Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What the hell

are you all still doing here?

I've moved house, remember?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thanks to Ned

everything has been moved


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Everyone needs a Graham.

He's the chef at the Lincoln.

And he cooks with love.

How much love?

This much love.

They hang their meat at the Lincoln and this is the 21 day aged beef...the cut, rump.
Served with roasted beets, feta, mint, hazelnuts and drizzled in hazelnut oil.

It is pretty much a combination of everything I love.

Staff meal?
It pays to be called Fuzzball.

Totally desperado

With nothing in the panrty.

This was knocked up and shared for breakfast after the Jamon party.
Nothing more to say, really, but now there really is nothing in the house to cook.

Il Eggo, bake-o

1/2 a Spanish onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
A small handful of capers, rinsed and chopped
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
1 chili, minced
some random left over herbs in the fridge, chopped (if I remember it was thyme and parsley)
1 head of broccoli, stem diced and florets separated
1 can of peeled tomatoes, chopped roughly with a knife in the can
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180.
In a pan that can go in the oven, sweat off the onion, garlic, capers, anchovy and chili. Season.
Add the herbs.
Add the broccoli and turn the heat up to medium, and cook for a minute or two or until it starts to colour.
Add the tomatoes, and bring to the boil, and then down to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the beans and season again.
When the mixture is hot, make 4 small wells and crack the eggs into it. Cover the pan in foil and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or till the eggs are set to your liking.

Serve with toast.

And here is a closer look of the egg.
I love eggs.
And eggs love me.

We're looking back.

I blame Twitter for my slowing down of posts.

That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.
I made this for dinner last Friday out of lots of the things I got given on my birthday. The plan was to have a Jamon party to get rid of all the Jamon before I died of gout on my lonesome.

This seemed like a good alternative.

Baked Mushrooms on Polenta (aka. hamper love)

200-300 grams of mixed mushrooms, chopped
1/2 loaf of olive bread, half of that amount turned into bread crumbs
4 fillets of anchovies, diced
Juice of 1 lemon, zest of 1/2
a few handfuls of grated parmesan
3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped
a few tsp of rosemary, chopped finely
white wine
olive oil

1/2 cup of polenta
1 cup of milk (I used soy, it was there)
parmesan to taste, grated

Jamon Iberico to serve

Preheat the oven to 200, combine in one bowl, the mushrooms, lemon juiceanchovies, parmesan, garlic, a few tbs of olive oil, and 1/2 cup of the wine. Season heavily with pepper and some salt. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
Combine the bread crumbs, herbs, lemon zest, olive oil and salt and pepper in another bowl. Then, after a few minutes, combine the two and place in a baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake for a further 5.

With the remaining bread, tear into chunks, season and sprinkle some oil over the top, bake for 5 minutes.

Make the polenta by whisking into warmed, seasoned milk for 15-20 minutes. Add the parmesan at the end.

Serve with the mushrooms over the polenta, drizzle a little oil and then top with Jamon slices and with the bread on the side.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is it wrong

to have the same lunch two days in a row?

Also, in separating the jamon slices, I made a very important discovery.

There are three layers, separated by plastic. That is a whole lot of gout.

I love you Phil and Charlotte.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't send the search party.

As Claire may have suggested. Who knew? I disappear from Twitter for a few days and people think my own festivities have swallowed me.
Well, actually, they have.

I worked on the Friday before the party and then, met up with my friend's at midnight and went a little spastic till around 8:30. Then I had to get mine ready...

I won't show you normal photos from the night because they are more than incriminating (Play-brawling, pissing out of the second story window, licking wooden floors).

But let's just say after the cops came four or five times, we turned into gutter scum and started drinking scotch out of ramekins.
Well, even in my state, I demanded that we get all of these back.

And what is great about being 21 is all the food people give you when they realise you're too much of a tomboy to want clothes or make up.

