Recent Recipes

Week 2: The Cookbook Challenge - Chicken Tandoori Pockets & Pistachio and Date Kulfi

Comments (11) | Saturday, November 28, 2009

Week 2
Theme: Indian
Cookbook Used: 1000 Best Ever Recipes from AWW & Faking It
Author: The Australian Women's Weekly & Valli Little

Week 2 into the cookbook challenge, and the theme was Indian. I found a dessert I wanted to make, kulfi, but during the week I also found a main course I had time to make. Most of the Indian recipes I found required marinating or multiple processes that required hours of work, but the chicken tandoori wraps were something I could whip up quickly after work.

The wraps were amazing packed with flavour, I even got mum and dad eating cucumber, which they usually hate! It was such an easy meal to prepare, and everyone left the dinner table full and satisfied.

The kulfi was made a couple of nights before hand. It was a bit of an adventure as one of my kulfis spilt on the carpet on it's way to the freezer. Then another spilt on it's way into the freezer.

The flavour was pistachio and date, served with an orange syrup. The orange blossom water made it taste a little flowery. It isn't like your traditional icecream, but it was a nice cool way to end a meal. I probably wouldn't make it again though. Not really something I can see myself craving anytime in the future.

Chicken Tandoori Pockets with Raita

1 tablespoon lime juice
100g tandoori paste
70g yogurt
400g chicken tenderloins
8 large flour torillas
60g snow pea tendrils

280g yogurt
1 lebanese cucumber, halved, seeded and chopped finely
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

1. Combine juice, paste and yogurt in a medium bowl with chicken.

2. Cook chicken, in batches, on heated oiled grill plate (or grill or barbecue) until cooked through. Stand 5 minutes; slice thickly.

3. Meanwhile, heat tortillas according to packet directions.

4. Make raita (combine all ingredients in a small bowl).

5. Place equal amount of each of the chicken, tendrils and raita on a quarter section of each tortilla; fold tortilla in half and then in half again to enclose filling and form triangle-shaped pockets.

Makes 8.
Pistachio and Date Kulfi

100g unsalted pistachio kernels
395g can sweetened condensed milk
300ml thickened cream
125g fresh pitted dates, chopped
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
3 oranges
1/2 cup caster sugar

1. Line six 150ml dariole moulds (don't worry, I don't know what they are either, I used plastic cups), with plastic wrap, leaving some overhanging the sides.

2. Process pistachios and condensed milk in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped and you have a coarse paste.

3. Lightly whip the cream in a large bowl, then fold in the condensed milk mixture, dates and orange blossom water. Divide the mixture among the dariole moulds, then cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight until firm.

4. Zest the rind of 1 orange using a zester. Place in a saucepan with the juice of 2 oranges, the caster sugar and 1/2 cup water. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar, then summer for 5 minutes until the syrup has thickened. Set aside to cool.

5. When ready to serve, peel the remaining orange, then slice the flesh into rounds. Place on a serving place and drizzle with some of the candied rind and syrup. Turn out the kulfi onto plates, then drizzle with the remaining rind and syrup and serve with orange slices.

Serves 6.
Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Product Review: Gourmet Pearl Couscous

Comments (5) | Thursday, November 26, 2009

Apologies to Erin who sent me out this Pearl Couscous to me to try last month! I have been meaning to blog about it sooner, but I have been swept off my feet with so many other things, I haven't had a chance to enter the kitchen. But I finally made some time, and cooked up the Pearl Couscous to see what it was all about.

Gabriel Gate's face proudly endorses the couscous. I received some recipes by him that incorporated the couscous; but none of them really took my fancy... sorry Gabriel. I would have tried your minestrone soup recipe if it was 1000000000 degrees in Melbourne when I was cooking.

As you can see, the Pearl Couscous is much much larger than your standard couscous. When I cooked it, I would say it was al dente. It reminded me a bit of pasta just by the texture, but mum said it was like the bubbles found in bubble tea. It was nice and soft, and worked really well with the meatballs.
It did absorb a lot of the sauce, which is good as I find that couscous doesn't really have much flavour to begin with. 

I think it would be very interesting in salad for the warmer days coming up in summer on a picnic.

Some facts you might be interested in:

Traditional couscous is about 1mm in diameter when dry. The Pearl Couscous is larger, at about 3mm. The extra surface of the Pearl Couscous allows for more efficient absorption of sauces, stocks and spices than the traditional couscous.
Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous is featured on the menus of famous restaurants like Nobu in New York, and Maha in Melbourne.  

