Keeping Australia – and the world – beautiful – 21 August 2020
Keeping Australia – and the world –
A shot taken when I was recording the opener of my TV series Taste of Australia
Welcome It’s Keep Australia Beautiful Weekthis week and it occurs to me we want to keep the whole world beautiful and the people within it, safe. So, it’s not only about the environment, it’s about how we live our daily lives and treat others. For a home cook that can mean avoiding buying things wrapped in plastic, taking our own recyclable bags to shop, storing leftovers in reusable glass containers rather than wrapping in cling wrap, only buying what we need or else ensuring we look into the back of the fridge and repurpose left overs, shop and buy seasonal and local. However, I haven’t found a use for used facemasks and gloves, so that one stumps me! but I will continue to use them to keep others, and me, safe.
Many producers, food and wine suppliers have been doing it tough with the hospitality closedown for COVID. Here in Australia, it’s also Aussie Artisan Week. The idea is to celebrate 100% Aussie made products that support our local economy, as well as tasting delicious and to encourage everybody to continue supporting, buying locally, buying consciously and buying direct where they can. It’s better for us, our country and the planet. the same goes for whatever country you call home – always better to buy local and support those producers. You can read Home cooks can now eat better than ever thanks to Aussie artisans.
Paris Brest with Triple Berry Jam, Rosewater Cream & Spun Sugar
Spicy Pork & Thai Basil Stir-fry
I continue to enjoy Facebook Live every Sunday night at 6pm. Last week I made Spicy Pork & Thai Basil Stir-fry, with tips and tricks along the way. You can watch how I did it on Facebook here, as well as talking a bit about Clare Valley riesling which I matched with it. Please join me at 6:00pm (Sydney Time) or 9am British Standard Time, this coming Sunday as I show you to make a quick Rillettes of Salmon with Horseradish Crème Fraiche and Mustard & Dill Pikelets.. Simply like my Facebook pageand 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, don’t be daunted by the number of ingredients you will need for six – it is very simple and goes a long way :
225g fresh salmon fillet
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & chopped
1 strip lemon rind
5 black peppercorns
175g smoked salmon, cut into a 1cm dice
3 tablespoons crème fraiche or light sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly granted horseradish or horseradish cream
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
To serve: Cornichons Mustard & Dill Pikelets
1 cup (160g) wholemeal or plain self-raising flour
½ cup (125ml) milk
2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
2 tablespoons seeded mustard
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 heaped tablespoon polenta (optional for texture)
Butter, to cook
See you then?
An Extraordinary Lunch
at Saint Peter
Our main course: Greenback Flounder Al Pastor, corn tortillas & condiments and Vegetables with Organic Mungalli Creek Yoghurt & Macadamia Tahini
As regular readers know I’ve been pretty much locked down with my partner, only venturing out locally and rarely for the last few months. However, this week, a food friend and colleague and I made it to lunch at the refurbished Saint Peter in Paddington. They have renovated thedining room to feature a long bar for 14 guests, with capacity for more (about 22 guests) once social distancing is no longer required. This allows chef and co-owner Josh Niland (with wife Julie) to share their passion for Australian seafood from just across the bar Saint Peter really celebrates Australia’s best fish alongside the best vegetables our local farmers have to offer.
Niland, 31, who still looks like a boyrecently won two prestigious James Beard awards for The Whole Fish Cookbook.His acknowledgement of, and commitment to local, sustainable farmers and fishers is extraordinary. All are carefully noted on the ever-changing menu which exhibits his philosophy and ethics of sustainable whole-fish cooking. It all depends on the catch of the day and how Niland decides to use every part of every fish.
Josh explaining the oysters to us: left Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster and right Merimbula Rock Oyster
Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster ($5.50) and Merimbula Rock Oyster ($5) to begin with set the scene for uncompromising quality, freshness and taste quite different, the pacific more lean and flinty, the rock much sweeter. We shared a bottle of Mada Nebbiolo Rose ($68) and found it was dry enough, yet with enough body to suit everything we ate.
