Typically in Sardinia, this rustic dish is prepared for lots of people, so it is ideal for those winter gatherings with friends. You will need a whole lamb shoulder on the bone, and best to start this recipe a day ahead, to give the meat enough time to marinate. Fresh pasta, like pappardelle, is a good match for the thick silky lamb sauce, that will have you asking for more bread to scoop the delicious sauce off your plate. Continue reading
The Basque people have made remarkable contributions to the world. They were great ship builders, explorers, fishermen and one of the most admired gastronomic societies. They have preserved traditions for centuries, and we are fortunate we can still experience an element of their rich mystique culture through their great recipes. Like this very special Basque dish – merluza con salsa verde y almejas Continue reading
Domaine de l’Olivette 2013
This French organic wine is a perfect accompaniment for your autumn or winter casseroles. I can sure praise this wine as it went so well with the Coq Au Vine I cooked this past Saturday, one more recipe I will be sharing with you very soon. This nice drop is made with a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Grenache in a 16th-century Chateau, you almost feel quite grand when you drink it. The wine is smooth, well balanced and exhibits black fruit notes like raspberry and blackberry with a hint of spice.
Where can you buy this wine?
152 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9264 3022
I love good wines and enjoy the challenge in pairing wines with the recipes I make. One area I need to do more work on this year is to blog the wines that are often a hit with my dishes.
On this occasion, I was encouraged by a local wine aficionado to try the 2015 Il Chicco, a Riesling from Shobbrook wines. He loves this wine so much that he was heading back to the Oakbarrel this week for a few more bottles and convinced me to do the same.
He was right the wine was quite a hit last night with the simple tomato sauce based pasta and king prawns. Like a true Riesling, it’s high in acidity and aromatic, but it’s quite left of centre for a Riesling as winemaker Tom Shobbrook blended a seven-year-old sherry, the result is stunning. Tom follows traditional European methods and the wine’s natural state sure comes through with its striking oxidative flavours. In addition to its aromas, you have the freshness from this young wine that makes it a perfect match for shellfish.
Where to find this wine?
152 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9264 3022
When I think of four ingredients that epitomise Spanish cuisine I cannot not go past the humble pulpo (octopus), roasted red peppers, smoked sweet paprika and aioli. Continue reading
Arroz caldoso is another great typical dish from Spain, and the star ingredient is Calasparra rice. The main characteristic of this recipe is that the rice is served in its rich broth, as opposed to allowing the liquid to evaporate. As soon as you are done be quick to serve it before the rice absorbs all the liquid.
Across Spain you will find many varieties of this dish, the most common ingredients used are chicken, pork ribs, duck, rabbit, prawns, clams, vegetables or a combination of these ingredients. I was fortunate to try this recipe in Seville, where they use wild duck as they have a vast population that breed in the southwest of Seville.
Recipe (serves 4)
- 1/2 free range chicken, cut into 4 pieces
- 300g pork ribs
- 200g chicken livers
- 150g toasted almonds
- 1/2 brown onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- 1/2 red chilli, chopped
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 200 ml white wine
- 6 asparagus, chopped into 2cm pieces
- Pulp of two small tomatoes
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 150g calasparra rice
- 1.5 ltr hot water
- salt and pepper
Sear all the meats in a heavy based pan + olive oil + garlic cloves. Once all well browned, remove the meats and garlic from the pan + quickly sear livers. In a mortar and pestle, gently pound the liver and toasted almonds into a paste + 50ml wine + paprika + stir well.
Add the onions, capsicum and chilli to the pan, gently brown all the ingredients until it becomes a sticky sofrito + salt and pepper to taste + tomato pulp + stir well + allow the juices to evaporate + wine 150 ml wine to deglaze the pan.
Add chicken and pork ribs back to the pan + water + bring to a slow simmer + cloves and cinnamon + liver and almond paste + stir well + rice + allow to simmer for 15 min, add the asparagus in the last 4 minutes. Make sure to serve it as soon as it is ready. This dish is well matched with a Carinyena wine from Catalunya, Spain.
