September 2006

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2006.

croquembouche


Back when I was catering in the early nineties, my business partner Nic would always talk about making a croquembouche one day. “It’s gonna be three feet high,” he’d say. “Yeah Nic, it’s going to be three feet high and sparkle like gold,” I’d respond knowing there was no way we’d ever be able to afford to make one with the money we had. But I didn’t want to to crush the dream that kept him going.

After a while it was all he talked about, croquembouche this, croquembouche that and it all got too much and I just had to tell him straight that there was never going to be a croquembouche. I’d never seen him so angry as he pushed past me and ran out the door, grabbing the keys to the limited editon Group A Walkinshaw Camira I’d been working on to try and raise some more money. He was half was down the street before I could get my shoes on. Back then, during the recession and before flexible home equity financing, there was only one way you could get your hands on money quickly – speedway racing.

I must have used all 10 speeds on my bike getting to the track, only to hear the sound of metal. Pushing my way through the pits, I got to Nic just as they were pulling him out of the crushed body of the Camira. “I guess I screwed up pretty badly this time,” Nic whispered, trying not to put pressure on his broken ribs. “No Nick, you did great. Now try to relax.” “It’s gonna be three feet high…” and with a smile Nick said his last words. And in the middle of the track I cried hot tears that day, fifteen years ago – so this one’s for you Nic, we finally made it.

Some notes:
– choux pastry is, funnily enough, like a roux but with egg yolks incorporated.
– crème pâtissière uses milk rather than cream. For this one I flavoured it with passionfruit pulp passed through a sieve to remove the seeds and dark chocolate.
– if the chocolate isn’t melted properly it will block the pastry bag and cream will come out the other end, onto the bench and cookbook and then floor.
– melted sugar is facking hot so wear shoes
– for fine golden threads, put a little of the hot caramel on a puff and pull the spoon back and stretch the thread.
– you don’t need a cone, although it helps
– I’d like to try a savoury one with pate.

Just in case anybody was going to go to the trouble of digging out their Dinner Jacket that was last seen having rum and coke poured on it at the 1992 Muresk Agricultural College Bachelor and Spinster’s Ball – Lounge Suit.

Well bugger me.

trout bound in pink


Four caught trout given to me by a friend on return from a trip down south, wrapped in silicone ties sent to me by a Flickr friend in California in return for sending a song with the same name as her by a Japanese punk band which was downloaded by shareware from somebody with that particular song on their computer somewhere. Eaten with friends who bought beer and wine while we faffed around with a guitar that had been given to me in Japan with a distortion pedal that my brother in law loaned to me when I had birthday breakfast with my Dad who had given me two boning knives previously, one of which I gave to our guests at the end of the evening.

trout


Trout rubbed with ras al hanout and stuffed with almond, date and orange couscous. Served with an orange and fennel salad, and kipfler potatoes with fennel and mustard mayonnaise.

And speaking of good stuff, Chika reviews my ahmmm house さようなら、おうちレストラン. Kind of like Hello! magazine but not naff.

Tags:

duck egg risotto

There’s a food ritual in our house which goes like “(Me)What do you want for breakfast?”, “Anything”, “Nah go on what do you want?”, “Just some toast”, “Ah… just some toast?”, “Yes”, “Just toast?”, “Yes”, “Well was thinking of having poached eggs on rye bread with hollandaise.” There’s also my “would you like me to do the dishes routine” but that’s for another day.

lime hollandaise


So hollandaise it was, and it’s not that tricky, and I added the juice of half a lime and had with spinach which makes it Eggs Florentine and kinda healthy. Then off to Mr Snippy’s Barber Shop where he was kind enough to offer me a nice cold Coopers Red. Gorgeous day, smashing haircut, and a morning bevvy and I was in fine form for a bit of bicycle chain shopping “You know how to fit it” , “Yep”, “And you’ve got the right tools” “Ah yep”, “And one of these things (bit of loopy wire)”, “Yeah yeah of course”, “Make sure it’s not too tight”, “No No”. Of course these were complete lies but I find it hard to admit not being able to do stuff, especially manly mechanical stuff. And anyway I’m now the proud owner of a chainbreaker and a bit of loopy wire which I bought at another shop.

blue sheep cheese


On to the Ginger Pig in Angove Street to drop off a couple of mags. It’s a lovely little food shop and I came out with some Raw (unpasteurised) French Sheep’s Blue Cheese and some Morbier (which has a line of ash in the middle), two duck eggs (a nearby shop owner has ducks and they deliver them fresh), and a jar of local handmade OohLala Coconut and Lime Curd. I went to a cheese night at Herdies Fresh where Catherine Ferrari, whose family has been importing cheese for decades, talked us through some Italian, French and Irish Cheese so I was a bit evangelised on the two good cheeses and no fruit salad approach to cheeseboards. It’s also a complete pain in the arse to get cheese into Australia so show a bit of gratitude.

No point leaving it to sit it in the fridge so I took it over to a friend’s place for some drinking and spirited Play Station Guitar Hero playing (Iron Man/ More Than a Feeling/ Smoke on the Water/ Wanna be Sedated/ Take me Out – all with dab mastery of the maneuver dubbed “rooting the wombat”). I must have this game. The sheep cheese was strong like Black Sabbath yet delicate like Boston and creamy like erm Cream.

Dim Sum for brekky in Northbridge and a day of sloth. Toni went off to buy some folders which I took as “going to buy some folders but secretly going off to buy me Guitar Hero to surprise me and make me the happiest boy in the world” but she really was just going to buy folders and apparently the thought hadn’t even crossed her mind.

duck eggs


Now what to do with some leftover sheep’s cheese and duck eggs. Both were the stronger less popular siblings of the more popular cow’s cheese and chicken eggs so they made a good pair. I’d made some chicken stock the day before (nice one too – it’s always good when it turns easily to jelly in the fridge) so blue cheese risotto it was. Your standard risotto with chopped shallots and pancetta and some fried spring onion and the blue cheese and parmesan reggiano mixed in at the end.

The fired duck egg was on top was because I like Nasi Goreng and the yolk was kept runny and mixed in with the hot risotto. Lovely, a very fancy eggy rice.

Tags: , , , ,