Monday, November 28, 2005

Roast Lamb and Vegies

Sunday Jade and Jonty had their combined birthday party at the minature train park in Kingston. Ah Fong made some curry puffs that were genuine curry puffs and not just "puffs".

The evening meal was a family meal with all the grandparents Barbara and Tony Deakin, Ah Fong and Kevin Cox and of course the children and grandchildren - the four j's.

This was a traditional Australian meal with roast lamb and vegies even thought the veges were probably different from normal and it was served with curried rice.

Monday night was a "rest" from large meals and we had chook or chinese porridge. This was rice cooked in lots of water then fish fillets (bream) an egg, some parsley, ginger slices, sesame oil, pepper and a little soy sauces. Very tasty.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Restaurants and Leftovers

Thursday night was Edentiti first staff Christmas dinner at the Sage Restaurant. The meal was excellent and was enjoyed by all.

Friday night was leftovers cooked as fried rice and Saturday Tony and Barbara Deakin took us out to Courgette which was also excellent. I had the venison which was extraordinarily tender and tasty.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Chicken and Cashews

Monday night we had barbecued sausages, potatoes and salad. Tuesday was dinner at the Deakins with Justine Donna James, Jade, Jonty, AhFong and Kevin. Wednesday was chicken and cashews along with pan fried scallops.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Jervis Bay

This last week we went for a couple of days holiday to Jervis Bay. We ate lunch at the Huschissons RSL club which is a typical "pub or club" meal. One of the things we have noticed over the past couple of years is the enormous sized portions that restaurants like this now serve. We had small portions but they were still too large. We will start ordering one meal for two people and then I expect the meals are too large. It is no wonder that Australians are becoming obese.

The RSL club had a tremendous view and it was worth the price of the meal.

In the evening we ate at the much more upmarket SeaGrass restaurant. We had a good meal. One entree was Nashi Pears, blue cheese, walnets, rocket, prosciutto and vinagerette. The other was belly pork on mashed potatoes and smoked cod. One main wase steamed Dory with rice and soy zuccini. The other was glazed ham, layered pototoes and salad. As is often the case with restaurants how they handle a problem tells you a lot about the restaurant. The Dory was not cooked. The chef came out, saw it, whisked it away and replaced the dish with apologies. A little different from some other places we have been where the waiter might argue about whether it is cooked or not!

Saturday evening I cooked a stew for Justine and the children. Nothing fancy - just gravy beef, fresh tomatoes, herbs from the garden, chat potatoes, a few chillies, onions, garlic and carrots all cooked for several hours on a low heat.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is one of those dishes that is a good standby. It is also a dish that can be different every time you serve it because you can change the ingredients. Have a look at this recipe and you will get something different by adding to, deleting or changing the ingredients and it is almost certainly going to work.

This was Wednesday's dinner (with enough left overs for another meal).

There is little difference between this dish and hokkien noodles (except for the ingredients and the name)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The jjjj's

A couple of kilometers down the road we have the grandchildren and the other two j's. It is a good place to go for a meal and highly recommended.

Skate with spices

Last Friday I 'cooked' white rice. This was served with asparagus, leftovers and takeaway barbecued duck and pork. Saturday was noodle day. The noodles were fresh Hokkien noodles from the supermarket chiller section. They were cooked with buk choi and fresh peeled prawns. There was an accompanying side dish of soy sauce and sliced chillis.

Sunday was steak from the barbecue with potatoes and salad and Monday was a trip to Sydney with fast food.

Tuesday was a sweet and sour piece of skate. The sour came from fresh limes. The spices were candle nut, fresh chilli, garlic, tumeric, and fish sauce. The skate was simmered with onions and the other ingredients plus a little water.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Salmon and Salad

A very simple meal this evening of Salad and Grilled Salmon. The salad were fresh iceberg lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, potatoes, olives stuffed with anchovies served with a mayonnaise of dijon mustard, olive oil, vinegar and garlic.

The salmon was simply grilled under the oven griller.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pigs Trotters and Red Bean Curd

I could not find the recipe for pig's trotters and fermented red bean curd. Essentially the trotters are boiled. The fermented red bean curd which is a bit like a soft smelly cheese is fried with a small piece of star anise and some wood fungus. The trotters are added to the mixture and a small amount of the water in which the trotters were cooked are added to the mixture and the whole lot simmered. Later shallots and fresh cloves of soft garlic sliced are added to the dish.

