About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
Hashed Potato Pancakes
Easy Tomato Soup
A Matter of Opinion
Ruby Blood Navel Oranges
Chicken Cacciatora
Goulash Soup
Fennel, Guanciale & Fontina Quiche
Soup aux Bernard Salt
Polenta with Cavalo Nero & Borlotti Beans
Sorrel Sauce

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1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
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Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
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Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Sunnybrae
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tomato
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
WhiteTrashBBQ
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forget me now
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St Kilda Today

Friday, September 28, 2007
Al, We Need You
Honestly, who'd be a farmer?

This week it was announced by the Federal Government, after the failure of good winter rains, that they would be providing financial assistance to farmers who, after ten years of drought, want to leave the land.

Also this week, it was announced by an agricultural supplier that they expected much higher returns to farmers, especially those with grain and biofuel crops.

What would you do, toss the coin one more time, or get out?

I suppose if you read the report of more frequent catastrophic fire events in Melbourne every two to five years by 2050, and that Mildura in 40 years time will experience this fire weather every year, that could just about make up your mind. Though predictions of fire every two to five years are probably incorrect. If the long term drying out of Australia is to continue, when a fire burns through an area, unless there are some follow up rains after the event, which is looking increasingly unlikely, there won't be much growth to fuel another fire for a long time.

One thing's for sure, less rain equals higher food prices. Another thing to note is that less farmers equals higher food prices too. It will be millions of years before our northward continental drift rights things. With months of torrential rains in normally dry parts of Africa and increased drought elsewhere, it looks like sceptics of climate change might become thin on the ground. Whether or not mankind has caused it though, we need to either find a way to fix it or learn to adapt to our new climate.

I know where my money is.
 
  posted at 10:51 am
  2 comments



Thursday, September 27, 2007
Pretty Shortcut
Take one young girl on holidays, eager to cook.

Mix with one packet of cup cake mixture...


 
  posted at 7:33 am
  9 comments



Monday, September 24, 2007
'Til Death Do Us Part
This artichoke thing is popping up all around, the quote in the previous post was gleaned from the Pink Panther movie. Yesterday there was another reference too.

D was resting in the afternoon, tired from a wedding the day before, to which we took M to the church for the ceremony. M was playing a new computer game that we may yet regret buying and I was watching some sport and cooking programs. One of my favourite cooking hosts came on, Lidia Bastianich and one of the dishes she was preparing was chicken with artichokes. In her straightforward way, she clearly demonstrated exactly how to prepare artichokes and I was somewhat comforted to notice that she produced about the same amount of leftover bits as I do.

M wandered in.

"Who's that, Dad?"

"That's Lidia, she's my friend."

"Why?"

"Well, you know that tomato sauce for pasta you really like?"

"Yes."

"Lidia showed me how to make it."

M, rather thoughtfully, then went back to the computer to continue dressing Bratz dolls on screen...despite having four Bratz dolls in her bedroom that she could actually pick up and do the same thing with...in real life.

A while later, D woke up and came to the loungeroom. M had reemerged from her computer and we all sat on the couch together, watching Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. All of a sudden, M turned to me and said,

"Dad, can you marry Lidia so she can cook for me?"

I have a well developed sense of self preservation and what M said was wrong on so many levels, but I couldn't help it.

I laughed. Fortunately, I'm still alive.
 
  posted at 7:47 am
  4 comments



Saturday, September 22, 2007
The Heart of the Matter
A woman is like an artichoke, you have to do a bit of work to get to get to her heart - Inspector Clouseau.
 
  posted at 11:00 am
  0 comments



Friday, September 21, 2007
Artichokes
I'm not sure why I like artichokes, but I do.

For one thing, you throw more into the compost bin than you eat. The other thing is the weird way artichokes alter flavours of other foods and liquids. For instance, try drinking some water directly after eating an artichoke and it will taste slightly sweet. This is the reason why the vegetable is generally shunned by wine connoisseurs, some normally fine wines taste frankly quite awful when partnered with them.

But the thing that really gets me about them is, I never really know when to stop stripping those tough outer leaves. My pile of compost material gets so large that I just stop, but it always seems that I leave a couple of tough leaves still attached. Those countless times I've watched other people peeling and trimming artichokes and yet it seems I'm no closer to the holy grail of a perfectly tender artichoke with no tough bits.

