Weekly Update

Celebrity chef Paul Rankin and I caught up in Cardiff to chat through some ideas over lunch. We first met at Tasting Australia sometime in the early 2000s.

It’s been a very busy time in London, now drawing to a close for me as I leave next Monday to go to Sinagpore to stay with my daughter, husband and baby Isabel, nearly 18 months now, who talks and sings like her mother used to.

It’s been wonderful catching with old friends and new and we threw our first big cocktail party on Thursday night, which is why this update is late. I was in the kitchen preparing for most of the day. It was our first London party but also to introduce The Fizzogs (whom we met through a friend and colleague) to TV producers and others. They are three comediennes from “The Black Country” (a district in the Midlands around Birmingham named for the soot and grime produced by the many local industries) They are really down to earth, very creative and very, very funny. They are incredibly popular as The Dancing Grannies with hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube but we had them as FABA, a spoof take-off of Abba. We even made their local press, with an article in the Stourbridge News.

L; L-R Jacky Fellows, Deb Nicholls, me and Sue Hawkins. R: FABA in character: L-R Sue Hawkins as Manda, Deb Nicholls playing Kaz and Jacky Fellows as Stella their appalling manager.

Top left: Voulez Vous crab tarts; right Voulez Vous prawn wonton crisps
Bottom left: Flame-ing mushroom tempura; right Taste of Australia spiced pork rolls

I had great fun devising the menu to have items which related to our company, Flame, Spiced pork rolls from my Taste of Australia or relating to Abba songs: like Voulez Vous, or squares of golden crumbed and fried Mamma Mia Mac’n’cheese, Take a chance on me quesadilla (spicy on the inside), Kisses of Fire padron peppers and I Have a Dream luscious honey blondies (from Taste of Australia) or even more fun for FABA songs; Chicken Tikka (to the music of Chiquitita and Hal-loo-mee (named for ForNandos and Portaloo). All accompanied by McGuigan Frizzante, Founders Block chardonnay and shiraz and Torode pinot noir rose.

Jump ahead to see:
The Best Fruit and Veg This Week
Recipe of the week

Where I’ve Eaten
Interesting Reading
What’s On

The Best Fruit and Veg This Week

Potatoes, pumpkin and fresh chestnuts

Sydney Markets advise

Winter is the perfect time to unearth all the root vegetables: swede, parsnip, celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes add peeled and chopped to hearty casseroles & soups.

Whip up a creamy mash with Kipfler, Dutch Cream or Desiree potatoes. Peel, chop and boil 1kg potatoes until tender. Mash with melted butter and warm milk until smooth. For something different, swirl through a little crumbled feta cheese and a few chopped black pitted olives.

Versatile and inexpensive carrots are perfect for using in casseroles and soups too. Warm up with a quick and easy Carrot and chickpea soup. The old saying that carrots help you see in the dark is due to their high content of beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A and uses for normal vision.

Packed with flavour and fibre this veggie laden Vegan veggie and lentil soup is ideal for lunch or dinner. One of kales health benefits is that it provides iron (needed for red blood cells) and calcium (important for healthy bones).

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin A and C. To retain maximum flavour and nutrition, cook broccoli lightly. Broccoli sprigs are lovely blanched and served with dips.  For a delicious and easy mid-week meal whip up this Wok-fried broccoli, red chilli & beef

Roast, pan-fry or braise mild aniseed flavoured fennel, to serve with chicken, lamb or seafood. Choose plump fennel bulbs with fresh-looking feathery fronds attached.

Select compact, even sized, vibrant green or purple Brussels sprouts. Toss thinly sliced Brussels sprouts in a hot wok with a little oil and sliced beef until just tender, toss through noodles and soy sauce and serve.

Quality Riverland grown Jarrahdale, Butternut and Jap pumpkins are a choice buy. The thriftiest way to purchase pumpkin is to purchase a whole or uncut pumpkin..  Know your pumpkins.

Don’t miss out on enjoying this year chestnut harvest. Read my blog about how to choose, cook and store chestnuts.

Strawberries, apples and oranges

Hot fruit desserts are one of the delicious pleasures of winter. Team in season golden delicious apples, rhubarb, strawberries and oranges on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, serve up hot richly flavoured fruits with custard or ice-cream. Winter fruit tray bake

Golden delicious apples and Granny Smith apples are in season as are flavoursome Queensland strawberries and ruby red rhubarb.

Packed with juice Australian grown navel oranges are a bargain.Winter is the peak supply for Australian lemons. Drizzle tomato-based casseroles and soups with a little lemon juice before serving to enhance flavour. Add a strip of lemon rind and lemon juice to sugar syrups for poaching apples, pears and quinces.

Super juicy, and easy to peel mandarins are an idea snack food however they are also ideal for adding a tangy citrus flavour to a crisp winter salad. Combine mandarin segments with shredded fennel, rocket, sliced green onions and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with an olive oil and lemon dressing to serve, its fresh, light and easy. Select from Imperial, Afourer, Nova, Daisy and Taylor Lee mandarins.

Select firm custard apple with undamaged skin. Leave fruit to ripen at room temperature for 2-4 days until it yields to gentle pressure. As fruit ripens its skin colour changes from dark to light green. Swirl custard apple flesh through thick yoghurt. Add it to fruit salads, trifles or muffin mixtures or for breakfast serve custard apple with team with passionfruit or orange segments.

Quality Hass avocados are plentiful. Team avocado with citrus and fennel in a winter salad, serve avocados with chilli con carne or mash and serve on toasted sour dough with feta cheese and roasted tomatoes.

Recipe of the Week

My strawberry tart. Recipe here.

