Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Despite

having got up this morning and gone to the gym and the market, I am wrecked. My partying has finally caught up to me and I am in a momentous amount of pain.
Oh, and I threw up a few times.

So, ambitiously, I made this to bring to my friend's birthday of food and drinks and sadly, I can't move. And I think if I have thrown up, other people should probably not be exposed to this. Even though it is a really good salad.

*Sad face*

Excuse the shitter than usual photo, I kind of didn't care by the time I finished and this is the strange lighting we have in the house in the late afternoon.

Don't eat this unless you want to contract the plague in your brains.
Um, but feel free to make it.

1/2 pumpkin, cleaned, skin still on, diced
1 red onion, halved and sliced
1 stalk of rosemary, stolen from the neighbour's front garden
sage, torn
2 cloves of garlic, diced
salt
pepper
salt
oil

1 handful of hazlenuts
half that of walnuts
A few big handfuls of baby spinach leaves

1/2 a block of feta (don't ask me what type, I just stood at the counter asking the person at the counter at the market until I liked one...I know, irresponsible blogging), diced

Dijon mustard, the dregs in the bottom of the jar (probably 2 teaspoons)
Extra virgin olive oil (a few glugs)
salt
pepper
juice of 1 small lemon
honey (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 200 and combine the pumpkin, onion, salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and oil and place on a baking tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
In the last 10 minutes, throw in the nuts.
Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and honey until you have a dressing balanced to your liking.
Crush the nuts.
In a large salad bowl, throw in your spinach leaves and the cooked pumpkin and etc. Stir to wilt the leaves a little. Mix in the nuts and the feta and dress with the dressing so that it is coated, but not leaving a pool a the bottom.
Serve with crusty bread and apologise to your chicken friend.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My lover is chargrilled.

Actually, that is just her name.

I came home from the gym, and in my mailbox, I found this.

Ok, well, it's just plain Chargrill. She's also known as Char, Charizard...Phil and I once built a "Yum Char" when she couldn't come with us.
Yes...we are children.


And just to drive that point home...

Honey Joys.
My Chargrill put Honey Joys in my mailbox.
*swoon*
I also swoon because I have never made them before in my life.

I also may or may not have eaten (almost all of) them while reading one short story from Nam Le's The Boat.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The perfect pain

is when you're writhing in disgusting nausea from the night before, unable to contemplate solids and getting text messages from your housemate who is directly above you, doing the exact same thing.
You crawl upstairs because he's fucked his knee up from throwing crates in a laneway and high-fiving a "mong" in a convenience store after cutting it open. You're both sobbing for your bodies, and decide that the only way to fix this is beer.
Twenty of them, in fact. Between the both of you.
Every second word out of his mouth is doll.
At around 10:30, you both decide it's time for food.
Actually, when you went to pee, he ate mouldy bread in desperation.

Doll food.
serves 4

4 spicy Italian pork sausages, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 eggplant, diced
chili flakes
salt
pepper
splash of white wine
balsamic vinegar
2 cans of peeled tomatoes
1 handful of basil, torn
bocconcini, torn
Spaghetti

In a hot pan, fry off the sausages till brown. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions and garlic, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add a little oil and throw in the eggplant, soften. Add the chili flakes and season again. After about 5 minutes, add the wine and a few tablespoons of balsamic. Cook off for a few minutes. Add the cans of tomatoes, crushing them with a wooden spoon. Bring the sauce to the boil, and then turn it down to simmer for the amount of time it takes to drink 2-3 beers, or till it looks thick.
When you're about 10 minutes from the sauce looking ready, or, the second last beer of the night, cook the pasta and then drain. Add to the sauce with the bocconcini and the basil.
Try to keep it down.
Most importantly, feed your doll of a housemate while sucking beers down on a kitchen bench.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You know

there is something wrong when this is your breakfast and lunch on a Thursday afternoon.


Hungry? Not so much. Just thirst; something to take the edge off.
Negronis all 'round.

Real ice.

This one is for you, Ed.



Where am I?

