All posts filed under: Recipes

Vying for the best: Ms Vy’s #Cooking Class, #Hoian

I’ve been meaning to write about our fabulous market tour and cooking class that we did on our visit to Hoi An late last year. There are a wide number of cooking classes and tours offered in Hoi An and we chose Ms Vy’s for it’s reputation and ease of access…it was walking distance from our hotel, the Anantara Resort. We chose the half day Holiday Masterclass which includes a market tour as well as tastings and demonstrations in Ms Vy’s market restaurant before the class. Ms Vy is also the founder of the well known Morning Glory restaurants in Hoi An and has written the highly successful Taste Vietnam cookbook, as well as opening the Home of Hoi An restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. We met up with the group of about 20 tourists at the restaurant to then board a boat for a trip down the river to the Hoi An market. We were split into 2 smaller groups for the market tour. Here we were shown and explained the different seafood, vegetables, herbs, …

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Baked Eggs with Merguez Sausages and Chilli

Looking for a spicy start to the new year? Here’s my take on middle-eastern eggs with Lamb Merguez sausages made at our local butcher. (Nick’s Meats at Edgecliff Shopping. Centre for those of you who live in Sydney.) Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Ingredients (2 servings) 3 large merguez sausages 1 red onion halved then sliced 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced 1-red chillies finely chopped 1-2 tomatoes halved or if using only one, then cut into 4 thick slices 4 teaspoons butter Olive oil Salt coriander to garnish Pita bread or tortillas to serve Method: 1. Cook merguez sausages in a frying pan on medium heat 10-15 minutes until cooked.Rest and then cut into thick diagonal slices. 2. meanwhile heat 2-3 tablespoons of oilive oil in a separate frying pan, then fry garlic until crispy, add onions and chillies and fry until onions are slightly caramelised and translucent. 3. Remove onions and add tomatoes to the same pan, adding a bit more oilive oil if needed. sprinkle …

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Sticky date pudding for two

We are having a quiet night in and a special dinner to celebrate a New Year’s Eve as we wait to watch the annual fireworks spectacular on Sydney Harbour. It is always a special night as the first major city in the world welcomes in the new year. It was a beautiful day here and we started with an early morning swim at Nielsen Park beach on Sydney Harbour, then divine coffee and croissants at The Grumpy Baker in Vaucluse. After the sea mist lifted this morning it turned into quite a hot day, but late this afternoon a thunderstorm cooled things down. So, it’s going to be perfect to enjoy sticky date pudding with our French champagne in the lead up to midnight. As I write this the early 9pm “kids” fireworks show is already lighting up the harbour and Sydney skyline spectacularly. The rain has gone and Sydney is sparkling! Can’t wait to eat our dessert and see the “real” show as we welcome 2019!! Thanks to Climb, Cycle, Repeat for this fab …

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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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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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Pannetone Xmas Ice Cream Sandwich

The piece de resistance and finale of our Christmas feasting spree …toasted pannetone and Xmas ice cream sandwich. The Xmas ice cream involves softening (not totally melting) a 1 litre tub of vanilla ice cream with a jar of Mrs Robertson’s fruit mince mix and refreezing it. Reline the original tub of ice cream with glad wrap and then refill the tub with the ice cream mix overnight. when you are ready, remove the ice cream from the fridge to soften slightly. Then toast your pannetone, slice the ice cream and make these “to-die-for” festive finishers! Divine dessert.