My strawberry tart. Photo by Chris Chen

The real secret to this tart is really good butter puff pastry. There are a couple of commercial brands on the market, or you can buy it from some patisseries.

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes

1 large sheet ready-rolled butter puff pastry
250 g strawberries
cinnamon sugar, for dusting : 2 tablespoons caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cassia
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
500 g good-quality vanilla ice-cream

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Using a pastry cutter or saucer, cut four 12 cm circles from the pastry and place on the baking tray. Rest in the fridge while you prepare the strawberries.

Thinly slice the strawberries and overlap them in circles on the pastry bases. Dust with cinnamon sugar and bake for 15–20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown. Serve warm with ice-cream.

Lyndey’s note: You can also make small tarts to serve as finger food?–?simply cut the pastry discs much smaller and put just a few slices of fruit on them. Check after 15 minutes in the oven as the cooking time may be slightly reduced.

To drink: These are not overly sweet so try a gewurztraminer. The spicy notes in the wine will find a delightful echo in the cinnamon sugar.

 Recipe from Just Add Spice by Lyndey Milan and Ian Hemphill (Lantern)

Some other fabulous seasonal recipes 

I thought I’d do some sweet recipes this week:
My
Cheat’s Berry Brulee is so very easy and a real winner
Strawberry Sponge Puddings with Raspberry Sauce

Dried Fig and Berry Compote with ice-cream

Where I’ve Eaten

Tare at Bristol’s Wapping Wharf

Restaurants in shipping containers at Bristol’s Wapping Wharf

Last week we stayed in Bristol unexpectedly as we couldn’t find accommodation in Cardiff (booked out for a Beyoncé concert) and needed to be there first thing the next morning. So I contacted my food-writing friend Xanthe Clay who lives there and asked her where to eat. She said Wapping Wharf was worth the 20 minute walk from our hotel with loads of dining options.
Cargo 1 and 2 are 
home to a host of independent retailers and restaurants in converted shipping containers. You can indulge in  Caribbean feasts at Calypso Kitchen, fish and chips at Salt and Malt, bao buns at Woky Ko or mostly vegetables at Root with dishes that are delicious, sustainable and affordable. We were able to get a seat at Tare which was lucky as they can only seat 20.

To begin, complimentary crisp, delicate tarts with semi-roasted tomatoes, fresh pesto and cheese

The menu is concise yet appealing with three choices per course. Beetroot salad with horseradish cream was interleaved with crisp pumpkin seed wafers (£7). New season’s asparagus came from the Wye Valley, set on orange hollandaise and finished with orange segments and crisp panko-crusted perfectly cooked confit egg yolk (£8). For mains we both enjoyed a disc of confit lamb shoulder with appealing creamy yet chunky cauliflower, some being pureed and some chopped. this was finished with an eggplant samosa, jammy raisins and jus. With an excellent bottle of `Samael` Montepulciano d`abruzzo, all black cherry and licorice for £24, it is one of the best value meals we have had in the UK. Service was friendly, professional yet appropriately informal. Highly recommended.

The menu is concise yet appealing with three choices per course. Beetroot salad with horseradish cream was interleaved with crisp pumpkin seed wafers (£7). New season’s asparagus came from the Wye Valley, set on orange hollandaise and finished with orange segments and crisp panko-crusted perfectly cooked confit egg yolk (£8). For mains we both enjoyed a disc of confit lamb shoulder with appealing creamy yet chunky cauliflower, some being pureed and some chopped (£17.50). this was finished with an eggplant samosa, jammy raisins and jus. With an excellent bottle of `Samael` Montepulciano d`abruzzo, all black cherry and licorice for £24, it is one of the best value meals we have had in the UK. Service was friendly, professional yet appropriately informal. Highly recommended.

Pipers Farm lamb rump, cauliflower, raisin, toasted almond

Interesting Reading

Amorelle Dempster and her volunteers are helping farmers who are in tough situations. (Slow Food Hunter Valley)

Further to my writing about the difficulties faced by farmers in the drought, SBS reports that As growers lose their crops and endure trying conditions, the locals behind Slow Food Hunter Valley are providing much-needed aid. Some of its key projects includes ‘Feeding the Community’, converting excess produce and food from farms into nutritious meals for the disadvantaged and hungry, and ‘Fresh Food in Remote Communities’, which works with local Indigenous leaders and schools to grow fresh food. But the group is perhaps best known for assisting the region’s farmers, who are doing it tough. Inspiring stuff.

Good Food writes that Australian camel milk production cranks up for global demand. Certainly it was judged for the first time at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show earlier this year.

Further to our farewell to Anthony Bourdain in last week’s newsletter, here’s his column in The New Yorker entitled Don’t Eat Before Reading This from April 19, 1999 issue.

Gourmet Traveller reveals chefs who are sprreading their love for vegemite beyond breakfast.

What’s On

Queensland’s Regional Flavours in Brisbane is on 21 – 22 July, 2018.

Entry is free for the entire event, so you can fill your weekend with cooking demonstrations, book signings, food and wine stalls, live music and plenty of kids activities. 

Regional Flavours is on from 10am-5pm on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July 2018, except River Quay which opens until 8pm, and The Hunting Club which opens from 5pm-late on Friday 20 July and until late on both other days. Program here.

You can continue to catch segments from my Taste of Ireland TV series on the Food Network.

Keep up to date with my travels on all my social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Enjoy what you cook, eat and drink.

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Follow me on Instagram

Grab your copies of Lyndey’s books, DVDs, Brilliant Cut Knife and more from the Flame Distribution Store!

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences