30 December 2008

Home Cooking: Meringue nests (30 Dec 2008)

Meringues have always been a mystery to me and thought best to buy them in a supermarket but today I learnt how to make little meringue nests which I will use as mini desserts at my birthday. I'll eventually top with mascarpone cheese mixed with icing sugar and vanilla essence to make it sweet along with fresh berries and passionfruit.

Notice the meringue mixture I somehow managed to get on my face. I don't have a piping bag or electric mixing bowl so I'm very grateful to my friend Shona helping me out today to show me how it's all done. I'm a novice in the kitchen but find it very enjoyable and rewarding learning simple recipes and the basic techniques of home cooking.

Meringue mixture formed into little nests

Meringue nests after baking

Stephanie Alexander Recipe: Sue's meringues
2 egg whites
120 g castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 150ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add sugar, a little at a time, still beating. Beat in vanilla. Place small spoonfuls of meringue on a baking tray and bake for 45 mins. Turn oven off, leave door slightly ajar and allow meringues to cool completely in oven. Store in an airtight container lined with greaseproof paper.

25 December 2008

Family Christmas Day Lunch (25 Dec 2008)

This year for Christmas our hope was to not buy too much food as we always seem to do. We managed to do alot better than previous years but still came out full to the brim with leftovers stalking us for dinner. Mum and dad prepared and cooked their homemade prawn cutlets which are always a hit along with plenty of salad.

Other Family Christmas lunches:

Moroccan spiced green olives

Feta stuffed olives

Pont L'Eveque washed rind cheese with crackers

Sydney Rock Oyster with Yarra Valley salmon caviar and a squeeze of lemon before serving

Oven baked Harvey Bay scallop with salt, pepper and chilli powder

Oven baked Hervey Bay scallop topped with garlic, white wine, tomato and baby basil leaves

Deep-fried crumbed prawn cutlets

Deep-fried crumbed prawn cutlets

Pavlova with fresh blueberry, mango, strawberry, kiwifruit, passionfruit and whipped cream

24 December 2008

Pre-Christmas Sydney Fish Markets shopping at midnight - 23 Dec 2008

Visited: 11.30 pm 23 Dec – 12.15 am 24 Dec 2008
Pyrmont Bridge Road, Pyrmont, Sydney

Midnight Seafood Shopping

If you want the best choice of seafood for Christmas then you can't really go past Sydney Fish Markets. Best to take advantage of their 24 hour pre-Christmas shopping in the middle of the night. Midnight is still very busy but the alternative during the daytime would be massive chaos of crowds and no parking. Here's a few things I've picked up for the family Christmas lunch this year.

Other visits to the Sydney Fish Market:
23 Dec 2011 – Pre-Christmas Shopping
23 Dec 2010 – Pre-Christmas Shopping, Oysters, Mussels
23 Dec 2009 – Pre-Christmas Shopping
26 April 2009 – Whitebait, Mussels, Oysters, Prawns, Calamari
23 Dec 2008 – Pre-Christmas Shopping

XL Green King Prawns $29.99/kg for homemade prawn cutlets

Large Sydney Rock Oysters $16.90/dozen. Unfortunately my preferred Coffin Bay and St Helens weren't readily available.

Yarra Valley Salmon Roe $23.99/100g to top oysters with squeeze of lemon

Hervey Bay Scallops $19.99/dozen to be topped with garlic, white wine, tomato and basil recipe from Good Living

Pont L'Eveque French cheese $89.90/kg (bought $13 piece), it's French and expensive so that means it's good, right?

Fetta Stuffed Gourmet Olives $42.90/kg

Moroccan Spiced Green Olives $29.90/kg

21 December 2008

Pasticceria Tamborrino, Five Dock (20 Dec 2008)

75 Great North Road, Five Dock NSW 2046

A tempting display of quality Italian desserts to satisfy your sugary tastebuds can be found here. I thought the cannola were very good, try the Ricotta Cannoli for possibly the best in Sydney. I'd definitely come back to try more calories.

Fruit tart

Vanilla and chocolate cannola

Apple crumble

Pistachio and chocolate profiterole (Sorry I didn't take note of the actual name of it)

View Larger Map
Pasticceria Tamborrino on Urbanspoon

14 December 2008

Home Cooking: Homemade Potato Salad (14 Dec 2008)

No sure what the best potatoes are to use but I just used the white washed ones. For a more filling variation I also like to add chopped hard boiled egg and crispy bacon pieces.