Anchovies. I'll bake these with a mixture of breadcrumbs, mushrooms, brandy, herbs and butter for dinner and eat it with polenta or some crusty bread.

Coffee and cookies. The coffee I love, the cookies I am yet to have ever tried or discover.

This is from Phil, Charlotte and her mother. This is kickarse and some items are in the fridge. Crackers, a triple cream brie, a cheddar, Nicolas Olives, a Phillipa's Olive Toscano loaf, a bottle of Hendricks, tonic water, a cucumber, herbs, chili and jamon.

This much jamon. Jamon Iberico.
Loves it.
I kept going and ended up at rooftop recovery drinks, cookie and here, at Goose and Vinyl when I finally regained my appetite.
I'm drinking a Hendrick's martini but they had no cucumber. The olives
We ate sweetbreads on polenta, a duck liver parfait, a chopped salad, and Coffin Bay oysters.

This was after I was forced into an interim by going to work and after work, do a tasting from the new menu. I was struggling, but hell, is it good. I think my fellow partying workmates and I managed about three bites and one oyster, along with a bottle of wine between us all.

Then I went out and did this for a FUR shoot in 2 weeks.
Don't worry, there is a slight colour in there now so I could go out in public and not look like Big Bird's ass.
It will be red.
And cutty cutty cutty.
We'll see how it goes. So far it looks like fun.
And now, lunch.
From front to back, untoasted Phillipa's Olive Toscano bread with jamon iberico, toasted with cheddar, and toasted with cheddar and jamon iberico. All drizzled with some oil I picked up from the Slow Food market.

I think I am ready to rejoin the civilized now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Strange, dirty food.

When you're having one of the most frustrating conversations in your life, it is fitting to have one of the strangest meals.
Dirty, cheap food for dirty, cheap conversations.

What a waste of stomach space.

I ordered the Mee Kuah Mama, $7.50. "Singapore style noodles served in a special gravy with meat and egg." So, hokkien noodles in this sweet/tart, artificially red sauce with an egg whipped through it and tiny pieces of stewed lamb, which was a surprise, with a sprinkling of coriander. There were a few limp pieces of bak choi and bean shoots floating around. The liquid seemed off, something so strange about it until you ate it with a bit of everything else.
I didn't know whether to like it or not, but somehow it was addictive. I put it to the sugar that would was in there somewhere. It would be important to note that the broth was very hot, boiling hot, so it is good when you're suffering from odd discussions that it has time to cool and let the flavours develop.
My dining partner ordered the lamb curry and you can see the roti in the background. $7.50 for the lamb and $2 for the roti, which is made in house and actually very good. I didn't taste this, but I was told to try. Personally, the flavours from my meal were too overwhelming and I didn't taste this at all.
He finished it all, so it couldn't have been bad.

Totally confusing. We should have gone to Ying Thai 2 instead for something more straighforward, which I think could have also influenced my conversation as well.

their tagline: Indonesian, Malaysian & Indian Cuisine
112 Lygon St
Carlton, 3053
(03) 9639 5951

My Delivery

I love this muesli from the Queen Vic market, but they are selling her stall to people who will pay more for it, apparently.
So, in her last days, she packaged the cereal into little bags with her contact details.
I love this crap. They are sugar-free and wheat-free and there are three types of varieties.
One which is just plain, without nuts or extra fruit. The other has almond flakes and lots of fruit, which is the one that I get, and then one with cranberries and raisins, which I imagine to be for the sweet tooth.
They're $12 a kilo.
So worth it. It doesn't have this strange sickly sweetness that hurts your teeth and a crunch for no reason despite it not being toasted. Also, because the oats aren't processed on the same machines as wheat, as commercial varieties are, it is gluten-free and doesn't have that gacky feeling in the mouth.

So, I was waiting for my booze-delivery for my birthday tomorrow, and this arrived minutes before.
That's a kilo, if you're wondering.

