Monday, 21 March 2016

Mixed Berry Chia Jam

My love affair for simplistic food began during a summer's day in Italy. I arrived with the perception of more is more and left with a food philosophy of less is more.

I saw a pizza as it should be a celebration of tradition passed on from generations and a respect for homegrown tomatoes that burst with flavours of the earth with every bite. The perfume of a lemon is inspiration enough and i can see how these fruits are the heart of every european meal.

Coming home, i made a conscious effort to integrate earthy, simple recipes to my family's weekly food repertoire. This mixed berry chia jam adapted from Sarah Britton's My New Roots is a new addition to our menu and embodies all the goodness, simplicity and fruits from mother nature that not only looks incredible but brings my every being to life.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Duck l'Orange

A change in career has steered me in to the kitchen and nothing makes me feel more alive than creating, experimenting and watching food come to life when guests nod with approval.

With time, i  have learnt that fresh produce needs to be celebrated using simple cooking, patience and 'gut feel' creates the best meals and taking risks with flavours will be rewarded with courage in the kitchen.

Watching my food heroes such as Rachel Khoo, Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Yotam Ottolenghi has inspired me to continually challenge what i know and to explore and recreate dishes close to my heart. With this in mind, i decided to recreate one of my favourite classic dishes Duck l'orange. I first had a taste during my trip to Paris a few years back and have never forgotten the exceptional balance of sweet and savoury.

Traditionally Duck l'Orange is eaten with side string beans or roasted vegetables. On this occasion,  i decided to use watercress and blood orange to add freshness. While there are several elements to this dish the crispy duck is simple enough to pull it all together to create one special recipe to be enjoyed on a date night in.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Bombay Roast Chicken

Winter has arrived early this year. 

The leaves which crisp beneath my feet, the dewy air and the need for an extra blanket are symbolic of an Autumn which has passed us by.

Abandoning my kitchen has left a chill in the air and i intend on firing my pots and pans to bring love back in to the home. 

The inspiration for this roast derived from exploring my local Indian grocer. Venturing through the spices left me with goose bumps and despite the tacky label on the Tumeric pack, it was enough to whet my appetite for a Bombay roast. 

This Bombay Roast Chicken is my favourite way to end the week and the fuss free marinade is enough to warm even the coldest winter. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Steamed Red Snapper with Sesame Soy Dressing

When it comes to a steamed fish, weather is no deterrent. Summer in Melbourne means seafood, warm balmy nights and extended time in the backyard. Tonight was no exception.

raw red snapper on a plate
When my husband brought home this gorgeous red snapper the first recipe that came to mind was my mum's ginger, soy and scallion steamed fish. Traditionally she uses barramundi but the red snapper was just as delicious and the ginger soy was an explosive combination.

sauce being poured over red snapper

A tip to share is that the snapper is best steamed separately and the sauce made towards the end while the snapper sits. For garnishing, i would normally add coriander however i did not have this on hand and decided to use scallions and ginger with a dash of sesame oil. For those who love the heat try a few slices of fresh red chillies.

red snapper ready to serve

Ham Croquettes

I am feeling as stuffed as the turkey i ate on Christmas. No joke, it took two days of digesting before i could look at meat again. While i have lost my appetite for meat i couldn't go past using up the left over ham to make some ham croquettes.

croquettes by the window

The inspiration came from Food 52 which is fast becoming my favourite site for food inspiration. My version of the croquettes includes a mix of ham, pea, sweet corn and parmesan cheese. Admittedly, it took a second batch to ensure the the coating was crispy and brown and found that the trick is flame control and even distribution of crumbing.

croquettes in a jar with cutlery

These croquettes are addictive and look amazing placed on a plank board alongside other tapas bites such as warm olives, chorizo, paprika prawns as well as cheeses.

ham croquettes on a plate with chilli sauce

Monday, 29 December 2014

Under the Skin Stuffed Turkey

Three months earlier i thought it was ridiculous to see Christmas products at my local grocer. I obviously underestimated how quickly the festive season has arrived!

Christmas was at my place this year and with a head count of twenty i knew preparation was key. I decided to cook dishes that was tried and tested but at the last minute was tasked with roasting the turkey.

There is a roast chicken recipe which i love cooking. It is stuffed under the chicken skin with ricotta, thyme, salt and lemon rind. I decided to follow this style for the turkey and despite it missing the ricotta, it was still delicious.

I would highly recommend when cooking the turkey to place the stuffing under the skin. Not only does it keep the meat succulent but it crisps the skin and strengthens the flavour of the herbs in to the turkey.

stuffed turkey in the backyard for christmas

Monday, 10 November 2014

Roast Beef with Cumin Crust

Absence really does do wonders. For a while i was beginning to lose my spark for all things food and blamed the lack of inspiration on moving house and change in careers. It's safe to say that the break has brought me back to what i love most, food, styling and seeing my family's food grins.

whole roast beef by the window

November marks a month of revival as i return to my sense of being and creativity. During work i wandered through our library of vintage cook books and was amazed to find treats to revive and add a twist to. No doubt a classic roast and pastry desserts were the common pages and i could not wait to set up the new kitchen.

birds eye view of sliced roast beef

Spoiled with various spices to choose from, i decided to keep this roast beef simple but flavorsome. Cumin and a Moroccan spice blend was rubbed in to the beef and wrapped in baking paper for a intense and robust kick. The result is delicious and when roasted sets off a wonderful cumin crust with a smoky after taste. If you are up to add a twist to a classic Sunday roast i can assure you this one is a crowd pleaser.

roast beef on the side