All posts filed under: dinner

Pan-fried #Spicy #salmon fillets with #butter

I love these salmon steaks, marinated in Indian spices then pan fried in butter. A little bit naughty but a lot of nice! Served here with a beetroot salad, Red lentil dhal https://freespiritfood.net/2015/08/16/red-lentil-tarka-dhal-with-turmeric-and-ginger/. Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 2 boneless salmon fillets, skin on 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoons butter Method: 1. Marinate salmon fillets with garlic, spices, salt and oil for 25-30 minutes or longer. 2. Heat non-stick pan until hot, reduce heat to medium and place salmon fillets face down in pan and fry for 4 minutes or so,until sealed and browned. Add butter to pan. 3. Flip fillets and fry skin side down until skin is crispy about 4-5 Minutes. 4. Serve immediately with butter sauce drizzled over fillets and garnished with coriander. Advertisements

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Ripping good lunch at #Ripponlea Food and Wine, #melbourne

Ripponlea Food and Wine is one of our favourite Sunday lunch restaurants in Melbourne. With its Art Deco inspired style, beautiful emerald green velvet booths and brushed metal fixtures it oozes a classy style without being too formal or fancy. The revitalised menu is similarly inviting featuring a range of small and large sharing plates and fabulous desserts. Nothing too fancy, comfort food with a modern twist. Great, friendly service and a good wine list and interesting cocktails. Lunch today was absolutely perfect, hitting the spot with a delicious combination of flavours and textures, beautifully put together and nothing too heavy or rich. A lovely lunch to end our quick overnight trip to Melbourne. Pan tossed calamari with chilli, garlic & rosé, fresh chives, and Pan tossed calamari with chilli, garlic & rosé, fresh chives and charred lemon Smoked cauliflower steak, macadamia hummus, orange, kale crisp. Barramundi crispy skin, beurre noisette, lemon, mixed leaves; 4 point lamb rack, pistachio & herb crust, cauliflower puree Zucchini ribbon & heirloom radish salad, chilli, lemon, basil, marinated goats …

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Ashraf cooks up a storm at #Coya #restaurant, #Cromer #Sydney

On Thursday night we made the trip to the northern beaches suburb of Cromer for a special Arabian nights themed dinner at Chef Ashraf Saleh’s Coya restaurant. https://www.coyacromer.com.au Ashraf’s reputation for innovative middle eastern cooking is growing in Sydney and after the divine 7 course degustation we enjoyed, I imagine it won’t be long before we hear of troves of Sydney-siders making their way to Cromer for dinner! (Better still if he moves to the inner city of course!) True to his website description Chef Ashraf demonstrated his” drive and enthusiasm for combining herbs and spices from the East with the best ingredients from the West” in a beautifully presented series of thoughtfully put together dishes, ending with a stunning desert of Baklava Halva Cheesecake with figs and raspberries. This is a restaurant which lives up to the professional phot shoot in real life! The meal started with mezze of the best Baba Ghanoush, Hummus and Tabbouleh I have ever tasted. (Ashraf says he only uses “male” eggplants in his Baba Ghanoush to avoid the …

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#Stellar Chicken Marabella, #chicken

Yottam Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook Simple has some great recipes but sometimes not so simple in terms of quickly getting some of the specialist ingredients which might not be in your pantry. However I have found that they are simple enough to understand the flavours being created and to play around with them using ingredients on hand to still create delicious meals. For example his chicken marabella recipe calls for date molasses and dates….I substituted dried apricots and pomegranate molasses which I had in the cupboard which worked well. The chicken can be marinated overnight to develop the flavours more and or just for 15 minutes. The quantities can also easily be adapted if you are cooking for more than 2…or if you want to serve as part of a buffet shared style meal. Prep time: 10 minutes Marinating time(optional): 15 mins-12hrs Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients: 2 chicken Marylands skin on (thigh and drumstick still joined) 4 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup of fresh picked oregano leaves 2 tbspoons red wine vinegar 2 tbspoons olive …

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#Indian Spiced Roast #Pork Belly