And a closer look. It has oats, sultanas, dried peaches, dried apple, dried apricot, almond flakes, sunflower seeds and linseed.
Loves it with soy.
The company is called My Muesli and I think she's selling it at Kwikshop.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And we're back in the game.

I realise that once you go out without a camera, it seems almost pointless to carry one around.

Alas, I am a creature of habit.

A short one for now, I went to the gym and then a plumber came in and made our shower have no water pressure.

I hate him. Now, it will forever be a golden shower.

Then, I walked to Smith St and drank and Asahi at midday. At exactly no judging eyes. Yes, I am at Woodspoon and I finally have a camera with me.
For the first time.
I ordered a Yasai soup with prawn and pork dumplings. It is a tomato based soup with "10 vegetables" and a choice of chicken, pork or prawn and pork dumplings. They, unlike usual dumplings are not encased in a wheat skin, topped with parmesan $10.50.
It's got the usual suspects, onion, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, beans, tomato, carrot, cabbage. I know I am missing one...but hell, I don't have that good a memory. It may be possible that the suspect sprinkle of dried herbs is counted as a vegetable.
It is suspiciously sweet, and also based in a chicken stock, but damn is it moorish. They also have a vegan version in a vegetable stock.

The good thing about their menu is that it outlines what it vegan, vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free. A freak allergy-child's dream.
And they're cheap. They have several lunch deals going, but I didn't do them. I wasn't hungry enough. I didn't even finish my soup, and this is with after-gym pangs. Oh, and I so would have properly eaten onigiri if I were not in that state.
Also, I was told that despite my drinking of beer, that it is not a food group and it doesn't really count as carbs.


And if you're wondering, of course I went into Monsieur Truffle to take a look around first.

Creature of habit.
And checked out Catherine's (head of FOH at the Commoner) empty shell, next door, opening in a month. Called BOIRE. A French kitchen, all about wine. Wine on the plates and on the walls...glasses, there is no menu and the cook by the ingredients they have that day. She is looking for a chef, actually.

Woodspoon Kitchen
88 Smith St,
Collingwood, 3066
(03)9416 0588

No camera

how sad. Charging can be a bitch.

Before seeing my housemate Lute's show, Luke's Got Cancer (which you have undoubtedly heard about) I went for a drink at The Goose and Vinyl. This place has apparently not had their launch yet, but I like them so far.
Nay, I love them.
And that isn't because the staff were bored and gave me free food and drink. But, I thought I would mention that so I didn't sound biased.
So, there is Chophouse on the ground level and The Goose and Vinyl above it. The have something to do with the owners of Cherry, because, well, I asked and they confirmed. But also, they let the patrons, if appropriate, pick vinyl to play from a menu.
They have a select wine menu and a few by the glass, as well as doing quite a few cocktails. Their menu features a lot of chopped salads, steaks and small dishes.
I had a chopped salad, of chicken, which had been brined first, with cos, macerated carrot, raisins, nuts and pomegranate. Great texture, although, I think they could have macerated the carrots in something with rosewater, as it became overpowering after a while. Very good value, this dish comfortably fed the two of us and was $16. Also, they don't have a head chef, but two sous chefs who run the kitchen, which makes everything very well balanced in terms of menu writing. Think sweet & savoury working hand in hand.
Their official launch is in a couple of weeks.

The Goose and Vinyl
91-93 Flinders Lane
Above the Chophouse
1300 THE GOOSE (1300 843 466)


And then, I stopped in at Shogun for a quick bite the other day. It is a new Japanese joint which has just opened up on Lonsdale St and their Schtick is that they're a sake and teppanyaki bar. They're still trying to find their feet, meaning, blatantly tell you they are trying to memorise orders rather than write them down. And despite just ordering four items, and that includes the drink, I would like to say; major fail.
The waiter, who I assume also works in the teppanyaki bar had to walk back three times to confirm the order. Then, I was told that they were out of salmon, so they were going to replace it with more tuna in my sashimi order. So, I ended up with lots of tuna and a little kingfish.
Much time passed and drinks had been finished. Everything had been finished, actually. They had forgotten the pickles and the one item I wanted to try from the bar still hadn't arrived. The food is good, which is why I would go back again, but not for a while. They definitely need to work on a system where the kitchen, the bar and the teppanyaki bar are all in kahootz together and things work out.
Oh, and it isn't a matter of them being busy either. Just training of staff.

