rather spectacular though I think.
I'm so glad I didn't add the panels. I couldn't even finish my slice of cake, it was that rich. Anymore more chocolate, and I would have entered a food coma.

Delicious moist, dense and chocolately.... This one should be made once every 5 years or so, unless you want to enter a chocolate coma or become a contestant on The Biggest Loser in a hurry.

Cherry Ripe Mud Cake
Australian Women's Weekly
Get your hands on:
250g butter, chopped
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 2/3 cups (400ml) coconut milk
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsley
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
3/4 cup (110g) self-raising flour
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 x 85g Cherry Ripe bars, chopped coarsley
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely, extra
125g butter, chopped, extra

Chocolate Panels:
300g dark chocolate melts
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to slow (150°C / 130°C fan-forced). Grease deep 22cm-round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.

2. Melt butter in large saucepan; add coffee, coconut milk, chocolate and sugar. Stir over heat until chocolate melts and sugar dissolves; cool to room temperature.

3. Whisk in sifted dry ingredients, then egg and extract; stir in half of the Cherry Ripe. Pour mixture into pan, top with remaining Cherry Ripe; bake about 1 3/4 hours. Stand cake 10 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.

4. Combine extra chocolate and extra butter in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth. Refrigerate until mixture is spreadable.

5. Meanwhile, make chocolate panels.
Chocolate Panels: combine chocolate and oil in medium heatproof bowl; stir over medium saucepan of simmering water until smooth. Cut two 6cm x 50cm strips of baking paper. Spread chocolate evenly over strips; lift strips to allow chocolate to drip off paper. Allow chocolate to set, then, using a ruler as a guide, cut chocolate into 4cm panels with a sharp knife. Carefully peel away baking paper.
Tip: You can also melt the chocolate for the chocolate panels in a microwave oven; melt on medium (55%) about 1 minute, stirring twice during cooking. Stir in the oil once the chocolate has melted.

6. Spread the chocolate mixture all over cake; place chocolate panels around side of cake. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 12.

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Celebrate Australia Day with a Lamington Trifle

Comments (21) | Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Australia Day to my fellow Australians, and everyone else around the globe!
Even though I'm half Malaysian, and half Swiss, I'm still pretty darn Australian.
I spent my first birthday in the Flinders Ranges. I've driven up to Darwin, Cairns and all different parts of Australia with my parents in a 4WD. I enjoy a nice cold beer. I like pavalova and a good old sausage sizzle. I wear thongs... but I don't do Vegemite. In fact, I'd rather lick the road than eat Vegemite.

I do love the humble lamington; sponge cake, smothered in chocolate, then rolled in coconut. If you are lucky you can get some that are wedged together with jam.
This recipe caught my eye in the latest issue of Delicious magazine. It wasn't until the day before Australia Day that I realised I should do an post about something Australian. I didn't really have time to do the version that was in the magazine, as I was busy making a birthday cake for Hamsley; so I did a cheat's version of it. By cheating, I bought King Island decadent chocolate mousse, instead of making the already 'quick chocolate mousse'.

The mint makes the whole thing very refreshing. I made one especially without mint for Dad, as he is not a fan of mint; and he gobbled the whole thing up, no complaints.
And with chocolate (mousse), upon chocolate (lamington)... what's there not to like about this? Thanks to Coles having a 'buy one, get one free' when buying lamingtons, I think I'll be enjoying this a few times!

Lamington Trifle
Georgina Kaveney

Get your hands on:
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
2 x 120g punnets raspberries
6 lamington fingers, cut into 2cm cubes
Toasted flaked almonds to, serve

Serve it with: Quick Chocolate Mousse:
1 cup (250g) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (125ml) thickened cream
1/4 cup (25g) good quality cocoa-powder, sifted
1/4 cup (35g) icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)

1. For the mousse, stir all the ingredients in a bowl with a pinch of salt until smooth.

2. Gently crush sugar, mint and berries with a fork. Divide the lamington pieces among 4 glasses, then top with berry mixture, mousse and almonds.

Serves 4.

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Happy 2nd Birthday with a Raspberry Hazelnut Cake

Comments (33) | Sunday, January 24, 2010

I made you this cake to celebrate!

Iron Chef Shellie turns 2 today!

And because I am an absolute idiot...or the interweb/computer is, I lost the first draft of this post, and I'm having to type it for the 2nd time. It only seems fitting doesn't it.

It doesn't help that I've left half my files and the recipe at another location, and I'm having to get Dad to send them through to me, whilst rummaging through my things (thanks Dad and Mum for you help!!)

