Author: Shanthini

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Indian Spiced Crab with crispy wafers

This makes a delicious canapé served with crispy thin wafers or mini pappadums on the side. Also be perfect on betel leaves if you can source them. Buying the pre-packed  crabmeat makes this a very quick and easy recipe to make. I made this recipe up on Christmas Day and it received good reviews from the family so thought I would share…unfortunately no end product photos! Prep time: 5 minutes  Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients 1 x 400g/500g tub of crab meat (available from seafood shops or supermarkets in Australia) – fork through crab meat to break chunks up 1 onion finely diced 1 tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste (2 cloves garlic and equivalent ginger ground to a fine paste) 2 sprigs of curry leaves removed from stalk 1/2 cinammon stick (preferably cinnamon bark) 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 1 red chilli finely diced (can be omitted) 1 tspn black mustard seeds or nigella seeds 1.5 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil salt to taste Handful of coriander leaves, very finely chopped Method: Heat oil in …

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Christmas Turkey Stuffing

Originally posted on freespiritfood:
It’s been a very busy lead up to Christmas so there hasn’t been much time to post recipes but there has been a lot of cooking going on! We have already celebrated Christmas with family  in Melbourne and Sydney. And the now the requests are coming in for the ham glaze and turkey stuffing recipes are coming in so I thought I’d share with everyone. This stuffing recipe has been in my family forever and I don’t know where it originated from. It doesn’t have fruit or nuts in it but the carrots and onions add sweetness and the finely chopped chicken liver adds texture and an almost gamey flavour. White pepper is essential and adds a tangy spiciness quite different to black pepper. I use the stuffing in full turkey roast, turkey breast roll and also whole chicken roast. Highly advisable to make a seperate dish of it in the oven at the same time as it goes pretty quickly. Prep time: 15 minutes  Cooking time: depends on what you…

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Review: Sassy Sarong still going strong in Seminyak, Bali

Recently some foodie friends of mine visited Seminyak on a week long rest, relaxation and fine dining tour. When I requested their top 3 picks they admitted that despite trying many of the hot newcomer restaurants they felt that Will Meryck’s Sarong restaurant in Jalan Petitinget was still their top choice for the food, service and atmosphere. After very many years of visiting Bali I have been to Sarong on quite a few occasions including having a great time here on New Year’s Eve 2013. We had stopped in to Seminyak for a few days on this trip to stop in to some of the great restaurants by the coast before heading to Ubud – of course Sarong was also top of our list to go back to. We booked ahead via their website which is easy to do and highly recommended because it fills up quickly even in the low season. We arrived to met by their traditional warm welcome and we’re seated in the beautiful garden. The warm interiors and gorgeous lighting throughout creates a …

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Review: Ji whizz in Canggu, Bali

We were recommended to try the newly opened  at Ji Restaurant at the Hotel Tugu in Canggu by a friend so took a taxi from Seminyak for the roughly 35 minute trip, depending on traffic for dinner. Arriving at Hotel Tugu in Canggu, we were immediately impressed by the truly special setting created by the huge Garuda statue and furnishings in the hotel lobby. The restaurant and bar are situated next to the Hotel Tugu whose owners have an amazing collection of Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian antiques and collectibles which feature in their hotels and venues. We started with cocktails on the rooftop bar overlooking the busy beachside bars of Canggu with glimpses of the ocean over the rooftops, watching the sun setting as we sipped on our literally smoking CoCo Sexo cocktails, a delicious mixture of pineapple, rum and coconut juice served in coconut jars over dry ice. The bar area is eclectically decorated with beautiful artisan lights and plantings with indoor and outdoor seating. Ji restaurant itself is housed in a 300+ year old Chinese temple …

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Prawn Caldine with tamarind and ground almonds

Prawn Caldine with tamarind and ground almonds

This recipe is inspired by Rick Stein’s version with a few adjustments to make it an easy mid-week dish. It is lightly spiced but the addition of green chillies adds a hint of heat. The tamarind water adds a sweet sour component which complements prawns or fish brilliantly. The ground almonds add another dimension and help to thicken the sauce but can be omitted if you prefer. Prep time: 15 minutes  Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 500g fresh or frozen prawns(defrosted), preferably with tails left on OR 500g firm white fish 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp cummin seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 onion thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic and equivalent amount of fresh ginger 2 tablespoons ground almonds (optional) 400ml coconut milk 3 tablespoons tamarind water (made using tamarind seeds or concentrate) 4-5 mild green chillies, cut into long strips coriander to garnish salt vegetable oil Method Place peeled (and defrosted) prawns/fish chopped in pieces in a bowl and marinate for 10 minutes or so …