I usually just make a simple roast pork belly seasoned with salt and pepper, and then jazz it up like in Crispy Asian Pork Belly Salad or serving with a tasty side like braised Italian.red cabbage. Last night I decided to try adding some Indian flavours by using a sea salt rub and spicy paste, then roasting over a bed of dried chillies, using a similar technique technique to Indian Hunters Style Roast Lamb, but not needing any extra ghee or oil. The fat from the roasting pork “fries” the dried chillies and curry leaves underneath releasing a smoking, spicy flavour into the pork. There is hardly any fat or oil left when the cooking process is complete as the chillies absorb all the oil. The resulting pork was slightly spiced and went deliciously with my Pineapple, coconut and chilli sambal and a crispy, crunchy Shredded Brussel Sprout and Green Bean salad. Prep time: 2 hours including marination cooking time: 2 hours Serves 2-3 Ingredients: 600g boneless pork belly with the skin scored (Ask your …

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Thai style Sweet potato noodles and #beef #stir fry, #sweetpotatonoodles

We are trying to cut down on carbs and have been experimenting with the great range of vegetable products now available in supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths in Australia) to replace noodles and rice such as zucchini spaghetti, cauliflower rice and sweet potato noodles. Now you don’t have to even make them yourself. This stir fry combining the sweetness of the noodles with thinly sliced beef and Thai flavours of fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, white pepper and chilli with capsicum, carrots and spinach was delicious. The sweet potato noodles were an excellent replacement for rice noodles. Ready in under half an hour, it’s a great option for a quick, healthy weekday meal. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 1 onion, finely sliced 1 small carrot diced 1/2 red capsicum diced 1 packet fresh sweet potato noodles (250g) 2 cups baby spinach leaves Handful of coriander chopped 400g beef sliced for stir fry 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 teaspoon white pepper 1 teaspoon white sugar 2 teaspoons Thai red …

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Roasted Cabbage “Steaks” with cheese and onion topping

I had never thought of doing this before nor had I tried it anywhere but I can guarantee that roasted cabbage steaks is now going to be firmly on our regular menu at home. Slice the cabbage into thickish slices, keeping the stalk intact to hold the steak together, cut a bit off the ends so the ends can lie flat. This first time I basted the “steaks” with a mixture of garlic, chilli and olive oil and roasted them until crispy for half an hour or so at 200 degrees Celsius, then topped with grated cheddar and finely sliced onions and grilled the tops until the onion was cooked and cheese well melted. Absolutely delicious and a great substitute for carbs with dinner. I am already thinking about other basted and toppings for future versions.

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The legend of “Avocado Picasso”, #Miros, #Ubud

The Avocado Picasso salad at Miro’s Garden Restaurant has reached legendary status in our family due to the fact that it is only available on the menu during the avocado season in Ubud and none of us have been able to try it despite very numerous visits to this Ubudian dining institution over many years. It doesn’t help that the definition of the “season” for avocados in Bali is a little bit vague, with most sources claiming it is between August and November when it is drier here. It has unfortunately been more unusual for us to be visiting here during those months due to work commitments at this time of the year. Hence, the availability of the Avocado Picasso to us at Miro’s has been scarce. Somehow this time, despite it being late January, we lucked in. Holding our breath we asked the gorgeous Balinese waiter if it was “on” and we were delighted to hear it was! (We actually immediately messaged our family back in Australia to alert them to it’s existence!) The …

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Tasty, Thai Thali, #Penastanan, #ubud

We are staying in a Villa in Penastanan Village just outside of Ubud for a few weeks. Of course, Ubud is filled to the brim with great restaurants, but sometimes when we are feeling particularly lazy on our holidays we love being able to just wander up the path to a local Warung in our neighbourhood. Penastanan is blessed with many of these. And now we have Thai Thali to add to the list! Just 3 days ago the newly refreshed and branded Thai Thali Warung had sprung open. (Felt like it appeared overnight!) it is just down the lane (gang) behind the D’Omah/Wayan Juice shop off Jalan Penastanan Kelod. Look/ask for the directions to Gajah Biru Villas and Spa and you will find it opposite there. Here’s a map with my rudimentary markings! We had also snuck in for a quick lunch the other day and tried items from their Indian vegetarian light meals menu. Their Puri (puffy fried Indian bread) and Alu Prantha (Indian bread stuffed with lightly spiced potato mixture) both served …