Who doesn’t love pasta and lobster, when you put them together you get something really special. This is a simple recipe, but time must be taken to prepare the ingredients. The tomalley and roe from the lobster’s head are the real star of the dish, so carefully save it all. The red stuff is the roe and the green part is the tomalley, any black stuff should be discarded. These wonderful ingredients will enrich the flavour of lobster in the pasta.For this pasta, best to use linguine, as its gathers the sauce better. Also make sure to share this special dish with close friends or family, and serve it with a nice white wine. Continue reading
In Catalunya, the north eastern part of Spain, there is a traditional dish called fideuà, made with short lengths of dry thin pasta called fideus. Instead of boiling the noodles, the noodles are first browned in olive oil, then simmered in a rich fish and vegetable stock. The Catalan way is to cook them with only a small amount of liquid in a wide cazuela or paella pan. Continue reading
The paella is a labour of love, a dish that epitomises sharing food around the table, it represents a nation so vividly, España (pronounced Es-pa-n-iiia-a). Put a good paella in the middle of the table and watch the smiles and happiness that goes with it. I have written another blog about paella, but I think I will never tire writing about my favourite dish, that has captured many fond memories of family and friends. Continue reading
We gathered for my father’s birthday last Saturday. All week I pondered on recipes for the occasion. The family loves seafood, so I had a starting point, but the whole sea to work with! During the week I mentally gathered images of my favourite seafood recipes, but as always I leave it to the day’s produce to inspire me.
It’s a nice feeling being back at your local, especially after returning from holidays. Familiar surroundings announce your return and instantly give you that homely feeling again. Continue reading
Immigrants have contributed so much to Australia, especially through their foods and traditions. We are a far richer nation with ethnic communities who carry their passion for their country of origin. Their passion transcends to local foods, inspire our taste buds and encourage us to learn about the world. Continue reading
This hearty fish stew is similar to other types of fish stew, such as the French bouillabaisse, Chile’s caldillo de congrio, Spanish zarzuela, and Portuguese caldeirada. All these dishes have a story to tell about their origin, people and culture. Most were created by the need to put a dish on the table with the ingredients they had at hand, and overtime they became entrenched in the soul of their country. Continue reading
A new eatery has opened in Sydney, located in Australia Street, Newtown, not far from Black Star Pastry and Oscillate Wildly. This place is packed with charm and character, it’s bound to maintain the essence of an iconic neighbourhood bar. Continental Deli Bar is a place where you can pop in any time of the day, sit by the bar and slowly ponder over the menu. It was opened by Porteño and Bodega’s Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joe Valore. Continue reading
Just over a week ago on 18 September we celebrated Chile’s National Independence Day. An occasion I look forward to each year as there is no better reason to make some of Chile’s favourite recipes. Chileans proclaim it as ‘el dieciocho’ (the eighteenth), it is celebrated over a week with fiestas patrias (national festivals) across the country. This includes parades, drinking, eating traditional Chilean food, folkloric music and plenty of dancing, like the cueca, a traditional dance created by the huasos (Chilean cowboys).
We arrived in Kirishima on a cloudy Tuesday at around 6pm. We had been driving for three hours from Obi and we were eager to get to our hotel. We had made Kirishima our resting point before continuing the next day to Makurazaki. Kirishima is the second largest city in Kagoshima prefecture, it’s a town well known for its hot springs and nature walks. After a power nap we were hungry and ready to explore this small city. We quickly Continue reading
We were fortunate to be back in Kurume for a couple of nights. Close to the top of our list of food experiences was Kurume’s Tonkotsu ramen. Kurume is the birthplace of Tonkotsu Ramen, it emerged around 1940. Kurume is in Fukuoka Prefecture and its takes about 40 minutes to get there by train from Fukuoka’s Tenjin station . The feature of Kurume ramen is its thick pork broth flavoured with salt and light soy. Continue reading
We were up early in Hyuga, there was a light drizzle, it was the rainy season, so a drizzle was not going to hold us back from getting to the Sea-Cross, a beautiful natural landscape. After two quick cups of coffee at the hotel we were ready to hit the road. We stayed at Hotel Melissa Hyuga which was right in front of Hyuga station. For a small port city, the station must be one of the more beautiful ones in Japan. We were told it was designed by a famous Tokyo University professor who designed the structure to have a light and transparent atmosphere, and to become a symbol of Hyuga. Continue reading
