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Everything posted by rarerollingobject

  1. Beef ribs, with Korean galbi marinade (pear juice, honey, black pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil) with cauliflower puree, glazed carrots and sauteed spinach. Cooked the ribs sous vide for 48 hours and then finished in a hot pan. They were very nice, maybe not quite as meltingly tender as anticipated, but that was likely operator error.
  2. mm84321, I'm so jealous you can get salsify! I've only ever seen it once here, bought the whole stock, and promptly massacred it with fritters so leaden and chewy they could have been used as doorstops. Lovely salad, Soba. Just the sort of salad I love, with THINGS in it. And Franci, you are indeed a brave cook! Pig trotters I love, but never thought of eating lamb's trotters..wow. Dinner here was all a bit twee English summer; a salad of greens and nasturtiums, dressed with shallot/honey/Dijon mustard/walnut oil, a pan fried trout (OK, left most of the skin in the pan..cook's treat) and a good old Pimms and ginger ale.
  3. There's a TV chef here in Aus. who pronounces "pestle" (as in mortar and pestle) with a hard t. Pest-ell. I cringe every time.
  4. Am I the only one who hardly ever de-fats chicken stock? I do chill it and break off the fatcap, but ONLY if I'm planning a clear broth-type application, and that's once in a blue moon..otherwise, I'm of the view that the fat adds flavour..right? (Though truth be told, I leave it there because life's too short etc.) Tell me I'm not the only one!
  5. Hutong is pretty good I thought, and Dainty Sichuan. But yes, I'd generally agree that Sydney outpaces Melbourne for Asian food generally.
  6. Well, the recipe that's rocked my year so far has to be the easiest and most delicious dessert I've had in ages: passionfruit semifreddo. Seriously, its work:payoff ratio is so incredibly good, and the texture is amazing for something that doesn't require an ice cream machine. I don't often make or like sweet things, but I LOVED this. Not sure how common passionfruit are outside Australia but I imagine any fruit (maybe not kiwifruit or pineapple) should work. And with the egg whites leftover, there's always the decidedly NOT 'new in 2012' classic pavlova!
  7. From Dinner a few days ago - bossam; a dish of poached sliced pork belly, kimchi, ssamjang (mixed doenjang soybean paste and gochujang chilli paste) and oysters.
  8. Oh good, I'm glad it's not just me...annachan, I'm sad to say: Melbourne yum cha kind of blows. And it doesn't have good roastie shops either. I once read Terry Durack (I think) write "Melbourne is a great yum cha city" and ever since have been trying to find evidence of that! It's perplexing and I think about it every time I'm there; Melbourne has such a great food culture otherwise and its not like it hasn't got a sizeable Cantonese population. I mean, if you have to go to a Vietnamese restaurant for good yum cha.. sorry, I'll stop ranting. Zilver's my favourite in Sydney too, ChrisZ..it's the one I went to for my foodblog and is in the building next to my work so is dangerously tempting (we go at least weekly, sometimes more.. ) .
  9. Yes, I definitely look for this stuff. I love the random surprise of it, as forces you to think creatively, en ce moment, about you're going to cook, which I really enjoy. And I hate thinking about the wastage of that stuff just being thrown away by the store. I actually believe meat should, in normal circumstances, NOT be cheap; it's a life, after all, and farming well and humanely isn't cheap. That said, I'm more than happy to pay less for it if it's otherwise going to be thrown away. Some of my best finds were a whole duck reduced to $5, a whole deboned and stuffed organic chicken for $7, $10 a kilo free range pork belly...etc etc. Harris Farms is pretty good for discounting like this, and I'm guilty of cackling gleefully to anyone who'll listen for hours if there's something REALLY special (like the whole sides of smoked salmon for $12 recently!). And I'm like you, I actively look for soft cheeses near their expiry date..surely that's when it's at its best!
  10. Thai tom yum soup works for me, with a huge amount of crushed garlic added in, and chilli powder and lime juice. Unless your illness is stomach-related, in which case avoid.
  11. Scarily, I'm so Facebook-indoctrinated I immediately went for the "Like" button on this post only to remember..am not on FB. Re cheese, not sure if this is too unusual, but I like to take slices of sharp cheddar or parmesan and douse them in Tabasco, sprinkle on a little MSG (yes, MSG) and eat. This is my new favourite umami-bomb snack.
  12. I can top that: Up until this moment, I'd managed to completely forget that you're even supposed to rinse rice before cooking it. I also often drink instant coffee. Well, if you blanked that you were supposed to be doing it, you can't be accused of taking the shortcut! I win in the slackness stakes here, because I KNOW I'm supposed to but still can't be bothered. Instant coffee..OK, you can have that one.
  13. Keith, Chris, gap - any recommendations for good yum cha in Melbourne? I've tried every yum cha place in Chinatown and the CBD and they've all been uniformly terrible. There must be somewhere?? annachan - sadly, I've also found Mel to be quite lacking in the sushi department. Even the lauded places, like Shiranui and Kenzan, were good but not great IMO.
  14. Laksa tonight, made even tastier with homemade prawn stock to bolster an already very good laksa paste (Tean's brand). With the component parts of noodles, sliced fish cakes, fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts, blanched squid, fried onions and garlic, coriander, and a spoonful of Malaysian crispy prawn sambal. With soup added.
  15. Oh, and er...I only sometimes and not all that often rinse plain white rice before cooking it..
  16. Um, I'm vaguely ashamed to say that one thing I almost never bother to do is make risotto properly.. I have patience for any number of other kitchen tasks, but for some reason, standing at a hot stove stirring stock gradually in continuously for 30+ minutes or whatever is beyond the pale IMO. So I either tend to make it paella-style (all the stock in at once), or wrangle my boyfriend to stand there and stir mindlessly while I go and take a nap. True, you don't get as much of that lovely, oozy creaminess with paella-style risotto, but you DO get a nap!
  17. rarerollingobject

