Thursday, 10 April 2014

Slow braised beef and potato gnocchi

Ok so it's official, my menu is up and running at work.. And man have I got some recipes for you! 
Ok firstly it's autumn in Melbourne it's starting to get colder, my house has that slight scent of dust from turning  the ducted heating on so that can only
Mean one thing.
Slow braised hearty food and this one is a winner 

Potato gnocchi with slow braised beef 

In an ovenproof saucepan sauté 2 onions and 2 cloves of garlic  diced roughly. 
Then add 300gr died speck or pancetta 
2 diced carrots and 3 celery sticks and sauté until golden.
then add 500 gr of diced beef and brown.
Now the fun part...,
Deglaze the pan with 1 bottle of red wine. 
Then fill up with beef stock until covered.

Cover the mix with a lid or foil.
Place in a preheated oven at 160deg for 2.5hrs.

When it comes out the beef starts falling apart, the onions are sweet and the sauce is reduced to a delishious jus that can only be described as liquid gold!

Serve on a bed of freshly blanched  good quality or homemade gnocchi.

Garnish with some Regianno parmigiano
Then put your feet up with an extra glass of red and enjoy.

Comfort food at its best!!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Exciting News

Hi guys I know it's been a while but life gets in the way you know  but I'm pleased to announce that I am now a "head chef"! 

(Moment for Applause) lol 

It's pretty exciting and pretty nerve-racking at the same time  I mean I've done it all before but now..all that pressure of stuffing up or if something goes wrong but on an upside finally getting all the recognition for what you've done.
I finally have a project I can see my teeth into it from creating menus to plating up,to making sure the brides and grooms are happy( and that is a tough task to please a bride).
my first task as head chef I did what any other would do and go into the kitchen and striped it! Whether it was already clean or not I had my standards.
Now that my kitchen was in place the next thing I wanted to do was create a menu that brought back good old-fashioned homestyle cooking but turned it into a fine dining experience.
This is going to be my challenge.
The menu is the consist of 10 of each entree, main and desert items along with a cocktail menu. 
I am due to have my first food tasting night this Friday where I cook every item on my menu and put it on display for the brides and grooms to judge.
Stay posted for pictures of this event

Monday, 14 October 2013

The machine that will put me out if a job!!!!!

Being a chef is one of those careers that you could almost always gaurentee you a job because well everyone has to eat right??
We'll I have recently become fascinated with a kitchen appliance that will soon put me out of a job and let everyone have restaurant meals right at home.

This genius personal chef is none other than the Thermomix TM31

It is a little pricey, costing just under the 2,000 dollar mark but once you see what this German engineered robot it is capable of, the cost will be the last thing on your mind.

It chops,beats, mixes, whips, grinds, kneads, minces, grates, juices, heats, stirs, steams ,mills  and weighs your foods all in 1 machine.
Seriously do yourself a favour and check out the link and watch the videos of what it can do!

It allows you to know what goes into your food without the preservatives and hidden ingredients.
Great for dietary needs as well, it produces top quality restaurant food in minutes and you don't even have to watch it just set the timer and walk away, Done!

I am now completely in love and with one on order am sure many more of my posts will be thermomix inspired.

However if that doesn't inspire you George Columbaris has one too, and if it's good enough for George I'm sold!!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Luke Nguyen Red lantern,

Luke Nguyen, legend in his own right! 
For those of you living under a culinary rock. Luke is not only an author, television host, and restauranteur he is also an inspiring chef that travels the culinary globe showcasing some of the worlds most simplistic yet indulgent dishes.

So when a girls weekend came up in Sydney I couldn't wait to go to the Vietnamese kingdom.. The Red Lantern on Riley,Darlinghurst.

So we were early and walked in right as they were briefing the staff on their evening ahead, but instead of shooing us away they all welcomed us and took us to the bar where house specialty cocktails and wine went down a treat! 
The restaurant was warm (not just because I had a couple in the bar) inviting and modern. I don't know why but I was expecting a large packed place but cozy and intimate with a real family friendly feel to it. 

Once seated me on the verge of wetting myself in anticipation looked at the menu, wow!!
We decided to go with the a la carte menu as I was being slightly selfish and didn't want to share. 

Entree was served 

Rice cakes with tiger prawns, caramelised pork, pork floss and shallot oil 

Mid course- an extra course before main probably unnecessary but I wasn't going to complain.

Crisp rice flour crepes filled with oyster mushrooms, tofu, snow peas and mung beans
Served with lettuce leaves and Vietnamese herbs to wrap

Then mains

Cubed black angussirloin wok tossed in sesame garlic and black pepper

Then Dessert (feeling slightly uncomfortamble but would feel like I was letting everyone down if this wasn't consumed )

Consisting of
Organic banana fritters crumbed in coconut rice, with palm sugar caramel, tapioca and house made vanilla bean ice cream 
Coconut creme brûlée and Chocolate Dumplings with creme anglaise

Over all everything was delish obviously, but being a savoury girl I am voting that entree was the best!

The staff was great as was the atmosphere but the food , words cannot
Explain plus everything was served on funky platters and bowls, a modern flair on Vietnamese classics. 
Deffinatly recommended 5/5 for sure.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

French escargot

France.. what springs to mind? The Eifel Tower? The Arc De Triomphe ? Well for me the things I link to the decedent paree are words like foie gras, terrine, pâté,and not to mention the delish array of French patisseries with creme brûlée, Mille fuilles and don't get me started on the champagne, ohhhhh yeahhhh!!!!

The fact is that without the precision and technique that is French cuisine our western world as we know it would be completely different!
As chefs we Are taught a great deal about French cooking not only by learning technique but by learning terms and definition as well.

Now however creative these French culinary genius are you have to wonder what is going through their heads when they come up with these few dishes....

Tete de Veau or Calf’s Head.
Smoked Ox Tongue
Tripe the French soul food.
Ris de Veau or calf’s pancreas
Frog’s Legs
Escargot – snails

And it makes you wonder how they thought ... Well lets eat a snail

Today there are over 100 different types of garden snails but in France, only two types are found.
the snails are normally killed, removed from their shells and cooked in garlic butter, stock or wine. escargot is high in protein and low in fat content (depending on how they are cooked and how much butter is smeared all over them.) but they do contain 15% protein, 2.4% fat and about 80% water.

Now I am defiantly not suggestion going on a scavenger hunt in the backyard but these slippery little suckers also come in a tin ( what doesn't?) and the health benefits are they are high in protein, vitamin e and magnesium,

So maybe It is the week to be impulsive or experimental.. Buy a tin and pretend to be Manu,

Bon appetite

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Apple crumble muffins

Apple crumble and ultimate classic and so easy to mix up and make different.
Crumble was more popular in world war 2
In Britain and Ireland and was popular because it made a filling dish that was cheap and could be rationed out!

So I have created my own crumble with a twist that is super easy and utterly delish....
Apple crumble muffins !
So in a bowl all you need to do is place
2 grated royal gala apples (skins on )
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 a cup of almond meal
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
And 125gr melted butter

Mix it all together untill blended well and place in either muffin tins or patty pans

Now for the crumble

Rub together 100gr of butter and 1 cup if flour to resemble bread crumbs
Then add 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
And 1 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle mixture on to the muffins and bake at 180deg for 20-25 min

Let me know how they go

the wrong side of 25

Food …
So many varieties, so many ingredients, so many options .
As a chef/foodie/aspiring writer food is something that really gets me excited.
This blog is going to get slightly emotional so don’t say I didn’t give any warning.
After a recent realisation that I am on the wrong side of 25 I have decided that I don’t need to be ashamed of the fact that I have a million things that I want out of life.
That being a dreamer is perfectly normal and that doing something that makes me happy even though I may not be saving the world or breaking records it is perfectly ok.
So with my new insight into life I have decided that I am going to do what I love cook home-style food and open a little business where I can showcase my passion and enjoy the feeling of making people happy if only for a second or third mouthful.
I am also going to continue to write even if no one reads it and even if it doesn’t get me a job as a food critic or journalist.
After some recent events in my life I have decided that life is short and I am going to do what I love because it makes me happy.
So if anyone does read this please comment tell me what you want or wanted to do in life it’s never too late to be happy....