Tag Archive for: Entree

Spicy Celeriac & Apple Soup

28 Jul
July 28, 2014

Well hello Sydney winter and good bye sunny Vanuatu.  Did you picture me sipping cocktails whilst lounging around the resort pool or swimming in pristine blue waters?

You did?  Oh you poor thing, seriously stop right now.  Firstly any swimsuit thoughts you may have had of me, drop them pronto, they could be quite damaging to your mental health.  Secondly I didn’t swim or even attempt to wear a swimsuit once during our stay.  The weather was generally overcast and not warm enough for me to consider getting into the water.  Even though there wasn’t any swimming I had an awesome time away.

Before I headed off on that short but sweet Vanuatu vacation, the lovely people at Sydney Markets sent me a big box of seasonal fruit and vegetables to do with what I wished.  A no strings attached box of beautiful Australian grown produce.  The guys at Sydney Markets were happy for me to just to spread the word of eating Aussie seasonal produce through social media.  But when faced with such gorgeous seasonal produce I couldn’t help but be inspired to create some delicious recipes to share.

Celeriac Read more →


Australian BBQ Prawns

15 May
May 15, 2014

Winter hasn’t quite hit us Sydney siders yet, still a couple of more weeks to go. At the moment if the sun is out, days are still very pleasant, and I haven’t been put off braving the outdoors for a good barbeque yet.

Of course if you live in Northern Australia, it never gets cold. In fact the wet season is over and it’s perfect barbeque time. Plus my American friends are just clawing their way out of a pretty cold and miserable winter.

Really, it’s the perfect time for everyone to barbeque!

No, I’m not touting some new barbeque range, my love of barbequing is pure and untainted. I’m one happy girl sitting outside, glass of wine in hand, engaging in good conversation, whilst the smells of what’s to come wafts through my nostrils. Dishes cooked on the barbeque always seem to have their flavours heightened. It really is one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy a meal with your nearest and dearest.

Usually when I throw a prawn on the barbie, they have been marinating in something inspired by South East Asian flavours. Usually a good dose of chili, ginger and sometimes garlic makes an appearance. This time I wanted to prepare my prawns as Australian as I could. Read more →

Deep Fried Chicken Necks

05 May
May 5, 2014

A few of you may have read the title of this post and simple said ‘why Sara, why oh why?’ I know my mother will have.  Why deep-fried chicken necks of all things?  Surely there are nicer parts of the bird to fry to crunchy goodness?  Well yes, there are as I discovered, but you have to experiment and play, or you will never know what brilliance may happen.

Using chicken necks in this manner falls in to my no waste, head to tail ethics of eating an animal.  My thought was that this would give the often discarded chicken neck, another role in life.  Besides being used in the making of stock, or some people (I believe), give them to their cats to chow down on.  They are also an incredibly reasonable part of the chicken to purchase, a dollar or two a kilo.

Deep Fried Chicken Necks Read more →

Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings

24 Mar
March 24, 2014

A bowl of freshly deep fried chicken wings are set down in front of you.  Knowing they’re hot does not deter you from picking one up.  You then proceed to do the chicken wing dance between your fingers.  Holding the wing between one hand before transferring quickly, almost tossing, it to the other, to avoid being burnt. 

You blow like a southerly on the outer crunchy coating in an attempt to cool the piping hot wing.  Just when you think you have succeeded you bite down with your teeth.  The coating shatters on impact with your teeth, resulting in a burst of steam released from the succulently tender meat inside.  You accomplish burning your mouth, which results in making panting noises like you have just gone into labour.  Theatrical short breaths in and out, along with something sounding like ‘hot hot hot’ in an attempt to stop your mouth burning while continuing to eat.

Deep Fried Hot & Spicy Chicken Read more →

Baked Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

04 Mar
March 4, 2014

I do love zucchini flowers.  Not only are they a large beautiful flower, but also edible.   My favourite way to eat these golden beauties is stuffed.  They can be filled with all sorts of ingredients, but the most common, and probably most loved, is cheese.

Once they have been stuffed you can either deep fry or bake them.  Deep frying always wins my vote.  The stuffed zucchini flowers dipped in a light batter and fried until golden.  You crunch through the crisp petals to be greeted with an explosion of warm cheese filling.

baked stuffed zucchini flowers Read more →

Japanese Rice Soup

19 Feb
February 19, 2014

I have the flu.  I feel terrible.  I want to curl up into a ball and sleep for 24 hours.  Sadly that isn’t going to happen.  I am way too busy right now.

I was going to share my kareage recipe with you, but I am feeling sookie and instead sharing this soup recipe.  This soup is a pure comfort soup, a soup that gives you a hug from the inside.

