Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Crazing For Crackling

Pork Crackling! A favourite in our house, and certainly a table pleaser for our Family Xmas this year. Its such a treat isn’t it, that salty delicious crunch, yum!

A few months back, my partner got an “accidental” txt off a lady trying to get her Garlic Salts to a customer. He responded that she had the wrong person, she was ever so grateful he replied and Insisted she send us her Garlic Salts, Straight from Weyhill Farm. 

Being the foodies that we are, we had no problems accepting her generous offer.

Julie and Stewart are passionate Garlic growers from Gippsland, selling there garlic bulbs at the farmers market of a weekend, they have also created easy seasoning’s that complement any dish. Which lead us to wanting to try there Salts this Xmas.

We normally stick to our asian inspired dishes, especially a good Caramelised Pork Belly, but this time we went all out and roasted a Pork Loin. Adding Julie & Stewarts Lemon Salt’s to complement our Macadamia & Apricot stuffing w’ orange Zest is was a real hit! And the Crackling OMG!! Wow!! 

Crackling is the easiest thing to achieve, literally smother your Pork Belly or Loin with a very generous amount of oil and Salt, and place in the over for approx 2 hrs. depending on the size. Keep an eye on it, and rotate if required. Until you see the blistering brown crackling! Done!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Brunch is Served (In under 10 minutes!)

I don't know about you, but nothing makes me more excited than a Fridge full of fresh produce! Today I had an unexpected day off, little one in Daycare, quick morning gym session and I was feeling FAB!!! By the time we walked back in the door, we were starved and needed food, PRONTO!! (and coffee!) so here goes.....

This has got to be, hands down the quickest dish you will make. All off these Ingredients are Pantry staples at our house, but I have got some swaps below if you don't have it all on hand. All of these ingredients could be picked up for under $20, and you would have a weeks worth of Gourmet Breakfasts- Happy Cooking!

Mushroom & Feta Omelette, Side Kick Salsa & Avo


2 eggs, whisked
3 Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 Red onion, finely sliced ( save 1/2 for Salsa)

Marinated Feta


Chilli Oil
1 Tomato, diced
Small Handful Coriander
1/2 Avocado
Red Onion (leftover from Omelette)

Heat a small frypan on medium heat, ideally the size you would like your omelette, with 1/2 Tablespoon of the marinated Feta Oil. Add sliced mushrooms & finely sliced red onion until slightly browned and fragrant. Add you eggs, and allow to cook through until eggs are almost set.

In the mean time, dice tomato, add sliced leftover red onion and the leaves of your coriander, I then add a little Kick of my Spray Chilli oil.

Once your omelette is almost set, flip over and turn off the heat. Assemble Avo & Salsa, add omelette and drizzle with Marinated Feta, add a drizzle of the Marinated Feta oil on top. 


No mushrooms? Feel free to use, Capsicum, Asparagus or what ever veggies you may have in your crisper, all will taste delicious!

Chilli Oil- I use TURCI Cold Pressed Chilli Oil, but you could use Fresh Chillis, Chilli Flakes, Sriracha Sauce or even Chilli Oil from your local Asian Grocer.

Salsa- Don't like Tomato? Then try cucumbers instead. Or if you like both, use them together!

Cheese- truly any cheese will do the job! I love the flavour of the Marinated Feta Oil, feel free to use a cheddar or anything that you like. 

Herbs- This is where I love having my little herb garden on hand, I just snip the required amount, rather than wasting a whole bunch that gets forgotten about in the back of the fridge. What are you pantry staples, for a quick throw together meal?

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Get yourself to Stagger Lees!

Planning a trip to Melbourne? Then tick this restaurant off your bucket list. You must get yourself down to Fitzroy, and check out the menu at Stagger Lees, Brunswick St. 

With the tunes buzzing, and the locals passing by for there morning coffee, this place has such a rocking vibe. Grab a chair on the communal table or sit outside in the lane way. 

The menu will take your mind wandering, from The Cave Man Granola to Mexican Corn Tortilla's to a more traditional Egg and Bacon roll, as the team at staggers like to call it, Fat Bacon Toasty.

Make sure you also check out the Chefs special, Pickled White Anchovies, there mouth watering!! With a menu so reasonably priced and awesome service and food- who wouldn't be there

These guys have just opened nights on the weekends now too, what are you waiting for!!

Stagger Lees

Monday, 19 January 2015

So who doesn’t follow some amazing foodie
 Instagram accounts and just drool over
 there food?? Of course I do, and have
 been busting to try this one for a while
 now. Bread and Circus, Alexandria
 is fantastic!! With their food
Canteen down the back, Bakery
and sweet treats in the middle and
 their sit down or take away
 coffees up the front, they
 have it all covered!!