J-Pub Shogun Japanese Restaurant & Bar
233 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(03) 9663 3996

Monday, April 13, 2009

My cousin got married

and I ate every single animal on earth that night. Well, no...but a lot.

Also, my mother got drunk and heckled the speech-makers and also stood up and started singing for no reason.


The food was good, better than usual wedding fare. Typical banquet, Canto-wedding style. Nothing to OMG about, wasn't the best quality, but it wasn't bad either. You know what I mean.
The menu. The first item says "Suckling pig platter."

Condiments. Don't think I didn't eat those chilis on their own for no reason. My second uncle, who is a doctor was sitting next to me, cringing.

The suckling pig platter. Served cold, on top of jelly fish.

Fried crab-claw. Very child-friendly. Basically, the crab meat has been diced with fish until it forms a glutinous paste and then it is deep fried and served with a sweetened chili sauce. Meh.
A waste of stomach space, and seafood if you ask me. But this is what everyone seemed to enjoy.

Sauteed scallops with macadamias. This is my dad's plate. By the time they divided it all into plates, mine didn't have much to go on it. That clump is a "bird's nest," read: deep-fried vermicelli. I think this was a great, subtle dish. Well cooked. I didn't add chili oil to everything I ate because I usually reserve that for dishes more to the north. Cantonese flavours are so damn subtle, and they want you to taste EVERYTHING, especially the quality of seafood.
Shark fin soup. The funny thing about this is that usually assholes order this at Flower Drum and end up picking out all of the shark-fin. This was one of the better dishes, made from stock of the crab shells. Great with white pepper and vinegar.
After this, generally, the bridal party go around and cheers everyone.
This also meant making my uncle scull half a bottle of wine at his friend's table.

This is not tea.

A fuckload of lobster.

Mine. With spring onions and ginger. Perfectly cooked. Very generous with their portions. I was already full half way through this and had to pretty much surrender two-thirds of everything else I ate to my parents. They're very much anti-waste.

Oh, and we totally use knives and forks, too. It ain't all just chopsticks.

My favourite dish of the evening. Braised abalone and sea cucumber. Rich, full of flavour and the abalone had the perfect bite to it. Unfortunately they probably threw the sea cucumber in at the same time as the abalone, so it was softer than what I would have liked. Texturally, a well balanced dish.
But, notice already how unethical this meal is?
Also, by this stage, the poor waitress caught on and looked for me to take photos before she would start serving everything.

Steamed Coral Trout with spring onions and ginger. Oh, and token coriander. Usually served with a watered-down, sweetened soy and sizzling oil. You really can't fuck this up.
I also had to keep telling my mum it wasn't a big barramundi. Like, seriously. This big??? Oh, and it was written on the menu.
My share. Lacking in fish, but at this point I didn't care, I usually fish for all the garnish anyways. No pun intended. Probably a little undercooked for this type of fish.
What bird is this?
Faces. Looky, looky. My grandmother was fighting over the crunchy heads with my dad.

It's pigeon.
And it is delicious. In the foreground, a salt and pepper mix.
This is a dish of two rice things baked in one. Very HK cafe. Not my kind of food. Chicken and tomato on one side, and a prawn, pea and cream sauce on the other.
I have no idea why this was there.
E-fu (wheat based) noodles with mushrooms. From what I saw, shittake and enoki. Loved it even though I only had one bite.
And the desserts. Coconut and evil marshmallow. Really, the black side was like, "Oh, I think we will trick them with making half of the marshmallow taste like charcoal."
Yeah, I tricked a lot of people into eating that even though I was slightly traumatised with that flavour lingering in my mouth.
And those orange things, a flakey pumpkin cookie pastry encasing lotus-seed paste. Surprisingly not as sweet as they look. But then again, I only had one bite.

