food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘melbourne food blog

banana daiquiri

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The Daiquiri cocktail may have acquired it’s name from the beach or iron mine of the same name in Santiago de Cuba. The basic recipe for a Daiquiri is similar to the ‘grog’ that British sailors drank from the 1740s onwards. By 1795 the Royal Navy grog ration contained rum, water, ¾ of an ounce of lemon or lime juice, and 2 ounces of sugar. This was also a common drink across the Caribbean. In the US it gained popularity during the 1940s when whiskey and vodka were in short supply and the Pan-American program made Latin America and rum-based drinks fashionable.

The addition of half a banana makes this much sweeter than the original daiquiri and suitable to serve as a dessert. In a blender add 60 ml (2 fl oz) of white rum (mine was 3-year-old Havana Club), ½ a banana, 15 ml (½ fl oz) of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of simple syrup, and some crushed ice. If, like me, you keep over-ripe bananas in your freezer, then you might not need to add the ice. Blend and pour. Top with a grating of fresh nutmeg.

Written by michelle picker

April 23, 2017 at 5:53 am

minced chicken salad

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Loosely based on Thai Larb, this minced chicken salad makes a tasty summer meal.

lao-style-chicken-salad

To cook the chicken you will need some Thai chilli paste in soya oil. Add 3 tablespoons of the paste and some of the oil to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add 450g (1 lb) of minced chicken thigh meat and cook, mixing well and breaking the mince into small pieces. If necessary add a little water. When the chicken is cooked set it aside to cool. In a bowl make a salad of finely shredded celery, finely sliced red onion, julienned carrot, plenty of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and mint, bean thread noodles (cooked for 2 minutes and shocked under cold running water), chopped cucumber, chopped tomatoes, finely chopped fresh red chilli and chopped roasted peanuts. When the chicken has cooled add it to the salad and season with fish sauce and fresh lime juice to taste.

Written by michelle picker

April 17, 2017 at 5:51 am

green curry mussels

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These green-lipped mussels were delicious cooked in a Thai green curry and served over fat egg noodles.

green-curry-mussels

For the green curry, a home-made paste is the best but when I’m in a hurry I use store bought curry paste. Fry the paste in a little coconut fat until fragrant then add 1 large diced eggplant (aubergine) and a little water. Cover and cook until the eggplant is softening then add some baby corn and cook until tender. Add a can of coconut milk and some frozen peas and bring to a simmer without covering as this might curdle the coconut milk. In another pot cook your noodles. Balance the seasoning of the curry with Thai fish sauce and sugar to taste then add the cleaned and de-bearded mussels. I added a few prawns (shrimps) as well. When the mussels are cooked, place the drained noodles onto a platter and pour the curry over the noodles. Garnish with plenty of fresh coriander (cilantro).

Written by michelle picker

April 11, 2017 at 6:00 am

orange passionfruit sorbet

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Our first crop of passionfruit inspired this fresh and fragrant sorbet. Serious Eats’ The Science of the Best Sorbet provided me with all the information I needed

orange-passionfruit-sorbet

When I buy sorbet I’m usually disappointed as the taste of the fruit is secondary to the sugar. In order to make my sorbet not too sweet and as it was mostly citrus juice (which doesn’t have much fibre or pectin), I opted for 100% glucose syrup (or corn syrup) as it is ⅓ as sweet as sugar and is highly viscous. The result was perfect! To make 1 litre you will need the juice (with pulp) of 6 oranges and the pulp of 6 passionfruit. If your glucose or corn syrup is thick, warm it with some of the orange juice to dissolve before mixing into the entire liquid. Churn in an ice cream machine and freeze for a few hours before serving.

Written by michelle picker

April 5, 2017 at 5:43 am

lamb tagine with prunes and raisins

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Adapted by David from an Emeril Lagasse recipe, this tagine has a wonderful balance and depth of flavour.

lamb-tagine-with-prunes

Using lamb on the bone imparts much more flavour to this dish but you can also use diced boneless lamb. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan or tagine and brown approximately 1 kg (2 lbs) of lamb over high heat in batches, removing the browned meat to a plate. Return all the lamb to the pot and add 1½ cups diced onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, a pinch of crushed saffron and a bunch of coriander (cilantro) and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the meat is tender. Meanwhile pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 cup of pitted prunes and ½ a cup of golden raisins. Let them soften for 20 minutes then strain them and set aside. When the lamb is nearly tender add the fruit, ½ a thinly sliced onion, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ½ a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and ¾ of a teaspoon of salt. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve with couscous and a fresh salad.

Written by michelle picker

March 24, 2017 at 6:17 am

burrata and honey panna cotta with candied walnuts

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A lovely delicate cheese and honey flavour pair well with crunchy candied walnuts

burrata-and-honey-panna-cotta

To make the panna cotta pour ¼ of a cup of milk into a small bowl and sprinkle over 7g (¼ oz) of powdered gelatine. Allow it to bloom for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat ½ a cup of cream with ½ a cup of honey until the honey is dissolved. Dissolve the gelatine into the cream and honey mixture, mixing until you have no lumps. Allow the mixture to cool. In a blender or food processor combine 200g (7 oz) of burrata cheese (a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream) with an extra ¾ of a cup of milk and ½ a cup of cream and process until smooth. If you prefer you can substitute crème fraîche, yoghurt or buttermilk for the burrata. Whisk the cooled gelatine mixture into the cheese mixture then strain through a fine sieve into a jug. Pour into 6 ramekins, moulds or glasses (depending on how you wish to serve them) and allow them to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you are un-moulding, briefly dip the bottom into hot tap water. To make candied walnuts, heat a fry-pan and add 1 cup of walnut halves, ¼ of a cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all the nuts are coated. Immediately transfer them onto baking paper, separating the nuts. Allow them to cool until crunchy.

Written by michelle picker

March 18, 2017 at 5:55 am

carrot salad

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This Turkish salad was a perfect way to enjoy our home-grown carrots.

carrot-salad

Shred or finely julienne approximately 5 cups of carrots. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the carrots, stirring until they are just starting to wilt and change colour. In a bowl whip 1 cup of thick natural yoghurt with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and ½ a teaspoon of salt. Combine the yoghurt and carrots adding fresh herbs of your choice (I used mint and parsley) and mixing well. This salad makes a great side dish for any Turkish or Middle Eastern meal. We enjoyed it with left-over roast lamb (fried souvlaki-style with onions and Baharat spices), a green salad and Greek pita bread.

souvlaki-plate

Written by michelle picker

March 12, 2017 at 5:44 am