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Roasted Cauliflower, Orange and Baby Spinach Salad

I could just eat a bowl of this salad on it’s own, but it was also delicious with orange glazed Salmon Fillets for dinner. The various elements – the caramelisation of the fried onion mixture, bite of the chilli, crunchiness of toasted almonds and sweetness of the oranges – result in a mouth-watering fusion of flavours and textures. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes Ingredients: Roasted Cauliflower 1/2 Head of cauliflower 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Onion Mixture 1 large brown onion, finely sliced 1-2 red chillies sliced 2 cloves garlic crushed 2-3 tablespoons olive oil Salad ingredients 2 cups baby spinach 1/2 cup almond flakes 1 orange peeled and separated into segments, seeds removed 1/4 cup coriander or mint leaves roughly chopped Salt and pepper to taste Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 2. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower. 3. Mix together olive oil, cumin powder and salt. Rub this mixture all over the cauliflower. 4. Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes until cooked through …

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Fabulous Flathead at Saint Peter

If you want to eat seafood and fish like never before then Saint Peter in Paddington, Sydney is the place to go. We started with a delicious range of Sydney Rock Oysters, yellowfin tuna crudo and calamari salad with a hint of chilli and moved onto brilliant, creative mains. The fish and chips are in a league of their own but my BBQ Rock Flathead with a corn salsa was the winner in my books. Finished off with old school custard tart and chocolate tart…it was one of the best meals I’ve had in Sydney in a long time! The menu changes regularly as it is driven by the best seafood available. All the more reason to go often I’d say!! Make sure you book ahead. So absorbed in eating I forgot take more pics! Thanks Saint Peter https://www.saintpeter.com.au

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Indian Green Pork Curry with beans

This curry is inspired by Lamb and Spinach – another “green” curry that is a family favourite. The mint and coriander meld with the pork and other spices to create a deliciously fragrant curry. I add green beans for additional “greenness” and serve sprinkled with shards of fresh ginger for added zing, with basmati rice and sweet mango chutney. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hr 10 minutes Ingredients: 500g pork shoulder diced (with or without bones) 1/2 cup white vinegar 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large onion diced 5 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger 2 fresh red chillies Handful of curry leaves 2 sticks cinnamon (preferably bark) 3 cardamom pods 3 dried red chillies 1 teaspoon panch phoran (Indian Five Spice Mix) 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 bunch coriander 1 bunch mint 1 teaspoon salt 2-3 cups water or chicken stock Extra ginger cut into fine strips and coriander leaves for garnish Method: 1. Place pork in a bowl and pour over vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, set aside …

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Victor Churchill – Haute Couture butcher in Sydney

Going to Victor Churchill’s “Haute Couture” butcher shop in Woollahra, Sydney is always inspirational and it is very difficult to leave without a delicious treat in hand. It is a total experience, being able to watch the master butchers at work and ogle the mind bogglingly array of super-delicious products. Or better still go home with some of it! Their is a special air drying room producing delicious charcuterie and their is also House smoked salmon and trout. If you are feeling really indulgent or running out of time, you can order home dining – certain cuts of meat and chicken are cooked on their rotisserie and word is that their roast potatoes are delicious. They also offer charcuterie platters. Their desserts are just as divine as the rest with mouth-watering meringue tarts and more to tempt. Today it was their Terrine de Campagne that enticed us. Here’s a taste of what you can expect. Or visit http://www.victorchurchill.com Definitely worth a visit especially if you are looking for the best quality meats and unusual cuts.

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Roast pumpkin, burnt broccoli and spinach salad

Cut pumpkin into even pieces, coat with olive oil. Add some herbs like rosemary and or thyme. Roast pumpkin until tender in 180 degrees Celsius oven, turn up to 250 degrees, add broccoli florets and grill for 8-10 minutes until broccoli starts to “burns”. Add to a bowl of baby spinach leaves and dress with salt, pepper and a swig of balsamic vinegar. Delicious with a well cooked steak or roast lamb.

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Puff pastry pot pies

This was easy as. Just cooked up a diced lamb filling with onions, tomato, garlic, white wine, pepper, mushroom, peas, spinach and herbs …then lined the little buttered ceramic pots with frozen puff pastry, filled the pots, topped with a circle of pastry, brushed with egg and popped in the 230 degrees Celsius oven for 15-20 minutes until puffy and golden. Quick and easy, perfect with salad but still warm and comforting. Reminded me of the recipe for Lamb Curry Pot Pies but simpler and …I like the puff pastry better.