Pearl Couscous is made from 100% hard wheat, and is then toasted in an open-flame oven, which gives it a nutty flavour. It cooks in just 10 minutes, and can be enjoyed hot, cold, as a side dish or even as a dessert.

For more information, and recipes by Gabreil Gate, head to: www.blu.net.au

Moroccan Meatballs

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 410g cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 1/3 cups couscous
1 1/3 cups boiling water

500g lamb mince
1 small brown onion, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons Moroccan spice mix
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 1/2 tablespoons currants
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

1. Make meatballs: Combine mince, onion, spice mix, pine nuts, currants and parsley in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on a plate.

2. Heat 3 teaspoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs in batches, turning often, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 3 teaspoons of oil, onion and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Return meatballs to pan. Simmer, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce reduced slightly. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Meanwhile, place couscous in a large heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water. Cover and stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir with a fork to separate the grains. Spoon couscous into bowls. Top with meatballs and sauce.

Serves 4.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Photo Journal: Port Arthur

Comments (8) | Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We had a lovely day for exploring the Port Arthur grounds. These are some of the snaps I took whilst wondering around the grounds. Hope you enjoy them!

The above picture demonstrates the cells. There was a punishment cell, which was a small room with no windows, so it was just pitch black. I couldn't step in the first time. Then I tried to grow some balls and be a man and try to step in again; I lasted all of two seconds and ran out! It was too spooky. 

Below is my favorite picture of the day:
Below is some photos taken from inside and around the haunted post office. You can definitely sense a presence when you are inside the post office.

A gorgeous tree needed it's photo taken.

I thought I'd end on something food related; ye olde kitchen!

For more information on Port Arthur, head to their website: www.portarthur.org.au

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Week 1: The Cookbook Challenge - Lemon Mousse & Lemon Madeleines

Comments (12) | Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 1
Theme: Citrus
Cookbook Used: Bills Food
Author: Bill Granger

And so it begins! The first week of The Cookbook Challenge.
Having a sweet tooth, I have a feeling most of my recipes are going to be dessert orientated. But I have been trying to plan a few weeks in advance, as I look through my ever growing collection of cookbooks and magazines, and I assure you; there are going to be some surprises along the way. Some that will have you scratching your head, just like that smoked chicken cheesecake I showed you not that long ago!

So Bill Granger came off the shelf this week. I own all of his cookbooks. They have gorgeous pictures, and delicious recipes. I am hanging out for the day when I can go to Sydney to try his famous ricotta hotcakes. I have the recipe in one of the books to keep me going until then.

With the theme of citrus, I had many options to choose from. I went for a lemon mousse as I have never heard of one before. I had always made chocolate mousse, so lemon seemed like a refreshing option. With Melbourne's recent heat wave, it was EXTREMELY refreshing whilst trying to keep cool in front of the overworked fan.

The only problem with the mousse was my zest wasn't grated finely enough, so it was a bit grainy. I think a microplane zester is on my Christmas list, along with the Bourke St Bakery cookbook... for anyone listening *wink wink, nudge nudge*.

The madeleines were fantastic. Although I nearly burnt the first batch. They were rescued in time, and I didn't walk away whilst the other batches cooked.

And that's my recipe/s for the first round of The Cookbook Challenge!

Lemon Mousse

finely grated zest from 3 lemons
60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
185g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
4 eggs, seperated
150g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1. Put the lemon zest and juice, sugar and egg yolks in a double boiler and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Whisk in small amounts of butter at a time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form.

3. Fold half of the beaten egg whites into the lemon mixture with a metal spoon, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Divide among four serving glasses and refrigerate until firm.

Serve with lemon madeleines.
Serves 4.

Lemon Madeleines

5 eggs
200g caster sugar
finely grated zest from 1 lemon
200g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
180g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas6).

2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are pale and fluffy, then mix in the lemon zest. Add the flour, baking powder and butter, and fold everything together. Leave the mixture to rest for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into a greased madeleine tray, and bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or a little longer, depending on the size of the holes in your madeleine tray.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Eating Out: Igloo Zoo

Comments (11) | Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Excuse the lower resolution photos... taken from my iPhone.

More exciting Tasmania posts and some cooking posts soon to come... but for now:

I wasn't the only one who started a new job at my place of work. My newest, shiniest colleague, Kaitlin joined the crew a couple of weeks after me. She is originally from California, and I have an uncle in California (hi there!!! I know you read my blog!), and one boring Thursday morning we got talking about food.