There was one time I came close. It was a bit later in the season and I was using the smaller side buds, which incidentally aren't as strongly flavoured as the main choke. You don't always see these smaller specimens, but they are worth looking out for, try Italian greengrocers, that's where I found them. Anyway, when these buds were cooked, there were only a couple of inedible bits.

I kind of suspect that tough bits are just a part of the artichoke experience, but I'm not really sure, so I'm asking, is there a way to tell when you are trimming up the artichoke that only tender leaves are left? Also, I would love any links to any killer artichoke recipes, or if you have a recipe not posted, would you be kind enough to pass it on?

Off to the compost bin now, we had just four artichokes last night and filled a plastic shopping bag with detritus.
 
  posted at 8:07 am
  8 comments



Thursday, September 20, 2007
Enchiladas
My daughter P expressed a desire for some authentic Mexican food. So do you think the fact that I've never even been to Mexico, or eaten no better than Taco Bills would be an impediment? Not on your Nelly! My bookshelf has several quality Mexican cookbooks and one gem, The Feast of Santa Fe, written by Huntley Dent, on the foods of the American Southwest.

What I like about Huntley's book are the copious instructions written in plain English, and that he lists all the variations for a particular recipe; for instance, he gives a recipe for guacamole, then lists nine variations, which in some parts, is more than enough to start a bar room fight about which is right. He also writes with a good deal of common sense, for instance, when describing the making of enchiladas and the moment of making the tortillas pliable and coated with sauce, Huntley says, "The suggestion made in Mexican cookbooks that you dip the tortillas into the sauce first and then into the oil (the reverse of what this recipe calls for) leads to a nasty surprise once you try it - a not-so-minor eruption of hot fat and spluttering sauce."

P and I decided on a three course lunch of nachos, enchiladas and flan. Now nachos may not seem all that authentically Mexican, but it is, starting out as simply stale corn tortillas that thrifty Mexicans then fried until crisp, placed on a tray and covered with cheese then baked or grilled, depending on how high the corn chips are piled, topped with a sprinkling of pickled jalapenos and served with lime wedges. These days of course, we get our corn chips from the packet and like to serve them with salsa, guacamole and sour cream, for which we can probably thank Taco Bill, which I believe is Taco Bell in the States. But at least all the garnishes for ours, with the exception of the pickled jalapenos, were home made, no gloopy tomato salsa from the jar for us.

The second course of enchiladas was with a meat filling, not fully authentic and dismissed by Huntley as the dish of thousands of tourist's memories, he calls for cheese with onion in his, but I do like the meat version and even though it is probably ten times easier, we didn't use a kit, everything was made from scratch, including the red chili sauce, which if you make yourself, gives you all the Mexican flavour you could ever want, even, if like me, you use tomatoes in yours.

Now after all this full flavoured peasant style food, that creamy Mexican classic, the flan, is exactly just right to finish off. We had earlier agreed that I would make the first two courses and P the flan. You would think that compared to all my chopping, blending and cooking that a flan would have been a snap to make, especially given that it has to made before hand, but I was sadly disappointed to find no flans and P crept slyly to the shops to buy ready made cream caramels, flan's first cousin.

Fresh Salsa

4 ripe tomatoes, diced small
2 spring onions, finely diced
1 small green capsicum, diced small
1 small hot chile, diced small
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano or handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
juice of one lime
salt & fresh ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. A lot of recipes include oil, but we like it without, especially if being eaten with nachos. Because we were serving guacamole made with coriander, we used oregano, both herbs work equally well.

Guacamole

2 ripe avocados
1 small tomato, chopped small
handful chopped coriander (cilantro)
juice of one lime
salt

Skin the avocados and remove the stone. Place the flesh in a bowl and mash roughly with the back of a fork, you can also make it smooth. Add the tomato, coriander and lime juice, season with salt and mix together.

Enchiladas
(serves 4 to 6)

2 large onions, diced
50mls lard or oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1kg ground beef or pork
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon paprika or smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 440g tin diced tomatoes
salt and fresh ground pepper
12 corn tortillas
red chili sauce
grated cheese

Gently fry the onions until soft and just starting to turn golden, add the garlic and cook for two minutes more. Add the meat and fry until browned, breaking up to prevent lumps forming. Add the cumin, ground coriander, paprika, oregano, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for thirty minutes.

