Friday, March 27, 2015

FFWD - Next-day Beef Salad

For French Fridays with Dorie this week, we made Next-day Beef Salad.   In my case, it was a misnomer, because the beef was roasted especially so that I could use part of it for this dish.

This salad comprises, cubed roast beef, cherry tomatoes, apple, chilli, cornichons, capsicum, spring onions and capers in a mustard mayo dressing, resting on a bed of greens.  I used spinach for my greens.  Instead of mustard mayo, I used Greek yoghurt flavoured with Dijon mustard, as I don't buy mayo.  I left out the capers for no reason other than that I couldn't find them in my pantry.  I have cornichons left over from another Dorie recipe, but these are also something I would not usually buy.

I fully expected to hate this salad.  I am not a huge salad person generally, and the combination of strong flavours and myriad raw components seemed quite offputting.  However, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this salad. In the future, the only change I'd possibly make is to skip the spring onions, which I found to be rather piquant in their raw state.

To see what the other Doristas thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the website.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

EwE - Zucchini, Spinach and Corn Saute

For Eating with Ellie this week, Chaya chose Zucchini, Spinach and Corn Saute.  This is a mixture of zucchini, corn and spinach, sautéed - just like it says on the tin.

There's not a lot to say about this one, other than it made a pleasant side dish.  It would be great with a little chilli for kick, I think.

To see what the other Ellie cooks thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WWDH - Chicken Poached in Coconut Curry

This week, Kayte chose Chicken Poached in Coconut Curry for Wednesday with Donna Hay.  You can find the recipe online here

I really liked this dish - if I had bothered to make rice,  it would have been perfect to mop up the lovely coconut red curry sauce. I wish I had also used more sweet potato than I did.

To see what the other Donna devotees thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the WWDH website.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TWD - Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, we made Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars.  They comprise a brown sugar cookie base, topped with melted chocolate, then a crunchy topping, which could have been rice krispies, or dried fruits and nuts, or in my case, Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs:

being a very cool name for caramel popcorn.

These bars were delicious and super easy to make.

To see what the other Doristas thought of Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mama's Buoi, Melbourne

Recently, we ventured down one of Melbourne's famed laneways to dine at Mama's Buoi, a Vietnamese restaurant that is a relatively new addition to the Melbourne dining scene.  It is called Mama's Buoi because all of the dishes are inspired by the Vietnamese home cooking of the founder's mother, Mama Hoang.

On a bustling Friday night, we were not able to get a table immediately, so we settled down for a drink at the bar.  A highlight of the bar is the selection of cocktails with Vietnamese flavours.  We didn't have to wait long before we were shown to a table in the laneway, and were presented with these beautiful menus:

To start, we ordered these gorgeous pork and prawn rice paper rolls to share:

For main, Tim ordered the duck curry:

together with some steamed rice to mop up all the lovely curry sauce:

I decided to go with a Vietnamese classic, the green papaya salad:

The flavours in this salad were crisp and clear, and the green papaya has an unusual taste all its own that lingers (in a good way) long after you have eaten it.

We couldn't go past this beautiful rice pudding for dessert:

It was a perfect way to end the meal.

The service at Mama's Buoi was efficient and friendly.

Overall, we had a great experience, and would go back.

Mama's Buoi
Postal Lane, Melbourne GPO
(via 350 Bourke Street)
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph:  03 9671 3426

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pistachio and Lemon Cake with Honey Figs


Often, I never make even one recipe out of the food magazines that I buy.  There are many and varied reasons for this, including the lack of time.  However, I have been truly taken by the recipes in the March 2015 edition of Taste  magazine - I have made four recipes out of it.
The third recipe I made from March Taste magazine is a gorgeous looking cake from the "Wait, You Mean I Can Eat?" that section (p55).  It is a Pistachio and Lemon Cake with Honey Figs.

It tastes as wonderful as it looks, and what is not to like - pistachios, almond meal, lemon, honey and figs.

If you would like to try this cake for yourself, you will need:

100g pistachios
1/2 cup almond meal

1/3 cup buckwheat flour (I substituted wholemeal plain flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs, separated
100g sugar
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1/3 cup honey
2 fresh figs, quartered

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease and line a 20cm round springform pan.

Blitz your pistachios in a food processor until finely ground.  Put the ground pistachios in a bowl, along with the almond meal, buckwheat flour and baking powder, and mix to combine.

Process the egg yolks, sugar, lemon rind and juice, plus 1/4 cup of the honey until combined.  Add the pistachio mixture, pulse to combine, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the pistachio mixture.  Spread the mixture into the prepared springform pan, then bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Heat the remainder of the honey in a small frying pan for 1-2 minutes, then add the figs, tossing them in the honey for a further two minutes to coat them.  Allow to cool slightly before spooning the figs and honey over the top of the cake.

Serve in generous slices.

Friday, March 20, 2015

FFWD - Côte d’Azur Cure-all Soup and Salmon in a Jar (really)

For French Fridays with Dorie this week, we are heading to the French Riviera for a very sunny Côte d’Azur Cure-all Soup.  The story behind this soup is that it is a little like the French answer to chicken noodle soup - it is meant to have reparative qualities.

Whether it is actually a healing brew or not, I liked this soup (yes, I did).  Unlike its fishy cousin, the Riviera fish soup, this soup had a really lovely, warm, comforting (non-fishy!) flavour. For once, my soup was also thin, so had a pleasing mouth feel.  I served it with toast spread with hummus.

This week, I also made the only recipe that we have been slated to make so far that I deliberately avoided - Salmon in a Jar

I deliberately skipped marinating the potatoes because I didn't want to waste more oil - I just boiled them and served them with the salmon. 
This dish was, I am sorry to say, not my cup of tea, as I always suspected it would not be.  It smells kind of funky, there is no way I'd eat any of the raw veg in the jar, and the salmon remains oily, even when the excess is wiped off with a paper towel.  This recipe was made only to complete the "set", and so it will remain - definitely not a dish I want to repeat.
To see what the other Doristas made of this week's trip to the sunny Côte d’Azur, visit the LYL section of the website.