July 2006

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Daddy, what does regret mean?
Well son, the funny thing about regret is,
It’s better to regret something you have done,
Than to regret something you haven’t done.
And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend,
Be sure and tell her, SATAN, SATAN, SATAN!!!

Sweatloaf. And from sweatloaf to meatloaf and from meatloaf to meatcake and from meatcake to, well it stopped there. A kilo of meat plus odds and ends was a bit much for my loaf tins so I thought I’d use my German cake tin that I’ve used for everything but german cakes – I’ve also used a camp (oooh I say) oven to catch sump oil and an eggbeater to impersonate a Dalek. Can’t remember its exact name, it’s kind of like a bundt cake tin but without the hole, which in itself is a kind of structural double negative – the absence of the presence of an absence. Regrettably, meatloaf both shrinks and, funnily enough, sweats when cooking, so there’s no ornate detailing of meat for you to marvel at. Ideally, you’d need a kind of meat that expands with heat and then contracts with cooling for easy removal. One for the boffins.

I make a good meatloaf and this is based upon scribbling down a recipe 15 years ago. The use of cream is the kicker but I was surprised how parsimoinous the herb amounts are. A tablespoon of fresh parsley, half a teaspoon of thyme and chilli powder – all in 1.5kg of meat. This is the princess and the pea territory.

500gm of beef mince, 500gm of pork mince, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 1 onion and two cloves of garlic – finely chopped and sauteed, 1 cup of cream, 2 tbs of parsely, 1 tbs of basil, 1 tbs of thyme, splash of tabasco, and freshly ground pepper.

Mix it all together and place in a lightly greased hole-less bundt cake tin and pack tight. I’ve also placed two whole boiled eggs and some small button mushrooms for extra effect. Smooth over, place a couple of bay leaves on top, and cover with strips of bacon. Place in the baking tray filled with hot water and cook in a 180C oven for 90 minutes.

Serve with a creamy mushroom sauce and decorate with baby zucchini to resemble an ahm creamy corolla.

Delightful. And surplus amounts allow for that most excellent of treats, the cold meatloaf sandwich.


Sinful. Unless it refers to torturing chickens to save a few cents off the price of an egg (and I’m not sure that actually is a sin), it’s a naff word to use in regards to food. And if a supercreamy tapioca pudding is someone’s idea of a ticket to their own circle of hell then we all have much to worry about. Actually I’m sure the high point of my own stygian repose would be being able to listen to wails of “But Lord, it was but one Milky Bar!” as they reached up to a particularly smug group of lactose intolerants. The circles of dairy hell are:

low-fat milk
havarti cheese
cafe latte
prurient thoughts regarding milkmaids
600ml choc-milk
whipping cream
chocolate mousse
double cream
double brie
triple brie
Nestle Infant Formula

Anyway tapioca, in the hunt for a recipe sometimes you think it’d been invented by ‘Grandma’ who had a prediliction for jello and cool whip (They still talk about it in Normandy). The others involve eggs and I don’t remember tapioca involving eggs. Well there’s a recipe
here, that’s merged it with zabaglione,hence the marsala, and that made sense. I also learnt what ‘half and half’ is when it’s not half lager, half ale. I substituted vanilla and port for the marsala

– soak 1/3 cup baby tapioca pearls for two hours, drain
– add to 2.5 cups of half cream and half milk and bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring often with a whisk (or constantly if you can be bothered and you’ve got a heater and a telly in the kitchen)
– add 1 tsp vanilla essence and a shot of port. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
– whisk one egg and one egg yolk with 4 tbs of sugar until combined and light in colour.
– add 1/3 of the tapioca mix to the eggs, stirring constantly.
– return to the saucean and over a low heat, stir constantly for five minutes.
– pop in a glass and top with berries and whipped cream.

Sadly you can’t see the multi-coloured eyes of tapioca gazing out and the $1.50 ikea glass looks like a $1.50 ikea glass (and I didn’t iron the placemat) but it was independently assessed as ‘the yummiest tapioca ever…creamy and dreamy’ . So there you go.

Bonus pic is the Kylie Kwong steamed oysters that I had in a not very successful thai dinner. They tasted nowhere near as nice as they looked – largely due to a poor decision between Malaysian cooking wine and a four day old of bottle verdelho (it was fine on Tuesday before POTC). I chose the latter and as a further blow, the oysters weren’t steamed enough to be hot, but rather not quite cold.

steamed oysters

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steak and potatoes

There you go. Beef fillet with potatoes cooked in a hot oven in goose fat with rosemary and sea salt. Reduced red wine and cream sauce with field mushrooms.