We opted to share two entrees, so Josh plated them up separately for us, which even involved splitting a tiger prawn and cooking it differently from when whole, to ensure perfection. Scarlet, School & Tiger Prawns ($44) comprised deep fried whole school prawns, a whole raw scarlet prawn and a just cooked half of tiger prawn, perfect garlic flowers and a garlic sauce poured over the top. “Garlic prawns” laughed Josh. “Sublime” said we. Next we shared the Charcoal Pipis ($32) with Tasmanian Saffron, Blood Lime & Shallot. The pipis were placed on the chargrill until just open, their juices retained and tossed with the other ingredients. Outstanding.
L: Charcoal Pipis, Tasmanian Saffron, Blood Lime & Shallot and R: Scarlet, School & Tiger Prawns, Green Garlic Sauce
For mains, the Greenback Flounder Al Pastor ($56) with Corn Tortillas, yoghurt, hot sauce, fermented and fresh onion relish, avocado, crisp fish skin and cabbage was plenty for two and like nothing I have ever experienced before. Certainly nothing like any previous fish taco. The flounder was gently spiced and cooked briefly on the char-grill and adorned with padron peppers. It was only just cooked on the bone and it reminded me of Josh’s mentor Steve Hodges who, along with Greg Doyle at Pier restaurant back in the day, were the first to insist that fish should be removed from the heat before it was fully cooked so that it would be perfect at table. And indeed this was.
So too were the Vegetables ($16) Caulflower, Brussel Sprouts, Pumpkin, Beetroot & Carrots, Organic Mungalli Creek Yoghurt & Macadamia Tahini.
The Mr Niland at Home takeaway option, introduced during lockdown, continues as The Fish Butchery at Home , available from ther shop next door. The dishes (which require a little bit of home prep) change regularly –but offer outstanding quality and inventive recipes. Sadly I had to rush away to a zoom meeting so couldn’t pop in here, nor have a dessert at Sain Peter.
Zoom tasting with Ricky Ponting and wife Rianna (I am top left with other wine writers along the top)
Ricky Ponting is regarded as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. He gained a reputation as a cricket prodigy when at age 11 he scored four centuries for the Mowbray Under-13s in a five day Tasmanian cricket tournament. He then scored a further two centuries when promoted to play in the Under-16 tournament a month later. The “Mowbray Boy” made his first class debut for Tasmania aged 17 and by age 20 he had made his Test debut for Australia.
Ponting was a key factor in Australia’s dominance in international cricket in the early 2000s.. Ponting boasts more records than any other player in Australian history including the most wins as a player and a captain, Australia’s highest run-scorer in test and ODI cricket as well as scoring the most international centuries by an Australian batsman and second most of all time.
Now he has launched Ponting Wines, a collaboration with Ben Riggs, an award-winning Australian winemaker known for uncompromising, high quality wines. He and his wife Rianna are majority shareholders. Each wine tells a story about Ricky’s life, using grapes from his favourite wine regions, hence the history above. With names like “Mowbray Boy” pinot noir 2019 (a nod to his youth club) and “The Pinnacle” shiraz 2017 (honouring the Ashes). Ponting is hoping to capture sales from wine lovers and cricket fans alike. He and Rianna have been closely involved, including in label design (with the colour of the baggy green). Rianna was also forthcoming, saying she enjoys a good wine at the end of a long day, especially with the three children at home during lockdown! She is looking forward to the chardonnay being released. What also became apparent is that this is no token celebrity endorsement, it is a real business which the Pontings believe and work in with quality to match.