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Thai Red Roast Pork Noodle Soup

Noodle Soup with Thai Red Roast Pork

The weather in Sydney this weekend has been awful with very high winds and torrential rain. It feels like winter has really arrived. Of course this  is perfect weather for heart warming soups, roast and casseroles. What a great excuse for comfort food! This soup is a perfect antidote to winter blues and just as good in summer as it has a light chicken stock base. You can really season this to your taste and leave out the fresh chillies if you prefer a less spicy option. You will need Thai Red Roast Pork for this recipe which will extend your preparation time if you are making yourself and not “cheating” and buying it at your closest Chinese BBQ store. Same goes for the chicken stock – of course homemade is always nicer but if you don’t have time or any frozen in the fridge then store bought is fine. It is good to fry the finely chopped garlic to  a crisp; and also roast and crush the peanuts, so that is out of the way …

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Thai Red Roast Pork

This is a succulent roast pork recipe that is so easy to make. As well as being delicious thinly sliced and accompanied with cucumbers as a centrepiece of a Thai meal, the leftovers are delicious in Thai Pork Noodle Soup. If you can’t be bothered making it, of course you can buy red roast pork readymade from your local Chinatown. Prep time: 5 minutes Marinate: minimum 2 hours or overnight Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients: 1 kg of pork loin fillets 1/2 teaspoon red food colouring 1/4 cup of water 1 tablespoon each of fish sauce, hoisin sauce, light soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine or sherry 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger 3 cloves garlic crushed 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder 2 star anise crushed 1 tablespoon sesame oil Coriander to garnish Method Put all ingredients except pork, water and red food colouring in a blender and blend until a smooth paste form Mix red food colouring and water in steel or ceramic bowl Add pork and using gloves massage food colouring, then …

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Homestyle osso bucco with gremolata and creamy mashed potatoes

Homestyle Osso Bucco

As winter approaches here in Australia slow cooked Osso Bucco is a great recipe to warm the soul. Osso bucco is the cross-cut shank of veal featuring the marrow bone. You can use beef osso bucco but they tend to be much bigger and take longer to cook. I really prefer the smaller veal osso bucco. Order from your butcher if you need to. The meat in this recipe is slow cooked until tender and just falling off the bone and the marrow becomes soft and adds great flavour to the sauce. sucking the marrow out of the bones is not elegant but highly recommended! Served with a zingy gremolata, creamy mash and a fresh rocket and fennel salad, this a fabulous one pot wonder dish that will impress family and friends. It is very simple to cook and is economical as well with a short, sharp ingredients list. Prep time: 20 minutes  Cooking time: 2 hours Ingredients: 12 small veal osso bucco (about 1.5kg) 1 cup plain flour for dusting osso bucco 100 grams …

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Loving my Liebster Award

Thank you to Remya of The Unique Medley for my Liebster Award nomination. Remya’s blog really does feature a unique and diverse medley of Indian, Mexican and Chinese recipes inspired by home cooking. This is my second Liebster Award nomination and I am undertaking the challenge this time to share some information about myself and help promote the blogs that I follow that I really enjoy. THE OFFICIAL RULES OF THE LIEBSTER AWARD If you have been nominated for The Liebster award and choose to ACCEPT it, write a blog post about it in which you:- 1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. 2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) 3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person …

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Spicy Prawn Rice with carrots, peas and mushrooms

This is a delicious combination of ingredients that is lovely as a dish on its own with a yoghurt raita and salad, or served alongside  grilled chicken or lamb. It’s like an Indian risotto but you don’t have to stand over it stirring!  Perfect for entertaining as it can be made ahead of time – it’s even better the day after! It’s also great for a shared spread or picnic as it can be served at room temperature. You just need to allow prep time as there a few steps prior to assembling the dish and cooking in the oven. You can also leave out or reduce the chilli powder and green chillies to make it less spicy. Prep time: 30 minutes  Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients: 500g green prawns shelled and deveined 1.5-2 cups basmati rice 2 medium carrots roughly diced 350 grams of button mushrooms roughly diced 1/2 cup of peas 2 large onions sliced in rings 150 grams of butter for frying prawns 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil for frying prawns …

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Nougatine's Citrus Pavlova with blood orange sorbet

Review: New York Nuance at Jean Georges’ Nougatine

It seemed only apt in the midst of the US primaries and all the hype about Donald Trump’s candidacy that we vist Jean Georges at the Trump Hotel on West Central Park. Recommended by friends and heralded as one of the best restaurants by Michelin judges and the foodie community, Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten’s stunningly located and beautifully designed restaurant is not short of acclaim. Adjacent to the formal Jean-Georges restaurant is the more casual but still very elegant Nougatine dining room and outdoor Terrace dining. We had heard about the very reasonably priced Prix Fixe lunch menu – 3 courses for USD38 , so we made sure we booked in ahead of time. Arriving on a crisp, New York early Spring day for lunch, we were welcomed by the equally crisp(but warm) and professional Jean Georges reception staff. We were privileged to have General Manager Phillipe Vongerichten, Jean Georges’ brother, supervising proceedings on the day we visited – watching the floor like a hawk and elegantly keeping an eye on the dishes emerging from …

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Catch restaurant NYC

Review: Super Catch in Meatpacker’s District NYC

Catch is one of the super trendy restaurants in Meatpacker’s featuring all-the-rage Asian fusion in a souped up warehouse like space over 3 levels in the Meatpacker’s district in New York City. With a wide ranging menu, and an expectedly seafood focus, menu decision-making is difficult but the over the top pricing for some offerings helps to cut down the options if you’re not straight from Wall Street. Originally opened by by US Top Chef program winner, Hung Huynh, the menu features Raw Bar with Seafood Towers, rolled, cold and hot selections as well as US “entrees” and extensive sides. Here’s the current Dinner menu We sampled the Tartare Trio of salmon, hamachi and tuna served with American Caviar and a wasabi creme fraiche, Crispy Prawns with a tangy mayonnaise, Chicken San Choy Bow, Wagyu on a Rock and the Charred Cauliflower. We also had a special on the night a “pizza” with figs, proscuitto, rocket and quail eggs and Parmesan which was super good. (The low key lighting makes it a bit challenging for good …

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Review: Posh Indian at Bombay Club Washington DC

The Bombay Club is right in the heart of Washington DC’s executive quarter, just a few blocks from the White House. Frequented by American Presidents and Hollywood stars this is not your everyday Indian restaurant. It was rated by GQ India as the third best Indian restaurant in the world. (Read full article http://www.gqindia.com/live-well/food/7-best-indian-restaurants-across-globe/ ). Intrigued by what we had read and heard about the restaurant we saved it for our last night in DC and we were not disappointed. From  the plush padded seats, starched linen tablecloths and the tinkling from the pianist in the corner, the atmosphere is reminiscent of a Raj-era exclusive club. For entree we chose the highly recommended Spicy Duck Kebabs- Minced duck, chilies, ginger, nutmeg and garam masala and the Dum Ka Shrimp marinated in black pepper, saffron, yogurt, cardamom. The kebabs were divine and spicier than we expected which to us bode well that the Bombay Club hasn’t “dumbed” down the spicing for Western palates too much. The prawns were more subtly flavoured and delicious too. For mains we ordered …

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Shrimp and cheesy grits with jus

Soulful style at Marvin in Washington DC

Marvin’s is a very cool bistro, bar and nightclub in Washington’s happening “U street corridor” on 14th Street NW. Established in 2007, the food is inspired by Marvin’s Gaye’s travels to Belgium and southern “soul” food he grew up with in America. The decore is contemporary but comfortable, making you feel instantly at ease. Understandable why it is such a favourite with the locals.   We had come to eat like the locals so started off with Chicken fried oysters and Shrimp ‘n Grits. The oysters were fried in a spicy batter and came with a remoulade, mayonnaise. They were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside making for a delicious contrast. The Shrimp had been cooked in tangy spices and were served with cheesy grits, jus from the shrimps and scattered with toasted almonds. (Grits are small broken corn grains that when are well are creamy almost like polenta.) The flavours from the shrimp enlivened the grits and made the dish extremely more-ish! For entrees (mains) we chose the Pepper Crusted Hanger …