And somthing so fitting

St Jeromes is closing on Sunday.


Why?








Myer has found a better use for it than a hipster hang out.

A loading dock.

May I be one of the firsts to say, " In your face, Jerome Borazio!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stars of Europe, 2009. Jean-Paul Jeunet at Philippe Mouchele.

When you're in a class called Arts Industry in Context, unfortunately, you know it is going to be a little dry. It is especially going to be dry when you're somehow managing to be in a 'heated' discussion about arts policy, or rather, why Australia doesn't have a Cultural Policy.

It's a good thing you are wearing pants with pockets today.
And your phone is on silent all the time.
Which means, it will always be vibrating. You know, even when you're writing with fragmented sentences.
Especially when you're arguing about how there is no Cultural Policy.
Wait, did you know there was no Cultural Policy?
Well, you do now.

Wait, this discussion is boring.
Let's check the phone.

You definitely know it isn't one of your friends calling when a voicemail is actually left.
Pity the hearing piece on your phone is about to die.
On the other end of your heinous voicemail message is Ed asking you if you're interested to come to a dinner because [the appropriate pseudonym, please] is sick. That is all the information you can actually hear, oh, and it is at Crown.
You call up, and yes, your phone is still shit at life. More information; Philippe Mouchele.
Ok.
That is all you need. Oh yeah, definitely the Gods letting me stick to my no-cooking-for-a-week campaign.

You get there and you start to realise that it is a Jean-Paul Jeunet thing.
Did you hear that?
Yes, it is the sound of pennies falling from the sky.
Don't face-palm it. You're surrounded by well established judgey eyes.

Anyways, here is the food. I will let the straight forward ones speak for themselves. Everything was perfectly cooked, and no one left anything on their plates.
I admit that I didn't take a photo of the first course. I was too tentative. Then, Ed whipped out his iphone and that was the end of that. He was Twittering.
Me, I still don't know what that really is.
It was Pressed free-range chicken in yellow wine, mousseline with curry and walnut, celery and tarragon salad.
Wine: Domaine Jacques Puffeney Cuvee Sacha 2004

Potato and Truffle- a fine distinction of texture and taste.
That is how it was described in the menu. When I took a bite of this I was all, "ooooh, texture," and then I read the menu. I kind of felt like that kid who writes on the circle paper in class.
As you can see, it is loaded with truffles.
And that spherical thing, we later found out, after debate, is pigs trotter. Awesome.
Wine: Penfolds 06A Chardonnay 2006
LOADED with truffles.

Pan-seared scallops, soft polenta, red wine and beetroot jus, crispy coppa tuile
Wine: Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling 2008
Sherbet with Marc d'Arbois and sage.
This left everyone wishing that we had the capability to shove our faces in very small holes. Tasted like a sorbet of eau de vie, everyone's first words were, "Oh, this is very alcoholic."
Pan roasted veal tenderloin with glazed carrots and caraway, croquette of sweetbread, oregano jus.
Wine: Domaine Jacques Puffeney Trousseau 2005.
Cheeses from the Jura region of France Young and Mature Comte, Morbier.
Mine actually came with the bread like that. They must obviously know how I like my cheese. Big love.
Wine: Domaine Jacques Puffeney Vin Jaune 1999.

Medley of morels with juniper berry ice cream, spiced feuillantine.
Um, wow. What a way to eat morels. Those textural flavour-suckers are pretty much whores of it when it comes to the way they were presented.
Wine: Paul Jaboulet Muscat de Beaumes De Venise 2006

Chicory financier, morel macaroons, marshmallow with fennel and Absinthe.
My call for the pick of the bunch were the marshmallows, and that was even before they hit the table. And no, it isn't just because they have Absinthe in them. Now, if only I could have asked how they were made. Ed and I did find ourselves comparing the macaroons to Duncan's though...

What a way to spend a Tuesday, especially with both Philippe Mouchele and Jean-Paul Jeunet coming around to visit all the tables. I am so glad that I live so close to the city I can get my shit together in no time.
And hell, if Ed is going to post more things like this on Twitter if [appropriate psuedonym] is sick, I may just get one.
Just don't hold your breath, kids.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thank God for the Lincoln.

