Weekly Update

The judges and winners of the Sydney Market Fresh Awards Bloggers competition: L to R; Judges Robyn Foyster and Liz Posmyk,  the winners, Sydney Food sisters Effi Tsoukatos & Caterina Sterrantino, judges Edwina Bartholomew and me

The Fresh Awards, put on by Sydney Markets annually,  is the night of nights for the NSW and ACT’s greengrocers, florists, growers, wholesales and bloggers. They encourage and recognise best practice and innovations in fresh produce and flower growing and retailing. Not only that, there is always a great party to announce and celebrate the winners.  This year was better than ever, finger food served to cabaret tables, sensational decor featuring extraordinary flowers and produce, topped off with a show by Tom Burlinson and dancing. Everyone was a winner for a good night out.
I was one of a panel of industry experts, along with mystery shoppers who visit retail business over a 6 month period. I judge the blogging section, which is done independently of the other judges. There was an increase in the standard this year, as there was across all categories. So hats off to all the people in the industry. Worth remembering that Sydney markets, with its produce, flower and growers market is supplied by over 20,000 local and interstate growers, with more tan 700 businesses based there.
Results are here. Massive congratulations to Grima’s Farm Fresh Produce for winning Produce Grower of the Year. I have been buying from them for years and have filmed at their farm at Horsley Park. A lovely family and great to see the wives acknowledged on the night as being the backbone of the business.

Jump ahead to see:
This Week’s Best Fruit and Veg
Recipe of the Week
Other Seasonal Recipes
Wine List of the Year Awards
Interesting Reading
What’s On
Special offer for subscribers – last chance

Broccoli, cauliflower and fennel, some of the best of the season vegetables

Creamy mashed potatoes are a family favourite and delicious served with a winter casserole. The important thing is to boil or steam you potatoes unpeeled, then peel when cool enough to handle. this stop s them being watery. Here is my recipe for mashed potatoes, with a little indigenous seasoning and a veal chop, to give you the correct technique.

Cabbage is right in season and stores very well in your crisper. Sautéed, steamed or tossed in a hot wok, the dfferent types require very little cooking. Warm up with braised cabbage with chorizo & creamy mashed potatoes

Cauliflowers continue to shine,  enjoy cauliflower roasted, grate to make cauliflower couscous or cook and puree and serve as a mashed potato substitute for a great  low kilojoule option. Or serve up a  
cauliflower mac ’n cheese

Super nutritious and versatile quality broccoli abounds. Whip a batch of these delicious oven baked
Broccoli & cheese fritters

Red and green capsicums prices are back a little this week. Red capsicums are the sweetest eating. Add capsicum to pizza toppings, salads, stir fries, char-grill or stuff with a meat and vegetable filling and bake until tender.

Top quality globe artichokes are now in season. Boil trimmed globe artichokes until tender then slice and combine with diced tomatoes, baby bocconcini, parsley, pepper and olive oil to serve with crusty bread. Master the art of cooking artichokes, with this simple recipe, Globe artichokes with prosciutto.

Large sized zucchinis are my pick for the spiralizer. Then simply blanch in boiling water before using in place of pasta or noodles.

Mild sweeter tasting leeks are ideal for flavouring casseroles, soups and egg-based dishes such as quiche and frittata.

Blood oranges, rhubarb and granny smiths

Blood oranges are ultra-juicy and have beautiful juice: more tart earlier in the season, then growing in sweetness as the season goes on.  Select plump fruit with ruby-red tinged skin. Rich skin colour indicates the fruit has full ‘blood’ coloured flesh. Fruit should feel heavy for its size and have firm skin. B This fennel and blood orange salad is scrumptious and easy to make.

You can use all the fruit lemons which are plentiful.  Add a strip of lemon rind and lemon juice to sugar syrups for poaching apples, pears and quinces or combine finely grated lemon rind with finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and crushed garlic in a gremolata to sprinkle over crumbed lamb cutlets, osso bucco or vegetable soup.

Leave firm unripe Hass avocados to ripen at room temperature. They’re ready to eat when they yield to gentle pressure at the stem end. 6 top ways to add avocado to your diet this week. 

Looking for a low kilojoules snack, then you can’t go past Aussie apples. Granny Smith are a crunchy and delicious apple perfect for cooking with or eating out of your hand. This super easy Granny Smith Apple Tart is perfect dessert to serve to family and friends. 

Rhubarb is in good supply. I like to roast rhubarb for intensified flavour, or stew chopped rhubarb with strawberries, a little caster sugar and the juice of a blood orange. To serve, layer vanilla yoghurt and the cooked rhubarb mixture into serving glasses.