The other dishes were finely sliced cucumber in vinegar and sugar with seaweed and a fresh soft bean curd with a kim chi made from radish from the local Korean grocery.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Diakon Radish and Beef Soup

The centre piece of tonight's meal was the Daikon Radish and Beef Soup. Daikon radish was peeled and cut into large pieces. It together with skirt steak and a couple of pork bones were combined with water and red dates and boiled for 3 hours. This radish smells when cooking so it is best to cook outside if at all possible. Garnish of green coriander leaves were added.

The next dish was pumpkin. Pumpkin is rarely anyone's favourite but add a little ginger and it improves. The pumpkin was boiled with a little ginger until it was al dente and then some ginger strips and shallot strips added as a final touch.

We had some of Jonte's favourite meat balls. This version had ground mutton, mixed with cornstarch and a little soy sauce. This was fried and then glazed with a small amount of sugar and soy sauce. The dish was garnished with shallots.

The final dish was a lightly stir fried mixture of fresh vegies - cabbage, green capiscum, red chillis, a little garlic. This is pretty hard to beat.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Salmon, Nonya Achar, Vegies

The meal this evening was made special with fresh Nonya Achar. The recipe found in cook books etc was varied in the following ways. First instead of 100% vinegar a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar was used. Second only fresh vegies in season were used. More cucumbers than usual were used because they were on special. Third the pounded ingredients included blachan, candle nuts and garlic and the garlic was not used elsewhere. Fourth the vegies were salted dry and left for a while then the salt washed off. Fifth at the time of adding sugar more vinegar and a small amount of fish sauce was added. Other than that the recipe was much the same as the standards.

With this dish you may as well make a lot because it goes quickly and it seems to "condense" when you put it into bottles for later.

The main dish this evening was fresh grilled salmon, potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and an spinach omelette. The achar was added to the potatoes and mushrooms.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Fish grilled and Fish Fried

Home again. While away I had a good meal at what appears to be Newtown's largest restaurant - the Patong Thai. Three of us went and we had a fish and mango dish, a chicken with tamarind sauce and another dish which I will incorporate after finding out from the others its name.

While on other meals last Saturday we had a "bring a dish" party for the Dickies at Colin's place. The food was good and company is shown here.

Back home Thursday we had one of our "standards" - deep fried fish. Slices of a large fish (often king fish but in this case a large mackeral) are lightly salted then deep fried until cooked. There is no batter and no other preparation. The oil does not cover the whole fish and the fish is turned half way through cooking.

The accompanying picture is not good quality but you will get the idea of the final result. Along with the fish was a tub of soft been curd with a light drizzle of sesame oil and crispy seaweed pieces. The other dish was a stir fried asparagus and mince.

Friday was another fish night. This time the fish were small stripy mackeral. Again the fish was lightly salted and then grilled on a regular outdoors barbecue. Normally the fish are stuffed with a blachan, chilli, garlic, onion, tamarind mix that is blended together. Sometimes - as in this case - it is lightly cooked. The mixture was served separately because the fish heads had been removed at the fish market. In the unlikely event that all the mixture is not eaten it is good on bread or toast. Many people in Indonesia simply have a mixture such as this with white rice.

The salad was tomatoes, cucumber, and rocket. For dessert we had some banana muffins cooked from some overripe bananas.

The garden is growing well and while we have a few edible plants (like the rocket) most of the space is taken up with decorative plants. At this time of the year we are particularly pleased with the ground cover in the central courtyard.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Korean Flower Restaurant

I am away from home cooking for a few days while at a conference in Sydney. Most of the meals are not worth recording but last night I went to Mu Kung Hwa in Glebe Point Road and it was most enjoyable. As I was on my own I had a Hoi Dop Bahb. There does not seem to be Google entry for this but it was a form of Hot Pot. The ingredients were put on a bed of rice and I was instructed to mix in the chilli bean sauce and mix them up. I had chosen the raw salmon as the main feature but there were mushrooms, veggies and other odds and ends.
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