Kaitlin was telling me a story about this place called Pink Berry in the US, and how people started calling it Crack Berry, because it's like crack to some people; they must have a dose of it everyday. She mentioned there were some copy cat versions down here in Melbourne, but the craze of it was nothing like in L.A. Infact, there was one just down the road from our office. So on a gorgeous sunny lunch break, I scooted up the road to get me some yoghurt action!

There are 3 flavours of yoghurt to choose from; original, pomegranate and green tea. You can then choose from a range of toppings, including fresh fruits &muesli. You can even get it blended up into an 'igloo blend'. They even have a range of winter warmers, which sounded deeelicious.

The yoghurt is 98% fat free, and is a real tart yoghurt. No added sugar like you would find at those other yoghurt bars. It goes nice with a range of natural sugar toppings. I went for a green tea yoghurt with an organic triple chocolate crunch topping. The green tea flavour was not evident, it was more just green in colour, but nice, creamy and tart.

Kaitlin got original flavour with strawberries, mango and chocolate coated goji berries. On my next trip I think I will be getting lychees in mine! nom nom nom
Check out their cute website: http://www.igloozoo.com/

Do you have a frozen yoghurt bar like this near you?

Igloo Zoo on Urbanspoon

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Eating Out In Tasmania: Cascade Brewery

Comments (7) | Sunday, November 15, 2009

One of the things everyone tells you to do when go you to Hobart, is go to the Cascade brewery. So, that's exactly what I did. I booked Dad (the non-drinker), and myself a spot on the 11am tour of the brewery. I was told on the phone, that because it was a weekend, no one would be working in the brewery, but we would still be taken inside to see how it all works.

Even though no one was working in the factory, we still got a very thorough explanation about how the beer is made, and I learnt about different kinds of hops used to produce beer.

 We were given 3 bottle caps when we paid for the tour. These were redeemed the end of the tour for 3 samples of any beers, ciders, or non-alcoholic beverages on offer.
I started with the Mercury Sweet cider. I found it to have a subtle flavour, but I still prefer Pipsqueak cider by Little Creatures. I know my friend Alana prefers Mercury to Pipsqueak, but at the end of the day, it's like wine; it's down to your own personal tastes. I like the bitterness that Pipsqueak has, but I also like beer; Alana, on the other hand, does not. (Not that there is anything wrong with that! I still love you Alana!)

I also sampled the Pale Ale, and Apple Isle. I have been drinking the non-alcoholic Apple Isle for yonks, so I know it's fizzy, sweet and just all around awesome.

Beef & Cascade Stout Pie - $23.00
Served with sauteed root vegetables.

I was expecting a pie in pastry, but this pie was just as good. Very tender beef chunks, smothered in a delicious gravy with a nice stout flavour. It worked well with the mash potato on the top of the pie, and the tomato relish.

Grill Rump Steak - $19.50
Served with potato and a medley of vegetables.
(Steaks served with mushroom or pepper sauce; or Maitre de hotel butter)

Mum and Dad both got the steak, after seeing another table munching away on their steaks. They both enjoyed the steak, but had trouble identifying one of the vegetables it was served with. When the waitress came to clear away the dish, Mum asked what it was. It was swede, a nice alternative to your standard potato.

I thought the menu at Cascade would be better. I was expecting great food like at Little Creatures Brewery, where the food matched the beer perfectly. It was a pleasant dining experience however, with a lovely atmosphere, and my free 3 samples of beers and cider.

Cascade Brewery
140 Cascade Road
South Hobart
Telephone: (03) 6224 1117
Website: www.cascadebrewery.com.au

Tours of the brewery run twice daily; 11am and 1pm. Bookings are essential.

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Photo Journal: Salamanca Markets

Comments (9) | Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Salamanca markets run every Saturday from 9am - 3pm, just outside Hobart. It is a HUGE market that houses lots of food, crafts (mainly wood work), and a variety of fun stuff.

Lots of local produce, including fruit, beverages, gourmet sauces and freshly baked goods.

Lots of food stalls around the markets.

Lots of different crafts, and funky things to buy.

4 BBQs of sausages cooking away. I have never seen so much sausage in all my life!

The best busker I've seen in a long time. If you are ever down there, check him out; skinny white man that sounds like Louis Armstrong!
Pretty poppy flowers, and gorgeous terracotta roses.

For more information on the Salamanca markets, or stall holders, check out their website: http://www.salamanca.com.au/

My tip; go early to avoid the afternoon crowds!

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The Cookbook Challenge

Comments (2) |

To find out more information, head over to My Food Trail to find out what it is all about. You can even join in on all the fun too!

