Monthly Archives: March 2009

Food heaven the Aussie way

As part of our series of cheezcloth around the world, I can’t resist but sing the highest praises of Melbourne, surely one of the best places in the world.

Why?

dsc02041A) coffee coffee coffee, not only are thousands of coffee shops, the quality if just outstanding. I don’t even like coffee and I still had as many as I could. If you’re ever there, head for coffee shops in Lygon Street or anywhere else really sit back and relax.

dsc02099

B) Food – both affordable and yummy. If you like your Italian, Greek or any Asian kind, this is the place to be. And don’t even get me started on the ice cream, proper Italian gorgeous ice cream.

– Stef

Advertisements

Pupusa!

by Flickr user mjgfoster (Creative Commons license)

by Flickr user mjgfoster (Creative Commons license)

Of all the food-related tragedies of not living in LA, perhaps the most tragic is life without pupusas. (For those curious, the most tragic non-food-related tragedy is life without sunshine. But that’s a topic for a whole other blog.)

What makes this even sadder is that I didn’t discover the magic of pupusas until after I left LA. How unfair is that?

Last week, LAist rubbed salt in the wound with a feature on pupusas, describing them thusly: ” It tastes like the result of an unsweetened pancake mating with a quesadilla.” Which probably doesn’t sound like the best thing in the world, but it is.

My experience of LA pupuserias is extremely limited, but I heartily recommend the stall at the Hollywood farmers market for a tasty start to a Sunday.

That’s my homesickness for the day. Now back to my coronation chicken sandwich.

-Eve

Roast it I say!

dsc019761Proving once again that cooking is not my natural forte, I am plagiarising shamelessly this great recipe from my friend and colleague Ruth: Roasted Courgette – and for all your aubergine lovers out there, this is perfect with either (and I can’t decide which one I like more!)

Cut courgette in half, season it a bit and scrape out the middle to make space for quite literally anything you would like (veggies, bacon, etc).  I used red pepper cut in pieces. You then roast the courgette in the oven, medium heat (drizzled it a bit in olive oil), and about 10minutes before you deem it ready, chuck some cut feta on it. Beautiful, barely needs any seasoning and works great as lunch for work.

-Stef

I say tortilla chip, you say…?

Well, if you’re British, apparently you say nacho.  A Brit taught me this whilst we were having lunch at a Mexican restaurant* last week.  Bonus – the vocabulary lesson came in handy the very next day when it appeared as an answer in the Guardian crossword.

by Flickr user pointnshoot (Creative Commons license)

by Flickr user pointnshoot (Creative Commons license)

Anyhoo, maybe the misuse of the word nacho explains why you can’t get good nachos here. Continue reading

Spiced carrot soup

Spiced carrot soup

Spiced carrot soup

I’ve made this soup a couple of times this winter, and it’s a real beauty. It involves ginger, coriander and lime – some of my favourite ingredients.  It’s also a doddle, and very light and healthy.   Another plus is that it can be made a day ahead of time, so it’s a great dinner party starter for those who don’t like to do too much work on the night.

The only thing that was labour-intensive was grinding the coriander and mustard seeds.  As I don’t have a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, I used my pepper grinder.  It took an age and I felt like I’d been rock climbing afterwards because my arms were so sore.  I have admittedly pathetic hands, but I’m now mulling over investing in a spice grinder.  Thoughts?

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

Stove envy

The object of my desire

The object of my desire

We had experimental seafood night at my sister’s flat last night because she has a kitchen that is far superior to either mine or Eve’s.

I have a serious case of stove envy.  Not only do I not have a six-burner hob and an oven that would probably fit Eve, but my hob isn’t even gas.  Continue reading

Experimental seafood night IV

They wouldn't win any beauty contests

They wouldn't win any beauty contests

Success! The dessert pretzels have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The original plan of tidy little packages of pretzel dough wrapped around a bit of chocolate went out the window even as we were rolling out the dough when someone said “potsticker”. So after rolling it all out, we cut out circles using a big glass, put a piece of chocolate in the center of each, folded and crimped the edges to seal.

Kira takes out her aggression on the pretzel dough

Kira takes out her aggression on the pretzel dough

To be honest, we were sure this wouldn’t work. The dumplings were ugly, barely holding together, and rising fast. It was funny, and we could eat the chocolate either way so failure was ok. But when the test pretzel came out and we gathered around to taste it – it tasted like pretzel! We made pretzel!

Sacrificial first pretzel (stick) goes in

Sacrificial first pretzel (stick) goes in

It worked!  Our first batch, fresh out of the oven.

It worked! Our first batch, fresh out of the oven.

We’re all a bit giddy with our triumph. Or maybe it’s just a sugar rush. We don’t know what kind of chocolate is in each treat, so we keep eating, trying to find them all. I had my heart set on the snickers, but as Anna said, “I think nougat doesn’t pretzel well.” Bizarrely it sort of evaporates.

The face of giddy triumph

The face of giddy triumph

Twix are tasty though.

Pretzel recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.

-Eve and Anna