Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RED CURRY OF PRAWN AND PUMPKIN

What staples do you always have in your refrigerator? I always have home made chicken stock, pizza dough, master stock, yum cha dumplings and bolognese sauce in my freezer. There's always a number of chilli sauces, red and green curry pastes, lard, jams and Lurpak butter in the fridge.

Tonight, the red curry paste got a run.
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Monday, October 20, 2014

PEARL PERCH WITH HERB SAUCE AND SALAD OF FARRO, BEET LEAVES, BEANS AND BASIL

Pearl perch has a short season. It happened last Saturday and lasted almost until Sunday. It's short.

There are some people who reckon it's the best eating fish in the sea. The fisherman at the weekly markets is one of these people.

So here it is with a fresh herb sauce on a bed of farro grains, baby beetroot leaves, beans and basil.
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WARM POTATO SALAD WITH SMOKED OCEAN TROUT AND QUARK

Warm salads are what you eat on schizoid days of Autumn and Spring - warm enough to tease you into thinking it's Summer, but cool enough to not stay in your board shorts after sunset (if you were wearing them when the sun was up).

So here's organic Dutch cream potatoes with Tasmanian smoked ocean trout, organic quark, Sicilian extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and fried shallots.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

ROASTED BERKSHIRE PORK BELLY WITH FRESH HERB SAUCE

Another slab of wonderful pork from just down the coast. These Berkshire pigs are raised in the Byron Bay hinterland. They're incredibly tasty - soft, sweet, succulent and unctuous.

A very simple herb sauce of basil, baby kale and parsley, garlic, organic cider vinegar.
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

YELLOW FIN TUNA WITH CHIPOTLE SALSA, BLACK BEANS AND MICROHERBS


We don't always think of seafood when we think of Mexican food. However, with 3000 miles of coastline, fish is an important part of the local diet. Here's seared yellow fin tuna rubbed with salt and Yucatecan oregano on a salad of black beans and goat fetta (which is close to the flavour of a popular Mexican cheese) - with a chipotle salsa and microherbs.
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BARBEQUED RUMP CAP WITH FRIED POLENTA AND PUY LENTILS

Nothing restrained, delicate or nouvelle about this. Rump cap has a blunt, unsubtle manliness about it. Two simple syllables, each terminated by a p which sounds disdainful, distasteful, dismissive.

Lentils are French peasant food. Polenta is northern Italian peasant food.

There was a microherb salad off camera. To include it in the photo would have compromised the brutal lowliness of the other ingredients. So too the roast garlic aïoli (although this too might pass for peasant food).
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

PRAWN PIZZA

Making dough is satisfying, but messy. I don't have a solution for the messiness. All I can do is reduce the frequency by making a big batch, portioning and freezing it until I get the urge to make a pizza.

I got that urge the other night. Here's a really simple one with prawns and Spanish onion.
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Monday, October 6, 2014

STIR FRIED CHICKEN WITH LOMBOK AND BOK CHOY

There's something about stir fries that makes me think of those speed dating events. You have a bunch of ingredients that haven't met. They get thrown into the wok, given barely enough time to say hello and a moment later they're unceremoniously scooped out onto a plate.

The positive of this is that the flavour of each ingredient is clear, pure, untainted. The negative is that if each flavour - and the combination of flavours - isn't right when raw, it won't be when cooked.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WHITING FILLETS WITH SALSA VERDE AND DUTCH CREAM POTATO WEDGES

I'm a big believer in healthy food. I eat a lot of it.

I am also a big believer in balance. I have balanced the healthy fish, salsa verde and kale with potato wedges baked in goose fat.

That should keep all the gods happy.
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MASTER STOCK PORK BELLY WITH BABY BOK CHOY

I started this master stock about 12 years ago. I have topped it up quite a few times since then. It just keeps getting better and better. I use it, strain it, refrigerate it, remove any new fat and freeze the stock until I need it again.

This time I used it to braise a piece of Berkshire pork belly from the Byron Bay hinterland about 50 kms from here.



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Friday, September 26, 2014

SEARED PETUNA OCEAN TROUT WITH THAI HERB SALAD

One of my favourite fish species. Rich, subtle, gorgeously coloured. I can feel it doing me good.

This was quickly seared, skin side only, in coconut oil.

A tangle of Asian microherbs on top, dressed with macadamia oil, rice vinegar, lime juice and a couple of drops of sesame oil.
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CHICKEN CHOP WITH EGGPLANT GRATIN, SALSA VERDE AND CARAMELISED BABY TOMATOES

Our local butcher gets chickens every Tuesday. During the afternoon, the birds are broken down into breast fillets, thigh fillets, wings, drumsticks and thigh sections. These are left on the bone, with the skin on. The butcher calls them chicken chops - and that's fine by me.

So here they are with a dusting of sea salt, dried chilli and rosemary. Small eggplants interleaved with tomato and with panko crumbs on top went into the oven until soft and golden. Amoroso tomatoes caramelised until dark, sticky and concentrated. Tangy salsa verde to liven things up.
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