Thursday, October 2, 2014

Salmon blini

For my recent monumental ladies afternoon tea, salmon blini were also on the menu.  I thought this one was a bit risky because of how things go with pancakes (you know, the first one is a dud, the last ones always brown too much), but the Gods were smiling on me and the blini went just fine.

I topped half of my blini with salmon, crème fraiche and dill, and the other half with crème fraiche and truffled caviar.  The salmon ones were the most popular, but in my books, both tasted good.

The blini recipe came from p118 of Treat Petite by Fiona Pearce.  To make them, you will need:

150g plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
175ml milk
1 egg
50g melted butter

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.  Whisk in the milk and the egg, then half of the melted butter.  Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.  

Heat a frying pan and brush it with half of the remaining melted butter.  Dollop tablespoonfuls of mixture into the pan, and cook until bubbles form on the top side and the blini are  lightly browned underneath.  Flip the blini and cook on the other side until browned, then flip out onto a plate.

To serve, top with a dollop of crème fraiche, a strip of smoked salmon and a sprig of dill; or a dollop of crème fraiche and some truffled caviar.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WWDH - Spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce

This week's Wednesday with Donna Hay recipe, chosen by Margaret, features an old fashioned family favourite from Modern Classics I  - spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce.

To start off, we had to make a basic tomato sauce using tinned tomatoes and which takes only 15 minutes from start to finish:

You then make your meatballs (you're supposed to use beef and pork mince, but I used just beef mince) and toss them in the sauce, which is lightened with beef stock, and serve it on spaghetti.  Simple!

I liked this dish a lot.  To see what Margaret, Chaya and Sarah thought of this dish, visit their websites.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Strawberry coconut ice

For a recent afternoon tea that I hosted, one of the nibbles that I made was strawberry coconut ice.  The inspiration for this was that the afternoon tea was originally going to be pink themed.  In the end, I found that too hard, but I kept some of the ideas from the pink theme for the actual menu.

The recipe for the strawberry coconut ice came from a Coles supermarket magazine (September 2014?).  It is an easy recipe using condensed milk rather than the scary boiled one, so anyone can make it.  The recipe is as follows:

 2 cups icing sugar
4 cups dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
395g can of condensed milk
60g strawberries, hulled and quartered
red food colouring

Grease and line a 21cm square pan with baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides.

 Put 1 cup of icing sugar and 2 cups of coconut on a large bowl.  Stir in the vanilla and two third of the condensed milk.  Press the mixture into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, mash the strawberries until almost smooth and colour with a drop or two of red food colouring.  Add the remaining 1 cup of icing sugar and remaining condensed milk, and press into the prepared tin on top of the white mixture. 

Place the pan into the fridge overnight, and once the coconut ice is set, cut it into 36 pieces.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Triple Layer Orange Passionfruit Tart

Recently, I had a hankering for my Mum's Triple Layer Orange Passionfruit Tart recently, and coincidentally had all of the ingredients in the house.  This was  a great excuse to whip one up.

The recipe is published in the Blogger Aid Cookbook (2009) - you can buy one here.

While this tart is a little fiddly, as it has four components (pie dough, passionfruit filling, orange custard, and white custard topping), it is well worth the effort, and none of the components is hard to make:

It always amazes me how the passionfruit layer sets up with just lemon juice - you start off with something really runny, but it just comes together like magic. 

This tart is a marvel.  I recommend buying the Blogger Aid Cookbook for this and a host of fabulous recipes from bloggers around the world - and you will be doing your bit to raise funds for the World Food Program's School Meals Program. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

FFWD - Vanilla Vegetable Salad

This French Friday with Dorie required us to make a very healthy salad with squash, carrot and salad greens, and an unusual vanilla flavoured dressing.  The vegetables are shaved into fine strips before being dressed.

 I am not really a salad person, but this one was OK.  I served with fish for a light lunch.

 There's not much else to say, I'm afraid.  To see what the other Doristas thought, visit the LYL section of the website.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Matteo's Restaurant, Fitzroy

For my recent birthday, Tim took me out to Matteo's Restaurant in Fitzroy for dinner.  The menu is French-Asian fusion, making its menu quite unique  from other places that I have been to.

On walking into Matteo's, the entrance is decorated with gorgeous gold and red wallpaper.  There is a downstairs section of the restaurant, with big plate glass windows giving views of the street, and there are intimate booths upstairs.  Out the back, there is a large function area that was buzzing on the night that we were there.

On being seated in one of the booths, and after ordering two glasses of Prosecco, we were provided with some bread to start:  

The bread was the perfect vehicle for the delicious sea salt and seaweed and almond meal condiments:

For entrée, I chose the Jerusalem artichoke soup with goats cheese ($23):

The large, creamy balls of fried goats cheese swam in a moat of smooth and delicious soup which was poured into the bowl at the table.

Tim chose the king salmon with salmon roe and yuzu dressing ($24):

He said it was delicious.

For main, Tim ordered the wagyu beef ($39):

I have no further information about this dish other than that it was tasty.

I wanted to try something a little different, so I ordered the pork hock roulade with cauliflower and prunes ($33):

I knew that this dish would be rich, but I didn't really understand how rich.  I was glad the waiter steered me away from the Chinese doughnut with scallops and congee for entrée, as two rich dishes would not have been good.  Don't get me wrong, this tasted good, but the sheer fatty goodness of the hock was a bit overpowering to someone who is used to choosing lean cuts of meat. 

On the side, we ordered a beetroot salad (~$10):

and Asian greens in soy sauce (also around $10):

My favourite side was the Asian greens.

For dessert, both Tim and I ordered the panna cotta trifle with berries and gelato ($18):

My favourite part of this dish was the crunchy cereal balls, which contrasted nicely with the smoothness of the panna cotta.  We were both very happy with this choice, and I could have eaten another despite feeling very full by this stage.

We did some celebrity spotting when Goerge Calombaris of Masterchef fame came to dine with three companions.  They were seated by the big plate glass windows, so I could only see him  by glancing sideways.

The service at Matteo's was impeccable.  Our waiter was attentive without being intrusive, and I appreciated his advice on my menu selections.

We finished off with a coffee each, which was served with a mini raspberry macaron with chocolate ganache filling:

It was a perfect end to a perfect evening.

533 Brunswick St
Fitzroy North VIC 3068
Ph: (03) 9481 1177

WWDH - Crispy Sage Potatoes with Fried Eggs


For Wednesday with Donna Hay this week, I chose a breakfast inspired dish - Donna's Crispy Sage Potatoes with Fried Eggs.  As the name suggests, it involves fried potatoes flavoured with sage, with a fried egg cracked on top.

This was really quick and simple to prepare, and very tasty.  What's not to like?

To see what Margaret, Chaya and Sarah thought, check out their websites.