The launch was via a fun, inter-active zoom tasting, with the wines being sent along to wine writers like me in advance. We tasted the “First Session” Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2020. Named because “the first session of a test match was extra special to me.” said Ricky. ” A chance to pull on the baggy green with ten of my mates and come together as one.” I am not a fan of the pungent NZ style of sauvignon blanc, but the Adelaide Hills is a fabulous cool region for this grape, and this one didn’t disappoint: fresh, zingy, some texture and citrus but crisp and dry. Well-priced too at $23, as are all these wines and so, value-for-money considering the quality.
The Mowbray Boy Pinot Noir was next, an obvious name given Ricky’s heritage. At $33 also great value, for Tamar Valley fruit, all savoury spice and red cherries. I drank some of it with some of my left-over Spicy Pork & Thai basil stir-fry and it went very well.
Then, interestingly, the “Close of Play” Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Langhorne Creek, $25.The name? “Raising a glass with team mates at the close of play, when the game was done and the crowd was gone, they were the special moments.” The wine was very soft and approachable for a still young cabernet.Lovely red berry fruits with hints of
mint and clove, silky texture and a good finish, which I guess is what you want at “close of play”.
The Pinnacle McLaren Vale Shiraz 2017 honours the most famous of all cricket battles, the Ashes. McLaren Vale is a great region for shiraz with typical black pepper, berry fruits and spice. A bigger wine than the cabernet but still elegant and also $25.
The wines are available at selected indpendent bottle shops or via the website.
Brilliant Cut Knife Offer
Last Sunday when I was cooking on Facebook Live some of the viewers asked about my knife. It is my own design and brand, the Lyndey Milan Brilliant Cut Knife which we launched some years ago. I tested this knife for over 12 months before that. The reason? Most homecooks have blunt knives, made more so by putting them in the dishwasher so I wanted something that would stay sharp and could go in the dishwasher. Why?
The blade will stay sharp up to 45 times longer than steel knives The blade technology is a world-first with an alloy that combines diamonds, silver, ceramic and titanium
DIAMONDS a world first for incredible performance and durability SILVER with unique anti-bacterial properties for good health CERAMIC for sharpness and holding the cutting edge for a very long time TITANIUM is corrosion resistant, flexible and lightweight to reduce fatigue
It is comfortable, lightweight and perfectly balanced. It is dishwasher safe. The blade is sharp and flexible and with a double bevel means it suits both left and right-handed cooks to be able to tackle all kitchen jobs such as slicing, chopping, shredding and dicing with ease and precision. However, because it is so fine, just don’t use the blade on bones or hard pumpkin.
World leading testing organisation, CATRA (UK) have confirmed that this revolutionary alloy blade, hand-finished by a master Japanese craftsman, will holds its edge up to 45 times longer than steel
Herbie and me in Edna, our 1961 convertible EK Holden
SBS Food has been screening all of my shows in succession. Currently it’s Lyndey & Herbie’s Moveable Feast, a series I made with my longtime friend and colleague Ian “Herbie”Hemphill, Australia’s Spice King. Listen to the opening titles as it is my beautiful daughter Lucy Milan singing the title song.
There’s something on every afternoon at 3pm, so keep an eye out on the SBS Program Guide for SBS Food Prime video has some of my shows – in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia– all 16 episodes and many other of my TV series
Wherever you are in the world, you can probably access some of my shows online if you google.
I hope you enjoy them.
Next week we’re travelling the world with Spanish food and recipes and I’ll see if I can dream up a Spanish recipe for my Facebook Live. Or is there a Spanish recipe you have always wanted to know how to cook? Or a question about Spanish wines?
There’ll be more too, so don’t miss out, join me on Facebook and Instagram this week!
Travel with me in 2021 or 2022?
Carefree days in Alberobello on a previous trip
MY HOSTED TOURS RETURN IN 2021 or 2022?
I am full of hope for next year – but also realise we may not be travelling internationally that soon. So we have decided to delay my planned Moroccan trip from May to October 2021, straight after the planned one to Puglia. Makes it worth being that side of the world and it will be fun to do back-to-back. 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 probably mid-October 2021 – some information here.