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3 Cheers for Three Monkeys Cafe, #Ubud

Three Monkeys Cafe in Ubud is set in the middle of Monkey Forest Road’s shopping strip but when you step inside it is an oasis of coolness and peace on the edge of a small rice field that has been preserved. Established by Australian Italian chef Karli Sary, it features a wide ranging menu inspired by her family heritage and travels including Italian pizza, pasta and salad Turkish and Greek favourites, as well as Balinese specialities, catering to many tastes. Recommended to us by our friend and renowned Australian chef Janni Kyrtsis with who is friends with Karli, we enjoyed the setting, the service and a delicious lunch. We had delicious Tiropita cheese pastries with a thyme flavoured honey sauce and watermelon salad with feta, almonds and mint to start. And then tried the Bebek Betutu(grilled Balinese duck) and Beef Rendang, both authentic and redolent with Indonesian spices. A great spot to stop by if you are shopping on Monkey Forest Road and only a ten minute walk from the main Ubud market.

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Superb tastes from across the Indonesian Archipelago – #Nusantara, #Ubud

“Nusantara is the Malayo-Polynesian name of Maritime Southeast Asia. It is a Javanese term which literally means “archipelago” in Old Javanese.[1] In Indonesia it is generally taken to mean the Indonesian archipelago..” Wikipedia In Ubud, Nusantara is synonymous with a super delicious menu representing the flavours and favourite dishes from across Indonesia. With a superb range of sambals to accompany the small and large sharing plates, the menu gives diners the opportunity to try many regional dishes not traditionally offered restaurants. The experience begins with a mixed sharing plate of sambals and salads to start with. The “Berbagi Rasa” (tasting plate) is accompanied by a card explaining all the different tastes on offer. I thought the Bakwan Keladi -deep fried yam with spices, padjri – grilled pineapple in a tangy tamarind sauce and Manisan Mannga – unripe mango marinated with sugar, chillies and lime juice were a standout. Great way to get our plates ready for the taste sensations to come. We followed this with 3 small plates and 4 large plates (group of 5 of us) including delicious stir fried banana blossom, …

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Go for Goreng at Bubu’s, Penestanan

Fried and roasted chicken has had a resurgence the world over. It is on menus from New York to Sydney to Bali in one form or another …southern fried chicken, chicken karaage, chicken popcorn etc… Ayam Goreng or Fried Chicken is of course an absolute Indonesian staple and classic. Unlike Southern Fried Chicken, it is not cooked in batter but marinated and most often twice cooked in a rich mix of spices. The crispy fried floss mixture known as “kremes” served with it is traditionally made by adding extra grated galangal or coconut while frying. The Ayam Goreng at Bubu’s Warung in Penestanan has a definite Balinese twist marinated in Balinese spices and with grated coconut to add crunch to the kremes…or “fried floss” that accompanies the chicken making it super tasty. Next time we go I am going to see if they will share the recipe with me! We always also ask for Balinese Sambal Matah which they freshly make – a hot and tangy combo of eschallots, lemongrass, chilli and coconut oil that …

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Lunching at The Lawn Canggu

A stunning day at Canggu yesterday so we headed to The Lawn Beach Club for lunch. The club which is now 2 years old is beautifully appointed and maintained. The menu offers an excellent range of cocktails, smoothies, and granitas as well as a range of small and large plates to share. Prices are mid-range to high by Bali standards with cocktails around IR120,000 and average price of meals about the same. However, the ambience and location make it pretty good value compared to similar beach clubs in Seminyak. The vibe is also very relaxed with guests having the choice of lounging by or in the pool and pool bar, on the “fake” lawn or in the dining areas or in the beach itself under umbrellas. We had a delicious grazing lunch of endamame, chicken karaage, split grilled prawns and a radicchio salad. The coconut mojito and pineapple granita were also tropical thirst quenching delights. If you are staying in Canggu then this is definitely a great option for beachside dining and lounging.

