August Newsletter

Main courses at Fourth Village: Peposo Tuscana Traditional Tuscan beef cheek, braised in red wine & black pepper. Chestnuts & Parmesan Polenta and Bouillabaisse Saute of King prawns, fish fillet & baby calamari in a rich seafood & tomato broth, ciabatta (both $36)  – with an excellent Montepulicano

The last week it has been so sad to see the extreme lockdown in Victoria and rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. It is astounding how quickly and insidiously this virus travels. My thoughts go to all in Victoria, especially those in severe lockdown, the front line medical workers, the police force and for the businesses which are yet again closed. How many times can they “pivot”? It is just so challenging and hard to know how any of us can help from a distance – except with phone and Zoom calls and compassion. It is an extra challenge for some – so see below in this newsletter about The Big Hug Box you can send to cancer patients across Melbourne.

Biggest thanks to those everywhere doing the right thing: isolating, testing and especially to those restaurants and businesses which carefully observe social distancing. I have managed to get out, carefully, in the last week and a big shout out to Fourth Village in Mosman for their very rigid social distancing and safe practice with cheerful staff in masks and gloves. Still able to give superb service and delicious food like that pictured above.Great care too at Nilgiri’s in Cremorne with some of the best Indian food around, layer upon layer of subtle spicing growing to a balanced crescendo from the pans of Ajoy Joshi in the kitchen while Meera runs the floor with an ever present smile. We chose the Tasting Menu ($60) and loved its variety and flavours.

Facebook Live last Sunday (see more below) was fun again, despite a technical glitch where I couldn’t see any questions.  I love teaching and showing people how easy cooking can be. It is also a welcome break to go back to doing something which has been part of my professional life for so long and forget everything else which is going on in my life and the world. Food is both nurturing and nourishing – something we all need right now.I hope wherever you are, that you somehow, have a lovely week ahead.

Main courses at Nilgiri’s

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

YouTube Video

Pork with Blood Orange Glaze, Fennel & Blood Orange Salad

Here’s one of my YouTube videos you may not have seen. I created it in blood orange season in Australia and cooked it on Studio 10. Watch me make it on YouTube here. You’ll find the written recipe here. You can subscribe to my channel here, so you where I also have meals in a minute and will be adding more videos over time.

Facebook Live

I am really enjoying my weekly Facebook Live cooking demos on Sundays from 6 – 6.30ish Australian EST or 9am British Standard Time, a time I hope suits both hemispheres. If you miss it, you can catch up on my Facebook page with everything I do anyway.

Last week I cooked two recipes with minimal ingredients: Chilli Tuna Pasta and an easy Apple Gallette.  I also matched a wine.  If you missed it, you can watch it here.

This coming Sunday I’m going to make two lovely Greek recipes – one fish with a great way to keep it moist, and another do-ahead salad.  You’ll have to watch to find out which recipes and which wine. Do tune in and ask questions.

Details and how to join here.
If you would like to cook along with me – and the recipes are very simple though delicious, here is what you will need

10 vine leaves (from Continental shops and delis, in cryovac or tins)
10 fillets whiting or whole barbounia (baby red mullet)
1/4 cup (60mls) extra virgin olive oil
lemon wedges
1 small cox lettuce
4 green onions (shallots)
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup (80mls) extra virgin olive oil
30 – 40mls fresh lemon juice

Special Offer: Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece cookbook

This book is the companion to the successful television series Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece, which follows my late son, Blair and me, as we explore the beautiful cuisine and culture of Greece’s historic and picturesque Peloponnese.

Stunning photography, amusing anecdotes and authentic yet fresh recipes abound as chapter by chapter we travel through Greece’s historic heart. You can learn how to recreate favourites from the TV series including the traditional fisherman’s soup Kakavia, mezedes old and new, crisp-skinned whole loin of pork and the secret to truly tender octopus.
Blair’s cocktails
including Blood of Hercules feature as do the traditions and recipes of Greek Easter. The whole spectrum of Greek cuisine is covered in additional recipes like Bandit’s Lamb and Goat with Eggplant, both time-honoured favourites. An array of salads shows there is more than the much-loved traditional Greek salad to enjoy. Seafood abounds with squid in myriad guises and simple, fast fish dishes. There’s something for everyone with country style macaroni pie and recipes where fennel, artichokes, broad beans, pumpkin, zucchini and okra play a starring role. Sweet treats include a more-ish Cheesecake with muscatels and a clever frozen ouzo frappe as well as traditional favourites rozedes, diples and Greek shortbread.

