I can’t believe another month has passed so welcome to my August monthly newsletter. It’s been such a busy time since I returned to Sydney so I need to backtrack over the last couple of weeks. I was interviewed on The Daily Edition on 7 Network and chatted about Rafferty, Japan, Morocco and about the Blair Milan Fund winners show Schapelle Schapelle. It was sensational this week – so professional, well-written, hilarious, great original songs and performances from last year’s 3rd year students. If you missed the TV segment, scroll down to the 4th clip here.
I had a delightful couple of days in Melbourne, judging The Australian Food Awards for the RASV. I took the opportunity to catch up with Stephanie Alexander and hear the latest about her Kitchen Garden Foundation over lunch at the recently-opened di Stasio Citta which I absolutely loved. Some of the best Italian food and service around with some unusual items on the menu. Highly recommended. Then I caught up with friends at the new Bar Margaux, also fabulous before dinner at Marion. Here I really enjoyed a kingfish wing with a seaweed sauce and superb roast chicken. I don’t get to Melbourne often enough so when I do I try to pack it in. I also shopped in a couple of favourite shops and found a book sale, so I was very happy.
It really does seem to be judging and awards season and I am honoured to be on the judging panels for Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year and regional winelists for the 2019 NSW Sommelier’s Wine List Awards which are a revamp of the RCA NSW Wine List Awards. The annual Fresh Awards have been announced by Sydney markets, as have the annual Wine List of the Year Awards.
I also conducted some of the media training for this year’s mentees in Tasting success, the female chef mentoring program of which I am Patron and co-Founder. It’s always great to see a new batch of students of all ages embracing a fabulous opportunity like this.
It was lovely to be back on Weekend Mornings on ABC Radio with Simon Marnie last Sunday 28 July. If you missed it, you can hear the podcast here. I am just over an hour in and it is followed by Simon’s very first Sunday Brunch which he did with the late Margaret Fulton in 2000. It was very special to listen to that.
TOP: The 2018 Blair Milan Fund winners all involved with the amazing Schapelle Schapelle. Note their names as I am sure we will be seeing more of them L to R: Abby Gallaway, Mitch Lourigan (also winner 2018 individual scholarship), Gareth Thomson, Jack Dodds and my partner, John
BOTTOM L: Zucchini carpaccio at di Stasio Citta and R Tasting Success Mentees
Winter’s bounty includes carrots, broccoli, parsnips, oranges, apples and Hass avocadoes
The best in fruit and veggies this week in Australia
Strawberries, blueberries and tangelos
Aromatic and flavoursome strawberries are also a good source of fibre. I have them for breakfast nearly every day. Some of the most memorable desserts ever created include strawberries.
Queensland grown grape and cherry tomatoes are flavoursome and good value this week. My granddaughter Isabel loves popping them into her mouth. “More ‘mato” she asks.
For a stunning quick dessert, toss tangelo segments with halved hulled strawberries. Squeeze over tangelo juice and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Serve with a scoop of mascarpone and a drizzle of liqueur.
Sweet eating blueberries are a pleasant change at this time of year with prices are easing. Seville oranges are bittersweet in flavour and are most commonly used for making marmalade. So, if you like to make your homemade spreads you had best get cracking while the price and quality are at their best.
Blood oranges are ultra-juicy. Segment fruit over a bowl and reserve the juice. Use blood orange juice in marinades, salad dressings or drizzle over pan-fried fish or chicken.
Premium Hass avocados from Southern Queensland and Northern NSW are plentiful and in great condition.
Tropical tasting pineapples are tangy and sweet. Toss pineapple pieces into a stir-fry with pork and vegetables. For a quick dessert; warm chunks of pineapple in butter and brown sugar and serve with a dollop of cream.
L: TOP; globe artichokes BOTTOM; purple kale and R: eggplant
With their crisp texture, bright green leaves and stems and excellent nutritional value, it’s no surprise that Asian vegetables are a growing choice and especially well-priced. To make your next stir-fry more authentic and delicious, toss in a bunch of chopped gai lum, pak choy, bok choy or choy sum.
Eggplant is a versatile Mediterranean vegetable that is easy to prepare. No need to salt, simply slice, brush with olive oil and grill until tender. Add cooked eggplant slices to pizza topping, sandwiches and antipasto or try thiseggplant and roast capsicum salad.
Leafy kale is a thrifty buy and it delivers on nutrition, versatility and value for money. Available in green or a lovely purple/green combinations. Try thissautéed winter greensfor a quick side dish.
The best-known member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants and a good source of fibre, folate, and potassium. Raw, it makes an intereting complement to salads. Steamed is another good way to absorb broccoli’s many nutrients. Alternatively broccolini sold in bunches sd is vegetable is 100% edible, the stems are tender.
Mild flavoured golden yellow squash is a versatile veggie, try them this week sliced and pan-fried with garlic and chilli or roasted with pancetta. Garlic & pine nut crumb.
English spinach is a fabulous buy this week.. Toss spinach into a hot wok with crunched garlic and toss until just wilted. If the kids don’t like to eat their greens hide them in this Spinach & zucchini Chocolate Cake.
Fennel has been used in French and Italian kitchens for centuries and has increased in popularity in Australia. Its delicate aniseed flavour, and celery-like texture making it suitable for adding to soups, casseroles, risottos, pasta and salads. Try this Radicchio, fennel, pear & blue cheese salad
Add colour and sweetness to a stir-fry, casserole or an omelet with sliced or diced Queensland grown red capsicum.
Globe artichokes are a stunning vegetable with a unique, sweet and subtle flavour. Early supplies of artichokes are from Victoria and growers in the Sydney basin. If you have not prepared globe artichokes this recipe is a great starting pointglobe artichokes with prosciutto.
Recipe of the week
Slow Roasted Tunisian Spiced Lamb in Paper from Lyndey & Herbie’s Moveable Feast TV series
Cooking time depends on the size of your leg of lamb. Increase both the spices and cooking time for a 2kg leg. Yandilla mustard seed oil comes in both mild and pungent varieties. The pungent one is ideal for this recipe. Olive oil could be substituted.
1.5 – 1.8 kg leg lamb
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
2 tablespoons (40ml) pungent mustard seed oil
5-6 large sheets good quality baking paper
Pomegranate seeds, to serve Tunisian spice mix
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced).
For Tunisian spice mix: pound all ingredients using a pestle and mortar until coarsely ground.
Place the lamb leg on top of a few sheets of baking paper, sprinkle with Tunisian spice mix and rub in well with sea salt to taste. Scatter with sliced garlic, top with sliced lemon, scatter with fresh thyme sprigs and drizzle with mustard seed oil.
Fold the paper over to enclose the lamb, tucking the sides in to ensure no cooking liquid can escape. Bring the paper up over the top of the lamb and tie well with string to secure.
Place the parcel of lamb onto a roasting dish and cook for 2½ – 3 hours. Check to see the lamb is falling off the bone.
To serve, place the lamb parcel on a large serving dish and cut open at the table. The lamb will be meltingly tender and fall from the bone. Serve with the juices spooned over, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
Lyndey’s Note: Do not use aluminium foil to wrap lamb in, it prevents it browning and the lamb will stew.
In Season Recipes
Salted Caramel Soufflés with Salted Caramel Sauce Photography: John Paul Urizar
Premium quality parsnips are in season and available at the moment for $10- $11 a kilo.
The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to carrot and parsley; all belong to the family Apiaceae. They look like cream coloured carrots and are native to Europe and Asia. Used by the ancient Greeks and Romans and cultivated in the Middle Ages, parsnips lost favour with Europeans when potatoes from the New World were introduced. The British introduced the plant to North America in the 17th century before the introduction of the potato in the 19th century
Good for you … PARSNIPS A good source of dietary fibre which helps keep the intestine functioning.
A source of potassium, which can help balance sodium from salt in our diets, helping regulate blood pressure.
Provides vitamin C, which contributes to the normal functioning of our immune system and also niacin (vitamin B3) and biotin, another B vitamin, both of which are needed for the normal release of energy from food.
Also contains folate, iron (involved in red blood cell formation). 100g parsnip supplies 240kJ.
Choose small to medium parsnips that are coloured cream to white. Large parsnips are more likely to have woody centres and are not so flavoursome. Avoid parsnips that have spindly roots, soft spots or other visible damage or ones that are limp.
How to store and keep parsnips
Store parsnips in a vegetable storage bag in the crisper section of your fridge. Avoid wrapping parsnips in plastic as they will sweat and deteriorate in quality. Parsnips will stay fresh for up to a week when stored in the fridge but it’s best to use parsnips as soon as possible after buying them.
How to use
Parsnips are delicious roasted and add a unique sweetness to soups and casseroles or try cooking in milk and pureeing with a dollop of cream, season and serve with steak, chicken or fish
Add an Indian flavour to your parsnip soup – cook parsnips with curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry paste, then blitz in a food processor and top with chopped coriander leaves before serving.