You know how I said that I wasn't going to cook for a while.

Well, the Hotel Lincoln are doing their $12 bar meals again.

I got the grilled sardines with tzatsiki and a greek salad.
Oh yeah. I love sardines, so this is a given. But, I have to say, it was the salad that made it. Real tomatoes, crunchy chunks of seeded cucumber, creamy feta and surprisingly, capers and olives.

My dining partner and I shared mushroom aranchini. $8
This is the first disappointing thing I have had at the Lincoln. They were weird and served with sour cream.
All they needed were napoli or salt.
And finally, the calamari salad. Very well balanced.

Hotel Lincoln,
91 Cardigan St
Carlton, 3053

Where do we start?

Here.
I ended up cooking for over fifty people for the fundraiser. We catered for the dairy free, gluten intolerant, vegetarians, vegans and the eat-everythings.
We= me and the Don Phish. Don Phish did the vegan entree, which you will see later.
Later, later.

The vegetable/fruit bounty picked up on Thursday morning.

And I definitely needed many of these to start cooking. I didn't take photos of the meat main because the look of raw osso bucco is bad enough. I mean, after carrying over 14 kilos of the stuff home, I don't think I will be eating meat for a very long time.

Black eyed beans in a pot with garlic, will be the filling for the pastry of vegan/veg peoples.
Hmm, my old friend silverbeet.

They make nice together.
Really.
With salt.
Lots of salt.
And lemon.
Later, later.
I bought a box of 50 Red Danjour pears, lemons and oranges for $22. The woman was all, "Oh, 15 pears?"
Me- NO, FIFTY!
Woman- Fif-TEEN???
Me- FIFTY. (actions with hands)
Woman- *blink*
The most enjoyable part of making the meal was pouring 2 bottles of red into a pot. That fun was pretty much over in 20 seconds.
I poached the peeled pears in a pot with a cup and a half of sugar, cinnamon, star anise, orange and lemon zest.
The most painful part of it all was peeling the 50 pears.
A composter's dream.
Time for a cartouche and a plate, me thinks?
Caramelized shallots...well, they're on their way...
Roasted baby beets.

I murdered some vegetables.

No, really.

And I skinned the fuckers...hannibal style.

Now, before you criticize me cooking in a playsuit and the Phish cooking in thongs and shorty-shorts, let me remind you that Saturday was 33 degrees. Also, we were assigned to the second level, with a north facing window that wouldn't stay open. All burners were going and the uber-oven was on. Be thankful I don't really sweat.

DP's entree. Vegan ravioli with soft and firm tofu, macadamias, pumpkin and basil with napoli.
The traumatic thing about this was that despite all the heat, the water wasn't boiling. Not even when we poured boiling water from the kettle directly into a pot on the highest heat.

My gluten-free entree of roasted beets, roasted walnuts, caramelized shallots and sauteed beet greens.
The meat main of osso busso cooked in red wine on lentils.

The vegan/veg main of the silverbeet pastries with a dressed salad. Oh, and my sister dutifully removed all the pips from the lemon.
Pears poached in red wine.

I was pretty much completely out of it by this stage. I don't even remember this photo. I look completely robotic.
Apparently I am leaning on the fridge.
Oh, and I finally changed out of my clothes and joined the party where the people involved in my art project wanted to kill me after sitting in over three hours of silence. They all woke from it in the end and wanted to lynch me. Thank god they were too full for that amount of movement.
Oh, and then, my ex-housemate hugged me from behind when I recieved my first beer for the night, outside of the kitchen...and the entirety of it spilt down my front.
It was hot, I gave up and partied and ended up lying in the gutter with my current housemate for a few hours because we were unable to stand.
I won't be cooking for a long time, if I have anything to say about any of it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

For Art's sake. Aka. Don't break the legs, please.

So, there is a fundraiser happening and I am the kitchen bitch and somehow entrusting my dear Jason, housemate extraordinaire, to be in charge of my 'performance' downstairs.

