Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Omnivore's 100

Wow, I've seen this everywhere lately! If you try it for yourself, make sure to comment on Andrew's blog. He deserves snaps for this : )

Here are the instructions:
1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4. Optional extra: Post a comment here linking to your results.
The Very Good Taste Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich (seriously?)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more 46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (absinthe, yes, louche? don't know...)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (possibly the only thing on the list I would have reservations about)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (Ryan hardly orders anything else when we're out to breakfast)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

That was fun! Lots of American food I'll never be able to try in Australia, unless I make it. I think I got an even 50, but lots of things I want to try...
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lemon Cordial

I made cordial! It never really occurred to me to try before. I didn't have a proper recipe, just some basic instructions:
Take equal parts lemon juice and sugar, combine in a pot and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Thats it : )
You only need a small amount, added to cold water, to make a really refreshing drink. It's delicious, and even better with tonic water.

After I had juiced all my lemons, I threw out the skins - not realising they were all I needed to make my own preserved lemons. Oh well. Next time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - August 25

We have been conducting a grocery experiment. I made an enormous list, and did an enormous shop, in the hopes that I could avoid going to Coles for a whole month. It nearly worked! I still go to the Fyshwick Markets and the Farmers' Markets and the butcher, but I mostly stayed out of supermarkets for 4 weeks. So tomorrow I'll go again. This time I'll get more bread and milk, and some picnicking supplies for weekend climbing expeditions. But it's definitely been a worthwhile experiment.
Here's what we're eating this week:
Beetroot Risotto
Beef in Red Wine with Dumplings
Pan Fried Fish with couscous salad
Chilli con carne.

Happy Monday!

Taste & Create: Carrot and Coriander Soup

I found a great new food blogging even called Taste & Create. When you register you get a partner blog, and the plan is to cook a recipe featured on their site. I got Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity - a blog that was new to me.
Chronicles is a great blog with awesome pictures, but my first thought was 'oh no, she bakes!' Anyone who's read this blog for a while knows that Ryan makes the bakery stuff. I'm, well, bakingly challenged. Dolores' Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream looked much more my speed. But then, I put on 4 kilo's last week, so I thought I'd steer clear of dessert. Finally, I saw a great post about Carrot & Cilantro Soup. This, I could make.
I modified the soup a little (left out the cream and used veggie stock instead of turkey) but I really liked the final result. As Delores mentioned, it makes a great lunch.Carrot and Coriander Soup
1/2 onion chopped
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 Tbs ground coriander
1 Tbs ground cumin
5 enormous carrots
1 bunch of coriander – leaves coarsely chopped and stems tied with string
1L Vegetable Stock
Saute the onion and garlic until translucent in a big pot. Add spices and stir until fragrant, then add the carrots. Stir until coated. Add the stock and the coriander stems. Bring to the boil and simmer, cover, until carrots are tender. Blenderise, add coriander leaves and season to taste.

Friday, August 22, 2008

CLICK: Citrus

There's something a bit old fashioned about lemons. We always had a lemon tree in our backyard, when I was small. And now I have an abundance of lemons from a friend. First I made lemon curd, which I'd never done before. Then Ryan made a lot of lemon slice. We've had lemon with fish, and in Gin and Tonic. And finally, last night, I made all the survivors into Lemon Cordial.
I wanted a picture that conjured memory. I think this comes close. So I've entered it in Click.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - August 18

Yay for Mondays. A fresh start. A chance to get in before my boss. A chance to think of a whole new list of things to cook...
Lamb Roast! Ryan is cooking that tonight. He promised. With gravy.
Spicy Spinach Soup. This is a new one for me, but sounded good.
Chicken Salad. Maybe with chickpeas and couscous.
Lemon Fish with Spicy Rice.

Happy Monday! Hope you don't get hailed on.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - on Tuesday

I am sick. I had high hopes of posting every day this month - I have a backlog! But right now I don't feel like doing anything but grumping. When I get a cold, I just can't sleep properly - lying down is too uncomfortable. So I've been frowsing around, making Ryan miserable. You'd think two days off work would allow for much blogging, but everything I write comes out as an evil rant.
Oh dear, I think I just did it again.
Anyway, the focus this week is healthful invalid food. Starting with Chicken Soup.

