Archive for month: March, 2013

Lochiel House

18 Mar
March 18, 2013

Some of you may remember the Three Chefs & a Pig Dinners that happened late last year and January this year.  Three chefs, from three different restaurants, Restaurant Atelier, Bishop Sessa and Lochiel House, cooking up a pork degustation, they were simply delicious.  We attended the first two dinners but couldn’t attend the third at Lochiel House.

It was a week night and Lochiel House is just shy of a two hour drive from where we live.  Even though from our place it is a bit of a hike, that wasn’t going to deter me from visiting on a weekend.  A leisurely Sunday lunch was booked and we escaped to the country for a day.

Lochiel House is a gorgeous heritage cottage built in the 1820’s.  Located at Kurrajong Heights in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.  A pretty cottage garden out the front and a massive organic kitchen garden out the back, it would be the envy of any chef.  Cosy inside with fireplaces, but if it is a lovely sunny day, I suggest sitting out back in the courtyard.  Enjoy the garden, and the birds and butterflies it attracts. Read more →


Irish Potato Bread & Smoked Salmon Spread

16 Mar
March 16, 2013

Happy St Patrick’s Day for tomorrow.  May your glass be ever full of Guinness, may your stew be hearty and may you have an endless supply of potato bread to go with your Ulster Fry.

Potato bread can take on a few forms, but the stuff I am talking about here is common in Northern Ireland.  It is also known as potato farls or fadge.  Very common in Ulster and is a key ingredient in an Ulster Fry.  Which here in Australia we would call a ‘big breakfast’.

As much as I love Paddy The Baker’s bread, I do giggle to myself when I see people buying potato bread at a premium price.  To be honest here, we have been known to  buy a slice or two when at Marrickville Markets to nibble as we shop.  Mac and Sally munch away as I dart between stalls to pick up our supplies. Read more →

St Patrick’s Day Green Velvet Cakes

13 Mar
March 13, 2013

It’s quite funny when you think about it.  I married into an Irish family but I don’t think Mac and I have ever celebrated St Patricks’ Day the entire time we have been together.  It has been talked about, but the day seems to come and go and we don’t do anything for it.  Generally I don’t even realise it is St Patrick’s Day unless I am in town and see a group of inebriated people in green.  Actually next Sunday, 17th March, is St Patrick’s Day.  In fact, I already know that once again this year I won’t be celebrating St Paddy’s Day.  Instead I’m heading out to enjoy lunch with a group of very un-Irish friends. Read more →

Vegetarian Degustation, Restaurant Atelier

11 Mar
March 11, 2013

When Tara from VegeTARAian gave a shout-out for those interested to come along to a vegetarian degustation I put my hand up pretty promptly. I asked both Mac and Josh if they would like to come along.  Josh gave an instant excited ‘yes’ and I received an instant ‘not bloody likely’ from Mac.  Consequently two, not three places were booked to attend.

The Saturday of the degustation rolled around.  Josh looked like death warmed up on the lounge and was in the process of hacking up his second lung.   The first one was successfully hacked up earlier that morning.  He wasn’t going to be joining me that evening.

I needed to find a solution to this problem as I didn’t want to cancel a place at the 11th hour.  I knew this degustation was being specifically prepared for our group.  Phone a friend?  I could of, but I knew the ones I would of roped in already had plans.  My last hope, persuade Mac to come along.

We are no strangers to dining at Restaurant Atelier , we really do enjoy the food and service.  Even then, this was a hard sell.  After an initial ‘no’, to a ‘do I have to’.  I pulled out the ‘I am sure Darren (chef & owner of Restaurant Atelier) will slip you some meat’, I ended up finally with an, ‘okay, if I have to’.  Phew, mission accomplished. Read more →

Time to Get Shioked!

10 Mar
March 10, 2013

The Singapore Shiok Truck
Last week you may have spied The Singapore Shiok Truck around town?  Singapore Tourism has brought a glimpse of Singapore’s Hawker markets to Sydney.  The menu has been designed by Audra Morrice (MasterChef finalist), and includes dishes Ketang Laksa $6, Nonya Chicken Curry $6 Sambal Stingray $7 and Popiah $4.

But what is shiok?  Shiok is a Singlish  term used to convey extreme pleasure and happiness.

If you missed out on escaping to Singapore for a few minutes last week, the Singapore Shiok Truck is around until Tuesday next week.

Sunday 10th March:  Overseas Passenger Terminal 12-3pm & Hyde Park (Cnr Elizabeth & Park Sts) 6-9pm.
Monday 11th March:  Bangaroo 12-3pm & Queen’s Square (Hyde Park Barracks) 6-9pm.
Tuesday 12th March:  Victoria Park (car park) 12-3pm & Harmony Park, Surry Hills 6-9pm

The Singapore Shiok Truck is part of Singapore Tourism Board’s ‘Get Lost & Find the Real Singapore’ campaign, which challenges Australian to go beyond the Singapore they know to uncover the true breadth of exciting experiences the city offers.

If you have a chance, be sure to check out The Singapore Shiok Truck for great food at great prices which hopefully will have you  exclaiming ‘SHIOK”!

School of Shiok
I was invited last week to the School of Shiok, a pop-up event in Waterloo, to get my hands dirty and have a go at making some Singaporean cuisine for myself.  Ed Halmagyi ‘Fast Ed’ was given the task of leading those invited through cooking the dishes. Read more →

Orecchiette, Vongole & Saffron Cream Sauce

01 Mar
March 1, 2013

If you have been watching MasterChef Professionals, you may have seen the Italian challenge earlier this week.  There was a restaurant challenge and the challengers had to ensure one of their dishes included Barilla pasta.

The lovely people at Barilla decided to challenge me as well.  I received the recipes under embargo before the episode aired, and was challenged to choose one to cook, but add my own twist.

I couldn’t help myself and ended up playing around with both recipes, Orecchiette Vongole and Casarecce with Rabbit, Cavolo Nero, Almonds and olives.  I hate to blow my own horn, but I love my twists on both recipes.  My version of the rabbit rocked, and I will share it with you guys shortly, but today I share the Orecchiette recipe. Read more →