Make parsnip chips – slice parsnip and fry, then drain and season with salt. Serve with a dip or with meat or chicken and a simple green salad.
Roast parsnips and serve with meat or fish – coat with a mixture of parmesan and flour and bake until crunchy and golden brown.
Try parsnip and potato fritters – boil parsnip and potato, grate and mix with thyme, chopped onion and seasoning, then fry until they form a crispy, gold crust.
Herbie and me on location at a Harris Farm Markets farm
The final two episodes of Lyndey & Herbie’s Moveable Feast are on SBS Food (Channel 33) this Saturday night 3 August at 6.30pm and 7.00pm.
The Hawkesbury area in NSW is becoming a mecca for food and wine lovers and we soon discover why. Herbie takes to the water to learn the art of trawling for prawns and creates a delicious prawn curry with Indian flavours. I meet up with old friend and renowned chef Dietmar Sawyere to create his signature dish of yabby tails, right on the river. Plus, we stop in at two farms that are growing luxurious Asian greens and exquisite edible flowers. We turn this produce into an amazing salad and an amazing hot and sour soup.
Episode 8 – Tasmania
Edna has taken us on some outstanding adventures. So what better way to wrap up the series than with the jewel in the foodie crown; a trip to Tasmania. The delights of this small island include a garden kitchen and cooking school where we create Gnocchi using, amongst other things, garden weeds! The discovery of native pepper leads to a chocolate brownie with a real bite and then we’re off to an exciting tasting at an artisan seafood smokehouse. To top it all off, we journey to Bruny Island where their famous cheese is showcased in both a visit to the factory and a pizza cook-off.
L: Prawn Moilee from episode 7 and R: Potato gnocchi with smoked backon, broad beans, nettles & ricotta from episode 8
Not to be missed by anyone interested in wine, The Sydney Royal Wine Show lunch
The Sydney Royal Wine Show starts next week with four days of judging. With the results come some great events for wine lovers: Friday 16 August, 2019 – WCA Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners Lunch. 12 noon for 12.30pm Set amongst the trophy and award winning wines, enjoy a fabulous three course meal of Sydney Royal medal winning produce, accompanied by Trophy-winning wines. Hear insights and feedback from Chair of Judges, PJ Charteris, and International Judge, Roderick Smith MW. Mingle with other wine lovers and wine industry professionals and learn who is the 2019 NSW Legend of the Vine. It includes access to the Wine Show Exhibitor and Trade Tasting prior, from 9am – 12 noon. Make a day of it and get the train to Sydney Olympic Park.
12 noon for 12.30pm
Saturday 17 August 2019 Grape, Grain and Graze Festival An afternoon of fabulous wine, brews, fine food and live music. Spend an afternoon tasting incredible wines from over 2,200 entries from the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show, enjoy tasters from the Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show and satisfy food cravings at grazing stations laden with Sydney Royal medal-winning food.
Tickets at the door $100, discount for members or Pre-purchase online before 10 August and save $10
Single Ticket: $90 + booking fee ($4.59)
Double Pass: $164 + booking fee ($4.59) Tickets here. Register and purchase your tickets today to ensure you don’t miss out.
Mudgee Celebrates 40 years of Wine Festival – 7 September to 7 October 2019
Mudgee will celebrate one of the country’s longest running wine and food festivals at the 2019 Mudgee Wine + Food Festival to be held from September 7th to October 7th. The Festival was established in 1979 when a small band of visionary winemakers saw the opportunity in banding together to showcase the region’s unique wine quality. Since then, the Festival has continued to grow and expand, and now encompasses the entire month of September and the October long weekend, bringing together not only the winegrowers but the region’s best produce, chefs and cooks to share the Mudgee experience.Signature events are supplemented by a diverse range of experiences at each of Mudgee’s cellar doors during the month.
Full details, along with ticketing, here www.visitmudgeeregion.com.au.
Fish Butchery Masterclasses with Josh Niland No-one knows fish better than Josh. He has an incredible way of treating it in many ways like meat. Held on Tuesday nights, they sell out quickly but some are still available for August. Could be a good Father’s Day gift?. Learn about innovative fish preparations while you are served delicious Fish Butchery snacks. Ticket includes a take home pack of fish as well as complimentary BYO service. Classes and prices here
Three Blue Ducks’ Paris mash (creamy mashed potatoes). Photo: Christopher Pearce