Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Feeling the Christmas love

A foodie ramble through Footscray: Melbourne Part One

Recently I had the great pleasure of a quick trip to Melbourne as a guest of Tourism Victoria as part of the Restaurant Australia campaign. The first part of the trip involved a brilliant trip around Footscray, a foodie melting pot to say the least, with the truly delightful Allan Campion. No stranger to the food scene, it was fascinating to wonder the streets sampling foods with this champion of all things local and Footscray. Allan runs Melbourne Food Experiences and I cannot recommend it highly enough if you are short on time and really want to get to know the backstreets and places to go in this area. I cant wait to go back.

It was also so great to catch up with the ever delightful Andre Chiang - one of the great chefs of our time on this trip. I'll be posting again this week with more pics and details of the amazing dinner we had at Press Projects, the experimental chefs table with Melbourne culinary stalwart George Colombaris. But for now here is a little taste of Footscray


Monday, November 24, 2014

Poached chicken and blueberry salad with smoked almonds and sumac dressing

New York. I have so many things to thank you for. Firstly just for being you. And for Bergdorf's, Saks, the apple pie at Bubbies and the pastrami sandwich at Katz. But it is my undying obsession with chopped salads that I will forever thank you for. That and the multitude of flavours that mean you could eat one for lunch everyday of the week and still have options a century from now.
The chopped salad screams for glasses of chilled pink wine, long lunching with best friends, with the obligatory bread baskets, people watching and chatter that you never want to end.
This salad is the salad whisperer of chopped salads. So bright and so so pretty, just like your insides will be after you've eaten it. You might question the blueberries. Don't. You will almost certainly question the dukka, circa 1990 but stop judging me.  In the background of this salad it adds a delightful textural crunch and a little extra flavour kick. Besides, no one needs to know.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 large skinless chicken breasts
2 cups water
270ml coconut milk
250g blueberries
½ cup smoked almonds
2 tbsp dukka
1 red onion, peeled, very thinly sliced
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
1 cup roasted sweet potato, chopped
1/2 cup Persian feta
Sumac dressing
1 tbsp sumac
60 ml (¼ cup)extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp caramelised white balsamic (replace with 1-2 tsp white sugar if unavailable)
Bring water and coconut milk to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken, simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, then set aside to cool in the liquid (20-25 minutes). Just before serving, coarsely shred chicken.
Combine the almonds and dukka in a small bowl then place in a large serving platter. Add each of the remaining ingredients separately to the serving platter.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to incorporate then spoon over the salad when you are ready to serve.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hello and some recipes for you

Hello hello,

Pheewwww it has been a while since an update. Bistronomy has been going along swimmingly and I am excited to let you know that as of January next year the French and German additions will be available. Woop woop hurrah - I should receive the translated versions shortly and I can't wait to see them, it has been a bit of a dream of mine to have a book translated. I'll be posting the regular weekly recipes here in between working on book 3 which is due out by Christmas next year - talk about planning ahead! 

Here are a few recipes for a feature I did for a Semillon wine matching feature in the always fantastic James Halliday Magazine. Enjoy!

I'm starting some food writing workshops with the Essential Ingredient in Rozelle - my local home away from home in November - should be a lot of fun.  

Food Writing – Katrina Meynink

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Presenter: Katrina Meynink
Date: 22/11/2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: The Essential Ingredient Cooking School Rozelle
Price: $95.00
Format: No Categories
Join Katrina Meynink in learning the secret to the perfect recipe! Sharing her knowledge of the industry and how she herself got into food writing, Katrina will guide you through crafting your own recipes while showing you techniques for using the senses in order to successfully write about food and cooking.
Learn about different styles of writing and how written style can affect your own output, be exposed to the writings of leaders in various areas of cooking expertise & gain insight into how you can turn your writing into a career with blogging, food journalism & even cookbook authoring!
All classes and events require closed-in shoes.

About The Chef

Katrina MeyninkKatrina Meynink is a freelance food writer and author. She regularly contributes to national and international food magazines and writes weekly for Fairfax’s Daily Life. Her first cookbook Kitchen Coquette (Allen & Unwin), was awarded Best First Cookbook (Australia) at the Gourmand World Food Cookbook Awards and her second cookbook Bistronomy: French Food Unbound was released in September this year with Murdoch Books.
Katrina has a Masters in Gastronomy from Le Cordon Bleu and the University of Adelaide, an Advanced Diploma in Taste from the University of Reims, France and Hautes Etudes du Gout, Paris as well as culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu and tertiary qualifications in journalism. Katrina has received numerous scholarships and grants for her writing from the James Beard Foundation and the Culinary Trust USA, most recently being awarded the highly coveted Julia Child Grant for Research.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mango, Passionfruit Coconut pops with kaffir lime sugar and chilli salt.

