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
Welcome 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’sin 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.
Pork with Blood Orange Glaze, Fennel & Blood Orange Salad
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 cancatch up on my Facebook page with everything I do anyway.
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
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
Kumara, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts
Despite the name, these are no relation to globe artichokeswhich 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. Preparing
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
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 Cancer. A 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 Boxcan 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.
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
MY HOSTED TOURS RETURN IN 2021
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.