Easter Feasting and Grazing. #easter #feasting #pearlbeach

A lovely Easter holiday at Pearl Beach, one of our favourite Sydney getaways. Lazy beach days as summer turns to autumn here, walks, swims and a book fair to keep us all stocked up for reading. Blissful family time and healthy grazing and feasting as well.

Here are some photos of our some of our lunches so far. Promise to post recipes in weeks to come.

Welcome grazing Board!
Caramelised Fig, Avocado and Toasted Walnut Salad
BBQ Swordfish with Pepperonata, olives and capers.
Tortilla, fresh prawns, pesto mayonnaise and toasted Turkish bread

Indian #spicy #crunchy Mint and Coriander Chutney with #Yakhni #Pulao

This crunchy mint and coriander chutney is like an Indian version of Italian pesto and is one of my favourite accompaniments with biryanis like Durban Chicken Briyani or Fish Briyani ..so I think it will be delicious with Yakhni Pulao too.

Spicy Indian Mint and Coriander Chutney with crunchy peanut butter

The addition of crunchy peanut butter to the fresh mint and coriander creates great texture, like pine nuts do in Italian pesto. The spicy, crunchy chutney will go well with the silkiness of the Yakhni Pulao.

Mint and coriander for Indian Spicy Chutney/Pesto

I’m making a Yakhni Pulao tonight which is a traditional Kashmiri and Pakistani rice dish in which the spiced meat stock used to flavour the rice is the star of the show. (Yakhni means soup or broth)

Here are some recipes I found from Tea for Turmeric and Archana’ s Kitchen which I am using as the basis for my version, the recipe for which I will share through the week.

Yakhni Pulao is known for unique flavours created by simmering the chicken or meat in a stock of whole spices such as green and black cardamom, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, cloves and star anise. The finished dish is enhanced by spicy sides, pickles and salads.

As well as the Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney, I will be making an Indian Carrot Salad and a Cucumber Kachumber salad. Recipes to come too!

In the meantime, here’s my original recipe for Indian Spicy mint and coriander chutney:

Burrata with fennel jam, spinach and tomato #burrata #fennel

This Burrata with fennel jam and spinach, with a hint of chilli, was delicious as an accompaniment for dinner tonight.

I was inspired by the Burrata with fennel jam at lunch at Nomad restaurant in Surry Hills in Sydney this week. There it is swimming in fennel flavoured olive oil and served with their delicious crusty sour dough to mop it up.

Burrata with Fennel Jam at Nomad Restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia

My version of the fennel jam doesn’t involve quite as much oil, and I added one chilli to the fennel mixture during the cooking to add a kick of spice.

Burrata with fennel jam, spinach and tomatoes

I also teamed up the Burrata and fennel jam with baby spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes to make it much more of a salad.

The resulting combination was really good, and perfect as an accompaniment to our steak tonight. It would also make for a great addition to a buffet or a festive meal. Great to share amongst a few people.

Mind you, you could add more oil and skip the healthy ingredients and serve it just as Nomad restaurant do! Or you could just use the fennel jam as a great accompaniment to cheese or a charcuterie platter.

Burrata with fennel jam, spinach and tomatoes.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 or 2 fresh red chillies chopped in large pieces
  • 1/2 bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 10-12 Cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 large single Burrata ( take out of fridge 10,minutes before serving)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Fennel fronds for garnish


1. Slice fennel and onion as thinly as possible, reserve some of the fennel fronds for garnish.

Thinly sliced fennel bulb

2. Heat oil in large flat, non-stick frying pan, add fennel and onion, lower heat to medium heat and cook slowly until fennel and onion start to soften for about 5 minutes.

3. Add chilli and cook for another 5 minutes.

4. Add sugar and vinegar, stirring until sugar dissolves.

5. Continue cooking until vinegar evaporates and the sugar creates almost a glaze on the fennel and onions.

6. Place baby spinach leaves and tomatoes on a platter, sprinkle cracked black pepper over the leaves and tomatoes, spread fennel jam over the centre.

Burrata with fennel jam, spinach and tomatoes

7. Place Burrata on the top, garnish with a few fennel fronds and serve.

Picnics by the pool #rarotonga #cookislands

The last few days have involved lots of beautiful relaxed eating…the kind of days I spend most of the working year dreaming about.

Grilled Mahi Mahi and salad

Christmas leftovers, barbecues and grilled fresh fish all call for good salads and accompaniments … here are some recipes of the types of side dishes we’ve been enjoying alongside our meals.

The fresh ingredients particularly local tomatoes and cucumbers here in the Cook Islands are delicious …so simple green salads and cucumber salads have also been a mainstay with heartier sides like the ones below providing some variety.

Roast potatoes

Roast potatoes

Hasselback sweet potatoes

Vegetarian Rice Pilau

Black bean salsa

Pineapple salsa

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomato salad with Burrata

Mixed Salad with cucumber raita

Mixed salad with cucumber raita

Hope this provides some inspiration for the new year!

#NYE #Tequila #Blackbeans #salsa #salad

Made to go with our Buttermilk Brined & Fried Chicken, in the spirit of beans and lentils being traditionally lucky foods in many cultures.

Tequila Blackbean Salsa or Salad?

Couldn’t find canned black eye peas, so used black beans instead to create this delicious concoction steeped in tequila and spices first, then freshen up with the addition of some finely sliced and diced coriander, capsicum and spring onion.

I slow cooked some finely diced onion and garlic in olive oil, added 2 tins drained cans of black beans, a finely diced red chilli, 1 teaspoon good smoked paprika, salt , 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, a good slug of tequila bubbling away until alcohol reduced the added a cup of water and simmered for about 10 minutes until the water had been absorbed and bean were soft and flavoursome. Then mixed in fresh finely sliced and diced white of 2 spring onions, a handful of coriander and half a small red capsicum.

Adding a good slug of tequila
Simmer until water is absorbed by beans

This was really delicious in its own right but also a great accompaniment to our fried chicken and an excellent vegetarian option for our picnic.

“Freshened” up and adding crunch with spring onion, capsicum and coriander.

A #true #Christmas #wreath …ala Tomato, Bocconcini, Basil & spinach salad

Served with a side of poached salmon ..

Sprinkled with salt and black pepper, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar..

Simple, effective and delicious!