What a difference a week makes!

Dinner for two from Sokyo. clockwise from bottom left: Dengakuman Miso-glazed toothfish, Japanese salsa;  Kingfish Miso Ceviche crispy potato; Endamame, Tofu cheesecake; chocolates; Waygu Flank Steak Shio kogji marinade, garlic ponzu, roasted brussels sprouts, Yumepirika rice; Chicken Robata Mushroom salad

What a difference a week makes – or even a few days. At home we feel like we are starting to live life a bit more. John has been on medicinal cannabis for a couple of weeks and we are starting to see some results in decreased pain, somewhat better sleep but importantly improved appetite.
It began last Friday night when a friend sent us dinner from Sokyo. Having such lovely, light food, beautifully presented even on take away plates was really appealing for John. We didn’t manage it all in one sitting but that meant some for lunch the next day. On Sunday night my sister brought slow-roasted lamb for a socially-distanced dinner. The first time anyone has joined us to eat and we so enjoyed the company and the food. This was followed by a similar experience on Wednesday night when friends brought dinner and tonight we are going for a short time to friends who live nearby.  A social life (albeit very restricted and careful) again.

I was also able to go out for a quick lunch at nearby Sushi Counter with a friend. Yesterday, quite spontaneously when John and I had been looking at recliner chairs, we happened on a fascinating Japanese hub in Artarmon and had an enjoyable lunch at Sushi Taro. It really changed the tempo and gave us both a great boost.
Friends are continuing with kind drop-offs, we are having some meetings at home and really feeling some much-needed quality of life.
I am really enjoying Facebook Live on Sunday nights at 6pm AEST or 9am BST.  It takes me out of the role of carer and puts me back where I love to be, showing people how easy and enjoyable it is to cook and eat – often with a wine match. See below for more details.
I do hope you are also safe and happy?

“Salmon set” lunch at Sushi Counter

YouTube Video

Spiced Chickpea, Pumpkin & Spinach Salad

Here is another YouTube video for your enjoyment, Spiced Chickpea, Pumpkin & Spinach Salad. I developed this recipe when I was using an Air-fryer, but you can adapt it using a normal oven, if you don’t have one. It is a lovely vegetarian recipe yet with protein from the chickpeas and cheese, perfect for a light lunch, entree or as a side dish.

Watch me make it on YouTube hereYou’ll find the written recipe here. You can subscribe to my channel here, so you can see other videos including my meals in a minute.

Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.

Recipe of the Week

Braised Oxtail from Just Add Spice by Lyndey Milan and Ian Hemphill
Photography: Chris Chen

Comfort food still has great appeal for those of us in Australia. While we have been having lovely warm sunny days in Sydney, the nights are still cold. I have fond memories of my mother’s oxtail, a perfect family meal where every member can suck on bones if they like! Here I’ve updated it with some spices and Chinese black vinegar to give it a different flavour. Still a wonderful one pot meal! Find the recipe here.                           

Perfect Fried Eggs with less fat

Eggs on their way to being perfectly cooked

I know not all you lovely subscribers are on social media. This post of mine got a big reaction this week. How to minimise the fat in fried eggs while ensuring the yolk is runny and the white set. It’s very quick and simple and you can find the details here.

You may also like to know How to Choose, Cook and Store Chestnuts

Facebook Live

Beef and Rice Noodle Soup

I am really enjoying Facebook Live every Sunday night at 6:00 pm. Last week I made a Beef and Rice Noodle soup, using dried rice sticks instead of the udon noodles in my Beef and Udon Noodle Soup.  You can watch how I did it on Facebook here, as well as talking a bit about sherry or apera which I matched with it.
Please join me at 6:00pm (Sydney Time) this coming Sunday as I show you how to make an easy yet delicious beef noodle soup. Simply visit my Facebook page at 6:00 pm to click here to join and watch Facebook Live video on Sunday night.

If you are planning to cook with me on Sunday, here are the ingredients you will need (serves four) for my Chicken, Chorizo and Lemon Tray bake. I am doing this in response to a request, so I am breaking my rule of doing everything in real time as I will have to show you “the one I cooked earlier”. However, cook along with me and less than an hour later you’ll have dinner.

4 large chicken thigh cutlets, skin on
500g kipfler potatoes, scrubbed, halved
1 bunch Dutch carrots, peeled & trimmed
2 chorizo (approx. 250g), sliced or lardons
2 red onions, cut in wedges
4 bulbs garlic, tops sliced off
1 bunch rosemary or thyme
3 lemons, 1 juiced, 2 sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
½ cup (60g) pitted green olives
200g trimmed baby brussels sprouts
1/3 cup (55g) whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped (optional)

Focus on Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable of firmly packed dark red-purple leaves. It is a brassica like Brussels sprouts and kale, and has a peppery taste and crunch when eaten raw, and becomes sweeter and softer in texture when cooked.

Good for You
Red cabbage has only 21 calories per 100g, but is quite a good source of fibre. A powerhouse of nutrients and vitamins including folate, vitamin C and potassium, crisp red cabbage is packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are found in purple-coloured fruits and vegetablesA 2019 study indicates growing evidence that anthocyanins play a positive role in cardiovascular health and that those who eat foods with anthocyanins have a lower risk of heart attacks and heart disease-related death.