And my bro-in-law and my sister being suspicious and enthused about the gifts on the table. It's unisex despite the packaging.
Yeah, soap. Seriously.
Trust doctors to give everyone soap.
"Fuck you, Kylie Kwong. Bao's with chopsticks? Fuck that, I eat prawn crackers with chopsticks...BIATCH!"
My uncle didn't really say that, but that is what I thought when he started doing this.

The joint. Gold Leaf or some shit.

Weddings are so exhausting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's a big, fatty, food day.

I had arranged to load off some of the hot cross buns that I made the other day. The receiving soul would be Claire and +39 was the decided venue. Even though I hadn't eaten the sausages that I was part of this morning, I felt like I had.

Maybe it was because despite showering, I still smell like meat.

Or maybe it is the phantom smell of meat following me around, like...a...bad...smell.

Yeah, that didn't work out quite as well as I would have hoped.

Whatever, we split these, in true I-want-to-taste-everything style and there was no shame in taking out a camera and admitting a possible doubling up of posts. The only advantage here is that I don't have to go to work until 6, and I guess Claire is working until 6.

The pizzas are $10 each. This has eggplant, cherry tomatoes and breadcrumbs. In the ways of DOC, thin, crisp bases you fold together to eat like a sandwich. Very simple, light and flavoursome ingredients that still manage to hold their own textures.

But the clincher, (I love sharing food, you never get food envy) the Burratta, $16. A perfectly creamy and salty ball of cheese torn over penne in napoli with a mellow clove of garlic and basil leaves. Welcome to flavour country.

Perfect with the Peroni.

362 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Phone 03 9642 0440

How excitement

Last night, we ran out of venison sausages at the Lincoln.

If you know the Lincoln well enough, you will know that they make their own sausages. I asked Graham, the chef, if I could watch him make them when he did.
He told me to get in at nine, if I could.

And I did.

He was surprised.

Before he learnt my name, he said he wasn't sure about me and my lesbian stomping boots.
"It's not Brunswick st."

Anyways, I'm on his good side. There is venison, kangaroo and a little pork in the sausages. The pork activates the protein. Told me about the importance of keeping all the meats cold while making it and the wonderful magic of "pink salt."

It is what makes the meat pink. Corned beef, ham, cutting open a raw sausage. Keeps it from oxidizing. As we were doing this, he brought out his beef, showed me how they hung it and explained the cuts of meat.
I was like a kid in a meaty candy store.

Then, casings were brought out, told me that it is important to soak them overnight so they are easy to separate, and the process of flushing.

Anyways, we made some sausages and he gave me a few serves to take home.
That's right, Lesbian-stomping-boot-girl is on his good side.

They do have to sit for a day though, with air so that the meat will take to the casings and they wont burst or explode.
And all of this before 10am.
I am quite proud.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In your face, Jesus!

Yeah, procrastination.

I made hot cross buns, despite my non-religious self.
It seemed the day for it. Plus, I had a lot of dried fruits left over from farmers markets.
Actually, I kind of treated this like a clean up of things in my cupboard, so it isn't necessarily the norm, but it is damn tasty.

