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oysters and trout

Can you knock off work, get to the shops, attend to jobs like bathing child, and bang out a very respectable 10th anniversary dinner? Yes you can.

Get oysters from reputable fishmonger (shucked – unless spending that special night with a DIY stigmata is your thing).
Get a lime. Lop the ends off. Segment. And then trim off the central pith.
Buy goat’s cheese and leave to soften on the bench.
Buy reputable smoked ocean trout. (tetsuya has just got some out)
Lay evenly on a piece of glad wrap.
Spread goats cheese over it.
Place it on a bamboo sushi mat and roll. The trick is peeling the glad wrap out of the way, for obvious reasons. Place it in the fridge to chill. And then slice into rounds.

Easy – impress your friends. In fact, if you had a nice bottle of sparkling chilling in the fridge and maybe cooked a few asparagus in butter to have on the side; you’d have a pretty special meal all in itself.

carpetbagger steak

We had a bottle of 1998 shiraz (the fourth of six) so the match was a rib of aged Dandaragan Organic Beef. I stuffed this with few oysters by making a pocket with a boning knife and then sealing it with toothpick. Seared, then put in the oven to cook. Quick wine and cream jus made in pan. Zucchini flowers cooked in a little butter. Green things (radish sprouts? can’t remember) tossed with a little very good EVOO and salt and pepper. And that’s it.

Memo to me for dessert: use foil when blind baking tart shell to avoid having to dig out dried broadbeans.

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A large piece of meat

flintstone steak


ratatouille on steak

I don’t think you can ask much more from a spring Friday than pulling out some chairs to sit in the last hour or so of sun with a few beers and the stereo set to very loud. And keeping with the simple pleasures, a nice bit of eye fillet for dinner.

There it is above, well camouflaged by a blob of ratatouille which may or may not believe was carefully formed in a dariole mould.

Steak – 500gm piece of eye fillet tied with my nifty silicon ties to keep its shape and marinated in olive oil, garlic and rosemary pestled together with ground pepper and a splash of balsamic. Seared all round in goose fat in a pan and then finished in a hot oven. Allow to rest and then slice. It wasn’t quite right so I finished each piece back in the pan.

Sauce – Pan deglazed with red wine with a very finely chopped eschalot. Reduced by a half and then I added a few tablespoons of cream with a couple of pieces of dried porcini ground down to dust. Reduce to taste and season.

Broad beans – peeled from the large pod and then boiled in salted water for 6 minutes then peeled again down to the inner pod and then cooked in butter before serving.

– not a proper one, I hate capsicum, but same principle. One zucchini cubed and brown a little in some olive oil and removed. Sauteed one chopped red onion and garlic. Zucchini back in with some chopped asparagus pieces as well as four peeled and deseeded chopped tomatoes and a little tomato puree. Some chopped rosemary as well. Cook til it’s nicely cooked through without becoming mush and then season to taste.

I enjoyed this a lot. One of the busiest things I’ve ever made but it all seemed to pull together somehow – think meaty creamy tomatoey acidic earthy with a hint of vinegar. Sorry it’s a rather bright picture of it.

I’d also like to recommend frozen turkish delight bars for dessert. Highly amusing and the wrapper obviates the need for a PSP.



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.


scallops and beef with beer

I’m doing a cooking workshop next month on cooking with beer and have been doing a bit of experimenting to find something that’ll work. This is an attempt at something simple. The steak sauce being not dissimilar to the 60’s bachelor piece d’resistance Steak Diane with a deglazing fluid having cream added. I don’t know how impressive beer being that fluid would be, personally I think the retrograde element would have been as impressive to potential dates as a quick tour of the Chiko Roll poster collection but who knows, maybe we’ve moved on.

The steak is a bit of beef fillet, seasoned and seared on all all sides then popped in a hot oven until medium-rare. The cast iron pan is deglazed with a glass of Emerson’s Oatmeal stout with some chopped spring onions and some rosemary and reduced. It was reduced by a about half but still a bit gappy and the rosemary didn’t fill so much as kind of loiter there wondering what was going on. Strained and then 100ml of cream whisked in and simmer for a couple of minutes. Much nicer but still I feel it’s a bit of a creamy cheat. The mushrooms we’re already in the oven, doused with a bit of stout, waiting for the steak to join it.

The cabbage is steamed until soft in a saucepan with a glass of Jarrah Jack’s Pale (a new local brewery down in Pemberton). A bit of crisped up speck mixed in and a sprinkle of carraway seeds. The carraway seeds weren’t all that helpful, amplifying the bitterness that was already there enough with the beer.

The scallops, and I like putting scallops on things, were the nicest surprise. I reduced down a little rasberry lambic and before it was about to vanish, put the scallops in. There’s that nice red caramelised look and the sharp sweet matches well with the fleshy sweetness of the scallops.

Dessert was (summon the insirational powers of Le Gavroche) a rhubarb compote made using Leffe Blonde and a vanilla bean and topped with a raspberry lambic sabayon. Sweet, tarty and luscious with a faint whiff of beer elements – go you 60’s bachelor!