There are good supplies of passionfruit, particularly the Panama passionfruit. Team passionfruit with pears in this Roasted pears with passionfruit & honey.

Pears are plentiful and good buying too.  Thinly slice firm pears and add to a salad with rocket and  parmesan cheese or poach pears for a quick dessert. Better still bake them with brown sugar and verjus and maybe add some candied ginger to them too.

Recipe of the Week

Roast monkfish with Irish style cabbage, potato sauce and scallion butter – which uses cabbage, potatoes and leeks

Recipe by Andy Mourne from Mourne Seafood Bar
From
 Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Ireland: Episode 1, Belfast

This is a delightful dish, combining fantastic produce with some traditional Irish ingredients but in a light and modern way. Monkfish is a Northern Hemisphere fish but there is a similar fish, stargazer which comes from New Zealand. Scallion is another name for green onion (shallots).

Serves 4
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 15 minutes plus resting

1 tablespoon (20ml) rapeseed or olive oil
1 tablespoon (20g) butter
4 x160-80g fillets monkfish (or stargazer)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cabbage
50g butter
½ white onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, julienned
½ savoy cabbage, shredded
1 cup (180g) ham shank, chopped
¾ bunch scallions, chopped

Potato sauce
150ml milk
50g butter
2/3 cup (200g) seasoned mashed potato (at room temperature)

Scallion butter
1/3 cup (80g) butter
¼ bunch scallions (green onions), chopped
juice of ½ lemon

For the monkfish: Heat a non-stick medium frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and butter and heat until butter starts to brown. Season monkfish with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Colour on all sides and finish in a hot oven (200°C/180°C fan-forced) for 6-8 minutes. Remove to a warm place to rest for two minutes before serving.

For the cabbage: heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add white onion and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Place on a tightly fitting lid, cook for two minutes then add cabbage. Replace lid and cook for a further three minutes, then add shank and scallions, replace lid and leave to one side.

For the potato sauce: heat milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the mash potato and combine until smooth. Adjust seasoning.

For the scallion butter: melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add scallions and juice and serve immediately.

To serve: pour potato sauce into large bowl, then top with irish cabbage, place monkfish on top and drizzle with scallion butter.

Other Seasonal Recipes

Shakshuka

Jambalaya with Prawns, Pork and Smoked Sausage
Shakshuka
Cataplana
Yummy Lemon Pudding
Pear and Gingerbread Loaf with Pear Crisps
I often find myself reading The Guardian online, with the added benefit there is no pay wall. Anna Jones also has some great recipes and this one for Root Vegetable Winter Stews is perfect for Australian winter produce and weather.

Wine List of the Year Awards

Winners are grinners: Wine List of the Year winners and presenters

It has been independently judged by 30 industry professionals and now announced and Aria Brisbane, is the first ever Queensland winner of the prestigious Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards at the 25th anniversary of the awards.

While the award goes to the restaurant, sommelier Ian Trinkle receives the accompanying Judy Hirst Award, presented in memory of my late friend and inspirational woman who helped found and establish the awards 25 years ago.

Long-serving chairman of Judges Peter Forrestal commented “Since it opened in 2009, the Aria list while similar in style and structure to its Sydney sibling, gives unique support to the fledging Queensland industry as well as highlighting the best Australia has to offer. Like few others, it balances the cutting edge and the established; embracing new trends while celebrating old favourites. Thoughtful curating has gradually refined an outstanding list which has morphed into Australia’s finest in 2018” .

Much admired Melbourne sommelier David Lawlerwho won the 2010 Best Wine List of the Year at Rockpool, Melbourne and recently retired as President of Sommeliers Australia was awarded the rarely given Individual Award with entry into the Hall of Fame for his passionate commitment to the Sommelier profession and the hospitality industry supporting the education,training and service skills of sommeliers.

Bentley was named Best List of Wine by the Glass and Nick Hildebrandt received the Sommeliers Choice Award. Chiswick Woollahra won Best Small Wine List and Aria Sydney won Best Sparkling Wine List.

First launched in 1993, by Rob and Judy Hirst and Tucker Seabrook, Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards were created to recognise and reward the hard work and talent of sommeliers as well as the enormous investment in time and resources by business owners to develop quality wine lists and cellars.The first winner in 1994 was Peter and Beverley Doyle’s Sydney restaurant Cicada. Peter and Bev were there again to enjoy the occasion.