Red Chile Sauce

2 ancho chiles*
2 New Mexico chiles*
2 guajillos chiles*
2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon flour
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 440g can diced tomatoes
salt

Dry roast the chiles until fragrant in a frying pan, don't scorch, then pull each chile apart into pieces and discard the seeds and any fibrous bits, place them in a bowl and pour on the boiling water, leave them to soak for twenty minutes. Place all the chiles and half the water in a blender and blitz until pureed, use more soaking water if necessary. When completely pureed, strain through a fine wire mesh. In a pot, place the oil and flour and gently cook until slightly browned and nutty smelling. Whisk in the chile puree carefully, then add all the other ingredients, seasoning to taste. Simmer for thirty minutes, adding more soak water if needed.

Assembly

You need a frypan with the bottom full of hot but not smoking oil and the red chile sauce nearby. Put some red chile sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, then take a corn tortilla, fry briefly both sides in the oil then dip both sides in the red chile sauce. Lay it out and fill with the meat sauce, roll up and place in the baking tray, continue until all the tortillas are used up. Coat the tops of the enchiladas with red chile sauce then sprinkle on some grated cheese. Bake in a 180c oven for fifteen minutes. Serve with a green salad and if you like, some Mexican rice.

A note about tomatoes: If you are being true to the spirit of Mexican cookery, you may choose to omit tomatoes from both the meat sauce and red chile sauce, just make up the difference with some other liquid, water or stock for instance. What you will have are authentic, earthy flavours, which are not to every one's taste, but are very good nonetheless. Also don't be frightened of the chiles, these ones, whilst hot, are not blisteringly so.

*Dried Mexican chiles are available in Melbourne from Aztec Mexican Products in Tullamarine as well as a wealth of hard-to-get Mexican foodstuffs.

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  posted at 8:35 am
  7 comments



Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Chocolate Covered Misery
You've seen the appeals for child sponsors to help support underprivileged children in developing countries, how you can make a difference to their lives and their families lives as well. Maybe even a few of you reading this even sponsor a child somewhere, and quite rightly feel good about helping overcome poverty, giving someone a chance in life.

So how would you feel if every time you bought a certain product, this act, your purchase, was in fact keeping children in slavery?

You may not want to read this if you happen to love chocolate; I feel as if I've just been slapped. I knew about Fair Trade, but had never really thought too deeply about it, other than the knowledge it helped struggling farmers to get a better price for their crops, whatever they were, where ever they were. But to think that I have played a part in keeping children in virtual slave labour by simply buying chocolate, is making me feel sick.

I sort of feel like Bruce Willis in the Sixth Sense, when at the denouement, he realized all along the signs were there that he was dead and in fact a ghost, but as the boy told him, you only see what you want to see. Whereas once I saw a treat, now I see misery. That sucks.

Whenever you buy a chocolate bar or chocolate that is not Fair Trade, you need to think not just about the chocolate, but what are you really buying with your money, the answer is not pretty.

Think about it.

Edited to add: Well, I did think about it a bit more and came to the conclusion that it probably isn't a great idea to abandon overnight one's chocolate buying habits. Imagine what would happen if everyone suddenly started buying Fair Trade, what would happen to those very people we want to help, that don't supply to Fair Trade? At the moment, they are at least surviving, which may not be the case if everyone stopped buying the chocolate they produced. In Australia, Fair Trade chocolate isn't widely available, but if we bought it every chance we had, it should enable a slow change towards better practices regarding people who rely on chocolate to at least stay alive.
 
  posted at 11:45 am
  15 comments



Friday, September 14, 2007
Nicely Does It!
When I was younger and dating, hearing, "You're really nice, but..." was the kiss of death. It left me in somewhat of a quandary as I watched several women who said this go on to form relationships that they later had cause to regret, relationships with men who simply weren't nice, rather tough, rugged and uncompromising, or at least that's how they liked to think of themselves. Being nice as a man hasn't always been regarded as the ultimate fashion accessory, for some it can in fact be undesirable, a fault even.

But as you get older, things change. Nice holds far more promise than it once did. A mate of mine who was recently searching for a new partner, used to check out the singles column in the local paper and he would show me the ones that sounded interesting. What struck me was that invariably a majority of women would stipulate that they wanted a nice man...what a difference a few more years makes!