Yesterday saw me carrying 14.1kg of osso bucco from the market, as well as 50 pears and kilos and kilos of beans. We did a round trip, ended up in Brunswick and then at Vintage Cellars where I came out with a case of clean skins to cook with. In a backless dress.
Not classy.
Then, there was other shit.
But, my sister being my sister also managed to see 15 kg of dog food. And, so that too, was carried. I don't quite understand, she doesn't even have 15kg of dog.

So, I spent all last night and today in the kitchen. I feel like I haven't seen daylight.
Right now, beetroots are roasting and shallots are caramelizing and I am waiting for the filling for my pastry to cool.
I feel like I am a little in over my head, since my kitchen hand has pulled out of today in favour of getting a mouth guard moulded by her dentist friend.

A good thing that I have discovered through finishing all my coffee and literally having drunk all of my green tea...Sugarfree Red Bulls are two dollars at the local IGA. I still don't know what my tastebuds are saying, but for now, I am going to get a longneck of Coopers.


Check here for the program.
Unfortunately the dinner is booked out.
Sorry, gotta run, longnecks beckon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Being slack is my new forte.

So, I was wandering through the supermarket with my housemate last week and saw one of those instant packets of Japanese Curry mixes. I bought one, thinking that I would never use it, but really, I felt lazy today.

Well, I don't know about degrees of lazy. There is the whole walking-past-a-jap-take-out-store-and-getting-curry type of lazy and the use-a-packet-mix lazy. I was the latter, mainly because I felt the need to cook, but not to go to too much effort.

I know, I know...I'm annoying.

Still, I managed to make a tofu curry and get my weeks worth of monosodium glutamate in one hit, so I am up for the week.



Packet curry, oh yeah.
Serves 5

Brown rice

1 onion, diced
a handful of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 carrots, cut into even chunks
1 head of broccoli, stem cut into chunks and florets kept aside
water
1 packet of Golden Curry mix

Firm tofu, cut into half centimetre slices
salt

Wash your rice and place in the rice cooker with water. Don't forget to turn this on or you'll have your curry with no rice. I have done this on so many occasions on where I have to cook rice. Yes, I am human, and arrogant. Who would have thought?
In a pot, add some oil and fry off the onion with the mushrooms on a medium heat. After a few minutes, add the carrot and some salt, turn the heat up and put the lid on. After about five minutes, add the broccoli stem and water to cover and inch over the vegetables. Cook for about ten to fifteen minutes or till the carrots are soft.
When the rice is a minute from being done, add the broccoli florets to the rice cooker to steam. I only do this so I have one less thing to wash. Yes, lazy.
Then, heat a pan on high and fry off the tofu to your desired doneness. Depending on my mood, sometimes I like it just warm and charred on the outside, to being quite crispy. Salt it.
Add the curry mix to the pot of cooked vegetables by crumbling it in and stirring till it thickens.
Then, serve in a bowl. I kind of wish I had lotus root pickles, but hey, I am satisfied.
Obviously your vegetables can change here, but this is just what I had.

So, so lazy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Win

for [our house number] Cardigan.

The boys were making a meaty pasta sauce and wanted to add some balsamic vinegar to it. Then, Lute knocks on my door and says,

"Is it normal for balsamic vinegar to solidify?"
Me- "Errrrrr, not that I know of."

So, he holds it upside down, like this:



Another reason why I cannot possibly leave this house.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It appears

that a BROAST is happening at my house at the moment.

BROAST; a hipster invented compound noun.
Bro-roast.
Bros who roast.
Guys with skinny jeans sitting in the kitchen with vegetables, using cookie sheets as roasting trays and two legs of lamb which are being stuffed with herbs, that will probably dry out in the oven instead of cook, talking about macking on underaged girls. I'm not a self-proclaimed feminist, but at least I have dignity.

Me (returning from the market)- Dude, you know that beetroots take around three to four hours to cook...and those are huge.
Boy 1- Oh...well, we can microwave them.
Me- *facepalm*

I would take a photo, but I would also go for a run if it didn't just rain the entirety of the Seine on my head.