Rabbit is considered a quality meat in Spain and it’s eaten often. When cooked well, rabbit meat is delicate and succulent. At markets in Spain you will often find wild rabbit, it has a stronger flavour than farmed rabbit. I do prefer wild rabbit for its gaminess, but for this recipe I used farmed free range rabbit from the New South Wales Southern Highlands. I ordered one last week from Hudson Meats and when I picked it up I was in awe of the quality of the meat. I instantly got a sense that with quality ingredients your dish is bound to be a hit. Continue reading
We wondered the streets of Miyazaki city before meeting a local friend at an izakaya bar. The rain didn’t deter anyone from being out, salarymen were slowly gathering finding their drinking spots, shops were up in colourful lights and the reflection from the wet concrete lit the whole street, as if announcing the beginning of a very long night. Continue reading
We were so excited to be back in Kurume, Japan and eager to head back to a local izakaya called Hitokuchi Gyoza Tenya. This place is normally packed with locals cheerfully drinking and devouring the speciality of the house, gyozas. No frozen gyoza served here, everyday they make around seven hundred gyozas. They are smaller than the average size with a well seasoned filling of pork and cabbage wrapped with a thin layer of pastry that’s gently browned and left to crisp at the bottom. Continue reading
When travelling through any city in Japan I always look for a kissaten, a traditional Japanese cafe. I find they are ideal places to unwind, relax and ponder about your travels ahead. At kissatens you are bound to meet locals from whom you can learn about the city you are in. Regular customers often walk in and gather to discuss the daily news and events of the day. Continue reading
The cold weather has arrived in Sydney, it is a calling to dig out those heart warming recipes. The humble chicken soup is one of those recipes, a comfort dish that I love to prepare during the winter season. Every soup lover has their own version of chicken soup, an honest dish made with simple ingredients, patience and a good appetite. Continue reading
When it comes to oil I prefer extra virgin olive oil. Whether it’s for cooking or dressing no other oil will do. I am biased towards Spanish olive oils as I find they have more character and adore their green tinge. At home, it’s always best to have two olive oils. The first one for frying, rubbing your meats and tossing Continue reading
I found this recipe in the Mexican cook book Cantina by Paul Wilson. What caught my eye was the marinade, it included ingredients that I love – capers, anchovies, fresh oregano and garlic. No salt is required in this marinade, the ingredients on their own will tenderise your meat and pack your beef with flavour. The cut of Continue reading
It was cold and grey this past Saturday in Sydney, and for most of the day I was indoors watching the rain and calmly going over recipes picked for the night. The day before I left chunks of beef marinating in red wine with a bouquet garni and garlic. By now I guess you know Boeuf Bourguignon was on my menu. Continue reading
All is quiet and mellow in Surry Hills on a Sunday morning. You surely sense the slow mood as you walk around the area. With the easy flow of traffic, it is also a perfect day to explore other parts of Sydney. On this occasion I made a quick dash to Sample Coffee Pro Shop in St. Peters, a suburb of the Marrickville local council area, located six kilometres south west of Sydney. Continue reading
This recipe is sure to surprise and will have you looking at your greens in a different way. All day I been wanting to pull together something with the broccoli and french beans I received in my Locals Market bag. So I grabbed Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi, the king of vegetable recipes. I quickly turned pages to find the perfect recipe, broccoli and edamame salad with grated coconut . It looks so green, that just staring at it makes you feel healthier. The recipe calls for grated coconut but I wasn’t too keen on finding a coconut tree. Recipes are there to inspire, so you are allowed to make it your own. Continue reading
My butcher is a true local food hero. I am thankful to have Jim’s Butchery close by as I can avoid supermarket chains. Instead I can pick and choose great produce and learn about its origin. Often on Saturdays I drop by my butcher without a clue on what to roast, slow cook or sear on the weekend. As soon as I pop in, I am inspired by their friendly welcome and encouraged by the display of fine produce. Continue reading
It’s Good Friday, almost everyone has escaped the city of Sydney and the streets of Surry Hills are eery and quiet. Where are the locals who have chosen to stay back and claim this suburb as their own. Well it appears everyone is trying to squeeze into Reuben Hills on Albion Street. This hipster cafe with a contemporary space and extremely cool staff is buzzing today. The aromas from the open kitchen drag you in and take over your senses.
The menu is inspired by Central American foods, like baleado, tostadas and chillaquiles. The aromas from the kitchen also provide a hint that the spices here are not your common ingredients. Instead you sense someone here did travel to places like Mexico, Panama or even Costa Rica.
