Slow-cooked Beef Cheeks in red wine

Cold,raining and wintry week here in Sydney. Called for a comfort food dinner last night.

Slow cooked beef cheeks with red wine, shiitake mushrooms, brown mushrooms and button mushrooms.

Used this recipe Beef cheeks in red wine but added a few dried red chillies and some eschallots fried in butter along with the button mushrooms towards the end.

Also, I don’t have a slow cooker so cooked slowly over the stove for 4 hours, adding water along the way to make sure it didn’t stick.

Lovely with a glass of red wine or two and indulgent mash on the side.

Beef cheeks with mushrooms slow cooked in red wine
Fork tender slow cooked beef cheeks with mushrooms in red wine

#Vietnamese inspired Stuffed Squid with spicy sauce #stuffedsquid

Vietnamese inspired braised stuffed squid with pork, noodle and prawn filling

I had some large frozen squid tubes so was googling around to see how to use them imaginatively.

Found inspiration in a range of Vietnamese stuffed squid recipes like this one Braised Stuffed Squid and Vietnamese Stuffed Calamari.

Didn’t have any dried mushrooms but did have frozen prawns so chopped them finely to add some texture to the stuffing.

Turned very well and made for an easy dinner. This dish would work well look great as part of a buffet spread as well. This recipe serves 2-3 served with rice but can be easily multiplied for larger groups.

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large squid tubes or 4 smaller tubes
  • 100g pork mince
  • 4 small prawns shelled, deveined, diced finely
  • 4 spring onions, finely diced and white and green parts kept seperately
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 20g cellophane/vermicelli noodles soaked in hot water until soft
  • 2-3 red chillies finely chopped (deseed for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes diced
  • 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar or 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons or so of roughly chopped fresh mint and coriander
  • 1/2 fresh lime

Method:

1. Defrost frozen squid tubes and frozen prawns until completely thawed.

2. Soak noodles in bowl of hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Drain. Cut into small pieces/short lengths.

3. Make pork stuffing, place minced pork in a seperate mixing bowl with ½ tsp salt and knead until smooth. Then garb small handfuls of the pork and slap or throw them against the sides of the bowl until tender and almost looks like a paste. Then add prawns, garlic, half the chopped chillies, half the chopped green part of the spring onions,1 teaspoon palm sugar or 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, noodles and combine well.

4. Stuff the squid tubes leaving some room at each end to allow mixture to expand. Make one or two small slits across the top of the squid tubes to allow air to escape. Secure ends with toothpicks and skewers.place in steamer over a pan of simmering water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until filling is firm and cooked and squid tubes are tender. (I steamed the leftover stuffing alongside the squid to not waste it)

5. Heat vegetable oil in frying pan, Then add tomatoes, rest of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, white part of spring onions, rest of the chillies, fish sauce and stir fry. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until tomatoes have softened. Remove the sauce from the pan to a seperate bowl.

6 Add squid to same frying pan without cleaning pan after removing the sauce. Cook, turning carefully, for 5 minutes or until squid is light golden amd covered in pan juices.

7. Slice squid into thickish rounds, spoon over remaining sauce from the bowl, garnish with chopped coriander and mint and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with steamed rice or present on a platter on a bed of lettuce or watercress as part of a buffet or shared main.

Vietnamese inspired stuffed squid

#salmon #caviar #Crepe Cake

Changed up the traditional Smoked Salmon Crepes recipe creating a layered crepe cake for a celebratory brunch.

Layered with herbed creme fraiche with dill and capers, smoked salmon and caviar, the overall result was delicious and looks fabulous. You could add finely chopped red onion or replace caviar with salmon roe..lots of options to suit your taste.

I used my favourite crepe recipe Martha Stewart Crepes but made them a bit smaller so that the mixture made about 18-20 crepes to layer up into a high pile, leaving a few to drape over the top to complete the picture.

Easy and fun. plenty of options to make a sweet version for a dessert too!

Fabulous Japanese fusion #Kisume #Melbourne

Fine dining Japanese at its best. Wagyu Truffle Balls, Tuna Tataki, tempura kingfish, glazed tooth fish, deep fried Moreton bay bug in rice paper wrapped roll….imaginative and delicious Japanese fusion meal at Kisume in Flinders Lane in Melbourne this week. Highly recommended.

Mouthwatering Prahan #Market #melbourne

Always lovely to visit Prahan Market and feel like you’ve been transported to Europe when you’ve only just made a long-awaited, post-lockdown visit to Melbourne from Sydney. Truly transporting!!

Here are some photos to tantalise your tastebuds.

Magic mushrooms
Crazy colourful carrots
A slice of pizza paradise
Divine Deli
Sensational sausages
Sizzling seafood
Dessert heaven
Vegee extravaganza

#Miros Ubud Memories #cornfritters #ayamgoreng #avocado

Tried to recreate memories of beautiful dinners at Miro’s in Ubud this week with Balinese style corn fritters, homemade Ayam Goreng and Avocado Picasso Salad with a side of sambal mattar.

Came pretty close but not quite the same as being there!

Recreating Miro’s in Ubud

Here’s a link to the story of Avocado PIcasso