Nice has always been in style, it's just rather diaphanous and easy to miss, especially so, when contrasted against seething testosterone in full flight, like Gordon Ramsey for instance. It was amazing to watch several female food bloggers swooning over him on a recent visit to Australia, then, to watch him give it to some poor waiter or line cook in the neck. Every one of them defended him and said he was charming (read nice), but that's rather like a fox that has convinced the chickens he means no harm and is really a swell fellow; the real question is, does he behave charmingly all the time or only when it suits his purposes?

What has brought on this discourse about niceness, is a meme in which my friend mom-nos has been nominated as a nice person, and in turn has nominated me, which really chuffs me, especially coming from her. Mom-nos, like me, has a child with autism, so we are traveling a road somewhat different to the norm, which at times can be particularly taxing, even though it's so rewarding as well. It's not that important to me that people should see me as being nice, what gives me a kick is when people react to niceness as though it were so unexpected, which sadly these days, it seems to be. Being nice is far less of a drain on one's emotional resources than being angry for instance, and makes a difference to people around you, everyone gets a lift.

Nice matters!

This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded, please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.

Of course there are way to many nice bloggers that I'm pleased to know and it seems a little difficult to single out just seven bloggers, but the people I'd like to pass this award onto are:

Tanna from My Kitchen In Half Cups
Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen
Ellie from Kitchen Wench
Anh from Food Lover's Journey
Gigi from Lotus Martinis
Ed from Tomato
Lydia from The Perfect Pantry
 
  posted at 8:44 am
  7 comments



Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Broad Beans - It's Spring
Well now it's official, spring is here.

Last night we had our first new season spring lamb and what a glorious piece of meat it was. When it comes to lamb roasting joints, the part we prefer, by a country mile, is shoulder. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with a leg, it's just that the shoulder has more structure and consequently more gelatinous bits to melt into the meat, leaving it moist, sticky and juicy. Being new season lamb means wonderful tenderness as well.

But as good and all as it is, new season lamb isn't for me the real harbinger of spring, it's a certain vegetable. You could guess asparagus or artichokes, which most certainly herald in spring, but the thing that announces spring's arrival like no other are broad beans. You see with asparagus and artichokes, you can eat them all season long and their isn't much change in their flavour or texture, but with new season broad beans, there is a short window when they are young, tender and very sweet and if small enough, don't even require double peeling.

So last night, I sat down with just over a kilo of pods - what was left after D had finished snacking on the raw beans - and podded and sorted into small, not requiring skinning and those slightly larger that did. When they were podded and sorted, it's a quick blanch for about thirty seconds to loosen the skin of the larger beans, which are then slipped off, then straight into the pot with them, for some very simple cooking.

Braised Broad Beans
(serves 4)

I kg broad beans, in pods
25g butter or 25ml olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or other herb
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt & fresh ground pepper

Pod the beans, if the beans are small don't skin them, the larger ones, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and skin. Heat the butter or olive oil in a pan, add all the broad beans and gently braise until almost tender, then add the parsley and garlic, season with salt and pepper and gently braise for another minute or until tender. Serve.

Labels:

 
  posted at 8:23 am
  7 comments



Saturday, September 08, 2007
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Just south of Gironde in France, is a town called Bazas and around here they breed cattle known as bazadais. This particular breed were ancient working cattle, but due to their fine grained meat which has tons of flavour as well as tenderness, they have become renowned as beef cattle, there is even an appellation system of sorts in place. They amazingly raise the cattle to five or six years of age before slaughter; compare that to supermarket meat, which is 12 to 18 months at most.

What this breed and system of raising cattle ensures is meat that is full flavoured, but what happens next is critically important. The meat is dry aged to allow its natural enzymes and certain friendly bacteria to work their magic and tenderize the meat. Without this step, the meat would be very tough and chewy and not as flavourful. Unfortunately, dry aging meat also means a lot of wastage and these days has largely been replaced by wet aging whereby the meat is sealed in plastic (cryovac) and left to age, but this system doesn't concentrate the flavour as there is no loss of moisture and badly done, can impair the flavour of the meat.