While the RRP is $40, I am making this book available to you, my loyal subscribers for only $20 including postage in Australia. Be quick. Log onto our shop here, I will sign each copy personally if you can advise who you would like it dedicated to where it says Add A note for the seller and put in this voucher code at the checkout GREECEFB

Yoghurt garlic dip, feta dip and split pea dip
Photography: Chris Chen

What’s in Season in August
in Australia

Papaya, blueberries and Cara Cara Oranges


  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Banana
  • Cumquat
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Mandarins
  • Oranges: Blood
  • Oranges: Navel
  • Pomelo
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Tangelos


  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Silverbeet
  • Spinach
  • Swede
  • Sweet potato
  • Turnips

Kumara, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes
Despite the name, these are no relation to
globe artichokes which are part of the thistle family and the “true” artichoke.  Jerusalem artichokes are actually part of the sunflower family. The word Jerusalem comes from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole. They are also known as sunchokes. They are a lumpy brown tuber that look a bit like ginger and can be eaten raw or cooked. The white flesh is nutty, sweet and crunchy.
Good for you
A source of potassium which helps to balance sodium from salty foods. Also provides vitamin C which helps us absorb iron from foods. A source of dietary fibre, including a soluble fibre called inulin, which may benefit healthy bacteria in the large intestine. And provide folate.
Buying and Storing
Look for firm Jerusalem artichokes with minimal knobs (to save the waste in peeling). Store in a cool, dark place with good ventilation for 7 to 10 days.
Peel, trimming off  any big bumps first to make it easier.  Once peeled, they discolour quickly, so place in a bowl of water and lemon juice or vinegar to prevent browning. They are easier to peel once cooked.
Quick ideas for using Jerusalem artichokes

  • To make a soup, boil with potato until soft. Blend with stock and cream.
  • Fry in butter and olive oil
  • Boil until slightly tender. Slice. Place in a baking dish. Top with white sauce and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden.
  • Bake whole like baby potatoes
  • Cook in butter or boil, then puree and serve instead of mash

Just one word of warning – eaten in large quantites, they can have anti-social side effects (flatulence!).
Jerusalem Artichoke, Leek & Bacon Soup
BBC Good Food has a fabulous collection of Jerusalem Artichoke Recipes

Recipe of the week

Easy Pulled Pork with Brussels Sprout Slaw

This recipe was one I created when filming my Taste of Australia TV series in the lounge room of the historic Carrington Hotel in the Blue Mountains in front of a roaring fire. I need one of those today as it is freezing and wet in Sydney as I write the. You will find the recipe for Easy Pulled Pork with Brussels Sprout Slaw here.

In Season Recipes

Salmon & Blood Orange in Cartoccio with Smashed Potatoes

Vitamin Red Breakfast Bowl
Prawn Moilee
Hot and Sour Soup
Salmon and Blood Orange in Cartoccio with Smashed Potatoes
Redbelly Blood Orange Citrus Pickle
Hidden Onion and Cheese Quesadilla
Rag Pasta with Pumpkin and Sage
Mushroom Strudel
Luxe Irish Stew of Goat
Roast Beef Rib with Spiced Salt and Anchovy & Parsley Bearnaise
Slow Roasted Sage & Thyme Beef Rump with Winter Vegetables
Slow-cooked Beef with Guinness
Aromatic Fish Curry
Glazed Chinese Duck with Blood Orange and Ginger
Sweet Things
Spiced Orange and Olive Oil Dessert Cake with Botrytis Oranges
Salted Caramel Soufflés with Salted Caramel Sauce
Steamed Banana and Ginger Pudding with Coffee Ginger Glaze and Bruleed Bananas
Grapefruit Delicious Pudding
Ricotta Pancakes with Blood Orange Compote
Chocolate Cabernet and Rhubarb Dessert

Steamed Banana & Ginger Pudding with Coffee Ginger Glaze & Bruleed Bananas

Zoom Meetings & Catch-ups

I have become a big fan of Zoom. It makes me feel less isolated. It is a great way to catch up with family and friends, and also to have meetings. However, I have to say my attention does wander sometimes – what about you?

Big Hug Box Melbourne

Regular readers will know that I am an Ambassador for  Cure CancerA couple of years ago they developed The Big Hug Box  a gift box filled with practical and empowering products that someone facing cancer would actually need during their treatment. Carefully selected products that also help to support small Australian businesses. Now, with your help The Big Hug Box can be delivered to 500 cancer patients across Melbourne as a special gift of connection during these difficult and uncertain times.

The impact of Melbourne’s lockdown is especially difficult for those fighting cancer, their family and friends. With suppressed immune systems, COVID-19 poses a strong risk to many Melburnians currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

We can all give Melbourne a “hug” and contribute towards a Big Hug box today.

This Week & Next Week

Thai Lamb Salad – perfect with beer

This week just gone on social media, I shared this Thai Lamb Salad recipe for International Beer Day – it makes a perfect match.
Next week our taste buds will take us to Thailand in our virtual travels, I’ll share a sweet recipe too and there will be more reflection on activities past. Do please feel free to send me suggestions for any recipes you would like to see.

When it’s all over …
Come Travelling with me in 2021

L: 3000+ year old olive tree in Ostuni and R: traditional mint tea in Morocco


While I sadly had to postpone my wonderful culinary tours this year, we now have dates for next yet. Many more details to come, but I wanted to give you, my subscribers the first 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

Details here.
Morocco culinary tour approx 13 – 25 May (dates still to be definitely confirmed) – some information here. Meanwhile read How to enjoy Morocco at home.

Follow my food and travels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. don’t forget my YouTube Channel for easy recipes.
Please share my update with your family and friends. They can subscribe here.  And I am also storing them on a tab on my website, so you can look back at previous updates.

What are you cooking, eating and drinking?
Warm wishes,

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