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Smashed Roast potatoes with Greek Flavours

Made these smashed roast potatoes to go with a Greek Beef Stifado(stew) last night. The resulting lemony, garlicky, crispy potatoes were delicious and be great as an accompaniment any time. Thought I’d share for your enjoyment. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes or so Ingredients: 8-10 baby potatoes 5 cloves of garlic Juice of 1/2 lemon 4 tablespoons olive oil 4-5 cups Water for boiling potatoes Salt Method: 1. Bring water to a boil with 1 teaspoon of salt in a large pot, ensuring enough water to comfortably cover potatoes. Add potatoes and garlic cloves. 2. Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 3. When potatoes are tender and starting to split, drain and allow to “dry out” for 5 minutes or so 4. Seperate garlic cloves from potatoes and place in a mortar and pestle. Mash garlic cloves then add lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper, and olive oil. Mix well together until a creamy vinaigrette is formed. 5. Cut or smash potatoes in dish and sprinkle vinaigrette …

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Twice cooked Szechuan Chicken

As a cold snap hits Sydney and winter settles in, this twice cooked Szechuan Chicken will give you just the right combination of heat and spice to warm things up. Whilst it might look frighteningly hot, the combination of Szechuan peppercorns, cayenne pepper, large sweet peppers, and dried chillies somehow combine into a delicious warm sweet spiciness rather than mouth-numbing torture! You can of course adjust the amount of heat by reducing the amount of Szechuan pepper, cayenne pepper and dried chillies you use but I would highly recommend trying this adapted recipe of mine to experience a more authentic version of the real thing. I also like using a combination of thigh fillet pieces with some small pieces of bone-in chicken such as small chicken wings but this is optional. Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes 500g skinless thigh fillets cut into pieces 2-3 small chicken wings cut into half 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 cup cornflour 1 teaspoon cayenne powder 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, dry roasted …

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Durban-style Lamb and Cabbage Curry

This is another favourite amongst South African Indian families. It’s a great dish for a wintry Sunday like it is here in Sydney today. The sweetness of the cabbage permeates this dish and the resulting curry is somehow more fragrant and lighter than most lamb curries. Flavouring the oil through the gentle frying of the fenugreek, cummin and nigella seeds along with the cinnamon and curry leaves provides the basis for this. The addition of fresh and dried chillies add an extra warming spicy element but by no means is this required if you prefer a milder sweeter curry. The curry sauce is thinner than usual as well so rice is the best accompaniment, and Mint and Peanut Chutney is a delicious alongside it. I suppose this is the Indian version of Norwegian Farikal or Irish Lamb and Cabbage stew. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients: 750g lamb cut into chunks, or for best results lamb chump chops with fat removed and diced keeping bones in 1 large onion chopped 1 tomato …

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Persian inspired Lamb Shanks with paprika, saffron and rosewater

This is my version of Persian lamb shanks slow cooked in a mixture of lime juice, orange juice, rosewater, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, paprika, pepper, thyme, garlic and saffron. The combination of spices and citrus permeates the lamb and the resulting dish is fragrant and delicious. Don’t be scared off by the long list of ingredients, the end result is worth the preparation and slow cooking. We had these with a spinach salad with orange segments and pomegranate seeds which complemented the flavours of the lamb perfectly. It would also go well with Caramelised Brussel Sprout, spinach and pomegranate salad. A definite new favourite winter comfort food dish! Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 2-2.5 hours Ingredients: 4 frenched lamb shanks Powdered/ ground spices: 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder 1 teaspoon cardamom powder 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 2 teaspoons smoked paprika Fragrant mix: 2 teaspoons saffron threads 1 teaspoon rosewater Juice of 2 limes Zest of 2 limes Juice of half an orange Zest of 1 orange …

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