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Eating Out In Tasmania: Jackman & McRoss

Comments (8) | Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When I put the shout out for food recommendations of places to eat in Tasmania, Rachel from Beyond Beeton, and Zoe Skewes from Herald Sun Food both recommended this place.
So after trawling through the Salamanca Markets 1.5 times (the 0.5th time was to go back and buy myself a hat), we walked up Kelly's Steps to the next town, Battery Point.

A gorgeous double shopfront is ever so inviting, with is French cafe style chairs, and gorgeous selection of yummies on offer. You would be silly to just walk past I would think.

Roast Potato, Garlic, Basil & Sundried Tomato Soup $8.50

Having still being mega full from my ricotta hotcake breakfast at ZUM, I opted for a lighter lunch.
It was a fairly rich soup, with full of flavour. I would have liked the sundried tomatoes to be cut into smaller chunks, rather than tossed in whole. With the bread roll, it was an extremely filling lunch. So filling, I couldn't finish it.

Poached Trout with Horse Radish & Boconcini, on Spiced Black Rice & Buttered Leek $9.50

Dad rather enjoyed his trout dish. The spiced black rice being served like a hamburger patty, played tricks on the mind. He commented that the trout was rather juicy, and not dry at all.

Lamb Shank in Pastry, with Fetta, Sundried Tomatoes, Carmalized Onion & Spinach $9.50

I wanted to order this, but Mum had her eye on this right from the start. When you are a blogger, having variety is key. However, darling Mum did let me try it, and my goodness it was amazing. Deliciously tender lamb with all of those flavours combined made for a real treat.

Our waiter was very attentive, given the business of the place. With lots of yummy treats on offer, I would recommend this place to anyone that was heading out to Battery Point (5 minute walk from Salamanca). Prices are $2 more when dining in, but when you get excellent service, it all makes it worth while.

Jackman & McRoss Bakery
57 Hampden Road
Battery Point

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Eating Out In Tasmania: Zum

Comments (10) | Sunday, November 8, 2009

I had grand plans of treating the family for breakfast at the Machine Laundry Cafe I had heard so much about. Alana had told me they do excellent breakfasts, and I had previous read about the place and thought it would be a great place to blog; a laundrette and a cafe in one. However, I couldn't find the place, at least not until later on in the day, and it looked like it would be impossible to get a table.
I also read the about Retro Cafe close by. They had won the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide's award for best cafe in 2005. But the breakfast menu in there was so limited, and the atmosphere was pretty flat, I had no desire to eat there.

Zum had been recommended to me by Zoe Skewes (@HeraldSunFood) on Twitter, and the breakfast menu there had lots of variety. It had such a fantastic atmosphere, I was so glad we finally ended up there.

Eggs Benedict $15.00
Poached eggs, ham, house hollandaise on toscana bread

Mum thoroughly enjoyed her eggs benedict. I was relieved because I had dragged her around for quite a bit trying to find the Machine Laundry Cafe, and she kept whinging she would have been happy with a croissant from the markets.

Ricotta Hotcakes $15.00
Served with a berry compote and King Island Cream

I have been wanting to try ricotta hotcakes since seeing and hearing about Bill Granger's famous ricotta hotcakes.
When my dish arrived at the table, we all took a step back to take in the size of the serve. This was a breakfast of champions! The hotcakes were so light and fluffy. Teamed up with the berries and cream (and I'm not a huge cream person), was just freaking fantastic. I had trouble finishing it all, but I'm so glad I did; or I would be sitting here wishing I had.

Chocolate Croissant $5.00, Blueberry Muffin $4.50, Mocha $3.60, Chocolate Milkshake $5.00

Dad started off with a croissant, but wasn't sure if he was full or not, so then ordered a muffin. He also thoroughly enjoyed both.

ZUM is now one of my favorite places in Tasmania for sure. I noticed there is also one on Elizabeth Street in North Hobart.
Service here was outstanding. The wait staff constantly working extremely hard to keep everyone happy.

They also sell one of my favourite beverages; Charlies' Homemade Lemonade, as well as drink from the Phoenix range. In fact they are freely available in Hobart! I have such trouble finding them in Melbourne.

Raspberry Muffin - $4.50

We tried to have breakfast here again before our Cascade tour, but a table of 20 came in just before us and slowed down the kitchen. We had to cancel our order and get muffins and pasteries instead, or we would miss our tour. This raspberry muffin was so moist and delicious, packed full of fruit. Zum wins again!

ZUM Salamanca
29 Salamanca Place
Hobart, Tasmania
Ph: 03 6223 2323

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