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Boston Legal Clam Chowder

Monday brought a snow storm to Boston and with it the perfect weather for soups and comfort food. We had enjoyed the milder weather over the weekend, making hay while the sun shined and walking the Freedom Trail learning about Paul Revere’s heroic ride to warn the Patriots of the approaching British troops and all about Boston’s contribution to American Independence. But by Monday we were ready to hole up and take advantage of the weather to try out Legal Seafood down at the revitalised Seafront district for their renowned Clam Chowder. We had been assured by locals that despite being an ever expanding chain,the quality of food and service had remained and that this was the best spot to sample Boston’s acclaimed seafood. Located next to the fishermen’s pier and overlooking the harbour, Legal Seafood at the Seafront certainly puts one in the mood for fine dining, although more casual dining is also offered downstairs. This is by no means a cheap eats restaurant but at the same time prices for food and wine …

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St Patrick’s Day at The Roger and Molly’s Bar NYC

Arrived in New York after 26 hours of travelling from Sydney at 4.30pm on St Patrick’s Day. We were staying at The Roger, a boutique hotel on the Corner of Madison and East 31st, in the area still known as Nomad(north of Madison park). I remember staying in mid-town years back when I visited New York and it is certainly changing with many more trendy bars and restaurants and a much more vibrant and a far less grungy atmosphere. The rooms are very spacious by New York standards and ours even had a seperate walk in wardrobe. Anyway, impressed as we were with our digs, we wanted a true New York Irish experience to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. After some quick online research, Adrian suggested Molly’s Bar about 15 minutes walk down in Gramercy, on 287 3rd Avenue just down from East 23rd st.   The tiny bar,established in 1960 and known to be New York’s most authentic Irish bar in New York, with sawdust on the floor and a log fire, was packed to the …

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Lamb curry pot pies

Originally posted on add some butter:
After the whirlwind that was the past week, I need major comfort food to indulge in. Enter lamb curry pot pies. They may be small, but they’re packed with meaty curry goodness with a delicious puff pastry pie crust to round it off. Come on weekend … let’s lounge around. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon garlic 2 onions, chopped 500 g lamb (I used chops) Handful of cubed butternut 500 ml mutton stock 50 g tomato paste 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon paprika 1 tablespoon garam masala 250 ml water 1 roll store-bought puff pastry 1 egg Method: Saute the garlic and onion in a splash of oil. Once the onion turns translucent, brown the lamb. Add the chilli, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, coriander an paprika and fry for around 2 minutes. Add the garam masala, butternut, tomato paste and mutton stock and water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about an hour. Pull…

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Baked fish with spicy Tahini and onion sauce

Baked Fish with spicy Tahini and onion sauce

This is my take on a traditional Lebanese sauce to go with baked fish. It’s simple to make and the cholesterol free Tahini(sesame paste) sauce I use makes it a much healthier option than cream. The lemony, garlic flavours combine with the nutty flavour of the Tahini and sweet, slightly caramelised onion and spicy chilli into a delicious creamy topping to go with the baked fish. We had it here with a mixed salad including  artichokes which complimented the middle Eastern flavours well. Prep time:  5 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 500g firm fish fillets like  flathead or snapper 1 lemon finely sliced into rings 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup Tahini sauce 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic crushed 1 medium onion thinly sliced in half moons 1 large red chilli finely chopped 1/3 cup cold water 1/ 2 teaspoon cummin powder 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional) 1/2 teaspoon salt fresh ground black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or coriander Method: Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius (400 Farenheit) Line an …

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Steamed eggplant with ginger

Steamed Eggplant with ginger

This is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to enjoy eggplant. You don’t often see recipes for steaming eggplant but I can attest to this recipe, especially if made with smaller eggplants such as “graffiti” striped eggplants or the thin Japanese eggplants. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30-40 minutes Ingredients: 2-3 small eggplants small knob of ginger thinly sliced 1 clove of garlic crushed with half a red chillI 2 teaspoons salt Method: Cut eggplant into medium size piece and immediately add salt and place in a colander or strainer over the sink for 15 minutes Meanwhile slice ginger finely, seperately crush garlic and chilli Remove eggplant from colander shaking off excess moisture and place in steaming basket, gently rub some of the garlic and chilli on each pice of eggplant using a teaspoon, then scatter over ginger. steam for 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is tender to your liking  

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