Rice Soup

Josh calls it gruel.  I am sure that Oliver would be quite happy if a bowl was served up to him and I’m sure those famous words would be uttered “please sir, may I have some more?”

He may be right in calling it gruel, but if gruel it is, then it is mighty tasty and satisfying.  It reminds me of Chinese congee. Read more →

Molten Brie Recipe, Quick & Easy Entertaining

30 May
May 30, 2013

Entertaining can be hard work and stressful at times.  It really doesn’t need to be when you have some quick and easy dishes in your repertoire that taste great and look impressive.

I recently made this dish for a get together of a bunch of friends.  A casual affair where we all bought something along for lunch.  I really felt like I was cheating by bringing a couple of rounds of brie along, but it was a success with all.molten brie recipe 2The brie was prepared up to baking point at home.  Not that there is much preparation involved.  It may seem simple but the addition of the rosemary, juniper berries and brandy magically transform humble brie to something quite addictive.  The most difficult part of this recipe is wrapping it in baking paper and tying it with string.  You will need an extra pair of hands for that step. Read more →

Casa Barilla Cooking Class with Eugenio Maiale & Class Giveaway

28 May
May 28, 2013

You may have taken part in a Barilla cooking class when visiting  a food show around town.  Like their cooking classes at the Good Food and Wine Show.  What I didn’t realise until recently is that Barilla actually run cooking classes throughout the year at the Casa Barilla Cooking School, located in Annandale.

They are Italian cooking classes, of course, and are run by Executive Chef Luca Ciano.  They are fun intimate classes, the format can vary depending on what is being covered.  They can be hands on or pure demonstration.  And we have a class for two to giveaway!

It was a demonstration class that I attended.  Casa Barilla are running a series of classes with prominent Sydney chefs.  In my case it was a Master Class with Eugenio Maiale, head chef and owner of A Tavola in Darlinghurst.

On arrival we are offered a glass of prosecco and there is a generous antipasto plate for all to enjoy.  I am more than content to munch on prosciutto, olives and cheese while waiting for the other class attendees to arrive. Read more →

Teriyaki Chicken Wings & Cooking Sake Explained

24 Feb
February 24, 2013

I don’t think my love for Japan, it’s people and especially the food is a secret.  Many years ago when I started to pursue my love of Japanese food, by learning how to prepare it for myself at home, it was a struggle to find the appropriate ingredients.  Luckily, there are now many Japanese grocery shops around Sydney and many basic staples are available in your local supermarket.  How far we have come.

Many years ago when I would originally see the word ‘sake’ in the ingredient list of recipes, I would run out and try and source a bottle of drinking sake (Nihonshu).  Then one day, in my lounge room, Tetsuya Wakuda shared something with me.  “This is cooking sake, you don’t use the sake you drink when cooking’.   Maeve O’Meara then turned to him, nodded her head, and said she didn’t realise there was a difference.  I do love Food Safari.   Like Maeve, I had no idea there was a difference until that moment either.

Ryorishu is the Japanese word for cooking sake and literally means ‘cuisine alcohol’.  You generally don’t drink ryorishu straight, it isn’t enjoyable as a drink.  It is milled differently to drinking sake, there is a lower milling rate of around  80-90%.  Milling removes fats, proteins and amino acids that lead to unwanted flavours and aromas in the brewing process.  A lower milling rate means it isn’t as refined in taste as a drinking sake, but the bolder flavour lends itself much better to cooking.  It doesn’t get lost amongst other ingredients like soy sauce, sugar etc.  Ryorishu does have an alcohol content, the one in my cupboard is rated at  14-15% alcohol.  Therefore salt is added to the ryorishu (usually about 2% to render it just undrinkable), which allows supermarkets to sell it. Read more →

Recipe: Chilled Cucumber Soup Shots with Spicy Crab

15 Jan
January 15, 2013

Summer in Australia is hot, don’t let anybody tell you differently.  It’s also the time that we Aussies love to entertain.  Long BBQ’s at home, accompanied with cooling beverages, lasting until the heat of the day is put to bed by the arrival of evening.  Our hot Summer days do cry out for BBQs, but cooling dishes for entertaining are also an essential requisite for any serious home cooks’ repertoire.

Another recipe that I am not 100% sure when I nabbed it from, maybe Delicious?  I made these for Christmas Day 2012, but they are perfect for any entertaining occasion.  I made them as shots, but you could prepare larger versions as a cool entree to start a Summer dinner party.

Not sure if you like chilled soup?  Quite a few people are put off by the idea.  This is a great recipe to make and see if chilled soup is for you.  This recipe is full of flavour and the crab gives you the required texture to add some interest for your palate. Read more →