2018 saw a record number of entries in the awards with a record also 325 dining establishments including restaurants, clubs, pubs, hotels and wine bars achieving the higher glass rankings of two glasses (excellent) or three glasses (outstanding).

Popular categories were Best Wine By the Glass and Best Matching of Food and Wine, closely followed by Best Listing of a Regions Wines and Best Listing of Australian Wines – something I am pleased to see promoting Australian wines.

Gourmet Traveller WINE has been the Awards partner for the last decade and Winners and judges comments can be found here . There is also a full reporting of it in the current issue Aug/Sept 2018 Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine.

A special moment as Judy Hirst’s granddaughter Laura, presents the Judy Hirst award to Ian Trinkle L to R, Judy Sarris, Editor Gourmet Traveller WINE, Mark Baulderstone, Managing Director Riedel, Ian Trinkle, Laura Field, Rob Hirst, Ashley Pini, Group Publishing Editor, Hip Media.
Right photo: Co-Chairman of Judges, also founding Editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE and longtime friend, Peter Forrestal and me

Interesting Reading

Are you getting enough calcium, potassium, dietary fibre and vitamin D?

My Fitness Pal blog cautions about Four essential nutrients you’re probably missing: calcium, potassium, dietary fibre and vitamin D. It also explains why we need them and how to get them.
Food & Wine reveals How to Make Whipped Cream with Skim Milk
It also explains What’s the Difference Between Cake flour, Brad Flour, Pastry Flour and All-Purpose Flour
and 10 Things you should Never Put Down Your Drain

What’s On

Ételek pop-up which opened in Potts Point this week

Ételek, a three-month pop-up, has opened at the former Gastro Park/Antipodean site in Potts Point. This is the latest pop-up of Ételek  for Chef Adam Wolfers and Marc Dempsey.

Meaning ‘food’ in Hungarian, Ételek features a menu that draws on Wolfers’ heritage, as well as his time in the kitchens of est., Marque, Monopole and Yellow. With an Austrian Grandmother and Hungarian Grandfather, Wolfers was brought up eating Eastern European food and so will draw inspiration from Eastern European as well as Middle Eastern and North African dishes.

Influence from Yellow can be seen in vegetable-focused dishes that hero seasonal produce like parsnip schnitzel served with hot sauce and pickled cucumber. The menu is divided into smaller, larger and sweet dishes, as well as a selection of artisan breads such as Lángos, served with cultured cream or wattle pancake, chickpea miso & fennel. Smaller dishes include Nokedli dumplings, sea urchin & walnut or the ‘Everything Bagel’ with buttermilk cream cheese and dill, while larger dishes include bottom sirloin, kohlrabi & white poppy seed. For something sweet, there isJerusalem artichoke ice cream & matzo praline or tangerine poppy seed cake & buttermilk.  However, the menu will change often to encourage repeat visits from locals.

Ételek is open from 5pm Wednesday to Saturday and from 2pm on Sundays. There are also a series of Sunday events, including a collaboration with Gregory Llewellyn (Hartsyard, Wishbone) to host a New York style brunch on 26th August. On the 16th September, Bar Rochford’s front of house team, Nick Smith and Lucas Woods will come from Canberra to host a one-off party, complete with a DJ.
Ételek will pop-up at 5-9 Roslyn Street, Potts Point until 13 October

The Grape, Grain and Graze Festival is on at Sydney Showground on Saturday 11 August 2-6pm

The Grape, Grain & Graze Festival (formerly The Wine Experience) is an afternoon of fabulous wine, brews, fine food and live music – and you can get $14 off the single entry price of $90 – so that’s $76 which represents amazing value.

This is your opportunity to taste incredible wines from the 2,200+ entries from the 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show, enjoy products from the 2018 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show and satisfy food cravings at grazing stations laden with Sydney Royal medal-winning food.

Sample your way through the 2018 success stories, taste new trends and pick up a tip or two at Judges Tutorials. Industry Judges will be on hand to answer your questions and guide your palate around the stunning array of varietals and blends.

As a special offer for subscribers, I am offering $14 off all single tickets which have a RRP ticket price of $90. Please use code LMGGG18 at checkout.
Purchase tickets here
When: Saturday 11 August 2pm-6pm
Where: Hall 6, Grand Parade, Sydney Showground
Prices
General public: Single Ticket $90 + booking fee; Double Pass $164 + booking fee
RAS Members: Single Ticket $80 + booking fee; Double Pass $150 + booking fee

Please note: the online ticketing link will close 5pm, Friday 10 August.
Alternatively, tickets can be purchased at the door.

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Enjoy what you cook, eat and drink.

Lyndey

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