A Time for Thoughtfulness and Co-operation – 31 July 2020
A time for thoughtfulness and
My new fabric masks – thank you Lyall
Welcome This really is a time for thoughtfulness and co-operation, not for fighting or point-scoring. I mean this globally with the Australian/US meetings over China, but also regionally and domestically. All lives matter and it is so important we think of the implications our actions may have on others. I am appalled by the selfishness of the young women who cheated and returned to Queensland via Sydney, without revealing they had been in Victoria and the consequential spread of Covid. There are many other instances, but this is perhaps the most flagrant.
I feel for the front line health workers everywhere: those in Victoria who are working harder and longer as the pandemic spreads and some of their colleagues contract Covid themselves, or need to isolate, meaning longer hours for those still working. the same for the NHS in the UK. I marvel at how pop-up testing sites appear with people manning them to make it easier for more people to be tested.
I especially feel for the elderly in our communities. It’s time we venerated those who have lived longer than us – they have seen more and we could do well to listen to their wisdom. It is heart-breaking to see what is happening in some nursing homes as the virus spreads.
Can’t we all wear masks when we are out? Is it such a big deal? A slight inconvenience at worst, a monumental safety precaution at the other end of the scale. And, a big shout out of thanks to Lyall, an avid reader of this newsletter, awesome cook and Easter Show devotee, who made John and me some fabric ones which arrived today. Thank you so much – and for the almond bread and oranges. Covid has reared its ugly head at my local supermarket, so I won’t be going there for a bit, even though I always wear a mask there. Keeping ourselves safe keeps others safe.
Many people and industries are painfully expert at ‘pivoting’, some of us survive on JobKeeper and JobSeeker. We find ourselves in the unprecedented position of watching, waiting and listening and adapting our behaviour and our lives accordingly. I am grateful to the friends and colleagues I am able to stay in touch with via Zoom. It is so important to keep up human contact, discuss concerns and hopefully share a laugh.
I am really enjoying Facebook Live on Sunday nights at 6:00pm AEST or 9:00am 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. Please stay safe wherever you are – and also happy?
Lamb Kebabs with Yoghurt Mint Sauce
This week not one but two recipes in a YouTube video for your enjoyment, two different lamb recipes. Like last week, I developed these recipes when I was using an Air-fryer, but you can adapt to use a normal oven, if you don’t have one – or the kebabs are great on the BBQ or under the grill.
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
Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce
A sweet recipe this week. I have always loved pears. My Mum told me when I was a little girl I would ask for “more pear”, so here is a recipe to please us all, remembering my Mum, with just a little twist using some star anise in the poaching liquid. Find the recipe here.
And further on that sweet note, here is a recipe I featured in social media last week Banana Caramel Sticky Pudding.
A serve of Chicken, Chorizo and Lemon Traybake
I am really enjoying Facebook Live every Sunday night at 6:00pm. Last week I made a Chicken, Chorizo and Lemon Traybake, along with tips and tricks to make it flavoursome and moist, not dry. You can watch how I did it on Facebook here, as well as talking a bit about chardonnay and pinot noir which I matched with it. Please join me at 6:00pm (Sydney Time) or 9:00am British Standard Time, this coming Sunday as I show you two recipes: Chilli Tuna Pasta and an easy Apple Galette. Simply visit my Facebook page at 6:00pm 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 for four (though I will only be demonstrating for two) Chilli Tuna Pasta
375g pasta e.g. linguine, spaghettini or penne (gluten-free, if preferred)
1 tablespoon (20ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
425g can tuna packed in water, undrained
200g ricotta (low fat if you wish)
160g baby spinach leaves Apple Galette
1 sheet ready rolled butter puff pastry
3 pears, apples, peaches or 4 nectarines or 6 figs
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Greek yoghurt or ice cream, to serve (optional)
Focus on Blood Oranges
Blood orange and it’s juice
History of the Blood Orange
The origins of blood orange varieties are generally attributed to random mutations that occurred in common orange varieties in Italy and China centuries ago. The Moro variety that is most commonly available in Australia arose by way of a natural random mutation on the slopes of Mount Etna in the late 1800’s and has been carefully cultivated by the Sicilians ever since. They are, therefore, entirely natural and not genetically modified.Nutrition
Blood oranges are unique amongst citrus varieties. Beyond the alluring aesthetics, blood oranges offer health-promoting nutrients and traits that have wide-ranging protective powers. They deliver a unique mix of phenolic phytonutrients that have positive health effects including improved cardiovascular health, protection from UV cell damage and improvements in metabolic disease including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and obesity. In addition to being potent antioxidants, these compounds have been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity and anti-cancer properties.As a bonus, they also represent an economical way to get these phytonutrients into your diet. Besides their high levels of phenolic compounds, blood oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of fibre, as well as a source of carotonoids (vitamin A) and potassium.Well documented researchshows these health benefits: nine times the antioxidants, double the Vitamin A of navel oranges and a raft of polyphenols that regular oranges don’t have, they outclass their citrus cousins for their health promoting benefits with one blood orange equivalent to eating a whole bag (around 2 kilograms) of navels to get the same hit of antioxidants. They also hold their own against berries, particularly when assessing affordability and glycaemic load (GL).