Eggplants have quite a meaty texture and make a delicious vegetarian alternative to meatballs. This recipe came about in Italy when meat was scarce or could not be eaten during religious events, like Lent. Continue reading
I often search for authentic recipes that are simple and delicious. Polpi in Umido (stewed octopus) originates from Bari, Puglia. Yes lately I have been quite attached to this region, I guess it’s because there are so many recipes from Puglia with simple ingredients. Plus there is always a star ingredient that dazzles a dish. In this Continue reading
There are many versions of the Italian tiella, which like paella or cataplana is named after the vessel it is made in. The recipe originated in Bari, the capital of Puglia. Bari overlooks the Adriatic Sea and was once an important Roman settlement, which connected the empire with the east.
This is another one pot wonder, that’s made to be shared and devoured with friends or family. As the name Continue reading
My food memories this weekend take me back to one of my favourite regions in Spain, Andalusia. If there’s a dish that represents a city well than Seville’s Pollo en Pepitoria is one of them. Pepitoria is a sauce technique introduced by the Arabs to the south of Spain. It combines crushed almonds, hard boiled egg yolks and saffron as a means of thickening a sauce and adding colour.
I think Seville’s uplifting colours from the sky, passing horse carriages and orange trees may have been an Continue reading
I love eggplant and while in season it’s the best time to buy them to make some old favourites. On this lazy Sunday night I wanted the oven do the cooking for me. So I could not think of a better recipe than a Parmigiana Di Melanzane. This iconic recipe has been claimed by the Sicilians in Catania, a town on the east coast of the island, dominated by the presence of Mount Etna, the tallest active European volcano. The eggplant locally known as petronciana forms the basis of many of Sicily’s dishes.
It is said that the humble eggplant arrived with the Arabs but not fully accepted as edible until sixteenth century. I start by cooking eggplant slices in batches, until lightly browned. Then remove and drain them on a Continue reading
I was contemplating all week about a communal dish I could make for my father. I was celebrating his belated birthday that was long overdue. I couldn’t go past a Cataplana, a Portuguese seafood dish, popular on the country’s Algarve coast. Like a paella it is named after the pan used to prepare the dish. Traditionally made of copper and shaped like two clamshells hinged at one end and able to be sealed using a clamp. The cooking concept of this impressive utensil is also much like a Tagine. The dish is a perfect centre piece on any table. It surely brings people together at social gatherings and I was looking forward to doing that with my family and a nice glass of white wine.
While I was preparing the Cataplana my mother suggested the dish is similar to Chile’s seafood stew called Curanto. It may be as both iconic dishes include capsicum, onions and paprika as key ingredients. I think Continue reading
I am always fascinated by traditional recipes. None more than this one from Minori, Italy. A town in the province of Salerno, on the Amalfi Coast. On Sundays I often dig through my recipe books to find something that inspires me and has a story behind it.
These dumplings are served on the feast day of the town’s patron saint, Trofimena, a female saint. There are three feast days honouring Trofimena – 5 November, 27 November and in summer 13 July.
A Ndundari is like a big gnocchi. Instead of using potatos they mix flour, egg yolks, ricotta and grated Continue reading
Veal Milanese with a generous serving of Arugula and a good squeeze of lemon is a great combo for summer. This grand Milan recipe transported by Italian immigrants to the Americas is also a favourite all over Latin America. In my mother land, Chile, ‘Milanesa por favor‘ was a common request, especially in my mother’s kitchen. Often after returning from school, she would dash to the kitchen, majestically combine all the ingredients and start frying the gems until golden and crispy.
I remember hearing the frying from the living room and watching my brother’s teasing smile as if saying she made it just for me. The aromas that came out of her kitchen made us even hungrier as we eagerly awaited for her glorious announcement, ‘esta listo, a comer – it’s ready, come and eat!’
This is a great summer recipe that’s simple, light and can be prepared well in advance. Don’t be afraid to ask your butcher to pound the meat until you can see your fist through the veal. If your butcher is hesitant to do this, then do it yourself, otherwise change your butcher. You can have the milanese cold with a nice crispy salad. As long as you use good quality dry breadcrumbs they will remain crispy. I use my favourite sour dough breadcrumbs from Bourke Street Bakery.
The quantity of breadcrumbs should approximately match the weight of your veal. Mix into the crumbs a Continue reading
It’s Sunday night and what shall I make, well for most of us, this is a common question. A simple pasta with a few good ingredients and a good bottle of wine is great way to end the weekend. Simple pastas just rely on good produce to bring it all together. Plus I think it’s a joyful way to use the last remaining vegetables in your fridge.