Choose vibrant cabbage which is heavy and firm with tightly-packed deep purple-red leaves with no yellowing.

Trim and discard the outer leaves and store whole or cut red cabbage in an airtight reusable plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge. It’s best used within 2–3 days.

It is perfect for slaws, salads, stir-fries and pickling.
Eat red cabbage raw to maximise the super nutritional benefits. Alternatively, cook rapidly using high heat to retain vitamins.

  • Team in a super-slaw with chopped kale, thinly sliced red onion, shredded carrot and roasted almonds.
  • Toss into a stir-fry with garlic, chilli, green onions, lean pork and char-sui sauce.
  • Pickle in apple cider vinegar and sugar. Add to a poke bowl with brown rice, avocado, cucumber, carrot, green onions and miso tofu or chicken.

Here’s BBC Good Food’s Top 10 Red Cabbage Recipes.

Here is my Blood Orange Poke Bowl with Red Cabbage

Blood Orange Poke Bowl

How to match food and wine

Which wine with which food?

During the week, I also offered to respond to questions on Instagram and facebook about food and wine matching. There’s more space here to talk about the principles and how to do it. Put simply, taste some wine, taste the food – feel them together and do you smile, or do you shudder? Smiling is good, shuddering is bad.

It’s rather like a dinner party. Are you sitting next to someone you get on with, or don’t? We all know what we prefer, so the idea is to get similar harmony between food and wine, or better still some chemistry to get you going, like progressing from meeting to the first date. Well matched, food and wine becomes more than the sum of its parts.

The old rule of white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat has gone the way of meat and three veg. Not a bad basis, but limited. Look at how we eat – stir fry, curry, pasta, antipasto, North African, sushi, pho, Spanish, the list is endless and constantly evolving. While there is a natural synergy between the food and wine from the same soil, in the modern world there is no one cuisine type and no traditional rules to follow, especially with all the new wine styles.

A simplistic description like “this wine goes with chicken or goes with beef” doesn’t work. Although everyone’s taste buds are different, there are a few guidelines which will see you right: match the flavour, weight, intensity and texture of the wine with that of the food. Delicate food requires delicately flavoured wine and conversely rich, robust food requires bigger, heavier wines. Think about the overall flavour of the finished dish for you may have changed the character of the food, like chicken or beef by the way it is cooked or the sauce used. You need to find a flavour link between the food and the wine.

Start with the wine, or the food and then match the flavours. It’s easiest to think about how you would describe those flavours. More straightforward with food, but we need to describe wine too and wine terms are simply descriptors designed to help us relate what we smell, see or taste in wine to other sensations we readily understand. For example describe asparagus – light, crisp, green, herbaceous. Sounds OK?  Can you think of a wine you could describe using those same words? Maybe a sauvignon blanc. Guess what? They are a great match! Conversely, take some chardonnay in your mouth. What does it taste like? Round, rich, buttery, maybe toasty. What does that remind you of? Perhaps roast chicken. Again, a great match. Peppery and spicy – sounds like a shiraz, but also pepper steak. Mushroom-like and a bit funky – enter pinot noir. Now you get the picture let your tongue flow and soon the wine and food you put on it will be in perfect harmony.

Whatever you do enjoy it and experiment. There are no wrongs or rights – just have fun.

Food on Screen

Chef’s Table on Netflix

With people staying home, we are spending more screen time than previously. I was interested to read this review in the new Consommé Magazine5 Food Documentaries on Netflix You Need To Watch ASAP

You can view some of my TV shows around the world. In Australia on SBS on demand there’s only a couple of episodes left so catch up quickly on
Lyndey Milan’s Baking Secrets

Prime video also has some of my shows – in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia – all 16 episodes and many other of my TV serie
Wherever you are in the world, you can probably access some of my shows online if you google.
I hope  you enjoy them.

Coming Up Next Week

Mushroom Risotto

With the current restrictions on travel, I thought we could travel the world each week via recipes. Next week we will be traveling to Italy though our taste buds. I share my favourite region in Italy along with the traditions and meals I love.

A mid-week mushroom risotto is on the menu for a quick family friendly dinner.

As I have already mentioned, my Baking Secrets series is on SBS On Demand at the moment and I share one of my favourite desserts from the series, it’s perfect for the winter weather.

So don’t miss out, join me on Facebook and Instagram this week!

Travel with me in 2021?

Trulli house in Alberobello


I am full of hope for next year. So while I had to postpone my wonderful culinary tours this year, we have rescheduled them for next year. Many more details to come, but here’s a heads up, although it is too soon to be thinking about travelling overseas again. Here are the dates:
Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata: 10-16 October 2021

Full details and prices here,
Morocco culinary tour approx 13 – 24 May – some information here.

Mint tea is everywhere in Morocco

Stay safe, healthy and happy. Keep up to date  on all my social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Pinterest and my YouTube channel.

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