Alot has happened in 2 years. When I first started the blog, I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, or where it would take me. All I knew is, I wanted to learn how to cook; and sharing with people just made it more exciting. Since then I've met many celebrity chefs that inspire me, have received many products to sample and review, and made a few friends along the way. (Looking forward to meeting you Conor on Thursday!)

Learning more and more about food has thought me to appreciate new flavours. I rediscovered that mushrooms aren't as bad as I thought they were, olives can be quite alright if you chop them up into tiny tiny pieces and mix them with the right ingreidents, and that people will love you for life if you feed them something nice.

Cakes, muffins and cookies are ALWAYS better homemade. Homemade means mixing everything from scratch, not opening a box of Betty Crocker's finest creations.... no offence Betty, but your muffins were delicious only when I didn't know any better.

Anyways, this cake is really quite delicious if I may say so myself. But you know, anything with hazelnuts is bound to be delicious; nutella, fererro rocher, frangelico, hazelnuts.... the list goes on. The cake is very moist, most likely thanks to the sour cream, and the juicy raspberries. Perfect for an afternoon tea on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Raspberry Hazelnut Cake
Australian Women's Weekly

Get your hands on:
250g butter, softened
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
6 eggs
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
1 cup (110g) hazelnut meal
2/3 cup (160g) sour cream
300g fresh or frozen raspberries

Serve it with: Mascarpone Cream
1 cup (250g) mascarpone
1/4 cupe (40g) icing sugar
2 tablespoons hazelnut-flavoured liquer (Frangelico)
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
1/2 cup (70g) roasted hazelnuts, chopped finely

1. Preheat oven to moderate (180°C / 160°C fan-forced). Grease deep 22cm-round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.

2. Beat butter and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined between additions. (Mixture will curdle at this stage, but will come together later.)

3. Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in sifted flours, hazelnut meal, sour cream and raspberries. Spread mixture into pan.

4. Bake about 1.5 hours. Stand cake in pan for 10 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.

5. Meanwhile, make mascarpone cream: combine mascarpone, icing sugar, liqueur and sour cream in medium bowl. Stir until smooth; stir in nuts.

6. Place cold cake on serving plate. Spread cake all over with mascarpone cream.

Tip: If using frozen raspberries, don't thaw them; frozen berries are less likely to "bleed" into the cake mixture.

Serves 12.

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Week 10: The Cookbook Challenge - Cassata

Comments (15) | Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 10
Theme: Cool
Cookbook Used: Food We Love
Author: The Australian Women's Weekly
No matter how many times I tell myself I'm never buying another Women's Weekly cookbook... I buy at least two. I found this cookbook half price at a discount bookshop; had a quick flick, and knew there were many things I wanted to make that I hadn't seen in any of their other cookbooks I owned.

What better for cool week than ice-cream?
I had a few other options flagged; like jellies and mousses, but who can resist a three layer ice-cream?... well I guess you can if you are highly lactose intolerant and go into anaphylactic shock if you eat ice-cream... then you might wanna resist this!

Even though it was three layers, it wasn't too much work. I didn't really wait for each layer to freeze firm before adding the next layer, cos let's face it; I started making it after dinner, and I wanted to go to bed before I turned into a pumpkin.

My favorite layer was the top layer, with a lovely almond flavour. It is the taste you most remember about cassata. The added texture of the glacé fruits and flaked almonds makes this ice-cream a real winner. Mum even kept praising it whilst she was eating it; that's when you know something is really good!

Australian Women's Weekly
Get your hands on:
2 eggs, seperated
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) cream
few drops almond essence

Second Layer:
2 eggs, seperated
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) cream
60g dark eating chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoon water

Third Layer
1cup (250ml) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white, beaten lightly
1/3 cup (55g) icing sugar
2 tablespoons red glacé cherries,  chopped finely
2 glacé apricots, chopped finely (I couldn't find these, so I just used extra glacé cherries.)
2 glacé pineapple rings, chopped finely
1 tablespoon green glacé cherries, chopped finely
30g flaked almonds, toasted

1. Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until firm peaks form; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar. Fold in lightly beaten egg yolks.

2. Beat cream and almond essence in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form.; fold into egg mixture. Pour mixture into deep 20cm-round cake pan. Level top; freeze until firm.

3. Make second layer and spread over almond layer; freeze until firm.
Second Layer: beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixer until firm peaks form; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar. Beat cream in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold into egg white mixture. Place chocolate in small bowl; stir in egg yolks. Stir blended cocoa and water into chocolate mixture; fold chocolate mixture through cream mixture.