My lucky last veggies in the fridge were little courgettes, long red chillies and garlic. As always, I start by thinking of recipes that I can match ingredients with. For me Giovanni Pilu’s recipes have always been an inspiration. On this occasion what comes to mind is his Malloreddus with clams, bottarga and zucchini flowers. I don’t have Malloreddus in my cupboard, unless you are Sardinian not many of us do. The Garofalo spaghetti in the cupboard had to do. I usually stock up with this brand, it’s accessible and made from durum wheat flour. Great I had everything and I was on a mission!
I briskly walked to my local fish monger, severely hoping they had clams. I walk in and see Cloudy Bay Clams staring at me, it was meant to be, right! No bottarga at this joint so I grab two small squids and don’t let Continue reading
Surry Hills welcomes another diverse eatery right in the heart of Crown street. If you don’t look hard enough you may miss the sign as its not big but smart and cartoonish with a bang, KA-POW!
Bangladeshi Street Food opens its doors this week next to food icons Bills and Hudson Meats, so you really can’t miss it. The space doesn’t give you a sense of street food but it sure opens your mind to exploring a cuisine packed with exciting flavours and aromas.
As you open their glass doors and make your way up the polished concrete stairs you immediately get a good vibe. They play a good selection of groovy tunes that put you in the right mood Continue reading
I am fortunate this little gem has opened its doors close to home. It brings something different to the area that will expand our food horizons and tantalize taste buds. They are in their element serving top-notch coffee and tea, as Edition Coffee Roasters is run by brothers Daniel Jackson and Corie Sutherland.
Dan has teased coffee lovers at Clipper, Room 10, Clover and Black Star Pastry. Whereas Corie, a Japan enthusiast, has sourced good japanese green tea and is also inspired by Nordic cuisine, hence the concept. Why not, these contrasting cultures come as one through their smart minimalistic designs, organisation and clean food. Edition Coffee Roasters represents all these characteristics and is a welcomed addition to the area.
They are roasting well-selected single origin beans and offer a nice selection of brewing methods like pour overs, aeropress and cold drips. This is also music to my ears as it means an extra devotion to delivering delicious milk based coffees. Think about it, your latte, flat white or cappuccino combined with an espresso shot from beans that are traceable to a single origin, as opposed to a blend where often no bean gets a star gig! Our flat white and latte were impressive with a good hit of flavoursome coffee, clearly brought through by their sin!
We arrived hungry and looking forward to a breakfast feast. Upon sighting the menu we were impressed to see a daring menu that moves away from the common avocado toast, boring breakfast boards or baked egg options, etc. Yes here expect the unexpected but rejoice when you see their striking pretty plates with damn good produce. On this occasion we go for the berries with jelly yoghurt, delicious. Followed by the prawn salad on a crispy seedy base, just a bit more seasoning would have had me singing. We top all this with the king salmon, creme fresh and pickles. I will have this dish again for lunch on my next visit, if only they served a nice Riesling or white from the Alsace region to go with it. Ok yes I am dreaming but good food often plays with your senses and has you pondering about the past or good memories. This place is surely a site to admire and ponder about food.
Edition Coffee Roasters
265 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst Sydney, Australia
On our last day in Ubud – Bali, we strayed off the main road into a little side street with small stores, local homes and sleepy dogs. We came accross three roosters held in straw cages hanging from a fence of a local home. Fascinated by them and their fate, our thoughts were quickly put on hold by a barking dog that just really wanted to make some noise or maybe he was telling us to move on. Well lucky for us we moved on as by chance we found Waroeng Bernadette, one of Ubud’s most beloved restaurants owned by the one and only Bernadette Gatenby. She is a well respected local icon, talented, full of life and most of all has an enormous passion for her food. Her infectious smile and cheerful spirit was really what convinced us this was a special place and we were hungry. Continue reading
After a stroll in central Ubud you can chill with a delicious brewed coffee while sitting in a nicely decked verandah watching the flow of traffic or just ponder on your next destination. Seniman Coffee Studio owners David Sullivan and Rodney Glick have designed a modern and contemporary space devoted to delivering speciality organic coffee with an experience that will leave you wanting to rush back the next day. Their well selected beans are roasted across the main cafe where you can also enjoy one of their special brews. Continue reading
Paella is one of my favourite dishes to make for family and friends. Preparing this dish is a labour of love for Spanish Cuisine and its rich culture. Its communal spirit brings people together, and a good paella captivates people’s taste buds with its ingredients and character. A paella must be made by using quality olive oil, spanish rice, stock, salt, pimenton (Spanish Paprika) and Continue reading