Hot Cross Buns
Makes 16.
Adapted from The Gourmet Traveller

750g of plain flour
14g of dried yeast
55g of caster sugar
100g saltanas
50g raisins
50g muscatels
50g dried cranberries
70g candied lemon and orange peel
zest from 1 orange
1 vanilla bean
300 ish mL milk
100g butter
1 egg

cinnamon and nutmeg

Combine the first 11 ingredients in a bowl and make a well, but only 700g of the flour. Split the bean and place in a pot with the milk and butter and warm. Remove the bean and whisk an egg in.
Pour the mixture into the well in the flour mixture and combine, kneading together till you get an elasticy dough that comes together, isn't wet but isn't dry either. You may need to add more flour or milk, depending.
Allow to rise in an oiled bowl, covered in cling film till it has doubled in size.
Punch down and divide into 16 balls, kneading each one and rounding it off. Allow to rise on a tray till it has doubled in size.
Mix the remainder of the flour with some water till you form a paste and pipe crosses on the top.
Place in a preheated oven at 220 for 10 minutes, and then lower the temp to 200 for a further 10 minutes.
The are ready when golden and hollow when tapped.
Combine the cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste with the sugar and some water in a pot. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes and brush over the hot buns.

Eat them...ok?
Oh, and give them to people who can eat bread, cos really, if you're eating 16 on your own, you have issues.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I have

totally just made a few logs of butter from the cream in my fridge.

And because all of you know I love all things salt...

salted butter.

Remember when you were a kid and had a jar of cream and shook it until it turned into butter?
Well, I did that and then put the product in muslin, strained and rinsed the butter milk out of it and then, with a paddle, added salt to it. Chilled them in logs and then salted the outside of it as know, just in case.

Also, it is to save me from buttering and salting my bread like a fat arse.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

What is with all the gluten-free?

Someone had to change their diet.

And gluten-free flour is evil.

But, I found a good way to use the bastard and make really good pancakes. Yeah, they don't taste like cardboard hockey pucks.

But they aren't good for you either.
Not that you care when you have pancakes for breakfast. Oh, the reason why these were good is that they didn't taste like they were gluten-free, they just looked wrong.

Gluten-free pancakes
serves everyone else

1 small bottle (300ml?) of fresh cream
zest of a lime
1-2 tsp of baking soda (I think this is what made it not puck-like)
2 eggs
gluten-free flour
raw sugar

Whisk together the cream, lime, baking soda and eggs. Add the flour till you have the consistency of thickened cream. Don't worry about over mixing, there is no gluten. I think I used about 1/2-3/4 a cup.
Add the sugar to taste and fry off in a heavy skillet.
And don't forget, the first one is not for the crowd.

The kids ate it with sugar and lemon, honey, nuttelex, cashew butter, jam and plain.

The sad meal

of the poor, lazy, rained-out people.

I worked on Sunday.
Then I got rained on.
Gingold bought ingredients for dinner.
It was weird.
I had to make pasta from flavoured tuna. Tomato and onion flavour.
I never knew how shit Greenseas tuna was.
It was like paste.

We powered through.
Also, it was a good way to stay away from the filming at Lure for W's space-themed love soapie starring Kamal.
Yes...that Kamal.

Sad-face pasta
Serves 4

1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chili, finely chopped
stalks of 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
The bag of tomatoes G mini ones, diced
1 capsicum, chargrilled on the stove, skin and seeds removed, diced
1 can of peeled tomatoes
balsamic vinegar
2 mini cans of Greenseas evil tuna of hell, tomato and onion flavoured
2 tablespoons of cream
1/2 bag of baby spinach, washed
400g spaghetti, cooked

Sweat off the onion, garlic, chili and parsley stalks. Turn the heat up and add the fresh tomatoes and fry off for a few minutes, salt.
Add the canned tomatoes and the cap. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Bring to boil and then down to a simmer for 30 minutes.
I figured cos the tuna tasted like arse, that I had to add it now to try overpower the flavour.

It pretty much destroyed the sauce.

So, we cooked it down more, added some balsamic and salt to take the artificial sweetness away.

But it was still sad.

So, we cooked it down more.
And more.
And more.
It probably went on for about 50 minutes.

And then, to cut the gross, I added a couple of tablespoons of fresh cream and then spinach.

It actually saved it.

And we ate it with garlic bread that D made.

This is the first time in the place the quality of meal and wine were on par...oh, and we buy cleanskins, so it is a hit and miss.
Interpret as you will.