I love a good steak and always have, so it was with some interest and anticipation that I noted the opening of the ponytailed one, Neil Perry's, Rockpool Bar & Grill at Crown Casino, his first venture south of the border from his Rockpool restaurant in Sydney. It would be easy to dismiss it as just another steak restaurant, but this sure isn't another Lone Star steakhouse, anything but. Firstly, they take their meat very seriously here. Apart from having 9+ marble score Wagyu, there is the grass fed beef from 2 to 3 year old beasts that have been traditionally dry aged for up to 40 days, which apart from a few restaurants in the know, is practically unheard of. Secondly, there are seafood choices, Perry's forte, from produce that has been as carefully handled as the meat. This is most definitely a produce driven restaurant, produce of the highest order.

However, there were some minor quibbles, the first of which occurred when trying to book. Our attempt was at short notice (two days) for a Friday night and we were turned down as they were fully booked. I booked another restaurant that we'd been wanting to try and when I told my wife D, she told me that she really wanted to go to Crown, so I thought perhaps there might have been an earlier sitting and called to find out. When I explained myself, I was told that they would have informed us of the earlier sitting if a table was available, but then went on to mention the attached wine bar where they didn't take reservations, but we could order off the main menu if we were early enough to get a table. Why didn't they mention that the first time?

We took the punt and arrived at 6.30 pm and snagged the last table. We were led to a wide corridor that had a long banquette down one side and comfy armchairs the other; from where we were seated was a good view of the young chefs at work in the kitchen, smoke billowing from the wood fired grills, and glimpses of the main dining room. It was quite darkened and with soaring ceilings, gives a strong likeness to a place of worship, which in a way it is, we were here to pay our respects to some of the finest beef in the land. There are some excellent choices of wine by the glass and we started with Chandon blanc de blancs while we perused the main menu rather than the more limited bar one.

There were several wonderful sounding entrees, but we settled on sharing a plate of Joselito Iberico ham ($50). After only a short wait, a bare, wooden serving board appeared, topped with three large, oval, slices of the ham. It was here that another quibble arose. Both the tables to the left and right were served with bread, an organic sour dough light rye, but even with the arrival of our entrees no bread was offered to us, which the Iberico ham was crying out for. A waiter was offering a second helping of bread to the table next to us, when I hijacked him. Let me tell you, it was so worth it, their homemade bread is wonderful and served with unsalted butter. It was also the very first time either of us had experienced Iberico ham and from the first taste we were blown away by the creamy, sweet, melt-in-the mouth ham, which had just a hint of gaminess. We managed to make those three slices last for a full fifteen minutes of unadulterated pleasure, accompanied by a very classy Bindi composition pinot noir.

You can tell a lot about a restaurant just by looking at the food passing by and everything looked so inviting; there wasn't a dish that I didn't want to try and it was easy to spot the Rockpool inspired dishes. The couple next to us were so taken with the entrees, they ordered and shared three of them, as well as their steaks. The waiter that I'd earlier hijacked reappeared to ask if we would like more bread to which we aquiesced, then disappeared, never to be seen again.

Then our steaks arrived.

This was it, the reason we had come, to experience meat of the highest quality, expertly handled and cooked. Mine was a sirloin on the bone ($60 for 400g), off a three year old, grass fed steer, dry aged for 38 days, D's was a rib eye steak on the bone ($45 for 330g) also grass fed and aged for 38 days. The only accompaniments were a wedge of lemon, horseradish cream and Bearnaise sauce. With things this simple and spare, there is no room for error. My steak was cooked rare, as ordered, and sliced into thick segments, with the small bit of bone detached and resting alongside. First impressions count for everything and mine were not good. As I turned the first piece of meat over to cut it, there was a piece of fat, 1" thick (2.5cm) making up half the section, it looked awful and subsequent sections all had a large amount of fat attached up until about halfway along, from where the amount of fat was more acceptable. When you pay by the gram, so much fat doesn't look good.

With the meat trimmed of excess fat, it was time to try and I have to admit being somewhat shocked that my steak carried absolutely no seasoning of any kind. I have watched countless chef's bollock their staff for inadequate seasoning of meat and here was a piece that deserved a bollocking of Gordon Ramsey proportions - in a restaurant of this quality and expectation, it was unacceptable, highlighted by the perfect seasoning of my wife's steak. The wait staff were unable to explain either the lack of seasoning or the excess fat and were unwilling to approach the kitchen brigade with these concerns, which was disappointing, chefs need this type of feedback.

