I may be in Singapore (and loving the heat and, so far, not much rain) but I only got here Wednesday night, so there’ll be more to tell next week when I hope to get another newsletter out. I know I wasn’t sure about this week but there were things I wanted to share.
I got to the airport in Sydney, as advised, three hours before my flight and there were long queues but everyone was calm. However, in Singapore I had to queue for over an hour to get through immigration, although the paperwork required was minimal compared to last time. Still I got here and am taking it easy with my daughter and family.
Most exciting last week was the Bicentenary ofThe Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) which I was honoured to MC on Tuesday 5 July. The RAS has been an influential force in the direction and development of Australian agriculture through competitions, education and events since its foundation in 1822. I was the third woman on Council in 1996 and the first female Vice President (though my 6-year term ended a few years ago). The official Bicentenary commemoration was held at Sydney Showground with the Governor enthusiastically in attendance along with 400 of the RAS family – members (especially longtime), staff, Council, supporters, volunteers and friends. With wonderful Sydney Royal award-winning produce great entertainment, reminiscences and fun we celebrated the history and milestones of the people of NSW who affectionately embrace the RAS and the Sydney Royal Easter Show.?
Please eat and drink well, travel with your tastebuds if not in person, and be happy and healthy – Lyndey x
L: with my daughter Lucy and husband Toby in Singapore and R: Neville Russell on the RAS Council since 1980 shares his memories at the Bicentennial Event
Recipes of the week
WOK-TOSSED CRAB & MUSHROOM OMELETTE I love Asian-style omelettes as well as French. Here’s a perfect weekend brunch idea GET MY RECIPE HERE
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE It was World Chocolate Day this week, so in case you missed it on social media here is the easiest chocolate cake ever GET MY RECIPE HERE
In the kitchen with Lyndey
If you know how to make a basic Risotto Bianco (white) you can then make any risotto you like. Click the video above to watch me make it, or CLICK HERE for the written recipe.
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Fennel the vegetable is from the same family as the herb and seed of the same name. It can also be called Florence fennel, finocchio (in Italian), or sweet fennel. It is very popular in Italian cookery, and has a bulb-like shape that looks a little like heavy-bottomed celery. The bulb, which is pale in colour, is topped by green stems and fronds. Both the bulb and fronds can be eaten
Raw, the texture is crisp and It has a distinctive aniseed flavour. Cooked, it’s softer and more mellow. Availability
All year round, but at its best in winter and early spring Selecting
Choose smaller, young bulbs, as they’re more tender. They should look white, with no blemishes, and feel heavy for their size. The feathery green tops should be fresh and bright, with no yellowing. Preparing
Wash, then trim off the green tops (reserve to use as a garnish). Slice off the shoots and root and peel off the tougher outer layer only if the bulb is large. To cook it whole, cut out the tough central core from the bottom, leaving a cone-shaped cavity, or slice if you prefer. Alternatively, cut into quarters and remove only some of the core from each so the quarters won’t fall apart. Cooking
Cut into very thin slices for salads (a mandolin or slicer is best).
Boil or steam (up to 20 mins for a whole head, or up to 12 mins for wedges).
Roast (40-50 mins).
Cut thickly, brush with olive oil and BBQ until tender crisp. Storing
Freshly cut fennel should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper and stored in the fridge. It will last for up to five days. Fennel tends to discolour as soon as it’s cut, so dress raw fennel for salads straight away, or toss in a little lemon juice to prevent it browning.
Quick ways with fennel
Sauté a thinly sliced fennel bulb, red capsicum and onion. Cook some gnocchi according to packet directions and combine with fennel mixture, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and grated parmesan. If desired, add slices of cooked chorizo.
In a large bowl, combine chopped lettuce with a thinly sliced fennel bulb, 1/2 sliced red onion, a handful of trimmed snow peas, 2 segmented mandarins or 1 segmented grapefruit and a handful of chopped walnuts or almonds. Make a quick dressing from 2 tablespoons each extra virgin olive oil and orange juice, and drizzle over salad.
Use fennel instead of cabbage in coleslaw. Thinly slice 3 fennel bulbs. Toss with 1 thinly sliced onion, 1 grated carrot, a handful of sultanas, 1/2 cup extra light sour cream, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1/4 cup lemon juice until just combined. Sprinkle chopped fennel fronds over coleslaw before serving.
Try adding sautéed fennel bulb as a finishing touch to a pizza base topped with tomato & basil pasta sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle with dried oregano and chopped olives. Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese melts.
This authentic gastronomic experience takes in the best Morocco has to offer. Visits to ancient palaces and medinas are combined with incredible dining experiences and cooking classes including with a revered Moroccan Dada, traditionally the keeper of culinary tradition.
Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira
Atlas excursion including mules (optional) and the specialist trek guide
3 cooking classes
PUGLIA TOUR Puglia is where Italians go to holiday. This truly authentic wine and gastronomic experience takes in the best unspoiled Puglia has to offer. Guests will spend an unforgettable week learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Only a couple of spots left! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE