Back on the Rollercoaster

On set for The Cook Up at SBS with Adam Liaw and Hugh Piper

As I begin this newsletter, it’s Friday and I am waiting at the hospital to readmit my partner John. It seems the oral antibiotics are not enough or he has a different, chest infection and so here we go again. Hoping IV antibiotics and some fluids will bring things under control and more tests will reveal what’s happening. He is in good spirits, mentally alert and just very tired. As are we both. So, let’s see how far I get with this newsletter?

I hope Americans everywhere were able to enjoy a safe Thanksgiving. I know it is a special time for you all and to celebrate with family and friends but I am alarmed each day when I see the numbers of new cases of COVID. I hope your new President will address this in a proactive way as soon as possible. Likewise my thoughts to all those in the UK back in lockdown. I hope this newsletter can brighten your lives a little.

I had a great, if long, day on Tuesday at SBS recording four episodes of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw. It really is going to be a lovely show – friendly and warm rather than competitive. My fellow chef was a delightful young man, Hugh Piper who was Head Chef at Dear Saint Eloise and now managing another venture, Fabbrica, a Pasta Shop (and tiny wine bar) From the same Ragazzi Team. It was great to be back on set, cooking up my own recipes each inspired by the theme of the day. The series goes to air next April and then will be on every week night at 7pm. I’ll be sure to remind you!

Facebook Live is back on, at the old time of 6:30 pm AEDST or 5:30 pm, QLD time and an early 7:30 am UK time. I put up a poll on Instagram and the vote was to return to this time. See more, and an update on last week, below.
May you all have a happy and restful week, wherever you are.

Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.

Jump ahead to see:
YouTube video
Recipes of the Week
Facebook Live
All About Zucchini Flowers
Christmas Gift Making
Next Week and Last
Travel with me?

YouTube Video

Rib-eye of Beef with Irish Whiskey Sauce and Pea Medley

I was talking to someone this week about my Taste of Ireland TV series. He queried good food and Ireland, isn’t it all cabbage and potatoes? To which I replied “have you tasted that cabbage and those potatoes. The cold earth and gentle rain of Ireland grows extraordinary produce. The quality is superb and it’s a joy to cook with.” So here’s an out-take from Episode 2 of the series in County Cork.  After shopping in the historic English Market, I cooked this in a glass house in the drizzle in the gardens of Hayfield Manor, Cork. It also shows just how easy it is to cook with limited equipment.
You can watch me  on YouTube here.   You’ll find the written recipe here. You can subscribe to my channel here, so you can see other videos including my meals in a minute.

Recipes of the Week

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Zucchini flowers are available now, so it’s a great time to cook them. I really do like to stuff them and when you try this, you’ll know that it’s worth it. Here is the recipe

Berries are glorious and this traditional recipe is such a celebration of them and is both colourful and appropriate for Christmas too. Here is my Summer Pudding. Enjoy! 

Summer Pudding

Facebook Live

Saffron Prawns, Squid, Chipotle Mayo, Chimichurri Sauce, Asparagus, Salmon with Wasabi Kewpie and Oysters Natural and also with Wasabi Dressing

Last week I featured seafood ideas for entertaining. However, I set myself a challenge to see what I could do in 30 minutes. so, not only did I make my Seafood Platter with Chimichurri Sauce and Chipotle Mayo, I blanched some asparagus, refreshed and splashed with extra virgin olive oil,  and mixed diced fresh salmon with Wasabi Kewpie Mayo. You can watch me make it all here.

I am well aware from my 18 or so years teaching at the Sydney Seafood School that many people are unsure how to best cook fish at home. Many aren’t keen on the smell. Well, I will show you my version of Steamed fish with ginger, shallots and soy, with veg on the side and my own method for perfect rice in the microwave. To cook along with me, for two main courses you will need:
2 (about 180g each) snapper or other white fish fillets
3cm-piece fresh ginger, grated
1 small red chilli, chopped (optional)
4 green onions (shallots) sliced
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon salt-reduced soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 choy sum, quartered if large
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander or mint leaves (optional)
3/4 cup jasmine or long grain rice

Come and join the Facebook Live here. 

All About Zucchini Flowers

Glorious zucchini flowers with baby zucchini attached

Delicate zucchini flowers with their bright-golden petals bloom at this time of year. The female flower has a tiny zucchini attached, whereas the male flower has a thin stem. The slightly nutty flavour is unique.
How To Select
Choose fresh-looking zucchini flowers that are not wilted. If the baby zucchini is attached to the flower, it should be firm, slender and glossy green.
How To Store
These spring flowers are highly perishable. The flowers are best used within 1 day of purchasing while those with the baby zucchini attached will last for a little longer when stored covered with damp paper towel in an airtight container in the fridge.
Ways To Use Zucchini Flowers

  • Stuff zucchini flowers with a mix of fresh ricotta, grated parmesan and basil then roast or fry until golden.
  • Dip zucchini flowers in a light tempura batter and shallow or deep fry in vegetable oil until golden. Serve with lemon wedges and sea salt.
  • Drizzle a tray of zucchini flowers with the baby zucchini attached with olive oil, season and roast with cherry truss tomatoes. Sprinkle with crumbled feta to serve.

Christmas Gift Making

L: Cranberry Shortbread Stars and R: White Chocolate Rocky Road

I am a big fan of homemade gifts, especially when you can get the kids involved and they can help, also meaning gifts for teachers and the like are much less expensive. Plus you and the kids are in the kitchen together and they are learning something. Here are two recipes to get you going, Cranberry Shortbread Stars and White Chocolate Rocky Road.

Next Week and Last

Steamed Banana and Ginger Pudding with Coffee Ginger Glaze and Bruleed Bananas

Last Monday was National Espresso Coffee Day so I shared my recipe for Steamed Banana and Ginger Pudding with Coffee Ginger Glaze and Bruleed Bananas. I welcomed a new local restaurant and shared my recipe for Salade Nicoise

Right now, I’m not sure what next week will bring, although it will be the beginning of December. I will certainly be posting so please do join me on Facebook and Instagram!

 Travel with me?

Moroccan Tagine

There is light at the end of the tunnel with Covid vaccines on the horizon, I am optimistically planning my tours to Morocco and Puglia for late next year. If we deem it not safe to travel, we will postpone to 2022, but I think accompanied tours with well-reputed and experienced companies will be the safest way to go.

Morocco culinary tour new dates – begin in Rabat on Friday 29 October until 9 November 2021 – some information here.
Read Where to Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in Rabat.

Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata: 10-16 October 2021
Full details and prices here,

Polignano al Mare, Puglia

Stay safe, healthy and happy. Keep up to date  on all my social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Pinterest and my YouTube channel.

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