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eG Foodblog: nickrey (2011) - Classical/Modernist: It's all Jazz i


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On another note: the Moreton Bay Bugs look positively primordial. Do you treat them like lobster?

I have never seen such a wide selection of great looking product. Here in central New Jersey we have plenty of Atlantic fish but I never seen a Bay Bug before. What are they?

I mostly cook fish that I catch myself. I fish in New York's East River and lower Hudson River for striped bass as they travel through to New England in the Spring and back down to the Chesapeake Bay in the Fall. here is a recent shot of one. We only keep what we eat and release the big females.

Nice looking fish Paul.

Moreton Bay Bugs are a species of slipper lobsters. Thanks to Wikipedia for telling me that the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization prefers the name flathead lobster, while the official Australian name is Bay lobster.

They are treated similarly to lobster when cooked. More information can be found here.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Picking up my jaw from the floor after that DeCosti photo tour.

Crickey.

As Pierogi said, we have nothing remotely comparable to that here in "the Ocean State," nor are there any comparable places north or south of here. Who shops there? All year round?

Crickey.

Meanwhile: twice-cooked ravioli means what? Beautiful food as always, Nick.

The markets are open 365 days per year, with the period around Christmas being their busiest. When the heat can get up to 40C on Xmas day, more people are tending to move to lighter food rather than pretending they're in the Northern hemisphere.

Must change the name of that dish, which is one entirely of my creation. It's actually the duck that is cooked twice, being first a confit and then cooked in the broth in a pressure cooker until it is falling apart. I mix the duck with chopped scallions for texture, chopped shiitake mushrooms for body, egg white for binding, plus seasoning. The broth is Asian-inspired and addictive. How about Raviolo of twice-cooked duck in a five spice broth?

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I live in Tokyo, have been to Tsukiji countless times, and am usually quite smug about the selection and quality of fish we get here compared to back home in Toronto. But your fish market pictures knocked my socks off. Thank you so much for going back to retake them.

Despite the trip to the seafood markets, I thought I’d stop off at the North Sydney markets to get some venison.

Stupid question: are there deer in Australia, or would that have been imported venison?

And what do Australians generally think about exotic meat and hunting? Given the very strong anti-whaling sentiments there, I'm wondering if horse meat, foie gras wild venison and the like are also taboo.

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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.....Must change the name of that dish, which is one entirely of my creation. It's actually the duck that is cooked twice, being first a confit and then cooked in the broth in a pressure cooker until it is falling apart. I mix the duck with chopped scallions for texture, chopped shiitake mushrooms for body, egg white for binding, plus seasoning. The broth is Asian-inspired and addictive. How about Raviolo of twice-cooked duck in a five spice broth?

Call it whatever you like, but don't call me late to dinner when you serve it :raz: Or that amuse with the smoked tomato sorbet....

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Stupid question: are there deer in Australia, or would that have been imported venison?

And what do Australians generally think about exotic meat and hunting? Given the very strong anti-whaling sentiments there, I'm wondering if horse meat, foie gras wild venison and the like are also taboo.

I'd say a lot of Australians, urban Australians anyway, are anti-hunting. Duck season always attracts much protesting and whinging. The process of getting a gun licence is very involved and there are strict requirements about how you store gun, what kinds of guns you can have, etc. Bows are largely free of regulation, but they're not something you find sitting in the local sports shop. There are strict regulations governing what you can and can't shoot. You can't just get a firearms permit and go out and shoot a 'roo for dinner. Supermarkets sell 'roo, though. I don't know how popular it is--I don't see many people buy it--but I guess it sells okay if your average suburban supermarket carries it. Some game/'exotic' meat, such as quail and rabbit, are sold fresh or frozen at a lot of poultry stores. In areas with a lot of Asians you'll get duck and silkie.

You can get a lot of game here, ranging from camel to buffalo to wallaby to possum to emu (had most of the meats you can legally buy in Australia, so I know the fun you can have getting them in), but most if it has to be ordered in. Only a couple of places stock this sort of stuff--and even then, never a huge range and never a huge quantity--fresh in-store. At least in Melbourne. If you do find something fresh, it's probably going to be venison steaks. It's expensive because demand is low and in the case of camel and buffalo, it has to be trucked in from the middle of nowhere, interstate. Quite a trip. Very few restaurants have this kind of stuff on their menu. Indeed, it's really unusual to see 'roo on a menu. I think people are reasonably accepting of the idea of eating venison, 'roo, pheasant and rabbit, although I know plenty of people who wouldn't touch any of them, but I think fewer people still would eat possum or horse.

A lot of our deer and wild boar--the vast majority of it--and probably our camel and such too, I guess, although I'm not too sure about that, is exported to Asia and Europe. Demand is low here. Especially for boar.

Foie gras production is illegal in Australia. You can't import anything but the pre-cooked/poached/canned stuff. The RSPCA and other animal rights movements would probably like even that to be banned but it hasn't cropped up in the media for a couple of years now--I guess they've forgotten about it and moved onto other issues.

Horse only recently became avaliable in Australia--legally--for human consumption. It'd always been avaliable for pet food but never for human consumption. Some Western Australian butcher got things rolling and was rewarded with death threats and such. One of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne, Embrasse, planned a horse degustation but cancelled it when they too got death threats. I had braised horse shanks as an off-the-menu special during a degustation at La Luna (after saying how much we liked the house-cured meats, we were quietly offered something ... extra) and it was lovely. But it was an off-the-menu setup for a reason.