I recently caught up with a
 girlfriend here and it was great!
 We could actually talk and hear
 each other, even though it was jam
 packed! The staff were lovely,
 I felt it was quite a young crowd
 and the prices were fantastic!
Not to mention super tasty.

If your passing by be sure to
 check this one out  :-)

Don't throw out your herbs!

Basil Pesto!

So good in so many things- we love it! Its super easy, and something great to always have on hand in the freezer as a back up mid week meal. Add to chicken, or even add some cream and stir through pasta!

1 bunch of basil, leaves picked
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
 S & P to taste

Blend all ingredients with a stick blender, use straight away or freeze in ice cubes and bag until needed :-)

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Thanks to the Crazy Bull! Its all in the Sofrito

Who doesn't love Spanish Paella! Thanks to Miguel 
Maestre this is a winner in our house and its 
a no fail recipe every single time!!
Tweaked just slightly than the original,
 I add a few more Ingredients and take 
a few out of his, but I think Ive nailed it!! haha

Recipe below-

2 Tablespoons olive oil
200g Calasparra rice or Aborio
1 litre fish or chicken stock
400g chicken breast
1 chorizo, sliced
mussels, optional
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 lemon, quartered to serve
1 lime, quartered to serve

50mls olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely copped
3 spring onions, coarsely chopped
1 jar of Piqullio peppers
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 bunch mint, leaves picked
1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1. For the Sofrito, I use a large jug and my hand 
held stick blender and blitz oil, vinegar, tomatoes,
garlic,shallots, and peppers until smooth.
 Add the herbs and spices and season with salt to taste.

2. For the paella, place pan on high heat, splash with
 olive oil and cook rice for 1 minute until changes
 in colour.

3. Add 1/4- 1/2 cup of the sofrito paste and cook over

 high heat for a minute mixing with the rice evenly. 
Add the stock and bring to the boil, add mussels. 
Cook for 25 minutes over high heat until stock 
evaporates, unlike risottos, don't stir this dish 
as this is when the crunchy sofrito base should 
form on the bottom of the pan.

4. In a small frypan cook off the chorizo, 
then add the chicken in the chorizo oils.

5. Remove the paella from heat and stir 
through the peas and cook with the 
residual heat in the pan, top with
 chorizo and chicken.

6. Scatter with fresh parsley and 
serve with lemon and lime wedges.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Bill's poached salmon & Risoni Salad

Ok so 2015 is here, and one of my New Years Resolutions was to read more! Even if it's a Cook book, I figure thats still reading , right?

So here goes the first inspiring recipe, my all time fav Bill Grangers, Poached Salmon & Risoni Salad.

As always we slightly tweaked his recipe but it was still a hit!
Rather than poaching the Salmon we Pan seared it just to seal the skin, then flipped, removed the skin and then crisp the skin until flaky & crunchy (as you can see in the picture). And then baked for around 5 minutes, or your liking.
 Poached Salmon and Risoni Salad


If poaching-
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon White peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf

If Pan searing-
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

400g Salmon Fillets
1 cup Risoni
1/2 cup peas (frozen are fine) -I used sugar snap and
 chopped into 1cm pieces
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
A good handful of baby spinach leaves, 55g
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Large pinch of Caster Sugar
Freshly Ground Black pepper

Poaching the Salmon-
Put the salt, peppercorns,and bay leaf in a large deep 
frying pan with 3 cups of water  and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add 
the salmon, cover and leave for 15 minutes. Lift the 
fish carefully out of the liquid, when cool enough to 
handle flake the fish into pieces .

Searing & Baking the Salmon-
Heat a little olive oil in a non stick pan and and just 
sear the Salmon with some S&P skin side down 
until it easily removes from the oil.
 Approx. 3-5 mins depending on salmon size. 
Turn over and remove skin gently, continue to cook 
skin until crisp in the pan. Finish salmon off in the
 oven to your liking.

Cook the Risoni in a large saucepan of salted boiling 
water until cooked, around 7 minutes, adding the peas 
and lemon zest for the last for the last 2 minutes. 
under cold water and drain well.

In a large salad bowl, place the risoni, peas, salmon, 
spinach, parsley and dill. Whisk together the lemon
 juice, olive oil and sugar to make a dressing. Add the
 dressing to the salad and season with S&P. 
Add Salmon and serve!

Great as a summer salad!