Here's the truth. I'm not particularly built for making cold desserts. Love them. Hells yes, I am human after all. But it's not often I find myself going into the kitchen with the inspiration for procuring an ice cream influenced dessert from the ravages of my mind. That is until I need to remind myself of summer holidays in Asia like it was nobodies business.
I became obsessed with the dipping of fruit or sweet ices in a chilli sugar and salt combo when I was cooking in Thailand. There is something about being in the hot sun, shoving something cold and sweet in your mouth only to have it followed by this tart, zinging and saccharine sensation that has you smacking your lips and rubbing your cheeks just in front of your ears as the saliva flows only to move to your forehead as the cold headache rages. It might look strange but the party of reactions is sensational.
The weather of late has been questionable to say the least so you are obviously going to have to pick your day/moment to enjoy these to their full effect. And if you want to make a more grown up version, a healthy dash of white rum through the mango mix will help that along nicely. I won't tell anyone. I just expect hope for an an invite so I can share one with you.

Makes 6

Ice pops
Flesh of 1 large mango, chopped
Juice and pulp of 4 passionfruits
200ml coconut milk
palm sugar to taste
dash of lime juice
Dipping sugar salt
3 kaffir lime leaves, deveined, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tsp dried thai chilli
Add the kaffir lime and chilli salt ingredients in a small bowl and toss to combine.
Add the mango and passion fruit to a blender and pulse until a puree – be careful not to over pulse as you want the passionfruit seeds to retain their shape and texture not become little black nightmares that will get stuck in your teeth.  
Scoop the mixture into the base of 6 ice cream moulds.
Add the coconut milk, lime juice and palm sugar (if using) to a saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar has melted and is fully incorporated into the milk. Gently pour over the top of the mango mixture in the moulds then place the moulds in the freezer until firm (at least 3 hours). Run the moulds briefly under hot water to separate the ice creams and serve immediately with the chilli dipping mixture.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A pretty cous cous salad

Time to call a spade a spade and be honest about one thing. Cous cous is two minute noodles for grown-ups. It’s just a bit of weirdly rubbery, but rewardingly tasty stuff that gets boiled in water, lathered in seasoning and inhaled at warp speed with a kind of undimmed fury.

I’ve embraced the notion of dressing it up here with salad that is as close as you might get to eating a bunch of flowers from a plate. Pretty non? There is an emphasis on fresh herbs and some zingy fruit pieces which lightens the whole proposition and if you were wanting to make a real meal out of it, serve it with a silky hummus whipped up with tahini and lots of fluffy, warm flatbread washed down with icy cold white wine. Yep that is definitely a meal for grown ups.
 Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
170g Israeli cous cous
500ml chicken stock
pinch saffron threads
1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled, segmented
saffron threads
1 small handful of cranberries
1 small handful of watercress leaves
6 tbsp Persian feta
1 tbsp dried flowers*

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add couscous and stir to toast and coat (1-2 minutes). Add chicken stock, saffron threads and a pinch of salt, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until tender (8-10 minutes). Drain off any excess liquid and set aside. While the cous cous is still slightly warm, add the Persian feta and stir gently to combine. Turn out into a serving dish and top with remaining ingredients.
Mix the dressing ingredients, stir to combine and dissolve the sugar then drizzle over the dressing to taste, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

* Available from the Essential Ingredient or the Melbourne Food Depot

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Golden Rough

I had what can only be described as an epic craving for a golden rough – that delightful disc of milk chocolate and coconut. No such luck. I feared it wasn't meant to be – they exist on Ebay in boxes of 100s yes but at any of my local food stores, no.
So I took it upon myself to make a dessert that would quell any current and future needs for all things chocolate and coconut. This is it and you are going to want to get face deep in it immediately. It's a hedonistic mix of coconut chocolate and buttermilk cake, vanilla and chocolate ice cream and coconut macarons. It will see my coconut chocolate fix (and yours) into the next millennium.
Obviously you are going to have more cake than what is needed but when is too much cake EVER a problem? Exactly. My thoughts also. You're welcome.
This also works just as well if you create your own 'mix ins' combining everything into a crunchy, cakey chilled mix to eat at warp speed causing cold headaches and the need to lie down immediately on the couch under the fan post consumption. The only way summer desserts should be consumed.

Chocolate coconut buttermilk cake
130g butter
225g brown sugar
75g caster sugar
2 eggs
225g plan flour
75g dutch cocoa powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
pinch of salt
300ml buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 x 250g block of coconut milk chocolate, broken into chunks
coconut macarons (about 2 per serve)
Vanilla ice cream
Chocolate ice cream
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugars until pale and creamy. Add the eggs slowly, beating well after each egg is added. Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate soda and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine before adding to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla seeds. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are mixed but be careful not to over mix. Gently fold through the chunks of coconut chocolate then pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to col completely.
Cut the cake and crumble about a quarter of it into a bowl. You want about ¼ cup of cake crumbs per serve so cut the cake according to the number of serves you require. Reserve, covered, until ready to serve.
To serve, place the cake crumb in the base of serving glasses. Top with a scoop of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, a few more cake crumbs and then one or two coconut macarons. Continue layering until you can't fit anymore in. Serve immediately.