God help me.
Oh, and my knives! Oh, my knives! Enough to use exclamation marks for poignancy.

Here, watch a video of a NT pig eating grass instead.
video

Sunday, March 8, 2009

And if it wasn't enough

after the Blogger's meet up, I went to the Bohemian Masquerade Ball at the Thornbury Theatre.

On the way to the afterparty, I saw this.


I am aware that this means that I took a photo on the street through security fencing after one in the morning with drunkards filtering down the street.


But, I will undoubtedly go back and buy small goods.

Velimirovic Bora
689 High St,
Thornbury, 3071
(03) 9484 2935

Because you'll be reading this on everyone else's blog

I decided to be unoriginal and do much the same.

Yes, we the food-geek, techno-chic (ahem, Ed: live meet-up Twitterer), sticky-fingered, omnomnom monsters got together at the Commoner and basically ate ourselves into cheese-dream, sugar-comas on the afternoon of the 7th.

Was that a messy sentence?

I am not going to try and list everyone that attended, because I will undoubtedly leave someone out. That is just how my brain works...and really, after posting and hitting the edit button is more work than I care to do right now.

So, I will let the pictures do the talking, not that pictures talk, but neither does text unless read aloud.

The Commoner let us use their wood oven, which Sarah and Sandra used to make Flammkuchen.

They also donated Mt Zero olives to us, which had been warmed with fresh herbs and olive oil.

They set the tables for us, but, with being the container kings of Fitzroy, we had to unset the tables and take it over. You can see Agnes' friands, Sarah's "The Rock's Cookies" and her hand cutting the Flammkuchen and Brian's bread and dips.
Gee, I wonder who made these? I loved the peach and cinnamon macarons. Oh, love.

Sarah and I decided we were not going to be too gluttonous and halved a violet and peach and cinnamon maracon. Um, sorry for destroying it, Duncan, but it was for the greater good.

Hmm, and underneath, no, it isn't roll call, we are just getting more and more connected.
Thanh made a carrot cake and
"slightly burnt" blondies. Personally, I didn't taste the burnt, and I have to admit I didn't get to eat one of these till I got home as I was way too full.
Keep reading and you will find my reason.


Claire made these very appropriately sized passionfruit cookies which I would have kept eating if it were not for my brain and stomach working together to destroy me.

Now, before I get to the cheese, I would like to say that I didn't take a photo of some things, mainly because I was too busy eating. That happens, kind of like jumping into a dumpster with one of your close friends on a Tuesday night, only to find dented cans of deodorant.

Sorry, what?

Now...
Fiona brought dips
Agnes also brought chicken wings
There were more dips from Cath
Jack brought grapes, walnuts and dates and
Joel brought figs from his garden.

Not that any of these should be overlooked, especially if I ate it with all that cheese.
Apologies now if I forgot anything.

Sorry, did someone say CHEESE???
Ed brought cheese from Will Studd, aka Calendar Cheese Co man, aka the guy who wrote my bible.
This was my favourite cheese. Pretend that Claire and I didn't take a quarter of the wheel that was left back to our own abodes.
I can only describe this in one way: it was the sex, especially with the figs. I did try and look around for cracked pepper, but alas...

The chevre. Very soft, sticky and surprisingly, not as pungent as I thought it was going to be.

Camembert. I didn't try this one, I was too busy with the rest. I won't pretend that I ate any of the cheeses with bread or crackers. Personally, with the limited space in me, something was deemed unnecessary and yes, I gorged on cheese on its own.

And, the cheddar which Sarah fell in love with. Like Claire and I, she took the remaining chunk home. Clever girl.

I did say I would expose her though, and now I will.

If you ever see an off-angle slice taken from a piece of cake, or pie or tart...you shall understand that it is Sarah's calling card. She robs you of symmetry.

Look!

And again!

And Brian of Fitzroyalty, giving me a very bread-dipped thumbs up, like a true champion.

Till next time, bitches!