After some judicious seasoning from the salt and pepper mill provided, I can say the steak was the finest I've ever tried. The flavour was deep, rich and lingering, the meat had perhaps a touch more resistance than that from a younger specimen, but the dry aging had worked its magic. The Bearnaise sauce was cloud light, with just the right acidity and the horseradish for the cream was freshly grated. We had side orders of onion rings, which were crisp and light and a mixed leaf salad dressed with a palm sugar vinaigrette, which was perfectly judged.

We declined dessert and settled our bill. Overall impressions are, this could be a world apart from other steak restaurants, it's a wonderful space in which to have a meal, but in order for it to be perfect, the little things will need some attention, still, it's early days. As we left, I noticed more senior chefs moving into position, perhaps that would have made all the difference, I'm sure time will.

Recommended.

Labels:

 
  posted at 9:49 am
  9 comments



Friday, September 07, 2007
Slavinks
Want something easy and good looking for your next barbeque? A bit better looking than a plain old meat patty?

A few years ago, there was a butcher shop in Chapel Street, Windsor, called Hansa Butchers. They were continental style butchers with a German flavour to their smallgoods and were justly famous for their bratwurst sausages. Because their smallgoods were so good and in constant demand from caterers and restaurants, that side of the business grew, whilst demand for fresh meat remained somewhat static.

What Hansa did was to move to another site to continue with smallgoods manufacturing and sold the butcher shop, which kept trading, but dropped some of the old product lines. One of the casualties of this was a hamburger like creation called slavinks, which we loved. I've tried to track down a recipe or some references to slavinks, but the only thing I can find seems to suggest they are Dutch, but no recipe.

The other day I was pondering how we might be able to get our hands on some more when I thought to contact Hansa and ask if they still supply these somewhere. The guy on the end of the phone laughed and said they were really easy to make and sure, they look simple, but the filling wasn't plain ground beef, which I mentioned. It was then the secret of slavinks fell in my lap. He told me that the filling was their spicy bratwurst sausage mixture, which I knew where to get, simply wrapped around with two slices of kaiserfleisch.

Is it a bit sad that finding out information like this makes me really happy? Well, it did, and it's going to make you happy too.

The thing is, it doesn't have to be a spicy bratwurst mixture, good and all as it is. It can be any sausage mixture at all. What could be better than your your favourite sausage skinned and wrapped with two slices of bacon and guess what? It doesn't have to be wrapped in bacon either, it could be a couple of slices of prosciutto, or to hell with the bank manager, a couple of slices of jamon Iberico wrapped around some spicy fresh chorizo. That would bring some class to your next barbeque.

Slavinks

For each one:
2 slices of kaiserfleisch, streaky bacon or prosciutto
1 fat spicy bratwurst or other sausage

Lay one slice of kaiserfleisch on a work surface and lay the other slice across it at 90 degrees, to form a cross. Skin the sausage and make the meat into a hamburger shape and lay in the centre of the kaiserfleisch. Fold the ends of the kaiserfleisch over to enclose the filling, then grill or fry until cooked.

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  posted at 1:14 pm
  4 comments



Monday, September 03, 2007
Father's Day
Get out of bed nice and early on Father's Day. Have a yawn and a stretch. Head on down to Baker D Chirico in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda for some croissants and head back home. Back into bed, so that M can bring to me her favourite breakfast of croissants, but I demur at her suggestion of Vegemite and settle for jam instead. There was along the way, a very big complaint about Chirico's laziness in not turning in the corners of their croissants, making the traditional crescent shape, but I'm happy to report that the croissants were nonetheless very enjoyable in their straight line shape, light as a pillow, buttery and crisp.

The previous night, all my other kids gathered around our table for Father's Day as well and after my daughter asked me this morning about the Polish style carrot dish as well as another of apple, after pronouncing them to be very tasty, I'm ashamed to say I took no photos of these two very traditional Polish dishes for your perusal, but promise to make amends as soon as possible. We served them with duck legs and roast potatoes and when your largest baking tray already holds a ton or two of roasting potatoes, finding a tray that will hold a dozen duck legs in a single layer was nigh on impossible. So there was an impromptu juggling performance as the legs were layered, swapped and rearranged to ensure each one was cooked through and most importantly, the skin nice and crispy.

As good and as fun as all the food was, do you know the best thing of all about Father's Day?

Family.
 
  posted at 9:38 am
  6 comments



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