    Squid ink

    And for what it's worth, my jar of (Spanish) squid ink refers to both 'tinta calamar' and 'nero di seppia' - see below - so I'd treat them interchangeably. And re amounts, the small squid I cleaned a few nights ago yielded a scant half teaspoon (if that) of ink each, whereas 3 tsp of jarred ink turned a two person serve of paella very black indeed. So I'd guestimate maybe one and a half to two tablespoons for a serve of pasta big enough for 2kg??
  18. Hey! Just wanted to say congrats on the move..Melbourne is indeed infinitely preferable to Canberra food-wise. And I actually get to Melbourne alot more often than Canberra, so let me know when you get down there and we'll arrange an eating-visit! Would be great to catch up. As for shops and market, Prahran Market is pretty good. It's a bit fancier than Vic, a bit more like Chelsea Market in NYC. Leo's of Kew is a great upscale, gourmet supermarket with some incredible things. Caulfield is great for Jewish and other European delis, and Sydney Rd in Brunswick is basically a long strip of Middle Eastern food shops. Will let you know if I think of anything else.
  19. Dakki, that MEAT! It's meat-henge. And I'm with you..medium rare, or rare. Anything else is sacrilege to the beast IMO. Franci, lovely fritters. I don't think I've ever had salt cod, but I'm sure I'd like them..salty, crispy, deep-fried..yep. dcarch, what are the things on the plate with the mussels? Sensational meal. mm83421, what kind of squash is that? I don't think we have any vegetable that shape in Australia (the ridges, I mean..I realise they're slices) so I'm quite perplexed! And C. Sapidus..what happened to the eternal cucumbers? I'd become concerned that our diets were beginning to lack in pure pork fat lately, so made bossam; a Korean dish of poached sliced pork belly, kimchi, ssamjang (a sauce made by mixing doenjang soybean paste and gochujang chilli paste) and oysters. Wrap a bit of meat, a dab of sauce, an oyster and a slice of kimchi up in a leaf of butter lettuce and gobble down. Also added slivers of raw garlic to each parcel halfway through the meal, so no photo of that. Pork fat levels: restored.
  20. Well, it looks pretty damn good. I like that first pic of the spices. A nice salad here for me..greens, buffalo mozzarella, a peach, jamon serrano, balsamic and blood orange olive oil. And a glass of rosé, which was just the thing for this warm beautiful Sydney summer day. (NOTE FROM MANAGEMENT: This topic is a continuation from Dinner! 2011)
  21. I've recently shifted from using butter to duck fat, including in baking. Most delicious. ETA: My one non-negotiable is fish sauce. I really do put it in everything, from salad dressings to curries to ragouts. Everything. OK, except the baking.
  22. We bought a house the week before Christmas, so I got me a huge new kitchen! Yay. A proper kitchen, quite the step up from the apartment shoe box I've wrangled for the last 8 years. I get to start cooking in it at the end of January. Other than that, the only thing I wanted (vociferously) was a meat grinder/sausage stuffer, so my family gave me money for that. My boyfriend also bought me a few Christmas gifts (that I picked out) on a trip to Japan in early December; a wasabi grater, a tofu press, a little mother of pearl spoon, a beautiful hand-hammered copper pot, and two spoons from the same hand-hammering artisan's workshop. Oh, and the most ridiculous thing ever..a mould for turning hard boiled eggs square. Crucial bit of kit.
  23. mm84321, that's incredible.. is the fish wrapped in potato? How'd you get such long strips? Prawncrackers, fantastic meal as usual but I'm pining for a pic of the uni on lardo! I didn't know you can get uni in cans, does it compare to the fresh stuff? Here, I made arroz negro, squid ink paella with these pretty little fellas: There's no real way to take an attractive picture of black paella but it was very tasty, especially with the extra garlicky aioli (six cloves, when the recipe called for two!)
  24. Thanks, dcarch! I miss your spectacular creations too..I still think about your Jackson Pollock! Heh. gfweb - more or less, yeah. Just life having its way..bought a new house (with a much bigger kitchen!), changed jobs, hit an intense period in my MBA. All of which has added up to no time, no energy, no appetite, no will to cook. Can feel it coming back though..am off to the fish markets now for some squid for the paella I have a sudden hankering for. Will report back!
  25. I've been in a deep, irretrievable, six month-long cooking rut due to the vagaries of life, but for normal temporary ruts there are three things that usually work for me: 1. Go and browse Tastespottingfor awhile. Click the link, it's self-explanatory. 2. I read some MFK Fisher or Elizabeth David. Letting the way they write about food gets me right back into the sensuality of eating, which normally has me back in the kitchen pretty quickly. 3. If all else fails - the drastic measure. I ponder the fact that assuming I'm to roughly live for another 50 years, at 3 meals a day, that's only 54,750 meals I have left! I ONLY HAVE 18,250 BREAKFASTS, LUNCHES, AND DINNERS LEFT!!! This is usually quite sufficient to snap me immediately out of my funk and determined to enjoy something delicious for every last one of those meals, starting now. (I haven't calculated for snacks, second-breakfasts, or midnight feasts).
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