AND: Steph is entirely not happy at the fact that only two blokes have shown up at the last 10 parties. I know the internet is the last place you’d find single guys but come on fellers. With the above and the fact I drank the uncooked beer in a fancy glass, it’s not strictly within the rules but this post is indisputably – Man Food.

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Peppered Rib-Eye

peppered rib-eye

One of those cook the steak and make a sauce in the pan things.

250gm rib eye (whole piece); 1 tbs of black pepper; 1tbs of szechuan pepper; 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped; same amount of rosemary finely chopped.

Crush the peppercorns roughly in a pestle and then put in a fine sieve to get rid of the powder. I’m not exactly sure why this is done but my theory is that pepper can get a bitter taste if burnt and in larger bits it’s less likely to burn. Purely speculative of course. Baste the meat with some olive oil and roll it in the pepper mix, pressing down. Left to sit for two hours.

Get the heavy-based fry pan nice and hot. I used goose fat but any oil with high smoke point could be used. Because of the shape, I cooked it on all four sides and this took about 12 minutes in total to get it medium rare. During cooking you may need to reduce the heat to get that balance of cooked through without being burnt on the outside. It’s a good ides to have the oven ready so if it’s looking like it’s going to be burnt on the outside, you can do the rest of the cooking in the oven. Remove and rest for 10 minutes.

Remove the burnt bits of pepper from the pan. Splash some brandy into the pan and burn off the alcohol (flambe for drama or just wait a minute). Stir in a few tablespoons of demi-glace (or more beef stock). I’ve got my demi-glace sitting in the freezer in those ice cube bags and just tore off a couple of cubes. Scrape the bottom of the pan and then whisk in a couple of tablespoons of butter.

Cut the rib eye in half. It was cooked through to medium-rare but because of the cut, it felt much rarer and I expected having to return it to the pan. Served on a rosti – made easier by a new rosti pan. Trimmed asparagus cooked in butter on top, then the steak, with the sauce poured on top with a side of roquet.

Can’t say it wasn’t superb but much of this was to do with the cut of meat. Costing more than any of the other cuts, it’s a good argument for buying better and buying less. 125gm of steak each was more than sufficient and enough energy to catch Radio Birdman at the Concert Hall. Book ’em Danno.

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steak and mash skinny version

I quite like how deeeeelightfully ugly my steak and mash turned out. Part of a carnival of food monsters. Charming beneath it’s hideous visage unlike the meal below which, like rokurokubi , hides it’s beastliness well.

You know how to cook a steak. The mushrooms are roasted with rosemary and olive oil. The mash is roasted sweet potato – a bit of scorching gives it its colour – and cream butter and milk. The sauce is just some butter added to the pan while the steaks rested, some finely chopped leak, then a splash of wine, a bit of beef stock, a teaspoon of wasabi powder, and then some cream. All done over a high heat, stirring constantly.

Now for a bit of housekeeping-

Jacksons: I returned for some very accurate chip making, curly whirly squid slicing, potato peeling, aspargus prepping, lwob gnikaerb, vietnameses mint tearing, and rasberry and red wine sorbet tasting. The place was fully booked but it was an hour before and order came in. Much anxious standing around like in Das Boot, waiting for the depth charges while the destroyers passed overhead. Slamming was not to happen, 61 people fed in an hour and a half. Take that merchant ships. Periscopes up Oberfähnrich Mitty.

Meme #1: Mike of Shiraz in San Diego has, out of medium sized meditteranean city affinty, tagged me for a wine and food meme. I’ll do my foody half and nominate my wine friendliest meal of the past thirty days. This was Hal Hartley Pork Belly Braised with Fennel and Pears. Nothing in it that exceptionally cried out for wine but the fact that I expressly made it to match with a wine that I’d bought a year ago, is a gold star effort for me. I’d hope that we’re the reverse the case, there’s be a bit of wino head scratching in kind. I’m going to do a double twisty tag here and send off to mistresses of both wine and food Jeanne of Cook sister! (and bugger me she’s just done the EoMEoTE round-up) and Barabara in NZ of winosandfoodies.

Meme #2: Mrs D of the disturbingly-pet-filled-for-a-food-blog Belly-Timber has gotten me with the 23rd post fifth sentence meme, it is:

They then had to switch the island from driving on the right to driving on the left.

Hmmm take heart comrades!

Five is too hard, I’m sending this to the house of bones.

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T-Bone with Corn

Dandarigan Organic T-bone steak cooked in duck fat to medium rare and served with a sprinkle of cracked pepper. Had with steamed corn on the cob with butter and sea salt.

BTW: *now* my camera works. No doubt paralysed by shyness in the awesome presence of Peter Garret. Got a signed poster though. Woohoo! Thanks to Young Labor for hosting. I snuck in with a line on opportunity, bit of Grecian 2000 and some haemmerhoid cream for the eyes. Finger food though, had me pining for carrot sticks and french onion dip.

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