Chicken soup, with tinned peaches and custard for dessert.
Fish parcels with sesame carrots and green beans.
Chickpea and Roast Pumpkin Salad
Pizza Night! I have friends coming over on Thursday - hopefully I'm better by then.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Canberra Food Bloggers

I've discovered there are many more food bloggers in Canberra than I knew! I thought I'd put a list out of the ones I've found, but if I missed any, please let me know:

Brazen's Culinary Adventures - this is one prolific lady! With a thermomix. I'm not entirely sure what that is, but I'm beginning to think I want one.
Food History - not just a prolific poster, Gillian also knows everything there is to know about food history. I loved her recent posts about food for invalids.
The Canberra Cook - Another regular poster. If Ryan would ever let me make Corned Beef, I'd love to try her recipe.
Progressive Dinner Party - seems to have many friends that help out with posts. And my favourite recent post was her riff about the farmer's markets here in Canberra. Thought provoking.
Then there's Faux Cuisine, Eat Australia, Flagrant Food Fawning and Gnashings Capital. None of them have posted much lately, but I'm hopeful!
For other more general Canberra fun, there's Riot-Act and Culturazi (good coffee reviews).
Sadly The Canberra Blog Community seems to be a bit of a ghost town.

Two more discovered as a result of this post: eat at dixie belle's - love the tiara - and Mouthfuls of Heaven - oh my, they share my Nigella fetish!

hmmm... maybe I should have just posted my feed reader...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - August 4

I am trying to get organized and post more regularly - especially after yesterday's shamozzle!  I'm getting more organized in other areas - last Tuesday we did a big shop at Coles that will hopefully last a whole month.  We'll still go to Fyshwick and the Farmer's Market for fresh stuff, but not back to the supermarket.  I'll keep you posted...

- Chorizo Quiche
- Spicy Sausage Stew (or something to that effect)
- Fish Parcels with Salad
- Chicken Curry with pumpkin and chickpea curry
- Pizza
- Lamb and Vegetable Winter soup

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hay Hay it's Tiramisu!

This post could be an ode to disorganization. The first mistake was left over caramel sauce and cream - don't worry, I thought, this will be great in a Tiramisu for Hay Hay it's Donna Day.
The next mistake was not noting the quantities of sponge biscuits, marscapone and cream I needed before I went shopping. I ended up with the right amount of marscapone, but not enough biscuits or cream. Or the right sort of cream. Oh well, I thought, I'll just improvise.
Third mistake, not organizing a dinner party. Who was going to eat ALL SEVEN SERVINGS?? I managed to find some volunteers.
But the biggest mistake of all?
I missed the deadline for Hay Hay it's Donna Day by almost a week.
I suck.
Luckily the tiramisu was awesome, so I'm going to post it anyway. And you can go check out the round up to see everybody else's more timely desserts.Caramel Tiramisu
1/2 Cup strong espresso coffee
1/2 Cup coffee liqueur
14 sponge finger biscuits
cocoa for dusting
375g Marscapone cheese
3/4 Cup caramel sauce
1/2 Cup thickened cream
Find 7 small bowls or 7 large glasses. Combine the coffee and liqueur. Cut half the biscuits into quarters, dip them in the coffee mixture and make llayer in the bottom of each bowl.
Whip together the filling ingredients, until a thick custardy consistency is reached. Top the biscuits with half the mixture. Cut and dip the remaining biscuits and place on top of the cream. Spoon over the remaining filling, and dust with cocoa.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Frugal Fridays: Osso Bucco with Soup Pack Mash

Do you ever buy marked-down meat? Do you think it's a health hazard? I buy it all the time, and send it straight to the freezer. That's how we ended up with a pack of beef osso bucco, four pieces for $5. And it's the basis of my Frugal Friday entry for this week.
I bought the beef ($5), a vegetable soup-pack from coles ($2.95) and everything else was in the cupboard already. There may have been half a bottle of wine around as well, but that could just be a rumour. In the end (maybe because of the wine?) the soup veggies didn't get mashed, just eaten as steamed veggies. They were really, really good with the sauce.
Osso Bucco with Soup Pack Mash
4 pieces of beef osso bucco
1 veggie soup pack from Coles (1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 parsnip, 2 potatoes, 1 stick of celery and a lump that looked like half a swede) all chopped.
80g butter
2 Tbsp plain flour
5 Tbsp red wine
175 mL beef stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then cook half the chopped onion over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Dust the beef with the flour, add to the pan and cook over a high heat until browned all over. Season with salt and pepper, pour in the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated. Add the stock, 1 chopped carrot and 1 chopped celery stick. Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
At around 15 minutes, steam or boil the rest of the vegetables. Set aside when they are tender.
Mix the tomato paste and a tablespoon of hot water, and add to the osso bucco. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mash the vegetables together with as much milk and butter as you like.
Bon Appetite!