Potato salad with egg mayonnaise, shallots and wholegrain mustard, Chef Leong :-)

13 December 2008

Blue Eye Dragon Taiwanese Restaurant, Pyrmont (10 Dec 2008)

Shop 2, 42 Harris Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009

With the $50/pp (Mix) banquet you get to choose any 6 entrées and 4 mains including steamed rice which seemed to be a good way the dishes could be evenly divided up. The dumplings were tasty and quite large and the salt and pepper soft shell crab was another one of my favourites on the night.

Prawn Dumplings with Water Chestnuts, Shallots & Chinese Celery $12

Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab $14

Prawns with Dry Chilli & Shallot in Gongbao Sauce (spicy) $30

Beef and vegetables in Taiwanese BBQ Sauce $20

Dining room

View Larger Map
Blue Eye Dragon on Urbanspoon

Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier, Balmain (11 Dec 2008)

296 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041

So I spot a beautifully presented Charlotte Full cake in the display for my afternoon tea. But only had a chance to open the box about 2 hours after and not realising it was going to melt and collapse AHHHH! I needed a warning note!

Charlotte Full (accidently deconstructed) - Olive oil mousse with rhubarb ripple, passionfruit créme, biscuit macaron, fresh berries (Gluten free) $7.50

Victoria's secret - Kaffir lime & coconut pastry, fresh pineapple & mango tossed in caramel (Gluten free) $6.20

View Larger Map

08 December 2008

Home Cooking: Raspberry and mango pavlova nest (7 Dec 2008)

To use up some of the left over mascarpone from the canapés yesterday I mixed the mascarpone with some vanilla essence and icing sugar and topped with fruit in a pavlova nest to make a simple dessert.

Pavlova nest with fresh raspberry and mango infused with Grand Marnier, topped with passionfruit on a bed of vanilla mascarpone, Chef Leong :-)

07 December 2008

Home Cooking: Olive, tomato and basil pasta (7 Dec 2008)

With some left over olive, feta and cashew puree and cherry tomatoes from the canapés I made yesterday was easily adapted for a quick pasta lunch dish along with some little fresh basil leafs.

Olive, tomato and basil pasta, Chef Leong :-)

Home Cooking: Peach and currant crumble (6 Dec 2008)

A simple dessert created for a friends dinner party of 7 using her oversupply of fresh peaches. The crumble made from roughly equal parts of brown sugar, flour, butter and oats and a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. The peaches drizzled with some honey before baking.

Peach and currant crumble, Chef Leong :-)

06 December 2008

Home Cooking: Olive, tomato and mascarpone canapé (6 Dec 2008)

This is a canapé I prepared for my friends dinner party for 7. I marinated the sliced tomatoes overnight in olive oil, thyme and garlic then grilled for a few minutes before topping the olive base. I was inpsired by this Becassé Canapé although I couldn't work out how they fried the basil because it just burnt and lost colour when I tried so I used a fresh baby basil leaf instead.

Bécasse inspired canapé: Black olive with feta and cashew puree; with garlic, thyme infused cherry tomato, topped with mascarpone and baby basil leaf, Chef Leong :-)

05 December 2008

Simon Food Sculpture, Sydney (25 Nov 2008 to 1 Feb 2009)

Unclassified: Creative work by State Library staff
State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney
On display: 15 November 2008 to 1 February 2009

The Art of Food

My passion is food and I love photography, so I’ve combined them. I think food can be a work of art which plays with colour, shape and light; and involves all five senses.

I’ve recycled a discarded umbrella to create a mobile frame from which I’ve hung 100 photographs of meals I’ve shared with friends and family. All my photos are taken as the dish is served, with whatever light is available.

Visit the State Library of NSW to watch it rotate in motion, and tantalize your appetite!