Compared to other highly pigmented (anthocyanin containing) fruits like blueberries, pomegranate and raspberries, blood oranges represent an economical way to get these potent polyphenol compounds into your diet.. In fact, per $/g basis of total phenolics, blood oranges are one of the cheaper fresh sources of phytonutrients available during the winter and spring months.Choosing Blood Oranges
The best blood oranges are the ones with the darkest, reddest interiors. It’s is not always easy picking out such fruit. Sometimes external blush (the red colour on the skin) can be used as a general guide, but not always. Blood oranges grown in the Riverina, Riverland or Sunraysia regions of Australia, have the closest climatic conditions to that of the home of the Australian blood orange variety, Sicily.
Storing Blood Oranges
During winter, storing blood oranges in a fruit bowl at room temperature is fine provided you don’t have the heaters up too high. Alternatively, if you have a box or more that needs to be stored over a period of weeks, store them outside in the cold temperatures in a shady place like the garage.
If you have purchased blood oranges and they are not as red as you like, pop them in the fridge for at least a week, preferably two to four, and the internal colour will develop as a result of the cold temperature.
Once spring brings a little warmth to the air, store your blood oranges in the fridge to prevent them going soft quickly in response to the heat.
Using Blood Oranges Fresh is best. The best way to consume blood oranges is by eating the fresh flesh of the fruit. This will give you the most nutrients, including all of the fibre, which keeps the digestive tract in tip-top shape. Freezing. Freshly squeezed juice can last up to 12 months in the freezer, allowing you to enjoy the health benefits all year around. I have also successfully frozen segments.
Kurt Fearnley AO is an Australian wheelchair racer, who has won gold medals at the Paralympic Games and ‘crawled’ the Kokoda Track (co-incidentally married to one of my daughter’s university friends).He also hosts a long-running, long-form interview show, Kurt Fearnley’s One Plus One where he sits down with personalities and storytellers from Australia and around the world, to talk about their work, life, and what makes them tick. Last night he interviewed the incredible chef Josh Niland. In Josh Niland’s seafood restaurant, Saint Peter, nothing goes to waste – serving diners chips made from eyeballs, and caramel slices made from fish fat. The lovely, under-stated, incredibly talented but humble chef shows Kurt around the kitchen, and chats to him about sustainability, surviving childhood cancer, and winning the prestigious James Beard Book of the Year. This is highly recommended viewing: Kurt Fearnleys’ One Plus One.
The Cru Media also has a Youtube Channel which hosts an excellent series of webinars The Cru in Conversation. All highly topical and of great interest for anyone in the food, wine, events and hospitality industries.
With Raymond Blanc OBE, one of the world’s great chefs at The Curated Plate last year
Last week I decided we could start travelling the world with food and recipes. Italian food is familiar to many of us but it’s so much more than a delicious bowl of pasta, it’s about the traditions and culture around their food. Puglia is a region of Italy I hold very dear. If you’re interested in knowing more about it, here is my article about Italian cuisine and customs.
Next week we are travelling to Greece via recipes. On Sunday week(9 August) at 6:00pm (Sydney time) a Greek themed Facebook Live cooking demonstration. I will be sharing some of my favourite memories and recipes from my ‘Lyndey and Blairs Taste of Greece’ series. And also, a very special offer on the accompanying book.
There are other fond memories I will be sharing from this time last year at The Curated Plate, chatting with chefs and colleagues at a bustling event in the sunshine. How times have changed!
So don’t miss out, join me on Facebook and Instagram this week!
Travel with me in 2021?
Learn how to make Burrata on my Culinary Adventure in Puglia
MY HOSTED TOURS RETURN IN 2021
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.