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Ji “Terrific” Terrace by the Sea, Canggu

Three years ago we enjoyed cocktails and dinner at the then newly opened Ji Restaurant, part of the Tugu Hotel in Canggu, in their original wooden temple building imported from Mainland China. Last night we returned to experience their newly opened Terrace overlooking the ocean and the perfect spot in Canggu to enjoy the stunning sunset over the Indian Ocean. The entire restaurant, bars and Terrace are beautifully decorated with Asian antiques and the atmosphere is quite unique. As their website describes: “Ji Terrace by THE SEA carries the spirit of Tugu properties, which celebrate the rich cultural heritage and ancient history & legends through romantic atmosphere, interior and beautiful arts from ancient Indonesia and Asia, but what is different here is that the bohemian spirit of Canggu is very much alive. Beautiful statue of goddess of Durga from Rajasthan, centuries old urn from the Babah Peranakan family in Lasem, Java, Tibetan Mahakala masks, intricate Balinese Barong heads and many more artworks transport guests to a magical world of ancient kingdoms and quixotic legends, while …

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Tomato Curry Sauce ..with hard boiled eggs

Simple but very satisfying! Having tomato curry sauce (or tomato chutney as it is sometimes referred to) in the freezer means you can quickly whip up all sorts of easy meals using the sauce as a base. Just add boiled eggs or meatballs or a tin of beans and hey presto! Dinner is served. Here’s the recipe for the sauce. Tomato Curry Sauce Ingredients: 2 large onions finely diced 5 large fresh ripe tomatoes diced 400g can of diced tomatoes 1 handful of curry leaves 1.5 teaspoon cummin seeds 2 sticks of cinnamon (preferabley cinnamon bark available in Indian grocers but quills are fine if not) 5 cloves of garlic and equal amount of fresh ginger peeled 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1.5 teaspoons cummin powder 1 teaspoon salt (or to your taste) 1 teaspoon sugar 2 cups chicken stock (or water) Coriander to garnish Vegetable oil Method: Heat vegetable oil in medium size heavy based pan which has a lid Add cummin seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon sticks and heat gently …

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Hurry into Uncle Chop Chop, NYC

Chop chop” means “hurry” and suggests that something should be done now and without delay. Uncle Chop Chop is one of the hottest new restaurants in New York that is already attracting 5 star reviews from early visitors for very good reason. Opened by two brothers from Australia, Callum and Morgan, Uncle Chop Chop is a laid-back but sophisticated take on Asian Fusion in the heart of West Village. Uncle Chop, Chop – 7 Cornelia Street, NYC https://www.unclechopchopnyc.com The atmosphere is one of a buzzy buzzy Asian “chophouse” and bar and the style reflects the charming, laid-back hospitality of Australians. Here you can enjoy great food in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Great for groups of friends! The menu is a superb mix of salads, grills, appetisers and curries with the freshest ingredients and scintillating flavours. The accompanying sauces, jams and broths are perfectly balanced and add just the right touch of spice. Dishes are generous and designed to share allowing diners to sample a wide range of the menu. Another reason why it is great for …

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Vietnamese turmeric and dill fish – Ca Ca La Vong at home –

When we were in Hanoi recently we visited the 200 year old restaurant Ca Ca La Vong to try their famed eponymous fish dish. We went to the original restaurant climbing up a ladder- like wooden staircase to reach the upstairs dining room:filled to the brim with locals and tourists enjoying the only dish offered on the menu. Fish flavoured with turmeric, ginger and garlic and then sautéed with dill and onions, it was simple but absolutely delicious. The fish is brought sizzling on a gas cooktop to the table and fresh herbs are added before serving yourself with rice noodles, peanuts and spicy sauce. Of course I had to try to recreate it at home which I did last night with some success. I trawled a few versions of the recipe online, including one from Anthony Bourdain, I settled for a hybrid. We also didn’t have rice noodles at home so I served with steamed jasmine rice …just as good. Here are some pictures from the restaurant itself: And here is my recipe: Prep …

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