4. Make third layer and spread over second layer; freeze until firm.
Third Layer: beat cream and extract in small bowl with electric mixer until firm peaks form. Beat egg white in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form; gradually add sifted icing sugar. Fold egg white mixture into cream; fold in fruit and nuts.

5. Run small spatula around edge of cassata; wipe hot cloth over base and side of pan. Turn cassata onto serving plate.

Cassata can be made a week ahead; keep, covered, in freezer.

Serves 8.

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Fast Tuna Patties With Sweet Chilli Mayo

Comments (8) | Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This was tonight's dinner for Hamsley and I. They were made so fast we have already made and eaten them, edited my photos and done most of this post; and it's only 7:30pm!

Even though I stuffed up the recipe.... I actually read the recipe for once, but got distracted by shiny things when assembling the ingredients by adding the bread crumbs to the patty mixture, instead of saving them for coating the patties. This was quickly fixed by adding more egg to bind the mixture and using extra bread crumbs to coat the patties.

They were quickly pan-fried, and with Hamsley on salad and sweet chilli mayo duty, we had dinner in no time! A delicious quick meal that I will be adding into my weeknight wonders list.

Get your hands on: 
250g packet jasmine microwave rice
400g can tuna in brine, drained, flaked
3 green onions, trimmed, finely sliced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Serve it with:
1/3 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
Garden Salad

1. Cook rice according to packet directions. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly. Add tuna, onions and eggs. Mix to combine.

2. Divide mixture into 8 portions. Using hands, roll mixture into balls and flatten slightly. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Add patties and turn to coat. Heat half the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook half the patties for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining oil and patties.

3. Combine mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce in a small bowl. Serve patties with mayonnaise mixture and salad leaves.

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Week 9: The Cookbook Challenge - Eye Fillet with Raspberry Sauce

Comments (14) | Saturday, January 16, 2010

Week 9
Theme: Berry
Cookbook Used: Delicious - Quick Smart Cook
Author: Valli Little

I know I'm meant to be using a variety of my cookbooks for the cookbook challenge... but I seem to have used this particular book about 3 times now or so. It's not my fault there are so many delicious things in there I want to make. And the worst part is, Hamsley introduced me to Book Depository, and it's sooooo incredibly cheap (better than Fish Pond).

So I know some of you are sitting there thinking..."raspberries AND beef.... TOGETHER?? Has she lost the plot???"
Truth be told, I have not lost the plot, and if Valli Little think the two of them go well together, then who am I to doubt her? 

Turns out it was a delicious combination! It really worked well with the mashed potato. I don't think it would have been as nice with rice or pasta. The raspberries added a nice sweet taste to match the richness of the eye fillet. 
After we all got used to the idea of raspberries and beef; most of us kept adding more raspberry sauce to our plates. There were a few jokes as the mashed potato looked like cream, and dad would say "please pass the raspberry jam"; I asked my aunty if she brought the scones over.

I'll definitely make it again!

A few reasons why my photos don't look as good as in the book:
- Mum pre-sliced the eye-fillet before I could stop her
- Mum insisited I add a couple of frozen raspberries when garnishing for the photo despite my cries of "BUT THEY LOOK FROZEN!!"
- I didn't serve with green beans, but with a nice garden salad instead
- I cooked double quantity as we had extra people over, and my raspberry sauce somehow ended up looking more like a raspberry thick shake (still damn tasty though)

Get your hands on:
1 tablespoon olive oil
10g unsalted butter
4 x 180g beef eye fillet steaks
1 cup (250ml) red wine
2 tablespoons caster sugar
250g raspberries
1 cup (250ml) good-quality beef stock
3 tablespoon creme fraiche or sour cream

Serve it with:
Potato mash
Steamed green beans

1. Place the oil and butter in a frypan over high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until browned and cooked to medium-rare (or until done to your liking). Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside while you make the sauce.

mmmm... smells like jam

2. Return the pan to medium heat and add the red wine, sugar and most of the raspberries (reserving about 1/2 cup to garnish). Cook, stiring for 2-3 minutes until the fruit has broken down. Add the stock and cook for 3-4 minutes until syrupy. Whisk in the cream fraiche or sour cream and season to taste.

3. Strain the sauce, discarding the soilds, and return to the pan. Add any beef resting juices and the reserved berries to the pan and stir until heated through.

4. Serve the steaks on potato mas and green beans, drizzled with the raspberry sauce.

Serves 4.

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Permission must be granted before using any images or text from this website.

Feel free to contact me:
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