Many of the photos are my food favourites including:
• Bourke Street Bakery - Rhubarb Tart (Surry Hills)
• Busshari's - Kingfish Carpaccio (Potts Point)
• Muoi’s Feast - My Way Oysters (Byron Bay)
• La Renaissance - Mixed berry tart (The Rocks)
• Taste - Classic Vietnamese pork baguette (Surry Hills)
• Mamak - Roti canai (Haymarket)
• Shanghai night - Pork dumpling (Ashfield)
• Thanh Binh - Green papaya salad (Newtown)
• Jasmin - Falafel (Punchbowl)

Central Baking Depot, Sydney (5 Dec 2008)

37-39 Erskine Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Ever since I first tried the Sour Cheery Danish I've been a fan — so moist and delicious.

View Larger Map

30 November 2008

Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier, Balmain (30 Nov 2008)

296 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041

Adriano Zumbo Café Chocolat
308 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041

Sydney Food Bloggers raid Zumbo!

I'm usually not up before noon on a Sunday but an invitation to a meetup of Sydney food bloggers at 11 am to sample the new summer season of desserts at Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier was a good excuse to get me out of bed.

The event was organised by I Am Obsessed with Food and well-attended by the likes of:
Chocolatesuze (review)
Citrus and Candy (review)
Not Quite Nigella (review)
Grab Your Fork (review)
The Delectable Delight (review)
The Cake + The Knife (review)
OOh, LOOk... (review)
EatShow&Tell (review)
The Way It Crumbles
Here comes the FOOD (review)

Below are some of the desserts sampled by bloggers. I missed out on photographing atleast 3 other desserts which will hopefully be covered in their blogs. I look forward to more food adventures with my fellow foodies.

Food bloggers calm before the storm of photographic frenzy

Mocha to wash down the sugar overload $3

Have a chat Kai! - Coconut dacquoise, lychee jelly, coconut mousse, coconut crunch, fresh strawberries & lychees $7.80 (my selection), Gluten free

Strawberry and peach danish $4.50 (my selection)

Berry custard brioche

Miss Marple Cheescake - Orange cheesecake with orange strawberry compote, cream cheese créme legere with a crepe & maple glaze $7.50

Tarte aux fruits de la passion - Pate sable, passionfruit créme $5.50

Chocolate fondant - Flourless chocolate cake $5.50

Cassius - Chocolate biscuit macaron, blackcurrant chocolate cremeaux, chocolate plates with sea salt, dark chocolate Chantilly $7.80, Gluten free

Wheely Wildly Wendy - Fresh roasted peach in a tonka bean créme legere and sandwiched between two almond dacquoise disks & rolled in almond crumble $7.60, Gluten free

Paris - La Vie en Rose - Rose creme brulee, raspberry sorbet balls, fresh lychees, petit rose macarons and coconut strawberry tapioca shake $13.50

Dr.Apple - Pistachio dacquoise, apple cider jelly, vanilla creme chantilly, calvados cooked apples, green apple mousse $7.70

Past jobs - Kaffir lime & ginger pannacotta, black sticky rice pudding, exotic fruit jelly, palm sugar mascarpone $7.50, Gluten free

Craigie bam! - Chocolate dacquoise, chocolate sabayon with salted caramel debris, chocolate caramel creameaux, caramel mousse $7.50, Gluten free

On the lounge with Zumbo - Mango financier, raspberry & liquorice jelly, fresh mango slices, liquorice mousse, mago caramel glaage $7.50

Zumbo the kid - Vegemite bavaroise, peanut butter créme legere, raspberry jelly, chocolate peanut glacage, peanut feullitine, flourless chocolate biscuit $7.50

Woo Hoo - Pate sable, raspberry coulis, pistachio ganache, pistachio nougatine $6.20

Sunny cloud - Pate sable, lime jelly, yoghurt créme fraiche, lime curd & italian meringue $7

Charles du Jour - Tart pate sucree, vanilla ganache, vanilla créme chantilly, vanilla water bursts, vanilla glacage $7.60

UZC - Biscuit macaron, sweet corn jelly, saffron bavaroise, vanilla brulee $7.80, Gluten free

Framboise Millefeuille - Raspberry coulis, biscuit jaconde, raspberry créme mascarpone & caramelised puff pastry $7.50

The Younger Years - Chocolate fondant with raspberry coulis, vanilla anglaise injection & peanut butter gelato $13.50

Comfy cushion seating in the café

The aftermath at Adriano Zumbo Café Chocolat

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map