Hope that gave you some insight. I mean, keep in mind, if you offered me a whale steak, I'd eat it, no question. I'd even seek it out.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Amazing assortment - not something we see here, smack in the center of north America...

Not something I've seen in the food mecca where I live. And if anyone in the SF Bay Area can point me to a fish market like that, pls do! The Asian markets carry a wider variety of seafood compared to the regular supermarkets, but the Asian markets can be careless about labeling and handling their fish, I regret to say. Nothing so well-organized and pristine like your fish market, Nick.

Thanks for a great blog. :smile:

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Breakfast on the last day.

As I mentioned up thread, my daughter has been working in her gap year before University as a head barista. The cafe is in our Foreign Affairs Department (equivalent to US State Department) and, as you can imagine, they like their coffee. She makes around 800-1000 coffees per day as an individual.

This is what she did with her coffee this morning pouring with milk I had frothed.

coffee.JPG

We then had buttermilk pancakes with ricotta, strawberries, home-made crème fraiche, and maple syrup.

pancakes.JPG

We're off to Fourth Village for lunch.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I live in Tokyo, have been to Tsukiji countless times, and am usually quite smug about the selection and quality of fish we get here compared to back home in Toronto. But your fish market pictures knocked my socks off. Thank you so much for going back to retake them.

Despite the trip to the seafood markets, I thought I’d stop off at the North Sydney markets to get some venison.

Stupid question: are there deer in Australia, or would that have been imported venison?

And what do Australians generally think about exotic meat and hunting? Given the very strong anti-whaling sentiments there, I'm wondering if horse meat, foie gras wild venison and the like are also taboo.

The venison I was going to get is farmed.

Chris has covered your other question quite comprehensively.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Ah, looking at that gorgeous coffee your daughter has made - here's another question to ask - why is coffee served in thick glasses in Australia? My favourite coffee/breakfast chain in Shanghai (Waga's) is Australian, and they serve theirs in the same sort of glass you have. But I've never seen it done anywhere else. Is it just the style?

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Ah, looking at that gorgeous coffee your daughter has made - here's another question to ask - why is coffee served in thick glasses in Australia? My favourite coffee/breakfast chain in Shanghai (Waga's) is Australian, and they serve theirs in the same sort of glass you have. But I've never seen it done anywhere else. Is it just the style?

It's become a sort of quasi-tradition to serve a cafe latte in a glass, while a cappuccino is served in a cup/mug. It's not just an Australian thing though, but maybe it's more common here. Certainly if you search for 'latte art' on google most of the results show cups/mugs and not glasses, but when I lived in London a latte would be served in a glass.

Something that may well be Australian is the 'flat white', which is an espresso coffee with milk that is either lightly steamed or not steamed at all. So a flat white has less foam than a latte, which has less foam than a cappuccino. A flat white and a cappuccino will be served in a cup/mug, but the latte in a glass. A cappuccino will usually be dusted with cocoa, but not a latte or a flat white...

I would be interested to know how this started too!

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Lunch at Fourth Village with the kids today.

This is what we ate:

Smoked King fish, crispy pancetta, rocket, spring onions, with shaved parmesan.

smoked kingfish.jpg

Ricotta and spinach ravioli, butter, sage and walnut sauce, with shaved parmesan.

spinach and ricotta ravioli.jpg

Nobile Pizza. White mozzaralle base, gorgonzola, smoked Italian speck, and truffle oil.

pizza nobile.jpg

Seafood Pizza.

seafood pizza.jpg

The food was enjoyed by all.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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One thing I noticed, being back here on vacation is that fresh food prices are on par or ~20% more expensive than Seattle/SF but prepared food is easily 50 - 75% more expensive.

Also, one thing that I love about Australia that you don't get in the US is the proliferation of dedicated vendors. At my local shopping center in the Eastern Suburbs, we have 2 supermarkets but also 2 greengrocers, 4 butchers, 2 fishmongers, 3 bakeries, 2 asian markets, 1 store than only sells chicken and a deli. It's hard to go from that to the US's predominantly supermarket driven culture.

PS: I am a guy.

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It's now Sunday afternoon here.

I have new found respect for the other eG food bloggers on top of my admiration for what they cooked. Before undertaking this, I simply did not realise how intense the blogging side is, particularly on top of full-time work.

I hope you got some inspiration and ideas for your own cooking. Sorry there weren't more dishes that would fit the current food availability in the Northern hemisphere but perhaps you can save the dishes up for your own summer. If I'm invited back to do another blog, perhaps it can be in winter in our time zone.

Thank you all very much for joining in on my week's food journey.

I'm off to have a Scotch. This one is cask strength malt from Aberlour.

whisky.jpg

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Excellent blog. Really enjoyed it. Showed a very different side of Australian cooking and produce to what I'm used of.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Thank you! This has brought back great memories of all the food I had while travelling about Australia.

You are most welcome Erin. Memories especially of the cheese I suspect :wink: .

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Thank you, this has been very inspiring. Not only have you introduced me to some great local suppliers but you have also made me value the variety and quality of the food that I have at my front door. I have really enjoyed reading through your foodblog and I appreciate the effort you went to!

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Great job Nick.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the seafood from half a world away. It seems your monkfish (formerly sold as stargazer) is very different from the Atlantic kind I can buy -- different species, family and order.

I love big shells on a pizza. Anybody who looks down their nose at cheese and seafood together, such as Ted Allen from Chopped, hasn't tried a pizza like that one.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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