Tag Archives: food for fork

Making Your Valentines Special

Whether you get behind Valentines day or not, why not make some time to show your loved one with a little flair in the kitchen. It is considered by many that a way to a mans heart is through his tummy, though i must say- i have known it to be the same for woman, though you have to know what she does truly enjoy and no guessing.

With Valentines day falling on what would seem like the hottest part of the year, unfortunately it means you are probably going to be leaning towards something a bit light and to keep it regional also, why not look into a Summer Seafood dish.

The beauty of working with seafood is that there are so many menu choices that you can prepare in advance to take the bulk amount of last minute work away so you can actually enjoy your special dinner.

Why not consider the following:

Local Prawns wrapped in Prosciutto with Olive Oil Mash & Pesto Drizzle

Crispy Skin Salmon, wiltered baby Spinach, seasonal Veg and a White Wine Beurre Blanc

Home Made Pavlova with Mango & Passionfruit

The simple time saving concepts behind a menu like this is that you can essentially pre-wrap the prawns, make the pesto and then focus on the mash at Entree. The Salmon is a last minute job, while you can have all of the veg prepared in advance and then just cook as required and then the Pavlova bases themselves will need to be made that morning, while you can whip the cream and slice the fruit early too and then just build the desert once ready.

Enjoy!! and if your truly trying to impress, why not make some home made truffles

Flex your Mussels, eat the Bug!

Sounds kind of weird I know, though needed a catchy heading to get you interested.
The Bundaberg Region has a vast array of seafood trawlers, some brilliant seafood wholesalers and our fair share of fish and chip shops- but how many of us feel confident to cook it at home?
Well this is a very quick and easy way to appreciate seafood and the vibrant flavours of Italy- tomatoes, onions, fresh herbs and white wine ofcourse.
Simply purchase 500gr Mussels, 500gr whole bugs and then you will virtually find everything else at home or in your vegie patch -onions, tomatoes, chillies, fresh herbs and some garlic.
Place a Hot saucepan on the heat, add some olive oil and sliced onions and garlic. Allow to cook without colour and then add the tomatoes and chillies. Shortly after add the split bugs and a big splash of dry white wine, then cover with a lid for 1 min and then follow closely with the mussels and return to heat with the lid.
You will start to see that the mussels will begin to open after about 3 mins, though will be ready to serve after about 5mins and the mussels fully opened and the bugs having changed orange on the shell and still soft to touch flesh.
Finish with a handful of chopped fresh herbs and check the seasoning of the mix.

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with dipping Sauce

Number of portions:          Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Packet Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls, 1 Cucumber, 1 Carrot, 1 Red Capsicum, Bean Sprouts, 1 Red Chilli, 1 bunch Mint, 1 bunch Basil, 1 Packet Vermicelli Noodles, Hoisin sauce, fish sauce, kecap manus, 200g Cooked Chicken- sliced

 


 


Preparation:

  • Place the noodles into a bowl and cover with boiling water, set aside until clear and cooked and then drain off extra water and set aside.
  • Depending on your knife skills, either go through and chop all the vegetables into fine strips (Julienne) or use a grater, set aside.
  • Then, take the rice paper, one at a time and place them into a bowl of warm water for approx 30 seconds. You will see that they start to go soft and limp, though be careful not to tear them at this stage.
  • Lay the rice paper out onto a tray and start building your creation (layering at one end only)with the noodles, raw grated vegetables, cooked chicken and herbs & chilli.
  • It’s important to not over fill these rolls as they will tear. Take the two sides and lay those into the middle and then simply start to roll the mix in towards the other end and you will end up with cigar like rolls that seal themselves at the end. Job done, repeat the process and set aside.
  • The Sauce: Very simply add the hoisin, fish sauce and kecap manus into a serving bowl and thoroughly mix together and serve.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Rolling Time: 20 minutes

It’s time to harvest your herbs!!

With the current weather we have been experiencing, you will see an increase in fresh herb quality. Whether you are growing your own or even store bought, consider the idea of blending them with your favourite nut, some fresh Parmesan, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper and very basically you now have a vibrant pesto for use with pasta, crudity platters and so much more.
Rocket and macadamia pesto, Sweet basil and almond pesto and the list grows with your creation.
Ideal storage is approx 4-6weeks, though remember to store in the fridge and most importantly, keep the pesto mix covered with a fine skim coat of oil so the herbs don’t oxidize.

Fresh local potatoes

In many parts of the Bundaberg region, you will find along the road side, numerous fruit and veg stands that you will be able to access this seasons potatoes. They seem to range in price from around 60cents to $1 per kilo.
If you have never bought them this fresh before, wait til you take them home and prepare a rustic mash with skin on, some olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary sprigs. Mmmmmm,simple; flavorsome and not loaded with the normal milk or cream and butter.
Local potatoes, local farmers.

Kids creations

I just had to laugh when my daughter said to us this morning that she wanted crumpets with vegemite and cheese. That’s all fine, though when they were ready she wanted jam and then honey.
While this is frustrating on all sorts of levels- she did eat the first, though we are glad that we have introduced her to a variety of foods already.
From as long as I can remember she would eat curries with us, risotto’s, though even today is still very selective with some veggies.
I hope your kids enjoy their food and I hope that they allow you to experiment at the same time. Maybe involve them in the making of the dish, it seems to work for us!!
Enjoy!!

Kids and cooking!!

After recently discussing with various parents the importance of kids being confident in the kitchen, it also bought about some great warm fuzzy stories. 1 couple said that their family spend alot of time in the kitchen and to the point now that their eldest child wakes them up with breakfast in bed. Oh, and how do you like your eggs? Poached, scrambled or an omelette? How great is that!
Once kids learn how to read recipes, they know how to access the cupboards for ingredients and have a passion for food- the opportunity for them to succeed are endless.
Cooking doesn’t have to be a trade based career for them, it can in fact be a healthy way of life and parents can enjoy the idea of knowing that the kids are going to bra letters to eat more than 2minute noodles.

Kids cooking class will be coming soon!!

This lil piggy

After recently watching the Master Chef episode where pig tails were served, who would have thought that this end of the pig was going to become cool again. From trotters to pig tails, what happened to bacon and pork loins? It just goes to show that thinking outside of the box can do two things- make your guests appreciate just how far you have gone to serve up this tasty treat and to also show them just how far you will go to find an ingredient that isn’t readily stocked in a the standard butchers shop.

If you do consider using secondary cuts in any dish, consider the idea that they dont take the same time to cook. In fact, after much deliberation you will soon appreciate that they will need approx twice the time as a primary cut. Still, yours to enjoy either way!

Asparagus in your home

Many years ago, the thought of Asparagus on the average families dining table used to be a foreign concept, though today it is very much a reality. Prices  during the season can be found as low as 99c per bunch and with most families not familiar with what to do with Asparagus- it would appear that sales are still slower than what you would compare them to with Broccoli or even Zucchini.

Consider the idea of Asparagus being served with your breakfast & poached eggs, Asparagus in a Nicoise Salad in place of beans or even Asparagus being served as a side with any main meal.

Asparagus- its not for everyone, but surely worth trying as the new family classic!!

 

How many duck eggs are needed in an omelette?

After recently speaking to some folks the other day, they were adoment that duck eggs are the only way to go. Poached, fried, scrambled and the family favourite was the humble omelette.
They actually kept their own ducks due to the fact they couldn’t source local eggs and made light of the numbers game- you need two chicken eggs compared to one duck egg.
So, who keeps chickens, ducks or quails at home?
Buy fresh and Eat fresh and experience the difference!
And buy the way- 2 would be plenty!